Sunday 6 October 2019


Movie Crazy (1932 - b/w) - I've tried Harold Lloyd before, and I don't get his persona, I am afraid.

Laughing at Life (1933 - b/w) - Another bare Victor McLaglen-starring lump of exotica.

The Whole Town's Talking (1935 - b/w) - Rote John Ford-directed screwball.

The Princess Comes Across (1936 - b/w) - Another wacky, annoying screwball comedy with Carole Lombard. On a ship.

The Squeaker (1937) - Repetitive Edgar Wallace adap with Edmund Lowe, Ann Todd, Robert Newton and a young Alastair Sim (who looks exactly as he would twenty years later). There's a TARDIS.

King of Alcatraz (1938 - b/w) - A typical crime quickie with a great cast. Lloyd Nolan, J. Carroll Naish, Robert Preston, Anthony Quinn...

Battle of Broadway (1938 - b/w) - Another "wacky" stagey screwball-"comedy" with Victor McLaglen. See also Hot Pepper (1933 - b/w).

Unmarried (1939 - b/w) - Another alleged comedy that didn't do anything for me. Donald O'Connor annoys me.

Tobacco Road (1941 - b/w) - Sentimental John Ford tosh, does to southern fried yokels what How Green was my Valley did to the fake-Welsh.

Among the Living (1941 - b/w) - Dreary gothic noir with Albert Dekker, Susan Hayward, Harry Carey and a then-sane Frances Farmer.

Black Dragons (1942) - Typical wartime hamminess with Lugosi.

San Diego I Love You (1944 - b/w) - Forgettable Universal screwballer with Buster Keaton cameo.

Dangerous Partners (1945 - b/w) - Watched in  a dreadful colourised print that made it look like Eddie Yeats' "colour TV device" in Coronation Street. Typical MGM B-noir.

Boomerang (1947 - b/w) - Another noir with Dana Andrews that unless you like noir, you get deja vu.

Deep Waters (1948 - b/w) - Atmospheric but relatively plain Dana Andrews-Dean Stockwell bonding drama.

Criss Cross (1949 - b/w) - Realised noir is too grim for me. This Burt Lancaster vehicle is particularly nihilistic.

Outpost in Morocco (1949 - b/w) - Typical legion nonsense with George Raft.

The Pirates of Capri (1949 - b/w) - Typical Italian swashbuckler with Louis Hayward, the only novelty being that it was made in 1949.

The Mudlark (1950 - b/w) - Standard Victorian British drama.

The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950 - b/w) - Lee J. Cobb noir. Again, why am I watching this?

The White Tower (1950) - Uneasy mix of romantic melodrama and mountaineering.

Love That Brute (1950 - b/w) - Paul Douglas and Cesar Romero in thick-eared inner city comedy.

The 13th Letter (1951  - b/w) - Hoary Canadian hospital melodrama with Michael Rennie.

Bird of Paradise (1951) - Silly Hawaiian adventure with lots of hair dye covering Jeff Chandler's top head.

St. Benny the Dip (1951 - b/w) - Forgettable Edgar Ulmer/Danziger's comedy with Roland Young and Lionel Stander and Freddie Bartholemew in his last role.

The Sword of Monte Cristo (1951) - Interchageable cheapo swashbuckler.

14 Hours (1951 -b/w) - Great performance from Richard Basehart, but it's a half-hour concept.
See also He Walked by Night (-1948 - b/w).

I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (1951) - Forgettable Appalachian romance with Susan Hayward.

Anything Can Happen (1952 - b/w) - Gormless Jose Ferrer-as-a-comedy-Georgian-immigrant vehicle.

Hoodlum Empire (1952 - B/W) - Ambitious Republic gangster saga, but the cardboard skylines in office scenes and Brian Donlevy as star reveal its Poverty Row roots. But it does have some expressionist WW2 flashbacks.

City that Never Sleeps (1953 - b/w) - Generic Republic noir done relatively well.

Sangaree (1953) - Nicely colourful but sluggish Fernando Lamas vehicle for Pine-Thomas.

Johnny Dark (1954) - I don't like racing pictures, even if they have Tony Curtis.

