Saturday 2 May 2020


Reserved for Ladies (1932 - b/w) - Leslie Howard faux-quota quickie.

Calm Yourself (1935 - b/w) - Rote light drama with Robert Young.

Bengal Tiger (1936) - Forgettable Warner B with Barton MacLane.

Going Places (1938 - b/w) - Rote horse racer with Dick Powell.

Lady in the Morgue (1938 - b/w) - Rote Universal cheapie.

Magic Town (1947 - b/w) - Actually just James Stewart, Jane Wyman and local politics.

Henry V (1944) - It goes from being stagey, almost kiddy-show esque Fairyland to the literal hills I see when I look out of my bedroom window. My barber's dad cut that haircut for Olivier.

Tammy and the Bachelor (1957)/Tammy Tell Me True (1961)/Tammy and the Doctor (1963) - Rural sugar with Debbie Reynolds and Leslie Nielsen gives way to rural sugar with Sandra Dee.

IDIOT (1958) - Dramatic Mosfilm historical.

The Wind Cannot Read (1958) - Rote Dirk Bogarde romance, set in India, but with Yoko Tani.

Upstairs and Downstairs (1959) - Michael Craig is the lead in this generic British proto-sexcom. Sidney James billed over Claudia Cardinale.

Prisoner of the Volga (1959) - Ropey Italian historical with John Derek and Dawn Addams.

Home from the Hill (1960) - Typical Southern melodrama that launched George Peppard.

It Started in Naples (1960) - Cutesy Gable/Loren/Desica teamup.

Bells are Ringing (1960) - Average 50s musical made slightly later, with Judy Holliday and Dino.

The World of Suzie Wong (1960) - Love is A Many Splendored Thing, Too - This Time, We Actually Cast An Asian Actress Opposite William Holden.

All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960) - Dreary jazz soap with Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood.

Cash McCall (1960) - Tiring soap starring James Garner and Natalie Wood.

Once More, With Feeling (1960)- Bland but chirpy comedy with Yul Brynner as a classical musician in a tiny Liverpool Town Hall, with BBC cameramen, Kay Kendall, Geoffrey Toone and Gregory Ratoff.

Ice Palace (1960) - Dreary Alaskan soap with Richard Burton. See also The Bramble Bush (1960).

Song Without End (1960)- Dirk Bogarde's big Hollywood break. It didn't work.
See also HMS Defiant (1962).

Pepe (1960) -A three-hour mammoth production trying to give Cantinflas his solo showcase for the US, but it's filled with stars some as themselves (why is Edward G. Robinson a studio boss?) and filled with diversions i.e. two little dancing Mexicans. But Cantinflas himself is totally baffling. He's one of those foreign comedians who, I can kind of see his charm, but he's a little Wisdomesque.

Morgan The Pirate (-1960) - Routine, undistinguished pirate film from Italy with Steve Reeves.

Go Naked in the World (1960) - Transatlantic tripe with Gina Lollobrigida and Tony Franciosa as the son of Ernest Borgnine.

Tarzan the Magnificent (1960) - Probably best of the 60s Tarzans. Gordon Scott is okay, but it has a great supporting cast - Jock Mahoney, later Tarzan himself is better here as the baddie, alongside John Carradine (who apparently made his first trip outside the US to make this film in Kenya and England), Lionel Jeffries is the Brit abroad, Earl Cameron adds gravitas as the token African, and Charles Tingwell sweats well. Plus the plot revolves around a African corner shop (with Crosse and Blackwell tinned produce). Betta St John and Alexandra Stewart are the females, with not much to do.  Ewen Solon, Tommy Duggan and Peter Howell have smaller roles.

The Grass is Greener (1960) - Stately British stage comedy. Not much laughs.

Cinderfella (1960) - Just another duff Jerry Lewis vehicle. Set in the modern day, with a big NBC van about.

