Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Lists: 20 Costume films

We love a good costume or period drama here at The Projector: Here's 20 of the best to continue our Lists: (we are not including biblicals or epics)
  • THE SCARLET EMPRESS - 4 from the 1930s. Dietrich stuns in 1934 in Von Sternberg's amazing sets.
  • MATA HARI - Garbo ideal and looks dazzling, 1931
  • MARIE ANTOINETTE - MGM's opulent 1938 retelling with a perfect Norma Shearer. Kitsch classic.
  • JEZEBEL - Bette got the kudos in 1938 through with this classic Wyler - and that red dress in black and white.   
  • 4  by Luchino Visconti:  THE LEOPARD. No-one does classic costume drama like Visconti (until Kubrick came along with BARRY LYNDON). This 1963 epic is sheer bliss, particularly that long ballroom sequence at the climax, as Burt and Claudia dance to that Verdi waltz .... sheer cinema, (as per my many comments at Visconti label)
  • DEATH IN VENICE. Even if one does not like the film much one has to admire how stunning it recreates the Venice lido, and Dirk's performance. I met him in 1970 at the BFI when he was promoting it. 
  • LUDWIG. The new full version on 4-disk bluray is long overdue, as per recent review. Romy and Helmut are sheer perfection. 
  • L'INNOCENTE. Luchino's final, directed from a wheelchair in 1976, looks so stupendous, as per review Visconti label. 
  • MOONFLEET and QUENTIN DURWARD (below) both 1955, are the height of 1950s MGM costume dramas,  I love them both. Stewart Granger, Joan Greenwood, George Sanders ideal here. 
  • QUENTIN DURWARD - as are Robert Taylor and Kay Kendall among those French chateaus.
  • THE VIKINGS - Jack Cariff shot this in Norway and its still fantastic now. 
  • TEMPEST - An Italian spectacle from De Laurentiis and Lattuada in 1958, Silvana Mangano shines as does Viveca Lindfors as Catherine The Great. I liked it as a kid. 
  • EL CID - Anthony Mann's timeless saga set in medieval Spain, Heston and Loren at their peaks.
  • TOM JONES - Tony Richardson's 1963 romp looks perfectly 18th Century, with great roles for Finney, York, Greenwood, Evans, Griffiths etc. 
  • DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES. Polanski makes this 1967 vampire comedy look perfectly period too, as per recent review below. 
  • THE LION IN WINTER. We love this view of medieval England as Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II go head to head in 1968. 
  • BARRY LYNDON. THE Kubrick classic? I can watch it over and over, particularly that scene at the gaming tables by candelight as the Countess of Lyndon locks eyes with Barry, as the music throbs ....
  • THE AGE OF INNOCENCE. Scorsese's perfect costume drama from 1992.
  • A ROOM WITH A VIEW and MAURICE: We have to include Merchant-Ivory's best, great performances and period detail. 
  • MARIE ANTOINETTE. Sofia Coppola's very modern take on the doomed French queen has a lot of great moments too and some perfect casting.
  • And on television: Working our way through all 14 episodes of the 1982 classic series THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN, mesmerising stuff set in India in 1942 and 1943. 
  • Those Jane Austens: the BBC's impresive PRIDE AND PREJUDICE from 1996, the lovely 1995 film of PERSUASION and Ang Lee's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, and the tv remake .... as per reviews, 
  • And the BBC's smouldering Mr POLDARK returns for 9 episodes of Series Three on Sunday. Ideal Sunday night stuff to relax with a G&T as 'Poldark and handsome' rides his trusty steed Seamus over those 18th Century Cornish cliffs, with Demelza and all the usual characters, Again, most of these covered in detail at labels. 

1 comment:

  1. New Diet Taps into Innovative Plan to Help Dieters Lose 15 Pounds within Only 21 Days!