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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Khartoum (UK, 1966) : blackface Olivier scrapes the bottom of some macabre barrels



    Just about everyone involved in this 1966 epic about Britain's imperial adventure in Sudan deserves to have sand kicked in their faces......



    Reel history | Khartoum: blackface Olivier scrapes the bottom of some macabre barrels | Film | guardian.co.uk

  2. #2
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    I quite like it! I thought Olivier did well

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    General Gordon was Charlton Heston's favourite role.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wadsy
    General Gordon was Charlton Heston's favourite role.
    In the Ladykillers

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Since when do we evaluate a movie based on its historical accuracy? That would leave us with Tora! Tora! Tora! and very little else.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Scotland narabdela's Avatar
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    I saw this in all it's 70mm Ultra Panavision glory earlier this year. It's no masterpiece but still pretty enjoyable, and Chuck turns in one of his best performances.



    Ok, Olivier's blacking-up does look fairly ridiculous nowadays, but "The Grauniad" is falling into the usual trap of applying modern standards to the past.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    What arrant nonsense. Khartoum is fantastic. It has Ralph Richardson as Gladstone and I can't think of better history than that...

  8. #8
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Easily my favourite of the 60's epics and one of Mr Heston's best performances plus the great Richard Johnson

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpgmel
    Easily my favourite of the 60's epics and one of Mr Heston's best performances plus the great Richard Johnson
    More favourite than Carry on Up the Khyber?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain vincenzo's Avatar
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    Gorgeous Frank Cordell score too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England woody123's Avatar
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    It's on my list of favourites.Don't know why anyone gets hot under the collar about lists in newspapers or polls.They only reflect the opinion of the journo writing them or,in the case of polls, the current readership of the publication.I'm from up north where we know what we like and like what we bloody well know(to quote the great Enfield)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I wasn't too impressed with it when I saw it again recently.



    Whilst having white actors black or chinese up (55 days at Peking anyone?) was pretty common in major films back then its Olivier's overacting i think that takes the biscuit. Nobody seems to be worked up at Alec Guiness or Anthony Quinn in Lawrence of Arabia but the world's greatest ham actor in overdrive (and he's clearly enjoying every minute of it) with a weak director means that attention is invariuably going to be drawn to this.



    I thought, as a whole, it was ineptly directed by Dearden. The action scenes were ruined by obvious cross-cutting between a feeble studio set and back to the real locations. There were also some really nasty illegal horsefalls. It was also obvious Olivier hadn't stepped out of the studio and this was covered by mismatched long shots of a most unconvincing double when he was meant to be addressing the crowds.



    The direction of the long exposition scenes in Gladstone's office was feeble and they just went on too long.



    (in short, i agree with most of the guardian comments)



    Where was David Lean?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    One of the most enjoyable epics of the time.



    Ralph Richardson's Gladstone alone makes the film worth seeing. Olivier is well over the top, but after all so was the Mhahdi. I don't know how Charlton Heston would seem to a British audience, but to me it was an ideal match of actor with a role, based on temperament and character. And there is Richard Johnson as well.



    The battle scenes are very well done. And a superb score.



    What more can one want from a historical action film?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomwhisky
    I quite like it! I thought Olivier did well
    I like it just fine too. I started out questioning Olivier in his role of the Mahdi (spelling?) but then I had to wonder what western actor, black or white, could have done it any better? It's theatre and there's no better theatre than Laurence Olivier. Live with it. Bona fide Fuzzy Wuzzy leading men are in short supply.

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