Sunday 15 March 2020


The Man Who Broke the Bank of Monte Carlo (1935 - b/w) - Forgettable Ronald Colman cad comedy.

Operation 13 (1934 - b/w) - Semi-western period theatrics with Gary Cooper and the Pinkertons.

Show Them No Mercy (1935 - b/w) - Cesar Romero vehicle.

A Message to Garcia (1936 - b/w) - Cuban silliness with Barbara Stanwyck and Wallace Beery.

Anthony Adverse (1936 - b/w) - Once universally hailed a great film, this is a load of faux-Dickesian twaddle. The Harry Potter of its day. It has period adventures, but it also has sub-Hurricane tropical exotica.

Professional Soldier (1935 - b/w) - Victor McLaglen educates Freddie Bartholemew. Treacly.

Wings of the Morning (1937)  -Might be the most beautifully shot early color film I've seen. First British film in color. With Henry Fonda.

Sky Giant (1938 - b/w) - Richard Dix flies  a plane.

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940 - b/w) - Raymond Massey shakes locals' hands.

The Saint Takes Over (1940 - b/w) - Rote B-installment with George Sanders.

Wild Geese Calling (1941 - b/w)  -Almost-a-western north woods drama with Henry Fonda.

That Other Woman (1942 - b/w) - Forgettable comedy with James Ellison. Fox-B.

What a Woman (1943 - b/w) - Bland Rosalind Russell comedy.

Tonight We Raid Calais (1943 - b/w)  -Forgettable Fox WW2 faux-British RAF propaganda. See also They Came to Blow Up America (1943 - b/w).

Roger Touhy, Gangster (1944 - b/w) - Forgettable gangster fare with Anthony Quinn and Preston Foster.  See also Bermuda Mystery (1944 - b/w).

Murder in the Air (1944 - b/w) - Ronald Reagan nonsense.

Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944 - b/w) - Forgettable Fox sentimental propaganda.

Counter Attack (1945 - b/w) - Typical propaganda war movie with Paul Muni.

Don Juan Quilligan (1945 - b/w) - Forgettable comedy with William Bendix.

Sentimental Journey (1946 - b/w) - Maureen O'Hara dies, thus starting a family's titular and predictably icky voyage.

Jewels of Brandenburg (1947 - b/w) - Forgettable Fox B-mystery.

The Brasher Doubloon (1947 - b/w) - Daft Philip Marlowe B.

Gentleman's Agreement (1947 - b/w) - Typical 40s prestige product.

Miracle of the Bells (1948 - b/w) - Silly religious nonsense with Frank Sinatra.
Not to be confused with the western-esque Kirk Douglas/Cornel Wilde drama The Walls of Jericho (1948 - b/w).

Return of October (1948) - Glenn Ford and Terry Moore in Oirish horse silliness.

Down to the Sea in Ships (1949 - b/w) - Well-acted by Richard Widmark, Dean Stockwell (as good an actor age twelve as he was age fifty), Lionel Barrymore but still the same old American fishing saga.

The Fan (1949) - Bland American version of Wilde, with an ad on a bus for Gentleman's Agreement in the frame.

Come to the Stable (1949 - b/w) - Elsa Lanchester the highlight of this nun comedy.

Chicken every Sunday (1949 - b/w) -  Bland semi-western Fox comedy.

Slattery's Hurricane (1949 - b/w) - Richard Widmark military auto-aviation.

Task Force (1949 - b/w) - Not to be confused with Air Force (1943 - b/w).

Everybody Does It (1949 - b/w)  - Paul Douglas sings opera.

A Letter to 3 Wives (1950 - b/w) - Blandly serviceable Hollywood gloss.

Stella (1950 - b/w) - Bland black comedy with Victor Mature.

The Fireball (1950 - b/w) - Thirty-year-old orphan Mickey Rooney, starting to look his age and no longer the lean teen idol he once was does skating in a silly comedy, with one Marilyn Monroe down the cast.

On The Riviera (1951) - Danny Kaye does his English act. See also It's A Great Feeling (1949), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), Up in Arms (1944), A Song is Born (1948), Wonder Man (1945), The Five Pennies (1950).

Anne of the Indies (1951) - Bland pirate antics with Jean Peters and Louis Jouuuuuuuuuuuurdaaaan.

Lydia Bailey (1952)  -Forgettable pirate adventure with Dale Robertson and Anne Francis, despite a strong turn from William Marshall at his Felix Dexter-iest.

Against All Flags (1952) - Universal colorama with a stiff Errol Flynn and Maureen O'Hara.

Androcles and the Lion (1952 - b/w) - Amiable but mannered Roman farce with Jean Simmons, the inevitable Victor Mature and Alan Young, halfway between Ian Lavender and Roddy McDowall.

The View from Pompey's Head (1955) - Lurid, forgettable vehicle for Dana Wynter and Richard Egan.

Illegal (1955 - b/w) - Bland Edward G. Robinson noir.

The Girl Can't Help It (1956)  -It does what it sets out to do. Though Tashlin and Jayne Mansfield never quite appeal.

Ghost Diver (1957 - b/w) - Fox trash.

Plunder Road (1957 - b/w) - Bland Fox programmer.

Oh Men, Oh Women (1957 - b/w) - Oh, David Niven. Oh, god. How could you? You're on autopilot.

No Down Payment (1957 - b/w)  - Depressing drama with Jeffrey Hunter, Joanne Woodward and Tony Randall and a young Pat Hingle, which I'd never really noticed before. To me, he'll always be Burton's Comm. Gordon.

Woman Obsessed (1959) - Nonsensical semi-western woman in peril Canadian-set prairie drama with Susan Hayward and Stephen Boyd.

