Tuesday 14 July 2020


The Crime Doctor's Courage (1945 - b/w) - Faux-vampire B-crime.  Interchangeable fedoras. See also The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case (1943 - Lloyd Bridges alert), Shadows in the Night (1944 - b/w), The Crime Doctor's Warning (1945 - b/w), Just Before Dawn (1946 - b/w)The Millerson Case (1946 - b/w), The Crime Doctor's Manhunt (1946 - b/w), The Crime Doctor's Gamble (1947 - b/w) and The Crime Doctor's Diary (1949), and also from Columbia B-crime series the Whistler, The Mysterious Intruder (1946), The Thirteenth  Hour (1947 - b/w), and Return of the Whistler (1948 - b/w), all simultaneously quick yet dreary vehicles for Richard Dix.

The Last Days of Dolwyn (1949) - Dreary Welsh saga with impossibly young Richard Burton and impossibly young and thin Hugh Griffith.

The Great Gatsby (1949 - b/w) - Dull adap.

Two Lost Worlds (1951 - b/w) - Dreary Puritan lost world swashbuckling with James Arness.

Seven Thunders (1957 - b/w) - Routine war saga. Nice to see Martin Miller in a big role.

Escort for Hire (1960) - Rudimentary runny-color Danziger's B-pic, with June Thorburn, DJ Pete Murray in a comedic romantic lead role, "and Guy Middleton", plus Peter Butterworth.

The Full Treatment (1960) - Dreary Hammer thriller.

Ava (1962) - Arty, insufferable Joseph Losey adap of a James Hadley Chase book, with Jeanne Moreau and Stanley Baker.
See also Tony Richardson's Mademoiselle (1966- b/w) and The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967 - b/w).

90 Degrees in the Shade (1965) - Dark, amtospheric but also kind of forgettable Anglo-Czech drama with James Booth, Anne Heywood, Ann Todd and Donald Wolfit.

Hysteria (1965) - Routine Hammer thriller.

Is Paris Burning (1966 - b/w) - Overlong b/w war saga.

With Six You Get Eggroll (1968) - Routine Doris Day-er.

The Silent Stranger (1968) - Experimental, intriguing Tony Anthony western set in Japan, ahead of its time when it was made, but outdated when it came out 7 years after it was made, in 1975.

Once You Kill A Stranger (1969) - Beige televisual thriller with Paul Burke and Carol Lynley.

A Dream of Kings (1969) - Dreary Anthony Quinn Greek tragedy, though with some lovely NYC photography.

A Fine Pair (1969) - Obnoxious Italian caper with Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale.

The Walking Stick (1970) - Dreary romance-thriller with David Hemmings and Samantha Eggar.

Love Story (1970)/Oliver's Story (1978) - Love means never having to say, "Next!".

The Bushbaby (1970) - Dreary sub-Bunty comic story of a girl with a pet, in Africa.

Take A Girl Like You (1970) - Midiffusion Television! Yet another fictional ITV region! Yay! Typical 60s romcom with Hayley Mills and Olier Reed, Noel Harrison, Bird and Fortune....

Act of the Heart (1970) - Genevieve Bujold romances Donald Sutherland, outside the CBC building.

ZigZag (1970) - Routine sub-TVM George Kennedy thriller, with weirdly Anne Jackson playing his wie, while her husband Eli Wallach is the heavy. William Marshall plays a Maurice Bronson, yes, like Michael Sheard in Grange Hill.

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) - A peculiar film. Halfway faux-British musical (did Le Mesurier, Handl and Kinnear fly out all the way to Burbank and then see most of their scenes excited?) and hip Streisand vehicle (Jack Nicholson as the neighbour!).

Rabbit Run (1970) - Average James Caan comdram.

The Lawyer (1970) - Dreary, rapey pilot for TV's Petrocelli.

The Great White Hope (1970) - Average epic boxing drama, despite a charismatic, god-like turn from James Earl Jones.

The Phantom Tollbooth (1970) - Nice Chuck Jones animation. Never seen this before, but I read the book because I wanted to see the film.

