Tuesday 3 March 2020


Lloyd's of London (1936 - b/w) - Tyrone Power period cobblers.

If Winter Comes (1946 - b/w) - Inauthentic MGM tosh set in England. Janet Leigh sounds American. Plus one of the young locals is Hughie Green. Deborah Kerr plays Greer Garson. Walter Pidgeon is Walter Pidgeon.

Piccadilly Incident (1946 - b/w) - A duff British attempt to do a duff Hollywood British melodrama with Michael Wilding and Anna Neagle. It even brings Reginald Owen home to make it seem like it's set in Britain but shot in Hollywood.

Julia Misbehaves (1948 - b/w) - Screwball romcom set in a UK that at times looks like the Beverly Hillbillies' shack, with Garson and Pidgeon, plus Elizabeth Taylor, Nigel Bruce, Peter Lawford, Fritz "O/" Feld and cockney Cesar Romero.

The Black Rose (1950) - Big-budget exotica that goes from medieval Europe to the Gobi Desert.  Not that different from a Maria Montez affair, but more lavish and with bigger stars. And shooting in Morocco. Alfonso Bedoya plays Chinese, but his voice is dubbed by Peter Sellers doing "that" voice. Jack Hawkins supports Tyrone Power, and Orson Welles is a Mongol who dresses like a Georgian aristocrat.  The wooden female lead is C├ęcile Aubry, creator of Belle and Sebastian.

The Elusive Pimpernel (1950) - On David Niven's birthday, I watched him in drag. That's the highlight of this, but he is fun in this. Cyril Cusack channels Robert Helpmann.

Golden Salamander (1950 - b/w) - Rather dowdy Trevor Howard exotica-noir.

Seven Days to Noon (1950 - b/w) - Barry Jones is a convincing, unassuming Welsh psychopath. Has Bass advertising in a pub, odd for an actual British film. NBC's Merrill Mueller plays himself. The sequel, High Treason (1951) has Andre Morell return as his inspector character. Liam Redmond plays his superior. It's almost a shot-by-shot remake of Seven, but lacks a solid antagonist.

Cairo Road (1950 - b/w) - Eric Portman and Laurence Harvey do Egyptian Dragnet.

Midnight Episode (1950) - Forgettable B-caper from Columbia with Stanley Holloway and Leslie Dwyer as the stars, but with Wilfrid Hyde White and Sebastian Cabot and Stringer Davis.

Murder without Crime (1950 - b/w) - Sinister Dennis Price, but nothing new.

Green Grow the Rushes (1951) - Sub-Ealing brandy smuggling with Roger Livesey, Honor Blackman and Richard Burton.

Captain Horatio Hornblower, RN (1951) - Generic seafaring battles with Gregory Peck, despite the brand name.

The Adventurers (1951) - Duff South African western with Jack Hawkins, Siobhan McKenna and Dennis Price.

The Late Edwina Black (1951 - b/w) - Geraldine Fitzgerald and David Farrar in period snoozer.

Night Was Our Friend (1951 - b/w) - Band British suspenser with Michael Gough, Elizabeth Sellars and the -wimpy-as-his-dad (Leslie) Ronald Howard.
Howard is also in the interchangeable Baker/Berman-produced Black Orchid (1953 - b/w).

Mr. Denning Drives North (1951 - b/w) - John Mills kills son-in-law Herbert Lom and frets.  Wilfrid Hyde-White pops up again.

Gift Horse (1952 - B/W) - Trevor Howard and Lord Dickie appear in an odd, half-comedic war film. It's not very good, and you can tell. The Token American is only Sonny Tufts.

The Planter's Wife (1952) - Ropey old romantic melodrama in the Orient with Claudette Colbert and Jack Hawkins.

Saturday Island (1952) - Linda Darnell is stranded on an island with Tab Hunter. Bland chemistry-free exotica.

Ivanhoe (1952) - Typical Robert Taylor MGM froth.
See also Quentin Durward (1955).

Emergency Call (1952 - b/w)  - Like an episode of Casualty with a solid cast - Jack Warner, Anthony Steel, Sid James, Earl Cameron, Sydney Tafler Thora Hird, and Freddie Mills (who I've become fascinated with - mainly due to my grandad's love of boxing).

