An honourable film death: Marge from Jaws 2

Marge vs Shark

You have to pity poor Marge from Jaws 2. She is just one of the very unlucky ones who gets eaten by the shark in this film.

Her death resonates because she manage to survive pretty close to the end of the film and then hops into the water to pull out Sean Brody and ends up getting eaten herself. The scene is actually quite horrific and probably the most powerful death scene in Jaws 2.

What makes her passing more poignant is the fact that pretty much all of her friends who are stranded with her out at sea manage to survive. Had she not gone into the water, maybe Sean would have been eaten instead. If Sean had been eaten he would not have been in Jaws 3 or Jaws The Revenge…maybe those sequels would never have been made! Can you imagine a world without Jaws The Revenge?!

Marge says very little in the film and does not get much screen time except for the harrowing moment where she is attacked. So this post is a favourable nod to the admirable Marge who is both heroic and tragic.

 

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Why Les Diaboliques remains one of the best film thrillers of all time

Prepare to be suitably thrilled and chilled

H.G. Clouzot’s 1955 thriller Les Diaboliques is a tour-de-force of filmmaking. I watched this for the first time last time and my goodness, I was gripped from start to finish.

With many similarities to Hitchcock in the way a darstedly murder plot slowly unveils and the tension starts to creak out of every scene, the film had a startling effect on me and one I had not experienced for a long time.

The tale of a husband, his long-suffering wife and his mistress. The two women conspire and drown the ghastly headmaster , leaving his body in the depths of a swimming pool. But when his body mysteriously vanishes, the film finds an even darker, murkier tone where nobody can be trusted.

The final half hour of this film had me feeling a sense of dread, that feeling where you know something terrible is about to happen but you’re not sure when. Some genuinely chilling moments made for a truly compelling thriller.

Simone Signoret excels as the mistress,  where French chic goes hand-in-hand with an ice cold demeanour. Her lover played by Paul Meurisse is repellent from the outset and delights in bossing his women about.

Les Diaboliques is a murder mystery with a difference and expertly shot in a way that creates an atmosphere of absolute trepidation and paranoia. I urge anyone who likes a good thriller to see this French classic.

A brief guide to the Star Wars universe: Swilla Corey

Swilla Corey

What can we say about Swilla? She likes animals and nicking things, she lives on Tatooine and she appears in A New Hope.

There are not that many female characters within Star Wars. Leia Mon Mothma and Beru Lars are three of the big names, but you will rarely see Swilla Corey mentioned.

Blessed with startling blue eyes and blonde locks, she could easily have been a romantic rival for the affections of Han Solo…or any vaguely attractive creature on Tatooine.

Character cool factor: 6

Most likely to: pick your pocket

Least likely to: Replace Leia as the Star Wars pin-up girl

On the Christmas wishlist – a Demiguise from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

But how to find a Demiguise if they’re invisible?

Having recently watched Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which is a two hour blast of enormous fantasy-laden fun, I was left with a particularly strong urge to own a Demiguise. That’s the Demiguise in the picture, an ape like creature with silky grey hair. It may well be one of the best movie creatures since Gizmo from Gremlins and the best thing with silky grey hair since Helen Mirren.

They don’t eat meat, so that would save on food bills, I could just plonk it out in the garden in an overgrown corner. Plus the fact that they can turn invisible would be ideal for when you had friends round for dinner, as the Demiguise could be preparing the meal while completely invisible and your guests would be utterly astonished and impressed with your technologically advanced kitchen.

Granted, there were other rather fantastic beasts in the film, but this was the one who resonated with me. I’ll have three please, in time for Christmas!

 

Back to Crab Key island for Craig’s next Bond film?

Why location matters in James Bond

When you think of James Bond, does your mind instantly pick out the locations? I know mine does, where I think ‘oh yes, that’s the one set in Jamaica or Japan’.

One of the most resonating locations to date has been Crab Key island in the 1962 film Dr. No. The scenery is quite simply stunning, beautiful beaches, palms, crystal clear waters and that is before Honey Ryder has emerged from the ocean in her bikini!

