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  1. #1
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    This collection brings together some of Niven�s very finest moments. Bonnie Prince Charlie is a rip-roaring historical epic about the 1745 Scottish revolt. The Love Lottery is a sharp satire on Hollywood and celebrity from Ealing Studios. Happy Ever After is a hilarious comedy of errors. Eternally Yours sees Niven star as an enigmatic magician opposite Loretta Young. And Happy Go Lovely is a high-kicking romantic musical comedy featuring dancing star Vera-Ellen. Each one is an unadulterated delight.



    Blurb from Optimum



    He returned to Hollywood where he made undistinguished films for the rest of the decade, but they were as nothing compared with the awfulness of his British venture, Korda's ill-starred Bonnie Prince Charlie (d. Anthony Kimmins, 1948), tedious and ridiculous in equal proportions.



    Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Cinema

  2. #2
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Joenoir']This collection brings together some of Niven�s very finest moments. Bonnie Prince Charlie is a rip-roaring historical epic about the 1745 Scottish revolt. The Love Lottery is a sharp satire on Hollywood and celebrity from Ealing Studios. Happy Ever After is a hilarious comedy of errors. Eternally Yours sees Niven star as an enigmatic magician opposite Loretta Young. And Happy Go Lovely is a high-kicking romantic musical comedy featuring dancing star Vera-Ellen. Each one is an unadulterated delight.


    An unadulterated delight? Some of Niven's very finest moments?

    It's hard to choose the worst film he ever made, he was involved in quite a few real turkeys. But you'll probably find Bonnie Prince Charlie in any list of the worst 5.



    Steve

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Happy Go Lovely has been PD for years ...Hope Optimum can offer a better print !

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    name='Steve Crook']An unadulterated delight? Some of Niven's very finest moments?

    It's hard to choose the worst film he ever made, he was involved in quite a few real turkeys. But you'll probably find Bonnie Prince Charlie in any list of the worst 5.



    Steve


    Agree - it stinks and Eternally Yours is no classic but am glad to see one of his most underrated Happy Ever After is included. First time on DVD as well.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    I'd like to see The Best of Enemies again. It was shown on TV back in the 1970s and I haven't seen it since.



    Nick

  6. #6
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    David Niven was one of those "take the money and run" actors.So the problem is that for evry fine film he made 10 duff ones.In a way he had a rather sad life.the love of his life being killed in a tragic accident.His second marriage turned pretty unhappy and then he was diagnosed with MND.Maybe he worked so much to avoid the pain of his real life.Anyway the films in this collection are amongst the worst he ever made.Is anyone really going to by it?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    name='orpheum']David Niven was one of those "take the money and run" actors.So the problem is that for evry fine film he made 10 duff ones.In a way he had a rather sad life.the love of his life being killed in a tragic accident.His second marriage turned pretty unhappy and then he was diagnosed with MND.Maybe he worked so much to avoid the pain of his real life.Anyway the films in this collection are amongst the worst he ever made.Is anyone really going to by it?


    Niven was a commercial film actor not an art-house one (though A Matter of Life might come into that category) and could not exert any real sense of quality control over his career in the way a bigger star like Cary Grant could. Of the films in the boxed set IMHO I would say that BPC is a real stinker, EY unremakable but the rest are good examples of British comedies made with an imported (Niven) star. HEA is IMHO front rank and as I said earlier very underrated. TLL is from an on form Charles Crichton and is excellent and HGL quite passable. 3 good films, 1 okay and 1 disaster.



    A better selection would be IMHO -



    Separate Tables (Which he won his Oscar for)

    A Matter of Life and Death

    Happy Ever After

    The Way Ahead

    The Guns of Navarone




    There are others which are worthwhile in his CV, a matter of taste I guess

  8. #8
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Windthrop']Niven was a commercial film actor not an art-house one (though A Matter of Life might come into that category) and could not exert any real sense of quality control over his career in the way a bigger star like Cary Grant could. Of the films in the boxed set IMHO I would say that BPC is a real stinker, EY unremakable but the rest are good examples of British comedies made with an imported (Niven) star. HEA is IMHO front rank and as I said earlier very underrated. TLL is from an on form Charles Crichton and is excellent and HGL quite passable. 3 good films, 1 okay and 1 disaster.