The Night Won't Talk (1952 - b/w) - Dreary B-feature with John "once got exterminated by the Daleks" Bailey and Ballard "the Major" Berkeley going on about queer things.
Ballard also turns up in Delayed Action (1954 - b/w) with Rentayank Robert Ayres, written by future Doctor Who scribe Geoffrey Orme.

The Lost Hours (1952 - b/w) - Mark Stevens, Jean Kent, Garry Marsh, John Bentley, Duncan Lamont, John Horsley and John Harvey get "you have been watching" clip-billing but Thora Hird, Sam Kydd and Ballard Berkeley (he pops up in most of these 50s crime films and is often the best thing) don't. Typical quota quickie filler.

Escape Route (1952 - b/w) - Lippert tosh with George Raft. Surprisingly not Hammer despite feeling like it. Has advertising for Crosse and Blackwell. Raft plays a character called Steve Rossi. Sadly, there is no Marty Allen. Goodbye, dere.

Crow Hollow (1952)  - Donald Houston and Natasha Parry live in a supposedly haunted house, but it's a typical crime story.

Desperate Moment (1953 - b/w) - Dirk Bogarde again. Snore.

The Steel Key (1953 - b/w) - Forgettable thriller-B with David Morrissey-alike Terence Morgan.

Sea Devils (1953) - Generic pirate fare set in the Channel Islands with Rock Hudson when he was still little more than a pebble.

All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953) - Tedious 50s fishing peril with Stewart Granger vs Robert Taylor.

Beneath the Twelve Mile Reef (1953) - Robert Wagner in another tedious 50s drama about fishermen/whaling.

The Master of Ballentrae (1953) - Errol Flynn in a generic Scot-ish swashbuckler. Errol's on autopilot. He has drunk too much so he's rather stiff.

Never Let Me Go (1953 - b/w) - Mostly tedious Soviet defection romance with Gene Tierney doing the ballet and Clark Gable. Bernard Miles does his Westcountry rustic stand-up act (like Jethro but with thespian cred and less jokes about black men's genitals), Kenneth More does his best in a smallish role as a BBC man, and Richard Haydn pops up, for a trip back home.

Decameron Nights (1953) - Early Europudding medieval cobblers with Louis Jourdan, Joan Fontaine, Joan Collins and Noel Purcell. Two Draculas, Louis Jourdan and Carlos Vilarias. Maria Montez-ish schtick with a Sultan and an imaginary parrot.

Laughing Anne (1953) - Compromised, half-baked Republic imitation of the African Queen, with Margaret Lockwood and Wendell Corey.

The Oracle (1953 - b/w) - Tacky Oirish comedy with Robert Beatty, Virginia McKenna, Michael Medwin and Joseph Tomelty.

The Franchise Affair (1954 - b/w) - Schoolgirl witness light-comedy-mystery with the grotesque two-headed aristocrat that is Dulcie Gray and Michael Denison.

The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp (1954 - b/w) - Diane Cilento in gentle religious comedy directed by future Doctor Who director Alan Bromly.

Before I Wake (1954 - b/w) - Mona Freeman and Jean Kent in dreary gaslighter. Gretchen Franklin plays an Elsie.

Impulse (1954) - Arthur Kennedy slums even more than he did in Italy. He has to read the Daily Mail.

The Black Shield of Falworth (1954) - Anachronistic Arthurian tosh, clearly filmed at Universal, and set in a medieval American suburb, by the looks of things.

Star of India (1954) - Ultra-turgid, ultra-ropey Indian-set period trash with Cornel Wilde.

Beau Brummell (1954) - Stewart Granger-Elizabeth Taylor MGM period froth.

The Strangers' Hand (1954 - b/w) - What I initially presumed was an annoying kid is at the centre of this Graham Greene adap in Italy with Trevor Howard. What's the comic he reads at the start - "Jim __lour". Then, I realised who the kid was. It's only Richard O'Sullivan. So he wasn't that annoying at all. Only the character is, and he plays it good, because he's Robin Tripp, and of course, he lost that whiny voice eventually. Richard Basehart and Alida Valli also turn up.

Duel in the Jungle (1954) - Interchangeable African tosh - in color. This one has Dana Andrews, David Farrar and Jeanne Crain.

