RABBIT & SNAIL’S FILM TALK reviews and appreciates the greatest films ever made, at least, the greatest films in our opinion.
Each week we add another classic film to our list of the 100 greatest films ever made, by taking an in-depth look at the film and the stars and filmmakers behind it to provide a rich critical review and appreciation of our chosen movie.
Click the title below to watch an individual review or visit our #FILMTALK playlist on our YouTube channel to see every episode.
Our List (So far…)
With special contributions from Brian Reynolds and Phil Campbell, who worked on the first two On the Buses films, we add the classic 1971 British comedy, On the Buses to our list of the 100 greatest films ever made, at least in our opinion. In the first of two special episodes, FILMTALK regulars, Brian and Phil recall their experiences as runners for Hammer Films in the early 1970s and working on the first two films, On the Buses in 1971 and Mutiny on the Buses in 1972. Read our blog post here.
We’ve added Carry On Up the Khyber to our ever growing list of the greatest films ever made, at least the greatest films in our opinion. Film historian and author, Morris Bright MBE reviews Carry On Up the Khyber, which is the 16th in the series of 31 Carry On films that were produced by Peter Rogers between 1958 and 1992. Carry On Up the Khyber stars Carry On regulars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw and Peter Butterworth, with Terry Scott, Julian Holloway and Angela Douglas making a welcome contribution to a wonderful cast. Read our blog post here.
Film historian and author, Morris Bright MBE goes behind the scenes of the classic 1954 British comedy, Doctor in the House, directed by Ralph Thomas and produced by legendary producer Betty Box. This wonderful comedy, based on the book by Richard Gordon, follows a group of students through medical school and stars Dirk Bogarde, Muriel Pavlow, Kay Kendall, Donald Sinden and Kenneth More. It was the most popular box office film of 1954 in the UK and its success led to six film sequels and a long running TV and radio series. Read our blog post here.
Young Frankenstein is Mel Brook’s brilliant 1974 take on the Frankenstein tale, starring Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman and Peter Boyle as the monster. Gene Wilder plays a descendant of the notorious Victor Frankenstein in this parody of Universal’s 1931 classic. Much of the lab equipment used by Mel Brooks was created by Kenneth Strickfaden for Universal’s original production. To evoke the atmosphere of the earlier films, Brooks shot the picture in black and white, and used 1930s’ style opening credits and scene transitions. Read our blog post here.
Genevieve is a classic 1953 British comedy produced and directed by Henry Cornelius, starring John Gregson, Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall as two couples who take part in the London to Brighton veteran car rally. Alan McKim, played by John Gregson, is a young barrister, and his wife, Wendy, played by Dinah Sheridan, drive Genevieve, a 1904 Darracq. Kenneth More plays their friend, Ambrose Claverhouse, a brash advertising salesman, who with his latest girlfriend, fashion model Rosalind Peters played by Kay Kendall, ride in a 1905 Spyker, along with her enormous pet St. Bernard. Read our blog post here.
Zulu is the classic 1964 British war epic telling the heroic story of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, when a small garrison of 150 British soldiers were attacked by over 4,000 Zulu warriors during the Anglo-Zulu War in January 1879. Many of the British soldiers were sick and wounded patients in a field hospital, who, along with a contingent of Army engineers who were attempting to build a bridge, successfully held off the Zulus. The film is directed Cy Endfield, who produced the film along with Stanley Baker and Joseph E. Levine. The film is notable for introducing Michael Caine to the big-screen, who plays the newly appointed Lieutenant Bromhead. Read our blog post here.
Roman Holiday is directed by William Wyler and stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, who plays Ann, a crown princess on a state visit to Rome, who becomes frustrated with her tightly scheduled life and one night sneaks out of her country’s embassy. The delayed effect of a sedative makes her fall asleep on a bench, where Joe Bradley, an expatriate reporter played by Gregory Peck, finds her. Thinking she’s intoxicated, he lets her spend the night in his apartment and Ann’s Roman holiday really starts. Read our blog post here.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise and stars Harrison Ford as archaeologist Indiana Jones, who battles a group of Nazis searching for the Ark of the Covenant. The cast also includes Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, Paul Freeman as French archaeologist René Belloq, John Rhys-Davies as Sallah, Ronald Lacey as Gestapo agent Arnold Toht and Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody. Read our blog post here.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and based on Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, Rebecca was Hitchcock’s first American film, and his first under contract with producer David O. Selznick. The film stars Laurence Olivier as the brooding, aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter and Joan Fontaine as the young woman who becomes his second wife, with Judith Anderson, George Sanders and Gladys Cooper in supporting roles. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1940. Read our blog post here.