 La Moglie del Prete (1970) - Sophia and Marcello clerical comdram.
See also Homo Eroticus (1971 - with Rosanna Podesta and Lando Buzzanca sex-comedying up), Per le antiche scale (1975), , La Derniere Femme (1976 - Big Ger Depardieu, Ornella Muti and their kid get naked and football on the telly).

Star Spangled Girl (1971) - Sandy Duncan gets on my nerves, ever since that ep of the New Scooby Doo Movies.

Drive, He Said (1971) - Dreary basketball drama by Jack Nicholson. The highlight is placement for 7UP and Butterfinger.

Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) - Elizabeth R spinoff with Glenda Jackson vs Vanessa Redgrave. Blond twink Timothy Dalton alert. The Bondian John Barry soundtrack is the main thing to recommend.

A Safe Place (1971)- Henry Jaglom indulgence, again produced by Nicholson. Orson Welles does his tricks.

The Go-Between (1971) - Not my cup of tea.

Summertree (1971) - Routine anti-Nam story with Michael Douglas as a singer-songwriter falling in love with Brenda Vaccaro. Also fits into that subgenre - "films directed by the cast of EastEnders". This is by Anthony Newley.
See also Hail Hero (1970) and Adam at 6. A.M. (1970), with Douglas.

Summer of 42 (1971) - Massive hit in its day, this anodyne teen/twenty-something affair romance with the annoying Gary Grimes and Jennifer O'Neill is kind of baffling. The sequel, Class of '44 (1973) is equally dull, but only really notable because a very young John Candy appears in his screen debut as a fellow student. It's weird seeing young Candy in something serious because it immediately makes it feel like an SCTV parody.

Cisco Pike (1971) - I find this Kris Kristofferson vehicle dreary. Blame it being the soundtrack of caravan holidays.

Billy Jack (1971) - Tom Laughlin is utterly ludicrous as the supposed half-breed. He's like an Irish farmer. The hat doesn't suit him at all. His wife is a terrible actress, though a convincing teacher. The film is a mess. We go from teenage talent shows to preaching to ropey action. What astonishes me is that future Mrs. Reb Brown, Cisse Cameron is credited as Cissie Colpitts. Now, this film is almost unknown in the UK, despite being a massive hit in the US. But did Peter Greenaway see this film and use the name for Drowning by Numbers?

Le Mans (1971) - McQueen indulgence.

The War Between Men and Women (1972) - Saw this on RTE as a kid, because it has a cartoonist. Typical Jack Lemmon vehicle, based on James Thurber.

Butterflies are Free (1972) - Routine 70s romcom with blind Edward Albert and Goldie Hawn. Another film RTE used to show.

The Legend of ***** Charley (1972) - A routine western with black leads. Fred Williamson gets his Eastwood on. See also the Soul of ***** Charley (1972).

Deadhead Miles (1972) - Routine trucker story with Alan Arkin AND Hector Elizondo (Elizondo took over Arkin's roles in both the TV series of Popi and Freebie and the Bean - at least, he is Hispanic). Charles Durning has a neat cameo.

Maurie (1972) - Schmaltzy TVM-esque story starring Bernie Casey as real-life basketball player Maurice Stokes. Yes, like the Paranormal Grocer in Viz.

One is a Lonely Number (1972) - Ropey Trish van Devere vehicle.

Living Free (1972) - Beige safari sequel to Born Free (1966) with Susan Hampshire as Virginia McKenna and Nigel Davenport as Bill Travers.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972) - Dreary kitchen-sinker, though Peter Bowles rocks sheepskin. And there's a weird spacecraft amusements park.

Portnoy's Complaint (1972) - Routine Richard Benjamin/Philip Roth thing.

The Big Boss (1972) - Typical Lee.

The Brides Wore Blood (1972) - Oddly intoxicating, lovely color in this threadbare, otherwise terrible Florida Count Yorga imitation.

The Paper Chase (1973) - Routine college drama, no wonder it became a series.

The Exorcist (1973) - I almost admire the 70s clerical stuff, but it's a mess.

The Hireling (1973) - Dreary romantic drama with Sarah Miles, Robert Shaw and Peter Egan.

The Way We Were (1973)  - Routine romance.

The Slams (1973) - Routine prison flick with Jim Brown.

