Basil Dearden – The Assassination Bureau Limited (1969)

From IMDB:
This charming film, made when Oliver Reed and Diana Rigg were at the height of their appeal, is what they used to call a “romp”, when it wasn’t considered to be a putdown. Reed, as Ivan, born and bred to lead an international group of highly-placed assassins, is hired by would-be reporter Sonia (Rigg) to have his group kill him, and realizing that his house badly needs some cleaning out, Ivan accepts the commission. The rest is a whirlwind tour of Europe, taking out substantial portions of the terrain as they go, avoiding bungled attempts on his life as he tries to track down the traitors who would turn the Bureau into a political machine. The dialogue is refreshingly devoid of political correctness, but maintains a firm respect between the unlikely couple as they go from bickering rivalry to bickering fondness. Guest villains include Clive Revill as a gluttonous Italian, and sad stories include the accidental demise of Roger Delgado (Dr. Who, the first Master) while on location. Much worth the time and effort Continue reading

Basil Dearden – Frieda (1947)

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson

The problem of “enemy” war brides was eloquently addressed in the British drama Frieda. In her English-language film debut, Mai Zetterling plays the title character, the German wife of RAF officer Robert (David Farrar). Though an avowed anti-Nazi, Frieda faces acrimony and prejudice when introduced to Robert’s friends and family. The problem is exacerbated by the arrival of her brother Ricky (Albert Levien), ostensibly a conscript in the Polish army but actually an unregenerate disciple of Hitler. A satisfactory ending is reached only when everyone-Ricky included-learns to stop hating and to bury the past. Based on a play by Ronald Miller, Frieda was released in the US by Universal, shorn of but one minute of its original running time. Continue reading

Basil Dearden – Cage of Gold (1950)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Cage of Gold was a rare non-comic effort from Britain’s Ealing Studios. Jean Simmons stars as Judith, who awakens the morning after her wedding to discover that her new husband has deserted her. Later on, she is told that her husband is dead. After a period of mourning, Judith remarries–only to be subjected to blackmail by husband number one. It’s all a racket, of course, but Judith doesn’t go to the police until it’s almost too late. Featured in the cast of Cage of Gold as a slimy smuggler is Herbert Lom, who later gained worldwide fame as Inspector Dreyfus in the “Pink Panther” comedies. Continue reading

Basil Dearden – All Night Long (1962)

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Synopsis:

“At an East London warehouse jazz party, a drummer plots his revenge on the people who thwarted his ambitions by spreading rumours and lies amongst them.”
– Screenonline

“The film, based on Othello, is neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best Jazz musicians of the period – including Dave Brubeck and Charlie Mingus.”
– IMDb Continue reading