Monday 6 April 2020


Millie (1931 - b/w) - RKO flapper saga.

Rich Man's Folly (1931 - b/w) - Ambitious but average Paramount drama, Dombey and Son in modern America.

Washington Merry Go-Round (1932 - b/w) - Forgettable Lee Tracy politicomedy.

Thunder Below (1932 - b/w) - Rote paramount thing with Tallulah Bankhead.

Have A Heart (1934 - b/w) - Rote 30s romance from MGM set in London.

Thunder in the Night (1935 - b/w) - Ropey Fox mystery with Edmund Lowe.
See also Fair Warning (1937 - b/w), The Great Hospital Mystery (1938 - b/w), Time Out for Murder (1938 - b/w).

A Tale of Two Cities (1936 - b/w) - Average Hollywood idea of Dickens.

Everything is Thunder (1936 - b/w) - British WW1 drama with Constance Bennett. Undistinguished.

Four Men and a Prayer (1938 - b/w) - Well-directed but routine Empire saga with Richard Greene and David Niven, directed by John Ford.

Midnight (1939 - b/w) - Typical 30s romcom, with Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert.

Parole Fixer (1940 - b/w) - FBI nonsense with Anthony Quinn.

Millionaires in Prison (1940 - b/w) - RKO cheapie, with Shemp Howard.

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940  -b/w) - RKO cheapie heightened by Peter Lorre.

Earthbound (1940 - b/w) - Mawkish Warner Baxter ghost vehicle.

City Of Darkness (1940 - b/w)/Murder Over New York (1940 - b/w) - Rote Charlie Chan vehicle. Almost Monogram level.

The Saint's Double Trouble (1940 - b/w) - Rote George Sanders installment. Bela Lugosi is wasted as a mook.

Michael Shayne - Private Detective (1940 - b/w) - Rote mystery with Lloyd Nolan.

Mystery Sea Raider (1940 - b/w) - Ropey war caper with Carole Landis.

The Mad Doctor (1940 - b/w)- Rathbone medical mystery.The sort of film you think you saw before, but haven't.

The Lady in Question (1940 - b/w) - Forgettable Rita Haywroth-Brian Aherne-Glenn Ford faux-Brit comedy.

Adventure in Diamonds (1940 - b/w) - Forgettable caper with Isa Miranda, George Brent, John Loder and Nigel Bruce.

Queen of the Mob (1940 - b/w)/Golden Gloves (1940 - b/w) - Undistinguished Paramount cheapies.

The Way of All Flesh (1940 - b/w) - Ropey period drama with Akim Tamiroff.

Safari (1941 - b/w) - Amiable though racially dated jungle romp with Douglas Fairbanks Jnr and  jolly Scotsmen.

The Murder Ring (1941 - b/w)/Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery (1942 - b/w) - Bland adaptations of the character, with Ralph Bellamy as Ellery.

That Uncertain Feeling (1941 - b/w)  -Forgettable Merle Oberon comedy.

I Wanted Wings (1941 - b/w) - Wartime action, with William Holden, Veronica Lake and Ray Milland. See also the non-warring Blaze of Noon (1947 - b/w).

The Night of January 16th (1941 - b/w) - Rote mystery-romance-comedy with Robert Preston and Ellen Drew, by Ayn Rand?!?!

Lady Scarface (1941 - b/w) - Not as exciting as it sounds, despite Judith Anderson. It ends with Eric Blore in a comic strip glancing.

Caught in the Draft (1941 - b/w) - Another routine Bob Hope farce.

Army Surgeon (1942 - b/w) - Boring, slooooww propaganda with Spock's Mum.

The Navy Comes Through (1942 - b/w) - Rote Naval saga with Pat O'Brien.

Wake Island (1942 - b/w) - Average US marinesploiter with Brian Donlevy.

Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942 - b/w) - Rote Canadian-shot war saga with Paul Muni.

Dr. Broadway (1942 - b/w) - Forgettable McDonald Carey vehicle.

Lucky Jordan (1942 - b/w) - Rote Alan Ladd gangster fare.

