5 February 2021.
In all the greyness of winter and the unending moroseness of the Covid fiasco, let’s escape into these classic comedies and joyous musicals from more “normal” times…
THE LADYKILLERS (1955) Can you make delightful comedy out of crime? The Brits can!
Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom are a bumbling hoot!
OUR MAN IN HAVANA (1959) And here again, the inimitable Alec Guinness as an amateur spy out of his depth in Cuba. Charmingly retro.
TOM JONES (1963) Ah, the seductiveness of the young Albert Finney, who brought that naughty ladies man, Tom Jones of 18th century England, back to life. The infamous eating scene will leave you breathless…This multi Oscar-winning, bawdy romp is definitely one to watch if you want to forget the Covid blues.
MY FAIR LADY (1964) The duo of the delicate Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as the haughty professor who teaches the Cockney Eliza to speak and act like a lady created magic in this timeless musical. Each of its songs is a joy. It swept the Oscars (8!), BAFTAS and Golden Globes that year.
THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER (1975) and THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN (1976) These hilarious spin-offs on the inept Inspector Clouseau portrayed by the irrepressible Peter Sellers were Blake Edwards’ huge hits in the 1970s. And Herbert Lom joined forces again with Sellers as the uber-frustrated Chief Inspector Dreyfus.
LIFE OF BRIAN (1979) This irreverent parody of Christ’s life is a laugh-a-minute tour de force from the Monty Python gang. Its many unforgettable sequences will crack you up!
ARTHUR (1981) Here is a touching, escapist comedy about a spoiled English millionaire living in New York who’d rather marry a girl from Queens than the socialite his grandmother favours. It’s a delight especially due to Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli and a surprising John Gielgud, who ran off with a supporting-actor Oscar for his role as the butler, plus more wins at the Golden Globes.
Do NOT mistake this gem with the useless 2011 remake starring an uncharming Russell Brand!
THE FULL MONTY (1997) The epitome of great British humour, this is the exhilarating tale of a group of unemployed men who turn to stripping to make ends meet. Each of the desperate blokes has his own quirks and frailties, and they’ll have you rooting for them to finally get down to the full monty!
BILLY ELLIOT (2000) A boy who’d rather dance than play football, an angry coal-mining family in the difficult Thatcher years, and an all’s-well-that-ends-well attitude are some of the ingredients of this innovative, touching and joyous musical.
ROCKETMAN (2019) One of the best musicals in decades, based on the turbulent life of Elton John, was colorful, unflinchingly honest and heartfelt, with an astounding Taron Egerton as Elton.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.