Friday, May 15, 2020

Week of May 16 - 22, 2020

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

What Terence Hill Western project was partly inspired by an American autobiography?
LUCKY LUKE, the Belgian comic book, was reportedly inspired by the autobiographical book by Emmett Dalton (and Jack Jungmeyer).

Which Italian actress worked for directors Piero Tellini, Federico Fellini, Vittorio Cottafavi, Bruno Paolinelli, Mario Bava, Luchino Visconti and Giorgio Ferroni?
Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew that it was Ida Galli (aka Evelyn Stewart ) « Nel blu dipinto del blu » (1959, Piero Tellini), « La dolce vita » (1959, Federico Fellini), « Messaline Venere imperatrice » (1959, Vittorio Cottafavi), « Ercole al centro della terra, 1961 » and « La frusta e il corpo, 1963 » (Mario Bava), « Legge di guerra » (1961, Bruno Paolinelli), « Il gattopardo » (1962, Luchino Visconti), « Un dollaro buccato » (1965, Giorgio Ferroni), « 

Which French actor worked for directors Sergio Corbucci, Giorgio Ferroni, Franco Giraldi, Marino Girolami, Umberto Lenzi, Alberto De Martino and Raffaella Matarazzo?
George Grimes and Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew it was Pierre Cressoy « Eros e Thanatos » (1969, Marino Girolami), « Navajo Joe » (1966, Sergio Corbucci), «« Coriolano, eroe senza patria » (1964, Giorgio Ferroni), « il leone di Tebe » (1964, Giorgio Ferroni), « il trionfo di Ercole » (1964, Alberto de Martino), « i pirati della Malesia » (1964, Umberto  Lenzi), « un dollaro buccato » (1965, Giorgio Ferroni), « sette pistole per i Mc Gregor » (1966, Franco Giraldi), « l’arciere di fuoco » (1971, Giorgio Ferroni), « Caccia al marito » (1960, Marino Girolami), « guai ai vinti » (1954, Raffaello Matarazzo), « Giuseppe Verdi » (1953, Raffaello Matarazzo), « 

Which French actress worked for directors Rod Amateau, Lino Del Fra, Mario Caiano, Vittorio Cottafavi, Andrew L. Stone and Raffaello Matarazzo?
George Grimes and Bertrand Van Wonterghem knew that it was Gaby André « Pussycat, pussycat, I love you » (1970, Rod Amateau), « la torta in cielo » (1972, Lino del Fra), « Giuseppe Verdi » (1954, Raffaello Matarazzo), «il segno di Zorro » (1962, Mario Caiano), « la vendetta di Ercole » (1960, Vittorio Cottafavi), « Highway 301 » (1950, Andrew L. Stone)

And now for some new brain teasers:

By what name is the Lee Van Cleef character referred to in the Italian version of IL BUONO, IL BRUTTO, IL CATTIVO?
Who plays Eli Wallach's brother in IL BUONO, IL BRUTTO, IL CATTIVO?
Why is Lee Van Cleef called "The Ugly" in the U.S. trailers for IL BUONO, IL BRUTTO, IL CATTIVO?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes, Rick Garibaldi, Charles Gilbert and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Mario Brega, Lorenzo Robledo, Diana Faenza and Francesca Leone in PER QUALCHE DOLLARO IN PIU, aka FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and Charles Gilbert identified last week's photo of Linda Cristal in LE LEGIONI DI CLEOPATRA, aka LEGIONS OF THE NILE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came? 

George Grimes and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Lou Castel and Paola Pitagora in I PUNGI IN TASCA, aka FISTS IN POCKETS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's photo of Jackie Chan in SHINJUKU INCIDENT.
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:


THE MUPPETS (2011) - I had no interest in watching this movie until I saw Jason Segel's Dispatches From Elsewhere TV series. If he brought some of that inventiveness to a Muppet movie, then I was interested, and he did. 

THE SCARLET BLADE, aka THE CRIMSON BLADE (1963) - Sometimes it is hard to remember why a favorite movie from your childhood was one of your favorite movies. Was it the atmosphere created by the photography by Jack Asher and the locations? Now I can see that many of the sets were also used in DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS and SEIGE OF THE SAXONS, but I don't think that entered my thinking when I was a kid. Was it because our heroes lose in the end - which was not something I saw very often growing up? I vaguely remember thinking that low-budget movies were more realistic, so the less than triumphant ending could have contributed to my admiration. In any case, seeing it now I can appreciate the performances of Oliver Reed and Lionel Jeffries playing characters of surprising complexity. 

Kvinnors väntan, aka SECRETS OF WOMEN (1952) - Who would have thought that a 1952 Swedish movie would have such lovely shots of Paris. Gunnar Fischer's lovely cinematography enhances writer-director Ingmar Bergman's episodic tale of waiting wives talking about the defining moments of their lives. A lovely cast of strong women also enhances.

Mildly enjoyed:

DANTE 01 (2007) - Director Marc Caro has fashioned a compelling viewing experience, but his descision to create mysteries without explanations results in an unsatisfying film. The cast assembled is quite remarkable including Lambert Wilson, Dominique Pinon and Lotfi Yahya Jedidi. 