A British romantic comedy film directed by David Lean and based on the play by Harold Brighouse. The film stars Charles Laughton as tyrannical Victorian bootmaker Henry Hobson, John Mills as his timid employee Willie Mossop a highly talented bootmaker and Brenda De Banzie as his determined eldest daughter. Read our blog post here.
A classic British comedy with an incredible cast that includes Ian Carmichael, Alastair Sim, Terry-Thomas, Janette Scott, Dennis Price and Peter Jones. The film is directed by Robert Harmer, whose other work reads like a Who’s Who of classic British film, having directed such titles as It Always Rains on Sunday (1947), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Long Memory (1952) and Father Brown (1954). Read our blog post here.
A spectacular 3D computer-animated comedy adventure produced by Pixar Animation Studios in 2009. The film centres around Carl Fredricksen, an elderly widower played by Ed Asner, and an earnest you boy scout called Russell, voiced by Jordan Nagai. Having lost his wife Ellie, Carl is determined to have one more adventure and fulfil a promise he made to her to see the wilds of South America. So he ties thousands of helium balloons to his house in order to be able to fly all the way to Argentina. Championed by Mark Priest. Read our blog post here.
Hammer Films’ 1958 classic horror film directed by Terence Fisher and which starred Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing. Based on Bram Stoker’s novel, the screenplay was written by Jimmy Sangster and built on the success of The Curse of Frankenstein, setting the studio on course to re-establish the Gothic horror film genre. Championed by Phil Campbell. Read our blog post here.
Classic epic comedy from 1963 produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Spencer Tracy along with an incredible all-star cast who get entangled in a madcap pursuit across America to try and find $350,000 in stolen cash that has been hidden beneath ‘a big double-yer’. The cast includes Edie Adams, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Buster Keaton, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas and Jonathan Winters. Championed by Brian Reynolds. Read our blog post here.
The Odd Couple is a classic comedy from 1968, written by the legendary Neil Simon, based on his play of the same name. The film, directed by Gene Saks and starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, tells the story of two divorced men – neurotic neat-freak Felix Ungar and fun-loving slob Oscar Madison – who decide to live together, even though their personalities clash. Championed by Morris Bright. Read our blog post here.
The Quiet Man is a 1952 romantic comedy-drama directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond and Victor McLaglen. The film is notable for Winton Hoch’s lush photography of the Irish countryside and a long, climactic, semi-comic fist fight. Championed by Mark Priest. Read our blog post here.
Stars Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Peter Sellers, Margaret Rutherford. Virginia and Bill play a young couple who inherit a cinema from a great uncle. When they look over their new property, they discover that it’s the old decrepit Bijou Kinema sandwiched between two railway bridges, nicknamed by its patrons as “flea pit”. Championed by Phil Campbell. Read our blog post here.
Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, Stanley Baker and directed by J Lee Thompson. The Guns of Navarone was produced by Carl Forman and based on the bestselling novel of the same name, written by Alistair MacLean. Championed by Brian Reynolds.
The League of Gentlemen is a 1960 British criminal comedy film directed by Basil Dearden and starring Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey, and Richard Attenborough. It is based on the 1958 novel The League of Gentlemen by John Boland and adapted by Bryan Forbes, who also starred in the film. Championed by Morris Bright.
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second instalment of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, starring an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. Championed by Mark Priest.
The Railway Children is a 1970 British drama film based on the novel of the same name by E. Nesbit. The film was directed by Lionel Jeffries, and stars Dinah Sheridan, Jenny Agutter (who had earlier featured in the successful BBC’s 1968 dramatisation of the novel), Sally Thomsett and Bernard Cribbins in leading roles. The film was released to cinemas in the United Kingdom on 21 December 1970. Championed by Phil Campbell. Read our blog past here.
12 Angry Men is Sidney Lumet’s classic 1957 courtroom drama with an impressive cast that includes Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall, Jack Warden and Jack Klugman. Adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose, the film tells the story of a jury of 12 men as they deliberate the conviction or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt, forcing the jurors to question their morals and values. Championed for a position on our list of the 100 greatest films ever made by Brian Reynolds. Read our blog post here.
When a great white shark attacks the swimmers off the New England seaside town of Amity, local sheriff, played by Roy Scheider has to take on the local mayor as well as the shark to keep the residents safe. This classic film from 1975 was directed by a young Stephen Spielberg, which despite going significantly over schedule and budget, helped to make his name as an outstanding director. Championed by Mark Priest. Read our blog post here.
