Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Local Hero

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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This was written and directed in 1983 by Bill Forsyth, the same guy who did Gregory’s Girl and he is Scottish and likes to set his films in Scotland and use Scottish talent they’re very patriotic the Scots and if you’ve ever been there you will know there is a lot of beautiful unspoilt countryside and coast which is probably because of the climate it’s cold and wet a lot of the time so you can’t turn the coastline into a load of beach resorts.

That is kind of what the film is about there’s this rich American businessman Mr Happer (Burt Lancaster) who is the boss of the Knox Oil Company in Houston and he wants to build a refinery on the coast in northern Scotland because as you probably know there is a lot of oil and gas under the sea up there and oil rigs all over the place. He sends one of his young executives Mac McIntyre (Peter Riegert) to scout the place. Mac doesn’t see why he should have to actually spend time there because he could wrap the whole thing up with two or three telexes which was a sort of quick communication method before email and Whatsapp. I think.

Anyways he has to go and the Scottish guy who meets him over there and shows him around, Danny (Peter Capaldi the current Doctor Who) is  a quiet country lad and Mac is a stressed out city high flyer. They’re looking at a bay in a small village and its peaceful and lovely Danny is in love with this marine biologist played by Jenny Seagrove but she’s too sophisticated for him if you know what I mean.

Mac checks into a very small hotel run by Gordon (Denis Lawson) and his wife Stella (Jennifer Black) sorry about all these brackets and punctuation it gets on your tits don’t it? Gordon is quite similar to Mac in some ways but has lived a very different life and you can gradually see them both thinking that.

It’s the kind of small place where people sometimes have two jobs to make ends meet and Gordon is not just the hotelier but also the local accountant/business adviser.

The company really wants to buy the beach and a lot of the locals are willing to sell because they would become rich beyond their wildest dreams but the stumbling block is Ben Knox same name as the company see so there’s a link there. He’s played by Fulton Mackay who was famous as the prison warder Mr Mackay in Porridge TV comedy.

You can’t help being drawn into the peace and tranquility just like Mac is and he’s also very struck by Stella and Gordon knows but doesn’t mind funnily enough. Gordon even suggests one night when they’re both drunk that they should swap lives and Mac would have the hotel and Stella with it I don’t know if that’s romantic or pervy really but they don’t do it so I don’t suppose it matters.

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Big boss Happer eventually comes over partly because he is an astronomer and wants to see the Northern Lights those natural colours in the sky they get sometimes. What happens in the end well you’ll have to watch it yourself what would you like to happen in the end? It’s just a film that makes you feel good and you escape your life wherever that may be and live in a Scottish village by the beach for a while.

 

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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Yeah going back a bit again 1969 some people think of this as a western but I don’t it’s set in those times but it ain’t at all like all those old cowboy films from the 50s its what is now known as a buddy movie.

There are four things I like about this first Paul Newman and Robert Redford both rather tasty don’t you think well I do. Second its funny some of the lines are hilarious its dry wit though kind of supple and I like that. Third the other characters there all good and fourth the music which is unusual I suppose done by Burt Bacharach and sometimes sung by the Swingle Singers who do arabella music with no instruments and no words just singing sounds you may not like that and I can’t say I’ve got much on my iPod but for the film it works great.

Butch and Sundance are outlaws part of the Hole in the Wall Gang it’s Butch’s gang really and they’ve been away for a while so when they get back to Hole in the Wall their hideout this giant guy Harvey thinks he’s taken over. He wants to settle it with a fight cos he’s so tough but Butch walks up to him and says he won’t start till they get the rules sorted out and he goes “Rules? In a knife fight? No rules,” and Butch kicks him right in the cobblers and wins.

Oh, even before that right at the start we find out that Sundance is a famous gunfighter he’s playing cards and someone accuses him of cheating. Butch comes in and tries to reason with the guy but he won’t listen and Butch goes, “I can’t help you Sundance.” The guy just about craps himself and says “I didn’t know you were the Sundance Kid when I said you were cheating. If I draw on you you’ll kill me.” And Sundance goes, “There’s that possibility.” Cool as a cucumber.

