Friday, April 24, 2020

Week of April 25 - May 1, 2020

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which Italian film editor, who co-wrote a Western, taught director Michelangelo Antonioni the possibilities of film editing?
No one has answered this question yet.

By what name is James Newman better known?
Tom Betts knew that it is Willi Colombini.

Which German actor appeared in Italian films alongside Robert Woods, Klaus Kinski, Van Heflin and Cameron Mitchell?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which American born actor became "the number-one British TV star" before doing an Italian Western mostly shot in the U.S.?
George Grimes knew that it was Patrick McGoohan.

Which French actor worked for directors Jacques Rivette, Bernard Borderie, Gillo Pontecorvo, Alain Resnais, Jules Dassin, Fred Zinnemann, Tonino Valerii and Damiano Damiani?
George Grimes knew that it was Jean Martin.

Which Italian screenwriter was also a producing partner with Sergio Leone?
George Grimes knew that it was Fulvio Morsella.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which Italian screenwriter is credited on at least three Westerns, two movies directed by Mario Bava and directed two movies starring Bud Spencer?
Which American actress, born in Texas, appeared in movies with Glenn Saxson, Gordon Mitchell, John Ireland, George Wang, Antonio Sabato, Klaus Kinski and George Hilton?
By what name is Daniele Pitani better known?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes identified last week's photo of Mario Adorf in GLI SPECIALISTI, aka THE SPECIALIST, aka THE SPECIALISTS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes and Charles Gilbert identified last week's frame grab from IL TRIONFO DI ERCOLE, aka THE TRIUMPH OF HERCULES.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came? 

George Grimes identified last week's photo of George Chakiris and Claudia Cardinale in LA RAGAZZA DI BUBE, aka BEBO'S GIRL.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab from ZATOICHI AND THE CHEST OF GOLD.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:


Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt's Creek Farewell (2020)

Craig Ferguson: Just Being Honest (2015)



Mildly enjoyed:

Unsung "Goodie Mob" (2020)

Midsomer Murders "A Christmas Haunting" (2014)

Prime Suspect "The Lost Child" (1995) - Having just terminated her own pregnancy, Chief Inspector Tenneson must take on a child abduction case.

INSTRUMENT (1999) - A documentary about the band Fugazi.

THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE (1999) - A portrait of the woman who, with Jim Baker, more or less created Televangelism, and perserveared during great periods of hardship. She became a Gay icon after being perhaps the first TV Christian to embrace homosexuals as people particularly during the begining of the AIDS crisis. The film also shows how Jerry Fallwell defrauded the Bakers inorder to get his hands on the PTL satellite system.




Did not enjoy:

ACTION POINT (2018) - A combition of JACKASS and CADDYSHACK, this Johnny Knoxville vehicle does have a fun soundtrack filled with The Clash, Waylon Jennings, The Undertones, Nick Lowe and Sham 69 songs. Eleanor Worthington-Cox and Brigette Lundy-Paine are probably names to remember.

AFTER DARKNESS (2018) - As the Sun burns out, Tim Daly gathers his family to his remote estate figuring that his political friends will include him in a secret survival plan. Soon everybody is miserable and survival doesn't look so appealing.

THE BRASS LEGEND (1956) - Sheriff Hugh O'Brian is giving a shooting lesson to young Donald MacDonald using a wanted poster for Raymond Burr. Later that night, MacDonald sees Reba Tassell visiting Burr and tells O'Brian. O'Brian arrests Burr but tries to keep the young man's part in the arrest a secret for his own safety. The young man's father, Robert Burton, gets the story from his son and then takes the story to the newspaper. Soon after that  MacDonald is bushwacked on the road. It turns out that the bushwacker is Eddie Firestone, a drunk, who wants to impress Tassell. O'Brian questions Burr's three buddies in the saloon, they draw their guns, and only Stacy Harris survives to join Burr in a cell. Harris has a derringer hidden in the heel of his boot, so Burr escapes in the morning, but first beats Russell Simpson to death and fatally shoots Willard Sage. Tassell informs O'Brian that Burr is waiting away from town to showdown, but Firestone makes another effort to impress the wanton woman. After killing Firestone, O'Brian orders Tassell to be out of town before he comes back. Tassell boasts that Burr will kill our hero. She is wrong, but we don't get to see her run out of town. Instead we get a sappy happy ending with MacDonald recovering from his wounds and O'Brian getting ready to marry Nancy Gates, the young man's sister. Her part of the plot is too irritating to include in this synopsis.