Very Important Person (1961) - Generic POW comedy with James Robertson Justice, Stanley Baxter and Leslie Phillips.

Ada (1961) - Stolid political soap with Susan Hayward, Dean Martin and Wilfrid Hyde-White struggling with a Deep South twang.

Cry for Happy (1961) - Two stars of different versions of the Courtship of Eddie's Father, Glenn Ford and Miyoshi Umeki in idiotic Japan-set culture clash comedy.

My Geisha (1961) - Shirley Maclaine plays herself, a Paramount actress who goes undercover as a Geisha to get a role. As bad as it sounds.

Parrish (1961) - Overlong Southern melodrama with Claudette Colbert and Troy Donahue.
See also Susan Slade (1961).

Summer and Smoke (1961) - Lesser Tennessee Williams.
See also Period of Adjustment (1962 - b/w) - which I only realised was a comedy when John McGiver appeared.

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) - Vivien Leigh in her last gasp and Warren Beatty as George Hamilton in a rote soaper.

The Best of Enemies (1961) - Niven and his old pal Trubshawe interrupt an Italian comedy. Bernard Cribbins is wasted.

Splendor in the Grass (1961) - Tiring teen drama.

The Count of Monte Cristo (1961) - Two part megafeature  a la The Tiger of Eschnapur/The Indian Tomb, with Louis Jourdan. Sumptuous, like a big-budget rival to the Flashing Blade.

The Marriage-Go-Round (1961) - Susan Hayward and James Mason in a rote battle of the sexes comedy. Julie Newmar also appears as the "crumpet".

The Singer Not the Song (1961) - A gay British western starring Dirk Bogarde as a Mexican and John Mills as Cyril Cusack. Every bit the fiasco they said it was.

The Pleasure of his Company (1961) - Fred Astaire, Debbie Reynolds, Lilli Palmer, typical 60s studio froth.

Return to Peyton Place (1961) - Undistinguished bonkbuster.

Town Without Pity (1961 - b/w) - Grim rape trial in Germany with Kirk Douglas. Oh, the irony.

The Light in the Piazza (1962) - The Roman Spring springs a knockoff. George Hamilton and Olivia De Havilland deputise for Beatty and Leigh.

Vie Privee (1962) - Louis Malle/Bardot arty-fartiness.

Lolita (1962) - It looks cheap, maybe because it is trying to be American in England. But everything reeks of a quota quickie. Though I like the fact they watch Curse of Frankenstein.

Cronaca Familiere (1962) - Costa Gavras-ish drama with Marcello Mastroianni.

The Chapman Report (1962) - Overlong anthology bonkbuster with Claire Bloom, Jane Fonda, Shelley Winters and Glynis Johns.

Swordsman of Siena (1962) - Rote Italian swashbuckling schlock with Stewart Granger.

Diamond Head (1962) - Godawful Hawaiian melodrama with Charlton Heston and James Darren, George Chakiris and Aline MacMahon in a ton of yellowface.

Who's Got The Action (1962) - Rote Dean Martin comedy, with Lana Turner, Walter Matthau and the inevitable John McGiver.
See also Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed (1963).

Boys' Night Out (1962) - Routine romcom with Kim Novak and James Garner.

Gypsy (1962) - I admired the design. Natalie Wood seemed to be stuck playing this role, though.

In the Cool of The Day (1963) - Transatlantic tripe with Jane Fonda as Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White, Angela Lansbury and Peter Finch.

The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) - So routine that it became a sitcom.

Stolen Hours (1963) - Susan Hayward and Michael Craig do Dark Victory in Cornwall. Only distinguishing factors are Chet Baker and a scene in a Spar, with Lyon's Maid and Fyffe's ad placement.

The Horizontal Lieutenant (1963) - More goofy Japan-set military alleged comedy, with Jim Hutton and Paula Prentiss.

