"Actor: Henry Stephenson"

1
  • Oliver Twist -- Special Edition [1948]Oliver Twist -- Special Edition | DVD | (26/09/2008) from £21.58   |  Saving you £-5.59 (-35.00%)   |  RRP £15.99

    There have been many film and TV adaptations of Oliver Twist but this 1948 production from director David Lean remains the definitive screen interpretation of the Charles Dickens classic. From the ominous symbolism of its opening storm sequence (in which Oliver's pregnant, ill-fated mother struggles to reach shelter before childbirth) to the mob-scene climax that provokes Bill Sikes's dreadful comeuppance, this breathtaking black-and-white film remains loyal to Dickens while distilling the story into its purest cinematic essence.Every detail is perfect--Lean even includes a coffin-shaped snuffbox for the cruel Mr. Sowerberry--and as young Oliver, eight-year-old John Howard Davies (who would later produce Monty Python's Flying Circus for the BBC) perfectly expresses the orphan's boyish wonderment, stern determination and waifish vulnerability. Best of all is Alec Guinness as Fagin, so devious and yet so delightfully appealing under his beak-nosed (and, at the time, highly controversial) make-up. (Many complained that Fagin's huge nose and greedy demeanour presented an anti-Semitic stereotype, even though Lean never identifies Fagin as Jewish; for this reason, the film wasn't shown in the US until three years after its British release.) Likewise, young Anthony Newley is artfully dodgy as Fagin's loyal accomplice, the Artful Dodger. Guinness's performance would later provide strong inspiration for Ron Moody's equally splendid portrayal of Fagin in the Oscar-winning Oliver! and while that 1968 musical remains wonderfully entertaining, it is Lean's film that hews closest to Dickens' vision. The authentic recreation of 19th-century London is marvellous to behold; Guy Green's cinematography is so shadowy and stylised that it almost qualifies as Dickensian film noir. Lean is surprisingly blunt in conveying Dickens's theme of cruelty but his film never loses sight of the warmth and humanity that Oliver embodies. --Jeff Shannon

  • Mutiny On The Bounty [1935]Mutiny On The Bounty | DVD | (01/06/2006) from £9.43   |  Saving you £4.56 (32.60%)   |  RRP £13.99

    During a voyage to South America, a British naval captain is cast adrift...

  • Little Women [1933]Little Women | DVD | (28/06/2013) from £21.58   |  Saving you £-3.59 (-20.00%)   |  RRP £17.99

    Little Women is a "coming of age" drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War...

  • Flinstone's Christmas Carol [DVD]Flinstone's Christmas Carol | DVD | (18/10/2010) from £4.69   |  Saving you £3.30 (41.30%)   |  RRP £7.99

    Flintstone's Christmas Carol

  • Oliver Twist / Great Expectations [1948]Oliver Twist / Great Expectations | DVD | (17/03/2008) from £12.10   |  Saving you £0.89 (6.90%)   |  RRP £12.99

    An astonishingly good David Lean double-bill featuring his two Dickensian adaptations, Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), this is a reminder that cinema does not necessarily have to debase its literary sources, sometimes it can enhance them. Lean's painterly eye for evocative locations--be they windswept marshes or bustling London streets--provides the backdrop, but his focus on smaller details--the ominous tree in the graveyard with its almost human face, the reaction of Bill Sikes' dog to Nancy's murder--adds the vital ingredient that brings both place and character to life. Starring a youthful John Mills as Pip, Lean's Great Expectations is an unadulterated delight, a serendipitous gelling of screenplay, direction, cinematography and acting that produces an almost perfect film. The cast is exemplary, with Alec Guinness in his first (official) role as Pip's loyal pal Herbert Pocket; Martita Hunt is a cadaverous Miss Havisham; Finlay Currie transforms himself from truly threatening to entirely sympathetic as Magwitch; while the young Jean Simmons makes more of an impact as the girl Estella than Valerie Hobson does as the older incarnation. Perhaps best of all, though, is Francis Sullivan as the pragmatic but kindly attorney Jaggers. The cinematography alone (courtesy of Guy Green) would qualify Oliver Twist as a classic: the opening sequence of a lone woman struggling through the storm is an indelible cinematic image. Fortunately, Lean's film has many more aces up its sleeve thereafter, notably Alec Guinness' grotesque Fagin--a caricature certainly, but a three-dimensional one--and Robert Newton's utterly pitiless Bill Sikes. The skewed angles and unsettling chiaroscuro lighting transform London itself into another threatening character. --Mark Walker