Night Plane to Chungking (1943 - b/w) - Rote Paramount wartime action with Robert Preston. See also Pacific Blackout (1941 - b/w).

Hostages (1943 - b/w) - Rote propagandier with William Bendix and Luise Rainer.

Behind the Rising Sun (1943 - b/w) - Awful propaganda with plenty of false eyelids.

Standing Room Only (1944 - b/w) - Rote wartime romcom with Paulette Goddard and Fred MacMurray.

I Love A Soldier (1944 -B/W) - Patriotic wartime mawk with Paulette Goddard. See also So Produly We Hail (1943 - b/w) - Colbert and Goddard (and Tufts) together. So Proudly We Hail features scenes of Superman comics being read to kids, but a pre-Superman George Reeves pops up.

The Hitler Gang (1944 - b/w) - Overlong, goofy anti-Nazi propaganda with Bobby Watson as Hitler.

Dark Waters (1944 - b/w)  -Franchot Tone and Merle Oberon in rote gothic melodrama.

Action in Arabia (1944 - b/w) - Ropey exotica with George Sanders.

The Hour Before the Dawn (1944 - b/w) - Cloying faux-Brit Blitz drama with Franchot Tone and Veronica Lake.

A Night of Adventure (1944 - b/w) - Misleading title. With George Sanders' identical but lesser brother Tom Conway. He doesn't quite have the gravitas.
See also other RKO cheapies, Two O'Clock Courage (1945, with Conway), The Truth About Murder (1946 - b/w), Desperate (1947 - B/W), Mystery in Mexico (1948 - b/w), Bodyguard (1948 - b/w), The Clay Pigeon (1949 - b/w), The Threat (1949 - b/w).

Cornered (1945 - b/w) - Rote faux-European noir with Dick Powell.

Love Letters (1945 - b/w) - Faux-English mawk with Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones.

Johnny Angel (1945 - b/w) - Rote gangster fare with George Raft. See also Race Street (1948 - b/w).

Deadline at Dawn (1946 - b/w) - Another average noir, with Susan Hayward and William Katt's dad, Bill Williams.

From This Day Forward (1946 - b/w) - Wartime slush with Joan Fontaine.

Til the End of Time (1946 - b/w) - Post war romance mystery drear with Dorothy McGuire, Bill Williams and Robert Mitchum.

Cross My Heart (1946 - b/w) - "Betty Hutteh" (in Grandadese) and Sonny Tufts in rote wartime musical mystery.

OSS (1946 - b/w) - Rote though serviceable Alan Ladd wartime adventure.

Two Years Before the Mast (1946 - b/w) - Rote 19th century shipping drama with Alan Ladd.

So Evil, My Love (1948 - b/w) - Stodgy British-made Victorian melodrama with Ray Milland and Ann Todd.

13 Lead Soldiers (1948 - b/w) - Tom Conway is a bore as Bulldog Drummond.

Sealed Verdict (1948 - b/w) - Rote post-war military drama with Ray Milland and Florence Marly.

They Live by Night (1949 - b/w) - Sporadically visually attractive rural noir.

The Accused (-1949 - b/w) - Rote Loretta Young noir.

Chicago Deadline (1949 - b/w) - Average newspaper noir with Alan Ladd.

The Woman on Pier 13 (1949 - b/w) - Rote but atmospheric enough carnival noir with Robert Ryan.
See also Woman on the Beach (1947 - b/w).

The Set-Up (1949 - b/w) - Rote boxing noir with Robert Ryan.

A Woman's Secret (1949 - b/w) - Rote Maureen O'Hara melo-noir.

The File on Thelma Jordon (1949 - b/w) - Rote noir with Barbara Stanwyck.

The Treasure of Monte Cristo (1960) - Rory Calhoun stands and walks in a colourful if unsurprising British swashbuckler. See also Son of Monte Cristo (1940 - b/w), a redo of the Man in the Iron Mask (1939 -b/w) with Joan Bennett and Louis Hayward.

The Thief of Baghdad (1961) - Ropey Italian remake.

