"Actor: Woodrow Parfrey"

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  • Papillon [1974]Papillon | DVD | (04/12/2000) from £3.99   |  Saving you £9.00 (225.56%)   |  RRP £12.99

    Franklin J Schaffner's Papillon is quite possibly the definitive prison escape drama. Not as thrilling as The Great Escape, nor as emotionally cathartic as The Shawshank Redemption, its unflinching emphasis on the barbarism of "civilised" societies is nevertheless unparalleled. Significantly, the only characters to display any real kindness in this film are the social outcasts: the lepers and native Indians; everyone else has been corrupted and debased by the true villain, the penal system itself. Based on Henri Charrière' s heavily fictionalised "autobiography", the film's timeless themes of man's insatiable desire for freedom and the indomitability of the human spirit are thankfully not dependent for their impact on the source material's veracity. Dalton Trumbo's liberal-minded screenplay echoes the themes of his earlier script for Spartacus, and Schaffner's innate gift for epic cinema (this was made just two years after his great war biography Patton) is fully equal to the task of realising it on screen. The director's painterly eye for widescreen composition and his careful pacing impart a gravitas to proceedings even during the film's most squalid depictions of brutality, of which there are many emphasising the cheapness of human life among the convicts and their equally criminal prison guards in the penal colony of French Guiana. Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman form a remarkable screen pairing, with Hoffman outstanding as the pusillanimous Dega. McQueen magnificently overcomes his tough-guy persona in the extraordinary solitary confinement sequences as he is gradually reduced to a shambling, cockroach-eating wreck. Longtime collaborator Jerry Goldsmith, who had previously scored Schaffner's Planet of the Apes and Patton, attained yet another career high with his music. On the DVD: The anamorphic widescreen print of the original Panavision 2. 35:1 ratio looks fine without being as stunning as some more modern prints; the Dolby 5.1 audio does however do great service to Jerry Goldsmith's score, which can also be selected separately from the Audio Setup menu as an isolated track (note that there's no music at all in the first 20 minutes of the film). The 12-minute "Magnificent Rebel" featurette was made at the time of the film's release , and includes some fascinating footage of Henri Charrière touring the prison se t, reminiscing about his experiences and pontificating ("Society does not want free men, society wants conditioned men"). --Mark Walker

  • The Outlaw Josey Wales [1976]The Outlaw Josey Wales | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £5.38   |  Saving you £8.61 (160.04%)   |  RRP £13.99

    The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Clint Eastwood's 31st film as an actor, 20th as international star and fifth as director, was the first to win him widespread respect. Critics had grumbled when the producer-star replaced Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) in the director's chair a week into shooting. They ended up cheering when Eastwood delivered both his most sympathetic performance to date and--with the heroic collaboration of cinematographer Bruce Surtees--an impressive Panavision epic that stresses the scruffiness, rather than the scenic splendours, of frontier life. During the Civil War, Union "Redlegs" attack Southerner Josey Wales's dirt farm and wipe out his family. Seeking vengeance, Wales throws in with a company of Reb guerrillas. Tagged as a renegade after the surrender, he flees west into the vastness of the Indian Territories, where, quite unintentionally, he finds himself cast as the straight-shooting paterfamilias of an ever-growing, spectacularly motley community of misfits and castaways. This is to say, Josey's personal quest for survival and something like peace of mind evolves into a funky, multicultural allegory of the healing of America. Josey Wales is good, not great, Eastwood. The big-gun fetishism can get tiresome, and too many characters exist only to serve as six-gun (and at one point Gatling gun) fodder. But mostly the film is agreeably eccentric, and almost furtively sweet in spirit--a key transitional title in the Eastwood filmography, and one of his most entertaining. --Richard T Jameson

  • Planet Of The Apes [1967]Planet Of The Apes | DVD | (08/10/2001) from £9.43   |  Saving you £8.56 (90.77%)   |  RRP £17.99

    The original Planet of the Apes is that rarity of the genre: a science fiction film that has dated not one bit: its intelligent script, frightening costuming, and savagely effective conclusion (which needs no big-budget special effects to augment its impact) remain both potent and relevant. When Colonel George Taylor (the fabulous Charlton Heston) crash lands his spacecraft on what seems to be an unfamiliar planet, he is captured and held prisoner by a dominant race of rational, articulate apes. However, the ape community is riven with internal dissension, centred in no small part on its policy toward humans, who, on this planet, are treated as mindless animals. Befriended and ultimately assisted by the more liberal simians, Taylor escapes--only to find a more terrifying obstacle confronting his return home. Heavy-handed object lessons abound--the ubiquity of generational warfare, the inflexibility of dogma, the cruelty of prejudice--and the didactic finger prints of The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling are very much in evidence here. But director Franklin Schaffner has a dark, pop-apocalyptic sci-fi vision all of his own, helped along by Jerry Goldsmith's terrifyingly avant-garde score. And time has not dulled the monumental emotional imp act of the film's climactic payoff shot. --Miles Bethany, Amazon.com

