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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 11:58 am 
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Matt wrote:
Intrigued by that weird coffeemaker in Sammy's apartment? You can buy one for yourself.

uber-cool; just added it to my x-mas list


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Almost makes me wish I could stand drinking coffee.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Watching both this and "Black Narcissus" always makes me lament the fact that Kathleen Byron never became a big star. :|


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:34 pm 
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I think what they were drinking in those days wasn't coffee but chicory and if you didn't stand you'd pass out from gagging.

Poor Kathleen wasn't well served much after Powell - there's some joy in Madness of the Heart - a mixed bag of things but she's carefully directed, even if the part is stereotypically villainess. BY 1952 she's at the mercy of fucking Terence Fisher in the Hammer Noir Gambler and the Lady in which she's given nothing to do but pout, be morose and bark. It's painful to watch.

She needed Powell and he gave her in return three great parts (and a great bit in Blimp.) I've always loved her, especially Small Back Room.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Kathleen Byron was in Blimp?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:29 pm 
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I believe David meant A Matter of Life and Death.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:35 pm 
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kaujot wrote:
I believe David meant A Matter of Life and Death.

But that would leave her with only two great parts.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:42 pm 
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She must not be credited in Blimp. Or, at least, IMDb doesn't have her credited. As he said, it was a bit part, but for the life of me, I can't think of where she shows up in Blimp.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:01 pm 
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I'll go back and check it but Powell mentions her doing a silent walkon in Blimp in the autobiog, and from memory she's in one of the scenes with the military guys late in the film in the cottage before they stage the raid on the club.

For some intensely irritating reason I can't find my fucking copy of the disc!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:45 am 
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Just checking - Spielberg gave Byron a more recent star turn as Old Mrs Ryan in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) - she passed away in January of this year... She's not listed in the pretty detailed credits for BLIMP in the filmography/chronicle section of the BFI's 'Powell Pressburger & Others' ed Ian Christie (1978) which names the actors down to those playing the BBC Official and the various Club Porters, but that's not to say she isn't there... Certainly Powell mentions in his autobiog that he and Pressburger took on the production of two other films at the time Powell was directing BLIMP - they being THE SILVER FLEET & THE VOLUNTEER... He continues about THE SILVER FLEET (directed by Vernon Sewell)...

Quote:
...and there was a very nice scene in the film in which a young schoolteacher tells her pupils, while her country (Holland) is under occupation by the Germans, the story of (historic hero) Piet Hein and his resistance to the oppressors. The young actress who played the schoolteacher had a dreamy voice and great eyes like a lynx. Her name was Kathleen Byron, of whom more later.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:52 am 
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IN the absence of my missing Blimp I think I should defer to your Vernon Sewell ref for the fleeting Byron moment.

But I WILL check it when I find the damn disc again!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:02 am 
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ellipsis7 wrote:
Just checking - Spielberg gave Byron a more recent star turn as Old Mrs Ryan in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) - she passed away in January of this year...

THAT was Kathleen Byron?? In the scene at the military cemetery, where old Ryan sez to his wife "Tell me I'm a good man..."

Holy...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:16 am 
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From her Guardian obit...

Quote:
When Steven Spielberg cast her in the cameo role of Old Mrs Ryan in Saving Private Ryan (1998), because of his affection for the Powell-Pressburger films.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:42 am 
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Wowie.. I had no idea that was her I'd been looking at all these years (the film is one of my guilty pleasures because of the opening beach scene).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:41 am 
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I suppose I should start this by saying before tonight I haven't really loved any of the P&P films. Enjoyed a few, but I haven't any strong feelings. That's turned around with this little ditty though. Every frame is perfect, the three big scenes showed different sides to the film and really of the directors' personalities. Those two lead performances, my god, how did Byron not burst up to Bergman levels of fame after this and Black Narcissus? Farrar's lead is too fantastic. This really is the story of a broken needing to prove himself once more, but through fear, comfort, and self pity he cant commit.He plays the character with that strong sense of self pity and a lack of force that I almost suspect the only thing preventing Sammy from being a contemptible worm is the sheer charm Farrar splices into every scene. The score too is one of the few that make such things worthwhile. I am in love with Herrmann like noise they played for the Whiskey bottle. I can't imagine any of their films that are left in my admittedly large gap filling these perfect shoes, but if one of their films matches up in any way to this one than call me a fan.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:19 am 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Wowie.. I had no idea that was her I'd been looking at all these years (the film is one of my guilty pleasures because of the opening beach scene).


