Film Review 1982-1983, edited by F. Maurice Speed

For an annual that covers significant films released in 1981, Chariots of Fire (1981) was not reviewed in this annual, but there is an easy explanation. The film was released before the coverage period of this annual (July 1, 1981 – June 30, 1982, in Great Britain). Chariots of Fire was reviewed in the previous annual.

Otherwise, the author, in his introduction, praised the film for its artistic qualities. He also signaled it out for the fact that it was British and a major contributor to the British film resurgence in the world at the time. He saw more positive signs in British film production and gave a survey of places in the world – apart from America – where production was taking off.

This British-based film annual contained interesting articles. Third World cinema, the story of sound in film, silent cinema stars, how the advent of sound either ruined the careers of silent stars in or enhanced their careers, the advent of the video cassette tape, as well as regular columns, obituaries, and the promising faces of the year.

If one sought family-friendly wholesome films there were brief reviews, with photos, of Herbie Goes Bananas, The Great Muppet Caper, the animated films The Fox and the Hound and The Mouse and His Child, Roar, and Spirit of the Wild (Released in the USA in 1976).

Some under review in this annual were perhaps borderline because of language and violence but their stories might have been suitable for general audiences, and there were reviews of the specialist films as well, which might have been unsuitable for obvious reasons. Author’s warning: the annual does depict nudity from some of the more boundary crossing films.

Good stories, as in the Hungarian made Mephisto, had something more to offer than most.

What I thought was a more interesting read than the 1981-1982 annual—from forty years ago now.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers

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