Movies – W

Women in Love (1969)

Two D.H. Lawrence creations bookended the 1960s: the obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1963 (the year in which Philip Larkin alleged that sexual intercourse began) and the international hit that Ken Russell made of Women in Love. Gerald Crich (Oliver Reed) and Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates) are best friends who fall in love(…)

Wonderful Life (1964)

After losing his job as an entertainer on a cruise ship, Johnnie (Cliff Richard) and his backing band (The Shadows) are cast away on a tropical island where they encounter a film group on location. Johnnie is hired as a stuntman, and his friendship with timid leading lady Jenny (Susan Hampshire) has a dramatic effect. The(…)

Wonderwall (1968)

A gloriously meaningless head-trip about Oscar Collins (Jack MacGowran) – a doddering eccentric old scientist who discovers a secret window into the endless sex life of gorgeous nymph Jane Birkin (Serge Gainsbourg’s main squeeze and co-moaner of Je T’aime Moi Non Plus) amid psychedelic butterfly effects and swirling sitars. Oscar lives a quiet life, retreating to his small(…)

Wooden Horse, The (1950)

The Wooden Horse tells the true story of the escape in Summer 1943 of three English prisoners from Stalag Luft III – a Luftwaffe-run prisoner of war camp for Allied aircrew during World War II – using a vaulting horse to hide their tunnel. The action only really becomes compelling outside Stalag Luft III as the escapees(…)

Woodstock (1970)

The 1969 outdoor rock festival called Woodstock (although it was actually held on Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm near Bethel, New York) gave its name to a generation and came to symbolise the peace and love movement of the late 1960s. For three days, over 500,000 fans overwhelmed the facilities and when the rains came the(…)

Work Is a Four Letter Word (1967)

David Warner and scouse songbird Cilla Black star in this delightfully-absurd film, set in a near future dominated by automation. Young Valentine Brose (Warner) is on a mission to grow a crop of psychedelic mushrooms to promote happiness for the overworked masses of Great Britain (I kid you not!) Under pressure from his fiancée (Cilla), he takes a(…)

Working Girl (1988)

An ambitious and capable secretary (Griffith) from the wrong side of town – she commutes from Staten Island daily – can’t get ahead by the rules, so she pretends to be her own boss, while proper boss Sigourney Weaver is laid up sick in hospital. Along the way she attracts business-wiz Harrison Ford. A captivating(…)

World According To Garp, The (1982)

Splendid performances highlight this sharp, satirical adaptation of John Irving’s dark best-seller about the adventures of an illegitimate, eccentric young man hell-bent on being a writer. T.S. Garp, magnificently played by Robin Williams in an amalgam of emotions tinged with comic force but eventually moving and tearful as any great clown playing Pagliacci, is first(…)

World Is Not Enough, The (1999)

The 19th Bond adventure opens with a high-octane boat chase along London’s River Thames leading to a fight on the Millennium Dome. From then on the pace never lets up. While Pierce Brosnan returns as the suave secret agent, director Michael Apted moves away from the cartoon acting style of previous Bond outings and coaxes(…)

World, the Flesh and the Devil, The (1959)

Miner Harry Belafonte lives through an atomic attack and meets two other survivors when he arrives in devastated New York City – gorgeous Inger Stevens and bigoted Mel Ferrer. Can the two men overcome their mutual hatred of each other? And who will get the girl? Passionate, earnest and totally daft, this post-holocaust racial allegory(…)

World’s Greatest Athlete, The (1973)

Equal parts Disney slapstick fantasy, Tarzan movie and underdog sports flick, The World’s Greatest Athlete had enough zany spirit for several films. With a cast that included Tim Conway, John Amos, a then-unknown Jan-Michael Vincent (later star of TV’s Airwolf) and sportscaster Howard Cosell as himself, the movie continued the Disney sports comedy tradition of Gus and The Strongest Man in the World.(…)

Wrecking Crew, The (1969)

For the fourth and last of the Matt Helm spy spoofs starring Dean Martin, Phil Karlson – director of original movie The Silencers (1966) – was dragooned back into service. The resulting romp is a send-up of Goldfinger (1964) in which Helm has to locate tons of American gold bullion stolen from a hijacked train by bad(…)

Written On The Wind (1956)

In a drunken rage, Robert Stack smashes a bottle of booze against the wall. Lauren Bacall, at her bedroom curtain, faints. Gunshots, death, tears. Written On The Wind is about the twisted, fatal connections between sex, power and money. Characters are arranged into inverted mirror images of each other, good facing evil – but everyone ultimately(…)

Wrong Box, The (1966)

Bryan Forbes’ large-screen colour venture into the realms of black comedy is a story set in the Victorian era about two rival brothers (Ralph Richardson and John Mills) and their beneficiaries fighting it out to the death for the sake of the lottery fortune dangled between them. Helping the irascible, poverty stricken Masterman Finsbury (Mills)(…)

Wrong Man, The (1956)

The Wrong Man is one of the bleakest movies Hitchcock ever made. Henry Fonda plays Manny Balestrero, a New York jazz musician who is mistakenly identified as the man who robbed an insurance office. Though he’s released on bail, the worry and disgrace begin to affect his wife Rose (Vera Miles). They try to find the(…)

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