Classics round up

12 Angry Men

Does it pass the Bechdel test? Does it hell. There’s only one female character even mentioned in this film. But… perhaps I should cut it some slack for being utterly fabulous.

A breathtaking tour de force of dialogue, this is full of emotional punches and prejudiced opinions that remain all too relevant today. I’m an absolute sucker for fast paced dialogue heavy films that take place in a small set and this is a perfect example of this kind of film at its finest.

Blackmail

Hitchcock’s final silent film and what a film it is! I absolutely love a silent with live accompaniment in the town hall and this was quite possibly the best I’ve seen.

It has all the Hitchcock hallmarks – murder! Suspense! Famous landmarks! And some truly stunning performances form the lead actors. There’s a version recorded with sound but I struggle to imagine Anny Ondra needing any help to be more expressive. She dances from mischief to murder to fear and shame across the film and is captivating throughout.

Plot-wise its not hard to criticise – the main villain is hardly the sharpest tool in the box – but it’s such an enjoyable watch that this is mere quibbling. From the endless smoking to the dawn views of Leicester Square, this is a treat from start to finish.

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