Spring On Screen: Films to Watch This Season

Although you can never be entirely sure with the British weather, spring is here. With the flora in bud, blossom and bloom and the fauna rearing their young, it's a time of renewal and rebirth. No wonder the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins declared, 'Nothing is so beautiful as Spring.' So how has cinema depicted this season of hope and glory? Let Cinema Paradiso be your guide.

With its wonderful light and ravishing colours, spring should be a favourite time for film-makers. Yet, while many a memorable scene has been set during this season of promise, it rarely provides the backdrop for entire movies. Perhaps it's got something to do with unpredictable shooting conditions (maybe those April Showers that Al Jolson used to sing about) or the fact that Easter can't hold a candle to Christmas when it comes to anticipation, atmosphere and magic?

But if spring was good enough for Charlie Chaplin (Recreation, 1914) and Harold Lloyd (Spring Fever, 1919) - which can respectively be found on the BFI's Chaplin at Keystone collection and Cinema Club's Harold Lloyd: The Short Films - and it could inspire the majestic opening frames of Sergei Eisenstein's Bezhin Meadow (1935-37), then it's okay with us. Let's spring into action.

3 Months, 92 Days

Breaking the season down into its constituent months, a mention of George More O'Ferrall's The March Hare (1956) gives us the perfect excuse to point you in the direction of the various versions of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland available from Cinema Paradiso, including Gavin Millar's Dreamchild (1985). On a more serious note, Guddu Dhanoa's 23rd March 1931: Shaheed (2002) chronicles the life of Bhagat Singh (Bobby Deol), the socialist revolutionary who was hailed as a 'shaheed' or martyr after being executed during the fight for Indian independence. Equally sombre is Raoul Peck's Sometimes in April (2005), which stars Idris Elba as a Hutu trying to come to terms with witnessing the slaughter of thousands of Tutsis during the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

Completing the March roster are Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore's Miss March (2009) and George Clooney's The Ides of March (2011). The former sees the co-directors playing a pair of slackers who embark upon a cross-country journey to the Playboy Mansion to meet centrefold Raquel Alessi, while the latter poses political fixer Ryan Gosling an ethical problem, as he discovers that Governor Clooney has a guilty secret that could ruin his chances in a forthcoming election. There are more political machinations in David Butler's April in Paris (1952), as chorus girl Doris Day is selected by accident to represent the United States at a prestigious cultural convention in the French capital.

Continental dalliances also shape the action in James Ivory's impeccable adaption of EM Forster's A Room With a View (1985) and Mike Newell's take of Elizabeth von Arnim's Enchanted April (1991), which respectively see ingenue Helena Bonham Carter experience the first pangs of love in Florence and Josie Lawrence and Miranda Richardson commiserate over their unsatisfactory marriage in Portafino. Of course, the first day of the fourth month is synonymous with pranks and Biswajeet comes to regret his tomfoolery in Subodh Mukherji's April Fool (1963) after his joke goes too far and he and sweetheart Saira Banu become the target for gangsters.

Sadly, it's not possible to see the intriguing pairing of Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve in Stuart Rosenberg's The April Fools (1969), but slasher fans can watch the fallout when Deborah Foreman and Taylor Cole respectively invite their college pals to remote parental homes in Fred Walton's April Fool's Day (1986) and Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores's April Fool's Day (2008). Very briefly ducking into the last month of spring, we shall have to bypass John Frankenheimer's Seven Days in May (1964) to join Alison Steadman and Roger Sloman on their Dorset camping holiday in Mike Leigh's classic BBC teleplay, Nuts in May (1976).

A Little Bit of History

History happens every day and films have been made about several momentous spring events. But we shall concentrate on just a few here. The assassination that took place in the Theatre of Pompey on 15 March 44 BC shook the known world and it was immortalised 1643 years later by William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar. The play has been filmed many times, with versions directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1953), Stuart Burge (1970) and Herbert Wise (1979) being available from Cinema Paradiso, along with John Michael Phillips's 1984 record of the English National Opera's rendition of Handel's interpretation of a story that was retold from scratch by Uli Edel in Julius Caesar (2002).

