Wilcox. US. 1949) Margaret O‘Brien. Helen Marshall. Gladys Cooper. 92 ntins. Sumptuous MGM adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic novel about a young orphan girl staying with her crotchcty uncle. Director Wilcox later went on to make Forbidden Planet. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I She's Olll OI Control ( 12) (Stan Dragoti. US. I990) Tony Danza. Amy Dolenz. Wallace Shawn. 97 mins. With a little help from her pop's girlfriend speccy Californian 15 year-old Dolenzovernight becomes a nubile nymphet. much to dad Danza's consternation. Asadmiration from the local male teenfolk starts queuing round the block. the old man seeks the help of populist selfhclp shrink Shawn and mounts an increasingly incompetent surveillance campaign. Despite a few lines that would make the most stalwart People‘s Friend subscriber squirm with embarassmcnt. this is a fairly enjoyable if predictable moi ality comedy for undcmanding youngsters Central: Caledonian.
I Spaced Invaders (PU) (Patrick Read Johnson. US. 1990) Douglas Barr. Royal Dano. Ariana Richards. 90 mins. ()n the 501h anniversary of ()rson Welles‘ original War Of The Worlds radio broadcast a gang of cuddly aliens land on Earth to begin their quest for world domination front the unlikely base of Big Bean. Illinois. ()nly the intervention of Sheriff Barr and curmudgeonly farmer Royal Danocan save the planet from Lieutenant Blaznee (a fashionable ‘Jack Nicholson lfl spacc' it says here) and his pumpkin-headed mob ofextraterrestrials. Edinburgh: l'Cl Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr. L'CI Clydebank. WMR Film Centre.
I Stella ( 15) (John Erman. US. 1990) Bette Midlcr. Trini Alvarado. John Goodman. 114 mins. See review. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon. UCI. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride.
I Three Women In Love Der I’Iii‘lnwp/i ( 18) (Rudolph Thome. W. Germany. 1989) Johannes Ilerschmann. Adriana Altaras. Frederike Herrschrnann. 8-1 mins. To celebrate the publication of his book on Heraclitus. an ascetic young philosopher goes to buy himself a new shit and manages to attract the attention of three shop girls who persuade him to move in with them. Male fantasy territory maybe. but Thome‘s lightness oftouch in thistalc of faux naivetc assures that it passesoff with much good-humourcd irony. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
ITotal Recall (18) (Paul Verhoeven. CS. 1990) Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sharon Stone. Michael lronside. 109 mins. In Verhoeven‘s hugely expensive rollcrcoaster of violence Arnie plays an ordinary construction worker whose trip to vacational fantasy implant service Rekall Incorporated is to pitch him intoan unpredictable netherworld of niurdcrotis assassins and femmes fatales before unleashing the full truth about his nightmares of life on Mars. The crazy Dutchman‘s Martian chronicle. teeming with sicko incident. is powered along by bursts ofgee-ain't-this-fun-brutality but scores points for the playful ingenuity of the plotting. and Arnie looks like he‘s enjoying himself. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: ()deon. l'CI. Central: Cannon. Regal. Strathclyde: La Scala. UCI Clydebank. L'CI East Kilbride.
I Treasure Island (PG) (Fraser I leston. US/UK. 1990) Charlton Heston. Christian Bale. Christopher Lee. I33 mins. Well. shiver me timbers if it ain't Cap'n I Ieston pere with only one leg and a parrot hamming away in this new version ofthc Robert Louis Stevenson tale. And blow me if it ain't that Master Bale from Empire of The Sun in the role of Jim lad. More than that we daren‘t say. except toadd that our critical black spot is on its way to writer/producer/director Heston fils. care
24Thc List 14 ~ 27 September 1990
Stella (15) (John Erman, US, 1990) Bette Midler, Trini Alvarado, John Goodman, Stephen Collins. 114 mins. ‘It's a weepie,‘ said the usherette who had to hand everyone going into the preview screening a special promotional pack of paper tissues. Little did she, or the makers of Stella for that matter, know that two hours later I'd be using them to wipe away tears of laughter. Bette Midler being funny, that's sad: Bette Midler being serious. now that‘s what I call funny.