World for Ransom (1954 - b/w) - Dreary Robert Aldrich-directed oriental TV spinoff with Dan Duryea.

Hell's Island (1955) - Presumed I'd seen this John Payne/Pine-Thomas redo of the Maltese Falcon in tropical climes before. Usual hokum but nice turn from Francis L. Sullivan as the Greenstreet figure.

Lafayette Escadrille (1957 - b/w) - Nothingy Troy Donahue/David Janssen faux-French WW1 aviation saga. Also with Will Hutchins, Brett Halsey, Tom Laughlin and some young fella called Clint Eastwood. Directed by William Wellman, and featuring himself as a character, played by  his son.
See also Darby's Rangers (1958 - b/w), a similar WW2 vehicle with James Garner and the same female lead, Etchika Choreau. A typical rote gung-ho American military thing, but with the difference it is set in a backlot Scotland.

Kelly and Me (1957) - Universal Van Johnson romantic comedy about a dog. Average.

Kiss Them for Me (-1957) - Dreary romance, not comic at all, very dramatic, with Cary Grant.

Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys (1958) - Paul Newman in a middling juvenile military-com.

A Certain Smile (1958)/Interlude (1957) - Interchangeable continental romances with Rossano Brazzi.

Paris Holiday (1958) - Typical Bob Hope travelogue, with added Fernandel on a helicopter.

The Rough and the Smooth (1959 - b/w) - Draughty German-British erotic drama with Nadja Tiller, Tony Britton (making money to feed baby Fern), and William Bendix. Bland.

The Nights of Lucrezia Borgia (1959) - Very cheesy Italian swashbuckler with unexpected sadism including a Pit and the Pendulum scene pre-Corman.

Why Must I Die (1960) - grotty AIP noir where Terry Moore restages I Want to Live!

Goliath and the Dragon (1960) - Typical AIP-sponsored peplum tedium, peppered up by a cool dragon.

Woman of Straw (1964) - tiresome melodrama with Sean Connery and Gina Lollobrigida. Transatlantic tripe. Ralph Richardson barks racist orders to Johnny Sekka in an armchair-styled wheelchair.

Father Frost (1965) - A relatively unmemorable Soviet fairytale, released by Avco Embassy.

Ambush Bay (1966) - Slightly-better-than-yer-average-Filipino-shot-studio-programmer with Hugh O'Brian and Mickey Rooney fighting the Japanese.

Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) - Tv movie-like sub-Corman non-hip  juvenile delinquency from Sam Katzman. An old man's idea of juvenile debauchery.

Killers Three (1968) - Dreary AIP rural suspense, post-Bonnie and Clyde, with Merle Haggard singing.

The Wild Racers (1968) -  Fabian and Mimsy Farmer in a would-be arty, pretentious European racing schlock from AIP. It's an artier European version of Fabian's previous racing film, Thunder Alley (1967). I always find it interesting that AIP clearly were trying to make Judy Cornwell a star.  She's third billed here as the secondary love interest, above the likes of Talia Shire, then Tally Coppola, Dick Miller and Ron Gans. Did she get offers from Hollywood but turned them down and ended up  finding her niche in sitcom? She did this, Rocket to the Moon and Wuthering Heights, plus the non-AIP but Corman-produced Paddy. Here, she's a kind of dippy flower-child, a kind of southern version of Daisy from Keeping Up Appearances if she had never met Onslow, but also that stereotype of British girls Americans tried to peddle.

Who's Minding the Mint (1968) - Silly but oddly likeable. And Victor Buono's fun (realised I'm almost his age - whoa). Ok.rued.

Lady Hamilton (1968) - Slapdash but ornate yet meaningless historical biopic, made in Italy, with John Mills and Richard Johnson there to convince you it might be British, but it's definitely Eurogrot.

Mafia (1968)  - Turgid, overlong desert-based crime saga with an all-star cast.

The Price of Power (1969) - An interesting idea - a post-JFk take on the assassination of President Garfield, and a great Luis Bacalov theme, but the trouble is the execution. Plus Van Johnson as the President is dubbed by someone else, not to mention that his turn as a clean-shaven idealist (the real James Garfield was bearded) is so Kennedy it hurts. And Dallas in 1881 was already a thriving metropolis, rather than the typical Almerian desert toytown as seen here.

