Thursday 30 April 2020


The Baron of Arizona (1949 - b/w) - Initially turned off because I thought it was a western, but it doesn't get to that until well over a way, and for a Lippert cheapie, Sam Fuller and Vincent Price treat it as an epic.

The Rat Race (1960) - Rote romcom with Debbie Reynolds and Tony Curtis.

The Subterraneans (1960) - Big budget beatnikery with Leslie Caron, George Peppard and Roddy McDowall. See also The Young Savages (1961 - b/w).

The Hellions (1961) - Forgettable African western with Richard Todd.

Flower Drum Song (1961) - Typical musical of the era, but with an all-Asian cast (bar African-Irish-American Juanita Hall looking like an Irish mammy named Bernie).

No Man is an Island (1962) - The sort of Filipino-shot trash usually with George Montgomery, but here it is Jeffrey Hunter.

A Ticklish Affair (1963) - Sub-Doris Day vehicle for Shirley Jones.

The Girl named Tamiko (1963)- France Nuyen plays the title role, but the actual lead is Laurence Harvey as a supposed Eurasian photographer. Forgettable.

Captain Newman, MD (1963) - Light military comedy drama with Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Bobby Darin - you know the drill, then Robert Duvall appears, acting in a completely different style.

The Iron Maiden (1963) - Alleged comedy with Michael Craig, Alan Hale Junior, Jeff "Aunt May" Donnell, Anne Helm and Noel Purcell, who I think is playing British. About a steam rally.
Very much in the mould of The Fast Lady (1962) and Father Came Too (1964), except without the baffling waste of the versatile Stanley Baxter, that master impressionist known for his female impersonations and grotesques, cast in the role of straight romantic lead.

Island of Love (1963)- Forgettable Greek-set comedy with Robert Preston, Tony Randall and Walter Matthau. One Oscar and another Felix.

A Gathering of Eagles (1963) - Dreary aviation soap with Rock Hudson,Rod Taylor and Mary Peach.

Tamahine (1963) - Nancy Kwan is a Polynesian schoolgirl in a boys' academy. That's the joke.

For Love or Money (1963) - Kirk Douglas-Mitzi Gaynor romantico.

Man's Favourite Sport (1964) - Rock Hudson goes fishing. He feigns romance with Paula Prentiss, but looks more interested in fishing.
See also A Very Special Favor (1965) with Hudson and Leslie Caron.

Honeymoon Hotel (1964) - Almost Beach Party-ish comedy with Nancy Kwan, Robert Goulet, Keenan Wynn and Elsa Lanchester.

Marriage on the Rocks (1965) - Routine Rat Pack comedy.

The Cincinnati Kid (1965) - How many times did Steve McQueen make this film?

Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965) - Michael Parks tries to be the new James Dean, in front of Ann-Margret.

Boeing, Boeing (1965) - Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis in tired airline farce. Jerry tries not to do his schtick, but he's still insufferable.

The Truth About Spring (1965) - Forgettable Disney-esque  modern piracy romcom with James MacArthur and Hayley Mills. See also Pretty Polly (1967).

Red Line 5000 (1965) - James Caan in a Howard Hawks-directed AIP-esque car racer that is way too long.

Lady L (1965) - Bloated all-star Europud alleged comedy with Sophia Loren, Paul Newman and David Niven, directed by Peter Ustinov. Loren wears inaccurate old age makeup.

Never Too Late (1965) - Forgettable middle-aged pregnancy comedy with Maureen O'Sullivan and Paul Ford.

An American Dream (1966) - Bloated pornographic muzak with Stuart Whitman.

Made in Paris (1966) - Rote romcom with Ann-Margret.

The Taming of the Shrew (1967) - Burton and Taylor do Shakespeare. Like dinner theatre in Cleveland.

The Last Safari (1967) - Stewart Granger in colonial safari bullshit that demonises elephants and casts Gabriella Licudi as a comic relief, supposed mixed-race airhead, who ends up coming across as a Navin Johnson figure.

The 25th Hour (1967) - Anthony Quinn is in and out of the Nazis AND the concentration camp. Tired old Europud.

The Stranger (1967) - Routine Visconti artiness.

More Than A Miracle (1967) - Italian Cinderellasploitation with Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif.

Barefoot in the Park (1967) - Rote romcom with Redford, Fonda, Boyer and Herb "Big John/Stanley Zbornak" Edelman.
See also Any Wednesday (1966).

The Cool Ones (1967) - Sub-AIP garage rock comedy supported by Roddy McDowall and Robert Coote.

Far from the Madding Crowd (1967) - The possible father of modern British prestige cinema. And all the worse for it.

Three Bites of the Apple (1967) - David McCallum and Sylva Koscina in a romantic comedy about a British tour guide. The Italian Private Walker-esque spiv sidekick is Domenico Modugno, the Italian singer and actor and MP who was the first to sing Volare, while in the Eurovision Song Contest, no less.