You know sometimes when I write these things I don’t want to tell you any good bits because if you haven’t seen it already there’s nothing like the first time but something like this you’ve probably seen before so shall I carry on I guess so.

They rob a train and the owner of the railroad is sick of it and hires a posse of the best lawmen, trackers and that that he can find. Great line from Butch: “If he’d just pay me what he’s spending to make me stop robbing him I’d stop robbing him.”

The screenplay (script) is by William Goldman and if this was all he ever done (which it wasn’t) he could of died happy it’s so good.

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Sundance has a girlfriend Etta (Katharine Ross) and they all decide to move to Bolivia to get away from the posse. There’s this nice bit of brown and white film as an interlude while they go to New York and get the boat to South America and the soundtrack goes all Swingle Singers and they arrive in this one horse town and Sundance is furious and then they find they have to learn Spanish to rob banks to tell the people what to do so Etta teaches them. It all gets very difficult and uncomfortable so she goes back home she’s a teacher and eventually the boys find themselves with half the Bolivian army against them.

Its great so funny nice scenery good music and everything I know it word for word but I still love watching it cos it ain’t one of those macho bang bang things although there is a bit of shooting.

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Anjelica Huston

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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Hollywood is full of beautiful women and the real world is full of women who wish they looked like them I think you’ll agree that’s true. It’s different for men because they can have character roles in movies and then become really big when they get older and looks don’t matter so much.

But for the ladies no one wants to look at a non-stunning girl see I’m not talking about revolting like a witch with a spiky nose and rotten teeth I’m talking about you and me the average women in the street. Sure, we get along okay and there are potential partners out there who think we’re beautiful because they love us but generally speaking it’s easier if you look like Marilyn Monroe.

But once in a while you come across a woman who breaks the rules and manages to get cast in good roles in spite of the fact that when she sees herself in a photograph, she must think, “Why is this funny looking woman always in my pictures?”

I’m writing about this because last night I watched a film in which Anjelica Huston was the only adult female. She had a cameo they call them a brief appearance but since almost every film has to have a woman for people to lust after she must of been it.

Anjelica’s mother was a ballerina and her father was John Huston, a director, and her grandfather was Walter Huston an actor. So I guess showbusiness was in her blood. She started off as a model so obviously somebody thought her looks were unusual but not unattractive and so did Jack Nicholson who she was with for a long time.

She is a kind of role model for girls who aren’t what we would call normal-pretty it’s not having that perfectly proportioned face and body its how you carry yourself and a lot of it is to do with appearing to be happy with yourself. If you’re giving off the kind of feeling that says “Don’t look at me cos your eyes will get dirty” you’re putting a nail in your own coffin. You don’t have to be cocky either mind you or you’ll make a fool of yourself just be confident your all woman and your as good as anyone else okay that’s enough of Kaycee the guru what do I know about it.

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Dead sexy: Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams

So Anjelica has had a decent career with films like The Postman Always Rings twice (with Jack), Prizzi’s Honor and The Grifters and if your wondering the one I mentioned with the cameo was Seraphim Falls with Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson. She was Morticia in The Addams Family (extremely sexy I reckon) and she did a couple of Woody Allens.

Two others who have flown the flag for the woman of character are Judi Dench and Barbra Streisand. Somebody once said of Judi “She’s not beautiful but she can play beautiful” by play they mean act and that’s what I was talking about she dresses well holds her head up and gives it some serious dignity. Being the first female M in James Bond she had to be tough and believable in that way but you also got the feeling that Bond quite fancied her and if they did get together for a night he might learn a thing or two.

As for Barbra she’s such a character that if she wanted you to think she was once an Olympic hurdler and Miss World you’d believe her.

It’s a short list because like I said at the start the film world is full of pretty little things no disrespect to them but there is room for other types too not just Nicole Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer  there’s hope for us all.

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – The Lacemaker

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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This is the kind of film I don’t really expect anyone else to like you might have some like that yourself you don’t know why you like it so much but you just do. You’ve probably never heard of it so I’ll tell you everything from the start.

