Wednesday 18 September 2019


Dirigible (1931 - B/w) - Nice modelwork in a soppy Fay Wray romance.

Skippy (1931 - b/w) - Ok.rued. Unexpectedly likeable. No wonder Jackie Cooper not Oscar-nominated.

A Man's Castle (1933) - Spencer Tracy/Borzage weepie.

The Captain Hates the Sea (1934 - B/w) - Alleged comedy
See also Hell-Ship Morgan (1934). Ok.rued.

Remember Last Night (1935 - b/w) - Another forgettable James Whale mystery-comedy, aside from the blackface number.

The Circus Queen Murder (1935 - B/W) - A variety show in mystery drag, with Dwight Frye.

San Francisco (1936 - B/w) - Typical period disaster melodrama-romance.

Roaming Lady (1937 - B/W) - Another forgettable aerial adventure with Fay Wray.

Exposed (1938 - b/w) -  Primitive, ragged Universal quickie with journo Glenda Farrell.

Five Little Peppers And How They Grew (1939) - Proto-sitcom kidvid.

The Earl of Chicago (-1940 - B/W) - Forgettable Robert Montgomery comedy.

A Dangerous Game (1941 - b/w) - Another forgettable duo comedy with Andy Devine mugging.

Reunion in France (1942 - B/W) - Another sentimental wartime puff with John Wayne trying to do serious acting.

The More the Merrier (1943 - b/w) - I think you need to watch screwball comedies with an audience.

They Came to A City (1944 - B/w) - Ealing agitprop utopia. Films about utopias are boring.

Murder My Sweet (1944 - b/w) - Do I have to critique a noir?

Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947 - b/w) - Not my thing, but better mounted than the average dark-houser.

The Pirate (1948)
See also The Buccaneer (1958).

Walk A Crooked Mile (1948 - b/w) - Another Columbia noir that I caught cos it was free.

The Magic Face (1951 - b/w) - Primitive continental fantasy about Hitler, with Luther Adler.

Storm Over Tibet (1952 - b/w) - Have I seen this unremarkable Himalayan Columbia potboiler before?

Scandal Sheet (1952 - B/w) - Columbia newspaper drama with Brod Crawford.

Assignment Paris (1952 - b/w) - Dull faux-French noir on the Columbia lot with Dana Andrews.

Paris Model (1953 - b/w) - Dull Paris fashion-com on the Columbia lot with Paulette Goddard.

Innocents in Paris (1953 - b/w) - Starring Alastair Sim, Ronald Shiner, Margaret Rutherford, Claire Bloom, Claude Dauphin, Lawrence Harvey and Jimmy Edwards, plus Colin Gordon, Frank Muir, Peter Jones, Stringer Davis, Richard Wattis and way down the credits, one Louis De Funes. Not much cop.

The Maggie (1954 - b/w) - Scottish whimsy, cloying Para Handy fan-film. Double-ok.rued.

Valley of the Kings (1954) - Triple-ok.rued this average Robert Taylor Egyptology saga.
Not to be confused with the Ancient epic chintz of Land of the Pharaohs (1954).

Where There's A Will (1955 - B/W) - Alleged rural comedy with Leslie Dwyer and George Cole.

The Secret of Magic Island (1955) - Barely an hour, padded out by animals doing human things. That's magic?

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter (1957) - The sort of fare soon to be consigned to TV sitcom.

The Diplomatic Corpse (1958 - b/w) - Another rote British crime story, about foreign crime. But weird to see a youngish Robin Bailey as the heroic lead.

The Lineup (1958 - B/w) - Average well-made noir, with Eli Wallach, a TV spinoff.

City of Fear (1959 - B/w) - Another forgettable noir for Vince Edwards.

Bottoms Up! (1960 - b/w) - Adaptation of Jimmy Edwards' sitcom Whack-o. Some nice bits. But Melvyn Hayes wears walnut juice. It's all typical Beano-ish antics. Martita Hunt is the special guest, but there's a young Richard Briers lurking somewhere.

