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The Isle of Wight branch of the Campaign for Real Ale

Barry Norman Recommends...


During the early 90s Barry Norman was invited to give a series of talks on the P&O cruise ship Arcadia At that time, I was looking after the crew video library. The library had several sections: Thriller, Comedy, Musical etc.
I thought it would nice to have a “Classic Film” category “as recommended by Barry Norman”. I wrote to him with this suggestion and a couple of days later received the following handwritten reply.

Dear Mr. Marshall,
I’m afraid that once I started listing, I couldn’t stop. There are so many excellent films. So feel free to pick the bones out of this lot:

  • “Bringing Up Baby” - Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant
  • “Gregory’s Girl” - Director Bill Forsyth
  • “The Full Monty”
  • “About a Boy” - Hugh Grant
  • “Hear My Song” - Adrian Dunbar, Shirley Ann Field
  • “What’s Up Doc” - Barbara Streisand
  • “Citizen Kane” - Orson Wells
  • “Matter of Life and Death” - Powell and Pressburger
  • “About Eve” - Bette Davis
  • “Zulu” - Michael Caine
  • “Gladiator”
  • ROMANCE images/barry-norman
  • ““Casablanca” - Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman
  • ““Gone with the Wind”
  • ““Romancing the Stone”
  • ““Notting Hill” - Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts
  • ““I Know Where I’m Going” (very sweet – my wife’s favourite) Powell and Pressburger again
  • “Godfather (One)”
  • “Godfather (Two)”
  • “Pulp Fiction” v. violent but excellent
  • “LA Confidential”
  • “Thirty Nine Steps” The Hitchcock version with Robert Donat – the rest don’t match up
  • “The Searchers” - John Wayne
  • “Stagecoach”
  • “The Outlaw Josie Wales” - Clint Eastwood
  • “The Railway Children”
  • “Wizard of Oz”
  • “The Thief of Bagdad” (the 1930’s version with Conrad Veidt and Sabu
  • The fact that Barry recommended a John Wayne film shows his objectivity. In one of his talks he described Wayne as “having a problem finding a suitable political candidate to support after the untimely death of Genghis Khan” which in itself was pretty restrained considering Wayne had once described him as “a goddam liberal pinko faggot".