The Black Knight (1954) - Cut and paste color Arthurian folderol, gleefully made. Alan Ladd is his usual self, even in armour. Andre Morell is his sidekick, and Peter Cushing blacks up as the baddie.
See also Errol Flynn in the Dark Avenger (1955).

The Blue Peter (1955) - Almost CFF-ish story of Kieron Moore leading some annoying naval recruits including Anthony Bloody Newley.

The Night My Number Came Up (1955) - Denholm Elliott and Michael Redgrave in a typical British air disaster movie with an odd supernatural glaze that doesn't really add anything.

Storm Over The Nile (1955) - Stolid remake of the Four Feathers.

One Way Out (1955 - b/w) - Forgettable British crime nonsense with Eddie Byrne as an Irish "Mid-Atlantic" lead. Arthur Lowe has a small bit.

That Lady (1955)  - Forgettable period romance tosh with one-eyed Olivia De Havilland, Paul Scofield, Gilbert Roland, Dennis Price and period-foreigner-stooge Christopher Lee.

 The Cockleshell Heroes (1955) - Jose Ferrer as a British officer in a beret also directs this typical, oddly comedic slice of war fare. Trevor Howard sides. Anthony Newley and Dora Bryan are the goofy relief. Dave Lodge (¬) does his moment.

Simba (1955)  - Rank story of the Mau-Maus. Dirk Bogarde, Virginia McKenna, Donald Sinden and for once, with above-the-title billing, Earl Cameron who shines, despite being blacked up to make him look MORE African,  a la Zoe Saldana in that recent Nina Simone film or Denzel Washington in Cry Freedom or indeed Bert Williams. As you'd suspect from a film where they force the film's black lead to darken his skin, it's about the tedious life of the white colonials.

Port Afrique (1956)  One realises how prolific Christopher Lee was, not by how many horrors he was in, but how many ropey exotica thrillers he did. This is no exception.

Checkpoint (1956) - Stanley Baker and Anthony Steel racing film in Italy. The highlight is a car going over a cliff.

The Man in the Road (1956 - b/w) - Derek Farr, Donald Wolfit, imported femme fatale Ella Raines and Cyril Cusack in cliched spy thriller with rural chases and drugging.

House of Secrets (1956) - Efficient enough though forgettable proto-Eurospy starring Michael Craig. Geoffrey Keen even could be playing Frederick Gray, Minister of Defence, for all we know. Baffling French comedy director of note Gerard Oury appears.

Beyond Mombasa (1956) - Columbia British jungle schlock with Cornel Wilde, Leo Genn, Donna Reed and Christopher Lee. Feels like Warwick, but it isn't.

Account Rendered (1957 - b/w) - Griffith Jones, Honor Blackman, Ursula Howells and Ewen Solon in a forgettable B-thriller.

Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957) - Generic jungle nonsense - Gordon Scott on autopilot. Robert Beatty second billed, but Peter Arne has a larger role. Although it is beautifully shot and feels authentic, unlike the cheap backlot-shot proto-telly look of Tarzan the Ape Man (1959).

Robbery Under Arms (1957) - Average western with Peter Finch, Ronald Lewis and David McCallum, except it is Australian.

The Man in the Sky (1957 - b/w) - I am sure I've seen this Jack Hawkins vehicle before and logged it here. Typical aeronautical soap.

Bridge on The River Kwai (1957) - Undoubtedly great filmmaking. Even if it is a slog. What a waste of  a beautifully-made bridge.

Seven Waves Away (1957) - Samey redo of Souls at Sea with Tyrone Power and tons of British faces, with elements of Lifeboat.

Campbell's Kingdom (1957) - Unconvincing Italian-shot, Canadian-set, British-made trucking thriller with Dirk Bogarde trying to look tough, Stanley Baker looking ludicrous in a cowboy hat, Michael Craig, Barbara Murray, James Robertson Justice and Sid(ney) James.

Count Five and Die (1957 - b/w) - Jeffrey Hunter and Nigel Patrick run a fake Soho film company to foil the Nazis. Generic Eady levy mid-budget thriller.

Ill Met By Moonlight (1957 - b/w) - Generic sing-along WW2 fare with Bogarde and Marius Goring, plus  Cyril Cusack doing de Greek and Christopher Lee. By Michael Powell.