Having conspired with James Mason and John Gielgud to murder Louis Calhern in his Oscar-winning monochrome adaptation, Mankiewicz reconstructed the crime in Technicolor to the dismay of victim Rex Harrison and lovers Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963). Warren William played the murdered dictator to Claudette Colbert's Egyptian queen in Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra (1934), while Kenneth Williams got to utter the unforgettable line, 'Infamy, infamy...they've all got it in for me' in Gerald Thomas's Carry On Cleo (1964).

April witnessed two American assassinations that left indelible marks upon its history. Abraham Lincoln was shot by James Wilkes Booth on 14 April 1865, while Martin Luther King was slain by James Earl Ray on 4 April 1968. The 16th president has been the subject of several biopics, including DW Griffith's Abraham Lincoln (1930), John Ford's Young Mr Lincoln (1939), John Cromwell's Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (2012), which earned Daniel Day-Lewis his third Academy Award for Best Actor. Ford also reconstructed the aftermath of the attack at Ford's Theatre in The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936). Film-makers are reluctant to recreate Dr King's death, but his achievements have been examined in Ava DuVernay's Selma (2014), Jay Roach's All the Way and Raoul Peck's compelling James Baldwin documentary, I Am Not Your Negro (both 2016).

Nautical matters ensured the dates 28 April 1789 and 15 April 1912 went down in history. Charles Laughton and Clark Gable squared off as Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian in Frank Lloyd's retelling of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), while the roles were taken by Trevor Howard and Marlon Brando in Lewis Milestone's Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson in Roger Donaldson's The Bounty (1984). The second date marks the tragic end of the maiden voyage of the White Star Line's supposedly unsinkable ship. Among the various versions available on disc are Jean Negulesco's Titanic (1953), Roy Ward Baker's A Night to Remember (1957), William Hale's S.O.S. Titanic (1979), Robert Liberman's The Titanic (1996), James Cameron's multi-Oscar-winning Titanic (1997), Camillo Teti's animation, Titanic (2000), and Jon Jones's Titanic: Series (2012).

Another shocking disaster occurred on 6 May 1937 and the events leading up to the outbreak of fire aboard the pioneering passenger airship are chronicled in Robert Wise's The Hindenburg (1975) and Philip Kadelbach's Hindenburg (2011). More aerial destruction took place on the night of 17 May 1943 and is recreated with dignified triumphalism in Michael Anderson's The Dam Busters (1955). However, the mood was very different on 26 May 1940, as is made clear in Leslie Norman's Dunkirk (1958), Alex Holmes's docudrama, Dunkirk (2004), Christian Carion's The Evacuation (2015), Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk and Nick Lyon's Operation Dunkirk (both 2017).

Events in Denmark a few weeks earlier are examined in Roni Ezra's April 9th (2015), while the scene shifts to Poland for Uri Barbash's Spring 1941 (2008), which sees widowed grocer Maria Pakulnis fall for Jewish doctor Joseph Fiennes when she shelters him and cellist wife Clare Higgins from the Gestapo. Meanwhile, the Whitsun weekend sees the small village of Bramley End invaded by Nazi paratroopers in Alberto Cavalcanti's Went the Day Well? (1942), which was adapted from Graham Greene's short story, 'The Lieutenant Died Last'.

Holy Week

Like Christmas, Easter was a religious feast long before it became a commercial opportunity. Aware of the large Christian market in America and Europe, film-makers revisited the New Testament on numerous occasions, with the events of Holy Week providing a sobering dramatic denouement. Following the example of Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings (1927), Nicholas Ray's King of Kings (1961) and George Stevens's The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) adopted a reverential approach that was pared back in Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to St Matthew (1964), Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth (1977) and John Krish and Peter Sykes's Jesus (1979), which reflected the concerns of a more secular world.