  • Dirty Harry [1971]Dirty Harry | DVD | (21/01/2002) from £5.99   |  Saving you £10.99 (366.33%)   |  RRP £13.99

    Whether or not you can sympathise with its fascistic/vigilante approach to law enforcement, Dirty Harry (directed by star Clint Eastwood's longtime friend and directorial mentor, Don Siegel) is one hell of an American cop thriller. The movie makes evocative use of its San Francisco locations as cop Harry Callahan (Eastwood) tracks the elusive "Scorpio killer" who has been terrorising the city by the Bay. As the psychopath's trail grows hotter, Harry becomes increasingly impatient and intolerant of the frustrating obstacles (departmental red tape, individuals' civil rights) that he feels are keeping him from doing his job. A characteristically taut and tense piece of filmmaking from Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Shootist, Escape from Alcatraz), it also remains a fascinating slice of American pop culture. It was a big hit (followed by four sequels) that obviously reflected--or exploited--the almost obsessive or paranoid fears and frustrations many Americans felt about crime in the streets. At a time when "law and order" was a familiar slogan for political candidates, Harry Callahan may have represented neither, but from his point of view his job was simple: stop criminals. To him that end justified any means he deemed necessary. --Jim Emerson

  • The Outlaw Josey Wales [1976]The Outlaw Josey Wales | DVD | (01/10/1999) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £13.99

    During the Civil War, Union "Redlegs" attack Southerner Josey Wales's dirt farm and wipe out his family. Seeking vengeance, Wales throws in with a company of Reb guerrillas. Tagged as a renegade after the surrender, he flees west into the vastness of the Indian Territories, where, quite unintentionally, he finds himself cast as the straight-shooting paterfamilias of an ever-growing, spectacularly motley community of misfits and castaways. Which is to say, Josey's personal quest for survival and something like peace of mind evolves into a funky, multicultural allegory of the healing of America. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Clint Eastwood's 31st film as an actor, 20th as international star and 5th as director, was the first to win him widespread respect. Critics had grumbled when the producer-star replaced Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) in the director's chair a week into shooting. They ended up cheering when Eastwood delivered both his most sympathetic performance to date and--with the heroic collaboration of cinematographer Bruce Surtees--an impressive Panavision epic that stresses the scruffiness, rather than the scenic splendors, of frontier life. Though it's been honoured with a place in the National Film Registry, Josey Wales is good, not great, Eastwood. The big-gun fetishism can get tiresome, and too many characters exist only to serve as six-gun (and at one point Gatling gun) fodder. But mostly the film is agreeably eccentric, and almost furtively sweet in spirit--a key transitional title in the Eastwood filmography, and one of his most entertaining. --Richard T. Jameson

  • Planet Of The Apes  (Special Edition)  [1967]Planet Of The Apes (Special Edition) | DVD | (08/02/2006) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £19.99

    Astronaut Taylor crash lands on a distant planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist... Winner of an Honorary Academy Award for Outstanding Make-up Achievement and nominated for two Oscars (1968 Best Costume Design and Best Original Score) Planet of the Apes is grand entertainment from its visually arresting beginning to the chilli

  • Dirty Harry [1971]Dirty Harry | DVD | (02/10/2006) from £8.08   |  Saving you £5.91 (42.20%)   |  RRP £13.99

    Whether or not you can sympathise with its fascistic/vigilante approach to law enforcement, Dirty Harry (directed by star Clint Eastwood's longtime friend and directorial mentor, Don Siegel) is one hell of an American cop thriller. The movie makes evocative use of its San Francisco locations as cop Harry Callahan (Eastwood) tracks the elusive "Scorpio killer" who has been terrorising the city by the Bay. As the psychopath's trail grows hotter, Harry becomes increasingly impatient and intolerant of the frustrating obstacles (departmental red tape, individuals' civil rights) that he feels are keeping him from doing his job. A characteristically taut and tense piece of filmmaking from Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Shootist, Escape from Alcatraz), it also remains a fascinating slice of American pop culture. It was a big hit (followed by four sequels) that obviously reflected--or exploited--the almost obsessive or paranoid fears and frustrations many Americans felt about crime in the streets. At a time when "law and order" was a familiar slogan for political candidates, Harry Callahan may have represented neither, but from his point of view his job was simple: stop criminals. To him that end justified any means he deemed necessary. --Jim Emerson

