Stanley Donen's sophisticated comedy drama charts the lives of a stylish British couple (Albert Finney Audrey Hepburn) as they travel on various holidays over the course of their 12-year marriage with separate vignettes combining to form a collage of highs and lows as the young couple struggles to maintain their fading marital bliss...
At three brief hours, Fellini's cynical, engrossing social commentary, La Dolce Vita, stands as his timeless masterpiece. A rich, detailed panorama of Rome's modern decadence and sophisticated immorality, the film is episodic in structure but held tightly in focus by the wandering protagonist through whom we witness the sordid action. Marcello Rubini is a tabloid reporter trapped in a shallow high-society existence, as extraordinarily played by Marcello Mastroianni, a man of paradoxical, emotional juxtapositions: cool but tortured, sexy but impotent. He dreams about writing something important but remains seduced by the money and prestige that accompany his shallow position. He romanticises about finding true love but acts unfazed upon finding that his girlfriend has taken an overdose of sleeping pills. Instead, he engages in a ménage à trois, then frolics in a fountain with a giggling American starlet (bombshell Anita Ekberg), and in the film's unforgettably inspired finale, attends a wild orgy that ends, symbolically with its participants finding a rotting sea animal while wandering the beach at dawn. Fellini saw his film as life affirming (thus its title, "The Sweet Life"), but it's impossible to take him seriously. While Mastroianni drifts from one worldly pleasure to another, be it sex, drink, glamorous parties or rich foods, they are presented, through his detached eyes, as merely momentary distractions. His existence, an endless series of wild evenings and lonely mornings, is ultimately soulless and facile. Because he lacks the courage to change, Mastroianni is left with no alternative but to wearily accept and enjoy this "sweet" life. --Dave McCoy, Amazon.com
Although not one of Hammer's best-known films, the lurid Maniac is a tightly paced and intricately plotted thriller, penned by the great Jimmy Sangster, and taking inspiration from both Clouzot's Les Diaboliques and Hitchcock's Psycho. A young American (Kerwin Mathews, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) stranded in rural France takes up with local hotel owner Eve (Nadia Gray), and is soon involved in a plot to spring her criminally insane husband from an asylum... Features: High Definition remaster Original mono audio White-Hot Terror: Inside Maniac' (2017, 11 mins): an analysis of the film by Hammer expert Jonathan Rigby and cultural historian John J Johnston Hammer's Women: Nadia Gray (2017, 8 mins): horror-film expert Lindsay Anne Hallam looks at the fascinating life and work of the Romanian stage and screen actor Focus Puller Trevor Wrenn and Clapper Loader Ray Andrew on Maniac' (2016, 6 mins): original crew members share their memories of working with Hammer Original theatrical trailer Original Promotional Material: extensive gallery of stills, lobby cards and posters On-set Photography: selections from the personal archives of writer Jimmy Sangster and director Michael Carreras New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Chosen by the British public to be digitised by the BFI in 2016, Peter Sellers directs and stars in this bittersweet character comedy based on a Marcel Pagnol short story. Described by Sellers biographer, Roger Lewis, as a lost classic, Mr Topaze marked the actor's official directorial debut, and teams him with his Ladykillers (1955) and Pink Panther series co-star Herbert Lom in a cast that also features Billie Whitelaw, Leo McKern, John le Mesurier and Joan Sims. Playing the eponymous Mr Topaze, a poor, provincial French schoolteacher slowly corrupted by big business, Sellers' is at the peak of his powers. Unseen for decades, this lost British comedy classic is available for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD and is essential viewing for fans of Sellers unique brand of humour. Special Features: Original Other extras TBC Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film and full film credits
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