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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Arms And The Man (1989)

During the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War, a Swiss soldier (Pip Torrens) fighting for the Serbs is on the run from Bulgarian soldiers. He breaks into the bedroom of a young Bulgarian woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who has romanticized ideas about war and hides him from the Serb forces. After the war has ended, he returns to the woman's household and that's when the "fun" starts. Based on the 1894 play by George Bernard Shaw and directed by James Cellan Jones. This is one of Shaw's wittiest and pungent plays and this is a very good production of it. But it's harmed by Patrick Ryecart's (as Carter's soldier fiance) performance which throws the production off kilter. The rest of the cast all seem to be on the same page. They know they're in a farce and play for high comedy but at least they are actually recognizable as human beings. Ryecart is so bizarrely over the top that he resembles an animated cartoon than an actual human! Shaw's theme that war is not a romantic adventure is still relevant today. Made into the operetta THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER by Franz Lehar. With Patsy Kensit, Kika Markham, Dinsdale Landen and Nicolas Chagrin. 

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