OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR
1969, Paramount, 136 min, UK, Dir: Richard Attenborough

In this dazzling directorial debut from Richard Attenborough, a working class family is confronted with the unfathomable realities of World War I, after three brothers witness trench warfare first hand. This is no ordinary war film, however, as Attenborough injects humor, dazzling camera effects, and music into this otherwise stark reality. Thus by fusing the surreal with the factual, and juxtaposing savagely funny satire with quiet sorrow, Attenborough creates a powerful anti-war statement like no other. Based on the stage musical by the same name, OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR features a stellar cast that includes Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Mills, John Gielgud, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm, Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York.


KHARTOUM
1966, Park Circus/MGM, 136 min, UK, Dir: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon

Charlton Heston stars as British general Charles “Chinese” Gordon, who is sent to defend the British Empire in the Sudan during a violent uprising led by jihad-hungry Laurence Olivier. This is one of the most literate (with an Oscar-nominated screenplay by Robert Ardrey) and visually sumptuous of all 1960s epics, with vibrant colors and spectacular action sequences courtesy of ace craftsman Basil Dearden.


CLASH OF THE TITANS
1981, Warner Bros., 118 min, USA, Dir: Desmond Davis

The last feature with effects by the great Ray Harryhausen, CLASH OF THE TITANS follows the epic trials and tribulations of young Perseus (Harry Hamlin) as he battles giant scorpions, two-headed dogs, the ferocious Calibos and the giant Kraken, with a little help from the gods and a magical, winged horse named Pegasus. Co-starring Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress, Burgess Meredith.


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