It’s French and came out in 1977. And it’s in French so you have to look at the subtitles, but that’s okay you can read even I can read and isn’t there some theory that only a small percentage of communication is by words? You get so much out of the Lacemaker from the atmosphere and the pictures it’s about this very shy girl Beatrice in Paris played by Isabelle Huppert she’s a trainee hairdresser does the shampooing and stuff and she’s 20 something but lives with her Mum and she only seems to have one friend Marylene whose older and more worldly than she is more outgoing more of a laugh you could say so she gets more blokes than Beatrice.

At the start of the film Marylene gets dumped by her current guy and gets really upset and it looks like she’s going to jump out the window but Beatrice stops her. Marylene decides to go to the seaside for a break to cheer herself up and she asks Beatrice to go along so she does. Of course as soon as they get there Marylene pulls a guy and she’s off having fun with him and Beatrice is left to her own devices funny expression ain’t it but you know what I mean. She meets a student called Francois whose a nice quiet guy and they begin this romance the French are very good at this sort of thing it seems very unlikely that them two would get together in real life but then you think of Beatrice’s friend Marylene who is also very different from her so maybe she attracts more sophisticated people because she’s so calm and innocent I don’t know.

Anyways when the holiday is over Beatrice moves into Francois’ flat in Paris and meets his parents and his friends but that’s a disaster she’s so shy and nervous and can’t relax with the family although you can tell Francois’ Dad likes her but the friends well it makes me uncomfortable every time. There all intellectual and talking about politics and heavy stuff and Beatrice has nothing to say for herself she’s out of her depth. So that’s when the film stops being romantic and starts being tragic.

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Love’s young dream pity it doesn’t last forever eh?

They split up and Beatrice gets really down and ends up in a mental hospital see you wouldn’t get this kind of thing with a British or American film but the French seem to love it or love writing about it anyway some guy I used to know got me reading novels by Francoise Sagan and her stuff’s like that all doomed romances. It was him who showed me this film the first time at a trendy little cinema in the West End come to think of it him and me were a bit like Beatrice and Francois I suppose except I didn’t go mad well they haven’t locked me up yet!

I don’t suppose it sounds like much fun well fun is exactly what it isn’t but I love watching this on a wet Sunday afternoon or a quiet night in with a few glasses of Prosecco that’s Italian white wine a bit sparkly. If your watching with a friend make sure its someone sensitive or they’ll think your soppy. Oh yes, and the subtitles are diabolical I don’t know who did the translation but it looks like it was the director’ 10 year old daughter but like I said it’s the atmosphere that’s so great.

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Silver Linings Playbook

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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When you watch a lot of movies like I do because I’m a sad old cow with no social life that’s a joke but kind of true actually you have to watch a lot of new stuff and if your using Netflix or something that’s where you find them and you have to rely on what they put on there because it’s not like a library with every film theres ever been. What I’m getting at is you can’t be that choosy because the summaries are written by someone who thinks she’s clever it sounds like a girl to me I don’t know you don’t know what anything is going to be like if you never heard of it before so sometimes you have to take a chance. And sometimes it turns out to be all bang bang bad language young smartarses killing people or thinking there being funny.

And sometimes you find a gem I did that recently with Silver Linings Playbook from 2012 which I had vaguely heard of but not taken much notice and I’m glad I did because it’s like brilliant. Stars Bradley Cooper whose pretty good not sensational but he can act he was wasted in stuff like The Hangover.

So he plays a guy, Pat, who just gets out of a mental hospital because he’s bipolar which used to be known as manic depression I think and he went berserk and hurt somebody. He seems okay now but he’s hyperactive can’t sleep goes back to live with his parents Robert de Niro and Jacki Weaver who I don’t know but she can’t spell Jackie can she I know who am I to talk?

He is hoping to get back together with his wife Nikki but he’s got a restraining order so he can’t contact her and one night he goes to some friends’ house for dinner only he’s wearing an American football shirt and everyone else is dressed quite smart so he feels a bit of a dick. The friend’s wife is an aggressive sod and they have invited a girl too about Pat’s age Tiffany played by Jennifer Lawrence and she is a bit of a psycho too sorry I mean she has a psychiatric disorder and if you ask me its not clever to try to fix them up with each other but that’s what it looks like. She gets upset and leaves before they even eaten and he goes with her she lives in a converted garage behind her parents house and she says he can come in and shag her as long as they keep the lights off. That’s part of her trouble she says she got sacked because she had sex with everybody she worked with 11 people including two women.

