WHAT an audacious film Letter to Brezhner is. (Classic Tottenham Court Road, Classic Royal, Charing Cross Road, Classic Chelsea). The presentation of two Liverpudlian girls is impressive for its vibrant honesty, and the unrestrained energy, abundant throughout. The audience would benefit from sub-titles during some of the rapid dialectic exchanges between the girls.
Other conversations are more obviously understandable: sexual references being an esperanto of their own; and they figure either as coarse humour, or vulgarity, at your own discretion. -Though their salvation is that they are not delivered as self-conscious punchlines, but just as a conversational norm.
The two girls complement each other very well: Teresa's dogged realism and outrageous struggle for fun has a positive effect on Elaine, whose romantic imagination and search for sincerity is bolstered on a more realistic level.
One night, when Elaine has no dole-money left. and Teresa is desperate for some light relief (after spending the day stuffing giblets into chickens) the girls decide to paint the town red.
This proves appropriate when they meet tv‘o Russian sailors, who are in Liverpool for one night only. leresa takes care of the financial side. by abducting someone's wallet and helping herself to other people's drinks (is that my round or yours).
Teresa is irresistible, and her desperate attempts to enjoy herself onls occasionally reveal the under') ing pathos.
Both girls have their wan vie. of "moralitv"; however unorthodox it may seem and a peculiar sense of integrity all to themselves.
The sailors have very little money and Teresa is confused when she and Elaine have to pay the hills: "It's just not right" she repeats impotently.
Then, earthy as ever, she decides to get value for money.
Elaine is happier with a romantic experience, and is fulfilled by holding hands and looking at the stars.
The political elements in this film arc only intended to produce the necessary impediments between the starcrossed lovers. Talk of Russian life is limited to•the superficial, and the film does not intend to be authoritative in this way.
Elaine's decision to leave her life on the dole in Liverpool, and to accept Brezhnev's invitation to rejoin her beau is simply the fulfilment of a love story.
Accompanying Letter to Brezhner is The Woman who
married Clark Gable, an enchanting short film, which takes a sensitive and imaginative view of the influence of cinema.
The housewife heroine, Mary, becomes obsessed with the similarity between her husband and (lark (.able, and is soon unable to distinguish between reality and image.
A specially edited version of the original Priest of Love
(released a few years ago) has been created for the centenary of 1) II Lawrence's birth. The film (Curzon VVest End, Shafteshur) Avenue), has benefited from this concentration. It depicts Lawrence's life with Frieda between the Great War and his early death.
The portrayal is emotionally comprehensive: there are violent
Fights and sexual and intellectual reconciliations, without any sentimentality intruding to impair the effect. Much research was made in order to authenticate events in the film, though it is still a surprise to see Lawrence being a fount of wit, as humour is almost entirely absent from his works.
Original locations were used throughout, though not always to advantage. Lawrence's Nottingham home looks as though the National Trust already owned it, and Lawrence's father stands in the parlour saturated with coaldust, vaguely reminscent of Jolson's "Mammy" rather than requiring "tea on'l table."
In despair at the constant attacks he suffers in the Press, and the vigilant attention of the British Censor, who burns many of his hooks, Lawrence accepts an invitation from a wealthy patroness (Ave Gardner) and journeys with Frieda to New Mexico.
Subsequent travels lake them to Mexico, back to England, and then to flab in a constant struggle to find peace and fulfilment.
Film biographies are rarely authoritative, though this film has at least the appearance of being so.
As would be expected from so accomplished an actor Ian McKellen performs the tide role with panache and style, while Janet Summit is highly accomplished as Frieda.
Penelope Keith plays (in her all too familiar style) a deaf aristocratic travelling companion cum painter, and her conversations are, obviously, limited.
Cat's Eye. (Film Ceuta Charing Cross Road, Classic Osford Street, ABC Bayswater 'and Edgware Road), is based on three short novels by Stephen King, who observes: ". . It must have been the masochist in me that wrote this". But why should the audience suffer?
Almost every frame of this film is an indecent exposure. Described as a suspense thriller the chief suspense is waiting for the film to end. It is a horror Film in the sense that it instills a distressing anxiety, even nausea, and all because a delightful, innocent tabby cat is caught up in three completely ridiculous situations: portraying Americans at their most grotesque. It is with relief that one recalls the assurance from the opening titles (that the film was completed without any cruelty to the feline hero) who must have suffered through association with the film, if not by performing the stunts.
The Wages of Fear, (Everyman, Hampstead), vson the Grand Prix at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival. there are times during this very languid film when this uould seem to be its only distinction.
It is set in a town in South America, whose inhabitants are united soley hy their desire to leave; but alas, they have no money. Eventually an opportunity, though hardly ideal, presents itself.
Yves Montand stars, and is one of the few who lake their chance and agree to drive trucks of nitro-glycerine a couple of hundred miles. The roads are mainly an nature!, which poses a serious threat to the highly explosive cargo, and the unprotected drivers.
The Sloane Ranger Revue: Duchess Theatre
IT IS many years since revues were long term residents at the Ambassador Theatre in London. We have become somewhat unaccustomed to the style though it is a pleasant evening's form of entertainment.
The Sloane Ranger Revue at the Duchess Theatre is devised by Ned Sherrin and Neil Shand and in parts is very amusing. However, in other parts a surgeon's knife might aptly be applied. Revue is like an after dinner speech, you should not confuse the sitting capacity of your audience with the sealing capacity of the room.
The small cast are polished performers especially Jan Ravens, although they luck the experience and timing of Herminoes Gingold and Baddley. The Designer Daphne Dare has been imaginative, but simple enough in her approach so as not to hold up tile show.
On the occasion that the revue lacks pace or humour you can always amuse yourself observing the sloane rangers on the other side of the footlight — in the audience — there is no lack of