Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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manicsounds
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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#26 Post by manicsounds » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:40 pm

A bit late to the game, but DVDBeaver reviews the set.

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Ashirg
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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#27 Post by Ashirg » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:07 pm

All Night Long is getting a blu-ray release in UK from Network on July 4th.

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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#28 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:41 pm

I'll be watching these films soon (but through British blus and DVDs), and taking the opportunity to get an introduction to Dearden's work in general. Aside from The Captive Heart (out on blu), what are his other films that come recommended from folks here that are familiar with them?

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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#29 Post by knives » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:53 pm

His additions to Dead of Night, the framing device if I remember correctly, and The Mind Benders, an oddball sci-fi, are quite good and worth checking out.

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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#30 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:32 pm

knives wrote:His additions to Dead of Night, the framing device if I remember correctly, and The Mind Benders, an oddball sci-fi, are quite good and worth checking out.
Thanks for that. I'll definitely have a look at The Mind Benders. As for Dead of Night, I'm not that crazy about anthology films, even supernatural ones. I usually find myself disappointed by them. Bava's Black Sabbath is OK, but the ones that come to mind - Corman's Tales of Terror, Duvivier's Flesh and Fantasy - didn't do much for me. Creepshow and Twilight Zone the Movie I haven't seen since they were first released (!), so I don't know how they hold up! If you tell me that you consider Dead of Night superior to those, I'll be tempted to watch it. (Same with, by the way - on the topic of other directors -, Malle, Vadim and Fellini's Spirits of the Dead.)

Back to Dearden: his Ealing comedy My Learned Friend seems to get high ratings, and the Bond-ish Connery Woman of Straw, out on blu, sounds appealing. Gary Tooze says it picks up in the second half. Anyone seen that one?

His 50s and early-to-mid 60s output seem most attractive, especially his crime drama and thrillers.

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knives
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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#31 Post by knives » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:36 pm

Spirits of the Dead is definitely essential viewing for Fellini's segment at least. Most of Dead of Night is quite good. Crichton's segment is a dead in the water comedy, but otherwise the segments are very on ball and good (though I'll admit it doesn't hold as strongly for me as it does some).

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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#32 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:49 pm

I'm basically with knives, it's one of the better horror anthologies.

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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#33 Post by Dr Amicus » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:57 am

It's been a long time, but I remember liking My Learned Friend a lot and finding Woman Of Straw a bit silly. I would recommend The Blue Lamp, the archetypal British Bobby film and inspiration for long running TV series Dixon Of Dock Green, and also Pool Of London, a wonderful London slice of life film that looks forward to the social issue films later in his career.


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Re: Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

#34 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:54 pm

Dr Amicus wrote:I would recommend The Blue Lamp, the archetypal British Bobby film and inspiration for long running TV series Dixon Of Dock Green, and also Pool Of London, a wonderful London slice of life film that looks forward to the social issue films later in his career.
Thanks a lot! I looked into the customer reviews for these and both sound great.

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Sapphire (Basil Dearden, 1959)

#35 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:33 am

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Re: Sapphire (Basil Dearden, 1959)

#36 Post by Morbii » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:49 am

It's been about 14 months since I last saw this film (first viewing), so I'm going to watch it again in the next few days to try to engage/start some sort of conversation (even though I won't be as eloquent as some of you) since it's my fault.

From what I do remember, the film seemed way ahead of its time (like Victim, which I also considered).

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Re: Sapphire (Basil Dearden, 1959)

#37 Post by britcom68 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:11 am

As a product of its era, this was a well-presented film along either genre of a racial-film, or a police-inquiry film. However, even taken in context, the one qualm I have consistently had that is hard to ignore is the character of "Johnny" played by Harry Baird. No matter how many times I watch this film, this character is the one that stands out as being so awkwardly presented as to take away the pleasure of finding he was the red-herring.