  • Lady From Louisiana / Flame Of The Barbary Coast [1941]Lady From Louisiana / Flame Of The Barbary Coast | DVD | (26/06/2006) from £13.48   |  Saving you £-3.49 (-34.90%)   |  RRP £9.99

    Lady From Louisiana (Dir. Bernard Vorhaus 1941): Northern lawyer John Reynolds travels to New Orleans to try and clean up the local crime syndicate based around a lottery. Although he meets Julie Mirbeau and they are attracted to each other the fact that her father heads the lottery means they end up on opposite sides. When her father is killed Julie becomes more and more involved in the shady activities and in blocking Reynolds' attempts at prosecution. Flame Of Barbary Coast (Dir. Joseph Kane 1945): A cowboy competes with a gambling tycoon on the Barbary Coast for the hand of a beautiful dance-hall queen. However the 1906 San Francisco earthquake provides a climactic twist though...

  • The Prince And The Pauper [DVD]The Prince And The Pauper | DVD | (21/09/2009) from £16.18   |  Saving you £-3.19 (-24.60%)   |  RRP £12.99

    The Prince And The Pauper

  • Oliver Twist [1948]Oliver Twist | DVD | (11/10/1999) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £9.99

    There have been many film and TV adaptations of Oliver Twist but this 1948 production from director David Lean remains the definitive screen interpretation of the Charles Dickens classic. From the ominous symbolism of its opening storm sequence (in which Oliver's pregnant, ill-fated mother struggles to reach shelter before childbirth) to the mob-scene climax that provokes Bill Sikes's dreadful comeuppance, this breathtaking black-and-white film remains loyal to Dickens while distilling the story into its purest cinematic essence.Every detail is perfect--Lean even includes a coffin-shaped snuffbox for the cruel Mr. Sowerberry--and as young Oliver, eight-year-old John Howard Davies (who would later produce Monty Python's Flying Circus for the BBC) perfectly expresses the orphan's boyish wonderment, stern determination and waifish vulnerability. Best of all is Alec Guinness as Fagin, so devious and yet so delightfully appealing under his beak-nosed (and, at the time, highly controversial) make-up. (Many complained that Fagin's huge nose and greedy demeanour presented an anti-Semitic stereotype, even though Lean never identifies Fagin as Jewish; for this reason, the film wasn't shown in the US until three years after its British release.) Likewise, young Anthony Newley is artfully dodgy as Fagin's loyal accomplice, the Artful Dodger. Guinness's performance would later provide strong inspiration for Ron Moody's equally splendid portrayal of Fagin in the Oscar-winning Oliver! and while that 1968 musical remains wonderfully entertaining, it is Lean's film that hews closest to Dickens' vision. The authentic recreation of 19th-century London is marvellous to behold; Guy Green's cinematography is so shadowy and stylised that it almost qualifies as Dickensian film noir. Lean is surprisingly blunt in conveying Dickens's theme of cruelty but his film never loses sight of the warmth and humanity that Oliver embodies. --Jeff Shannon

  • Little Lord Fauntelroy [DVD]Little Lord Fauntelroy | DVD | (25/02/2013) from £11.30   |  Saving you £-4.31 (-61.70%)   |  RRP £6.99

    Mickey Rooney in Little Lord Fauntleroy Drama DVD NEW

1

Please wait. Loading...