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Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Witness" in AFI's Best Ten list

Miss Plimsoll chastises her patient, Wilfrid the Fox, who is probably scheming about where to stash the cigars next

You may be interested to know that the American Film Institute has elaborated a list of what they consider the best ten courtroom drama films: Laughtonians will be pleased to know that "Witness For The Prosecution" is included in that list.

Well, I know, many of you would like the film even if it wasn't in that list, or any other... Still, as it is mentioned in one of the links below, it is good than news like this keep a good film like "Witness For The Prosecution" in the public's eye. And more when, for a few years from now, there has been talk about a new remake. But why a remake? Come to think, the film is already beyond its 50th birthday, and still giving enjoyment to many a new viewer, which is good as many young people today seems a bit averse to try Black and White films.

In fact, the memory of a 1982 remake, in colour, has almost faded: it had the same plot, a remarkable cast (which included Ralph Richardson, Deborah Kerr, Beau Bridges and Diana Rigg), it was shot in colour with the inter-war period craftily recreated in costumes and decors... But the made-for-TV perfunctoriness of the remake was no match for the spark of the Billy Wilder original, and the superb original cast shot the film in a state of grace. Also, the CBS remake subdued the comedy -the trump card of the 1957 version- in favour of the intrigue and the drama, which probably made for a more Christie-esque film, but not for a more engaging one. I suspect that a further remake just wouldn't live up to the expectations: how much you can improve the original? with CGI effects? With Janet McKenzie chasing Leonard Vole on a helicopter? With Sir Wilfrid saying, instead of "Liar!", "You *beep*ing *beep*! *beep* you!!"?

Honest, rather than make a new (and possibly, quite costly) remake, why don't the producers should rather release again the original film in theaters? Or give it a proper not-film-only DVD?

Check these links!
:: AFI's own page for "Witness For The Prosecution", including a trailer of the film and a brief comment by Sidney Lumet.
:: The news as featured in Charles' home town newspaper.
:: Also: Another film with Charles, Spartacus, is included in AFI's list of the ten best epic films. As already mentioned, good if it introduces Charles to new generations of film buffs.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"Come on baby, light my fire"

"Anybody got a light?"

I love this picture! Charles is seductively looking at you while holding a cigarette, and, if you ask me, makes me feel like striking a match, or producing a lighter, or, as Bogey does in the cartoon "Bacall to Arms", a blow torch, if necessary!! (AND take this from a non-smoker!)

Anyway, what we can do today is to light the 109 candles in Charles' cake, and, as the cartoon Lauren Bacall says, just put our lips together and... blow these candles while we make a wish

Happy birthday, Charles Laughton, wherever you are!