CAIRO (1963) - This is considered a remake of THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, but it sure doesn't feel like it.

CALAMITY JANE AND SAM BASS (1949) - Howard Duff plays an "horse whisperer" who arrives in town, catches the eye of the sheriff's sister played by Dorothy Hart, and ends up winning the annual horse race. He also catches the eye of Yvonne De Carlo. Hiring on with Lloyd Bridges for a cattle drive, Duff ends up beating Milburn Stone in an horse race. Arriving in Abilene at the end of the drive, Duff joins an horse race run by town boss Marc Lawrence. De Carlo arrives in Abilene and lets Lawrence know about Duff's horse, so Lawrence has the champion horse poisoned. Overhearing Doc Purdy confessing the deed to De Carlo, Duff challenges Lawrence and ends up shooting the villain's partner dead. As all of the money from the cattle drive was bet on Duff to win, our hero means to get it back. Thankfully, Lawrence is sending the money out of town on the stage, so Duff becomes an highway man. Even though Duff only takes what was stolen, he is marked as a wanted man and is arrested by Hart's sheriff brother. Duff and his friends don't mind standing trial until they find out they are to sent back to Abilene. De Carlo shows up and springs them from jail. Still hoping to get the money from the cattle drive back to the ranchers, Duff and friends now rob a train. Norman Lloyd plays an informer who sets up a trap for the sheriff to catch the outlaws. Duff and all of his friends, but De Carlo, are killed. De Carlo brings the dying Duff back to town so that he can die in front of Hart. While it is interesting to see a Western from the 1940s inwhich justice isn't served, Duff is unable to inject much sympathy in his role, and why the filmmakers slapped the names of Westerners from history on their fictional characters is annoying.

DECISION AT SUNDOWN (1957) - Randolph Scott rides into town of Sundown seeking revenge on John Carroll and stops Carroll's wedding to Karen Steele. Led by crooked sheriff Andrew Duggan, Carroll's henchmen force Scott and buddy Noah Beery to barricade in the livery stable. If it took Beery and Scott three years to track down Carroll, why does Beery wait until they are fighting for their lives to inform Scott that the dead wife wasn't worth getting revenge for? Eventually H.M. Wynant shoots Beery in the back, and Scott kills him right back. Awakened by the obvious murder, the town bands together and takes away Duggan's gang so he has to face Scott alone. Scott kills Duggan, but then trips and injures his gun hand. While Steele and doctor John Archer try to stop Scott from facing Carroll in a showdown, Valerie French tries the same with Carroll. When the two adversaries face each other in the street, French wounds Carroll in the shoulder, ending the confrontation. Carroll and French leave town, the town is happy to see them go, and Scott rides away bitter about the entire experience - having accepted that his wife was no good and that his friend got killed. It is never stated in so many words, but the impression is that Scott's wife killed herself after Carroll left her because she got pregnant.

DEUCES (2017) - Megan Good provides a good look at her body in a bikini.

EYES OF AN ANGEL, aka THE TENDER (1991) - Who the heck was the intended audience for this flick? A movie about a girl befriending a dog would seem to be intended as family fare, but not with the background of illegal dog fighting. Why did Michael Douglas sign on to this project as an executive producer? Fans of The Plugz might get a kick out of seeing Tito Larriva as a gangster.

THE GAMBLER FROM NATCHEZ (1954) - Returning to New Orleans after helping in the war for Texas Independence, Dale Robertson finds that his professional gambler father has been tarred with the reputation of a card cheat. Finding Lisa Daniels in trouble on the road, he escorts her home to brother Kevin McCarthy. Realizing who Robertson is, McCarthy orders his foreman to murder Robertson on the road after he leaves the plantation. With a knife in his back, Robertson seeks help from Thomas Gomez, Woody Strode and Debra Paget. Recovered, Robertson finally gets to the hotel where his father lives only to find out that his father is dead. From the police, Robertson is informed that McCarthy killed the father, with three witnesses vouching for him. One by one Robertson sets the record straight, all the while Paget worries that our hero has fallen in love with Daniels. Writers Gerald Drayson Adams and Irving Wallace spice their simple revenge tale with alot of details of old New Orleans society which climaxes with Robertson and McCarthy in a sword fight. Considering how we mostly see the back of McCarthy's character in the duel, it would appear that Robertson is the better swordsman in reality.

