Monday 30 December 2019


The Flirting Widow (1930 - b/w) - Typical 30s romantic comedy of manners, with Basil Rathbone. Not my bag.

Grumpy (1930 - b/w) - George Cukor's first film, an average, stagey proto-talkie about a grumpy old Englishman. A melodrama.

Sidewalks of New York (1931 - b/w) - Halfway between a silent Buster Keaton film and a talkie kid gang movie, and never quite gels. Almost forgettable if it weren't a Keaton film.

a nous la liberte (1931 - b/w) - Modern Times stole from Rene Clair to the point of plagiarism.

Payment Deferred (1932 - b/w) - Charles Laughton adds authenticity to an average Hollywood-British melodrama.

Before Dawn (1933 - b/w) - Generic old dark house thriller with Warner Oland.

Kid Millions (1934) - Eddie Cantor musical, not great, until the astonishing proto-Wonka climax in color.

Stamboul Quest (1934 - b/w) - Forgettable MGM period drama/semi-actioner.

Jalna (1935 - b/w) - Bland, unmemorable faux-Canadian family drama with Nigel Bruce.

Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937 - b/w) - I find Eddie Cantor annoyingly gormless.

The Good Old Soak (1937) - Why did I watch this drunken Wallace Beery drama...

Busman's Honeymoon (1940 - b/w) -Robert Montgomery is a terrible Americanised Peter Wimsey.

Scattergood Baines (1941)/Scattergood meets Broadway (1942 - b/w)/Scattergood Survives A Murder (1942 - b/w) - Forgettable rural comedies with Guy Kibbee, radio spinoffs.

The Wild Man of Borneo (1941 - b/w) - Generic "loveable eccentric in a small town" programmer with Frank Morgan.

The Sea Wolf (1941 - b/w) - Typical 40s seafaring fare.

This Woman is Mine (1941 - b/w) - Second-rate maritime drama with Franchot Tone and Walter Brennan.

Arabian Nights (1942) - Maria Montez tosh, with Sabu. Basically a panto. There's even comedy crossdressing.

Thunder Birds (1942) - Forgettable Fox color air display schlock. On dvd.

There's One Born Every Minute (1942 - b/w) - Elizabeth Taylor's debut, a forgettable sitcom thing.

Nightmare (1942 - b/w) - A dummy death is the highlight of this Universal crime-thriller with Brian Donlevy and Diana Barrymore.

Mission to Moscow (1943 - b/w) - Hoary old biopic/propaganda of Ambassador Walter Davis, with Walter Huston.

This Land is Mine (1943 - b/w) - Preachy WW2 fare set in a fantasyland with Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara and George Coulouris.

Schweik's New Adventures (1943 - b/w) - Nothingy propaganda piece made by the British. Pro-Czech.

Assignment in Brittany (1943 - b/w) - Dreary Jean Pierre Aumont wartime noir.

White Savage (1943) - Colourful but lacking in every department, typical Maria Montez. In some shots, Sidney Toler (playing a sinister Charlie Chan-if-he-were-a-villain) is not wearing either yellowface or hair dye.`

Laura (1944 - b/w) - On DVD. It's a romance disguised as a thriller. It looks gorgeous. But it's a bit too lovelorn with itself. Dana Andrews comes across as childish.  Second time attempting this.

Club Havana (1945 - b/w) - Generic noirish musical from Edgar Ulmer, for PRC.

Molly and Me (1945 - b/w) - Sentimental Gracie Fields comedy that is worth it for the embryonic middle-stage Roddy McDowall, who is extremely camp and lispy and twinky - at the difficult teen stage. He's lost his child star cuteness, he's not quite the character actor he'd evolve into. And he does the Galen nose-thing. There's also a dog in a bowler hat.

Dark Passage (1947 - b/w)/The Enforcer (1951  - b/w) - Generic Bogie.

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948 - b/w) - Barbara Stanwyck noir/woman's picture. I can appreciate the style, but it feels quite average.

Force of Evil (1948 - b/w) - A typical noir. A little too brutal and nihilistic for my liking.

Flamingo Road (1949 - b/w) - Tiresome antebellum melodrama with Joan Crawford that later spawned a Dallas-alike soap.

Spy Hunt (1950 -  b/w) - Forgettable European-set Universal spy B-flick with Howard Duff. Makes the idea of black panthers loose in the Alps dull.

The Miniver Story (1950 - b/w) - A bare-faced retread of the first film, that despite being made in Britain at Borehamwood, has to recreate the look of the original film so it still looks like it was made in Burbank.

Kim (1950) - Walnut juice-faced character actors ahoy in this cutesy Dean Stockwell-centred take on Kipling.

State Secret/The Great Manhunt (1950 - b/w) - Douglas Fairbanks Junior, Jack Hawkins, Glynis Johns and Herbert Lom are in a ludicrous Launder/Gilliat attempt at a serious Hitchcockian thriller set in a comedy Ruritania.

Peking Express (1951 - b/w) - Lazy male-centred remake of Shanghai Express with Joseph Cotten.

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951 - b/w) - Typical sentimental Bob Hope froth, that launched the song Silver Bells.

Hidden Face (1952 - b/w) - A strange, dreamlike Hammer quickie noir with Paul Henreid, Lizabeth Scott and Andre Morell.

Naked Alibi (1954 - b/w) - Why do I still watch noir? Sterling Hayden, probably.

Affair in Trinidad (1952 - b/w) - Gilda 2 - This Time It's Rusted.

Red Ball Express (1952 - b/w) - Generic occupied Europe WW2 fare with an interracial balance including Sidney Poitier.

Girdle of Gold (1952 - b/w) - Amiable but forgettable Welsh b-comedy with Esmond Knight in a lead.

The Thief (1952 - b/w) - A strange, never entirely successful modern silent by Ray Milland. It feels contrived in the way it avoids dialogue.
Not to be confused with the bland, generic WW2 Milland Eady Levy-bait The Safecracker (1958 - b/w).

Big Jim McLain (1952 - b/w) - Cutesy, heroic but insidious anti-commie fascist nonsense from John Wayne as a commie-smasher in Hawaii.

Stalag 17 (1953 - b/w) - Generic, obnoxious, smarmy wartime semi-comedy.

East of Sumatra (1953) - Jeff Chandler and Anthony Quinn in generic foreign action nosh.

The Brute (1953) -Still feels like typical Mexican cinema of the 50s, even if directed by Bunuel.

Dial M for Murder (1954)/North by Northwest (1959) - Rewatched these Hitchcocks. They're sort of like the Bible. Even if you find them three star material, you can't really criticise. Plus the terrible The Wrong Man.

Dangerous Mission (1954) -Early Irwin Allen. Unmemorable color crime film with Victor Mature chasing Vincent Price in the ice.

The Dam Busters (1954)- It does the utterly unremarkable aviation war-actioner genre well enough.

Heart of the Matter (1955) - Average British social drama, Trevor Howard in colonial saga by Graham Greene. Got the DVD.

The Mountain (1956) - Generic mountaineering tosh with Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner as brothers who look like grandfather and grandson.

Reach for the Sky (1956 - b/w) - Utterly generic wartime heroism.

Smiley (1956) - Ralph Richardson and Chips Rafferty costar in an Aussie Dennis the Menace-type thing about a sickly sweet naughty-innocent schoolboy. It spawned a comic in Eagle spinoff Swift. A sequel, Smiley Gets A Gun (1958) with a recast Smiley and Sybil Thorndike plus Chips followed.

The Long Haul (1957 - b/w) - Dreary sub-Hell Drivers provincial trucker noir with Diana Dors and Victor Mature.

Congo Crossing (1957) - Dire 50s African jungle tosh, despite Peter Lorre.

The Pride and the Passion (1957) - A Technicolor epic that could easily be a cheapie, were it not for the cast.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) - Typical Tennessee Williams, well-made but overheated.

Violent Road (1958 - b/w) - Efficient though average rocket-themed version of The Wages of Fear, with Brian Keith.

The Gazebo (1959 - b/w) - Sitcommy, slapsticky but unmemorable thriller with Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds.

Wind Across the Everglades (1959) - Piratey Everglades western-ish thing with a sexy Christopher Plummer in his debut and Burl Ives, but a western potboiler in pirate drag.

Never so Few (1959) - Frank Sinatra  leads a good cast in a tedious jungle peril.

Cone of Silence (1960 - b/w) -Generic aircraft thriller with Peter Cushing and Michael Craig and George Sanders.

Secret of the Telegian (1961) - Nonsensical pseudo-invisible man movie from Japan.

The Guns of Navarone (1961) - Perfect Christmas entertainment, overlong so ou can talk about something else and having dinner in between. Rewatch.

Waltz of the Toreadors (1962) - Generic Peter Sellers-as-old-dotty-general tosh.

Freud (1962 - b/w) - Overlong, hoary, psychedelic John Huston biopic - half-staid, half-weird, never quite fitting in. Has the stars of BBC's Trainer in Susannah York and David McCallum.

The Leopard (1963) - It looks gorgeous, but it is basically a prototype Europudding miniseries.

The Cool Mikado (1963) - Early Michael Winner musical, memorable but  resembles an episode of an ITC series with songs. Starring Tommy Cooper.

Alone Across the Pacific (1963) - It looks nice, but it is basically a fake documentary with some stuff in San Francisco at the end.

A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964 - b/w) - Leo McKern is good, but it's a tonally unsure programmer.

The Americanization of Emily (1964) - Seems to forget for a while it is supposed to be a Julie Andrews vehicle. Confused if it is a satire of wartime romances or a wartime romance.

The Chalk Garden (1964) - Turgid, sentimental soapie with Hayley and John Mills and Deborah Kerr.

The Dirty Game (1965 - b/w) - Dreary all-star Eurospy noir despite Terence Young co-directing one of the installments.

The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) - Generic, sunny but unfunny Doris Day comedy. At this point, she's a little too old to be the silly girl. On DVD.

The Face of Another (1966) - Slow, slightly creepy-in-the-wrong way Japanese take on Seconds, a man forced to wear an uncanny valley mask.

The Battle of the Mods (1966) - Ever wanted to see a British rock and roll film if made by the Edgar Wallace krimi gang... This is it. It begins in a  Liverpool that looks like West Germany with a lot of fog and blurry old terraced buildings. And not a Scouse accent to be heard. Then, cuts across Europe.

Woman Times Seven (1967) - Another all-star indulgence for Shirley Mac.

Weekend (1967) - Apocalyptic Godard bullshit.

Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) - Overlong, sleazy, unenjoyable bonkbuster with Marlon Brando and Liz Taylor looking lost in what is supposed to be Long Island (and was, plus interiors in Rome, hence Gordon Mitchell appearing), but because it's John Huston directing, it looks like Ireland. This was supposed to launch Robert Forster.

Trans-Europ-Express (1967 - b/w) - Slightly pervy artiness without a plot from Robbe-Grillet.

Hotel (1967) - Another nonsensical mockbuster.

The Milky Way (1969) - Bunuel sends two vagrants into a chocolate bar full of surrealistic nonsense.

Hellfighters (1969) - John Wayne is Red Adair, and it goes on and on, delving into soapie romance.

Gaily, Gaily (1969) - Gormless Beau Bridges in an unfunny coming of age sex  comedy based on Ben Hecht.

Pound (1970) - Robert Downey Sr nonsense about humans in a dog pound. Surrealist bullshit. Features a little blond boy playing with the dogs. That's Downey Jr (Robert not Morton).

Five Easy Pieces (1970) - Dreary New Hollywood nonsense.

Ryan's Daughter (1970) - The village doesn't look like a real Irish village. It looks like an apocalyptic landscape. It doesn't look far off something from Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Robert Mitchum sounds like he is going down to Winnipeg to get some Moosehead for the hockey.

Hoffman (1970) - Based on a novel by Irish writer Ernest Gebler, seemingly pervy Peter Sellers pays Sinead Cusack to spend a few nights with him, and in the end, she leaves Jeremy Bulloch for him.

Donkey Skin (1970) - Jacques Demy and Catherine Deneuve's Tales from Europe. Typical garish, somewhat tacky fairytale. The end has a helicopter land to shatter reality.

A New Leaf (1971)- It's sweet, but the kind of New York humour of that era leaves me cold. Don't ask. I've tried. I've tried.

Follow Me (1972) - Forgettable romantic comedy with Topol, Mia Farrow and Michael Jayston. Has Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed and the Evil of Frankenstein used to play the same film.

In Celebration (1973) - From the American Film Theatre, practically a Play for Today, with a pre-Compo Bill Owen in a lead doing his Compo voice, alongside Alan Bates and James bloody Bolam sounding like Terry Collier if he became Bob Ferris in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? Northern Grimness.

The Conversation (1974) - I found it kind of over-self-conscious and unthrilling. Typical Coppola.

Heartbreak Pass (1975) - Not a western fan, and previously attempted this, but once you give it time, it becomes an interesting murder-mystery with Bronson and a great cast of character actors.

Framed (1975) - Generic hicksploitation with Joe Don Baker.

Royal Flash (1975) - It's typical Richard Lester swashbuckling nonsense, despite the brilliant cast. David Jason livens the screen in a tiny role as a moustachioed mayor. It is weird seeing Sir David in a proper film.

Insiang (1976) - Grim, well-made but tough to watch rape revenge from Lino Brocka.

Foxtrot (1976) - Mexican Europudding with Peter O'Toole, Max von Sydow and Charlotte Rampling having sex  in Majorca.

Greased Lightning (1977) - TV movie-like racing biopic with Richard Pryor.

3 Women (1977) - Creepy, pervy, if it weren't Altman, it might be an erotic thriller.

A Wedding (1978) - Shambolic, voyeuristic, cluttered Altman study of a wedding.

Born Again (1978) - An early example of well-budgeted Christian cinema. Starring Dean Jones as  real-life  reformed Watergate figure Chuck Colson, plus Dana Andrews, Jay Robinson, ex-IRA man George Brent,Raymond St. Jacques, Anne Francis and Billy Graham, plus a rough lookalike of Nixon and future Babylon 5 star Peter Jurasik aged 28 unconvincingly cast as Kissinger. If Larry Buchanan or Larry Cohen was a Christian, this is imagine how their films would look like.

Real Life (1979) - Aside from the fire of Tara scene, this Albert Brooks film parodying PBS' The American Family feels like a five minute sketch stretched to a feature, hence repetitive scenes of a camera-helmet.

Nostalghia (1983) - Arty Soviet-Italian coproduction on the life of defection from Tarkovsky.

Ladyhawke (1985) - Richard Donner's direction and a key cast mean it is  better assembled than most junky fantasies but it meanders.

Club Paradise (1986) - Despite the SCTV cast, it feels like a proper cast trying to enact a teen sex comedy.

Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988) - All Guy Maddin films are the same.

Santa Sangre (1989) - Jodorowsky's tackiest, squirmiest picture.

The Wild East (1993) - Post-apocalyptic Kazakh western.

The Watermelon Woman (1996) -  An interesting film from Cheryl Dunye, about a young black lesbian filmmaker's search for a mysterious black actress of 30s poverty row films. However, to quote Joe Bob Briggs, there's too much plot in the way of the story, with stuff about Dunye's character's personal life, which although entertaining, could have been pruned slightly. But in all, a fine discovery.

Bleak Future (1997) - Very FMV game-y spoof. Amateurish but energetic post-apocalyptic comedy.

Peut-Etre (1999) - Post-apocalyptic Jean Paul Belmondo stuff with lots of Euro-skangers in tracksuits with spiky hair.

Saturday 21 December 2019

90 - mostl ok.rued

Phantom (1922 - b/w)/Der Finanzen des Grossherzogs (1924 - b/w) - Average melodramas/comedies directed with style by Murnau.  The DVD is scrubbed-up.

Parnell  (1937 - b/w) - As awful as the reviews, no wonder it is forgotten in Ireland even among fans of classic film. Clark Gable has no beard. Numerous Irish characters have US accents (are they the forefathers of the Country and Irish scene?), everything looks fake.

The Man who Came to Dinner (1942 - b/w) - All-star Christmas comedy, it's well-made, but the sort of humour that I don't particularly enjoy. Smiles not laughs.

Above Suspicion (1943 - b/w) - Fred MacMurray and Joan Crawford in a well-made but thoroughly generic chase thriller/propaganda piece.

Her Primitive Man (1944 - b/w) - Edward Everett Horton and Robert Benchley in a forgettable, dated comedy that predates the later Krippendorf's Tribe.

Confidential Agent (1945 - b/w) - Not-bad but generic European noir with Lauren Bacall as a Lancashire lass and Charles Boyer, plus Lorre, Coulouris and Zucco.

She Gets Her Man (1945 - b/w) - Generic, forgettable mystery-comedy with Joan Davis and Leon Errol.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945 - b/w) - A typical screwball comedy. A good cast but that kind of Christmas Americana doesn't really do well with me.

The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1946 - b/w) - Stanwyck and Bogie in a strange noirish thrillr set in a strange England. Nigel Bruce does his Watson schtick.

The Lost Moment (1947 - b/w) - Preposterous Universal gothic romance with Agnes Moorehead as  the world's oldest woman.

Lady in the Lake (1947 - b/w) - The first FMV interactive movie game.

The Saxon Charm (1948 - b/w) - Generic, undistinguished Robert Montgomery noir.

Top O'The Morning (1949 - b/w)- Awful Oirish musical nonsense with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald (a great actor, but in some ways, the Irish Stepin Fetchit - though to be honest, this is the Irish theatre's own fault - Irish TV alwas falling back on stereotypes, see Wesley Burrowes' dramas)

Miracle in Milan (1951 - b/w) - What the Italians consider art is almost Norman Wisdom-esque. But I suppose it charms.

Pool of London (1951 - b/w) - A typical British drama of the era, except it has a non-white lead in Earl Cameron. Technically, two, because Bonar Colleano, the ostensible white lead was of Australian Aborigine descent. It's well-directed but aside from the obvious, unremarkable. Watched on DVD.

Sealed Cargo (1951 - b/w) - Generic maritime noir with Dana Andrews and Claude Rains.

99 River Street (1953 - b/w) - Generic inner-city noir with John Payne.

Hell Below Zero (1954 - b/w) - Generic Warwick-made British actioner from the 50s, Alan Ladd and a bunch of lost souls in the Antarctic.

Berlin Schoenhauser Corner (1957) - East German new wave dreariness.

The Fearmakers (1958 - b/w) - Dana Andrews and Jacques Tourneur's post-Night of the Demon project is a ambitious but undistinguished commie-smasher noir set in Washington, with Mel Torme.

Flood Tide (1958 - b/w) - Sloppy father/son in a boat noir with George Nader.

Never Let Go (1961 - b/w) - Generic B/W crime-thriller with Richard Todd and serious Peter Sellers.

Ring of Fire (1961) - Western-like disaster film for country folk with David Janssen.

Johnny Nobody (1961 - b/w) - Aldo Ray, Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, William Bendix, Bernie Winters and a murderer's row of Irish stars - from Jimmy O'Dea to T.P. McKenna in an Enniskerry-set blarney noir.

Fanny (1961) - Another interchangeable Leslie Caron film. It's very nicely shot. Part of Horst Buchholz's attempt at Hollywood stardom.

Requiem for a Heavyweight (1961 - b/w)/The Hustler (1961 - b/w) - Television tries to imitate small-room live drama. Both have Jackie Gleason. Well-made but really just watching this for my inner semi-completist. The Hustler is way too long. But then it is about snooker/pool, so I suppose that suits it.

A Long Day's Journey into Night (1962 - b/w) - Basically  a play, and the sort of family drama I find impenetrable.

Tender is the Night (1962) - Bland studio romance.

War Hunt (1962 - b/w) - John Saxon and Robert Redford star in a sub-Sam Fuller Korean war thing.

The Password is Courage (1962 - b/w) - Generic wartime POW stuff with Dirk Bogarde.

This is Not  A Test (1962 - b/w) - So awful it didn't get released. People stand on a road and wait for the bomb to drop.

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962 - b/w) - Lancaster and Savalas are great, but it feels at the same time, grim and sentimental.

Kill or Cure (1962 - b/w) - Average, boilerplate, generic 60s British comedy with Terry-Thomas and Eric Sykes.

Phaedra (1962 - b/w) - A romance so overheated, if it were funny it might be a parody. Even as a kid, I disliked Melina Mercouri.

David and Lisa (1962 - b/w) - God I can't stand people overacting, playing mentally challenged folk.

America America (1963 - b/w) - Anatolian-set Oscar bait that is now almost entirely forgotten. Just a sea of men in fezzes. Even Frank Wolff and John Marley are made interchangeable.

Ladybug Ladybug (1963 - b/w) - Proto-PBS preach of anti-nuclear war.
See also Fail Safe (1964 - b/w).

The Balcony (1963 - B/W) - Rigid, weird stage adaptation of a Genet play set in a European fantasyland with Peter Falk and Shelley Winters.

Nine Hours to Rama (1963) - Despite filming in India, this dramatisation of the killing of Gandhi is so shoddy that Horst Buchholz isn't even wearing brownface for much of it.

The Very Edge (1963 - b/w) - Grim British thriller with Jeremy Brett as a stalker. Actually shot in Ardmore, hence a cameo by Maureen Potter stooge Danny Cummins.

Paris when it Sizzles (1964) - Can't decide what it is.

What A Way To Go (1964 - b/w) - Terrible comedy starring Shirley MacLaine and a ton of leading men.

Night of the Iguana (1964 - b/w) - It looks nice, but becomes clinical. Overheated Southern prose not my thing.

How To Steal A Million (1965) - An average 60s heist-alleged comedy that served the basis for those Renault ads, you know the ones, "Papa?" "Nicole". Here, Audrey Hepburn and Hugh Griffith are Nicole and her da.

Up from the Beach (1965 - b/w) - Average b/w war film with Cliff Robertson and Marius Goring at D-Day.

Brainstorm (1965 - b/w) - Idiotic thriller starring Captain Pike and Altaira, from William Conrad.
See also My Blood Runs Cold (1965 - b/w), which feels like an overlong SCTV sketch without the laughs.

Rapture (1965 - b/w) - Slow, arty, faux-French drama of a girl, her dad Melvyn Douglas and Dean Stockwell as a fugitive.

Mickey One (1965 - b/w) - Beatnik-y arty nonsense from Warren Beatty.

Return from the Ashes (1965) - Bland Nazi drama with two Phantoms - Schell vs Lom.

Battle of Algiers (1966 - b/w) - Grim but stunning, but basically a narrative documentary.

Lost Command (1966) - Generic wartime story, despite the Algiers setting - Anthony Quinn bellows, while George Segal is ludicrously cast as "the Arab".

A Fine Madness (1966) - Sean Connery tries to do a silly Jerry Lewis-style comedy, and fails.

This Property is Condemned (1966) - Tries to turn a tragic story cutesy and fails.
See also another Natalie Wood-Robert Redford vehicle, the annoyingly chirpy-yet-cynical Inside Daisy Clover (1966), a drama with a comedy tone. Like a Neil Sedaka song in film form.

Point Blank (1967) - An almost entirely generic American action-thriller. From before John Boorman moved here, so LA even doesn't look like Wicklow to entertain.

Bonnie and clyde (1967) -  Too Southern, with a most obnoxious cast.

Hurry Sundown (1967) - An attempt to do a modern Gone with the Wind, as awful as Michael Caine's pub cowboy accent. Pity because Robert Hooks has a ton of charisma and looks great shirtless, and this feels like a star vehicle for him. But the camera is more interested in Caine drunkenly playing the saxophone.

Robbery (1967) - Generic proto-Euston larks. On blu-ray with a krimi-esque adap, The Great Train Robbery (1965), starring Horst "Derrick" Tappert, that is so documentary-like it becomes rather staid and boring.

Attack on the Iron Coast (1968) - Generic WW2 puff with Lloyd Bridges and Andrew Keir.

The Brotherhood (1968) - Kirk Douglas in a dreary proto-Godfather.

Duffy (1968)/Sebastian (1968) - 1968 was forgetttable thriller starrring Susannah York season.  At least Duffy has inexplicable drag-diving from James Coburn.

The Big Bounce (1969) - Generic sun-lounging noir-ish Elmore Leonard plodder with the insufferable Ryan O'Neal.

Que Le Bete Meure (1969) - Chabrol directs what could easily be an episode of a French TV show. Also confusingly known as the Beast Must Die.

Goodbye Columbus (1969) - Dreary post-Graduate Jewish romance.

The Lost Man (1969) - Dull, talky Sidney Poitier actioner.

The Learning Tree (1969) - Simultaneously authentic-feeling and kind of preachy story of black life.

Model Shop (1969) - A tedious New Hollywood-meets-New Wave exploration of L.A.

Change of Mind (1969) - Despite a fine performance by Raymond St. Jacques as a white millionaire in a black man's body, it can't help feeling TV movie-esque.

A Walk with Love and Death (1969) - An entirely unmemorable romantic medieval drama directed by John Huston intended to launch Anjelica as a star, something which wouldn't occur for another fifteen years. She's odd in this film. She's far from the actress she grew into. She registers on screen as a nervous, untrained Irish teen. There's something vaguely Dana-esque about her, in her shawl. Perhaps Dana being told to mimic Jenny Agutter in the Railway Children. She looks like she's playing the Virgin Mary in a John Charles McQuaid-sponsored Easter float. Even her faux-English accent has the distinct sound of Irish theatre. She looks like she'd rather be at a Miami Showband concert. Plus it feels like it was made in Ireland, not France or Austria or Italy. Michael Gough has prominent credit but doesn't even appear. John Hallam is 4th billed. Star Assi Dayan is the son of Moshe, and became a noted actor back home in Israel.

Prípad pro zacínajícího kata (1970) - Surrealist Czech adap of Gulliver's Travels so loose that it is barely recognisable.

Fool's Parade (1971) - Bland TV movie-alike comedy with James Stewart, Kurt Russell and George Kennedy.

The Last Movie (1971) - Dennis Hopper goes mad while making a movie. Both the plot and the behind-the-scenes info.

Hit Man (1972) - Colourful but somewhat artless Blaxploitation Get Carter. Aside from Pam Grier and Bernie Casey, it lacks a decent cast.
See also Cool Breeze (1972) - an almost TV-level version of the Asphalt Jungle.

Melinda (1972) - Average private eye-r despite a solid lead in Calvin Lockhart, and the lovely Vonetta McGee.

The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973) - Surrealist Eastern Bloc folderol.

Swept Away (1974) - Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela Melato argue on an island.

Goodbye Norma Jean (1976) - Soundtracked with a song that is legally close to Candle in the Wind without Reg Dwight suing, this is a bland, tabloidy, historically lazy exploitation pic.

Stir Crazy (1980) - After the delicious Silver Streak (1976), a descent into the average and the banal for Wilder and Pryor.

The State of Things (1982 - b/w) - Arty, self-indulgent twaddle about the making of a Roger Corman sci-fi picture, from Wim Wenders.

Jesus of Montreal (1988) - Bland French-Canadian story about the power of religions.

Big Night (1997) - Typical American indie about restaurants by Stanley Tucci. Ian Holm looks weirdly like Derek Fowlds.

Manolito Gafotas  en !Mola ser Jefe! (1999/2001) - Generic Spanish kids flick.

Monday 16 December 2019


Nibelungen  (1924 - b/w) - Epic, silent as opera from Mr. Fritz Lang.

The Squall (1929 - b/w) - Early talkie melodrama with Myrna Loy, obviously stagey.

They Met in a Taxi (1931 - b/w) - Forgettable Fay Wray romantic-comedy.

Hells Highway (1932 - b/w) - Generic Richard Dix prison punch.

Girl Missing (1933 - b/w) - Forgettable B-comedy with Ben Lyon and Glenda Farrell.

Anne of Green Gables (1934 - b/w) - Cheap, basic Classics Illustrated adap.

Les Miserables (1935)/Les Miserables (1952 - b/w) - Two Fox adaps. The first with Fredric March doesn't feel French. Charles Laughton looks like Divine in his little outfit.  The 1952 one with Michael Rennie, Robert Newton, Debra Paget, James Robertson Justice, Cameron Mitchell and weirdly, Elsa Lanchester feels like a cheap cash-in. Shooting in b/w makes it feel like a useless cover version.

The Westland Case (1937 - b/w) - Bland, generic Universal Crime Club mystery.

She Had to Eat (1937 - b/w) - Forgettable Jack Haley romcom.

It Happened in Hollywood (1937 - b/w) - Unfunny, smiles-not-laughs comedy about Richard Dix as Tom Mix, written by Samuel Fuller. Features a ton of celebrity lookalikes, and Fay Wray.

Victory (1940 - b/w) - Oh God, from Paramount, a dreary South Seas romance.

Turnabout (1940 - b/w) - Generic screwball comedy that apart from the gender-switch is quite average.

Wuthering Heights (1940 - b/w) - Olivier looks stiff. It almost looks like a western at times.

A Dispatch from Reuter's (1940 - b/w) - Edward G. Robinson in another western-feeling European period piece.

Whistling in the Dark (1941)/The Fuller Brush Man (1948 - b/w) - Was Red Skelton ever funny?

Sweater Girl (1942 - b/w) - Below-average mystery-musical college bowl with Eddie Bracken.

Now Voyager (1942 - b/w) - I can't take it seriously, because of Bette Davis' spinster outfit.

Munchausen (1943) - The Nazis' answer to Powell and Pressburger, with Brigitte Horney, future staple of badly dubbed West German kids' TV.

Hangmen Also Die (1943 - b/w) - It's stylish, because it's Fritz Lang, but at over 2 hours, it's way overlong for a quickie propaganda piece.

The Boy from Stalingrad (1943 - b/w) - Winsome American-accented brats fight Nazis in  a park. Shonky programmer.  Kids die. The end.

Margin for Error (1943 - b/w)  Shambolic tonally-awkward Nazi thriller with Milton Berle, Joan Bennett and Otto Preminger.

Cobra Woman (1944) - It's bewitchingly colourful. It's junk. Maria Montez can't act for toffee, either as heroine or villainess. It seems to be set  in both India, Arabia, the Pacific and a mythic fantasyland that can be visited by Christian missionaries and sailors. But it's nice looking junk.

Christmas Holiday (1944 - b/w) - Romance with Gene Kelly and Deanna Durbin that's regarded by some as noir, but is quite slushy.

Shady Lady (1945 - b/w) - Average musical comedy timewaster with Charles Coburn.

Blood on the Sun (1945 - b/w) - Silly yellowface-heavy James Cagney vehicle.

Where There's Life (1947 - b/w) - Entirely generic Bob Hope runaround with boy scouts.

Rogues' Regiment (1948 - b/w) - Vincent Price is a Nazi who joins the Foreign Legion in Indochine in a silly, throwaway if somewhat atmospheric noir.

The Heiress (1949 - b/w) - Generic Hollywood period drama with Olivia de Havilland.

Bagdad (1949) - Universal Arab nonsense with Maureen O'Hara as a red-haired Arab princess who sings Irish tenor-sounding Iraqi lullabies. Also with Paul Hubschmid and Vincent Price.

The Black Hand (1950 - b/w) - Generic crime drama with a miscast Gene Kelly.

The Next Voice You Hear (1950 - b/w) - Preachy Christian-themed God-on-the-radio nonsense with Nancy Reagan.

No Way Out (1950 - b/w) - Poitier and Widmark in a typical noir.

Armored Car Robbery (1950 - b/w) - Generic docunoir from Richard Fleischer.
See also The Narrow Margin (1952 - b/w).

Deadline USA (1952) - Generic newspaper thriller with Bogart.

Who Goes There! (1952 - b/w) - Generic, not-exactly-rib-tickling middle class comedy with George Cole as a Queen's Guard.

Mr. Scoutmaster (1953 - b/w) -Soft family comedy about Clifton Webb and some kids who read fake comic books.

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955) - Apparently, this lurid but empty period true crime epic starring Joan Collins, Ray Milland and Farley Granger was a favourite of a relative. It's just Joan trying to look pretty and poignant, and it also has musical numbers. It'sa bit tonally all over the shop. It's a true crime story that thinks it is a musical.

We're No Angels (1955) - Baffling comedy with Bogart, Ustinov and Aldo Ray lolloping about screwball situations in the Pacific, while Basil Rathbone is wasted.

Killer's Kiss (1955 - b/w) - Kubrick's first proper film. Is it a B-crime movie or an art film? Christ knows.

Àttack (1956 - b/w) - This Robert Aldrich war movie with a mixture of tough guys (Jack Palance, Lee Marvin) and rural sitcom stars (Buddy Ebsen and Eddie Albert) feels reasonably authentic, considering the backlot setting.

Satellite in the Sky (1956) - Boring aeronautics saga that just happens to be set in space. By the Danziger brothers, but it is very much an attempt at prestige. With Donald Wolfit, Kieron Moore, Lois Maxwell and Bryan Forbes.

Interpol (1957 - B/w)-  Generic exotic crime film with Victor Mature, Anita Ekberg and Trevor Howard, from the Warwick stable.

Tip On A Dead Jockey (1957 - b/w) - Forgettable Robert Taylor vehicle set in Spain.

The Story of Mankind (1957) - Who is this film for? Is it supposed to educate kids? It's miscast, it wastes its stars (the Marx Brothers are separate) and it seems to be there to use stock footage.  From Irwin Allen.

Nathalie (1957 - b/w)/Secret Agent Nathalie (1959 - b/w) - Baffling noirish action comedies distributed by AIP, with Martine Carol.

Next to No Time (1958)  - Laughless Kenneth More comedy on an ocean liner.
See also John Gregson in the more slapsticky The Captain's Table (1958 - there's a literal custard pie fight).

Twilight for the Gods (1958) - Generic seafaring programmer from Universal, with Rock Hudson.

High School Confidential (1958 - b/w) - Generic juvenile delinquency with Jerry Lee Lewis. The sequel, College Confidential (1960 - b/w) has Steve Allen,  Conway Twitty and a returning Mamie van Doren. It's supposed to be sexy but feels safe and bland, with musical numbers and Elisha Cook Jr's face.

The Miracle (1959) - Sentimental dramatisation of a Napoleonic miracle, with Carroll Baker and Roger Moore, that I only watched because it frightened my mother as a child, and instilled a lifelong fear of moving statues.

The Big Circus (1959) - Tedious all-star melodrama from Irwin Allen, padding between circus acts.

Jet Storm (1959 - b/w) - Another generic air disaster movie despite serious roles for Marty Wilde and Harry Secombe.

Crack in the Mirror (1960 - b/w) - Bland Europudding melodrama with Orson Welles.

The Apartment (1960 - b/w) - I find the setting unengrossing. Yes, it's a play.

Wernher von Braun (1960  b/w) - Bland biopic with Curd Jurgens.

Whistle Down The Wind (1961 - b/w) - It's nice, but nothing more. Typical Bryan Forbes middle-class cinema, an idealised halfway house between kitchen sink and magical realism.

The Mind Benders (1963 - b/w) - Dreary SF thriller with Dirk Bogarde.

The Girl Hunters (1964 - b/w) - Tiny, underbnourished UK-made Mike Hammer adap starring Mickey Spillane as his own creation, with an incongruous sweeping soundtrack. Spillane fades into the background. He's not Mike Hammer. He's Mike Hammer's God.

Le Monocle Rit Jaune (1964 - b/w) - Dreary Eurospy with Paul Meurisse in Hong Kong, plus Barbara Steele and a West Side Story-styled action sequence. The lead suddenly turns Japanese at the end.

The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965 - b/w) - Forgettable all-star sexcom.

The Ghost Goes Gear (1966) - Colourful but plotless series of musical numbers for the Spencer Davis Group and Acker Bilk amongst others, with Nicholas Parsons and Jack Haig.

How I Won The War (1967)  - Silly, supposed wartime satire starring the intolerable duo of Michael Crawford and John Lennon.

The Comedians (1967) - Tedious drama set in Haiti with Burton, Taylor, Guinness, Ustinov and an all-star African-American cast doing accents. Has Sir Alec in his favourite pastime - blacking up.

Tarzan and the Great River (1967)/Tarzan and the Jungle Boy (1968) - Basically the same film. Tarzan for the Disney crowd.

Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady (1968) - Silly Phyllis Diller comedy.

Swiss Made (1968) - Futuristic plotless arty-dive from Switzerland.

Flareup (1969) - Simultaneously sleazy and tellymovie-like bland gogo-stalker thriller with Raquel Welch.

The Christmas Tree (1969)  Alongside A Dream of Kings, the prototype for schmaltzy Italian movies about dying kids. Here, William Holden and Virna Lisi's son gets radiation cancer from when a nuclear bomb detonates above a swimming spot. Bourvil is the comic relief. Predictable.

The Adding Machine (1970)  -Intolerable comedy, an attempt to launch Milo O'Shea as an American comedy star, doing yer typical Irish panto New York Jew voice that goes Dublin every so often. Also bizarrely has as his effeminate American sidekick, Julian Glover. His accent slips. It's a strange, silly but intolerable film.

Flap (1970) - Tonally all over the place comedy drama about walnut-juice-faced Native Americans, headed by Anthony Quinn who seems to be playing it as mentally challenged, with his baseball cap.

The Strawberry Statement (1970) - Bruce Davison and Kim Darby protest in intolerable if nicely shot student protest saga.
See also Getting Straight (1970) with Elliot Gould as a mature student involved in the same scrapes.

The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart (1970) - Hot Twink Don Johnson tries to make a film on masturbation and grows a beard, and loses his prettiness, predating his  stubble-faced 80s self. Arty, pretentious post-Midnight Cowboy twaddle/satire on underground films that doesn't work.

Squeeze A Flower (1970) - Bland Aussie comedy about Walter Chiari as a winemaking monk, with Dave Allen, Jack Albertson, Cecil Kellaway's brother Alec (literally a cheaper version of his brother) and Sons and Daughters' Rowena Wallace.

Myra Breckinridge (1970) - Christ, what a fiasco.

Fools (1970) - Post-Love Story twaddle with Katharine Ross and Jason Robards as Vincent Price.

Brother John (1971) - Preachy racial harmony nonsense with Sidney Poitier as an angel.

Romance of a Horsethief (1971) - Russian Jewish adventure dreariness shot in Spain and Yugoslavia, with Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Birkin and Gainsbourg and introducing Oliver Tobias. It has a vaguely Harry Alan Towers-ish period scrappiness and lack of historical detail. Boring.

Kansas City Bomber (1972) - Medium Cool-ish but otherwise TV movie-esque story of Raquel Welch as a roller derby queen.

Frenzy (1972) - Rewatch. My favourite Hitchcock, probably. Plus it weirdly references Hitchcock homageur Brian Clemens, whose See No Evil is advertised on a bus.

A Warm December (1973) - Treacly Sidney Poitier passion project - black Roman Holiday/Love Story with an added cute kid daughter, George Baker as token white lead, plus the likes of Earl
Cameron lending class. But it looks very cheap, like an episode of The Persuaders!

The Mack (1973) - It certainly captures 70s Oakland.

Coffy (1973) - Pam Grier is an energetic lead, but I don't find the blaxploitation milieu of urban America that interesting.

The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder (1974) - Idiotic military-mental home com from Playboy.

Thieves Like Us (1974) -Robert Altman does a Corman-style gangster pic, slowly and plainly, plus it is set in what looks like Wicklow.

Nashville (1975) - Is it supposed to be a spoof? It feels like Altman is ripping the piss out of the country scene, in a way that  feels rather nasty.

The Man in the Glass Booth (1975)  - A great Maximillian Schell performance as a Jewish concentration camp survivor mistaken as  a Nazi can't help this adaptation of a Robert Shaw novel/play feel like a TVM. Schell's own Der Fussganger (1973) is basically the German flipside to this, but Glass Booth is much better.

Foes (1977) - Dreadful psychedelic semi-docudrama on UFOs with MacDonald Carey It only got a release theatrically in Britain.

Bobby Deerfield (1977) - A 40s romance for the New Hollywood era. Pacino is out of his depth amongst the continental aristocracy.

Angela (1977) - Like the Lana Turner vehicle Bittersweet Love the same year, this is a dreadful incest romance with Sophia Loren and her son Steve Railsback.

Target of an Assassin (1977) - Thought I saw this before, but this is a forgettable Anthony Quinn vehicle shot in South Africa by Peter Collinson.

The Stickup (1977) - Dreary, small The Sting imitation with David Soul and regular Britcom face Johnnie Wade, plus the likes of Liz Smith. Female lead Pamela McMyler does a dodgy Irish accent.

Girlfriends (1978) - Interesting, somewhat overlooked feminist feature. Youth Melanie Mayron tries to date the ancient-even-then Eli Wallach. Not my thing, but it's not bad.

An Unmarried Woman (1978) - Jill Clayburgh and Alan Bates in an overlong, meandering if somewhat amiable towards the end study of a woman by Paul Mazursky. A distaff version of Mazursky's Blume in Love (1973) - but with Bates instead of Kris Kristofferson.

They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way (1978) - A Don Knotts and Tim Conway comedy but with Chuck McCann instead of Don Knotts. Both are appealing comic actors, but it's sub-Disney-meets-Hal Needham nonsense with the duo as convicts being chased by Richard Kiel. It's idea of a joke is McCann done up as a geisha girl.

Rich Kids (1979) - Two little shites fall in love. One's dad is John Lithgow, the other is whatshisface from Raise the Titanic/Dark Shadows/Falcon Crest.

The Runner Stumbles (1979) - A last-ditch attempt at big screen drama for Dick Van Dyke, as a priest who falls in love with young nun Kathleen Quinlan, but then tragedy strikes.  Stanley Kramer holds the film as director, but it feels like a TV movie. It is sentimental, it is rural, perfect for a busload for old nuns.

Cafe Express (1980) - Typical, baffling, sentimental though nicely-paced Italian comedy with Nino Manfredi. Has the titular train portrayed by a lovely if obvious miniature.

Lili Marleen (1981) - Fassbinder I find all gloss and no substance.

Nutcracker (1982) - Tacky, sexless attempt at Joan Collins erotica that sidelines old Joanie in favour of Finola Hughes and Paul Nicholas, and lots of half-baked Soviet espionage involving Vernon Dobtcheff in a rowing boat.

Paris, Texas (1984)  - It looks gorgeous, but it is really a miniseries.

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) - Dear God, Scorsese turns the bible into a music video for Peter Gabriel's world music.

Also skimmed Beyond Reason (-1970), an amateurish Aussie post-apocalyptic film.

The Outcasts (-1982) - RTE do folk horror.

Tuesday 10 December 2019


Mr. Skitch (1933) - Baffling family camping comedy with Will Rogers.

Here Comes Trouble (1936 - b/w) - Another unfunny chase comedy around a ship from Fox.

Super Sleuth (1937- b/w) - Grating crime-comedy with Jack Oakie.

The House of Fear (1938 - b/w) - Grating Universal crimer.

Next Time I Marry (1938 - B/W) - Fast-paced but unentertaining vehicle for Lucille Ball.

The Man Behind the Mask (1936) - Generic quota quickie involving a masquerade party, by Michael Powell for New Realm.

Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe (1940) - Just a load of period drama outfits in a quarry.

The Crystal Ball (1943 - b/w) -  Generic romcom with  Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard.

Murder He Says (1945 - b/w) - Fred MacMurray lollops about with glowing hillbillies in a silly comedy.

Home Sweet Homicide (1946) - Generic kiddie-aimed suburban comedy with Randolph Scott and young Dean Stockwell that allegedly has a mystery.

The Corpse Came C.O.D. (1947)   - GENERIC CRIME-COMEDY with former Republican George Brent.

Black Narcissus (1947) - It look so beautiful that one forgets the other flaws. Jean Simmons seems to belong to that caste of Indians who only exist in the movies.

Champagne for Caesar (1950 - b/w) - Typical screwball comedy, with Celeste Holm, Ronald Colman and Vincent Price.

Man with A Cloak (1951  - b/w) - Barbara Stanwyck, Leslie Caron and Joseph Cotten in a dry, average period bodice-ripper with a not very exciting twist.

His Kind of Woman (1951- b/w) - A typical jungle-set noir, even though Vincent Price gives good heavy.

No Highway In The Sky (1951 - B/W) -  Routine proto-Airport airbound melodrama with James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich and various Brits.

Thunder in the East (1952 - b/w) - Another artless Alan Ladd potboiler set in a phony India, the only authenticity being a framed photo of Gandhi. Deborah Kerr is the token Brit.

Rough Shoot (1953 - b/w) - Joel McCrea in an unmemorable do over of Rogue Male/ManHunt.

City Beneath the Sea (1953) - Average jungle/sea adventure with Robert Ryan and Anthony Quinn.

The Disembodied (1956 - b/w) - Rubbishy Monogram jungle schlock.

Pulgarcito (1957) - Rene Cardona Mariachi-themed version of Tom Thumb, with a lot of weird Singing Ringing Tree-ish stuff.

Floods of Fear (1958 - b/w) - Fauxmerican floodery melodrama with Howard Keel, and being made in the UK, Irish actors Cyril Cusack and Eddie Byrne as Americans. Plus Harry H. Corbett. It's impossible to take seriously.

Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958 - b/w) - Always imagined this as a tough if darkly comic noir, but it's Gassman, Mastroianni, Cardinale and Toto in a sentimental, light and aimless sub-Ealing heistcom.

The Young Lions (1958) - generic Fox Nazidom.See also The Desert Fox (1951 - b/w).

Intent to Kill (1958 - b/w) - Faux-Canadian hospital melodrama drudgery with Richard Todd and Warren Stevens.

Under Ten Flags (1960 - b/w) - Average WW2 fare with Van Heflin and Charles Laughton faux-British early Macaroni Combat with a decent British cast - Cecil Parker, Liam Redmond (he was born pre-1922, so technically he was British), Ralph Truman.

Zazie Dans Le Metro (1960) - Baffling French zaniness from Louis Malle.

Raymie (1960 - b/w) - A discovery. I've been long looking for this film. David Ladd is immensely more likeable as a kid than as an adult, as a kid who just spends his time fishing and talking to old men. That's the whole film. At least, you don't want him to choke on a load of cocaine eaten like space dust, like in the Wild Geese.

Stopover Forever (1964 - b/w|) - Forgettable 56-minute tropical crime featurette with Ann Bell and Conrad Phillips.

Dead Ringer (1964 - B/W) - A dullish mutton-dressed-as-lamb twin-thriller with Bette Davis, Karl Malden and Peter Lawford, scored by Andrew Preview.

Bílá paní (1965 - b/w) - Czech-alike of the Ghosts of Motley Hall.

Sword of AliBaba (1965) - A remake of the 1944 Maria Montez film, even with scenes from the original. Blonde Jocelyn Lane is a very unconvincing Arab princess.

Trunk to Cairo (1966) - Menahem Golan cashes in on the Eurospy craze with this bland Egypt-set yarn with Audie Murphy for once not at war or in the west.

The Cape Town Affair (1966)  -Claire Trevor and James Brolin and Jacqueline Bisset in an unmemorable, slightly Towers of London-ish African-shot sub-noir. Shonky, almost sub-ITC production values.

Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966) - An uneasy mix of Eurospy, lost world adventure and jungle scrapes, though Mike Henry isn't a great actor, his characterisation is less grating than the typical Weissmuller-ish portrayal of a jungle dolt.

Watched the four Matt Helms.Sillier and more outré than the Bonds, they are also annoyingly goofy.
The Silencers (1966) is like all of the series, irritating goofball nonsense with Dean Martin looking like a dad waiting to collect his daughters at the disco.
Murderer's Row (1966) is more of the same. Karl Malden's baddie is fun, but it's so obnoxious.
The Ambushers (1967) pushes it even more into Batman territory, but with sexist bullshit instead of charm, a brutally miscast Albert Salmi as a South American dictator and a flying saucer.
The Wrecking Crew (1968) - Nigel Green is a good baddie, but Elke Sommer is silly, Nancy Kwan looks lost, and the Danish scenery, well, there's Californian road signs, though the brief Downing Street scene looks more authentic than the main bulk of the film.  Poor Sharon Tate.

Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970) - More New Hollywood eejitry with Robert Redford and Michael J. Pollard.

The Phynx (1970) - A knockoff Monkees are hired as spies to rescue a cast of ageing celebs from Communist Albania. A discovery of the year. Quite Wonka-esque. Somehow not annoying in its silliness, but ambitious. Insane. Features a fake London.

The Projectionist (1971) - It's an acquired taste, but it's winning. Chuck McCann has a goofy charm as the lead, who dreams that he is in various classic films. The merging of original and archive footage is excellently done, that you don't notice that it's not from the 40s until Rodney Dangerfield pops up.

The Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971) - A stylish, imaginative but rather grim and nonsensical giallo, with Jean Sorel, Mario Adorf, Barbara Bach and Ingrid Thulin.

Mrs. Pollifax - Spy (1971) - It's very telly. It's a bit like an episode of Mission: Impossible starring Rosalind Russell, who's basically Auntie Mame here. Harold Gould is the Soviet. Darren McGavin is her CIA sidekick. Batman vet Leslie Martinson directs. If it had a better budget (actual European locations) and a less jokey cast, it might have worked. It's very sitcommy. No one's taking it seriously. The novels later spun-off a TV pilot with Angela Lansbury and Ed Bishop (because it was shot in Galway).

Tresaure Island (1972) - Orson Welles/Harry Alan Towers adap, has the feeling of a foreign kids' TV serial dubbed for CBBC.

La Valise (1973) - Generic French comedy adventure with Mireille Darc, begins with a spaghetti western pastiche.

Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies (1973) - Watching this schmaltzy father-son air show film with Cliff Robertson and the annoying little lad off Poseidon Adventure, I was struck, "weird how the exteriors in some scenes look like Wicklow". Turns out I was right. So bad Spielberg took his name off.
See also
The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) - It has moments of excitement, Robert Redford is ideally cast, but it glosses over moments of death like a parent trying to pretend a child's beloved relative isn't dead, and it becomes another silent-era Hollywood nostalgiafest that was all the rage in '75.

The Girl from Petrovka (1974) - Touristy but inauthentic Soviet-set romance with Hal Holbrook, Goldie Hawn as a silly-accented ballerina and Anthony Hopkins.

Lords of Flatbush (1974) - Sub-Mean Streets overaged teen gangbang with Perry King, Henry Winkler, Sylvester Stallone and some other bloke.

Stavisky (1974) - Typical French gangster pic with Belmondo, but there is a role from Michael Lonsdale.

Journey into Fear (1975) - Despite Vincent Price AND Ian McShane amongst many others, this is a typical dull Canadian film, even though it is set in Greece.

Out of Season (1975) - Peculiar, boring love triangle between Cliff Robertson and mother and daughter Vanessa Redgrave and a miscast Susan George.

Ode to Billy Joe (1976) - Oh Jesus, another country-song adaptation with Glynnis O'Connor and Robby Benson as two unlikeable, dweeby teens.

House of Shadows (1976) - Oddly hypnotic but rubbish faux-Eurohorror from Argentina with John Gavin and Yvonne De Carlo.

Mother, Juggs and Speed (1976) - Harvey Keitel, Raquel Welch and Bill Cosby appear in a car chase comedy/weepie drama that despite its Needhamesque marketing, and befitting Cosby's style, is actually a sentimental light-drama about ambulancemen.

Nickelodeon (1976) - Another Bogdanovich-Ryan O'Neal ego-marathon. The same 30s Hollywood dramedy everyone was making in the 70s.

Blondy (1976) - Starring Bibi Andersson and Rod Taylor as an Aussie-accented American UN attaché, this is marketed as an Emmanuelle-type picture, but it's actually a Crazies/Cassandra Crossing international viral outbreak picture combined with softcore melodrama. It's not very good.
There are weird puppets.

The Other Side of the Wind (1977/2018) - Oh well, it's as if Orson Welles directed a Jess Franco film (considering Jesus had been his assistant) or an Al Adamson film (with a lot of the same collaborators including Gary Graver and Geoffrey Land)..

Les Passagers (1977) - Grim, unlikeable hostage-thriller with Mireille Darc, Adolfo Celi and Jean Louis Trintignant.

Violette Noziere (1978) - Chabrol-helmed French-Canadian crime biopic with Isabelle Huppert. Dry, boring, no hint of Canadian sensationalism, just the cold.

French Postcards (1978) - A slightly less Little Romance. Aimed at Americans who have a cliched view of Paris. Star Valerie Quenessen went onto the unlikely duo of Conan and Silas, then quit acting and died in a  car crash.

The Great Santini (1979) - Also, like Conrack, based on a novel by Pat Conroy, this time based sort-of  on his father, Robert Duvall is good, the Spanish prologue is fun, but it is rather too treacly/After School Special once it reaches Michael O'Keefe, and Blythe Danner is too young for her role (though I suppose if you count the Dawson Casting, it works out slightly).

Nightwing (1979) - Finally found this, and it's awful. Italian-Americans as Indians in beatle wigs vs bats, while David Warner tries his best to give it dignity in a cravat.


Night Boat to Dublin (1943 - b/w) - Robert Newton, Herbert Lom, Guy Middleton,Leslie Dwyer, Valentine Dyall, Marius Goring, Brenda Bruce, Wilfred (sic) Hyde-White and Edmundo Ros and his Rhumba (sic) Band star in a typical, not very Irish propaganda thriller. It doesn't even climax here. It ends in Devon.

The Bicycle Thief (1949 - b/w)- Attractive but drizzling with sentiment.

Park Row (1952- b/w) - Basically, Sam Fuller makes the story of the people you hear about in a western but never see. The late 19th century newspaperscene doesn't intrigue me. It looks like a western.

The Good Die Young (1954 - b/w) - Typical British crime movie of the 50s, with a mixed Transatlantic cast.

The Draughtman's Contract (1982) - I found it almost inpenetrable, even though I liked the soundtrack since I was a  wee kid.

The Pirate Movie (1982) - Part of the 80s Bill Kerrnaisance, this sloppy Airplane-ish take on Gilbert and Sullivan, with Kristy McNicol, Christopher Atkins, a pre-Prisoner Maggie Kirkpatrick, and Garry "Norman Gunston" MacDonald is an odd duck indeed.

34 - Aurum horror encyclopaedia roundup

Someone at the Door (1950 - b/w) - Michael Medwin an annoyingly eager lead in this Hammer old dark house comedy.

The White Reindeer (1952 - b/w) - Basically a travelogue of Finland with spooky overtones.

Agatha, laß das Morden sein (1960 - b/w) - Forgettable

El Imperio del Dracula     (1967 - b/w) - Forgettable, sub-Dark Shadows Mexican vampire incompetence.

War of the Zombies (1965) - Forgettable, possibly-a-horror peplum.

The Wrong Box (1966) - All-star, overlong comedy. Loads of comedians, no jokes.

The Unnaturals (1969 - b/w) - Margheriti fox-hunting faux-British supernatural 20s whodunit starring  Joachim Fuchsberger, and Claudio Volonte, brother of Gian Maria Volonte, who bears a more-than-uncanny resemblance to Julian Holloway, to the point I initially wondered if this was an appearance the IMDb had not noticed.

Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) - Generic, swinging, Mario Bava version of Ten Little Indians.

Multiple Maniacs (1970 - b/w) - Amateurish, ugly early festival of debauchery from Divine and John Waters and co.

The Vampire Happening (1971) - Terrible German sex comedy by Freddie Francis, costarring Ferdy Mayne as Dracula. It's very Fearless Vampire Killers.

The Etruscan Kills Again (1972) - Alex Cord, Samantha Eggar and John Marley in  a dreary Yugoslavian-set giallo.

Morbo (1972) - Dreary Spanish caravanning horror with Michael J. Pollard.

The Corruption of Chris Miller (1972) - The Fox/Killing of Sister George-type lesbianism horror with Barry Stokes and Jean Seberg.

Inn of the Damned (1975) - Sub-Grundy/Crawford's western/horror with Alex Cord, Dame Judith Anderson, Michael Craig and Joseph Furst.

Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key (1972) - Generic giallo.

Blackenstein (1973) - Surprisingly not an Al Adamson picture, but just as intolerably amateurish.

Baba Yaga (1973) - Nazi-infused pervy dreamlike comic strip adaptation, where a bedraggled Carroll Baker gets kinky with an Amanda Barrie-lookalike.

Autopsy (1974) - Another unmemorable 70s giallo with Barry Primus, Mimsy Farmer and Ray Lovelock.

All in the Dim Cold Night (1974) - Forgettable Taiwanese haunted wuxia.
See also Ghost of the Mirror (1974) with a young Brigitte Lin, and Blood Reincarnation (1974).

Vera, un cuento cruel (1974) - Generic, forgetable period gothic with Lucia Bose.

The Guru of the Seven Cities (1975) - Unmemorable Brazilian crime movie. Listed as horror by Aurum.

Quem tem medo de Lobisomem (1975)  - Goofy Brazilian werewolf-adventure.
See also O Homen Lobo (1971) - a dreary b/w almost-home movie-ish thing that resembles a snuff film with musical interludes.

Die Elixiere des Teufels (1976) - German medieval realism.

The Devil Master (1977) - Amateurish fanfilm.

Bloodlust (1976/77) - Forgettable, sleazy Swiss video nasty.

Patrick Lives Again (1979) - Schlocky, forgettable Italian unofficial sequel to the Aussie thriller.

Aquella Casa En Las Afueras (1979) - Dreary, grey, unimaginative fare from Eugenio Martin.

Humongous (1982) - A serviceable if forgettable Canadian island slasher.

The House (1982) - Bland Icelandic haunting.

The Keep (1983) - It's a mess. Ian McKellen looks slightly too young for his character, but hey, what's Christmassier than having Walking in the Air as the theme?

Las amantes del señor de la noche (1986) - A rather beige erotic witchcraft-thriller, despite being directed by and starring Isela Vega, with titan of Mexican cinema Emilio Fernández. It feels older than it is. Watching it, I presumed it was from 1980-81.

Friday 29 November 2019


A Farewell to Arms (1932 - b/w) - Typical Hollywood tearjerking war romance. Weird to see Helen Hayes young.

Palooka (1934 - b/w) - Forgettable Jimmy Durante vehicle/adap of the comic strip Joe Palooka.

Brown on Resolution (1935 - b/w) - Typical WW1 army thing, notable for being John Mills' first lead.

Night Train To Munich (1940) -  The Lady Vanishes... again.

My Son, My Son (1940) - Forgettable American story of life in Manchester, with Louis Hayward.

Cottage to Let (1941) - Typical 40s wartime thriller made in Britain, with Leslie Banks, Alastair Sim, John Mills, Michael Wilding and a fifteen year old George Cole.

Bowery at Midnight (1942 - b/w) - Now, I thought this was a Bowery Boys/Lugosi comedy for Monogram. It's actually a Monogram crime thing with Lugosi. Unmemorable.

Berlin Correspondent (1942 - b/w) - Generic wartime thriller with Dana Andrews.

Son of Fury (1942 - b/w) - Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders, Elsa Lanchester, John Carradine and Master Roddy McDowall star in this typical swashbuckler.

Adventures of Tartu (1943) - Wartime propaganda with Robert Donat.

The North Star (1943 - b/w) - hollywood Ukrainian propaganda with Erich von Stroheim.

The Monkey's Paw (1948 - b/w) - An atmospheric but forgettable adaptation. Megs Jenkins plays the mother, despite being actually younger than Eric Micklewood (one of the British Intelligence men in Kentucky Fried Movie) who plays her son and  almost young enough to be her on-screen husband Milton Rosmer's granddaughter. She would later reprise the role at a more suitable age in an episode of Orson Welles' Great Mysteries.

The Great Lover (1949) - Another anodyne kiddy-themed Bob Hope film, this time as a scoutmaster. Weird to see Roland Young and Roland Culver billed over George Reeves.

Britannia Mews (1949 - b/w) - Maureen O'Hara plays an Irish-accented London girl.

We Were Strangers (1949 - b/w) - Forgettable, forgotten Cuban saga with John Garfield, Jennifer Jones, Pedro Armendariz and directed by John Huston.

The Man in Black (1950 - b/w) - Hammer quickie with Valentine Dyall, watchable only to see that Sid James was always old.

Outcast of the Islands (1951) - Trevor Howard in ludicrous brownface-heavy tropical melodrama.

Hans Christian Andersen (1952) - Danny Kaye on autopilot. Weird live-action/ballet hybrid.

The World in His Arms (1952)  - Another generic swashbuckler, with Gregory Peck.

White Witch Doctor (1953) - Susan Hayward and Robert Mitchum in a boilerplate jungle romance.

Man on a Tightrope (1953)`- Fredric March, Terry Moore, Gloria Grahame, Cameron Mitchell, Adolphe Menjou, Adolphe Menjou, Robert Beatty, Alexander D'Arcy and Richard Boone star in a typical circus yarn.
See also The Big Show (1961).

Lilacs in the Spring (1954 - b/w) - Errol Flynn and Anna Neagle in a forgettable semi-colour musical. Features Sean Connery's debut and singing ghostly Chelsea Pensioners.

I am a Camera (1955) - Cabaret with Julie Harris, Laurence Harvey, Shelley Winters, Ron Randell and Anton Diffring.

The Ten Commandments (1956) - Like westerns, to me, biblical epics are very samey.

Jacqueline (1956) -  Catherine Cookson adap moved from Tyneside to Belfast, with lots of blarney, plus a disconcertingly beardless Noel Purcell, Liam Redmond, Cyril Cusack as Parrot-Face Davies, and Richard O'Sullivan when he had an Irish accent.

Harry Black and the Tiger (1958) - Generic adventure in India with Stewart Granger.

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959 - b/w) - Noir only atypical cos Harry Belafonte's in it.

The Story of Ruth (1960) - Generic, simultaneously expensive-looking but cheap-feeling epic, with Stuart Whitman in his he-man idol stage.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960) - MGM colour version of the saga, with boxer Archie Moore as Jim, Tony Randall,Finlay Currie and John Carradine. Michael Curtiz helms a decent, acceptable version of the story, but Moore isn't a good actor, and it feels neutered.

A Dog of Flanders (1960) - Sentimental but colourful Fox dog-story, not to be confused with the Disney version of Greyfriars Bobby, which also has Donald Crisp.

Seven Thieves (1960 - b/w) - Edward G. Robinson, Rod Steiger and Joan Collins in a confused caper. Set on the Riviera, shot brightly in b/w, so it's noir one thing or another. It's almost a pilot for Mission Impossible.

The House in Marsh Road (1960 - b/w) - Forgettable haunted house quickie that resembles every other British thriller b-picture of the era.

Panic (1963 - b/w) - Glyn Houston stars in a forgettable boxing-noir quickie.

The Pawnbroker (1964 - b/w) - Feels like Corman's the Intruder, being an exploitation message picture even though it is much higherbrow, it is still AIP.`

Maya (1966) - Disneyesque elephant saga that spunoff a TV series, with stars Jay North (previously the Aryan-American Dennis the Menace) and Bollywood boy actor Sajid Khan. This has Clint Walker as the pilot-only lead for theatrical release, only to go conveniently missing for the TV series, which like the film, actually shot on location in India (and featured the likes of Prem Nath, Amrish Puri and Kabir Bedi).

Judith (1966) - Even-then-dated romance with Peter Finch and Sophia Loren in Israel.

SORREL FLOWER (1967) - Bog-standard mysterious French drama with Mireille Darc.

They Saved Hitler's Brain (1968?) - A hodgepodge of random footage, nowhere as interesting as it sounds.

Più tardi Claire, più tardi... (1968 - b/w) - Forgettable, dated gothic horror with Gary Merrill.

Counterpoint (1968) - I'm sure I reviewed this forgettable backlot war movie with Heston, Maximillian Schell and Anton Diffring but it must have gotten lost.

La Piu Bellla Coppia Del Mondo (1968) - Begins with a jungle quickie sketch, but is a pop comedy starring Walter Chiari and Adriano Celentano.

Negatives (1968) - Sleazy nonsense about sexual roleplay with Glenda Jackson, Diane Cilento, and Special Guest Star Maurice Denham, who spends his scenes in bed.

It's Your Move (1968) - Grand Slam Part 2, but nowhere near as fun, just Edward G. Robinson, Terry-Thomas, Adolfo Celi and George Rigaud in a villa.

Submarine X-1 (1969) - One of those cheap British-made UA war films with a US minor star supported by British TV actors. Here, it's James Caan before he rose to actual stardom opposite future Emmerdale staple Norman Bowler. Very ITC in its appearance.

Slaves (1969) - Dionne Warwick, Burl Ives and Stephen Boyd in an indistinguished, cheapskate sub-Mandingo exploiter.

El Che Guevera (1969) - Even more incompetent than the Omar Sharif film it is mockbusting. With Francisco Rabal as Che and John Ireland as a Yank.

The Happy Ending (1969) - Pornographic muzak with Jean Simmons, John Forsythe and "Robert" Darin.

Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) - Sleazy romantic drama, I can see why it has never been revived, even though it got plaudits for Carrie Snodgress. It's rough.

Rosolino Paternò, soldato/Operation SNAFU (1970) - Robards, Landau and Falk in a forgettable Italian comedy.

Gregory and his Angel (1970) - Schamltzy Mexican family film about a little girl angel guiding Broderick Crawford.

Ransom Money (1970) - Also with Broderick Crawford, this is an Al Adamson-ish story about a boy with a big flashy-light sci-fi bomb hoisted on his neck. It's supposed to be a serious drama.

My Lover, My Son (1970) - Inexplicable, unwatchable tale of Romy Schneider and Dennis Waterman as mother and son. Yes, really.

The Molly Maguires (1970) - Lush but kind of boring Irish saga in Pennsylvania with Richard Harris as an Armagh man vs Sean Connery as an Irishman. Frank Finlay's Welsh accent as the police captain sounds vaguely Tom Hardy-as-Bane-ish.

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970) - Idiotic story of disabled folk, with Liza Minnelli, narration in song by Pete Seeger, plus Ken Howard and Fred Williamson who is distractingly out of place.  And Nancy Marchand without her CGI-ed floating Livia Soprano head.

Moonfire (1970) - PIlot-ish trucker yarn. Makes Nazis, rocket science, bikers and interracial trucker buddies (Charles Napier, Richard Egan and Sonny Liston) boring.

Who Says I Can't Ride A Rainbow (1971) - Messy family film about Jack Klugman as an inner-city farmer in Greenwich Village. Confused. The first credited movie role of Morgan Freeman as a character named Afro.

T.R. Baskin (1971) - Typical 70s grim romantic-comedy-drama with Candice Bergen as a possibly-teenage prostitute seducing Peter Boyle.

Honky (1971) - Afterschool Special-like interracial romance with Brenda Sykes. Screen debut of John Hillerman.

Little Murders (1971) - More Simonesque drudgery.

The Touch (1971) - Bergman unites Max Von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, a shouty, beardy Elliott Gould and Benidorm's Sheila Reid in a typically cold venture, only this time it's in English.

Black Girl (1972) - Very televisual (it was made by Cinerama/ABC) play adaptation by Ossie Davis, with Leslie Uggams.

Pete 'N' Tillie (1972) - Typical beige-y 70s comdram with Carol Burnett and Walter Matthau.

 The Cremators (1972) - Terrible. People terrified by giant flashing lights.

Unholy Rollers (1972) - Claudia Jennings stars as a roller derby champ in a down and dirty, confused, messy sorta-comedy-drama produced by Roger Corman. It attempts a bit of Altmanish Americana, and yet goes a bit crazy with some unauthorised derby on a public road, and a weirdly 50s theme tune.

A Place Called Today (1972) - Sleazy, unlikeable racial politicker with Lana Wood.

Ground Zero (1973) - Amateurish Golden Gate Bridge bomb actioner, which astonishingly got a UK theatrical release. Why? God knows.

PETE, PEARL AND THE POLE (1973) - Tony Anthony and Adolfo Celi in a suspiciously  rural-located New York-set crime saga that though indebted to the Godfather, feels like a comedy even though it isn't.

A Delicate Balance (1973) - Typical, reserved, colourless American Film Theatre production, with Paul Scofield and Katharine Hepburn.

The Three Musketeers (1973) - A bit too goofy and pleased-with-itself to be enjoyable. Oddly Ken Russell-esque ball sequence.

The Day of the Wolves (1973) - Ropey though ambitious heist thriller involving a twist where the thief is a kids' TV host.

Little Mother (1973) - Interesting, ambitious but ultimately flawed Radley Metzger attempt to go mainstream, in a rather Harry Alan Towersy biopic of Eva Peron, except it isn't, and it's clearly set in the 70s. Christiane Kruger is not-Evita, while Siegfried Rauch is her husband, Mark Damon is a love interest, and Anton Diffring the Cardinal. Made in Yugoslavia. Written by a Dubliner, Brian Phelan, who also wrote the Niall Toibin-Pierce Brosnan TV movie Murphy's Stroke and RTE drama The Treaty.

The Rites of Frankenstein (1973) - Jess Franco nonsense. Zoom-shots, characters in period shot wandering about, Dennis Price waiting to die...

The Candy Snatchers (1973) - This is critically acclaimed, but I didn't get it. Sleazy exploitation crime thriller about an overage, kidnapped schoolgirl.

Cinderella Liberty (1973) - Typical New Hollywood romance-with-an-edge with James Caan and Marsha Mason.

The Front Page (1974) - The 30s in the US don't fascinate me. This feels like every other 30s post-Sting Hollywood film, despite being by Billy Wilder. The name Jennings Lang is a sign. It feels adequate, nothing more, nothing less.

The Gambler (1974) - Sleazy, unlikeable James Caan crime, clearly written by a perv. Oh, yeah, James Toback wrote it.

Conrack (1974) - Affecting, naturalistic story based on the real-life white teacher who taught a group of illiterate black kids  in the South Carolina islands who live a backward pre-technological life. Jon Voight is ironically cast, knowing his bigoted modern ways, and the kids are the actual kids from Pat Conroy's memoir, playing themselves.

When The North Wind Blows (1974) - Dan Haggerty in the snow with a tiger. Typical Sunn Classics wilderness schlock.

A Black Ribbon For Deborah (1974) - Forgettable giallo with Gig Young and a circus.

Hester Street (1975) - Very PBS drama with Carol Kane. Directed by Joan Micklin Silver.

Shampoo (1975) - Oh, feck off, Hal Ashby.

Galileo (1975) - Peculiar choirboy-narrated semi-musical play. You can tell, though that Topol will recycle his performance here as Zarkov in Flash Gordon, so that's nice.

Johnny Firecloud (1975) - Amateurish Dave Friedman sub-Billy Jack Native American vigilante nonsense.

The Bullet Train (1975) - Generic Japanese actioner with a bit of a disaster slant, with Sonny Chiba.

Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976) - Generic Southern Bonnie and Clyde-meets-country-and-western car chase exploitation with Marjoe Gortner and Lynda Carter.

All This and World War II (1976) - Insane. A mix of documentary and classic film footage from/about World War Two, soundtracked by an all-star band singing Beatles songs. The Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, the Quo, David Essex,Roy Wood, Lyndsey De Paul, Peter Gabriel, Keith Moon, Leo Sayer, the Four Seasons, Tina Turner, Jeff Lynne, Helen Reddy, Bryan Ferry and Frankie Laine... Yes, really.

Lifeguard (1976) - Sunny yet inwardly grim Sam Elliott vehicle, like a darker pilot for Baywatch, down to Parker Stevenson. Features teenage stalkers and suicide. Boring.

Birch Interval (1976) - Eddie Albert and Rip Torn in sentimental 40s-ish Amish family drama.

Julia (1977) - Redgrave, Fonda and a debuting Streep in 40s-style Holocaust woman's picture from Fred Zinnemann. Shot in the UK, hence Maurice Denham.

The Baron (1977) - Calvin Lockhart does a film about indie filmmaking, almost a blaxploitation version of Hollywood Man. It doesn't make much sense, but it has some heart and Joan Blondell as a crime boss.

First Love (1977) - Another post-Love Story romantic dirge with William Katt and Susan Dey, and some football.

Stunts (1977) - Low-budget, almost televisual excuse for action with Robert Forster, for New Line.

The Dragon Lives Again (1977) - If Al Adamson worked in Hong Kong and didn't care about copyrights...

The Redeemer - Son of Satan (1978) - Odd but clunky slasher disguised as an Omen knockoff.

Youngblood (1978) - Odd, rough-edged, grim coming of age AIP late-period blaxploitation.

King Frat (1979) - Silly, stupid, somewhat inventive in its grossness, but with a cast of students including an unconvincing Indian chief, all of whom are in their forties - at least.

The Secret of Nikola Tesla (1980) - Staid Eastern bloc biopic with guesting Orson Welles, Strother Martin and Dennis Patrick.

Windows (1980) - Talia Shire and Elizabeth Ashley (as a psycho) in Cruising for lesbians. At least, being directed by Gordon Willis, it is well-photographed.

Raggedy Man (1981) - Peculiar sun-kissed nostalgic romantic drama with Sissy Spacek, Eric Roberts and Henry Thomas that has a sudden last-act swerve into slasherdom. Almost Charles B. Pierce-ish.

Force Five (1981) - Basically A Fistful of Yen as a feature. Even the guy playing the Senator looks a lot like Derek Murcott as the British Intelligence man. Master Bong Soo Han is in the same role.

Six Pack (1982) - Kenny Rogers, Erin Gray and Diane Lane try to do something like a Disney version of a Hal Needham movie. Forgettable kiddy fluff.

Heidi's Song (1982) - Animesque Hanna-Barbera attempt at expensive animation. Unmemorable kiddy filler.  A few dodgy painted backgrounds and props show that even though money was spent, corners were still cost. The character animation is significantly more detailed than the average H-B cartoon, but the backgrounds wouldn't look out of place in Jabberjaw.

The King of Comedy (1982) - Rupert Pupkin really reminds me of Brendan O'Carroll. I find it a little too slick (too mid-80s in style), and too elongated, and I can see why it flopped. it's almost too dark that it feels like the black jokes are hard to notice.

Diner (1982) - Not my thing. It stills feels very early 80s, despite the 50s setting.

Silkwood (1983) - Almost too dry for its own good. Has Meryl Streep singing.

Variety (1983) - Film4 thing about porn in New York. Aimless.

The Survivors (1983) - Robin Williams and Walter Matthau in a film that feels like a typically Canadian attempt at comedy, but isn't Canadian at all.

Eureka (1983) - It looks stunning, but being Roeg, it's quite incomprehensible. The  British Columbia stuff is lovely. Cameo from Ian "Huck Finn" Tracey. It's very music video-ey. John Boorman said it was "the best picture ever made - for an hour", before it dilutes into a tedious courtroom drama with Norman Beaton and Emrys James.

Angelo My Love (1983) - Peculiar docudrama starring actual Manhattan Romani, directed by Robert Duvall. A confused halfway point between drama and reality.

Christine (1983) - The choice of un-50s music for the flashback doesn't work. It feels a bit goofy, Robert Prosky is great, but it feels like a Tales from the Darkside segment.

Better off Dead (1985) - Some bits of invention, but a mostly insufferable teen comedy. The animation helps.

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987) - The first of that initial whirl of prestige Irish films that dominate the scene today. This is bolstered by an underrated and underseen Maggie Smith performance, doing a perfect Irish accent. For once, Bob Hoskins' American accent works, because he's not actually American. He's an Irishman who went to New York and now won't shut up about it. Prunella Scales is also oddly convincingly Irish, at the point of her career c. After Henry where she seemed to look ten years younger than she was as Sybil.

Casino (1995) - It's a fascinating story, but seeing it dramatised doesn't grab me.
Ditto Goodfellas (1990).

Friday 15 November 2019


Oliver Twist (1933 - b/w) - Stagey, melodramatic, silent-esque Monogram adap - so cheap London is represented by a photo of a screen-print painting.

In the Wake of the Bounty (1933 - b/w) - Errol Flynn as Fletcher Christian in what is mostly a travelogue of Polynesia with a few stagey bits dramatising the Mutiny on the Bounty.

The Kennel Murder Case (1933 - b/w) - The highlight of this Philo Vance film with William Powell, an otherwise average mystery is a bit where a large dog seemingly rapes the villain.

The Emperor Jones (1933 - b/w) - The portrayal of slaves has dated, and  it does feel a bit "30s jungle programmer", but Paul Robeson's star quality shines.

Crime and Punishment (1935 - b/w) - barely resembling the original novel, just an attempt to make Peter Lorre a leading man.

My Man Godfrey (1936 - b/w) - Not a fan of screwball comedies, I'm afraid. I often feel, "do I get this?".

The Amazing Adventure (1936  - b/w) - Forgettable quickie romcom inexplicably starring Cary Grant.

Curtain Call (1940 - B/W)   - Average wartime stage-comedy with Alan Mowbray.

The Missing Million (1942 - b/w) - Another indistinguishable Edgar Wallace movie. 

Pittsburgh (1942 - b/w) - Weird seeing Randolph Scott billed over John Wayne. And Dietrich above them. And it's not a western. It's just a boardroom drama.
Dakota (1945 - b/w) - Another western land saga. Wayne and Vera  Hruba Ralston. An attempt at A-filmdom from Republic.

Jane Eyre (1943 - b/w) - Lewtonesque take, basically a Mercury Theater Motion Picture.

Salome, Where She Danced (1945) - Slushy western-romance retelling of Middle Eastern stories with Yvonne de Carlo.

The Spider (1945 - b/w) - Dreary Orleans-set Richard Conte vehicle.

The Dark Corner (1946 - b/w) - Another boilerplate Lucille Ball noir.

The Big Lift (1950  -b/w) - An average US war docudrama with Montgomery Clift.

Double Confession (1950 - b/w) - Derek Farr in a quickie that wants to be Brighton Rock, with William Hartnell in carnival backgrounds, and a spastic, drunken Peter Lorre.

Bedtime for Bonzo (1951 - b/w) - Walter Slezak's mad scientist is the best thing of this Disney-ish, silly Ronald Reagan-raises-a-chimp comedy. Bonzo Goes to College (1952 - b/w) instead has Edmund Gwenn and Maureen O'Sullivan, and is even worse.

Little Boy Lost (1953 - b/w) - Sentimental Bing Crosby in Europe slop.

Man in the Dark (1953 - b/w) - Undistinguished rollercoaster noir with Edmond O'Brien - in 3-d.

Dance Hall Racket (1954 - b/w) - From Lenny Bruce and the director of Robot Monster, a silly little action-free, suspense-free cheapie, despite Timothy Farrell.

Highway Dragnet (1954 - b/w) - Corman cheapie in the desert. Undistinguished, unmemorable.

Charade (1954 - b/w) - Sub-Maugham anthology by Roy Kellino, his ex-wife Pamela and her-then husband James Mason.

The Wild Party (1956 - b/w) - Downbeat, half-baked Anthony Quinn noir. Not my thing.

Carousel (1956) - Heaven is a place of plastic Christmas stars on visible strings. The main odd thing though is that Shirley Jones' performance of You'll Never Walk Alone sounds weird. It sounds out of tune, because one is so used to hearing thousands of smashed Scousers singing an out of tune version of the strikingly different, less operatic Gerry and the Pacemakers arrangement that it doesn't sound like the same song.  Also, weird to see Cameron Mitchell in something expensive. Not a fan of musicals, to be honest.

Death in Small Doses (1957 - b/w) - Dozy drugsploiter with Chuck Connors.

Zero Hour (1957 - b/w) - Airplane from the 50s. Weird to see Geoffrey Toone in a US role.

The Wayward Bus (1957 - b/w) - Undistinguished, time-killing Steinbeck adap, an excuse for Joan Collins and Jayne Mansfield.

Battle of the River Plate (1957) - A lot of sameyness being a war movie, but the Hispanic setting livens it up a bit.

The Sad Sack (1957 - b/w) - Silly comic-strip comedy with Jerry Lewis and Peter Lorre as an Arab.

Cry Baby Killer (1958 - b/w) - Jack Nicholson in a tawdry, silly JD murder joint.

Lost, Lonely and Vicious (1958 - b/w) - A dowdy, silly Howco teen movie.

When Hell Broke Loose (1958 - b/w) - second-rate war movie with Charles Bronson in his big break.

Maracaibo (1958) - Another Paramount colour South American tediurama, with Cornel Wilde.

Cavalry Command (1958) - Amateurish color western set in the Philippines with John Agar.

Blind Date (1959 - b/w) - Typical British noir, by Joseph Losey, starring Hardy Kruger as a Dutchman and Stanley Baker.

Cuban Rebel Girls (1959 - b/w) - Cheesecake-heavy indulgence for Errol Flynn.

High School Caesar (1960 - b/w) - Corman-produced overage teen schlock.

David and Goliath (1960) - Italian peplum with Orson Welles and his own voice and his old pal Hilton Edwards, whose name is mangled in Italian faux-English style as "Hilton Hedward", to the extent one might think this doyenne of the Dublin theatre scene was some Italian luvvie.

Pirate of the Black Hawk (1960) - Another basic Italian pirate film, marketed as starring Bardot, not telling the viewer it is not Brigitte but her sister Mijanou.

Stowaway in the Sky (1960) - Effectively a travelogue, but eccentric and lovely from the director of the Red Balloon.

Paradise Alley (1962 - b/w) - Juvenile delinquents and Hugo Haas as himself in this strange, unsuccesful noirish comedy-drama.

Terror of the Blood Hunters (1962 - b/w) - Jerry Warren jungle grot.

A Prize of Arms (1962 - b/w) - Typical British crime movie with Stanley Baker. Downbeat.

Jacktown (1962 - b/w) - Grody, jailbait juvenile delinquency with Patty McCormick.

We Shall Return (1963 - b/w) - Amateurish Cubansploitation with Cesar Romero.

Girl in the Headlines (1963 - b/w) - A typical British B-movie, generic enough, but with a bit more of a budget, with Ian Hendry and Ronald Fraser.

The Greenwich Village Story (1963 - b/w) - semi-documentary variety showcase. A Psychotronic choice. Distributed by Compton.

Sandokan the Great (1963) - Colonialist, racist garbage (is this set in Africa or India?) with a browned-up Steve Reeves.
Also watched Morgan the Pirate (1960), another boilerplate, generic Reeves actioner, just a standard pirater.

Goliath And The Sins Of Babylon (1963) - Another junky historically dubious peplum.

Johnny Cool (1963 - b/w) - Henry Silva leads an incredible cast in a rather strange, unlikeable but interesting faux-Italian gangster film. Like a Eurocrime shot on the lot, like a noir.

My Son the Hero (1963) - Generic Giuliano Gemma peplum known only because the trailer was dubbed in a comedy style by Mel Brooks. Sadly, not the film itself.

Honeymoon of Horror (1964 ) - A sexy movie disguised as a pseudo-Monogram cheapie with a faux-Indian butler. Similar to H.G. Lewis' stuff.

Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1964 - B/W) - Lazy, uncinematic, stagey Larry Buchanan counterfactual.

Back Door To Hell (1964 - b/w) - Another ramshackle, nearly-worthless Filipino war movie with young Jack Nicholson.

The Secret Invasion (1964) - Impressively mounted, simultaneously grim and silly WW2 actioner by Roger Corman, Stewart Granger, an incongruous Mickey Rooney (remember he can play anything, Japanese, little girl, Fallout Boy), Raf Vallone, Henry Silva and Edd Byrnes storming Dubrovnik.

The Legend of Blood Mountain (1965) - Amateurish, erotic yet supposedly family-friendly Bigfoot comedy, a vehicle for Atlanta horror host Bestoink Dooley, played by George Ellis, who played Boss Hogg in the original Dukes of Hazzard movie - Moonrunners. Terrible, terrible.

Hallucination Generation (1966)  - Dreadful drugsploitation.

The Fat Spy (1966) - Idiotic Beach Party for the older folks with Phyllis Diller, Jayne Mansfield, Jack E. Leonard and Brian Donlevy.

The Swinger (1966) - Another televisual, unlikeable swinging sex com, starring Ann-Margrock.

The Bang Bang Kid (1967) - Silly spaghetti western/steampunk comedy hybrid with Tom Bosley as a rocketship-flying robot gunslinger in a strange medieval/Wild West hybrid town.

The Jackals (1967) - Peculiar, below-average B-western, shot and set in South Africa, starring Sean Connery-alike Robert Gunnar and featuring a bizarre turn by Vincent Price as an elderly cowboy patriarch.

Devil's Angels (1967) - Another rote biker film, despite John Cassavetes.

Three  in the Attic (1968) - Christopher Jones is pretty but a creep in this annoying countercultural AIP sex comedy semi-musical with Chad and Jeremy.

Lock Up Your Daughters (1969) - Irish-shot Tom Jones-y sex farce. Not funny, but Christopher Plummer does well as a camp fop named Lord Foppington. That's the level of humour. Glynis Johns does a lewder version of Mrs. Banks.

Twinky/Lola (1969) - Squeaky Susan George and miscast Charles Bronson have a romance. Every top-rate British character actor appears. And Jimmy Tarbuck as Norman Vaughan and vice versa.

Laughter in the Dark (1969) - Arty, pervy Nabokovery from Nicol Williamson and Anna Karina. Peter Bowles appears.

Les Cannibales (1970) - Liliana Cavani arthouse. Not my thing, but it has Britt Ekland as the world's sexiest priest, and a nice Morricone score.

