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  • The Importance Of Being Earnest [1952] The Importance Of Being Earnest | DVD | (30/04/2001) from £19.98  |  Saving you £-9.99 (-100.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    If you're looking for the definitive example of dry wit, look no further than this 1952 version of The Importance of Being Earnest. Of course, it helps to have Oscar Wilde's beloved play as source material, but this exquisite adaptation has a charmed life of its own, with a perfectly matched director and a once-in-a-lifetime cast. Mix these ingredients with Wilde's inimitable repartee, and you've got a comedic soufflé that's cooked to perfection. Opening with a proscenium nod to its theatrical origins, the film turns Wilde's comedy of clever deception and mixed identities into a cinematic treat, and while the 10-member cast is uniformly superb, special credit must be given to Dame Edith Evans, reprising her stage role as the imperiously stuffy Lady Bracknell. To hear her Wilde-ly hilarious inflections and elongated syllables is to witness British comedy in its purest form. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • The Red Shoes [1948] The Red Shoes | DVD | (01/10/1999) from £16.98  |  Saving you £-6.99 (-70.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Overall, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1948 tale of the tragic ballerina Vicky Page (Moira Shearer) is not in the top drawer of their achievements. The backstage wranglings offer insufficient scope for their usual cinematic vision (though the Monte Carlo scenes are prettily sumptuous). Page's central dilemma, meanwhile, is a bit on the trite side--she must choose between love for a young composer and her career under stern taskmaster Boris Lertomov (Anton Walbrook), the ballet company impresario. The climax is also risibly melodramatic, a rare fumble for Powell and Pressburger. That said, The Red Shoes is worth purchasing alone for its middle sequence, a fantasy cinematic setting of the ballet of The Red Shoes, based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of a girl who dances herself to death. A superb score by Brian Easdale is matched by an impossibly elaborate, shifting backdrop in which all of Powell and Pressburger's sense of drama, colour, invention and the super-real is encapsulated in one small but intensely concentrated dose. While the rest of the film is relatively dispensable, the ballet scene bears up to repeated rewindings.--David Stubbs

  • Annie Get Your Gun [1950] Annie Get Your Gun | DVD | (09/10/2006) from £3.99  |  Saving you £2.21 (17.00%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Betty Hutton (as Annie Oakley) and Howard Keel (as Frank Butler) star in this sharpshootin' funfest based on the 1 147-performance Broadway smash boasting Irving Berlin's beloved score including Doin' What Comes Natur'lly I Got the Sun in the Morning and the anthemic There's No Business like Show Business. As produced by Arthur Freed directed by George Sidney and seen and heard in a new digital transfer from restored elements. This lavish spirited production showcases songs and pe

  • Singin' in the Rain [Limited Edition] [DVD] Singin' in the Rain | DVD | (06/10/2008) from £3.59  |  Saving you £-10.49 (-131.30%)  |  RRP £7.99

    Decades before the Hollywood film industry became famous for megabudget disaster and science fiction spectaculars, the studios of Southern California (and particularly Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) were renowned for a uniquely American (and nearly extinct) kind of picture known as The Musical. Indeed, when Sight & Sound conducts its international critics poll in the second year of every decade, this 1952 MGM picture is the American musical that consistently ranks among the 10 best movies ever made. It's not only a great song-and-dance piece starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and a sprightly Debbie Reynolds; it's also an affectionately funny insider spoof about the film industry's uneasy transition from silent pictures to "talkies". Kelly plays debonair star Don Lockwood, whose leading lady Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) has a screechy voice hilariously ill-suited to the new technology (and her glamorous screen image). Among the musical highlights: O'Connor's knockout "Make 'Em Laugh"; the big "Broadway Melody" production number; and, best of all, that charming little title ditty in which Kelly makes movie magic on a drenched set with nothing but a few puddles, a lamppost, and an umbrella. --Jim Emerson

  • The Importance Of Being Earnest [1952] The Importance Of Being Earnest | DVD | (08/10/1999) from £12.74  |  Saving you £-2.75 (-27.50%)  |  RRP £9.99

    If you're looking for the definitive example of dry wit, look no further than this 1952 version of The Importance of Being Earnest. Of course, it helps to have Oscar Wilde's beloved play as source material, but this exquisite adaptation has a charmed life of its own, with a perfectly matched director and a once-in-a-lifetime cast. Mix these ingredients with Wilde's inimitable repartee, and you've got a comedic soufflé that's cooked to perfection. Opening with a proscenium nod to its theatrical origins, the film turns Wilde's comedy of clever deception and mixed identities into a cinematic treat, and while the 10-member cast is uniformly superb, special credit must be given to Dame Edith Evans, reprising her stage role as the imperiously stuffy Lady Bracknell. To hear her Wilde-ly hilarious inflections and elongated syllables is to witness British comedy in its purest form. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

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