Pat says no because he loves his wife but they keep meeting each other out jogging and she says she will take a letter he wrote to Nikki which is illegal cos he’s not supposed to be in touch with her like I said. Anyways Tiffany says she will help him if he will be her partner in a dance competition and he don’t want to but says yes in the end. Jennifer looks great here real sad eyes.

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Cheer up, Tiffany. I think he likes you

So that’s one plot two really I suppose and the third is his Dad’s lost his job and trying to win enough money to start a restaurant by betting on sport with a guy he knows. That’s enough detail ain’t it I’m getting lost telling you about it but sure enough Pat and Tiffany start falling for each other but he still wants his wife back.

It all comes to a head as they say at the dance contest it’s a kind of old fashioned film in that way it looks like there getting together then there not and is he getting his wife back maybe and then maybe not I tell you I was in tears at the end. It’s a great film that could of been made in like the 50s with James Stewart and Jane Russell or somebody or even earlier with people I don’t know who to say.

Lovely film very clever and Oscar nominations all over the place and Jennifer won best actress.

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Chinatown

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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Chinatown is whats known as film noir that’s pronounced nwar its French for black and I think its called that because there is always a dark atmosphere not visual but dark mood you know nothing good ever happens. There was a lot of it around before my time stuff like Humphrey Bogart playing private detectives that get beaten up and stuff.

So Chinatown (made in 1974) was a bit after that but done in the same style and they set it in the old days I’m not sure what decade but old fashioned cars and suits with flappy trousers and everybody wore hats you know. Often in these things the story is just an excuse to see the leading actors (watching Jack Nicholson being cool and Faye Dunaway being sexy) and what actually happens don’t really matter. In this case its about California when there was a water shortage and of course people being killed.

They usually start with a beautiful woman hiring the P.I. to investigate something and it turns out to be not as straightforward as it looks. Sure enough Evelyn Mulwray (Faye) turns up and asks Jake Gittes (Jack) to tail her husband. But later another woman also claiming to be Evelyn turns up and says she’s going to sue him. And the husband is found drowned.

It all gets complicated but if your me you just enjoy Jack and Faye and leave the eggheads to follow the plot. There is stuff about he was found in a fresh water reservoir but he had salt water in his lungs things like that. There’s missing glasses too that are important.

Jake gets his nose slashed with a knife up both nostrils and spends most of the film with a big bandage over it which isn’t a good look but he’s still Jack Nicholson so he’s still attractive.

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And there’s lots of peace and quiet in the film which makes a change you don’t want bang crash all the time do you well I don’t it’s all noise these days I suppose that’s why I like old stuff sometimes.

Funny enough I was looking at an old films channel the other day and there was a Bob Hope film where he plays the same  except he’s just pretending to be a private detective cos the real one is in the next office but he’s out of town and Dorothy Lamour gets him involved. That one’s a spoof which means it kind of takes the mickey and Bob was a comedian so he does it real well.

“Was it a legitimate business?”

“Better than legitimate, it was profitable.”

You know how clever those guys were. That was called My Favourite Brunette.

But I’m confusing you now – I’m confused myself but that don’t take much haha. Chinatown has a great atmosphere and some good lines and it has brilliant stars that’s what I like about it. There’s a serious bit when Faye has a girl she calls her sister but it turns out she’s not really I won’t spoil it let’s just say it’s not very nice.

They made a sequel in 1990, still starring Jack and he directed it instead of Roman Polanski who did the original but the same writer Robert Towne he did some great stuff but you don’t usually hear about the screenwriter just the director that’s funny ain’t it no script no film if you ask me but there you go. The sequel wasn’t as good of course they never are are they apart from people say the Godfather series is different but I don’t know you can have too much gangster stuff I reckon.

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Airplane!

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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Why have I never written about this before it’s the funniest film in the history of the world and of course it is impossible to say why. All I know is that it is so full of funny bits that I reckon they must of wrote it several times what I mean by that is they wrote the first draft (strange thing to call it but that’s what you call the first version of a script) and it was good but they went through it again sticking more jokes in then again and put more visual laughs in gags they call them a gag can be a line or a facial expression or something going on in the background it’s just something that amuses you.