You know, I wonder myself sometimes 3
whetherl am in fact a particularly harmless kind of pervert.
Anyway, back to good old Bette. In this remake of a veteran sudser (Barbara Stanwyck starred in King Vidor's superior 1937 vintage), Midler is a poor but big-hearted barmaid, not averse to a bit of pseudo-stripping on top of the tables but an honest sort nonetheless. Triumphing over a face and figure resembling an expressionist toby jug, she gets herself pregnant by suave medic Collins, refuses his offer of marriage and has the child nonetheless. The brat grows up to be Alvarado, an ambitious teenagerwho
has the potential to study her way out of the grotty surroundings she inhabits with her mother, providing, that is, she stays out of bad company.
Hamming home the message of the class divide are regular visits to pa's quuroius lifestyle with glitzy career woman Marsha Mason, which serve to make her even more unhappy at home. When ma Midler disgraces herself on a swanky holiday in front of her
daughter's rich pals, the distance between mother and offspring grows wider, and Bette is faced with the idea of making the ultimate sacrifice for her youngster‘s future.
With its central motivating factor the deep gulf between grimy soulful haves and glitzy enviable have-hots, there's something frreconcilably old- fashioned about the whole affair, and instead of a morality tale for our times it comes across as a familiar wallow in ye olde Hollywood melodrama. Except that Mfdler is no Stanwyck, no Crawford, no Lana Turner even. and as she mugs away, wrinkling herface up like a weatherbeaten bulldog, it all becomes too silly for words. The readership of The People's Friend may not react this way, but as the final scene hit home and the heartstrings were not so much pulled as wrenched out of their sockets, Mr Sickie here was wiggling his legs in the air with glee. (TrevorJohnston)
From Fri 21. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.
of the Admiral Benbow sushi bar. Burbank. Edinburgh: ()deon. I The Unbearable Lightness of Being ( 18) (Philip Kaufman. US. I987) Daniel Day-Lewis. Juliette Binoche. Lena ()Iin. 167 mins. Ambitious adaptation of Milan Kundcra‘s complex novel about a womanising Czech brain surgeon who falls in love for the first time with adoe-likc small-town beauty. Abandoning his freewheeling existence. he embraces commitment at the time of the Russian invasion of I968. A dawdling and rather austere narrative is given some spice and interest by an overwhelming eroticism. a beautifully judged evocation of Prague and gorgeous photography. ()thcrwisc vastly overlong and uninvolving. Glasgow: Grosvenor. I Waiting For The Light (PG) (Christopher Monger. LS. 1989) Shirley Maclainefl‘eri Garr. Clancy Brown. 102 mins. Sec preview. Edinburgh: Dominion. I The War of the Roses ( 15) (Danny DeVito. US. 1989) Michael Douglas. Kathleen Turner. Danny DeVito. Marianne Sagebrecht. llo mins. De\'ito's second movie is a searingly bleak. anti-divorce comedy. in which hisold collaborators Douglas and Turner play ()liver and Barbara Rose. an idyllic happy couple who turn vicious when their marriage turns sour. It shares with their earlier Throw Momma From the Train a delight in nastiness and a I litchcokian control of image and tension. The wee man himself takes an unusually straight cameo role as the lawyer trying to prevent disaster. A truckload ofunComfortable laughs. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. ' I White Hunter. Black Heart ( PU) ((‘Iint Eastwood. US. 1991)) Clint Eastwood. Jeff Fahey. George Dzundza. l 12 mins. Adapted from writer Peter Viertel‘s fictional chronicle of his experiences with obsessive and occasionally irresponsible director John Huston while preparing The African Queen on location in what's now Zimbabwe. Eastwood's latest sterling effort as director is not so much an arid exercise in cinephile archaeology as an indulgently affectionate picture ofthc old-style filmmaker adventurer at play. sleeves rolled up in a llemmingwayesque struggle against the oncoming barrage of experience. As actor. however. Clint turns in what's arguany his best
performance. a take on the Huston drawl that’s not quite an impersonation but definitely does step outside the star's usual heroic persona. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: ()deon. UCI.