Life is a Circus (1960 - b/w) - Delayed by a year or so, it is big budget enough and Val Guest tries to direct well, but the Crazy Gang are now old men (by 1960 standards, i.e. their late fifties/sixties), and it's  a bit sad. When Lionel Jeffries' bald looks were more sinister because he had enough youth left in his face. It becomes Alf's Button Afloat  again, but as a regional touring production.

A Matter of WHO (1961) - Generic Terry-Thomas vehicle.

Drylanders (1963 - B/w) - Early nfb drama, a bit How We Used to Live. See also Les Brules (1959 - B/w).

Penelope (1966) - Duff Natalie Wood comedy with Ian Bannen in a Hollywood lead.

The Terrornauts (1966) - Charles Hawtrey gives some good reaction, but this, clearly made alongside They Came from Beyond Space to reuse props and sets from the Dalek films is a slog, even if it is less than an hour in its most common version.

You're A Big Boy Now (1966) - Dreary Coppola nonsense with an annoying lead.

The Ernie Game (1967) - Another dreary NFB drama. Weird to hear Alexis Kanner c.The Prisoner with a real hoser accent.   Kanner's Mahoney's Last Stand (1972) is more of the same.

Waiting for Caroline (1969) - Another Canadian art-drama.

The Reckoning (1969) - Play for Today-ish kitchen sink Scouse Irish gangster saga with Nicol Williamson.

Some Will, Some Won't (1970) - WIlfrid Brambell an oddly unconvincing old man, but I think it is the fright wig. A decent cast fail to enliven stiff direction in a duff remake of Laughter in Paradise.

$ (1971) - OK.rued this unmemorable heister.  So unmemorable it was called the Heist elsewhere.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) - Arty bollocks.

OK... Laliberté (1973) - Arty semi-erotic NFB comdram.

Le Silencieux (1973) - Rather dreary, unfocused po-faced French espionage with Lino Ventura, Leo Genn and Robert Hardy.

ixe-13 (1973) - Arty but beautiful pop-art spy-fi musical from the NFB.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - Did Scorsese deliberately style the opening to mimic Mario Bava? Otherwise not quite my thing, but it did spawn a US sitcom.

Prisoner of Second Avenue (1976) - Neil Simon tedium.

Voyage of the Damned (1976)-  Unexpectedly beautiful and poignant, every face a star. Victor Spinetti (who I best remember dragging up in CITV's Harry and the Wrinklies) unexpectedly good. And then when you don't think it gets any better, Bernard Hepton turns up in shades.

The Gumball Rally (1976) - Quite fun but episodic.

Ti-Mine, Bernie pis la gang... (1977) - Another Quebecois drama that didn't do much.

Galyon (1978) - Late-period Ivan Tors "adventure", shot in South America, starring Lancashire-born conservationist Stan Brock as a conserrvationist-adventurer hired by Lloyd Nolan to rescue Ina Balin. Amateurish, badly constructed, and Brock is basically another Cliff Twemlow, but with the face of a muscled-up Johnny Briggs.

Barbarosa (1982) - A great-looking, cinematic, quite Australian western (directed by Fred Schepisi), starring Willie Nelson and a mugging, Boris-like Gary Busey.  By ITC.

Subway (1984) - Besson arty fluff, seemingly no plot.

In A Shallow Grave (1988) - American Playhouse homoerotica.

Palais Royale (1988) - CBC-sponsored Dennis Potter fan film.

TRUST (1990) -Hal Hartley indie drear. Produced by Central TV.

Thousand Pieces of Gold (1991) - Another American Playhouse. televisual, but interesting to see a serious Chinese-American western.

Reckless (1995) - grating Christmassy American Playhouse magic realism with that Farrow woman.
Palookaville (1995) - A blandly quirky, televisual PBS-coproduced heister.

Ok.rued-doubled these.

House of the Seven Hawks (1959) - Dull maritime mystery.

Purple Noon (1960) - Typical Euro homoerotica.

Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970) -  I didn't realise America had Massey Fergusons. Savage, uncompromising final feature of William Wyler. Roscoe Lee Browne seems too strong a man to be brutalised.

The Last Detail (1973) - Another dreary Nicholson "joint".

