When the fish out of water meets the stranger comes to town, you get the odd couple. The pleasures of The Guard come from the knowing way the writer-director plays with genre.
In another universe Skyfall would have been the final Bond film. The villain is the security services, seen in the shadows in a darkened mirror.
‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is thought of as a Christmas film about virtue being recognised. But Capra’s movie is also about the ties that bind communities together.
‘Silk Stockings’ is one of the last musicals from MGM producer Arthur Freed. It can be read as a commentary on the whole genre, as it’s made obsolete by rock ‘n’ roll.
My Favorite Wife reunited Cary Grant and Irene Dunne for a quirky comedy. It doesn’t quite work, but it has some fine comic moments.
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon is one of 14 Holmes films pumped out during and after World War II, updated to the time. This is Holmes as propaganda.
Director Leo McCarey remade Love Affair almost two decades later as An Affair to Remember, with almost the same script. This version has a lighter touch.
If you’re making a film about taking 350,000 men off a beach, you need more extras–or CGI.
Men in Tights is Mel Brooks’ genre spoof on Robin Hood. The screenwriters found some entertaining ways to make sure the audience was up with the story.
Ridley Scott’s telling of the Robin Hood story feels like the post-financial crisis version. This is Robin Hood as Everyman.