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- A Further Choice of Entertainment Movies From the Golden Age -

ISBN 0246126671

- no dedication -


Many more of LH’s favourites not already covered in Halliwell’s Hundred, but with the format slightly different in that he sticks to one film at a time, rather than bundling similar titles together.  Also there are some films which previously appeared in Hundred which are given dedicated entries here.  Although LH also seems to be worryingly harsh at times in his judgements, he explains why at the foot of the introduction.  The book also includes the following essays:

‘Norman, You’ve Done it Again: Best of the Bad Ones’, which recounts seemingly all the bad films ever made, and culminating in the list ‘Halliwell’s Hall of Humility – 20 films with plenty to be humble about.  This list can be found on the Top Tens page of this website.

‘Books of the Film: A Movie Library’, in which LH gives his recommendations for the best  books on the full range of movie-making and movie-watching subjects.

‘Curiosities of Film Titles: What’s in a Name?’ – about twenty pages on the origin of film titles and other title-related trivia (one of the few times I have found reading Halliwell to be hard work.)





           In presenting more recollections and revaluations of films which, with very few exceptions, were produced between forty and fifty years ago, I have to make it clear that the subjects are not necessarily personal favourites.  Rather they are movies about which there is something of abiding interest to say; movies which seem to deserve honourable mention in their particular aspect of the cinematic art; movies which hold some historical value for students who were not born when they were first released.  That they all, even those which many would consider unsuccessful, are still fun to watch is almost by the way; but most of them have indeed given pleasure, very recently, when Channel Four reintroduced them to millions of viewers who were delighted to discover or reconfirm that wit, style and pictorial panache were readily available so many years before the slick, brash heyday of Messrs Spielberg, Coppola and their millionaire ilk.
            Though the cinema has sometimes been thought of by highbrows as a mere panacea for popular ills, something to keep off the streets people who might otherwise attend football matches, drink beer, or at best read comic strips, the fact is that during both silent and talkie periods it frequently achieved the level of art, and even more frequently provided acute enjoyment for those able to appreciate the sheer professional craft of writer or director, of photographer or actor or editor or production designer, sometimes of all at once.  Many of the results have passed deservedly into the archives, but archives are dry places, seldom frequented, and the films of which I speak are still capable of entertaining a great public.  In retrospect, their reshowing may seem to be one of the great blessings to society bestowed by television; more people will enjoy them on the box in the corner than ever paid to see them in cinemas on their first release.
            Halliwell’s Hundred and Halliwell’s Harvest are dedicated to the proposition that art should not be despised because it is popular.  Some people will also find these films pleasurably nostalgic, and that is in effect not to be derided, for no civilisation can continue to grow without the constant opportunity to review its own past achievements.  Alas, the picture palaces themselves cannot be revived; as I discovered while writing my memoir Seats in All Parts, almost all the temples of yore have been demolished.  Of the twenty-seven cinemas which I used to frequent in my own home town, fewer than half remain as structures and only one is still a cinema, a sparsely filled triple with none of the atmosphere it breathed when crowds ringed the building for its 1937 opening.
            In this book I have appended to my eighty-four revaluations three longer essays which I hope will amuse and even inform: one on film titles, one on film books, and one on films which can be recalled with the perverse enjoyment one so often finds in failure.

Kew 1985

PS        It may be objected that in some cases I have more bad than good to say of my choices.  This is because I am judging by the highest standards I can summon, paying these films the compliment of assuming that, even though they may have been intended only as entertainment for the moment, they still repay analysis half a century later.  In other words I am following the precept of Polonius, being cruel only to be kind.


The films are:


Adam’s Rib (1949)
Alias Nick Beal (1949)
The Best Years of our Lives (1946)
Boomerang (1947)
Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937)
Dad’s Army (1971)
The Dawn Patrol (1938)
Dracula (1931)
E.T. (1982)
The Enforcer (1950)
Escape (1940)
The Face at the Window (1939)
The Fallen Idol (1948)
Father of the Bride (1950)
Fire Over England (1936)
Footlight Parade (1933)
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
G Men (1935)
The Gang’s All Here (1943)
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Goodbye, Mr Chips (1939)
Grand Hotel (1932)
The Great Lie (1941)
Hamlet (1948)
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Here Comes Mr Jordan (1941)
The House on 92nd Street (1945)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Idiot’s Delight (1939)
The Invisible Man (1933)
It’s in the Bag (1945)
Keep Fit (1937)
The Lady Eve (1941)
Lady Killer (1933)
The Last Flight (1931)
Laura (1944)
The Little Foxes (1941)
The Lodger (1944)
Major Barbara (1941)
The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)
The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
Midnight (1939)
Ministry of Fear (1944)
Mr Moto’s Last Warning (1939)
My Favourite Blonde (1942)
My Learned Friend (1943)
A Night in Casablanca (1946)
The Night My Number Came Up (1954)
Night of the Demon (1957)
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Night Train to Munich (1940)
Nothing Sacred (1937)
Now Voyager (1942)
On the Town (1949)
One Hour with You (1932)
The Paleface (1948)
Private’s Progress (1956)
Psycho (1960)
The Quatermass Experiment (1955)
Red Dust (1932)
Roxie Hart (1942)
Sabotage (1936)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
The Seventh Veil (1945)
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Show Business (1944)
The Sign of the Cross (1932)
Spellbound (1945)
The Spiral Staircase (1945)
Stormy Weather (1943)
Summertime (Summer Madness) (1955)
Thunder Rock (1942)
To Have and Have Not (1945)
Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
The Uninvited (1944)
Went the Day Well? (1942)
White Heat (1949)
The Winslow Boy (1948)
Witness for the Prosecution (1958)
The Woman in the Window (1944)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Young in Heart (1938)


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