If Kathleen Byron had been at the head of those Normandy landing craft looking the way she looks on the final return to the Nunnery in Black Narcissus, I suspect the Germans whould have just thrown down their weapons and surrendered.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:55 pm 
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The Small Back Room added to Deep Discount's 25% Off sale (code: 25MORE).


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:56 am 
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Saw my "Small Back Room" Criterion DVD over the weekend. My first Powell & Pressburger movie and damn, what a fine British wartime flick for grown-ups. Technically it's a serious drama (bordering on noir at certain moments) but it occasionally dovetails into theatrical breathers to lighten-up the mood without it feeling jarring. "Small Black Room" gets creative (the 'Whiskey' sequence), tense as hell (the "Hurt Locker"-type finale), sarcastic (the Prime Minister's visit to the lab) and as romantic as movies in the 1940's could get away with. Farrar and Byron's chemistry practically begs for us to picture these two 'doing it' (or at least arguing about it). The Archers manage to link seemingly-disparate plot threads dealing with mysterious bombs blowing up civilians (personified in small screen time by young Michael Gough), Sammy's personal demons (on his body as well as the liquid stuff trying to get inside him), Susan's tolerance (of Sammy's self-destructive behavior) and the politics behind British weapon manufacturing (Jack Hawkins almost steals the movie with his role as an amoral but sympathetic P.R. lackey) into a coherent whole by the movie's end that could only be achieved by filmmakers in complete command of their craft. It's a less show-offy entry into the P&P filmography but I had a jolly good time inside "The Small Back Room" (even if the ticking clocks drove me momentarily as bonkers as Sammy). "Tales of Hoffman" is next.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:23 am 
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"It's a less show-offy entry into the P&P filmography but I had a jolly good time inside "The Small Back Room"

How would you know it was less 'show-offy', or bother to comment on it, if this was your first P&P film? Just curious, no offence.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:33 am 
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He's probably going by reputation, though I feel the description is wrong.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:51 am 
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Even though I haven't watched a Powell & Pressburger movie before "Small Back Room" I've read about them and seen the inevitable clips/scenes that come in documentaries, retrospectives, trailers, etc. in other DVDs. Basically they're known as the "Black Narcissus/Red Shoes/Tales of Hoffman/Colonel Blimp" guys, although what made me want to take the plunge (besides the low prices I bought a couple of their Criterion discs for) was the diversity of their filmography. I'm not much of a musical/theatrical lover so I wanted my first taste of P&P to be one of those movies that doesn't immediately come to mind, which inevitably are the "Red Shoes" or "Black Narcissus." You know, the show-offy musical/theatrical stuff.

Walking away slowly... :-"


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:56 am 
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Well, there's not much musical or theatrical about Black Narcissus. However, I would avoid Tales of Hoffman, at least for now, if you don't like that kind of thing. Better to go with Black Narcissus, then The Red Shoes, and you'll be better-prepared for Hoffman.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:42 am 

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Go for A Canterbury Tale next Dad1153.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:02 am 
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Or "49th Parallel". The CC edition is particularly great for those who don't know P&P well yet, as the second disc has an excellent documentary featuring excerpts from all of their important films, which might give you a taste of how these individual works basically look like.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:15 am 
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Thanks for the recommendations guys but "Tales of Hoffman" has to be next. It's bought and paid for (OOP since March) plus, now that I've seen a good serious movie from P&P, I'm willing to tackle a musical/theatrical feature of theirs with an open mind. Could have bought "Cantenbury Tale" and/or "49th Parallel" cheap on a recent Criterion sale but I just didn't feel like taking the plunge on blind buying either until I knew for certain the Archers delivered the goods with "The Small Back Room." Basically I'm leasing potential fandom of P&P movies with an option to buy.


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