Whirlpool (1970) - Desperate, sleazy Jose Larraz Brit-giallo.

The Confession (1970) - Good for what it is, excellently made. It is Costa-Gavras, and I'm kind of left cold by his stuff. It's too clinical. Still, Montand and Signoret do good.

Goin' Down The Road (1970) - A landmark in Canadian cinema, but cold, dreary, idiotic and oh so wonderfully taken apart by the SCTV gang as Yonge Street.

The only Game in Town (1970) - Set in Vegas but made in France, this is self-indulgent Liz Taylor claptrap.

A Bullet for Pretty Boy (1970) - Larry Buchanan's most decent film, but still a pretty slapdash gangster film.

WUSA (1970) - Well-made Paul Newman politica, but it's not really the sort of thing I'd watch for fun.

Some of my Best Friends Are (1971) - AIP gay swishiness.

What Became of Jack and Jill (-1971) Grim, unlikeable, goes-too-far psycho-thriller with Paul Nicholas as a thoroughly horrible killer. Works too well. logged elsewhere.

Rivals (1972) - Pervy incest drama with Joan Hackett being the subject of obsessive affection by her son.

Thirty Dangerous Seconds (1972) - Suspense-free regional thriller with Robert Lansing, long believed lost.

Dirty Little Billy (1972) - Sleazy, dirty, nihilistic western per the period. Michael J. Pollard oddly convincing as a pubescent Billy the Kid, despite being thirty-three.

Journey Through Rosebud (1972) - Dreary Indian mysticism with Robert Forster trying to channel Burt Reynolds as a Native American.

Payday (1973) - Rip Torn is good as a country singer but I don't care about country singers.

Bucktown (1975) - A beige blaxploitation film, despite a fine cast. See also Sheba, Baby (1975).

Murph the Surf (1975) - Dreary sub-TV Robert Conrad vehicle, lots of filler shots of Miami.

Wanted Babysitter (1975) - Dreary, colour-shot but only avaialble in black and white psychodrama involving a movie actress, a kidnapping and Robert Vaughn in 18th century fop drag. With Maria Schneider, Sydne Rome and Vic Morrow. Rene Clement's last film.

At Long Last Love (1975) - Bogdanovich makes a musical, but doesn't know what to do. It feels cheap.

He is my Brother (1975) - Preachy vehicle for singer Bobby Sherman in Hawaii.

The Death Collector (1976) - Sub-Scorsese exploitation nonsense that nevertheless launched Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent.

Tracks (1977) - Henry Jaglom tedium with Dennis Hopper.

Bare Knuckles (1977) - Depressing, rough-hewn grindhouser.

Delta Fox (1979) - KPM library music-heavy skanky actioner with Richard Lynch as a hillbilly James Bond.
Blind Rage (1978) - Fred Williamson-guesting blind heist nonsense from the Philippines. Also with the KPM classic Dossier by Alan Hawkshaw, like the above.

Somebody Killed her Husband (1978) - Terrible Farrah Fawcett comedy vehicle.

Happy Birthday, Gemini (1980) - Annoying, swishy comedy with Madeline Kahn and the world's least convincing father and son (with Bare Knuckles' Robert Viharo as the absurdly young dad).

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981) - Dreary countrypolitan-based nonsense, not even really adapted from the song, so they change the lyrics. Mark Hamill and Dennis Quaid look baffled.

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) - Ntsc-blurry PBS western.

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) - Karen Black is a convincing transwoman, but it seems to be set in a post-apocalyptic timewarp.  Kathy Bates is almost unrecognisable. The flashbacks are a bit Blue Remembered Hills.

The Slavers (1984) - Dreary Canadian miserabilism with Larry Kent.

Hollywood Harry (1986) - Unfunny Cannon-funded Robert Forster private eye vanity project.

Saving Grace (1986) - "Charming", laugh-free comedy where Tom Conti becomes Pope and channels Topol.

Twice Dead (1988) - Bare, suspense-free Corman horror with hilarious 30s flashbacks.

High Frequency (1988) - Dreary Maine-set Berlusconi drama about a kid with a ham radio. Nice Pino Donaggio score.

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