Norman, Is that You (1976) - Preachy, but quite revolutionary comedy. It's not especially funny, but the idea - Redd Foxx tries to adjust to his son being in a mixed-race gay relationship, that idea but from the black perspective is especially interesting.

Fun With Dick and Jane (1976) - Very bland and TV movie-ish.

The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981) - Sub-Hal Needham hicksploitation.


  1. Fun on a Week-End, Violent Road (1958), Exposed (1938), Youth Takes A Fling, Second Chance (1953), Fearmakers, Mickey Spillane's Ring of Fear, Whistling in the Dark, Fixed Bayonets, Park Row, The Scoundel 1935, the Masquerader, Vibes, 1951's the Big Night, Extra Day with George Baker, Night People, Enemey of the People with Steve McQueen, Santiago 1956, Homicide 1949, Fort Algiers, Payment Deferred, Bobby Deerfield, 4 in a Jeep, House of Fear 1938, Paris Calling, Girl in Manhattan, Lancer Spy, Forever and a Day 1943, the Black Hand 1950, Under Ten Flags, Enchanted Island, Island of Lost Women, Sicilian Clan, the 1954 Beachcomber, A Fine Madness, The Man who Lived Twice, Tomorrow the World 1944, Conspirator, Man who Reclaimed his Head, The Miracle Man, Cry Danger, Threshold of Space, Man's Castle, This was Paris

  2. The Mad Doctor 1940, Operation Mad Ball, The Big Clock ,The Setup, Out of the Past, Do you Know this Voice and Walk A Tightrope, Teckman Mystery, 2 Yanks Abroad, The Devil's in Love, Dead Ringer, Lucky Stiff, It's a big Country, The Best Man Wins, Dr. Crippen, The Boy from Stalingrad, Nancy Steele is Missing, Cargo to Capetown, Pacific Liner, A Safe Place, Lady and the Mob, In God We Trust and WHolly Moses, Fire over Africa, Shady Lady, Westland Case, The Mind Reader, Wife Takes A Flyer, Captain Hates the Sea, American Madness, Screaming Mimi, Affair in Trinidad

  3. The Survivors, Nostalghia, Smiley, Pound, Fools Parade, Nickelodeon, Night After Night After Night, Hotel Paradiso, Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter (1968), Zotz, Three into Two Won't Go, Great Catherine, The Little Ark, Melinda, Tribute, The Lost Man, The Girl Hunters, Crack in the Mirror, Alex in Wonderland, Cat O'Nine Tails, Grace Quigley, Psyche 59, The Long Haul, Cosh Boy, It's Great to be Young, Smiley Busting, the joylessly erotic Childish Things, Gaily Gaily, Foxtrot, Savage is Loose (dreary, sleazy), The Gazebo, Desperate Characters Funnyman, Escalation (sub-Sesame St)

  4. Riffraff with Pat O'Brien, The Brotherhood, Night Games, Secret Partner, Magician of Lublin,The Statue, Snake Pit, Isadora, Rome Express, Small Back Room, Pearl of the South Pacific, Human Cargo, Who is Hope Schuyler? The Thief, Jamaica Run, Behind the Headlines, Little Egypt, Frenchman's Creek, Joan of Paris, Flesh 1932, The Mighty McGurk, True Life 1943, Days of Wine and Roses, Crosswinds, Hong Kong, The Fox, Bordertown, China Girl, Lady in Question, Public Eye 1992, Rain or Shine, Murder at Times Square, The Front 1976, There's that Woman Again, Mommie Dearest, A Stranger is Watching, Hide in Plain Sight, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, A Fun Week-End, My Favourite Wife, It Happened One Night, Bringing Up Baby, Oklahoma Crude, Pepe, Five Golden Hours, Valley of the Dolls/Beyond Valley of the Dolls, Miss Sadie Thompson, Thank God it's Friday, Flying Fontaines, Strange One, Imitation of Life 1934