Fury of the Pagans (1961) - Ropey peplum.

The Steel Claw (1961) - Efficiently paced but ragged, undistinguished Filipino-made war trash with George Montgomery that notoriously was marketed as a slasher when released on video in the UK.

PT 109 (1963) - Overlong, boring naval saga that is also a Kennedy biopic with Cliff Robertson as JFK.

Lord Jim (1965) - Pretty but disjointed and overlong folly with Peter O'Toole and Daliah Lavi leading an immense cast.

The Pad and How to Use It  (1966) - Boring, idiotic Americanised take on a British play, with an odious Brian Bedford. Hollywood's answer to the odious The Knack and How to Get ti (1965 - b/w).

Birds Do It (1966) - Goofy sub-Jerry Lewis NASA-themed vehicle for kids TV star Soupy Sales.

The Trouble With Angels (1966) - Post-Disney Hayley Mills vehicle with Rosalind Russell, by Ida Lupino.
An identikit Mills-less folllowup, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (1968) follows.

Hold On! (1966) - Asinine Sam Katzman-backed answer to the Beatles films with Herman's Hermits dreaming of having a rocket named after them, with Bernard Fox as Mickie Most.

Walk Don't Run (1966) - Rote Jim Hutton romcom with Samantha Eggar that also happens to be Cary Grant's last film.

The Sea Pirate (1966) - Undistinguished but bright and breezy French Italian pirate movie with Gerard Barray and Terence Morgan. Ludicrous title for the English market.

Once Before I Die (1996) - Lunkheaded Pacific war story with Ursula Andress, by John Derek.

The Love-Ins (1966) - Rubbishy TV-like Hollywood psychedelia with an incongruously cast Richard Todd who looks like he should be in BBC TV Centre.

Luv (1967) - Elaine May, Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk in a forgettable romantic comedy. The same film Lemmon always made.

Ghosts Italian Style (1967) - Goofy but stylish and atmospheric farce with Sophia Loren, Vittorio Gassman, Mario Adorf and a last minute sequel hook where they go to Scotland with Francis De Wolff.

The Happening (1967) -Anthony Quinn, George Maharis, Michael Parks, Faye Dunaway and Robert Walker Jr in a film that alternates between goofy sub-Beach Party film and grim juvenile gangsterdom. It doesn't work either way.

Interlude (1968 - b/w) - It has scenes set as Rediffusion Television, but it is a rote romance with Barbara Ferris and Oskar Werner. John Cleese appears in a serious role, at the time he was working at Rediffusion. Utterly forgettable.  Donald Sutherland turns up too.  Also, second to last billed, one Derek Jacobi. What happened to him...

30 is a Dangerous Age Cynthia (1968) - Eddie Foy sticks out like a sore thumb in this Dudley Moore nonsense. Moore at one point reads Private Eye, a nod to Peter. A rare appearance from Clive Dunn looking his age.  And it all goes to Dublin, to see Micheal MacLiammoir, though Harry Towb gets better billing.

Jigsaw (1968) - Clearly intended as a TV movie, but this dreary Universal production was released in cinemas because of Michael J. Pollard's support role. Pat Hingle goes off his tits on LSD.

How To Save A Marriage and Ruin Your Life (1968) -  Bland Dino sex farce.

All Neat in Black Stockings  (1969) - Lead Victor Henry (who ended up comatose shortly after release) is a bit of an empty space in the lead. He feels like a watchable character actor sidekick thrusted into the lead. Typical post-Alfie British lad romance/proto-Confessions of a Window Cleaner, with Susan George, and in a surprisingly large role, Harry Towb as his Cockney Jew flatmate Issur, who carries a scrapbook full of cuttings from Marvel UK /IPC reprints.
See also the similarly Cooper Black-font-titled The Breaking of Bumbo (1969), about the sex lives of Royal Guards, with Joanna Lumley, and a tiny role from Edward Fox.

Breaking Glass (1980) - A distaff post-punk Stardust with Hazel O'Connor and a twinky Phil Daniels.

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