I would love to see Daniel Craig’s fifth Bond outing back in Jamaica. A return to Crab Key island would be thrilling, just to see how the island has changed. I wonder has it been left untouched by man and is it still a secluded paradise?

Daniel could of course have another coming out of the ocean moment (as seen in Casino Royale). That would surely cement his legacy as Bond for ever!

If they are running short of baddies, why not bring in Dr.No’s brother, Dr. Yes. An exceedingly positive villian who just cannot resist doing the right thing.

Men in movies with exceptionally good hair – Part 2: Brad Pitt from A River Runs Through It

A suitably preened looking Pitt

It’s that sort of classic all-American preppy look that has never quite gone out of fashion and never sported so well as by Brad Pitt in the film A River Runs Through It.

Even in 1992 when this film first made an impact, Brad Pitt was a frontrunner in the hairstyle and fashion stakes.

Here he is demonstrating how to master the art of parting the hair on the side, slicking it back without overdoing the brylcreem and not managing to look too smarmy; all things your everyday man-about-town would never be able to achieve.

Weird movie creatures who would make a good friend: Ludo from Labyrinth

Introducing the hairy Ludo

Have you ever watched a film and thought ‘I bet I would have got on well with that character in real life’. I think a prime example of a movie character who would make a great friend for anyone in real life is Ludo from the 1986 film Labyrinth.

This magnificent hairy beast befriends lead character Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) and is fairly central to the plot. It is often the larger than life cumbersome creatures who evoke feelings of sympathy from viewers and Ludo does just that, in a similar fashion to the feelings the monster of Frankenstein stirs in the 1931 original.

I remember when I first saw the character of Ludo and felt immediate warmth towards him. Slightly blundering yet fiercely loyal, Ludo is a typical Jim Henson creation and comes to life superbly on screen.

What film characters could you imagine being your friend in real life? How about Hagrid from Harry Potter or Slimer from Ghostbusters?

 

 

Men in movies with exceptionally good hair – Part 1: Columbo from For Your Eyes Only

The way a side-parting should be

Columbo from the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only is one of only a handful of men who can confidently wear a side-parting and look cool. A wonderful character and ally of Bond, Columbo proves himself invaluable to Bond in helping to thwart the ghastly plans of villian Kristatos, whose hair is not as much of talking point, though it might get its own post later.

Played with warmth and understated charm by Topol, Columbo is without a doubt one of the most fun characters to have ever appeared in a Bond film and also one of the characters with the best side-parting.

Which Bond character, Bond asaide do you think rocks the best hairstyle?

 

A brief guide to the Star Wars universe: Kardue’sai’Malloc

Kardue’sai’Malloc

No, it’s not the Devil, though he does bear an unccany ressemblance. This character appeared in Star Wars – A New Hope and can be seen in the infamous Cantina scene, lurking in the shadows.

Kardue worked as an army captain and a spy (using the name Labria) and was apparently a collector of musical recordings. He also has rather yellowed teeth!

Character cool factor: 8

Most likely to: show you his record collection

Least likely to: look good in a baseball cap

The best James Bond companion ever – Kerim Bey

Image showing Kerim Bey from From Russia with Love

Why the moustached one is Bond’s best ally

Kerim Bey from the James Bond film From Russia With Love has to be one of the best companions that Bond has ever had. I may be slightly biased because From Russia With Love is one of my favourite Bond films and also one of the best novels by Fleming.

Kerim Bey is played with affectionate charm by Pedro Armendáriz. He is on-screen for a lot of the film and paved the way for many other loyal allies, such as Columbo and Mathis.

Impeccably dressed in his grey suit and well manicured, Bey lights up every scene he is in and plays off Connery superbly. The chemistry is maginificent to watch and Bey’s demise is genuinely moving. I always felt had they kept the character alive he and Bond would have had many other encounters.

His finest scene? On the train, when he says to his captive “I’ve had a particularly fascinating life – would you like to hear about it?” I reckon a whole film about Kerim Bey’s coloured life would have been just thrilling.