There’s a bit when you’re in the cockpit with the pilot and there’s a guy outside on the nose of the plane checking the oil like your boyfriend does with your car and when he tries to close the bonnet he can’t so he gets it down a bit and then sort of jump-sits on it and falls off. That’s what you would call slapstick I think its kind of the oldest form of humour the sort of thing that Charlie Chaplin did and people thought he was hilarious but I don’t.

Right at the start there’s two recorded airport announcements having an argument about whether you can stop in the red zone or the white zone.

Oops forgot to tell you what it’s about well there’s this American ex-air force pilot who had a bad experience in one of their wars Korean or Vietnam or something and he’s afraid to fly now but he’s in love with a stewardess and manages to get on the flight she’s working on. He’s Ted and she’s Elaine.

So he buys a ticket at the desk in the airport and they say “Smoking or non smoking?” and he goes “Smoking” so they give him a ticket with smoke coming out of it. That’s one sort of gag sort of taking things litelerately  there’s quite a bit of that actually.

Anyways he gets on the flight and everything’s okay until dinnertime when the fish option is poisoned and people start throwing up and sweating and farting and stuff that’s kind of slapstick too I suppose. And the captain had fish so soon he’s incapable and Elaine takes the intercom or whatever and asks if there’s anyone who can fly a plane.

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Ted has been sitting there  depressing people with his sad story an old lady already hung herself listening to him and a Japanese soldier has committed hari kari and an Indian guy just poured petrol over himself and lit a match so he’s relieved when Ted goes up to the cockpit and he blows the match out but he explodes anyway. See some people might think this all sounds stupid and maybe it does but when you watch it its just hilarious. So Ted is flying the plane, but it’s very different from what he’s used to so someone on the ground is going to talk him through landing it.

There’s too many gags to tell you all of them in fact there’s so many that I don’t think you get the best out of the film till you’ve seen it about five times cos you keep noticing new things I’m on about number 25 now so I think I’ve noticed all the gags but their still funny. For instance there’s another stewardess whose very good looking and when everyone’s scared and thinks theier going to die they start opening their hearts to people and she says she’s 27 and she’s not married. Now that’s not funny but some other woman says what’s bothering her and ends with “But at least I’ve got a husband” and the stewardess bursts into tears does it sound cruel that I think that’s funny? Sometimes it seems like your not allowed to laugh at anything because its all ways at someone else’s expence. Well I’m not married was once briefly never again it don’t make you more of a woman or a person but that’s not the point.

It also dosen’t matter what happens in the end because its not an adventure film it’s a comedy I don’t care anyway but I never do care what happens in the end its not about the destination it’s the journey as someone once said actually I might of just made that up.

Here’s a few bits for you.

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Alfie

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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When Michael Caine was young he was considered quite good looking and for a while in the 60s he was probably the biggest British star there was if you don’t count Sean Connery who only did James Bond. Michael did things like Zulu and The Ipcress File but his big success that made him a heartthrob was Alfie.

If you watch this now it is extremely un-PC. The way he talks to women and treats them and the fact that he’s got umpteen on the go at the same time it just isn’t done these days but you’ve got to realize things were different in those days and anyways not every man was like him in fact very few because it’s a film not real life.

Alfie is a jack-the-lad in London this was 1966 but it was kind of old fashioned even in its day The Beatles were past the clean-cut stage and the suits but Alfie and his mates are still looking like that and the music when he goes to a gig in a pub its not rock or even pop but jazz I suppose it took people a while to follow fashions.

So Alfie is what’s known as a ne’er-do-well funny expression it means he will never do well I think because all he’s interested in is pulling women he ain’t got a proper job but does a bit of chauffeuring and hangs around with his mate taking pictures of tourists with no film in the camera and gets them to pay in advance for nothing.

