In one of those social media things, I’ve been asked to share ten films which have some particular meaning or resonance to me. I shared the first five I chose a couple of weeks ago… I’ve been a bit dilatory and have only just finished my choices. The first five were: The Third Man, Hot Fuzz, Minority Report, The Magnificent Seven, Cabaret,
- The Wrong Trousers: I love all the Wallace and Gromit films; they are utterly ludicrous and yet within the ridiculousness it all makes complete sense and the viewer is totally carried along by the plot and the characters. We really care that Gromit is taken for granted and then displaced from his home by Penguin, we understand how Wallace is taken in by the apparent charm and charisma of the bird, and we’re caught between laughter and apprehension as Wallace careers through the museum upside down in the wrong trousers. it has an appeal for audiences of all ages with true wit and subtlety… yes it’s a subtle film! I love all the films, but this is my favourite.
- The Court Jester: When I was a little girl, I remember laughing and laughing and laughing until I was crying when I watched these films, literally crying. I adored Danny Kaye and thought he was the most handsome, clever, funny, kind person… watching again I still think he’s so clever and so very funny.
- Albert RN/The Wooden Horse; these are films, based on true stories, are from my childhood; both are about deception, but deception in order to escape a dangerous situation. ‘Albert’ was a dummy made by naval prisoners of war in a German camp during World War II. He would appear among the ranks on parade and taking the place of someone trying to escape. It was successful the first time he was used, but unfortunately the escapee was recaptured. It failed on the second occasion, the attempted escape filed, and Albert found and destroyed.
‘The Wooden Horse’ was a book written by Eric Williams describing the true attempts to escape from Stalag Luft III by digging a tunnel in the middle of the exercise yard, concealing the diggers in a gymnastic vaulting ‘horse’. It seems incredible that this should have been attempted, almost unbelievable that three men escaped and found their way by various routes to safety.
- The Man Who Never Was: another film based on a true event in World war II. Operation Mincemeat was a successful British deception operation to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily. British intelligence dressed the body of a tramp in the uniform of a Royal Marines and put identifying personal items on him to suggest he was a Captain in the marines. Also in his pockets was supposedly secret correspondence suggesting that the Allies planned to invade not Sicily but Greece and Sardinia. I liked this because of the deception, the planning and secrecy of it all
- Alien: I used to love science fiction, but when I saw this I was stunned by its visual impact. Plus having such a strong character played by Sigourney Weaver.