The Story on Page One (1959 - b/w) - Boring courtroom drama with Rita Hayworth despite an incongruously American Hugh Griffith as judge.

Loves of Salammbo (1960) - Dreary Italian sword and sandal schlock. See also Legions of the Nile (1960).

The Millionairess (1960) - Peter Sellers doing his schtick, in a typical gentle 50s comedy.

Secret of the Purple Reef (1960) - Bland tropical thrills with Richard Chamberlain and Peter Falk.

7 Women from Hell (1961 - b/w) - Rubbish exploitation premake of the John Ford film.

Mr. Topaze (1961) - Confused Peter Sellers stab at seriousness.

Five Golden Hours (1961 - b/w) - Forgettable Italian-British comedy with Ernie Kovacs. He never found a fit in cinema. See also Operation Mad Ball (1957 - b/w) and the goofy why-are-they-dressed-as-Puritans sub-Beach Party silliness of Sail A Crooked Ship (1961).

The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1961) - Silly tropical comedy. Typical navy lark.

Where the Boys Are (1960) - Beach party froth.

Sons and Lovers (1960 - b/w) - Dean Stockwell so miscast the only way to take it seriously is to imagine this is Al Calavicci who has leapt into an English lad.

Circle of Deception (1960 - b/w) - Mid-Atlantic military nonsense with Bradford Dillman.

The Wizard of Baghdad (1960) - Goofy idiotic Arabian Nights comedy silliness with Dick Shawn.

Desire in the Dust (1960 - b/w) - Tedious Southern nonsense from Lippert, with Raymond Burr.

Beloved Infidel (1960) - Gregory Peck and Deborah Kerr in Fitzgerald-related gubbins.
Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961) - Silly, sub-Disney larks.

Bachelor Flat (1962)  - Goofy pseudo-teen comedy with Terry-Thomas plus period flashbacks.

It Happened in Athens (1962) - Goofball period Olympics comedy with Jayne Mansfield and the forgotten-even-while-on-screen Trax Colton.

The Condemned of Altona (1963 - b/w) - Long, unmemorable (bar Italian TV cameo) post-war epic with Sophia Loren and Maximilian Schell.

Of Love and Desire (1963) - Ropey bonkbuster with Merle Oberon and Curd Jurgens.

Thank Heaven for Small Favours (1963 -  b/w) - Baffling vehicle for Bourvil praying a  lot and having daydreams.

Take Her, She's Mine (1963) - James Stewart screams at Sandra Dee.

The Yellow Canary (1963 - b/w) - Bland Pat Boone nonsense.

Night Train to Paris (1964 - b/w) - Begins with Leslie Nielsen in a council estate, gets worse. Typical Brit quickie. Has Andre Maranne in it, because.

The Visit (1964 - b/w)  -Dreary drama with Anthony Quinn and Ingrid Bergman. The two reunited in  A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970, as slushy as the title would suggest, both figuratively and literally).

Man in the Middle (1964 - b/w) - Boring military trial thing with Robert Mitchum.

Ballad in Blue (1965) - Ray Charles plays himself in this odd melange of concert film and artificial drama where Tom Bell and Mary Peach argue over should their blind son get treatment for his eyes. Despite some location footage of London, with posters of A Hard Day's Night, it's mostly shot in Ireland. The likes of John "Tom Riordan" Cowley, DJ Bob Gallico and of all people, as a guitarist, future tourist-shop tat comedian Hal Roach pop up, and everything feels kind of artificial, expressionist, and it's directed by Paul Henreid.

El Greco (1966) - Bland biopic with Mel Ferrer.

Warning Shot (1967) - Dull TV-ish crime film despite a solid cast.

Bedazzled (1967) - What a load of cobblers.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968) - Alan Arkin lumbers about looking at Nick Carter novels. Chuck McCann is very funny, but I don't think he's supposed to be.

Don't Make Waves (1968) - Beach party with added middle-aged Tony Curtis having a crisis.

Secret Life of an American Wife (1968)  - Goofy sex com with Walter Matthau, but Anne Jackson is convincingly attractive.

John and Mary (1969) - Forgettable counterculture with Dustin and Mia.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) - Excellent performances, but it doesn't take too long to delve into melodramatic camp.

La Promesse (1969) - Bland boy-lusts-over-female-relative nonsense with Jacqueline Bisset.

Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971) - Another bland countercultural Richard Benjamin flick.

BS I Love You (1971) B.S., I think Peter Kastner is unlikeable. This is like a Confessions film for the New Hollywood set.

Two Lane Blacktop (1972) - Dreary road trip through America.

Trouble Man (1972) - Bland, serviceable blaxploiter.

Sounder (1972) - A family film, but great performances from Paul Winfield and his wonderful voice and Cicely Tyson.

Down the Ancient Staircase (1975) - Arty, nothingy Marcello Mastroianni insanity drama.

I Will... I Will... For Now (1976) - Diane Keaton and Elliot Gould. The highlight is Paul  Sorvino inventing the GoCompare man.

The Black Panther (1977) - Well-constructed, dark, sinister true life biopic with a memorable Donald Sumpter.

The Other Side of Midnight (1977) - The last film of the 50s. But with nudity. It feels outdated though, due to the phony backlot view of Europe. Michael Lerner as the head of Charvet (Charles Haughey's favourite). But it feels stilted, and directed by a US TV person, even though Charles Jarrott came through the CBC and ITV, and was one of Sydney Newman's chappies.

The Deer Hunter (1978) - It's way too long. But that's what Cimino does.

Raging Bull (1980) - It tries too hard to be this beautiful, arty ode to sweaty men boxing.

Brenda Starr (1989) - Godawful comic book pulp with Brooke Shields and Timothy Dalton. Basically a US version of Jane.

Loaded Weapon Part 1 (1993) - Idiotic spoof.

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