Tag Archives: Richard Burton

The Best Shakespeare Films

400 years have passed since William Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616. I recently finished Stephen Greenblatt’s amazing 2004 book “Will in the World”, which vividly brings the Bard to life in a way that feels down to earth. By using the historical facts and records of Shakespeare’s life that we have, and tying them … Continue reading The Best Shakespeare Films

Cleopatra

THE MOTION PICTURE THE WORLD HAS BEEN WAITING FOR! In 47 BC, Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) helps Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) become the ruler of Egypt, but he’s soon murdered in Rome; Cleopatra eventually begins a tempestuous alliance with another Roman, Mark Antony (Richard Burton). An epic that became famous for its bloated budget, Taylor’s elaborate … Continue reading Cleopatra

The Longest Day: Turning a War Around

THIS IS THE THE DAY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD… WHEN HISTORY HELD ITS BREATH.  As Sean Connery was preparing to play a small role in this World War II blockbuster, he was also planning a trip to Jamaica for the first James Bond thriller, Dr. No. Also appearing in The Longest Day were two German … Continue reading The Longest Day: Turning a War Around

The Robe

THE FIRST PICTURE ON THE NEW MIRACLE CURVED SCREEN! As punishment for offending Caligula, Roman military tribunal Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton) is sent to Jerusalem where he oversees the execution of a Jewish rebel, an event that changes his life forever. A Biblical epic that found great commercial success in depicting the confrontations between early … Continue reading The Robe

Where Eagles Dare: The Nazi Nest

THEY DARE TO CLIMB A TERRIFYING NEW PEAK IN SUSPENSE… ALL THE WAY UP TO HELL! Whoever wrote director Brian G. Hutton’s Wikipedia entry listed Kelly’s Heroes (1970) as his most notable work, which seems odd. That movie has its fans, as well as a Clint Eastwood performance, an adventuresome World War II setting and … Continue reading Where Eagles Dare: The Nazi Nest

Becket: The Bishop Who Found God

A TASTE FOR WINE AND WOMEN MADE THEM FRIENDS. A SUDDEN CLASH MADE THEM MAN AND MARTYR… WHICH LED TO MURDER!   When I told a friend recently that I had just seen Becket and that Richard Burton plays the Archbishop of Canterbury, he quickly lost interest. Witnessing a showdown between the King and the Primate of … Continue reading Becket: The Bishop Who Found God

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: Marriage, No Mercy

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO GEORGE AND MARTHA’S FOR AN EVENING OF FUN AND GAMES. When Elizabeth Taylor passed away two weeks ago, the one film that all commentators would return to was Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Sometimes actors fail to win Oscars for the movies everybody recognizes as seminal parts of their legacy, but … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: Marriage, No Mercy

The V.I.P.s

A MODERN LOVE STORY. When fog prevents any aircraft from leaving a London airport, a group of well-to-do passengers headed for New York are stranded in the V.I.P. lounge. Director Anthony Asquith and writer Terence Ratigan reportedly based this film on a real-life incident between Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier; the infidelity drama played out … Continue reading The V.I.P.s

Nineteen Eighty-Four

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING… In 1984, Britain is part of a totalitarian society whose leaders are eradicating human emotions; Winston Smith (John Hurt) tries to be one of the masses, but falls in love with a woman (Suzanna Hamilton). Another retelling of the futuristic George Orwell story that is now obviously an alternative nightmarish vision … Continue reading Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Sandpiper

SHE GAVE MEN A TASTE OF LIFE THAT MADE THEM HUNGER FOR MORE. The authorities force beatnik Laura Reynolds’s (Elizabeth Taylor) young son to attend a school run by a priest (Richard Burton); the two adults’ initial antagonism turns into affection, but he’s married. One of director Vincente Minnelli’s last films is a traditional love … Continue reading The Sandpiper

The Wild Geese

THE DOGS OF WAR. THE BEST DAMNED MERCENARIES IN THE BUSINESS! A group of retired mercenaries led by Major Faulkner (Richard Burton) are hired to liberate an African opposition leader who could bring freedom to his people. An action movie with few surprises; how many flicks are there where soldiers are betrayed by their government … Continue reading The Wild Geese

Exorcist II: The Heretic

IT’S FOUR YEARS LATER… WHAT DOES SHE REMEMBER? Father Philip Lamont (Richard Burton) starts investigating what happened to Father Merrin (Max von Sydow); Regan (Linda Blair) survived his exorcism, but the demon remains inside of her. This sequel ignores the fact that the girl did lose the demon in the original film. Whatever. Out of the … Continue reading Exorcist II: The Heretic