Not the sort of guy you’d take home to meet the family he’d probably seduce your Mum while you was making a cup of tea mine would of gone for it I’m sure. He’s got this quiet little “bird” as he calls them Gilda whose a soppy old thing and wants to have a proper home life with him even though she knows it will never happen and this bus conductor whose a real nice guy wants to give her that but he ain’t sexy like Alfie. “She’s a standby and she knows it and you can be very happy if you know your place,” Alfie says maybe not those exact words

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Trying it on with the doctor. She’s female, see, and that’s all that matters to Alfie

And he’s got this nice woman with a bit of life to her Millicent Martin big TV star at the time she’s married and Alfie tells you all about her and her husband in the voiceovers they use she’s called Siddie. He meets her once a week or something but right at the start of the film she’s starting to think she owns part of him and a bloke like him can’t have that so she’s on her way out.

Funny thing about Alfie is that he’s very particular about things he don’t like lipstick on his collar and he likes things neat and tidy but what he really likes is to get his own way.

One day at a transport café he meets this Annie (Jane Asher Paul McCartney’s girlfriend at the time) whose running away from her life up north and she’s hitched a lift with a lorry driver friend of Alfie’s but Alfie tricks him and takes Annie to his place. And all she does is scrub the floor and cook him meals she makes hotpot which is like a stew and he says it makes him bloated she just keeps busy all the time trying to forget some bloke back home.

So that’s plenty of birds to be going on with you might think but one day when he’s out doing the photographing scam he meets this big blonde Ruby (Shelley Winters) whose got money so he helps himself to some of her too.

To give the film a kind of serious point there was a lot of tuberculosis around at the time and he’s got it and gets sent to a I don’t know hospital or nursing home in the country to recuperate which means recover or get better I looked it up. Alfie gets released quite quick but goes back to visit this other patient Harry and meets Harry’s wife Lily (Vivien Merchant) who is no oil painting and a bit kind of chunky if you ask me but that don’t matter to Alfie a bird’s a bird and he is driving this Rolls Royce cos I told you he was a chauffeur so he gives her a lift back to London but they stop on the way for some refreshments and he has it off with her down by the river.

Around this point in the film the chickens start coming home to roost. Gilda’s pregnant and wants to keep the child so she does and she and little Malcolm get together with the bus conductor which makes Alfie feel something for a change he’s a bit jealous.

After their little fling by the river Lily is pregnant too (that was a common thing in films then because birth control wasn’t so good no pill or nothing just rubber johnnies they didn’t call them condoms then). Obviously Lily can’t keep the baby cos she’s married so Alfie arranges for an abortionist to come and that’s pretty horrible.

There’s this big punch-up at the pub gig because the lorry driver he nicked Annie from knows about it and in the end Alfie’s decided the most important thing in life is your health (but probably because in hospitals they have nurses and nurses are birds usually certainly in them days).

So as you can see it’s not the sort of thing you’d get away with nowadays but it’s good fun very entertaining quite funny. Whatever you do watch this version don’t go for the Jude Law remake it just ain’t the same no good at all. This one’s a kerrrlassic.

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – You’ve got Mail

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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Bloody Hell!!! Excuse my French but I just looked this up and it’s from 1998 that’s amazing isn’t it because that’s a long time ago and it still seems like quite a modern film maybe that’s because the mail in the title is email so we must of been using that back then. Good job too because that’s when the world really started getting electronic and instant none of this messing about with paper and ink and putting things in metal boxes and waiting a couple of days before you could even think about expecting a reply.

So it’s the first 21st century romance film but two years early anyway it’s lovely it stars Meg Ryan when she still looked like Mrs Ryan’s little girl not a blow-up doll  version honestly some people don’t know when their well off I don’t care if she was starting to look a few years older guess what we all are. And Tom Hanks.

She’s a small time businesswoman called Kathleen Kelly who owns a book shop her mother started and she’s got a boyfriend but you can tell its that stage of a relationship when its over really but they just haven’t ended it yet.

Tom is Joe Fox who owns a chain of big book stores and he’s driving the little shops out of business so Kathleen hates people like him. Her shop is aimed mainly at kids which is nice and you get the feeling that no big operation could have the same sort of atmosphere.

And Joe’s rich and the women in his life are the sort of luxurious wastes of space that rich men’s women are always shown as in films I don’t suppose that’s fair really but what do I know about it I’ve never woken up in an ocean-going yacht and had champagne for breakfast. Wouldn’t mind though just to see what its like but I’d have to love the guy to stay with him.

