The title translates as "I remember" in dialect, but Fellini's visionary 1973 work (an Oscar winner) wasn't the rosy nostalgia about childhood he'd originally planned. His unique, untethered imagination bleeds into every frame of these '30s-set seaside snapshots, with—of course—sex and religion figuring prominently. Warring parents, twisted priests, Fascists, fantasy, farce and melancholy. As they say, very Fellini.
Filmed in 1943, with memories of Pearl Harbor still raw, this WWII submarine movie sees Commander Cary Grant steering his boat into Japanese waters. Directed by no-nonsense action man Delmer Daves, the sub warfare is tightly handled, but the film is just as interested in the close interaction of the itchy crew, among them the great John Garfield.
Jean-Jacques Beineix's 1981 debut is a romantic thriller about a young opera fan who records a bootleg tape of his favourite opera singer. Since she's always refused to be recorded, the tape becomes almost priceless on the black market, with opera fans and gangsters chasing after it. Very French, very stylish, very '80s.
Orson Welles' darkly comic 1963 adaptation of Kafka's paranoid fable is still visually stunning, with an unforgettable performance by Anthony Perkins as the hapless Josef K, placed on trial for reasons unknown. "He's guilty as sin," was Welles' verdict, and so Perkins plays it all the way as a shifty, twitchy ball of nerves. Superb.
The 1932 and 1941 adaptations of Stevenson's landmark work of horror fiction on one disc. The earlier movie finds director Rouben Mamoulian going heavy on the claustrophobic atmosphere and sexual undercurrents with Frederic Marsh on Oscar-winning form as the doctor and his bestial alter ego. The later version teams Spencer Tracy (transformed via a bad wig and bushy eyebrows) with Ingrid Bergman (putting on an appalling cockney accent). Enough said.
We'll always have Casablanca, thank God. This tale of lost souls waiting out WWII in the doldrums of a Moroccan café may well be the best film ever made—the Epstein brothers' dialogue still crackles, and the central love affair between Bogart and Bergman just keeps on pulling you in. Play it again!
Charles Boyer is the ultimate Gallic douche-bag and Ingrid Bergman the twittering naif trapped in a marriage inferno in this brilliant and beautiful psychological thriller from studio workhorse George Cukor. Boyer's after some diamonds, but Bergman's in love. He bullies her, makes her kiss Bibles, and slowly drives her insane. Genius.
There's only one real Robin Hood, and that's Errol Flynn, now buckling his swash in this lovingly restored version of the 1938 classic. "You speak treason," observes cowardly King John (Claude Rains). "Fluently," Errol proudly admits, before crossing blades with Olympic duellist Basil Rathbone, rescuing the blushing Olivia de Havilland and feeding the poor of Sherwood. Hurrah!
Chaplin's work is a strange blend of clinical perfectionism and cloying sentimentality, and though there's no denying that his timing is impeccable and his constant quest for innovation is impressive, whether you find him funny or not is another matter. This box contains all 10 of his feature films, plus a lengthy new documentary.