1,001 Movies – Week 20

“The Black Hole” to “The Black Shield of Falworth”


The Black Hole (1979) – Disney’s interstellar remake of the story 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a love it or hate it film, remembered fondly by people who were kids when it was released. As a visual piece, it’s still a majestic accomplishment, and a film that kids today will celebrate.  (CK)

Black Narcissus (1947) – Exquisite Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger spiritual odyssey about a group of nuns living a lonely and hard life in a convent the Himalayas. Utterly superb performances (Deborah Kerr, Flora Robson, Jean Simmons). A metaphor for both the repression and the joy of the religious experience. The colors and the imagery will blow your mind (do not, under any circumstances, watch this on drugs). Jack Cardiff won a deserved Oscar for his cinematography. Like all of Powell and Pressburger’s work, madly original, heart-felt, emotionally exact, gripping, witty, intricately observed, challenging and ultimately brilliant. (KT)

The Black Pirate (1926) – Douglas Fairbanks plays a shipwrecked mariner who plots revenge on the pirates who destroyed his fathers ship. Doug is in top form in this Technicolor treat. (You read that right, a color silent film!) Spectacular acrobatic stunts highlight this rousing swash-buckling delight. Watch for Doug tearing down through the sales while holding on to his dagger.  (GS)

Black Rain (1989) – Two NYPD cops (Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia) are assigned to escort a Japanese mobster to jail in his homeland, and on the way he escapes; they team up with a Japanese detective (Ken Takakura) but there is a wide division between styles and the sparks fly. This Ridley Scott gem is often overlooked – don’t let it happen to you. (GS)

The Black Shield of Falworth (1954) – A pretty good adaptation (by Hollywood standards) of Howard Pyle’s Men of Iron stars Tony Curtis as the unknowing son of a disgraced noble.  Through the machinations of his father’s allies, young Myles Falworth is trained as a knight so he can challenge his father’s accusers to trial by combat.  Lots of fun.  (KH)


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

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