A drama, made for TV (BBC), based on facts about a group of Polish child survivors of the Holocaust, who were brought to Britain after they were freed from the concentration camps by allied forces. They were helped to rebuild their lives in a camp near Lake Windermere, in the north of England (Lake District).
The film occasionally lapses into sentimentality and there are also a few superfluous (and completely unnecessary) efforts to equate the children’s plight to that of today’s refugees, but this can all be forgiven. The young Polish actors are wonderful and it’s almost impossible not to be touched by the fate of the holocaust survivors they portray. The ending – the real survivors, now in old age, telling their own story and experiences in British society – is heartbreaking. Recommended.
Is it a giallo? I think so for the woman in peril and murder mystery theme but lacks the high tension of the best from that genre. Some plot turns are a bit ridiculous but it does have both Barbara Bouchet and Rosalba Neri in peak gorgeousness though so a solid 3 out of five film for me.
Just finished the Coffy from 1973. Great movie! Like a lot of really well made exploitation films, it did a wonderful job giving its side characters some characterization which makes their own stories much more effective. Grier is incredible in it too as Coffy. She can switch between tough and vunerable without it feeling out of place whatsoever.
More Lenzi for me and an enjoyable trip.
Ray Lovelock and Ornella Muti stumble into a scenario they can’t control and find themselves used by a murderous older woman willing to do anything to get what she wants. Another one difficult to categorise cleanly. Has some giallo elements but not 100% that I don’t think. Cool little film though.
Today’s my Birthday and I spent part of my relaxing day watching this Peplum classic with Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott. I was familiar with the Romolo and Remo legend some time prior to watching the film, and was surprised how much they actually changed all the known versions of the founders of Rome story, I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll just say a significant difference in the brothers’ relationship was made… It was still quite entertaining even with the changes, and I wasn’t bored at all. Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott gave very solid performances in the film even though they were dubbed by other actors, Scott’s performance was an exciting surprise.
A very high quality production for a genre film out of Italy at the time…
Happy Birthday! I’ve never gotten around seeing any peplums at all (the sight of bodybuilding protagonists, melodramatic music and mass scenes feels bound to become a turkey feast) but if that film is that good, I’ll give it a try, maybe as a double-feature with The Colossus of Rhodes (Watching early Leone and Corbucci is interesting regardless of quality)
I had the house to myself today so I did a double feature from Arrow’s “Gothic Fantastico” set.
The Third Eye (1966) - While this one does have elements of Gothic Horror, I think it fits better in the Giallo category. There really are no supernatural components at play here but just a good old fashioned simple tale of insanity. While very enjoyable on the whole, I do think Franco Nero went a bit over the top at times. I am so used to seeing Erika Blanc with red hair that it was extremely strange seeing her as a blond. Gioia Pascal was absolutely excellent as the murderous housekeeper, Marta. It is a shame that she only ever appeared in two films.
The Witch (1966) - Many may disagree, but I think this one was absolutely mesmerizing. Though far from scary, it blends elements of the supernatural into a truly surreal tale of obsession. Though tame by later standards of Italian cinema, Rosanna Schiaffino exudes a sensuality in this film that is as steamy as it gets. Gian Maria Volonte gives an outstanding performance as well portraying the mentally tortured but sympathetic Fabrizio. Immediately preceding A Bullet for the General, director Damiano Damiani weaves a tale here suitable for art house cinema that could have easily served as a blueprint for the films of David Lynch.