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Review - Film - A certifiable hit


Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Out now on DVD and Blu-ray

Cert: 15

Rating: 45

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is a classic, known by many for famous scenes, such as the shower episode, which have been re-enacted or paid homage to in other films since. To truly enjoy it, you have to look past its legendary status and watch it as if you have never heard of it, otherwise you may find yourself looking out for particular scenes or over-anticipating the film.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed Psycho, I came out feeling slightly disappointed, as I had expected a brilliant film that would blow my mind.

Despite the hype, it is still a masterpiece, containing a magnificent narrative that is as confusing as it is intriguing. Hitchcock's typical weird and absorbing style is encapsulated in the character Norman Bates, who lives up to his reputation of "psycho".

The twist at the end is also quite mind-boggling, and although this film may not be scary to a modern audience it is definitely creepy and a delight to watch. The infamous music, although slightly comical to an audience who has heard it parodied umpteen times, does add to the suspense.

Hitchcock often tricks you into thinking something is going to happen. As you brace yourself, you realise it isn't the sudden outburst of action you were expecting.

Psycho is not a stereotypical, predictable 1960s horror film. Although a modern audience may be slightly sceptical, it is definitely worth a watch. It is a film that has stood the test of time.

Joe Hetherington, 17, the Sixth Form College Farnborough, Hampshire

Filmclub, an educational charity supported by Lovefilm, sets up after-school clubs where children meet to watch, discuss and review thought-provoking films. Each week members of Filmclub will review everything from new releases to classic and world cinema. Free to state schools. Find out more at www.filmclub.orgregister

Gone With the Wind

Director: Victor Fleming

Starring: Vivien Leigh, Ann Rutherford, George Reeves

Out now on DVD and Blu-ray

Cert: PG

Rating: 45

This is a triumph in cinematic history. For its age (over 70 years old), it is amazing. It is the film that every other film tries to emulate.

The storyline is flawless, if a bit confusing. At almost four hours long (watched over two weeks), it was always going to be. The length can be hard to stand, and it can be slow.

The characters can be hard to like, with the heroine being selfish pretty much all the way through, and her romantic interest is basically a male version of her. Some characters were too perfect, and others too horrible. And nothing good happened to anyone. But that, in some ways, made it interesting.

There were twists and turns, deaths and marriages. The characters had some redeeming qualities, such as the female lead being persevering and the male lead comical. All in all, it was an interesting film, though the length would be a bit much for some.

Rhea Cocks-Rye, 14, Colchester County High School for Girls, Colchester, Essex


Director: Michael Curtiz

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

Out now on DVD and Blu-ray

Cert: U

Rating: 45

I found this movie tricky to understand at the beginning, but when you get into it, it's amazing and it moved me at the end. I found this the saddest film we have watched yet, but I wouldn't mind watching another like it.

I thought the film was brilliant, even though the voices started off really hard to understand. I thought the setting was beautiful. I found it so sweet when he said she should leave with her husband, but I kept expecting her to come through the mist at the end. I kept listening out for the famous lines in it, such as "Here's to you kid" and "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship".

Sophie Marples, 12, Sheen Mount Primary School, Richmond, West London


Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong

Starring: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor

Out now on DVD and Blu-ray

Cert: PG

Rating: 35

Some films are romantic or horrors, others are thrillers, but Fantasia is in a league of its own. Clever animated interpretations put pictures to a number of classical pieces played by the incredible Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by the amazing Leopold Stokowski.

Although it is a good film, it does start slowly, the first two interpretations being rather dull. But after this unimpressive start, the film really picks up, despite the lack of dialogue. In addition, the movie is set out like a music-hall concert, with even an interval to complete the effect.

Fantasia could also have been the inspiration for numerous Disney films, as some of the interpretations feature ideas used in other films made years later. For example, the gods in Disney's mythological adventure Hercules are the spitting image of the gods appearing in one of the interpretations, and Mickey Mouse features in a scene that is based around the classical piece The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

This film was, and still is, enjoyable and ingenious for the period in which it was made, but I do not think it is worth sitting down for it for two hours. It would have been better to turn it into a collection of TV episodes rather than a whole film. I didn't find the whole film riveting and felt the urge to stop watching at certain points and do something else.

Chris Fox, 13, Outwood Grange Academy, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

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