Victim is a classic 1961 British suspense film directed by Basil Dearden and starring Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms. Bogarde plays a successful barrister, Melville Farr, who has a thriving London practice and is on course to become a judge and is happily married to Laura, played by Sylvia Syms. Farr is approached by Jack, a working class man with whom he had a brief relationship. Farr turns him away, suspecting that he is attempting to blackmail him, but Jack has fallen victim to blackmailers himself and is desperate for help. Championed by Morris Bright. Read our blog post here.
Classic disaster film based on Paul Gallico’s bestselling novel. As was typical of many subsequent disaster films of the era, it starred an incredible ensemble cast, including five Academy Award winners, Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Albertson, Shelley Winters and Red Buttons, with many of the interior shots being filled on the iconic RMS Queen Mary. Championed by Mark Priest. Read out blog post here.
A highly acclaimed and multi-award winning musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Directed by Damien Chazelle, La La Land tells the story of a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress, who fall in love while trying to realise their dreams in modern-day Los Angeles. La La Land was critically praised, especially for Chazelle’s screenplay and direction, Gosling and Stone’s performances, Justin Hurwitz’s musical score and Mandy Moore’s choreography. The film went on to sweep the board at just about every award ceremony over the coming year. Championed by Morris Bright MBE. Read our blog post here.
Classic 1991 psychological thriller based on Thomas Harris’s book and directed by Jonathan Demme that introduced us to Hannibal Lecter, played brilliantly by Anthony Hopkins. The film, which also stars Jodie Foster, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, and Anthony Heald, follows rookie FBI agent, Clarice Starling, played by Foster, who is sent to try to elicit the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer to help her apprehend another serial killer, known only as “Buffalo Bill”, who skins his female victims. Championed by Mark Priest. Read our blog post here.
Science-fiction comedy directed by Dean Parisot, which takes a warm-hearted dip into the intergalactic world classic science-fiction films and TV series, and their incredibly enthusiastic fans. Galaxy Quest, starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman, follows the cast of a defunct cult television series suddenly visited by real aliens who believe the programme was actually a documentary. The former cast members are reunited once again and this time find themselves taking on a very real space adventure. Championed by Phil Campbell. Read our blog post here.
Martin Scorsese’s 1990 Goodfellas stars Robert de Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, telling the story of the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill, his friends and his family over a twenty-five year period between 1955 and 1980. Goodfellas is based on Nicholas Pileggi’s non-fiction book, Wiseguy published in 1985. The film was a huge success at the box-office and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, with Pesci winning for Best Supporting Actor. The film also won five BAFTA awards, including Best Film and Best Director. Championed by Morris Bright MBE. Read our blog post here.
Ridley Scott’s epic 2000 historical drama, Gladiator is set in AD 180 and tells the story of Hispano-Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius. Emperor Marcus Aurelius tells Maximus that his own son, Commodus, is unfit to rule, and that he wishes Maximus to succeed him. Commodus, murders his father, seizes the throne and attempts kills Maximus’ family. Reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the gladiatorial ranks to avenge his family and the emperor. Stars Russell Crowe, Connie Nielsen, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris and Oliver Reed. Championed by Mark Priest. Read our blog post here.
Billy Wilder’s classic 1960 romantic comedy, The Apartment, stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, ably supported by Fred MacMurray. The story sees insurance clerk, CC Baxter, played by Jack Lemmon, attempt to climb the career ladder by allowing a selection of senior management from his office to use his Upper West Side apartment to continue their nefarious extramarital affairs. Championed by Phil Campbell. Read our blog post here.
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1954 thriller stars James Stewart as a freelance photographer, more used to war zones and high-octane sporting events, laid up in his apartment with a broken leg. With only his observations of his neighbours to help pass the time he begins to suspect that one of them may have committed a murder, and along with his girlfriend, played by the exquisite Grace Kelly, they set about investigating. Championed by Morris Bright. Read our blog post here.
Euan Lloyd’s explosive production sees mercenaries Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and Hardy Kruger stranded in Africa having been double-crossed by their paymaster. They can either stay and be killed or fight their way out and risk starting a war. Championed by Mark Priest. Read our blog post here.
Charlie Chaplin’s iconic 1936 statement on the effects of the mass production on the world sees his familiar tramp character struggling to survive in a modern industrial society, starring Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard. Championed by Hammer Runner, Phil Campbell. Read our blog post here.
Billy Wilder’s amazing comedy, starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. Witnesses to a vicious St Valentine’s Day gangster massacre, musicians Curtis and Lemon take off and hide out as saxophonist and bass player in an all-girl jazz band. Championed by Morris Bright. Read our blog post here.