  5. Ladybug Ladybug, Five Easy Pieces, Pardon my Stripes, Omar Khayyam, Spiral Road, The Informer, Rattle of a Simple Man, Congo Crossing, Real Life 1978, The Face of Another, Ali Baba goes to Town, Scattergood Baines Meets BROADWAY, The People Next Door Wallach, Lapin 360, Parker 1985, Lollipop Cover 1965, Hammer's Manbait, Mr. Jerico, Pickup Alley, Hurry Sundown, Sergeant Deadhead, Return of Peter Grimm, Jigsaw, Flareup, Nadja 1994, Rogue's Gallery 1968, Hounds of Notre Dame, East of Sumatra, Dr. Caligari 1989, A Rare Breed 1984, The Adding Machine, The Dirty Game,, She Gets Her Man with Joan Davis, the Corpse Came C.O.D., Mission to Moscow 1943, East of Sumatra, Dr. Caligari 1989, A Rare Breed 1984, The Adding Machine, The Dirty Game,, She Gets Her Man with Joan Davis, Golden Ivory, Bless the Beasts and Children, Where do wego from Here with Fred McMurray, The Perfect Woman 1949, She had to Eat Jack Haley, the Last Movie, 13 Hours by Air, Those Endearing young Charms, Steeping Out, Horror of the Blood Monsters, Follow Me 1972, Grumpy 1930, Beyond the Curtain 1960, The Bridge in the Jungle 1971, Crazy World of Julius Vrooder, Woman TIMES Seven, Framed 1975, Waltz of the Toreadors,, Aguirre the Wrath of God, the Guru 1969


  6. Son of India, Devil is A Sissy, My Lover My Son, dire wartimer Assignment in Brittany, Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart, Black Samson, Colossus of Rhodes, Wind Across the Everglades, Action of the Tiger, Kill or Cure (Terry-Thomas comedy), Peter Wimsey - Busman's Honeymoon and Miniver Story (which feel like they were made in the US, but were British, the Miniver Story having to deliberately recreate unconvincing looking British settings in Britain to mimic the original), the confusing-to-non-Americans Damn Yankees, Reunion in Vienna (another MGM weepie), Ode to Billy Joe, The Damned 1969, The Safecracker 1958, Green Fire 1956, America America 1963, The Rain People, The Learning Tree, annoying 60s fare like Catch Us if you Can and The Family Way, Bye Bye Braverman (dreary NYC stuff), Girl on a Motorcycle, Young Girls of Rochefort, Kona Coast, My Blood Runs Cold, Darby's Rangers, An American Dream, Greased Lightning, The Mack, 1931's Sidewalks of New York, Whistling in Dixie, Big Jim McLain, Summer of 42, Story of 3 Loves, Next Stop Greenwich Village, A Lady Without Passport (1950), 30s programmers like Pier 13, Stamboul Quest, Storm at Daybreak, Arsene Lupin, The Good Old Soak, Diamond Queen 1953 (faux-Indian Warner colour nonsense), the dreary Guns of Darkness 1962, A Covenant with Death 1967,

    Svengali (1954) - Oddly Hammeresque, but pre-Hammer.


  7. Escape Me Never, Shining Victory, Dark Passage, Busses Roar, A Date with Judy, Storm Warning, the Sea Wolf, Nobody Lives Forever, Out of the Fog, Flamingo Road, Master of Ballentrae, Corn is Green, Lady in a Jam, Lady in the Morgue, Song of the Sarong, Hat Check Honey, Runaround 1946, Destination Unknown 1942, The Crimson Canary, the rapey Her Adventurous Night, 1942's There's One Born Every Minute, Bombay Clipper, Moment to Moment, Kathy O. Nightmare 1942,the Saxon Charm, Arabella 1967, Hell with Heroes, Iron Man 1951, Slaughter on tenth Avenue (drearinoir), MGM's Wild Man of Borneo 1941, Appointment with a Shadow (another 50s alcohol noir), Hollywood Story 1951, Flood Tide 1958, Ride the Pink Horse

  8. A Girl with Ideas, Target Unknown, Twilight for the Gods, Salome where she Danced, Rogues Regiment, Her Primitive Man, Great Expectations 1934, Sun Never Sets, Ghost Catchers, cloying Little Accident, Act of Murder 1948, Deported 1950, Spy Hunt 1950, Smuggler's Island, Temptation, Sword in the Desert