Riviera season one (2017) - I really enjoyed the first half of this series, and then it just got irritating. And the ending sucked.

A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE: A MARTHA'S VINEYARD MYSTERY (2020) - I'll watch just about anything featuring Sarah Lind that doesn't co-star Steven Seagal. As the Martha's Vineyard Mystery movies were cast by Sarah's mom Jackie Lind, CSA, nepotism may have played a part, but obviously good taste also factored.

RIDDLED WITH DECEIT: A MARTH'S VINEYARD MYSTERY (2020) - The writing on these two Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel offerings is passable and star Jesse Metcalfe is rather dull, but if Sarah's still onboard, I'll watch future offerings.

THE THIRD SECRET (1964) - Douglas Slocombe's exceptional cinematography and Pamela Franklin's performance keeps this melodramatic psychological who-dun-it watchable. The script by co-producer Robert L. Joseph strives for social commentary but director Charles Crichton seems to like the actors to become overheated.

Did not enjoy:

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017) - What worked okay as an animated feature doesn't quite work as a mixture of live performers and CGI. 

BLOOD ON THE ARROW (1964) - Robert Carricart's band of renegade Apaches attack a troop of U.S. Cavalry troops and leave their prisoner, Dale Robertson, for dead with an arrow in his shoulder. Staggering out of the desert, Robertson falls into a river, which happens to be where a naked Martha Hyer is bathing. Slinging Robertson over her horse, Hyer takes the wounded man to the gold mine husband Wendell Corey is working with son Danny Curran. Everyone heads to the family's trading post, where eventually the Apaches show up to take all of the guns. The natives also plan to kill the whites, but Corey convinces them that he can get them more guns if they let them live. Carricart agrees. but takes Curran as an hostage. Robertson says that he can save Curran for $20,000, and tells him where to meet Ted de Corsia, John Matthews, Tom Reese and Elisha Cook Jr. Assembling his gang, minus one who Robertson has to kill in a gunfight, our "hero" steals a shipment of Army rifles. Cavalry troopers quickly race in pursuit. Just as in THE WILD BUNCH, our hero blows up a bridge to stop his pursuers. Rethinking the idea of giving the Indians the weapons and taking over the gold mine with his gang, Robertson sneaks into the Indian camp and saves Curran while de Corsia figures to hold Hyer until Robertson comes back. Along the way, Apache Paul Mantee tries to stop Robertson, they fight, and Mantee is killed. Evnetually, Robertson blows up the stolen guns inside the gold mine, Corey kills Cook Jr. and is then killed in a dispute over the already mined sacks of gold, the Indians kill the rest of the outlaws and then the Cavalry arrives to kill or capture the remaining natives. Robertson joins Hyer and Curran to begin the long ride to a "new life". Richard LaSalle's music here contains a few cues that sound very much like what he wrote for THE TIME TRAVELERS, also released in 1964. 

JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION (2004) - Cedric the Entertainer competes with Steve Harvey at the family reunion with Vanessa Williams tagging along as Cedric's wife. Jason Momoa does a bit as a sexy Native American at an Indian Casino and Shannon Elizabeth is a sexy hitchhiker. Bow Wow as Cedric's son gets into an argument with Solange Knowles as Cedric's daughter; he wants to play video games and she wants to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is not my kind of funny movie.

MAJOR PAYNE (1996) - Gags related to APOCALYPSE NOW, BILLY JACK and COOL HAND LUKE highlight this over the top Damon Wayans comedy. Karyn Parsons of TV's The Job provides the romantic interest. Andrew Leeds and Chris Owens are among the ROTC kids he commands. Michael Ironside makes a cameo appearance.

RIDERS OF PASCO BASIN (1940) - Rodeo star Johnny Mack Brown gets a letter asking him to return to Pasco Basin because trouble is brewing. There he talks with newspaper editor William Gould about the scheme Arthur Loft and James Guilfoyle are pushing to get $2,000 from each of the ranches in the valley to build a dam. Checking the plans, Gould and Brown realize that the claim that everyone would benefit is a lie. Gould prints his information in the newspaper and is shot dead. Brown catches one of the shooters, but sheriff Ed Cassidy is sent out of town by Loft and the prisoner escapes. Brown decides that a vigilante committee is needed since the sheriff is being controlled by Loft. Loft orders the shooting of Brown's friend Frank LaRue and puts the blame on Brown. But, Loft's men also shoot the sheriff's friend Lafe McKee, who identifies them to the sheriff. Realizing that he's been on the wrong side, the sheriff throws in with the vigilantes to stop the bad guys. Even though Frances Robinson was eager to get revenge on Brown for the shooting of her father, in the end it doesn't seem to have hurt their romance. Bob Baker sings "I'm Tying Up My Bridle To the Door of Your Heart".

Rig 45 season one (2018) - There's a second season of this? How is that possible? Basically this is TEN LITTLE INDIANS on an oil rig in the middle of a storm stretched over six episodes. But, being a Swedish TV production, it has a bummer ending.

