and the l'i a n‘20.
Slate lid or course the law (before a rather more perverse than asinine judge).
\\ hen Mike has served his sentence (in prison finding li,poerisy. sell-righteousness but some privacy ) the film essays a k.h.iiire or heart and mood. and for the first time Ialters. Three hours is .1 long time for :my picture to run %% idiom hiltering in the last lap.
If the last 40 !ninnies are the hardest, the first I -to are superlativegood entertainment and the ■■ hole three hours hugely orthw h lie. The episodes are presented %vith the wit and verve or good revue. neatly and engagingly linked by Alan Prices songs.
\n especial asset. too. is the almost repertory use of the very distinguished cast, so that stars like Ralph Riehardsmi, Rachel Roberts and perhaps above all Arthur I.owe I as the head coffee salesman, the hotel manager who takes a party to the strip club and delectably the black President) turn up in different roles).
Helen Mirren. on the other hand, shines in a solo part as the rich man's tearaway daughter amid the doWn-and-outs. This is a triumph in wnich almost all the parts are as good as the whole, not forgetting the splendid camera work of Czechoslovakian Miroslav Ondrieek.
Another c use on three hour marathon is the Russian space fic tion film Solaris ("U." Curzon) directed by Andrei Tarkovsky from a novel by the Polish Stanislaw Lem. In a daunting introductory sequence an officer returned from an expedition to the planet Solaris tries to describe the glutinous fog which drove him near to madness, and hints at encounter with a giant brain. On earth, scenes of ravishing beauty in a Russian spring provide the serene rural setting from which the hero (Donatas Banionis) takes off. The interior Of the space station looks like others, but the problems of this one are surprisingly human mysteries.
Is the recurring beautiful young woman (Natalya Bondarchuk) who materialises. a resurrection, reincarnation or reproduction of his dead wife, a figment of his imagination to be dismissed in a rocket, or a treat woman to be loved? • The detail is difficult to follow and the pace funereal. But the tense atmosphere is sustained and the mystery made fascinating; and there is no doubt that the film's sympathy is on the side of human feeling.
Sir Alec Guinness is on record as saying how great a strain he found it to play Hitler in Hitler — the last Ten Days ("A", Empire) — and no ,,nder! So consummate is Sir
gift For abstracting himself
trom the characters he plays, that I found I could improbably, incredibly, but absolutely believe in him as Hitler.
My problem with this film was different. tidier. however close to OUT CM Ii lives he came, was such an extraordinary phenomenon that, while totally. beliving in Alec (Wiliness's meticulous performance-and Fantastic exercise of the on ttriiititeart.ton n , I could't believe in i Terence Rattigan's screenplay front his own stage play Bequest to the Nation ("AA". Universal) may not he the most inspired material for a film tihout Nelson. hut it is serviceable enough. No new light may he thron ii inn (he vexing question of a gieal nails ihidiint'. passion for an appareint■ unseetnlv woman. hut the passion is made believable.
Nelson (Peter Finch) can comforuitihblyli.ceit. carry Orr the suggestion of the admiral's petty vanity and greed for p
Glenda Jackson is not ideally cast as Emma. hut she is far too good an actress to he rts bad as her selfcriticism has suggested.
Blood and Sand ("U", Odeon. St. Martin's Lane) seems likely to make the American re % sal or the Rudolph, Valentino cult catch on yet again here. Not only does the y oung Italian's potent magic still work in this 50-year-old Him. large!) because of his priceless gift or seeming to act ill every fibre of his graceful body instead of only the
Cs es mouth.
lie Ibanez story. with its authentic understanding of the simple bullfighter's fears and fervour, is refreshing by the sanity or its Old• fashioned values. To see a hero even hesitate over a temptation to infidelity is an extraordinary relief in this permissive age.
An enlightened move presents Andrzej Waida's new film. The Wi!dyd2i og n a t("tAii A A" ), Bfokr...a Lwaehek ng. frie N. lie e large Polish community there are sure to appreciate this exciting I ilm of one of their great national. play s by the poetic dramatist Wyspianski (".1;‘ 11 ),:diseudblilnetlic90s 7o)f this very comply \ play. which builds from the %%eclding or a poet to a peasant girl layer upon layer of social intellectual, political and historical meaning, are almost bound to be lost on higlish audience. But the film is richly impressive, and I hope it lino wove to Central London and gne inc all opportunity to see it again and to review and recommend it more fully.
Freda Bruce Lockhart