Not to disparage Baird's acting entirely, but it is a largely a one-note performance and begs the question if the film's subsequent novelization was better adapted. Although rightfully suspicious of the police activities, and sympathetically written as a put-upon hard-luck man barely scraping by at the poverty level, his character is hard to grasp. My quam is: I can never figure out if he was meant to be portrayed as merely a gang member who is easily pushed around, intimidated into his quivering shell by "Big Cigar Horace" and that is why he acts as he does, unrelated to Sapphire's investigation. Or if he was meant to be portrayed as overtly-sympathetic under-educated man. Or even as a possible drug-user on the withdrawal. I'd be interested if anyone else had issues with this.

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Re: Sapphire (Basil Dearden, 1959)

#38 Post by Morbii » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:56 pm

britcom68 wrote:As a product of its era, this was a well-presented film along either genre of a racial-film, or a police-inquiry film. However, even taken in context, the one qualm I have consistently had that is hard to ignore is the character of "Johnny" played by Harry Baird. No matter how many times I watch this film, this character is the one that stands out as being so awkwardly presented as to take away the pleasure of finding he was the red-herring.

Not to disparage Baird's acting entirely, but it is a largely a one-note performance and begs the question if the film's subsequent novelization was better adapted. Although rightfully suspicious of the police activities, and sympathetically written as a put-upon hard-luck man barely scraping by at the poverty level, his character is hard to grasp. My quam is: I can never figure out if he was meant to be portrayed as merely a gang member who is easily pushed around, intimidated into his quivering shell by "Big Cigar Horace" and that is why he acts as he does, unrelated to Sapphire's investigation. Or if he was meant to be portrayed as overtly-sympathetic under-educated man. Or even as a possible drug-user on the withdrawal. I'd be interested if anyone else had issues with this.
I would not say I had extreme issues with it, but since you mention it, he was a bit awkwardly presented. His performance did loosely remind me of Gill (Chico Roland) in Black Sun a bit due to the frenzied "grunty" nature of it.
Last edited by Morbii on Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sapphire (Basil Dearden, 1959)

#39 Post by Morbii » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:15 pm

I finally caught this yesterday. Initially, this was the film I wanted to win the least, but after watching it again I was reminded of why I picked it in the first place -- I thoroughly enjoyed my second viewing.

As britcom68 stated, it's a well-presented film in both of the two sides it inhabits.

As a racial film, as mentioned, I felt it was ahead of its time (like Victim), and I do wonder of the effect it had back in the tail end of the 50s. It displayed this contrast between the old ways and the new ways quite brilliantly, I thought -- some of the older characters were flat out hateful (the old ways). Some of them were prejudiced because of business, though you could see the guilt they felt due to it (somewhere in the middle, but beginning to bend to the new ways). And, finally, you have the one scene where the children (the new ways) nearly ran into Dr. Robbins and there's no prejudice there at all, only innocence. They treat him like they'd treat anyone else, call him "sir", and move on. Then you also have the darker side of that where you have the effects of the old ways trying to poison the minds of the children ("she said we'll never live this down" [paraphrase], or "don't call her auntie - she's nothing to us and never was").

The scene where the doctor told the detective that he can't tell a police officer due to shoe size any better than telling someone's race apart due to anatomy (all other things being equal) was a revelation to the officer. Later Mr. Tulip seemingly contradicts this by saying you can tell once the music starts by the way they move. To me, this was not really a contradiction, but a representation of human beings vs. culture. We're all the same in nature, but there's a nurture element as well.

Also hinted at was some reverse prejudice in the form of Paul Slade. Yeah, we're not all perfect.

I think one of the big things for this film is the transformation of Inspector Phil. The Superintendent was polite all the way through, and while he may have also had somewhat of a transformation, I think for him it was more of a confirmation of something ne already knew. But little by little the inspector began to see that his way of thinking (the old ways) was maybe not the right thing. It was a beautiful thing at the end when he shook Dr. Robbins' hand.

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