Presented by The Badlands Collective
Audiences who only know Kenneth Branagh from his majestic Shakespeare adaptations and elegant studio movies won’t know what’s hit them with Dead Again. Compared by Roger Ebert to the films of Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock, it’s a wild, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink oddity that remains a true anomaly in the director’s filmography. Paying tribute to classical Hollywood filmmaking and careening through a variety of genres and eras, from contemporary L.A. to 1940s Vienna, this is film noir through the looking glass, with Branagh starring as a Philip Marlowe-style private eye investigating the case of a mute amnesiac who shows up at an orphanage out of the blue.
Branagh proves himself to be an adroit noir stylist, mixing references to classics of the genre with more outlandish ideas of his own, like the brilliantly theatrical and flamboyant Austrian flashbacks, shot in highly stylised black and white. It’s a splendidly entertaining and over-the-top picture, with many unexpected plot twists and game turns from the outstanding cast, including Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, Robin Williams, Andy Garcia and, of course, Branagh himself. A big box office hit in 1991 but largely overlooked today, now is the time to rediscover this true original on a beautiful 35mm print.
- BBFC rating
- Running time
- 108 mins
- Kenneth Branagh
- Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia