Tuesday 3 September 2019

53 - INC. Lone Wolf

X Marks the Spot (1931 - B/W) - Tiffany poverty row crime tat.

Atlantic Adventure (1932 - b/w) - Typical Columbia poverty row B-com.

Trapped By Television (1936 - B/W) - Columbia B with Mary Astor. Is that a miniature car chase...

Adventure in Manhattan (1936 - B/W) - Joel McCrea in another forgettable theatrical comedy mystery. Double-ok.rued.

The Toast of New York (1937 - B/W) - Amiable but unfunny Cary Grant/Edward Arnold period comedy.

The Rains Came (1939 - b/w) - Decorative but inaccurate faux-Indian odyssey with Tyrone Power in walnut juice and Maria Ouspenskaya doing her normal performance.

Hold That Ghost (1941 - B/w)/Abbott and Costello in the Navy (1941 - B/W) - The former's another musical old darkhouser. THE LATTER is another naval musical.

A Night To Remember (1942 - B/W) - Brian Aherne in another allegedly comic fedora-heavy mystery.

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) - Not Hemingway fan, me. Still, it looks nice.

The Song of Bernadette (1943 - B/W) - A two and a half hour pro-Lourdes slog.

Nine Girls (1944 -b/w) - Another old dark-houser with the added novelty it is aimed at bobbysoxers.

Road to Utopia (1945) - Just more excuses for patter and musical numbers with Bing and Bob and Dorothy. Plus one interesting joke about the North Pole.

Jennifer (1953 - B/w) - Another gaslighting noir with Ida Lupino.

Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954 - B/W) - Just another hard-boiled, unlikeable prison movie, this time from Don Siegel.

The Detective (1954)  - Father Brown pilot. Amiable, kind of lost in tone, too twee for its own good. Double-ok.rued

Joe MacBeth (1955 - B/W) - Dreary British quota quickie faux-American gangster take on Shakespeare, with Sid James as Banquo.`

Footsteps in the Fog (1955) - Almost proto-Hammer in style, but firmly Gainsborough territory in its manner. Double-ok.rued.

He Laughed Last (1956) - Forgettable Blake Edwards gangster-com.

The Houston Story (1956 - B/w) - William Castle takeoff of the Phenix City Story, with Gene Barry surrounded by short people.

Suddenly Last Summer (1959 - B/W) - Possibly interesting story of southern Cannibalism harmed by the presence of that Taylor woman over-emoting as an innocent. A haze of flashbacks.

Surprise Package (1960- B/W) - Idiotic Greek-set comedy with Yul Brynner as a gangster.

The Defector (1966) - Downbeat Cold War spy-er with a nearly dead Montgomery Clift.

The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969) - overlong Incan epic, despite Christopher Plummer in brownface looking like a Portugeuse transvestite and barking.

Hell Boats (1970) - Almost more like an Italian war movie than a British one, despite Ronald Allen as second lead, Philip Madoc as chief Nazi in a role almost exactly like his Dad's Army character that one perhaps can fit this into the DACU.  Has a love triangle that isn't really a triangle but a bit of jealousy from an outside man in James Franciscus. There's a comedy Israeli/Palestinian.

The Christine Jorgensen Story (1970) - Earnest and at least it is trying, but this attempt at dramatising the life of the first post-op American trans-woman is hilarious. Director/veteran woman's picture specialist Irving Rapper shoots it like a 50s Sirkian romance, except his soft-focused leading lady is 18-year-old John Hansen, a well-built twink who although at times passable in drag, the bad wigs and unflattering 50s wardrobe don't do him any favours.

Dr. Popaul (1972) - Nonsensical, silly Chabrol comedy with Belmondo and that awful woman from Boyle/Laragh.

Play it Again Sam (1972) - I find Allen kind of pretentious. Ditto Annie Hall (1977).

Pope Joan (1972) - Psychedelic mytho-biopic bollocks.

The Candidate (1972) - It's well-made, I suppose, but  not a fan of 70s political dramas.

The Ruling Class (1972) - A sterling cast fail to hold a band of sporadically appealing but admittedly pointless vigenttes and musical numbers, which descend into nonsense, though a nice spooky images remain. Even William Mervyn relishing a big juicy part on the screen cannot salvage a self-indulgent morass of increasingly ludicrous but infuriating vignettes. Though the finale is great in its Prisoner-esque WTF-ery? Though what on Earth is Carolyn Seymour? It has a kind of echt-Lindsay Anderson feel, especially because it has Graham Crowden.

Watched all six Lone Wolf and Cub films (1972-74) plus the Corman compilation Shogun Assassin (1980). Not a fan of samurai films per se but they make gore spraying a form of art.

Footprints on the Moon (1975) - arty, impenetrable giallo involving Florinda Bolkan dreaming of astronauts Kinski and McEnery.

Aloha Bobby and Rose (1975) - Another self-gazing New Hollywood road trip with a tragic end.

Drive-In (1976) - A teen sex comedy that seems self-hating, with a fine country soundtrack including a title theme by the Statler Brothers, "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott?" that moans about how the screen's filled with sex, and the demise of the B-movie cowboy, like your grandad.

Skatetown USA (1979) - Young Patrick Swayze and Bugsy Malone in godawful excuse for roller-disco.

The Mountain Men (1980) - Unsuccessful, strange but aimless western with Charlton Heston and Brian Keith as mountain men trailing unconvincing Indian Stephen Macht.

The Mosquito Coast (1986) - Harrison Ford does Fitzcarraldo. It's well-made, but deliberately unlikeable.

New York Stories (1989) - An excruciating volley into whimsy. Though the Jewish mother (Mae Questel)  berating Queens in Woody Allen's segment is actually not bad.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1990) - Interesting to see Donald Sumpter billed over Joanna Miles. Like an average ITV comedy-drama. Written/directed by Dr. Miriam Stoppard's husband.

Drop Dead Fred (1991) - Mayall is lost in the Hollywood post office. Would make a good double bill with True Identity, in terms of "seminal British comic of the 80s gets a Hollywood break in the 90s and wastes him". It's bland in that 90s way.

The Last Seduction (1994) - A typical 90s erotic thriller lifted by nice scenery and a decent lead in Linda Fiorentino. But the highlight is the extended cut, where because this is an ITC film, our anti-heroine watches William Tell, with Conrad Phillips and Nigel Green.

Also watched Roy Andersson's films.

A Swedish Love Story (1970), a misty, arty teen love story feels newer than it is, more 1975-77.
Songs from the Second Floor (2000), You the Living (2007) and A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (2014) belie Andersson's background in advertising. They feel like low-key compilations of ads. Some interesting. Most less so. The terraced street-train's fun. But you really need to pay attention.

1 comment:

  1. They might have been better off casting a woman as Christine Jorgenson, who was a birdlike little thing, and looks nothing like the broad-shouldered chap they got to play her in her biopic. I wonder what she thought of it? Think she was still alive when it was released.

    aloha bobby and rose seemed to spend all their budget on the soundtrack, but I can't hear Benny and the Jets without thinking of it, so it must have done something right.

    Interesting observation about Roy Andersson's advertising style, he's not exactly Ridley Scott, but sticks closer to his roots. He has a new film out this year that looks really... short.