First to Fight (1967) - Forgettable WW2 nonsense with Chad Everett, constantly soundtracked by a syrupy instrumental of As Time Goes By. Gene Hackman appears, at the point where he wasn't yet every dad's favourite actor, and is almost not-quite-recognisable. He looks like someone who looks like Gene Hackman, but not a complete doppelganger.

Arabella (1967) - Silly Italian romantic flapper comedy with Virna Lisi, James Fox, Margaret Rutherford and Terry-Thomas as several characters, one without a tache.

Nobody's Perfect (1968) - TV-esque naval com with Nancy Kwan and Doug McClure, and David Hartman.

Sweet November (1968) - Amiable romcom with Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newley (who as he matured, got less infuriatingly obnoxious).

Don't Just Stand There (1968) - Bland backlot-bound faux-French farce with Robert Wagner and Mary Tyler Moore. Features  a "reparation du television" van.

Up the Junction (1968) - At least it's not by Ken Loach, but still insufferable Swinging London nonsense. Though seeing Dennis Waterman as the lead in a major motion picture, it could have been so good for him. Was the placing of director Peter Collinson's The Penthouse on a billboard deliberate?

Petulia (1968) - Dreary swinging London psychedelia actually set in San Francisco.

Rachel, Rachel (1968) - Joanne Woodward goes mad when seeing kids read Mad, and falls in love with him from Moon Zero Two.

Bandits in Milan (1968) - Solid Eurocrime, from DeLaurentiis. Refs to Perry Mason to Americanise it. Arguably the film that made Tomas Milian a star of the genre.

The Subject Was Roses (1968) - Dreary relationship drama with Pat Neal, Jack Albertson and Martin Sheen.

Mayerling (1968) - Colourful but overlong romance between Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve, with more overuse of Spartacus by Khacaturian than the Onedin Line and Caligula combined.

Isadora (1968)  - Karel Reisz tries to channel Ken Russell,while Vanessa Redgrave horribly overacts.

Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968) - Slapsticky Doris Day vehicle.

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968)- Peter Sellers hippie shite.

A Place for Lovers (1968) - Forgettable, hackneyed romance with Mastroianni and Dunaway, by De Sica. Once seen as one of the worst films ever made, now forgotten. It's bad, but it's not so terrible that you remember it.

The Arrangement (1969) - Dreary business drama with Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Deborah Kerr, Richard Boone, and a random Batman-style BIFF! Boone plays Douglas' dad, despite being younger. They look about the same age.

Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969) - Old Peter O'Toole looks nothing like actual old Peter O'Toole. The songs are terrible. The main point  of interest was noticing Tom "Compo's son" Owen as a schoolboy. Also a TV lies in the corner of old O'Toole's office. What did Mr. Chips watch? He probably despised ITV. A 60s Boots appears in the 30s scenes.

Alfred the Great (1969) - Utter flop for MGM, basically a hippyish attempt to an epic for the youth. For the longest time, it's just David Hemmings, Michael York and Prunella Ransome, Colin Blakely in the background, and Peter Vaughan appears briefly. Then, Ian McKellen and Vivien Merchant  pop up. Shot in Ireland, and apparently did a lot of good for Galway and Westmeath. The trouble is most of the cast are unrecognisable, all in beards. And there's some good actors - Alan Dobie, Julian Glover, Julian "R. White's" Chagrin, Jim Norton, Christopher Timothy, Barry Evans, Henry Woolf but they could all be ginger hippies from Mullingar.  Even  McKellen has the look of a disaffected youth from Portumna who hates showbands.

The Sterile Cuckoo (1969) - Blunt teen romance with Liza Minnelli.

Winning (1969) - Paul Newman does his racing picture. Tired soaper.

The Appointment (1969) - Omar Sharif and Anouk Aimee in a tired piece of transatlantic tripe.

The Deserter (1971) - A peculiar hybrid of American and spaghetti western. Shot in Italy, Spain and Yugoslavia with a Yugoslavian lead in Bekim Fehmiu and produced by Dino de Laurentiis, but directed by Burt Kennedy, and costarring Richard Crenna, John Huston, Chuck Connors, Pat Wayne, Slim Pickens, and Ricardo Montalban as a pigtailed Indian wise man (Montalban was often cast as Native Americans, Hollywood producers not releasing that not all Mexicans are of native extraction, some are the children of Spanish immigrants), plus Woody Strode, a common sight in both countries' westerns, and the distinctly Italian Mimmo Palmara as a vicious Apache. Despite all the American western vets, it feels distinctly Italian, with Piero Piccioni's score and Aldo Tonti's atmospheric cinematography. Oh, and Ian Bannen turns up.

Which Way Is Up (1977)/Some Kind of a Hero (1982) - Mediocre Richard Pryor vehicles.
See also Bustin' Loose (1981) and The Toy (1982), where Pryor becomes a rich white kid's personal Spider-Man, and not even Wilfrid Hyde-White can save it.

