Friday, June 19, 2020

Week of June 20 - 26

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

In the English language version of which Italian Western does a man take the money from a dead man's pocket with the line, "I'll take back the ten dollars with interest you Judas."?

Which American actress who made an Italian Western with Franco Nero also appeared in a Hallmark Channel production?
No one has answered this question yet.

In which Italian Western does our hero exchange his left handed gunbelt for a right handed gunbelt?
Tom Betts and Rick Garibaldi knew that it was JOHNNY YUMA.

In which Italian Western does Roberto Camardiel play a character who talks about being a cook for the Army of Northern Virginia?
No one has answered this question yet.

Charles Gilbert asks, "Which Italian director, born April 3, 1944, was the son of another famous director?"
George Grimes, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and Tom Betts knew that it was Lamberto Bava.

In which American Western does Lee Van Cleef play twin brothers?
George Grimes, Tom Betts, Rick Garibaldi, Bertrand Van Wonterghem and Charles Gilbert knew that it was THE DESPERADO (1954).

In which Italian Western is a pig named after Union General Hooker?
No one has answered this question yet.

And now for some new brain teasers:

In which Italian Western does a main character have a trick holster that detaches from the gunbelt without him having to draw the gun out?
From the English language version of which Italian Western comes the line, "For five thousand dollars I'd take you to China and I won't even ask your name."?
In which Italian Western did Franco Nero play a Russian prince?

Name the movies from which these images came.

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 Jacqueline Sassard in ARRIVANO I TITANI, aka SONS OF THUNDER, aka MY SON THE HERO.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came? 

No one identified the above image. I thought I knew the answer, but I checked and I don't. Obviously it shows Ciccio Ingrazzi, Pietro Torrisi and Franco Franchi, but I don't know in what.

George Grimes identified last week's photo of Shinichi Chiba in DRAGON PRINCESS.
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:

Highly enjoyed:

Game of Thrones "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" season eight episode two - Just as THE TWO TOWERS is my favorite of the LORD OF THE RINGS films, this episode - before "The Long Night" - is my favorite episode of the entire series. Both deal with our heroes preparing for a big battle contemplating death.


Game of Thrones season seven (2017)

Game of Thrones season eight (2019)

MR. CONSERVATIVE Goldwater On Goldwater (2006)

RED (2019) - A Great Performances Broadway on PBS presentation of the 2009 play by John Logan about Mark Rothko creating the Seagram Murals. The original production garnered Eddie Redmayne a Tony Award, but he is replaced by Alfred Enoch for this production. Alfred Molina remains to have his performance captured for posterity.

BARQUERO (1970) - With music by Dominic Frontiere that sounds enough like his theme to HANG 'EM HIGH to be catchy but different enough to not cause copyright issues, this American Western is fun, with a simple plot and strong acting.

Funny Ladies Volume 2 (2003) - Good laughs provided by Ellen DeGeneres, Morgan Fairchild, Robert Kent, Jenny Jones, Kim Coles, Judy Gold, Karen Haber and Laura Kightlinger.

THE CREAM WILL RISE (1998) - What starts as a portrait of singer Sophie B. Hawkins on tour becomes a psychological drama as it becomes apparent that the subject matter of her songs comes from troubling childhood memories. Conversations with her mother reveal abberant sexuality, and though therapy seems to suggest a potential reconciliation, emotional whiplash occurs.

Mildly enjoyed:

CHUKA (1967) - This movie made a big impact on me when I was ten years old, but seeing it again the script seems clunky and much of the staging seems restrictive. Having actors suddenly jerk their heads to reveal pre-set bullet wounds works well. Any movie featuring Michael Cole getting shot in the head is worthwhile. Rod Taylor seems to relish the opportunity to tear up, while Luciana Paluzzi and Angela Dorian (aka Victoria Vetri) are beautiful. Ernest Borgnine, John Mills and James Whitmore all get the chance to deliver monologues about their pasts, which is part of the problem with the script. I kept wondering if a music score other than the one provided by Leith Stevens would have been a major improvement.

LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT, aka THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT (1967) - I've wanted to see this film for about fifty years, but I have learned from seeing other films by director Jacques Demy - LES PARAPLUIES DE CHERBOURG, MODEL SHOP and PEAU D'ANE - that his sense of the romantic is very different from mine. Are there any other musical comedies built on romantic frustration? Painter/poet Jacques Perrin is soon to get out of the Navy but longs to find his ideal woman whom he has painted in a picture hung in Jacques Riberolles' gallery. Riberolles  knows that it is the exact likeness of Catherine Deneuve, but since he wants Deneuve to marry him, he won't introduce Perrin and Deneuve. Deneuve's twin sister is Francoise Dorleac who is promised a meeting with Gene Kelly by Michel Piccoli, whom she doesn't know is the husband her mother,
Danielle Darrieux, left ten years ago and is currently pining to find. Dorleac bumps into Kelly on the street, they both fall in love at first sight, but don't introduce themselves, so they don't know where to find each other. Meanwhile, traveling performers George Chakiris and Grover Dale arrive in town for the fair. With lots of high kicking dancing and bright colors, YOUNG GIRLS is preferable to the dour musical melodrama of PARAPLUIES, but didn't birth an international hit song like "I Will Wait For You". The reaction everyone has to finding out that family friend Henri Cremieux has murdered and chopped to bits a woman who has romantically turned him down for 40 years doesn't give the off-screen horror much weight, and just seems like another rather odd element of this film. The biggest disappoint of this movie is that while I have found Deneuve and Dorleac very charming in other movies, I don't find them even likable in this. Genevieve Thenier plays the minor role of a waitress who is charmed by Perrin and I wished there was more of her. There is a surprising amount of commercial signage in this flick, with Chakiris doing a ballet with a motorcycle under a Honda banner. 

Quiz (2020) - A three part dramatization of the ITV Who Wants To Be A Millionaire scandal.

PARASITE (2019) - Director Bong Joon-ho's film is compelling but not quite satisfying.

Did not enjoy:

BEYOND THE LAW (2020) - Steven Segal is still making movies only now he's playing bad guys. 

THE CRIMSON TRAIL (1935) - Recently arrived from Wyoming, Charles Buck Jones goes into partnership with his uncle Charles French on a ranch. After not being able to break a bucking horse, Jones saddles up Silver and rides the range. Polly Ann Young spots Jones working with a calf when a gunshot is heard. Young's father, Carl Stockdale, is wounded in the head and his cattle rustled. Young and Jones rush to aid Stockdale, but when Stockdale learns that Jones is part of the Carter ranch, he refuses Jones' help. However, Stockdale faints on the way, so he can't squawk when Jones helps Young get him home. At the Bellair Ranch, Young worries that ranch hand Paul Fix might get violent with Jones as he leaves, but Jones rides away with only threats. Back at the scene of the shooting, Jones follows the tracks and finds a rustlers' hideout where Carter's foreman, Ward Bond, is pleased to have gotten even with Stockdale for horse whipping him when he tried to force his intentions on Young. Jones draws his pistol, but is stopped short by John Bleiffer poking a Winchester into his back. Taken prisoner, Jones bluffs that he has two associates waiting for him to return. Bond has Jones tied up while they check the bluff. As Loco, John Bleiffer gives a performance that makes Dwight Frye in DRACULA seem subdued. Fearing that Stockdale will die, Fix works the men at the Bellair Ranch into a desire for violence. Bond leaves Bleiffer to watch Jones, Jones frees himself from his bondage and evades all the bad guys to escape. But when Jones gets back to his uncle's ranch, the Bellair men have set it all on fire. French is captured but convinces the Bellair men to not hang him until he can talk with Stockdale. Even though she's been wearing a holster and gun from the first time we saw her, Young is unarmed when Bond shows up to kidnap her. Jones arrives too late to stop the kidnapping but gets a gun from Stockdale and rides off in pursuit. Bond arrives at the hideout and is told by his men that Jones escaped and that Bleiffer took off. While Bond and his men step outside to prepare to head to Mexico, Young finds that Bleiffer is still in the hideout. Bleiffer starts to pet Young when Bond comes back inside and shoots him. Not waiting for his men to return, Bond takes off with Young as Jones shows up to follow. Eventually, Bond and Jones start punching each other atop of a cliff, and Young sends Jones' horse, Silver (possibly mistaking the horse for Rin Tin Tin), to bring the Bellair men to help as they are riding around nearby. But, just as Bond is about to clobber Jones with a large rock, Bleiffer appears to shoot Bond dead, before he himself dies. (How Bleiffer got there is never explained.) How did Young know that Jones' horse is named Silver? How did the Bellair men know that Jones' horse was named Silver? We finally see that French was not hanged when he has a friendly smoke with Stockdale, and Stockdale invites French to move into his house and merge their ranches. Looking out the window at Jones and Young kissing under a tree, French reports that their young 'uns seem to have already had that idea. It becomes a bit annoying that when sound is being recorded for this film, the camera speed is 24 frames per second, but when the action happens, it becomes 18 frames. It is also annoying that so much of the film consists of men riding their horses. It feels like there were dialogue scenes that didn't work out - such as the Bellair men arriving with French and Stockdale ordering them to not hang him - and so the production needed to fill out the 58 minute running time with even more shots of men riding horses. By the end of the film, the viewer will probably come to the conclusion that Polly Ann Young was a fine looking woman in 1935. Al Raboch directed the film based on an original story by Wilton West that was published in "Thrilling Ranch Stories".