Despite such trendy musical attempts to make the gospel story relevant to the younger generation as Norman Jewison's Jesus Christ Superstar and David Greene's Godspell (both 1973) - as well as Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam's gleeful bid to debunk it in Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) - the tone has been more solemn in such recent retellings as Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Roger Young's The Bible: Jesus (1999), Raffaele Mertes and Elisabetta Marchetti's Mary Magdalene (2000), Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Philip Saville's The Gospel of John (both 2003). Charles Robert Camer's Judas (2004) and Garth Davis's Mary Magdalene (2018).

The impact of the Crucifixion and Resurrection on the Roman Empire has also been examined in a number of films, including four versions of Lew Wallace's novel, Ben-Hur, by Fred Niblo (1925), William Wyler (1959), Mark Atkins and Timur Bekmambetov (both 2016), as well as Henry Koster's The Robe (1953), which was the first film released in the CinemaScope widescreen process, and Kevin Reynolds's Risen (2016).

Bonnets and Bunnies

Lacking a blockbuster figure like Santa Claus, Easter has always felt like a B-movie holiday. However, animators have produced a steady stream of paschal pictures for younger viewers, with bunnies and eggs figuring heavily in the likes of It's the Easter Beagle (1974), The Smurfs: Springtime Special and Other Easter Favourites (1984), Yogi the Easter Bear (1994), The First Easter Egg (1997), The Great Easter Egg Hunt (2003), Dora's Easter Adventure, Dora's Easter Collection (both 2012), Paw Patrol: Easter Egg Hunt (2016), Peppa Pig: The Easter Bunny and Easter Bunny Adventure. Tim Hill's Hop (2011) puts a sassier spin on the old story, as the Easter Bunny's son, EB (Russell Brand), decides to quit the family business to pursue his dream of becoming a rock drummer in Hollywood.

We might just detour here to highlight some of the other animated features with a seasonal feel to them. Igor Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring' forms one of the most dazzling parts of Walt Disney's ambitious musical extravaganza, Fantasia (1940), while it remains a mystery while Frank Churchill and Larry Moray were nominated for 'Love Is a Song' from Bambi (1942) rather than the superior 'Little April Shower'. However, the film set a trend for showing how all creatures great and small respond to the coming of spring and it has continued in such diverse offerings as Hawley Pratt and Friz Freleng's Dr Seuss: The Lorax (1972), Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbour Totoro (1988), John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton's A Bug's Life, Eric Darnell's Antz (both 1998), Tim Johnson's Over the Hedge (2006), Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith's Bee Movie (2007), Nathan Greno and Byron Howard's Tangled (2010), and Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda's The Lorax (2012).

Back in the real world, there's nothing that can top the sight of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on Fifth Avenue in Charles Walters's Easter Parade (1948). But, if you fancy something as sweet as a chocolate egg, you could always try Sean Olson's The Dog Who Saved Easter (2014). Or, if you prefer setting your teeth on edge without the benefit of confectionary, why not sample such seasonal delights as Chad Perrin's Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! (2006) and The Beaster Bunny! (2014), which was directed by John Bacchus under the pseudonym Snygg Brothers.

Spring Break

Before our weather started getting weird, the temperatures at Britain's seaside resorts were always too bracing for the concept of Spring Break to catch on. Stateside however, the annual getaway is part of the juvenile rite of passage and Hollywood has been celebrating youthful shenanigans since Mickey Rooney got a crush on his drama teacher in WS Van Dyke's Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939). Spring Break has been increasingly dawning on the British consciousness since the teenpic boom of the 1980s.

A fraternity conference in Fort Lauderdale gives Robert Carradine and his pals a chance to prove that the geeks can inherit the earth in Joe Roth's Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise (1987). However, Spring Break in Florida gives campus king Freddie Prinze, Jr. a headache in Robert Iscove's She's All That (1999), as girlfriend Jodi Lyn O'Keefe dumps him for reality TV star Matthew Lillard. The same director matchmade college kid Justin Guarini with singing waitress Kelly Clarkson in From Justin to Kelly (2003), which won the Golden Raspberry for the Worst Musical in the 25-year history of the awards. And just to prove how out of date the storyline was, the same year saw Rick De Oliveira claim to have created the first true reality movie with The Real Cancun, which followed 16 fun-seekers to the Mexican resort on the Caribbean Sea.

