1,001 Movies – Week 16

“The Bedsitting Room” to “Ben-Hur”


The Bedsitting Room (1969) – Right in my wheelhouse of post-apocalyptic genre films, I’d seen this on late-night TV in 1971 and for many years afterwards tried to find somebody who knew what it was by saying “Marty Feldman played a nurse”.  I trace my enjoyment of absurdist British humor to this film, and that was before I even knew who half the cast was. The title refers to a possible after-effect of radiation and the laughs come from several characters maintaining their stereotypical British lifestyle.  (SB)

Beetlejuice (1988) – Michael Keaton gives a whirlwind performance as the undead host with the most in Tim Burton’s live-action cartoon come to life. Terrific cast includes Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Sylvia Sidney, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones and Robert Goulet!  (GS)

Being There (1979) – This gets rated as a comedy, for no other reason than Peter Sellers’ Oscar-winning presence, but really it’s a fable, a fairy tale.  It has its absurdities, but that’s the nature of a fable.  Oh – it also happens to be beautiful.  (KCL)

Ben-Hur (1925) – Ramon Navarro owns the screen. The sound version may be better (in some opinions), but I find this film holds it own quite well, thank you.  The silent version is also a little easier to take, on the “Tale of the Christ” angle, but General Lew Wallace, who wrote the novel, refused to allow an actor to play Christ so the filmmakers were creative with his “appearances”. (KCL)

Ben-Hur (1959
) – Charlton Heston is at his square-jar best in this 11-time Oscar-winning epic. The climactic chariot race (choreographed by the great Yakima Canutt) is still exhilarating. See it in widescreen.  (GS)


 Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007)

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