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Great Britain




A Conversation with "A Couple of Blaguards"

Scholar Frank McCourt and his brother, actor Malachi McCourt, grew up poor in Ireland before finding success in the United States. Both brothers were voracious readers and were able to find success without a high school education. They wrote and perform together in a new, autobiographical play.


Imagining Ludwig Wittgenstein

Bruce Duffy substantial debut novel is about the real-life philosopher, who wrote little about his own life. Book critic John Leonard says it's astonishing--and never reductive.


Tribute to "The Prisoner."

Television critic David Bianculli looks back at "The Prisoner," the British mystery and adventure series about government agents, brainwashing, Number 6, and the omniscient globe that prevented escape from the island prison. The series celebrates its 20th anniversary this week.


An English Examination of Small Events

Film critic Stephen Schiff says that the World War II-themed The Dressmaker masterfully follows in the European tradition of what he calls "intimate filmmaking" -- something no American director has yet been able to replicate.


Mrs. Miniver's Past Acclaim Overshadowed By Present-Day Criticism

Critic Ken Tucker reviews the Oscar-winning 1943 film, which was credited with galvanizing support for the Allies during World War II. Contrary to some contemporary attitudes toward the movie, critic Ken Tucker says Mrs. Miniver critiques, rather than celebrates, bourgeois life.


Soul Music with a Stiff Upper Lip

Rock critic Ken Tucker considers the recent trend of British bands taking their cues from American soul music, with varying success. Recent examples include songs by Simply Red, The Pasadenas, Boy George, and Fine Young Cannibals.


American Attempts at Anglicism Gone Awry

Language commentator Geoff Nunberg says that Americans who incorporate British English into their speech and writing often use words and expressions incorrectly. For instance, most people don't understand that "shall" and "will" aren't interchangeable.


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