The Running Jumping Richard Lester Thread

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I am watching and enjoying his adaptation of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum which, with its period playfulnes, I guess is a precursor to his Musketeers films. I seem to recall him having the reputation of being a slick hack, but A Hard Day's Night is pretty iconic (although I don't care for his other Lennon collabos) and Petulia is kind of a definitive end-of-the-sixties movies. I never actually have seen the Goon Show stuff. So should I seek out some of his other stuff? Is he just a journeyman who got lucky once in a while? Will this be another four-post ILF thread?

James Redd and the Blecchs, Monday, 1 October 2007 01:21 (sixteen years ago) link

I really hate that How I Won the War

Dr Morbius, Monday, 1 October 2007 18:02 (sixteen years ago) link

Every once in a while TCM digs up his first film It's Trad Dad!, which to my knowledge hasn't been out on DVD. It's a cute little music movie that manages to overcome it's genre (low-budget quickie pop exploitation) thanks to Lester's ingenuity and the performers involved (Del Shannon, Gene Vincent, Helen Shapiro, Gene McDaniels and more). Very much worth a look.

The Knack...And How To Get It wasn't aged well at all.

C. Grisso/McCain, Monday, 1 October 2007 18:22 (sixteen years ago) link

a hard day's night is k-lassic and help! is fun but i can't rep for any of that other 60s-era stuff.

i once read an interview with him where he claimed he'd never, ever felt depressed in his life, which kind of figures really.

J.D., Tuesday, 2 October 2007 06:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Help! is fun. And, far less organically, Superman II. I need to see Petulia again, I was quite resistant to its alleged charms the first time, long ago.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is fitfully funny in spite of his frantic overediting. Works waaaay better on the stage.

Dr Morbius, Tuesday, 2 October 2007 13:50 (sixteen years ago) link

The Bed-Sitting Room, anyone? (Anyone who's still able to watch it?)

Girolamo Savonarola, Tuesday, 2 October 2007 14:05 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...

OK, why did I think he was dead?

Dr Morbius, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:19 (sixteen years ago) link

five months pass...

It's Trad, Dad! is on in the wee hours tonight, tomorrow.

James Redd and the Blecchs, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 02:26 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...
two years pass...

The all but forgotten Royal Flash is now on Blu, which I've never seen but will be reviewing cuz Malcolm McDowell was so hot back in the day, also he does a commentary!

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 18 December 2013 20:15 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

NY retro in August... how often do you see 35mm prints of The Bed Sitting Room or Cuba?

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 30 June 2015 17:44 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Kino's got blus of that, The Knack..., and How I Won The War in the works.

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 8 August 2015 00:49 (eight years ago) link

well, i've seen the other two projected.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 8 August 2015 13:46 (eight years ago) link

TBSR is must viewing for proto-Python black comedy. I laughed quite a bit. (Marty Feldman's first film too)

Third Musketeers movie way better than it had a right to be... Even with C Thomas Howell as Oliver Reed's son! Philippe Noiret is at least as good a scheming cardinal as Heston.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 11 August 2015 17:29 (eight years ago) link

Quality rundown of Lester's films:

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 August 2015 19:53 (eight years ago) link

my reaction to Petulia is still complicated. could be Scott's best film performance though.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 August 2015 16:54 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

Three/Four Musketeers could be his second-greatest achievement after AHDN. It's 70% ambitious slapstick, and that's fine with me.

On the DVD supps, someone on the crew said you could get whatever resources you needed shooting in Franco's Spain, as long as you had the budget for bribes.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 22 November 2015 17:20 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...
five months pass...

Was always interested in Juggernaut because of Kael: "Fast, crackerjack entertainment..." I liked it, but for completely opposite reasons: next to Airport and The Poseidon Adventure--I think the second Airport is the only other '70s disaster film I've seen, so my sample's kind of limited--it seemed unusually austere and methodical. Good throwaway Titanic joke.

clemenza, Sunday, 3 July 2016 14:53 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

Seems likely Roy Andersson saw THE BED SITTING ROOM at some point, if not he was thinking along very similar lines. That was special.

— Vadim Rizov (@vrizov) July 23, 2017

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 21:42 (six years ago) link

two years pass...


Bed-Sitting Room is currently free for Prime members. Screened last night. A film for these times? Perhaps.

From the overview I linked to upthread:

Needless to say, when the studio heads at United Artists took a look at it, they were appalled at what they saw (to be fair, it seems that the famously hands-off organization was still under the impression that Lester was doing a musical version of Joe Orton's "Up Against It" starring Mick Jagger, the project he had been working on before shifting his focus after that one fell through) and shelved it for more than a year.

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 30 April 2020 20:09 (three years ago) link

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