Movies – L

Last Waltz, The (1978)

This record of The Band‘s last concert – after sixteen years on the road – was shot on Thanksgiving Day 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Apart from the five band members – Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Rick Danko – a wealth of musical talent was there, both(…)

Laughter in Paradise (1951)

Four beneficiaries of a practical joker’s will are each set to receive a substantial sum of money, but only if they fulfil certain outrageous condition Films made up of interwoven stories are notoriously difficult to do well, as it’s all too easy either to lose the thread of the difficult episodes or to become impatient(…)

Lavender Hill Mob, The (1951)

One of the finest British comedies ever made, this delightful caper movie stars Alex Guinness as Holland – a mild-mannered bank clerk who decides to pull off an amazing bullion theft and puts together the most unlikely gang imaginable to carry out his scheme. Inevitably the robbery, which was planned to occur while the bullion(…)

Lawnmower Man, The (1992)

Government scientist Lawrence Angelo discovers that he can enhance the intelligence of chimpanzees using drugs and computer technology. Troubled by the moral implications of his work, Angelo resigns, but continues his research privately by experimenting on amiable but simple-minded gardener Jobe Smith. The once eye-popping special effects are the real attraction of this science-fiction tale,(…)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

When my dad took me to see this film at the cinema in Mexborough (South Yorkshire) my tiny schoolboy mind was much puzzled that nobody else noticed the glaring continuity error. Within seconds of the curtain going up, Lawrence dies on his motorbike at the beginning of the film. And yet, unperturbed by his own death he goes(…)

Leather Boys, The (1964)

Cosseted 16-year-old Dot (Rita Tushingham) and ton-up biker Reggie (Colin Campbell) are a couple of school sweethearts who marry hastily and quickly learn about the follies and hardships of wedlock. The teen marriage gets off to a rocky start when their Butlin’s honeymoon at Bognor Regis is a washout – and domestic life in London is(…)

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic, drives to Las Vegas after being fired from his film production job with the intention of drinking himself to death within four weeks. In Vegas he meets Sera, a self-assured young prostitute, and, with each pledging not to try to change the other’s chosen destiny, they fall in love and carry(…)

Legend (1985)

Three years after delivering audiences a glimpse of Los Angeles AD2019 (in Blade Runner), director Ridley Scott turned his hand to complete fairy tale indulgence. Visually inspired by the 1946 version of Beauty and the Beast (lavish sets and an emphasis on iconic monsters misunderstood), Tom Cruise stars as the handsome suitor battling the Lord of Darkness (the(…)

Legend of Frenchie King, The (1971)

A French Western comedy originally released as Les Pétroleuses. Outlaw sisters in the old West inherit a ranch and try to settle down and develop relationships with neighbouring family of lots of brothers. Louise King Brigitte Bardot Maria Sarrazin Claudia Cardinale Sheriff Michael J. Pollard Aunt Amelie Micheline Presle Mark Georges Beller Virginia Emma Cohen Dr.(…)

Legend of Hell House, The (1973)

Dying millionaire Roland Culver offers a handsome reward to scientist Clive Revill and psychics Pamela Franklin and Roddy McDowall if they can discover the secret of the afterlife in a house with a history of violent hauntings. As the forces of evil are unleashed upon them, they quickly come to regret taking part in the(…)

Legends of The Fall (1994)

Anthony Hopkins plays stern patriarch and ex-cavalry man William Ludlow, whose disgust at the actions of his own government during the Indian Wars leads him to bring up his three sons Alfred, Samuel and Tristan (Aidan Quinn, Henry Thomas and Brad Pitt) on a remote ranch near the Montana Rockies. Their lifestyle is irreversibly changed when(…)

Lenny (1974)

Filthy-mouthed, heroin-addicted sociopath Lenny Bruce is not the kind of heroic biographical subject that draws crowds, but Bob Fosse’s tight direction and Dustin Hoffman’s mesmerising central performance as the self-destructive comic makeLenny a controversial film worth serious study. Drug addiction, continual arrests for obscenity, and a desperate struggle to open the world’s eyes to the ugliness(…)

Leon (1995)

Savant hit man Leon (Jean Reno) runs his professional and personal life with little – if any – emotion. He shuffles desperately through crowds in an attempt to remain unnoticed, and always sleeps in a seated position with a gun at his side. The character initially appears ‘slow’, until we see him on a job(…)

Less Than Zero (1987)

Less Than Zero begins promisingly enough with a cynical shot of the American flag and an azure Californian sky dotted with high school mortar boards – jubilantly thrown into the air by the latest class of graduates, three of whom we are about to watch disintegrate. Unfortunately, by the time we’re 75% of the way through,(…)

Let It Be (1970)

Originally arranged as rehearsals for a one-off live show, the TV documentary/concert McCartney envisioned devolved instead into a depressing fly-on-the-wall ogle at The Beatles‘ dissolution. Lindsay-Hogg deliberately placed cameras where the band wouldn’t notice them, giving us the first rockumentary to capture – without commentary – the end of a musical dream, vision, and era.(…)

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