Kill Her Gently (1957 - b/w) - Griffith Jones is a Daily Mail reader in this dull British thriller with Marc Lawrence.

Fortune is a Woman (1957 - b/w) - Another man-vs-wife crime thriller with Jack Hawkins and Arlene Dahl. Swore I did this already.

Dangerous Exile (1957) -Sub-Universal French Revolution yarn with a much less annoying and more recognisable young Richard O'Sullivan as King Louis, with long, lank hair that hints at his future style.  At times, he looks like Baby Dick Turpin.

The Whole Truth (1958 - b/w) - Stewart Granger-George Sanders nonsense.
Not to be confused with gaslighter The Secret Partner (1961 - b/w), which feels like an Edgar Wallace with Granger slotted in, down to Inspector Bernard Lee.

The Man Inside (1958 - b/w) - Jack Palance and Nigel Patrick in a faux-American thriller. Anthony Newley turns up, again. Snore (I actually like him when he got older, but as a young man, I find him intolerable). And it's the sort of nonsense where Sid James turns up doing a Yank accent in front of a London tenement filled with US cars to assure the American audience this is an American film. Or is it?

The Silent Enemy (1958 - b/w) - Anglo-italian naval schlock with Laurence Harvey, Dawn Addams, John Clements, Michael Craig, Gianna Maria Canale, Massimo Serato, Sid and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart.

Ice Cold in Alex (1958 - b/w) - The best Carlsberg ad ever made.

High Hell (1958 - b/w)- Godawful British western with John Derek and Patrick Allen.

The Moonraker (1958) - Generic roundhead swashbuckler with a cast who mostly did Doctor Who, headed by George Baker.

Our Virgin Island (1958) - John Cassavetes, Virginia Maskell and Sidney Poitier in a racial love triangle desert island drama. Sub-Blue Lagoon twaddle. Ruby Dee billed below Colin Gordon.

Nor the Moon by Night (1959) - Essentially a western in modern Africa, as Michael Craig and Pat McGoohan fight over Belinda Lee. McGoohan does good wounded gunfighter pose.

Term of Trial (1962 - b/w) - Pervy drama with schoolteacher Lord Olivier riding schoolgirl Sarah Miles. Terence Stamp is a delinquent. Has a big cinema front for Konga, and Simone Signoret moaning. Shot in Ireland, and IIRC banned there.

Billy Budd (1962) - Did Allied Artists make this to cash in on Mutiny on the Bounty?

The Godfather Squad (1974) - Eurocrime Bruceploitation starring Bruce Leung. Has an absolutely frenzied kung fu/car/machine gun climax. It costars Gordon Mitchell, Pope Paul VI (yes, really) and Rai newsreader Nuccio Fava.
It's not unlike Bruce Le's deranged Euro-Asian coproductions Challenge the Tiger (1980, featuring unauthorised cameos from Jack Klugman and Jane Seymour) and Ninja Strikes Back (1982 - with Harold Sakata as the baddie, soundtracked by unauthorised use of Goldfinger).

The Black Dragon's Revenge (1975)-  Ron van Clief blax-Bruceploitation.

Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger (1976)  - There's something about Bruce Li's films that though they are , maybe because there were so cheap and fast, there is an undiluted, blatant energy, from using random music cues (Diamonds are Forever and Owen, MD!)
Image of Bruce Lee (1978) - The Taxi Driver theme randomly appears in this one. Which I always associate with Northern Irish comedy sketches hosted by Tim McGarry on BBC NI's Hearts and Minds.
Soul Brothers of Kung Fu (1978) - Alias the Tiger Strikes Again (I own the British quad poster), it's a bit rapey but the opening sequence, distractingly scored to the Final Bell from Rocky captures the Hong Kong industrial landscape.
Dynamo (1978) intermingles a plot about Bruce Lee impersonation and snowy Seoul.
The Return of the Tiger (1979) adds Paul Smith to the usual.

My Name Called Bruce (1978) - Shoddily-made but enthusiastic Bruce Le vehicle.

Showdown at the Equator (1978) - Cops with Lancashire accents in this Hong Kong cheapie known as Lee Lives Within.

Made in China (1982) - Was this shot on video? Hong Kong vanity project for JohnLiu. Being shot in Spain, Victor Israel turns up.

No comments:

Post a Comment