SPLIT (2016) - I wasn't a fan of UNBROKEN either.

THE WAYWARD BUS (1957) - Based on a novel by John Steinbeck, this film plays like SHIP OF FOOLS (on a bus) on a journey similar to LE SALAIRE DE LA PEUR. There is some excellent miniature work showing a landslide hitting the bus, and the bus trying to cross a rickety bridge in the midst of an heavy rainstorm. The bridge scene may have inspired director William Friedkin to redo it without miniatures for SORCERER. Fans of the TV show Combat should enjoy seeing Rick Jason express a full range of emotions as the bus driver married to an unhappy wife played by Joan Collins. Jayne Mansfield once again shows that she's a weak dramatic actor, but has good chemestry with Dan Dailey.


WITCHING HOUR (2007) - The IMDb doesn't say much about this dreadful bit of gory nonsense. Francois Merlin is the director, and, thankfully he only has the one credit. Alexandre Guegan, Nicolas Verdoux, Yann Joseph, Gilles Landucci and Ulrich Waselynck are some of the on-screen performers. Incoherent from one scene to the next, ugly to look at and edited as if someone was trying to induce a seizure, this has to be one of the worst releases from Redemption.


David Deal enjoyed:

WARRIOR EMPRESS (60) - AKA Sappho - Venus of Lesbos.  Tina Louise is Sappho, resident of the Isle of Lesbos, who is promised to villain Riccardo Garrone and romanced by rebel Kerwin Matthews.  Fun and colorful, it would be nice to see a proper presentation.

MANET: THE MAN WHO INVENTED MODERN ART (09) - Interesting documentary on the artist.

HOUSE OF 1000 DOLLS (67) - From 2005: "For some reason this flick is pretty much universally panned. I still enjoyed it even this second time. Sure it's not very sophisticated in story or execution, nor is it sleazy enough to obtain cult status but I find it sort of charming and it has a good enough cast to keep things interesting. And there's female mud wrestling."

MY SON, THE HERO (62) - Giuliano Gemma, one of the Titans trapped in Hades is released to bring evil King Pedro Armandariz back for his sins.  Gemma falls in love with the king's daughter, Jacquiline Sassard, along the way.  Duccio Tessari's peplum is an uneasy mix of humor and adventure but Gemma's winning personality and athletic ability carry the day.


TRON (82)

Mildly enjoyed:

FEAR IN THE NIGHT (72) - Late cycle Hammer psychological thriller has Judy Geeson being attacked but no one believes her.  The milieu is an old, disused school and the attacker has a a prosthetic arm.  Predictable but not a complete waste of time.  Ralph Bates, Joan Collins and Peter Cushing co-star.


THE FICTION-MAKERS (68) - Two-part episode of The Saint has Roger Moore protecting an author threatened with kidnapping.  The gag is that the female author uses a male nom de plume, and when she is kidnapped for her expertise in designing a heist, the villains think Roger is the author and the author is his secretary.  Mildly enjoyable but feels padded to reach the feature length they needed.

HEARTACHES (47) - Crooner Kenneth Farrell can't sing a note, it's really Chill Wills providing his voice.  Death threats begin arriving for the pretender and the murders pile up. Not the cream of the crop even for poverty row, but interesting to hear what is reportedly Wills' real singing voice.

HIDDEN GUNS (56) - Villain Bruce Bennett runs the town and straight arrow sheriff Richard Arlen and his son Faron Young oppose him.  Standard Western plot has an odd feel.  John Carradine is an assassin who doesn't mind demeaning the henchmen and warbling a tune while giving the old squeezebox a workout.  C&W singer Young contributes to the pointless Greek chorus music in this mean-spirited but entertaining oater.  This is a movie where no one shoots anyone just once; shooters unload their six-guns every time.  Features Lloyd "Crash" Corrigan, who owned the western town set that was used and a young Angie Dickinson with not enough to do.  Same for Guinn "Big Boy" Williams.


Charles Gilbert watched:

FIRE AND ICE (1983) Superb animation facilitated by 'rotoscope'. Impressive "study" in anatomy. Big Leo Gordon lends his voice.

GANDAHAR (1987) French animation extreme with the fantasy factor. English caption with French dialogue makes it difficult to follow.

DANTE'S INFERNO (2010) Eyefilling, exquisite animation with non-stop mystical images depicts intense surreal ideas from the Frenchman Dante Alighieri's poem. Noble warrior endures numerous, fast-paced horrors as he battles Lucifer for the sake of his maiden. Quite graphic.


Bertrand Van Wonterghem enjoyed:

French dressing (1963, Kurt Russell)

The night caller (1965, John Gilling)

Pecos è qui : prega e muori (1966, Maurizio Lucidi)

Lano & Woodley : Fly (tv show, 2020, Simon Francis)

Mildly enjoyed

Vuur, liefde en vitaminen (1956, Jef Bruyninckx)

Hoe zoter, hoe liever (1960, Edith Kiel)

Did not enjoy

Kasper in de onderwereld (1979, Jeff Van der Heyden)

Exit – exil (1985, Luc Monnheim)


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