There are more wild antics in Robert Ben Garant's Reno 911!: Miami (2007), a spin-off from the hit Comedy Central series, while Jared Cohn enlisted the assistance of teenpic icon Robert Carradine to enliven Bikini Spring Break, which was somewhat overshadowed by Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers (2012), which provoked a heated debate about whether the misadventures in Florida of Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine were objectifying or empowering. Similar questions were asked about Fernando Lebrija's Sundown and Dan Mazer's Dirty Grandpa (2016), which sees uptight lawyer Zac Efron tricked into driving grandfather Robert De Niro to Daytona Beach in Florida, where he begins to rethink his upcoming nuptials after getting into all sorts of dubious scrapes.

Given that Spring Break guarantees the presence of countless teens in a restricted area, it's surprising that there haven't been more slasher offerings like James Justice's Nightmare Beach (1989) and Rolfe Kanefsky's There's Nothing Out There (1991). But, five years after Paul Shapiro turned the beaches of Florida red in Shark Attack (2005). New French Extremity director Alexandre Aja ensured there was just as much splatter on show in Piranha (2010), which pitched Jaws veteran Richard Dreyfuss against a new aquatic menace as a crack in the bed of Lake Victoria provides ravenous critters that have been trapped for two million years with an all-star Spring Break smörgåsbord.

It Might As Well Be Spring

Curiously, the Rodgers and Hammerstein song that provides the headline for this paragraph comes from a film set in August. Jeanne Crain croons 'It Might As Well Be Spring' as she packs for the annual Iowa jamboree in Walter Lang's State Fair (1945), which was adapted from a 1932 novel by Phil Strong. Two more musicals from the same decade dwelt on the joys of the season, with Deanna Durbin playing a Hungarian girl hoping that a fortune teller's romantic predictions will come true in Henry Koster's Spring Parade (1940) and Gene Kelly being beguiled by the heather on the hills and Scots lass Cyd Charisse in Brigadoon (1954), Vincente Minnelli's MGM version of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's Broadway hit about a village that only emerges from the mists for a single day every century.

Events take a much darker turn in John M. Stahl's interpretation of Ben Ames Williams's bestseller, Leave Her to Heaven (1945), which earned Gene Tierney a Best Actress nomination for her performance as Cornel Wilde's psychotically jealous wife and Leon Shamroy a well-deserved Oscar for his glorious Technicolour views of the Maine countryside. The waterside setting is in Mississippi in Joseph Pevney's Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), which sees river girl Debbie Reynolds go to stay with the well-heeled Leslie Nielsen after grandpa Walter Brennan is jailed for bootlegging. Those keen to hear the sound of bat on ball at spring training camp can get their fill in classic baseball movies like Ron Shelton's Bull Durham (1987). Phil Alden Robinson's Field of Dreams (1989) and Penny Marshall's A League of Their Own (1992).

Cinema Paradiso users can discover Helen Mirren's Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated display in Robert Allan Ackerman's 2003 tele-remake of the Tennessee Williams novel, The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone, as a widowed actress who is introduced to handsome gigolo Olivier Martinez by mysterious Italian contessa, Anne Bancroft. Playing the strict Lancastrian father, James Mason also comes to terms with the passage of time in Peter Hammond's droll adaptation of Bill Naughton's bestseller, Spring and Port Wine (1970), as daughter Susan George rebels against paternal authority by refusing to eat the fish that mother Diana Coupland has made for her tea.

Spring is a time of renewal and three titles capture this spirit to excellent effect. Chronicling orphan Mary Lennox's life-changing sojourn at Misselthwaite, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden has been filmed by Agnieszka Holland (1993) and Owen Smith (2017) and adapted as a BBC serial by Dorothea Brooking in 1975. Natalie Babbitt's novel, Tuck Everlasting, has also been twice reworked for the screen, by Frederick King Keller in 1981, and Jay Russell in Disney's 2002 version, which sees 15 year-old Alexis Bleidel encounter a forest family after she runs away to avoid having to go to boarding school.