I White South Africans ( 15) Showing as part of SECI IABA. meaning Notion. a lb-day festival of Cultural Resistance to Apartheid. this programme of films looks at the reaction of white South Africansto the tensions of change within the country. Guy Spiller's short documentary The Boxer. for instance. focuses on a young fighter as the representative ofthc country‘s white working class forced to reevaluate its position in the current climate of social turmoil. Glasgow: GFI‘. I Why Me? ( 15) (Gene Quintano. LS. 1989) Christopher Lloyd. Christopher Lambert. Kim Griest. 87 mins. The Byzantine Fire is a priceless ruby en route from CS officialdom back home to the Turkish authorities when it's nabbed by a gangof unruly Armenian freedom fighters. They in turn have it snaffled from their possession by top safccrackers Lambert 'n' Lloyd. who soon have everyone so far mentioned on their tails in a madcap effort to get the hottest ofhot rocks back. Reasonablyentertaining second-line caper with a few robustly comic moments amidst the predictable plotting. Edinburgh: Cannon.
I Wild Al Heart ( IS) ( David Lynch. US. 1990) Nicholas Cage. Laura Dern. Diane Ladd. Willem Dafoc. I37 mins. Lynch's much-hyped Cannes prize-w inner turns out to be weird and wondrous in itsown way. if not quite as cohesive as the earlier Blue Velvet. Cage and Dern are the energetic young lovers on the run. pursued by uItrastrange hitman Dafoe on a sotnetimes comic. sometimes disturbing. trail towards the ultimate rendezvous with Elvis and the Wizard of ()z. Aside from lovingly detailing the pernicious influence of pop kitsch upon our very consciousness however. the movie isn't really about anything. even if it is a helluva trip. Glasgow: GI’I‘. Edinburgh: Cameo. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank.
I Wild Orchid (Zalman King. L'S. I990) Mickey Rourke. Carrie ()tis. Jacqueline Bisset. l 12 mins. More ofthc same from Zalman King. the man whose previous offerings have created their own subgenrc
of pretentious. irritating. sofcore humbug. or PISII as we in the trade call it. Thistime it's vacuous young innocent ()tis. who is inducted into a whole new world of simulated sensuality by pervs of the week Bisset and Rourke when she goes toclosc on a property deal in world lambada capital Rio de Janeiro. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: L'CI. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride. I The Witches (PG) (Nicholas Roeg. US. 1990) Anjelica Huston. Mai Zetterling. Rowan Atkinson. 92 mins. Nine year-old Luke is warned by his Norwegian granny about the everpresent threat posed by the existence of witches. which isn't much help actually because within the next half hour he stumbles on their annual convention in a small English hotel and gets himselfchanged into a mouse for his pains. A pleasing adaption of Roald Dahl's children‘s story has director Roeg (in unusually straightforward manner) creating a superior kids movie that has you rooting for the mice all the way. Lotsof fun. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon. ()deon Ayr. I The Wizard Ol 02 ( PG) (Victor Fleming. US. 1939) Judy Garland. Frank Morgan. Ray Bolger. Bert Lahr. Jack Haley. Margaret Hamilton. Toto. 102 mins. Miserable Dorothv runs away from home but is soon whisked up into a magical land where her adventures teach her that happiness is to be found in her own back yard. Classic stuff indeed. just chockfulof great songs. characterisation and memorably garish design. Perhaps marginally less enjoyable for the curmudgeonly element rooting for the Wicked Witch OfThe West though. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I You Only Live Once (PG) (Fritz Lang. US. 1937) Ilenry Fonda. Sylvia Sidney. Barton Maclaine. 86 mins. Hugely inﬂuential lovers-on-the-run movie that looks forward to the likes of Penn's Bonnie and ( 'lyde. Godard‘s Pierrot Le Fou and even David Lynch's Wild/It Heart. as petty criminal Fonda and wife Sidney's attempts to go straight result in them being framed for a bank robbery. hounded by police and the media. and
desperately looking for an escape.