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Video Trailer Collection

Picks from movies shown on TVOntario's Saturday Night at the Movies

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

"Fahrenheit 451" (1966) IMDb, inspired by Ray Bradbury's science fiction novel of the same name, delivers a disturbing vision of a futuristic world where books are contraband to be burned by the state. For those of us who love books, this is a truly scary and undesirable future reality. Werner Oskar stars as the fireman who begins to question the purpose behind burning books in the oppressive police state. Julie Christie plays the double role of the witless wife of the fireman, Linda, and the open minded free spirit, Clarisse.

Check out Thom Ernst's blog for the scoop on his interview with the original author, Ray Bradbury, for the TVO Saturday Night at the Movies Interviews.

View the TVO video web preview for "Fahrenheit 451" (includes snippets of the Bradbury interview)

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See the video trailer for "Fahrenheit 451" (1966)

The Late Show (1977)

The Late Show (1977) with Art Carney and Lily Tomlin pairs a cranky has-been detective with a kooky young woman who hasn’t quite got her life under control. The odd couple is formed when minor crimes and misdemeanours escalate to a major blackmail and murder case. Things become unexpectedly serious both on the investigation front and the personal relationship side of things. Two slightly out of step and lonely individuals find that they have something to contribute to one another’s lives. Robert Benton directs this backward glance at the hardboiled detective film noir movies of the 1940’s à la Raymond Chandler/Philip Marlowe. The film leaves behind a surprisingly touching picture of the subject of aging thanks to good acting on the part of the lead characters and the support of Benton’s direction as well as a decent script.

See the TVO video preview for the "Never Too Late" presentation with "Nobody's Fool" and "The Late Show"

The companion piece in this series, "Nobody's Fool" with Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith was also reviewed on Midnight Oil.

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Don't miss the entire TVOntario Interview for the "Never Too Late" episode. Included is a discussion of "Nobody's Fool" and "The Late Show" in the conversation about Hollywood films and the subject of aging.

I Confess (1953)

I Confess” (1953) with Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, and Karl Malden makes for a rather melodramatic situation where the real murderer uses the silence of the confessional as the perfect cover-up for his crime. Alfred Hitchcock’s direction on site in Quebec City gives this film a bit of a different perspective. Once you realize that the setting is supposed to be Quebec City during the 1950’s in the pre-Vatican II Duplessis era, it all starts to make a little more sense – the film, that is, not the murder mystery plot. The murder, cover-up, romance, blackmail and dénouement are all very predictable. What else can we expect when two excruciatingly beautiful people such as Anne Baxter and Montgomery Clift are caught up in a thoroughly impossible situation? It is all completely incomprehensible and implausible in today’s world until you remember that this is supposed to be Quebec in the 1950’s. The prominent landmarks and buildings seen in the film are still there today. (Our family visits quite regularly.) The social and religious landscapes that make this film believable are not. C’est quoi encore le dicton en anglais? “Much Ado About Nothing”?

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See the film trailer for "I Confess" (1953).

Local Hero (1983)

Local Hero” (1983) is an offbeat film about an offbeat oil magnate (Burt Lancaster) who sends his lackey boy (Peter Riegert) to buy a sleepy little fishing village on the coast of Scotland in order to accommodate some of his latest industrial projects. What with the aurora borealis, a pretty biologist named Marina, a canny lawyer slash innkeeper, a roving Russian songster and an odd assortment of townspeople, things get quite off track in short order. Amongst my favourites from the cast of local characters was the right Reverend MacPherson, a pillar of the community who happens to be a black man from Africa. Equally unexpected is the colourful character of Ben Knox, the eccentric beachcomber whose wise words and unflappable tenacity get the whole show moving in a completely different direction. Thanks to old Ben, it turns out that we see that there might just be something more important in life than money after all.

This film was screened with "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", also reviewed on Midnight Oil.

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See the video trailer for "Local Hero" (1983)

West is West (1987)

"West is West" (1987) is a bit of an unusual mix. A young Indian man from Bombay shows up in San Francisco intent on gaining admission to the country and to the University of California. Things go terribly amiss and Vikram (Ashutosh Gowariker) ends up living the less than desirable version of the American dream as an illegal immigrant. Bollywood and its stylized vision of life in India is never far away from Vikram's imagination. The American girlfriend, played by Heidi Carpenter, somehow gets incoroporated into the mix (or should I say mix up) and goes from gothic to glamourous (Bollywood style). But it all works somehow.

It should work because Ashutosh Gowariker has been able to make a success of himself back in India going from actor to writer/director/producer with much critical acclaim. While "West is West" may not be the greatest movie ever, it certainly tells an important story about the immigrant experience that is perhaps not heard often enough in North America.

View the TVO Saturday Night at the Movie Interview segment dealing with the immigrant experience "East Meets West" featuring video clips from "West is West" (1987)

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