Little Darlings (1980) - Wanted to see this since I was ten. Don't ask. It's a rather dreary film about 15 year olds Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNicol trying to get laid while chain smoking. Soundtracked by the Bellamy Brothers.

Pretty Baby (1978) - It has no real plot. It's just "isn't Brooke Shields naked lovely?" No, no, it isn't. She's a kid. Her mother was a weirdo.
Atlantic City (1980) - It certainly captures the place, though weird to see Burt and co watching City-TV, a Canadian station.

The Nude Bomb (1980)- A massive ad for Universal studios, with placement for Battlestar Galactica and In God We Tru$t,that happens to have Maxwell Smart at the centre. And instead of Barbara Feldon, Sylvia Kristel and some others.

The Blue Lagoon (1980)- It looks nice, but it's hard to take seriously. Leo McKern is probably the best thing, but when he dies, Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins are left to carry. And they're not exactly stellar presences. And William Daniels is barely in it, either.  And he and McKern are the two good solid presences.

Little Miss Marker (1980) - Walter Matthau, Julie Andrews and Tony Curtis is sub-Disney Universal cheapness. See also 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), a previous version starring Curtis.

The Hollywood Knights (1980) - Barefaced American Graffiti imitation with Tony Danza and Michelle Pfeiffermenowitz.

It's My Turn (1980) - Bland romantic comdrama with Jill Clayburgh and Michael Douglas.

Seems Like Old Times (1980) - As forgettable as Foul Play was memorable.

The Competition (1980) - Dreary orchestral love story with Amy Irving and Richard Dreyfuss.

Paternity (1981) - Forgettable Burt Reynolds dramedy.

Petrole, Petrole (1981) - Baffling French comedy about OPEC.

Neighbors (1981) - Belushi/Aykroyd horror comedy. Annoyingly paced.

Stripes (1981) - Goofball idiocy. Despite the SCTV cast members involved.

Continental Divide (1981) - There's a stall selling Marvel and DC and Archie comics. I see a Star Trek comic, Sgt. Rock JLA, Ghosts... It's John Belushi and Blair Brown in an unremarkable romance.

I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can (1981) - Bland TV movie-like weepie with Jill Clayburgh, Nicol Williamson and Joe Pesci. See also First Monday in October (1981).

Mommie Dearest (1981) - A junky TV-level biopic of Joan Crawford with extra production values. Faye Dunaway plays Crawford as a grande dame guignol baddie, while Steve Forrest is his usual ronsealed self.

Only When I Laugh (1981) - Tedious Neil Simon with Marsha Mason and Kristy McNicol, very TV-movie ish.

Hospital Massacre (1981) - Alias X-Ray. It's an intriguing idea - a stalker in a hospital setting, but done so pedestrian that it becomes moot.

The Four Seasons (1981) - Average middle-aged dramedy with Carol Burnett, Sandy Dennis, Jack Weston and director Alan Alda.

Absence of Malice (1982) - Dreary courtroom drama with Paul Newman. Yes, another one.

Lookin' To Get Out (1982) - Forgettable Jon Voight-Ann Margret-Burt Young buddy comedy. Features in cameos Paul Daniels Show semi-regular Kris Kremo, Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy from the 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, and one Angelina Jolie Voight.

The Sting II (1983) - Ropey televisual (hey, that was the shop set used for Columbo - Dagger of the Mind) cash-in with Mac Davis and Jackie Gleason as not-quite-the-same characters as Redford and Newman. They are, but they have different names. Robert Shaw is now Oliver Reed, in interesting casting. The most interesting thing about the film.

One Deadly Summer (1983) - Overlong erotica with Isabelle Adjani.

D.C. Cab (1983) - Idiotic 80s comedy.

Hanna K (1983) - Arab-Israeli boredom with Jill Clayburgh and Gabriel Byrne when he was just an RTÉ soap actor.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) - Oh God, visually stimulating but somewhat insufferable.

The Lords of Discipline (1983) - Rote American military academy story, but the thing is it's shot mainly in England, and some of it looks very American, but Ed Bishop has a big role and he is seen in what is clearly America, and it turns out, that though the film was based in Britain, they did fly Bishop out with the other actors to South Carolina.  The likes of Stuart Milligan, Jason Connery, Rolf Saxon, William Hope, Matt Frewer, Tyso from the Tomorrow People and Simon Shepherd play recruits. Oh, and "Wild Bill" Paxton, as he is credited.

Racing with the Moon (1984) - Nostalgic, nondescript 40s-set teen movie with Sean Penn, Elizabeth McGovern and Nicolas Cage.

The Razor's Edge (1984) - It looks gorgeous, but it feels a bit too much Merchant-Ivory. Worth it to see Bill Murray and Peter Vaughan together as Yorkshire miners.

Best Defense (1984) - As shite as they. Dudley and Eddie Murphy in different movies.

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