L'Emmerdeur (1973) - Jacques Brel and Lino Ventura in Buddy, Buddy.

The Education of Sonny Carson (1974) - Naturalistic, cinema verite pseudo-blaxploitation, then there's a funeral. And the preacher is Ram John Holder. Yes, Porkpie from Desmond's (though I remember him from Tracy Beaker). And yes, this is an American production.  Holder was already British-based, but he had done work in New York earlier, and presumably his role as Friday in a major transatlantic adap of Robinson Crusoe contributed to his casting, but it's weird.  He gets a big juicy monologue, though. Again, an early example of a Black British actor going off to the US, and getting a better part.

The Klansman (1974) - Tawdry sub-Mandingo in the present day, with Lee Marvin, Richard Burton doing a southern/RP hybrid, and OJ on the run. Bless.

Claudine (1974) - Earthy, well-made in every department inner-city drama with Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - And it pooped. It's basically like going on a  school trip and being stuck with the backward kids in class.

Sunday Woman (1975) - Undistinguished giallo comedy with Jacqueline Bisset, Mastroianni and Jean Louis Trintignant.

Once Is Not Enough (1975) - How did Leonard Sachs get into this piece of Transatlantic Tripe?

Emmanuelle 2 (1975) - Not my thing at all - erotica.

Mr. Robinson (1976) - Paolo Villaggio watches Italian TV, then goes off on a desert island.

Kenny and Co (1976) - Sub-Children's Film Foundation Halloween comedy with Don Coscarelli and company. See also Jim the World's Greatest (1976).

High Velocity (1976)- Routine jungle actioner with Ben Gazzara, Paul Winfield and Britt Ekland.

No Way Back (1976) - Routine Fred Williamson vanity job.

The Bad News Bears (1976)/The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training (1977)/The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (1978). Routine smartarse kiddies playing baseball. The last one, with Tony Curtis instead of Mathhau costars as the rival coach, Lone Wolf himself, Tomisaburo Wakayama. Sadly, his team are not called the Cubs.

Northville Cemetery Massacre (1976) - The fact that the lead is dubbed by Nick Nolte is the only notable thing about this biker flick.

Thunder and Lightning (1977) - Sub-Smokey Corman action with David Carradine and Kate Jackson.

Tintorera (1977) - Tawdry Mexican Jaws with Susan George.

The White Buffalo (1977) - Confused spaghetti western/Jaws knockoff with Bronson.

The Chicken Chronicles (1977) - Steve Guttenberg and a nearly-dead Phil Silvers united in the name of shitty teen sex comedy.

Foul Play (1978) - Efficient though somewhat lacking vehicle for Goldie and Chevy. Dudley's American debut. With Barry Manilow's best song.

Dreamer (1979) - Jack Warden teaches Tim Matheson how to bowl, or something.

A Perfect Couple  (1979) - Altman at his least.

The Rose (1979) - Bette Midler concert padded out by a TV-level Joplin biopic. Is this supposed to be the 60s?

Norma Rae (1979) - Feminist parable.

La Luna (1979) - Bertolucci-helmed paedo/incestuous wank with Jill Clayburgh shagging her son, Fred Gwynne, Tomas Milian and Roberto Benigni in a tiny bit.

Yes, Giorgio (1981) - Pavarotti's big film. If it had starred Dom Deluise, there'd be no difference. Being an 80s comedy, there's nuns. At the end, he sings Nessun Dorma in makeup that makes him look vaguely Blessed-esque. The best bit.

So Fine (1981) - Ryan O'Neal, Mariangela Melato and Richard Kiel as a couple, Jack Warden and Fred Gwynne in a botched US attempt at an Italian sex com.

Les Miserables (1982) - Slow, stately adap with Lino Ventura.

The Young Warriors (1983) - Ugly, grubby all-star thirty-year-old teenage vigilante pic with Ernest Borgnine and Richard Roundtree.

Cento giorni a Palermo (1984) - Routine gangster saga with Lino Ventura and Italian TV.

La Rumba (1987) - Boring jazz saga with Roger Hanin. Lino Ventura has a cameo.

Cabin Boy (1994) - Silly vehicle for Chris Elliott, who I can't really stand. Initially for Tim Burton.

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