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Kethleen’s little book shop. Look at the size of the computer!

So Kathleen and Joe are both doing the internet dating thing that’s another big step forward for mankind I reckon it’s much better than sitting there feeling sorry for yourself. The world is full of lonely people but when your in that situation you think it’s just you and there must be something wrong with you so you don’t get the kind of opportunities you would if you was happy and full of life. Funny isn’t it that you seem more attractive to people when your already with someone and not really looking I guess its to do with confidence or something.

Kathleen and Joe get along great online they make each other laugh but of course being a romcom you can’t have them just meet up and fall in love and sail off into the sunset there has to be a bit of hit and miss and misunderstandings and stuff first.

My favourite bit is when he’s supposed to meet her in a coffee shop but he takes someone with him and gets him to peep in the window and the guy goes, “You’d better really like Kathleen Kelly,” and he goes “Why” and the guy goes, “Because it is Kathleen Kelly.” Something like that.

So romance was alive and well 18 years ago and it’s still alive now in spite of all the horrible things you read about I’ve met a few guys on dating sites and of course you can’t know all about them from a few messages but its not all nutters out there.

Anyways there is more to this than just the romance there’s the fact that Kathleen’s little book shop her mother’s pride and joy is being sunk by big business but what can you do that’s life ain’t it and you get the feeling she’s not going to lay down and die about it you’ve just got to do something else.

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Taxi Driver

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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If I was thinking up an idea for a film, I would want it to have a snappy title. After all that is what your potential customers see or hear first and if it dosen’t sound interesting you’ve got to have a second go at getting their attention. Imagine you’re a schoolteacher and you’ve told the kids to come up with a film you’d be going “yes Jordan very nice but you can’t just call it that cos it doesn’t sound exciting enough.”

That didn’t seem to bother Martin Scorsese or the writer Paul Schrader with Taxi Driver and it didn’t do the film any harm either although I suppose we will never know really will we.

It stars Robert de Niro when he was quite young and its funny he doesn’t look right as a young  man its like he was born to be middle aged he’s got that quirky look and was never the heartthrob type but maybe that is a good thing because his character Travis Bickle is strange with a capital STR. He’s  a Vietnam veteran used to be in the Marines and he can’t sleep maybe traumatized or something anyway so he wants a job he can do all night and when he goes for the interview he gets it mainly because the boss was in the Marines too and he says he’s not scared he will go anywhere any time. New York was pretty rough at that time and I guess there were some drivers that refused to go to some areas.

Anyways the job suits him and he’s doing well at it but he’s still lonely and he meets this girl Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) who is part of the campaign team for a politician she’s much more whats the word sophisticated than him but he don’t care or maybe see it he takes her to see a movie but its at a dirty little cinema where he’s used to going and it’s a dirty film and she freaks out and leaves and that looks like the end of it but he don’t give up he takes her for a coffee and a piece of pie and he gives her a Kris Kristofferson record but she’s got it already he’s trying his best but its never going to work even in a film.

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Then the violence comes to the surface maybe repressed from his army days or whatever but he is disgusted by the way the city is and the drugs and prostitution so he buys a load of guns and makes this sort of sliding thing up his sleeve so he can keep a pistol up there and whip it out and surprise people. He wants to kill Senator Palantine the guy Betsy’s working for. First he walks into a store where a robbery is going on and he shoots the robber and you wonder if he’s going to be a good bad boy but he gets weirder and weirder and gets his hair shaved down the sides into a Mohican or Mohawk  whatever you call it bad idea cos now he looks like a troublemaker.

The Secret Service guys suspect he’s up to no good and chase him but he gets away.

He has met this teenage prostitute Iris played by Jodi Foster and he don’t want to do nothing with her he wants to stop her doing what she’s doing her pimp is Harvey Keitel whose always brilliant I reckon. But Travis goes and finds the pimp and there is a big gunfight everybody gets shot including Travis but he survives. There’s a kind of happy ending because Iris goes home to live a normal life but we don’t know what’s gonna happen to Travis and they leave it that way you couldn’t have this sort of film ending up all neat and tidy.