Home Movies/Out on Digital 7.28
Denmark was among the nations that dispatched troops to Afghanistan to subdue the Taliban. The Oscar-nominated A War tells a fog-of-battle story from a Danish perspective. Patrolling a landscape where enemies might lurk behind every door, a Danish captain, his men wounded and under heavy fire, orders an airstrike. Instead of Taliban, civilians die and the captain stands accused in a compelling look at the chain of consequences that result from war.
The Sum of Us
Harry (Jack Thompson) and Jeff (Russell Crowe) are father and son, living together in happy bachelorhood. Harry is undisturbed that Jeff is gay—an unusual attitude for a 1994 film. The outline of this emotionally frank Australian indie’s origins in David Stevens’ stage play is evident, with many asides to the audience from Harry and Jeff. Trouble arises when Harry’s fiancé is appalled by his gay son, and tragedy comes in the wake of comedy.
Appointment with Crime
Fifteen years before becoming the first Dr. Who, William Hartnell starred in this 1947 British crime drama as a crook bent on vengeance against the oddly effete mobsters who set him up. The criminal underworld mirrors the British class system with Hartnell occupying the lowest station beneath middle and upper tiers. Despite nods to Hollywood, Appointment with Crime is very British: One paid killer promises to perform the job in a “safe and decorous manner.”
I’ll Take Sweden
In a hapless effort to reach the younger generation without alienating their older audience, Hollywood produced movies such as I’ll Take Sweden (1965). Bob Hope stars as the hopelessly square and nonplussed father of bubbly Tuesday Weld, who is hell-bent on marrying that faux Elvis, Frankie Avalon. Hope engineers a sojourn in Sweden to separate the lovers, which affords a mainstream American take on the legendary freewheeling sexual mores of that country. Camp is the word.