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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England Captain Casper's Avatar
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    Chilling performance from Richard Burton. Great heart-pumping score and some excellent support.



    Still makes me jump when his eyes open at the end.

  2. #2
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    Couldn't agree more. I first saw it on TV sometime in the mid-80s - I'm too young to have seen it at the cinema - and it made a big impression on me. Actually, I know quite a few people of my age group who had a similar experience. Funny that these days a lot of people remember it but it doesn't get the same adulatory attention as, say, The Omen.



    A lot of memorable stuff, and some great performances from the likes of Burton and Michael Hordern. The spectacular destruction of Westminster Abbey looks notably convincing.



    Particularly shocking is the plane crashing into the tower block. Can't see that getting a showing on TV before a few more years have passed...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Great film especially as it is UK production and interesting casting of the French policeman - looking at his CV, this was perhaps his only English speaking film.

    An odd appearance of Jeremy Brett as well, playing a foppish boyfriend of Dickie Burton's wife. He makes a really camp gesture when introduced to Burtons character which always makes me laugh!

    Great scene of the church falling down although you can see a bell bounce off a priest!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Scotland lostintown's Avatar
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    I agree with all the above.

    I remember seeing it at the cinema and it scared the bejasus out of me!

    I seem to remember that there were some lovely scenes between Burton and his wife that were almost worthy of "who's afraid of virginia woolfe"



    Scary indeed!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Superb film, superb cast, superb dialogue. Richard Burton, aka 'The Burt' as we know him round ur way, was a force to be reckoned with. There are some wits who believe this is the worst thing he ever did (obviously they haven't seen DIVORCE HIS DIVORCE HERS, or elese they'd be retracting that statement) and who don't think he should have ever done horror. From his performances in this, in ABSOLUTION and EQUUS, I think he excelled in it.



    And if anyone has a copy of either BLUEBEARD, HAMMERSMITH IS OUT or DR FAUSTUS, please do let me know.



    Fellow board newbie Mark Lewis and myself will be watching this over the Chrimble period, prseuming his missus lets him out for long enough (joke)

  6. #6
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    Medusa Touch - loved it. Has anyone read the novel by Peter Van Greenaway - the original hardback has a cover illustration of a jumbo jet crashing into a skyscraper.



    Burton's film career is very under-rated. Has anyone seen his portrayal of Tito in The Battle Of Sutjeska? Does a copy of The Voyage (with Sofia Loren) actually exist?



    Jack - I have copies of Bluebeard, Hammersmith and Fautus if you're interested. You should catch Staircase too.

  7. #7
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    Excellent film. Chilling at times. I found the animosity between John Morlar and his wife manifested in some quite amusing dialogue:



    "I have a penchant for speaking the truth, it tends to leave a nasty stench in her nostils."



    And one of the lines that always stuck with me was when Morlar gave an example of how he saw human nature being inherantly evil:



    "We discover what powers the sun and we make bombs with it."



    One more thing, I didn't see anyone in this thread mention the elegant Lee Remick as Dr. Zonfeld.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: England Captain Casper's Avatar
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    (U.V.RAY @ Jan 26 2006, 10:23 PM)
    One more thing, I didn't see anyone in this thread mention the elegant Lee Remick as Dr. Zonfeld.
    Yep, a nicely understated perfomance from Remick. The French casting was a master-stroke IMO.

  9. #9
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    (Captain Casper @ Oct 2 2005, 10:56 PM)
    Chilling performance from Richard Burton. Great heart-pumping score and some excellent support.


    Still makes me jump when his eyes open at the end.
    I agree entirely. Especially about the score. It was written by a Welshman called Michael J Lewis. His most famous film is probably The Medusa Touch although his best - in my opinion - is 92 In The Shade.



    Tell you what, though - Richard Burton was a damn fine actor!!

  10. #10
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    I can remember the plane crashing into the tower block but that's it. Must try and get hold of a copy and watch it.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Country: Gibraltar
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    Is this out on dvd? I am ashamed to say I haven't seen it yet. I did see Faustus on video, but that was probably over 10 years ago.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Michael J Lewis did some good scores in the 70's. I loved the one he did for Theatre of Blood and 11 Harrowhouse

  13. #13
    Senior Member HUGHJAMPTON's Avatar
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    A superb film. The mystery for me is, why have no other Peter Van Greenaway novels been adapted for the screen? This to my knowledge is the only one.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Is this out on dvd? I am ashamed to say I haven't seen it yet. I did see Faustus on video, but that was probably over 10 years ago.
    I have it on a DVD that was released in 2000 by "carlton" as part of their "silver collection", the quality is not great and its 4x3 ratio rather than widescreen so hopefully the recent new release on DVD is better and in a widescreen format.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Ireland Edward G's Avatar
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    Isn't this the movie with Richard Burton willing mass destruction through the sheer force of his evil mind?

    Some memorable quotes if so, including (about St. Pauls' Cathedral?) "I will bring the whole ediifice down upon their unworthy heads"!





    I have it on a DVD that was released in 2000 by "carlton" as part of their "silver collection", the quality is not great and its 4x3 ratio rather than widescreen so hopefully the recent new release on DVD is better and in a widescreen format.

  16. #16
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    A superb film. The mystery for me is, why have no other Peter Van Greenaway novels been adapted for the screen? This to my knowledge is the only one.
    There was some talk that ITV had commissioned a scriptwriter to do a treatment of his novel Judas (or The Judas Gospel as it was known in the US) - this would have been at the height of the whole Dan Brown craze. Never heard any more about it so I'm assuming it didn't progress.



    Van Greenaway wrote some original scripts for TV in the 60's, an episode of 30-minute theatre springs to mind, and an unproduced script for Out of the Unknown.



    He's a great but difficult writer - the encylclopedia of SF describes him as writing in a side of the mouth voice which is hard to take.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England Captain Casper's Avatar
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    As this thread has been resurrected, anyone think a remake would work?



    Sir Hopkins, perhaps?

  18. #18
    Senior Member HUGHJAMPTON's Avatar
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    There was some talk that ITV had commissioned a scriptwriter to do a treatment of his novel Judas (or The Judas Gospel as it was known in the US) - this would have been at the height of the whole Dan Brown craze. Never heard any more about it so I'm assuming it didn't progress
    Thanks for that info blacknorth. It's a shame it didn't come off, mind you the situation regarding commisioning dramas for television probably has a lot to do with it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Germany
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    A creepy classic, and a marvellous cast - from Burton, Ventura, Andrews, Remick, down to the cameos of actors like Brett or Jacobi. It's quite enough to have the camera close-up on Burton's eyes to expect the worst before he brings the aircraft down ...

  20. #20
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    A creepy classic, and a marvellous cast - from Burton, Ventura, Andrews, Remick, down to the cameos of actors like Brett or Jacobi. It's quite enough to have the camera close-up on Burton's eyes to expect the worst before he brings the aircraft down ...
    Burton's demeanour is amazing in this film, especially when he pops up to remind people direct to camera:



    'I am the man with the power to create catastrophe.'



    There's a fascinating scene early on where the camera pans to the bookshelf in Morlar's flat and all his books are there in rather gaudy 70's dustjackets, with bizarre titles. It plays into a later scene where Venturo is discussing Morlar's novels with his publisher, Derek Jacobi who comments, 'copies always sold, somehow they never got reviewed'. I think that was Van Greenaway's experience too.



    The whole film is a puzzle of such vignettes. On the remastered DVD commentary it's revealed the scriptwriter, John Briley, didn't like the novel, but he made a fine adaptation nevertheless. Director Jack Gold was on great form too.

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