Critic's Choice (1963) - Typical late-period Bob No-Hoper.
See also the Carnation/Quaker ad placement-heavy antics of Bachelor In Paradise (1961), featuring per US comedy films of the era were forced to do, John McGiver.

My Six Loves (1963) - Feels like a sitcom pilot for Debbie Reynolds, down to cute kids and John McGiver.

Come Fly with Me (1963) - Air hostess soaper.

Papa's Delicate Condition (1963) - Treacly Jackie Gleason turn-of-the-century family comedy.

The Running Man (1963) - Lawrence Harvey tries to be Australian. Made between Spain and Wicklow.

Gidget Goes to Rome (1963) - Forgettable shark-jumping beachless sequel. See also Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961).

A New Kind of Love (1963) - Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman faux-French (with French TV news) cheesecake comedy.

Sunday in New York (1963) - Rote comedy with Jane Fonda and Rod Taylor.

Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) - Rote Jack Lemmon comedy.

The Wheeler Dealers (1963) - Texan idiocy with  Lee Remick and James Garner.

The Yellow Rolls Royce (1964) -I remember this bored me as a child. A cavalcade of international stars from Ingrid Bergman to Wally Cox with little to do.

The Killers (1964) - It's stifled by its dayglo Universal TV production values, but the cast are convincing hoods - Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, even Norman Fell. Reagan's presence though is slightly out of place.

Sex and the Single Girl (1964) - Rote studio sexcom.
See also Good Neighbour Sam (1964).

The Pleasure Seekers (1964) - No pleasure to be had in this redo of Three Coins in the Fountain.

Marnie (1964) - If it weren't by Hitchcock, no one would remember it. The Americanisations to the British setting don't work, what with the fox hunt. It feels like just another studio melodrama.

Where Love Has Gone (1964) - Pornographic muzak from Harold Robbins with Susan Hayward as the daughter of a bewigged Bette Davis. Hayward is not-Lana Turner, and Joey Heatherton is her murderous daughter.
See also The Carpetbaggers (1964), in which Carroll Baker plays a Jean Harlow expy. Baker would then appear in the same role in Harlow (1965), an overlong, colourful but boring biopic headed by a  slightly too old Carroll Baker (who had played a Harlow type in the Carpetbaggers) and Angela Lansbury as her impossibly young mother, and inaccurate looking props of Photoplay and Variety. The Keystone Kops bits are scored and shot like a Monkees episode.
A rival production, also Harlow (1965 - b/w) was released in cinemas, but is a cheapo videotaped show with the look of a soap, with Carol Lynley leading a distinguished cast.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) - Too much of a western. Not enough Titanic.

The Lively Set (1964) - Forgettable juvenile racing pic with Pamela Tiffin, James Darren and Doug McClure.

Becket (1964) - A history lesson I didn't want.

Lilith (1964 - b/w)/Sylvia (1965 - b/w) - Both interchangeable black and white stories of mental cases, with Jean Seberg and Carroll Baker.

The Sandpiper (1965) - Forgettable chunk of pornographic music with Richard Burton as a vicar, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint, and Charles Bronson.

The Girls on the Beach (1965)/Wild, Wild Winter (1966) - The worst of the beach movies, despite the Beach Boys in the former. Sub-kiddie TV look, unmemorable leads and no fun.

Situation Hopeless But Not Serious (1965 - b/w) - Alec Guinness lusts over soldiers Robert Redford and Mike Connors.

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (1965) - Another parent trap for Maureen O'Hara, plus Rossano Brazzi, Richard Todd, two seconds of Finlay Currie seen only from the side, and Martin Stephens and Olivia Hussey as the kiddies.
I've always confused this with Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968), the Denis Norden-written basis for Mamma Mia with Gina Lollobrigida.

That Funny Feeling (1965) - God, Bobby Darin did look like Kevin Spacey (if Spacey ever looked young, that is). Otherwise, routine 60s romantic comedy. Leo G. Carroll actually sounds Irish, though here.
See also If A Man Answers (1965) and Doctor, You Must Be Kidding (1967), which has Sandra Dee, but Darin is replaced by George Hamilton.