ONNA NO SONO, aka THE GARDEN OF WOMEN (1954) - The plight of young Japanese women fighting for freedom and opportunity is dramatized in this portrait of a private woman's college in the mid-1950s. As with many protest films, the subject matter isn't relevant for contemporary audiences, but director Keisuke Kinoshita skillfully guides his talented cast through his tale. Is anyone else confused as to how the young woman killed herself?

THE LONGSHOTS (2008) - From this evidence, Fred Durst is a competent director.

MATRIARCH (2018) - This is a singularly unpleasant viewing experience.

MOTHMAN (2010) - Before this flick, I would have said that I'd watch anything featuring Jewel Staite. I'd watch anything not direct by Sheldon Wilson.

NEVERKNOCK (2017) - Another irritating flick written and directed by Sheldon Wilson. This one wastes the talents of Jodelle Ferland and Nicholas Campbell.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 3D (2006) - Watching this turkey did at least introduce me to Brianna Brown, whom I hope to see in something worthwhile in the future.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD RESURRECTION, aka NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 3D: RE-ANIMATION (2012) - This amateur quality entity shot in Wales makes Syfy Channel product look professional. 

THE REVENGERS (1972) - A really annoying music score by Pino Calvi ruins just about any enjoyment that might have been found in this revenge Western. An interesting variation on THE DIRTY DOZEN plot with some VIVA DJANGO thrown in, William Holden recruits men from a Mexican prison supposedly as laborers in his mine. Instead, he frees them and asks them to help him attack the Comancheros and Indians who massacred his family. While Holden is costumed to remind everyone of THE WILD BUNCH, Ernest Borgnine plays a character completely the opposite of what he previously played. For the potential French audience, Roger Hanin is one of the prisoners, while German actor Reinhard Kolldehoff joins the Mexican actors Jorge Luke and Jorge Martinez de Hoyos. Woody Strode rounds out the group. Some of the action is okay, but the ending is just awful.

SAW II - More shaky cam than should be legally allowed.

SS DOOMTROOPER (2006) - From the director of other Syfy movies like INVASION ROSEWELL, THE IMMORTAL VOYAGE OF CAPTAIN DRAKE and CRIMSON FORCE comes this turkey. World War II Nazi experiments do not create Captain America or The Incredible Hulk but a dorky CGI super soldier.

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (2013) - While some effort was made to recreate some of the original film, turning the story into an unknown inheritance plot takes everything in a completely different direction. Alexandra Daddario and Tania Raymonde show their flat tummies which is a plus. Scott Eastwood makes just about no impression.

THIRTY TWO SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD (1993) - I can appreciate the intent and the ambition of this project, but the result is less than compelling.

VAULT (2019) - Kind of like a low energy GOODFELLAS, VAULT allows Samira Wiley the chance to be sexy.

OKINAWA (1952) - Using alot of documentary footage, this flick has Pat O'Brien and Cameron Mitchell among those aboard a destroyer trying to survive Japanese Kamaikaze attacks. The highlight of the film is when a clip of Marilyn Monroe in LADIES OF THE CHORUS (which wasn't made until two years after the war) is shown to the crew as a morale booster.


David Deal enjoyed:

LE DEUXIEME SOUFFLE (66) - Lino Ventura escapes from prison and gets involved in an armored car heist, much to his regret.  Jean-Pierre Melville's crime flick is another fine example of his endlessly fascinating genre work.  With Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrine, and Michel Constantin.


PASSPORT TO SUEZ (43) - Warren William and Eric Blore thwart a Nazi plan to seize the Suez Canal.  Another wartime Lone Wolf adventure; the last for William and a notch up in the fun department.  Featuring Ann Savage, Sheldon Leonard, Lloyd Bridges, and Jay Novello.




Mildly enjoyed:

TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL (10) - Better than I expected.



Charles Gilbert watched:

SWING PARADE OF 1946 (1946) B&W. Gale Storm and Louis Jordan entertain at the local big time swing club while the Three Stooges (with Curly) stir things up in ancillary capacity. 

CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962) B&W. Attractive doe eyed Candace Hilligoss is the sole 'survivor' of a car accident who is subsequently tormented by pasty-faced zombies. Plays like an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Louis B. Mayer: MGM Classic Hollywood. Russian immigrant becomes the highest paid executive in America as an employee of the studio.

Mega Disasters:
 The Kaprun Train Disaster November 11  2000
  The Paris Train Disaster June 27  1988

Convair B-58 Hustler Champion of Champions. Actor and pilot James Stewart hosts this presentation featuring the records set by the supersonic midrange bomber in 1960.


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