    A better selection would be IMHO -



    Separate Tables (Which he won his Oscar for)

    A Matter of Life and Death

    Happy Ever After

    The Way Ahead

    The Guns of Navarone




    There are others which are worthwhile in his CV, a matter of taste I guess


    And he was tied up by studio contracts for most of his career so he had very little say in which movies he had to do, let alone have any influence on how they were made.



    As to the list of his best films, I'd add Paper Tiger (1975). It's a sort of Disneyfied version (although not actually by Disney) of Separate Tables where he plays an ex military type who's been telling porkies about his glorious past. Although in this one, as it's the more Disneyfied version his shady past doesn't involve molesting people in darkened cinemas, he just wasn't as heroic as he pretended - until he's put into a situation where he has to be heroic



    Steve

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    name='Steve Crook']And he was tied up by studio contracts for most of his career so he had very little say in which movies he had to do, let alone have any influence on how they were made.



    As to the list of his best films, I'd add Paper Tiger (1975). It's a sort of Disneyfied version (although not actually by Disney) of Separate Tables where he plays an ex military type who's been telling porkies about his glorious past. Although in this one, as it's the more Disneyfied version his shady past doesn't involve molesting people in darkened cinemas, he just wasn't as heroic as he pretended - until he's put into a situation where he has to be heroic



    Steve


    He was tied up in the early days with Goldwyn but once he went freelance in the early 50s his sort Ronald Colmanish persona was not in great demand and he simply took what would pay the bills. In a sense he was only a real film-star in the late 30s when he was being groomed. He always gave good performances even when the films weren't up to much IMHO.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    name='Windthrop']Niven was a commercial film actor not an art-house one (though A Matter of Life might come into that category) and could not exert any real sense of quality control over his career in the way a bigger star like Cary Grant could. Of the films in the boxed set IMHO I would say that BPC is a real stinker, EY unremakable but the rest are good examples of British comedies made with an imported (Niven) star. HEA is IMHO front rank and as I said earlier very underrated. TLL is from an on form Charles Crichton and is excellent and HGL quite passable. 3 good films, 1 okay and 1 disaster.



    A better selection would be IMHO -



    Separate Tables (Which he won his Oscar for)

    A Matter of Life and Death

    Happy Ever After

    The Way Ahead

    The Guns of Navarone



    There are others which are worthwhile in his CV, a matter of taste I guess


    Problem is only one of those films belong to Studio Canal, and hence Optimum, who are producing this box and all but one of them are readily available on DVD indivdually (via MGM, Sony and Granada); at least all the titles in this set are new to DVD (though I'd have like Optimum to have begged 'Carrington VC' from Granada - as has been their practice in the past - and given us a spiffy new transfer).

  11. #11
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='John Hodson']Problem is only one of those films belong to Studio Canal, and hence Optimum, who are producing this box and all but one of them are readily available on DVD indivdually (via MGM, Sony and Granada); at least all the titles in this set are new to DVD (though I'd have like Optimum to have begged 'Carrington VC' from Granada - as has been their practice in the past - and given us a spiffy new transfer).


    So they should advertise this boxed set as "Here's a load of old tat. Some of David Niven's worst films. But they're the only ones we have the rights to"



    Or maybe "You've seen how good David Niven could be in some great films, now see how he struggled in some real turkeys"



    They might get a few people buying it because they appreciate the honesty.



    Steve

  12. #12
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Windthrop']He was tied up in the early days with Goldwyn but once he went freelance in the early 50s his sort Ronald Colmanish persona was not in great demand and he simply took what would pay the bills. In a sense he was only a real film-star in the late 30s when he was being groomed. He always gave good performances even when the films weren't up to much IMHO.


    But surely his best role was the one he played throughout his life, that of the actor and star called David Niven



    Steve

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    name='Steve Crook']But surely his best role was the one he played throughout his life, that of the actor and star called David Niven



    Steve


    No argument there - one of a select band of thesps who could enliven a chat show and theres not many of those about now, or then

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    name='julian_craster']Happy Go Lovely has been PD for years ...Hope Optimum can offer a better print !




    Hear, hear !



    THE LOVE LOTTERY hasn't been on the box for many a long year - whatever other films may be in the box, I relish the opportunity to finally have a decent (or even half decent!) copy of this film as opposed to my grainy old VHS...



    Smudge

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