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.

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