Musical Mutiny (1970) - Barry Mahon does Woodstock.

Dr. Frankenstein on Campus (1970) - A rather dreary, amateurish Canadian student film.

Jud (1971) - Forgettable vigilante movie, not by Greydon Clark, but feels like it. John "Bud" Cardos appears.

The Pink Angels (1971) - Astonishing, terrible but shocking transvestite biker film with an incredible ending.

The Alf Garnett Saga (1972) - Despite an all-star cast of cameos, I've never found Alf Garnett  that funny. He always seemed to be a one-joke character. Without a laugh track, it feels very bleak, plus Una Stubbs and Tony Booth have been replaced by Adrienne Posta and Paul Angelis.

The Witches' Mountain (1972) - Idiotic Spanish horror with the inevitable Victor Israel and lots of wandering about a villa with an old gypsy.

Superfly TNT (1973) - Still not on DVD. This is the one in Rome and Senegal, and with the likes of William Berger, it is effectively a Eurocrime. Roscoe Lee Browne is in it too, always a plus, and he is convincing as an African tyrant, which is rare for an American actor (who usually mangle the African accents and sound daft). Directed by Ron O'Neal himself.

Mean Streets (1973) - Not much to say. Scorsese doing what he'd do several times later on, but on a small budget, in a guerilla/exploitation style.

Superchick (1973) - Crown International Pictures (who appear as an airline company) try to combine action with the stewardess genre. What we get is an idiotic comedy with dopey karate and John Carradine.

Some Call It Loving (1973) - A nice opening, as bored with live-in sex toy Carol White, Polanski-ish sex mogul Zalman King buys a sleeping beauty Tisa Farrow from carny Logan Ramsey, and attempts to awaken her. Soon gets weird and pervy with bald nuns, but there is a nice round twist ending.

The Savage is Loose (1974) - George C Scott vanity project about a family on a desert island and the mother and son incest that results. Yeah.

Diagnosis Murder (1975) - Made by HTV, and it shows. Christopher Lee headlines this not-a-horror-actually-a-boring-sub-Clemens-mystery.

The Kingfisher Caper (1975) - Boring Afrikaner diamond smuggling with Hayley Mills and David McCallum.

Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975) - It's basically an After School Special feature-length, with its story of a dead black basketball player, but Laurence Fishburne is unusually good for a child actor. You could tell he'd have a good career.

Crazy Mama (1976) - Amiable enough, with a decent cast. Basically Happy Days with gangster women.

All the President's Men (1976) - I suppose it's well-made, but it's too clinical for my liking.

Journey to the Beyond (1977) - John Carradine-narrated documentary.

Throw Out The Anchor (1977) - Interminable regional family-com with Richard Egan and Dina Merrill.

Leopard in the Snow (1977) - Mills and Boon attempt to start  a film franchise, with Susan Penhaligon travelling through (a Canadian facsimile of) the Lake District and falls in love with Keir Dullea. As much as slush as you expect.

Death Game (1977) - Shot in 1974, this has possibly-teenage lesbian psychos Sondra Locke (playing half her age) and Colleen Camp tormenting a dubbed Seymour Cassel.  Silly in that Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly way, with a Mockney theme song sung by a bunch of Americans trying to sound like Jack Wild.  Cassel's character is called George Manning, not to be confused with the fat English bloke from Glenroe. Set dressers include Bill Paxton (who was still a struggling semi-actor) and Sissy Spacek (already a name, but helping her husband Jack Fisk).

Outlaw Blues (1978) - Why am I watching this country and western crime movie with Peter Fonda? It was free.

Dark Eyes/Satan's Mistress (1980) - Britt Ekland, Lana Wood and Kabir Bedi and John Carradine star in a shitty consensual version of the Entity.

Health (1980) - Unreleased Altman dreadfulness. Glenda Jackson plays a character who Henry Gibson in drag convinces Carol Burnett is a transwoman by dressing up as another transwoman.

Target... Earth? (1980) - Victor Buono and a talking computer review Earth's history to see if it is worth saving, in a strange UFO documentary/drama hybrid. A discovery.

The Alchemist (1981) - Charles Band attempts to make a period horror, and it's undistinguished, has no period detail and Robert Ginty is out of place.

Student Bodies (1981) - Hard to say. Despite Michael Ritchie, its non-union status makes it feel rather amateur even in comparison to Wacko or Pandemonium.

Memed My Hawk (1984) - A film that once a slight running joke for me and a friend, mainly because of the ridiculous title. It is just as silly as the title.  I imagined it to be a kind of faux-Middle Eastern Kes, basically the Black Stallion Returns but with a hawk. But no, based on a classic Turkish novel, Memed is actually a Robin Hood-type bandit in turn of the century Turkey, played by a tanned Simon Dutton, the forgotten Saint. Peter Ustinov directs, produces, writes, narrates and stars. He doesn't attempt an accent, but then nobody does. Well, I think Eileen Way tries to sound foreign, as the wise old woman. Herbert Lom appears, sounding like himself. T.P. and Siobhan McKenna are unconvincing as Turks. Michael Gough is one of myriad RP-accented luvvies making no attempt to register as foreign, in his case as a carpet tycoon sheik. Dutton fades into the background. It's just an excuse for loads of British and Irish character actors to don brownface, go to Yugoslavia and ham it up. Michael Elphick gets the last shot as a Cockney in a Fez.

Broadway Danny Rose (1984) - I thought I'd enjoy bits, but I guess I don't get Woody. Though Nick Apollo Forte was a find.

Gremloids/Hyperspace (1984) - Earl Owensby's regional Star Wars parody. As slapdash as it sounds. Stars comic Chris Elliott and introduced Lord Buckethead to the world.

Code of Silence (1985) - Despite the likes of Dennis Farina, this is still a rote Chuck Norris vehicle.

Streetwalkin' (1985)- 25-year-old but convincingly teenage-looking Melissa Leo (unrecognisable  as the modern stalwart character actress she is today) helps make this Corman produced New York riposte to the variable teen-vigilante-hooker nonsense of Angel (1984) possibly a better film than the film it is imitating. Though Angel was helped by the likes of Dick Shawn and Rory Calhoun as LA eccentrics.

Ratboy (1986) - The film that killed Sondra Locke's career, produced by Clint and Malpaso. Whose idea was it to make a film about a vermin-child played by a middle-aged woman (Sharon Baird)? It's like making the Adventures of mutant Jimmy Krankie.

Dark Tower (1987) - Michael Moriarty, Jenny Agutter, Carol Lynley, Theodore Bikel, Kevin McCarthy fight an evil Spanish tower block, in Freddie Francis-helmed Spanish sludge.

Killing American Style (1991) - Oh God, a rape-revenge story with a bloke who looks like one of Boyzone on the Late Late, and a random Jim Brown. Dreadful.

Tuesday 5 November 2019


Birds of Prey (1930 - b/w) - Quota quickie with C. Aubrey Smith.

Grand Hotel (1932 - b/w) - One of these films that because it started a  raft of cliche, is basically unable to be watched without irony.

Secret of the Loch (1934 - b.w) - Ealing/Basil Dean hokum, a comedy in Loch Ness, with a surprisingly effective blown-up iguana shot underwater,

The Loves of Joanna Godden (1948 - b/w) -Another identikit period vehicle for Googie Withers.

Ghost Ship (1952 - b/w) - Dermot Walsh and Hazel Court in another mundane maritime thriller. Lots of waiting around train stations.

Quatermass Xperiment (1955)/Quatermass 2 (1957) - Kill me. I prefer Pit and Conclusion.

Search for Bridey Murphy (1956) - Godawful Oirish reincarnation schlock.

Davy (1958) - MGM Ealing flop set in a Victorian music hall in the modern day. Harry Secombe. Introduces a young child actor named Peter Frampton, who is not the singer, but instead became like his father, Harry, an award-winning makeup artist. The last Ealing comedy. Blackface follies. Ron Randell has a lot of dye in his hair.

The Man who Wouldn't Talk (1958) - Anna Neagle, a non-American-accented yet supposedly American Anthony Quayle and Zsa Zsa Gabor star in an intriguing though average courtroom drama. Judge is John LeMesurier. Also features an American-accented Patrick Allen, which is weird, because with an American accent, he doesn't sound like Patrick Allen.

The Penthouse (1967) - Another grim psychodrama from Peter Collinson.

Smashing Time (1967) - Lurid, astonishing yet also hatefully vulgar, but definitely a record of London at the time. Lynn Redgrave's turn is almost too good. She is too much the grating Northern gal she is playing.

Las luchadoras vs el robot asesino (1969) - Rene Cardona directs this dire wrestling film only notable because it unofficially uses as its main baddies, the Cybernauts from the Avengers (Steed and Mrs. Peel Avengers, obviously, not the Marvel lot).

Tropic of Cancer (1969) - Forgettable Henry Miller adap with Rip Torn on a Parisian sex holiday. Sheila Steafel pops up somewhere.

Girl on a Motorcycle (1969) - psychedelic bollocks.

Slecna Golem (1972) - A Barrandov romcom about a robot lady.

Dragon Story (1974) - Bruce Li plays Lee in a tawdry biopic that shows Betty Ting Pei as a promiscuous bitch.
Bruce Lee's Deadly Kung Fu (1976) - Bruce Lee (Bruce Li) works in a Chinese restaurant and kicks arse with very terrible production values.
Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth (1976) is another biopic starring Li, shot all over the world. It's shabby but ambitious.

Hot Potato (1975) - Jim Kelly is Black Belt Jones in the official Black Belt Jones II.

Won Ton Ton - the Dog that Saved Hollywood (1976) - It says Michael Winner directed this, but judging by the cast, style, even some of the crew (John "Bud" Cardos" on 2nd unit), I wouldn't be surprised if Al Adamson was involved.

Ebony, Ivory and Jade (-1976) - Colleen Camp, Sylvia Anderson (not THAT Sylvia Anderson) and Rosanne Katon in Filipino women-in-prison escapee Olympics schlock. Has a vaguely Scottish American/Britoid-accented Hong Kong News TV newsreader. Rewatched.

Stay Hungry (1976) - Typical New Hollywood dreary-whimsy from Bob Rafelson. Introducing Ahnult.

The Billion Dollar Fire (1976) - Terrible Romanian-Italian disaster movie starring Stuart Whitman, Woody Strode and Ray Milland.

American Tickler (1977) -Godawful Chuck Vincent anthology comedy.

Nurse Sherri (1978) - Carrie-like nurse movie with a demonic cartoon blob monster that looks like it's animated by Bob Godfrey. Yes, it's Al Adamson.

Straight Time (1978) - Dustin Hoffman does his schtick. New Hollywood boredom.

Sweater Girls (1978) - Terrible, horribly cheap, very 70s-looking sexploitation with an oddly catchy faux-doo wop song that sounds extremely 70s despite its 50s pretensions. The poisoned dwarf herself, Charlene Tilton pops up in a pre-Dallas bit at the end, that seems to be  a sequel hook.  And she literally looks like she's playing Lucy Ewing, shorts, hairstyle, everything. She's about as 50s as a Betamax.

Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) - It's the film I imagined age 10, but it's quite obnoxiously in your face bar the music.  Plus every Ramones song has the same tune.

Home Movies (1979) - Self-indulgent student film education project staged by Brian De Palma about Keith Gordon fawning over Nancy Allen, while Kirk Douglas plays God.

Night Games (1980) - Here's an oddity. Roger Vadim directs an erotic thriller where his latest discovery, future Ferris Bueller's mom Cindy Pickett hallucinates a lesbian flapper nightmare in a Los Angeles that is clearly the Philippines, because Golden Harvest coproduced so they had to shoot in Asia. It feels extremely cheap and it looks ugly, but there's a John Barry soundtrack, which sounds like various other John Barry soundtracks, e.g. Frances or The Betsy, or Moonraker.

Serial (1980) - They tried to make Martin Mull a movie star, in this strange, not very funny satire. I watched it, because it has Christopher Lee when he was living in California, doing a rubbish American accent as a gay biker. It's weird hearing his voice trying to sound swishy, and say "ass". It's like seeing Prince Philip in a leather bar in Texas. It also feels like a riposte to TV's Soap.

Sahara (1983) - Some Arabs have Jewfros, because this is a Cannon film made in Israel. Others are just John Rhys-Davies. John Mills enlivens the proceedings as a Cambridge don named Cambridge, but another erotic film for the under-twelves with Brooke Shields.

Fantasy Mission Force (1983) - A cameo from Jackie Chan is only part of this strange, confused anachronistic WW2-ish mess.

Surf II (1984) - Some neat touches i.e. the fake-split-screen kitchen-set don't help me. This is another teen sex comedy that I find baffling and annoying.

The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985) - Will Vinton stop-motion animation known for its creepy transvestite devil. There is something uncanny valley about his bulbous-nosed, realistic-eyed animation. His style is undoubtedly unique and beautiful in its way, but there is something eerie about his style. As someone who was raised from birth on Aardman (during the period when they seemingly did every ad campaign), I find his wrinkly clay-people slightly creepy.

Maxie (1985) - very TV-ish romcom with Mandy Patinkin and a reincarnated Glenn Close.

Crawlspace (1986) - Tight, claustrophobic, tacky Klaus Kinski thriller.

House (1986) - bland, tv-esque, unfunny horror-fantasy.

Tough Guys (1986) - Despite Douglas and Lancaster's natural charm, this feels very blandly mid-80s. It even has a Kenny Rogers theme.

Stranded (1987) - Albinos with bad haircuts and spotty skin conditions kidnap Ione Skye and Mad Maureen O'Sullivan. Actually, a family drama staged like a horror.

Lady Beware (1987) - TV-movie like thriller with Diane Lane in Pittsburgh. Dreary.

Hollywood Shuffle (1987) - Helen Martin is fun, but it feels kind of bland, though it still looks several dozen times more expensive than it allegedly cost. There are a few good jokes, though. But it's very 1987.

Da (1988) - A nostalgic but stagey thing that is archetypal of every Irish film made between 1987 and 2004, i.e. non-stop tourist board-infused nostalgia for a time that never quite existed, despite Dalkey looking nice and being based on Hugh Leonard's life. Barnard Hughes is a bit stage-Oirish, but he looks like Dublin street poet/kids TV host Pat Ingoldsby. Martin Sheen's accent comes and goes. Very episodic, just a series of anecdotes.

Judgment in Berlin (1988) - Only Sean Penn's presence (because his da directed) would hint that it wasn't a TV movie.

