The Last of Sheila

The suspects prepare to board the boat

As namechecked by Rian Johnson while out on the promotion trail, The Last of Sheila looks like a good chunk of the inspiration for his Glass Onion: a Knives Out Mystery. Adding to its attraction are the names of the bizarre writing team behind this whodunit from 1973: Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim. It was the only screenplay either of them would ever write and sprang from the murder-mystery evenings they used to put on for a bit of fun in New York. The director Herbert Ross, then probably most famous for directing Woody Allen in Play It Again, Sam, was at one of them and suggested Hopkins and Sondheim work one of … Read more

The President’s Analyst

James Coburn and Joan Delaney

With Elon Musk currently trailing his Neuralink “brain machine interface” idea as the future of inter-personal communications, how about The President’s Analyst, a 1967 movie that got there first? It’s called the Cerebrum Communicator – a brain implant that will render phone calls unnecessary – and comes at the familiar point in this spytastic spoof when the evil megalomaniac mastermind is laying out his plan for total world domination (or something) to Dr Schaefer, whose role as the US president’s analyst has got him caught up in a pantomime of escalating espionage mayhem. Before we all get too carried away with an idea that arrives from nowhere and is soon despatched there too, it’s … Read more