BONJOUR TRISTESSE
1958, Sony Repertory, 94 min, USA, Dir: Otto Preminger

In Otto Preminger’s haunting film (adapted by Arthur Laurents from Francoise Sagan’s novel), the underrated Jean Seberg plays a precociously spoiled teen whose wealthy reprobate father (David Niven) decides to settle down by marrying repressed Deborah Kerr, with catastrophic results. Exquisitely filmed (by Georges Perinal) in CinemaScope and shifting between black-and-white and deeply saturated color, Preminger’s film sensitively manifests the mysteries of growing up. When Seberg’s character finally makes the difficult transition from teenager to adult, it is with a tragic resonance that gives poignant meaning to the film’s title (which translates, "Good Day, Sadness").


THE GUNS OF NAVARONE
1961, Sony Repertory, 157 min, USA, Dir: J. Lee Thompson

Gregory Peck leads David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, Anthony Quayle and James Darren on a perilous mission to destroy an enormous Nazi gun battery on the Greek coast. Partisans Irene Papas and Gia Scala lend their support behind enemy lines. Grueling and exhilarating, with some truly awe-inspiring suspense/action sequences. After EL CID, one of the most intelligent and human of the epic adventure spectaculars.


A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
aka STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
1946, Sony Repertory, 104 min, UK, Dir: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

A breathtaking meditation on the mercies of love and the cruelties of fate, A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH stars David Niven as a WWII pilot pleading his case in Heaven, claiming that he was not meant to die and should be allowed to return to lovely Kim Hunter on Earth. Roger Livesey co-stars as the doctor who becomes Niven’s solicitor on the astral plane, with the delightful Marius Goring as a dandified angel.


Syndicate content