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Posts Tagged ‘John Barry’

HOWARD THE DUCK – John Barry

July 28, 2016 Leave a comment

howardtheduckTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Howard the Duck was one of the most critically lambasted films of 1986, and probably represents the low point of George Lucas’s entire career as a filmmaker. The film was adapted from a cult comic book by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik by screenwriters Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, and was originally intended to be an animated film, but became live-action because of a contractual obligation, a decision which rendered much of the original comic book’s surrealist imagery difficult to convey. Despite being about a walking, talking, anthropomorphic duck, the comic book was essentially a satire on the human condition; desperate to appeal to a larger audience, Huyck and Katz stripped away most of Gerber’s scathing social commentary and adult story elements, and reduced it to an absurdist action-buddy-comedy – as such, it failed to satisfy fans of the original comic, nor did it have any real crossover appeal with the general public, and unsurprisingly it failed miserably at the box office. Read more…

THE LION IN WINTER – John Barry

March 21, 2016 2 comments

lioninwinterMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer Joe Levine had a contract with Peter O’Toole and was looking for a film to again showcase his talent. He found the vehicle in the Broadway play “The Lion In Winter” by James Goldman that offered dramatic dialogue, which would play to O’Toole’s thespian strengths. Anthony Harvey was brought in to direct the film and they hired an amazing cast to support Peter O’Toole (King Henry II), which included Katherine Hepburn (Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine), their three sons, Anthony Hopkins (Richard), John Castle (Geoffrey), and Nigel Terry (John). Also joining was Jane Morrow (Henry’s mistress Alais) and Timothy Dalton (King Philip II of France). Hopkins and Dalton were both making their screen acting debuts. Read more…

BORN FREE – John Barry

March 7, 2016 Leave a comment

bornfreeMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producers Carl Forman, Sam Jaffe and Paul Radin came across the book “Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds” (1960) by renowned naturalist Joy Adamson, and believed her heart-warming tale could be brought to the big screen. They purchased the film rights and hired screenwriter Lester Cole to forge the screenplay. For the cast, Director James Hill brought in veteran British actors Virginia McKenna (Joy Adamson) and Bill Travers (George Adamson) to lead an ensemble, which included Geoffrey Keen (John Kendall), Peter Lukoye (Nuru), Surya Patel (the Doctor) and Geoffrey Best as (Watson). Read more…

OUT OF AFRICA – John Barry

December 24, 2015 Leave a comment

outofafricaTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The winner of seven Academy Awards – including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography – Out of Africa is generally considered one of the greatest romantic dramas in cinema history. Directed by Sydney Pollack, it is based on the semi-autobiographical writings of aristocratic Danish author Karen Dinesen, specifically the period in the 1910s when she moved to live on a coffee plantation in colonial Kenya with her then-husband, Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke, and had an affair with a rugged and handsome big game hunter, Denys Finch Hatton. The film is a sumptuous, visually magnificent love letter to the unspoiled African savannah, reveling in the majestic vistas of the country, and using them as a backdrop to the affair Karen engages in, as her husband becomes increasingly distant and neglectful. Anchored by the three central performances of Meryl Streep as Karen, Robert Redford as Denys, and Klaus-Maria Brandauer as Bror, the film explores such challenging themes as marital fidelity, the expectations and conventions of aristocratic society, the role of women in the 1910s, and the differences between European and African tribal cultures, as well as the threat of World War I that loomed over everything. Read more…

A VIEW TO A KILL – John Barry

May 14, 2015 Leave a comment

aviewtoakillTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A View to a Kill is the fourteenth official film in the James Bond canon, and the seventh and last to star Roger Moore as the fictional British secret agent. In this wide ranging story which spans the globe from Siberia to Paris to San Francisco, Bond locks horns with the psychopathic industrialist Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken, who hatches a plan to destroy Silicon Valley in order to gain a monopoly in the worldwide microchip market. Bond is assisted in his assignment by wealthy geologist Stacey Sutton, played by Tanya Roberts, who helps uncover Zorin’s dastardly plan after he tries to strong-arm her into selling her family’s oil company, and there is the usual cast of supporting characters, evil henchmen, beautiful women, and ingenious gadgets. The film was directed by John Glen, co-stars Patrick Macnee and singer Grace Jones, and has an original score by John Barry, the tenth of his eleven works in the series. Read more…

UNTIL SEPTEMBER – John Barry

September 18, 2014 Leave a comment

untilseptemberTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Until September is a romantic drama directed by Richard Marquand – his first film after completing Return of the Jedi – written by Janice Lee Graham, and starring Karen Allen and Thierry Lhermitte. Allen plays Mo Alexander, an American tourist traveling through Europe, who misses a plane connection and gets stuck in Paris. While her new visa gets approved she goes to stay at the apartment of a friend who is away for the summer; there she meets her friend’s neighbor, Xavier, a wealthy French banker who is married but estranged from his wife and family. As Mo and Xavier spend time together in that most romantic of cities, their mutual attraction is overwhelming, and they eventually fall in love. Despite being a simple, uncomplicated story of passion and romance, Until September was not a major box office success in 1984, and today is known mainly for its sumptuous score by John Barry. Read more…

THE BLACK HOLE – John Barry

September 11, 2011 1 comment

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The Black Hole was to be Disney’s effort to take the successful disaster movie genre into outer space. Conceived in 1975 as a “Poseidon Adventure in Space”, the film was never able to germinate until the Star Wars phenomenon served to catalyze a resurgence of the space epic genre. Gary Nelson was hired to direct with Jeb Rosebrook given the task of adapting the earlier disaster in space script to a more epic adventure tale involving a monstrous black hole. The movie had a stellar cast that included Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins and Maximillian Schell, as well as Roddy McDowall who provided the voice of the robot VINCENT. Set in the year 2130 C.E. aboard the USS Palomino, the story details the discovery of the lost USS Cygnus, which is seen apparently derelict, orbiting a massive black hole just beyond its event horizon. An investigation into the mystery that was the Cygnus leads to a grim discovery that threatens to end the lives of all involved. Although Disney conceived the film as an epic much in the mold of 2001: A Space Odyssey and provided a story replete with symbolic references to Dante’s Inferno, uninspired directing and a truly poor script resulted in critical failure. The film was nevertheless a commercial success due to its amazing special effects and myriad of robots that won the hearts of the audience. Read more…

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