Another much-loved novel, Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia (2007), touches upon similar themes and Gábor Csupó's Disney variation cast Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb as the tweenagers who create their own neverland in the woods abutting Lark Creek. The notion of healing is also to the fore in David Matthew Weese's A Horse For Spring (2012). in which promising dancer Natalie Weese forms a bond with a horse named Grace while undergoing equine therapy after her dreams were shattered in a car crash.

Spring Has Sprung Everywhere

Asian cinema has long had a thing for spring, with Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli's The Spring River Flows East (1947) and Fei Mu's Spring in a Small Town (1948) being hailed as two of the finest films made in China before the Communist takeover. Told in two parts, the former centres on the contrasting fortunes of Bai Yang and Tao Jin, whose marriage is tested when they are separated during the Sino-Japanese war and Jin returns to Shanghai from exile in Chungking with a wealthy new wife to find that Bai has fallen on hard times.

The effects of time upon a romance are further explored in Fei's Brief Encounter-like drama, which was remade by Fifth Generation director Tian Zhuangzhuang as Springtime in a Small Town (2002). as dutiful wife Shi Yu has her loyalty to the ailing Wei Wei tested when old flame Li Wei becomes her husband's new doctor. More recently, Wulan Tana emerged as one of China's few female directors with the award-winning Warm Spring (2003), in which an old man takes in an eight year-old girl in the hope that his childless son and daughter-in-law can raise her as their own.

Unfortunately, Mikio Naruse's Spring Awakens (1947) isn't in the BFI or Eureka collections honouring this much-underrated director (do check out the six films on the Cinema Paradiso list, however). But two classics from Yasujiro Ozu and an overlooked gem from Kenji Mizuguchi are available to rent. Featuring a typically affecting performance from Setsuko Hara, Late Spring (1949) turns around a daughter's readiness to make sacrifices to care for ageing father Chishu Ryu, while Early Spring (1956) - which can be found on the BFI's Three Melodramas disc - sees salaryman Ryo Ikebe betray wife Chikage Awashima (who is still mourning the death of their son) when he embarks upon an affair with Keiko Kishi, a typist at the brick factory where he works.

Another ménage forms in Mizoguchi's Miss Oyu (1951), an adaptation of Tanizaki Jun'ichiro's novel, The Reed Cutter, that sees sisters Kinuyo Tanaka and Reiko Kongo form attachments to the same man, Nobuko Otowa. There's another at the heart of Bibhuti Mitra's Basant (1960), a monochrome Bollywood masala that follows spoilt little rich girl Nutan Behl to Mumbai after she defies her father to pursue sweetheart Pran and promptly becomes dependent on doctor Shammi Kapoor after he helps her escape from the police.

Nothing surpasses the visual majesty and philosophical intrigue of Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring (2003), in which the director plays the adult version of a young boy (Seo Jae-kyeong), who forgets everything he learned on a floating temple from a sagacious Buddhist monk (Oh Yeong-su) after he is distracted by a beautiful girl (Ha Yeo-jin).

As leading members of the nouvelle vague, Louis Malle and Eric Rohmer were making their first films around this period. However, they were both elder statesmen by the time they released Milou en Mai and A Tale of Springtime (both 1990). Rohmer eavesdrops on the relationship that develops between philosophy teacher Anne Teyssedre and Hugues Quester, the father of the piano student who offers her a bed for the night after they meet at a party. Malle harks back to the May Days of 1968 to comment wryly on the bickering that erupts among the members of Paulette Dubost's family when they gather for her funeral in the verdant countryside and start focusing on her will. The rustic setting also proves key to Cédric Klapisch's Back to Burgundy (2017), which follows the four seasons, as Pio Marmaï returns home to help siblings Ana Girardot and François Civil run the family vineyard after their father dies.

