HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
   
 
  Doctor Faustus Deal With The Devil
Year: 1967
Director: Richard Burton, Nevill Coghill
Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Andreas Teuber, Ram Chopra, Richard Carwadine, Patrick Barwise, Michael Menaugh, Richard Durden, David McIntosh, Jeremy Eccles, Gwydion Thomas, Ian Marter, Nicholas Loukes, Adrian Benjamin, Elizabeth O'Donovan
Genre: Horror, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Doctor Faustus (Richard Burton) is an ageing university academic who is being lauded for reaching the pinnacle of knowledge, but as he is carried shoulder high he notices two ne'erdowells who snidely point out to him there is even more he could learn. Thus inspired, he realises that the books of mankind cannot tell him everything and he could use more supernatural means to get what he wants: access to the sort of information that is usually only of access to God Almighty - or the Devil himself. To that end, he begins his arcane rituals which will make him the most intelligent person on the Earth, though there's the matter of what he has to give in return to reckon with: he must give up his very soul…

Something about the Faust legend evidently appealed to Richard Burton, for he chose the subject of Christopher Marlowe's play of centuries before as the perfect material for him to adapt for the big screen. Consider this: a man who is blessed with supreme talent and ability uses it to great acclaim, then he gives in to the lure of fame and the most beautiful woman in the world, whereupon his chickens come home to roost and he is damned from then on. Did Burton see much of himself in Faust? It's tempting to think so, indeed he would return to the subject five years after this for the obscure Hammersmith is Out!, a movie which turned the Faust tale into a comedy, though those who saw it would dispute that description with some disdain.

Mind you, this telling was far more high profile since anything he and his wife Elizabeth Taylor did was hitting the headlines: he had gone from the potential heir to Olivier and Gielgud on the stage to a worldwide joke regarded as squandering his mighty talent, and nothing he could do could change the minds of the cognoscenti. He did have his fans, however, and they would turn out in droves for something like Where Eagles Dare, a blockbuster he did purely for the money and was starting to hate himself for that kind of well-paid but artistically wanting work. Hence he turned to the bottle, and stories of his hellraising became legendary even before he was raising actual Hell in this pet project, naturally termed a vanity project by his critics. All this would make you feel he was an underdog and deserved a little respect.

A little respect for tackling the classics, anyway, but though he had the assistance of theatre expert and all-round clever clogs Nevill Coghill for his direction, he really needed a bigger budget to do Marlowe justice in the way he obviously wanted to. Therefore, the impression this effort gave was if Edgar Allan Poe-era Roger Corman had opted to translate his own vision of the play to the screen, and that was not as satisfying as it may sound; it was colourful enough, and much use was made of cheap but fairly effective visual effects, but it didn't half look impoverished, as if Burton had shown up in an amateur movie by a bunch of students. Indeed, many of the cast really were drama students he was giving a break to, including future seventies Doctor Who star Ian Marter; Maria Aitken was supposedly in there somewhere as well.

Taylor was there too, in a variety of unspeaking guises from Helen of Troy to the Gorgon Medusa, even painted silver in one scene, but this looked like stunt casting rather than sincere support for her spouse; her movie star charisma was plain to see, but given so little to do other than be decorative was a waste of her time, even if her faith in Burton was touching. As for the critics, you could discern a great satisfaction in the sequence where Faustus is turned invisible by his demonic enabler Mephistopheles (Andreas Teuber) and got to blow raspberries in amongst the supposed intellectuals and keepers of the flame of accepted taste and learning, but it was a childish response overall. It was possible to relish the dialogue from the source text spoken in Burton's rich, inimitable style, but even here he went over the top with it, as if not wholly trusting himself to put it across with the correct gravitas. A curio for actor fanciers, but sadly also a marker of the decline of the Welshman's career, as almost everything he did after falling hard for Taylor was. Music by Mario Nascimbene.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 365 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: