THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
1988, Universal, 164 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

An insightful, intensely personal adaptation of the Nikos Kazantzakis novel that dares to portray Jesus as human as well as divine. Willem Dafoe is a realistic, believable Christ beset by doubt, whose faith and selflessness finally triumph in the ultimate self-sacrifice. This indelibly moving film features a dream cast, with Harvey Keitel as an idealistic Judas tortured by unfolding destiny and a luminous Barbara Hershey as a sensual, sensitive Mary Magdalene.


A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
1958, MGM/Park Circus, 123 min, UK, Dir: Roy Ward Baker

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the “unsinkable” Titanic struck an iceberg, and in less than three hours, had plunged to the bottom of the sea, taking with it more than 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers. In his unforgettable rendering of Walter Lord’s book of the same name, Roy Ward Baker depicts with sensitivity, awe and a fine sense of tragedy the ship’s last hours. Featuring remarkably restrained performances, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is cinema’s subtlest and best dramatization of this monumental 20th-century catastrophe. (Program notes by the Criterion Collection.)


REIGN OF TERROR
(aka THE BLACK BOOK)
1949, Sony Repertory, 88 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Mann

Director Anthony Mann and DP John Alton, using the full-bore noir treatment, turn the French Revolution into a crime saga dripping with greed, deceit and betrayal. With Robert Cummings as Charles D’Aubigny and Richard Basehart as Robespierre, all of the elements are here - atmospheric camerawork, taut script, a beautiful spy (Arlene Dahl, again!) and fearsome Charles McGraw (looking like the leader of a French biker gang) as Robespierre’s sadistic henchman.


Syndicate content