Bad Dreams (1988) - Bland, unoriginal Elm Street-ish cult killer movie, despite Richard Lynch.

Les Patterson Saves the World (1987) - Tasteless, ugly (Hugh Keays-Byrne in nipple tassels), but being Barry Humphries, there is an odd vulgar charm. Joan Rivers is the US president. Abu Nivea is clearly some stock footage and some roughly assembled facades. The stuff with Dame Edna works far better. It's in the same cinematic universe as Howling III and Return of Captain Invincible, but it does too much to shock. It has a talking, trouser-suited, red-haired Madge Allsop. A rewatch.

Matewan (1987) - The kind of US indie filmmaking I find uninvolving. I prefer this kind of thing as documentary.

Deep Space (1988) - Terrible Fred Olen Ray schlock with an alien fighting Scottish-American kilt-cop Charles Napier.

I Hired A Contract Killer (1990)-  Jean Pierre Leaud, Margi Clarke and Ken Colley appear in a Scouse Aki Kaurismaki film. Also featuring Walter "yes, he was in Only Fools and Horses" Sparrow, Nicky Tesco of the punk grup the Members,  Tony Rohr, Miss Marple showrunner T.R. Bowen, Joe Strummer, It passes, doesn't do much.

Cheeky (2000) - Faux-British Tinto Brass porno-vid. It looks nice, but there's nothing of interest on screen beyond muff.

Hey Arnold! The Movie (2001)/The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002)  - Both relatively cheery, fun adaptations of Nicktoons, though both stifled by trying to get a plot of ninety minutes.

US (2019) - I found the opening fun, and Lupita N'yongo is great, but I found the monsters a bit silly, though the twist is a killer, why "Red" speaks like Bane.
Also saw N'yongo in Little Monsters (2019) - a daft, amiable but useless and predictable zombie-comedy from Australia

In Fabric (2019) - A confused, arty mess, Are You Being Served as Euro-smut-art.

Watched after initial updating.

The Great Gabbo (1928 - b/w) - A musical interrupted by creepy interactions between Erich Von Stroheim and a young wooden Gay Byrne.

Becky Sharp (1935) - Notable only for being in early color, gets across the grating nature of the lead of Vanity Fair, but quite a stagey production.

The Man with the Golden Arm (1955 - b/w) - Sinatra having problems like he did off-screen.

Sapphire (1959) - A fine piece of work. A difficult story of a mixed-race girl who is murdered when her race is discovered captured well. An excellent depiction of the British-Caribbean community at the time. Great performance by Earl Cameron as her brother. Paul "Jekyll" Massie's angrily stiff.

Blind Corner (1963 - b/w) - Edgar Wallace-ish quickie thriller, highlight being an appearance from Eurovision vet Ronnie Carroll.

The Sadist (1963 - b/w) - Cruel and memorable despite being a slapdash Arch Hall Jr. vehicle.

Tomorrow at Ten (1963) - There's a bomb disguised as a golly. - which is a good excuse as any. William Hartnell is a guest star. Robert Shaw waits until Hollywood sees him.

The Violent Enemy (1967) - Dreary Oirish terrorism paddywhackery shot in Enniscorthy with Tom Bell, Susan Hampshire, Ed Begley Senior and the inevitable Noel Purcell.

Man of Violence (1969) - Typically grotty British crime-exploiter, directed by Pete Walker, notable for a bizarre plot turn which brings the action to an Arab state.
See also Walker's The Big Switch (1968).

The Only Way (1970) -Tepid Scandinavian wartime resistance drama with Martin Potter and Jane Seymour.

A Day at the Beach (1970) - Grotty experiment with Mark Burns and Beatie Edney as an uncle and niece who find a souvenir shop run by gays Peter Sellers and Graham Stark, camping it up. An ugly, obnoxious, strange failure.

Sweet Saviour (1971) - Troy Donahue in Manson schlokc, the highlight is a bunch of middle-aged hippies talking openly about cock.

Night of the Strangler (1972) - Nasty, bleak, badly-shot racially-charged exploitation with no strangling, starring Micky Dolenz.

The Man Called Noon (1973) - Undistinguished British western with Stephen Boyd, Richard Crenna and a nice faux-Morricone Bacalov soundtrack.
See also Hannie Caulder (1971) and David Frost's Richard Roundtree/faux-Indian mute Roy Thinnes vehicle Charley One Eye (1972).

The Blockhouse (1973) - Peter Sellers does serious, but he still does a Clouseau voice. Depressing, slightly too-well done story of a bunch of men (Sellers, Charles Aznavour, Peter Vaughan, Per Oscarsson, Jeremy Kemp) trapped in a bombed and collapsed-in storehouse in WW2.

The Second Coming of Suzanne (1974) - Voxpop-heavy Gene Barry/Sondra Locke/Richard Dreyfuss movie, part of the based-on-a-song boom. It is an impenetrable, dreary, psychedelic vanity project for Gene Barry funded by his fee from ITC's the Adventurer, based on and soundtracked by Leonard Cohen's titular song.

Adventure in Denmark (1973) - Weird attempt to crossbreed a Christina Lindberg Scando sex pic with chop-socky.

Point of Terror (1973) - Rubbishy psychodrama with Dyanne "Ilsa" Thorne and Tom Jones-ish vanity-driven club singer Peter Carpenter.

House of Terror (1973) - Gaudy, incompetent murder mystery that astoundingly got nominated for a Saturn award.

Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973) - Insanely shoestring, lacklustre wandering about a carnival with Herve Villechaize and a drag gypsy.

Barn of the Naked Dead/Nightmare Circus (1974) - Professional-looking Alan Rudolph nonsense with Andrew Prine, not much of a circus.

Abby (1974) - The Exorcist as blaxploitation as a William Castle-type film.  William Marshall looks good in a pith helmet, which is incongruous, and his son Terry Carter is about his own age. Marshall gives it gravitas, alongside Juanita Moore, but it feels very shoddy, but that is probably because the only available prints are fifth-generation bootlegs as Warner IIRC technically own this, even though it was AIP, because of the similarities with the Exorcist. Which is bull. Because here it is a twentysomething black woman.

Seizure (1974) - Early Oliver Stone exploitation weirdness with Jonathan Frid haunted by psychedelic imagery of Martine Beswicke and Herve Villechaize. Even Stone rightly thinks it's bobbins.

Mandingo (1975)/Drum (1976) - Apparently, my uncle Tommy was a big fan of these books. James Mason's funny Australian-Cajun-Yorkshire accent is the highlight of Mandingo, a sexploitation film on the scale of Gone with the Wind. That's the idea. It's American history with tits.  But in a way, that makes it more true. It depicts the full horror of slavery. Drum despite having the black cast returning feels like a cheaper movie. It feels like a Corman knockoff, but then again, New World vet Steve Carver was behind it. Instead of Susan George doing a Carry On-level accent, we have Rainbeaux Smith.

Winterhawk (1975) - Ambitious low-budget western, sweeping but kind of preachy. Soldier Blue for the family. With Leif Erickson, Elisha Cook, Woody Strode, Denver Pyle, LQ Jones...
One of Charles Pierce's TG4-friendly westerns. See also Greyeagle (1977). Which like Winterhawk is not the exploitation film you expect it to be. It also has faux-Native American Arthur English lookalike Iron Eyes Cody. It's basically a rehash of the Searchers played for romance, Lana Wood playing a young adult Debbie Edwards-type kidnapped because she's actually a half-breed.

Sasquatch The Legend of Bigfoot (1976) - Fake documentary complete with cast list, padded out by Grizzly Adams-ish western hijinks.

I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now (1976) - Terrible, wannabe-zany comedy terribleness with Bob Dishy, Bill Dana, Joanna Barnes, Severn Darden, Richard Libertini and Pat Morita and some racist caricatures.

Cozzilla (1977) - A psychedelic fan-film reedit of Godzilla recolorised and reedited by Luigi Cozzi.

Blood Brothers (1978) - Very televisual post-Scorsese family drama about New York Italians with Tony Lobianco, Paul Sorvino and Richard Gere.

Pacific Inferno (1978) - Dreary vehicle for Jim Brown in the Philippines.

Savage Weekend (1979) - Dreary, boring, sleazy Cannon upstate slasher.

The Ghost Dance (1980) - Amateurish but ambitious Native American slasher.

Wolf Devil Woman (1982) - Incompetent, bizarre wuxia from Ocean Shores, also known as Wolfen Ninja. Sadly no New York/Manchester hybrid accented supercops flinging throwing stars at she-wolves.

Oxford Blues (1983) - Typically obnoxious US teen sex-com with Rob Lowe that is notable because Michael Gough and Alan Howard get weird billing that pitches them after the various ten stars (and Aubrey Morris) but in massive blue letters together and not with everyone else, to show they are more prestigious. `

The Killing of Satan (1983) - Future Filipino senator Ramon Revilla fights a caped Satan in a quarry.

Bridge to Nowhere (1986) - Tried watching this teen Kiwi Deliverance with Bruno Lawrence as a mad bushman before. It's dull.

Nomads (1986) - Who thought Pierce Brosnan could do a French accent? He can't even do an Irish accent. Typical 80s video market-aimed music video-like dross by John McTiernan.

Jack's Back (1988) - Jack the Ripper copycat killer James Spader is pursued by cop James Spader. Very 80s cable filler. I.e. most of it is there to be fast-forwarded.

Zits (1988) - Plain kidvid about a Goonies-ish band of kids involved in KGB espionage.

I bought A Vampire Motorcycle (1990) - Neil Morrissey plagiarises Brain Damage. If Frank Henenlotter directed an episode of Boon.

Catholics (-1973) - Ultimately unsuccessful Irish HTV religious dystopia.

The Dain Curse (-1978) - Even in three hour cut down form, this Dashiell Hammett miniseries with James Coburn and lots of fake Britoid accents feels overstretched.

Rainy Day Woman (-1984) - Rustic Play for Today that still can't get beyond the rural BBC perimeters despite supernatural ambition.

Westinghouse Studio One - The Rabbit and A Bolt of Lightning, on crappy watermarked Alpha Video prints. Which negates any quality. Everything sounds and looks like dinner theatre witnessed from a distance.

Seen on

American Madness (1932 - b/w) - I don't think 30s America appeals to me.

Great Expectations (1934 - b/w) - Tacky, very American, almost Huck Finn-like depiction of Victorian Britain on the Universal lot. Valerie Hobson and Francis L. Sullivan appear in a premonition of Lean.

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948 - b/w) -A silly faux-American gangster epic with musical sequences.

Svengali (1954) - Oddly Hammeresque, but pre-Hammer. Hildegarde Neff seems too hard-faced, too world-weary for innocent Trilby.

Gorath (1963) - Another Toho rehash of a disaster.

Dr. Crippen (1963 - b/w) - Rather staid perioder, with a cheery period tone against the grim story. Pleasence doesn't sound American.

Father Goose (1964) - Overlong, sub-Disney thing about Cary Grant, Leslie Caron and some posh schoolgirls.

Hotel Paradiso (1966) - Annoying farce with Alec Guinness and a wasted cast wandering around an artificial Paris doing "eccentric" performances.

The Big Silence (1968) - The most pessimistic, nihilistic but rather beautiful western made. Great Morricone soundtrack.

The Cats (1968) - Alias the Bastards. A Giuliano Gemma-Klaus Kinski spaghetti western set in the present.

Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter (1968) - Oh Jesus, Herman's Hermits go around Manchester with a greyhound. Cloying, barking musical that is an ode to swinging Manchester.

Alex in Wonderland (1970) - Self-indulgent, boring art by Paul Mazursky about a brilliant arty filmmaker played by Donald Sutherland. Twaddle.

The Weekend Murders (1970) - Strange faux almost-British Italian comedy whodunnit, not a typical giallo, but something resembling the drama bits from Jon Pertwee's Whodunnit (created by Lance Percival,) or the Richard Madeley Cluedo show, with a few British character faces including Lance Percival and the otherwise dubbed Chris "Eric Pollard from Emmerdale" Chittell, Ballard Berkeley and Richard Caldicot plus various Europeans trying to pass themselves off as English. Gastone Moschin is basically Colin Welland. Like a lot of continental thrillers set in Britain, it actually makes the effort to have a black character in the mix. The old dowager character is very unconvincingly aged. It is a mess, going from silly Italian comedy to gore-strewn, voyeuristic stuff more common in Italian horror. Characters keep pretending to be bloodily eviscerated. The ending plays a potentially bleak, nihilistic conclusion for Abbott and Costello-ish jazzy guitar-soundtracked laughs.

Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970) - A potentially interesting melange of pulp imagery done for nothing with no enthusiasm and lots of stock footage, badly recolored. John Carradine tries, but this is another Al Adamson mass of padding.

The Cat O'Nine Tails (1971) - Early Argento, nice score, but very contrived. Basically a crime film with giallo/krimi overtones. Not quite my thing.

The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971) - It's a load of nonsense, being a giallo. Well-photographed nonsense, but still utterly ridiculous.

Hell's Bloody Devils (1972?) - Typical Al Adamson melting pot of unfinished nonsense.  Spies, bikers and Brod Crawford c.his appearance on the Late Late.

Lepke (1974) - Tony Curtis plays a Jewish gangster in this pre-Cannon Menahem Golan film. Nothing special, feels slightly above Roger Corman's similar gangster schlock. The period settings look comparatively lush. Features former JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader as Walter Winchell, and Britain's finest thesp, Clement von Franckenstein as Bugsy Siegel.

The Human Factor (1975) - A rather uneventful Italian Eurocrime, sponsored by Mattesson's Sausages (I'm not making this up) starring George Kennedy as an early internet pioneer who is targeted and goes Bronson after his family (including Danny Huston) are murdered. With John Mills, Barry Sullivan, Raf Vallone, Rita Tushingham, and Shane Rimmer. A nice Morricone soundtrack.

The Magician of Lublin (1979) - Terrible Golan-Globus Jewish period drama with Alan Arkin, Shelley Winters, Louise Fletcher, Valerie Perrine and Lou Jacobi going oh-vey-the-top as Kate Bush sings. Arkin thinks he can fly.

Five Days One Summer (1982) - Connery does incest in a weirdly sexless film, going more Merchant-Ivory than Just Jaecken. Dreary. Yes, I overuse that term, but this is dreary, because it is about mountaineering.

Rewatched Yves Montand in Le Menace. Great truck-stunt at the end.