Genghis Khan (1965) - Ludicrous. Buck-toothed Chinaman James Mason is the least of its problems. Omar Sharif isn't that bad, but everyone is miscast, from  Eli Wallach to Robert Morley and Michael Hordern as Chinamen (with Woody Strode as his sidekick) to both Savalas brothers. It's better than the Conqueror, but the Conqueror didn't have Kenneth Cope. Stephen Boyd's supposedly Oriental makeover still reeks of "bloke of Belfast who wants to look like Charles Bronson".

Joy in the Morning (1965) - Depressing drama with Yvette Mimieux and Richard Chamberlain.

That Man in Istanbul (1965) - Rote though efficient Eurospy with Horst Buchholz.

Young Cassidy (1965) - John Ford (and Jack Cardiff)'s last foray into Oirish twaddle. Though mostly shot in Dublin, with a few MGM British interiors (was Ardmore busy? They filmed in Bray for exteriors). Rod Taylor still sounds like himself. Maggie Smith is convincing, Michael Redgrave is Michael Redgrave, Julie Christie way too English, but ads for Rowntree's, Jacob's, Jack MacGowran, T.P. McKenna, Joe lynch, Arthur O'Sullivan, the extraordinary Martin Crosbie, Vincent Dowling, John "Pa Riordan" Cowley, Harold Goldblatt and others help.

Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion (1966) - Goofy Disney-esque pilot for Daktari. Still, Richard Haydn gets a good bit.

A Covenant  with Death (1967) - Phony story of mixed-race tribulations with George Maharis as a Mexican.

Divorce American Style (1967) - I must have forgotten to log this before. It's very generic. Van Johnson, Jean Simmons, Dick van Dyke...

To Sir, With Love (1967) - Slightly treacly,  basically a straight redo of Blackboard Jungle but with Sidney Poitier in the teacher role. Still, it has Geoffrey Bayldon, Pat Routledge and a surprisingly sinister Edward Burnham.

No Tears for a Killer (1967) - Shonky Italian actioner with Franco Nero and Robert Webber.

The Young Warriors (1967) - Bland TV-ish WW2 drama, just a bunch of soldiers headed by James Drury in a field.

Benjamin - The Diary of an Innocent Boy (1968) - Rote French period drama with Catherine Deneuve and Michel Piccoli.

Two Weeks in September (1968) - Boring. Brigitte Bardot goes about London and Scotland, and stays with James Robertson Justice.

Some Kind of a Nut (1968) - Dick Van Dyke gets a bee sting, grows a beard and is mistaken as a hippie. That's the joke. Peter Brocco appears done up as Dr. Lao for some reason.

The Sea Gull (1968) - Relatively engrossing Chekhov adap, with an unrecognisable Denholm Elliott.

Oedipus the King (1968) - Christopher Plummer gets his eyes clawed out. Routine Euro-epic.

The Counterfeit Killer (1968)  - Surely this lame actioner with Shirley Knight, Jack Lord and Jack Weston was intended for telly.

The Sweet Ride (1968) - Psychedelic beach dreariness with Anthony Francoisa, Jacqueline Bisset and Michael Sarrazin.

Romeo and Juliet (1968) - Not one for the Bard. This is a sumptuous, if predictably goo-goo-eyed adap.

The Bofors Gun (1969) - Tough but memorable military drama with a sterling cast - Nicol Williamson, John Thaw, David Warner, Ian Holm, Barry Jackson, Donald Gee, Peter Vaughan, Barbara Jefford.

Age of Consent (1969) - James Mason does Lolita down under, with Helen Mirren and some Aussie TV (in black and white).

Angel in My Pocket (1969) - Preachy Christian bull with Andy Griffith.

The Kirlian Witness (1979) - Artsy-fartsy weirdness about plant communication.

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