  • Planet of the Apes -- 35th Anniversary Special Edition (2 discs) [1967]Planet of the Apes -- 35th Anniversary Special Edition (2 discs) | DVD | (26/04/2004) from £11.73   |  Saving you £14.25 (163.04%)   |  RRP £22.99

    A genuine genre classic whose impact remains undimmed either by time, increasingly dire sequels, or Tim Burton's lacklustre 2001 "reimagining", the original Planet of the Apes richly deserves this 35th Anniversary special edition. Here you'll find a glorious anamorphic presentation of Franklin J Schaffner's painterly CinemaScope framing, accompanied by a new DTS 5.1 soundtrack that makes the movie seem even more vibrant and immediate than ever before. On disc one the film is accompanied by two audio commentaries: one from composer Jerry Goldsmith, and another with Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Natalie Trundy and make-up artist John Chambers. These are reasonably interesting, though with a few too many gaps. Better is Eric Greene's exhaustive text commentary. Better still are the features on the second disc. Disc two contains the exhaustive two-hour Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary (also to be found in the six-disc box set) as well as a host of other behind-the-scenes nuggets for die-hard fans: dailies and outtakes, make-up tests and Roddy McDowall's home movies. There's some overlap between a 1967 NATO presentation of the movie hosted by Charlton Heston and other featurettes from 1968 and 1972. Sequel directors Don Taylor and J Lee Thompson are seen in action, and there are trailers, film reviews from 1968 and picture galleries. --Mark Walker

  • Unforgiven, The / The Wild Bunch / The Outlaw Josey WalesUnforgiven, The / The Wild Bunch / The Outlaw Josey Wales | DVD | (27/09/2004) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £19.99

    Unforgiven Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman play retired down-on-their-luck outlaws who pick up their guns one last time to collect a bounty offered by the vengeful prostitutes of the remote Wyoming town of Big Whiskey: Richard Harris is an ill-fated interloper a colourful killer-for-hire called English Bob. Gene Hackman is the sly and brutal local sheriff whose brand of Law enforcement ranges from unconventional to ruthless. Big trouble is coming to Big Whiskey... The Wild Bunch A battle between a ruthless Mexican revolutionary and Texan bandits. This Original Director's Cut restores it to a complete pristine condition unseen since its July 1969 theatrical debut. The image is letterboxed the colour renewed the stereo soundtrack remixed and reintegrated - all to blood-and-thunder effect. Watch William Holden Earnet Borgnine Robert Ryan and more great stars saddle up for the roles of a lifetime! The Outlaw Josey Wales As the Outlaw Josey Wales Clint Eastwood is ideal as a wary fast drawing loner akin to the 'Man With No Name' from his European Westerns. But unlike that other mythic outlaw Josey Wales has a name and a heart. That heart open up as the action unfolds. After avenging his family's brutal murder Wales is pursued by a pack of killers. He prefers to travel alone but ragtag outcasts are drawn to him - and Wales can't bring himself to leave them unprotected...

  • Mission: Impossible - Series 1Mission: Impossible - Series 1 | DVD | (20/11/2006) from £24.28   |  Saving you £20.71 (85.30%)   |  RRP £44.99

    An elite covert operations unit known as the Impossible Mission Taskforce (IMF) carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure capture or death. Their mission should they choose to accept it is given by the unseen figure known only as the 'Secretary' who instructions are relaid on a tape guaranteed to self-destruct in five seconds... Episodes Comprise: 1. Pilot episode 2. Memory 3. Operation Rogosh 4. Old Man Out (Part 1) 5. Old Man Out (Part 2) 6. Odds On Evil 7. Wheels 8. The Ransom 9. A Spool There Was 10. The Carriers 11. Zubrovnik's Ghost 12. Fakeout 13. Elena 14. The Short Tail Spy 15. The Legacy 16. The Reluctant Dragon 17. The Frame 18. The Trial 19. The Diamond 20. The Legend 21. Snowball In Hell 22. The Confession 23. Action! 24. The Train 25. Shock 26. A Cube Of Sugar 27. The Traitor 28. The Psychic

  • Planet Of The Apes - Book & DVD [1968]Planet Of The Apes - Book & DVD | DVD | (01/01/2001) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £15.99

    Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall star in this legendary science fiction masterpiece. Astronaut Taylor crash lands on a distant planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist. Winner of an Honorary Academy Award for Outstanding Make-up Achievement and nominated for two Oscars (1968 Best Costume Design and Best Original Score) Planet of th

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