In addition to being one of Ingmar Bergman's most accessible films, The Virgin Spring (1960) also inspired Wes Craven to make The Last House on the Left (1972), in which Gaylord St James and Cynthia Carr inherit the roles created by Max von Sydow and Birgitta Valberg to exact pitiless revenge on the three escaped prisoners who abducted, abused and murdered their teenage daughter. The British Board of Film Censors refused to grant the film a cinema release and denied it a home entertainment certificate for being a 'video nasty'. However, an uncut version was eventually made available the year before Dennis Iliadis revisited the picture in 2009, with Monica Potter succeeding Sandra Peabody as the innocent victim.

Among the other spring chillers worth looking out for are Brian Cox's road movie, Scorpion Spring (1995); Ti West's prom night slasher, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009); Padraig Reynolds's kidnap saga, Rites of Spring (2011); and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's Spring (2014), which sees Lou Taylor Pucci flee his hometown after getting into trouble following the death of his mother and become drawn to Nadia Hilker, a girl with a dark secret to hide, when they meet in a rural Italian village.

Spring Snippets

One of the loveliest films ever made about the season was actually produced to promote train travel. That's why Ralph Keene's Journey Into Spring (1957) can be found on two BFI collections: British Transport Films Volume 5: Off the Beaten Track and Railways For Ever. Scripted by Laurie Lee (of Cider With Rosie fame) and photographed in ravishing Technicolor by Patrick Carey, the film reflects upon the career of pioneering 19th-century naturalist Gilbert White and the changes that occur between March and May in the countryside surrounding his house at Selborne in Hampshire. In addition to winning a BAFTA, this charming snapshot of a bygone age was also nominated for Best Documentary and Best Short Subject at the Oscars.

Before leaving you to select your favourites from the titles we've mentioned, let's take a quick peek at a clutch of pictures that contain memorable spring scenes. Entertainer Fred Astaire watches the burgeoning romance between buddy Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds over two presidential birthdays, Valentine's Day and Easter in Mark Sandrich's Holiday Inn (1942). But, be warned, time has not been kind to 'Abraham', the minstrel number that Crosby and Reynolds perform in blackface. Some might also take offence at the fact that Stanley Donen's Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954) was inspired by the kidnapping of the Sabine Women. But Howard Keel and wife Jane Powell persuade his strapping siblings to return the women they abducted from a barn-raising social when spring melts the avalanche snow blocking Echo Pass.

There's less to offend in Vincente Minnelli's timeless adaptation of Sally Benson's Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), which sees Judy Garland and her family rejoice in the fact that father Leon Ames has decided against upping sticks and moving to New York by attending the World's Fair in April 1904. A London father reconnects with his family by taking them kite flying at the end of Robert Stevenson's ambitious Disneyfication of PL Travers's Mary Poppins (1964), which earned Julie Andrews the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in a role that was assumed with a spring in her step by Emily Blunt in Rob Marshall's Mary Poppins Returns (2018).

Spring events also play a pivotal in Andrews's other major picture of this period, Robert Wise's The Sound of Music (1965), as the Anschluss of March 1938 convinces Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) of the urgent need to get his seven singing children and their governess, Maria (Andrews), out of Austria before the Nazis take over the country. But, just two years later, Mel Brooks made marvellous mockery of the Third Reich with the jaw-droppingly brilliant 'Springtime for Hitler' number in The Producers (1967), which sees hard-up Broadway entrepreneur Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) attempt to solve his money problems with the aid of accountant Leopold Bloom (Gene Wilder) by insuring themselves against the failure of a play written by ex-Nazi Franz Liebkind (Kenneth Mars), which is subtitled 'A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden'. Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Will Ferrell took on the roles when Brooks teamed with director Susan Stroman in 2006 to adapt his Broadway musicalisation of the story, which, naturally, retained its scandalous showstopper.

Haven’t found a film in our overview of springtime movies? Browse more of our latest films at Cinema Paradiso.

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