THE GAL WHO TOOK THE WEST (1949) - At the O'Hara Memorial Museum exhibit on the founders of Arizona, journalist James Todd wants the real story about the O'Hara family. Curator Edward Earle suggests that Todd talk with three old timers who hang out at the Palace Bar. Clem Bevans, Houseley Stevenson and Russell Simpson agree to talk as long as Todd keeps buying a new bottle. The three give conflicting accounts of how Yvonne De Carlo came to O'Hara, Arizona, as the singer to inaugurate the new Opera House, and immediately stepped into the feud between cousins Scott Brady and John Russell. Grandfather Charles Coburn owns much of Arizona and the cousins stand to inherit when he dies, but they'd rather fight than share and everyone in the state has chosen to back one or the other. Coburn calls in the U.S. Cavalry to keep the peace between De Carlo's suitors, but when they are called away to deal with escaped Indians, De Carlo has to choose. The old timers don't know the end of the story, so Todd seeks out an elderly De Carlo, who arrives by helecoptor, to resolve the plot and explain how she figured out a happy ending. This is one of the more than twenty movies Frederick De Cordova directed before moving into TV Production, most famously as the producer of Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show. In THE GAL, Yvonne De Carlo sings "Frankie and Johnny". In 1967, De Cordova directed the movie FRANKIE AND JOHNNY starring Elvis Presley and Donna Douglas.

Line of Duty season two - If you like British Police shows in which everyone is guilty of something and the truth isn't made apparent by the end of the season, then this is the show for you.

MADE IN U.S.A. (1988) - At first this seems like a remake of RETURN TO MACON COUNTY with two guys picking up a cute girl who turns out to be violently crazy. But these two guys, Adrian Pasdar and Christopher Penn, have fled their no-jobs-small-town in Pennsylvania and are making their way to California stealing cars for transportation and relying on petty thievery to eat. They find Lori Singer on the way and eventually also find Navajo girl Jacqueline Murphy. Singer wants to rob a bank, and while the other three enter the bank with her, they decide not to carry through. Cowboy Dean Paul Martin walks into the bank and decides to join Singer in the robbery and hefts his saddle into the getaway car. Pasdar and Penn deliver Murphy to her brother on the reservation, and get their heads shaved for being disrespectful. Eventually, Pasdar and Penn make it to a surfing spot near the San Onofre Nuclear power plant where Pasdar thinks he sees the woman whose picture he masturbated at on the trip. (Shades of THE SURE THING.) When TCM put MADE IN U.S.A. on their listing, I thought they meant the 1966 film by Jean-Luc Godard. I had not heard of this MADE but discovered it was directed by the writer of WHITE LINE FEVER and MR. BILLION - Ken Friedman. This on-the-road portrait of America isn't as glum as EASY RIDER, but packs more of ecological message listing in the end credits: "The CENTRALIA Coal Fire is still burning - TIME BEACH is still quarantined and contaminated with dioxin - The SHIPROCK uranium mine is still being cover with inert clay - The SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT San Onorfre, California is still generating up to 2679 megawatts of electricity daily". Well, TIME BEACH was turned into a State Park in 1999 and the SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT was shut down in 2013. As far as I can tell, the problems of CENTRALIA and SHIPROCK continue. What seems to generate the most interest in this movie is the soundtrack supervised by Sonic Youth which also featured tunes from The Rubinoos, Tito Larriva, Phil Ochs, Peter Case, Timbuk 3, The Tail Gators, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Carol & the Dudes, John Hiatt, Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper, Rick Cunha, Flies on Fire and World Party. Reportedly the director's cut of this movie played once at the Cannes Film Festival, causing the producer to bring legal action against Friedman. Reportedly, that version has never been seen again. 

THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE aka CADAVER (2018) - Howcome Stana Katic agreed to appear in a small role for this low-budget, shot in Boston, horror flick?

LE PREMIER CERCLE, aka ULTIMATE HEIST (2009) - This is kind-of like THE SICILIAN CLAN but instead of Siclian gangsters, they are Armenians. CLAN director Henri Verneuil was born Ashot Malakian, so the gang here
is the Malakian family. Reportedly producer Alain Terzian was a great friend of Verneuil, and this film was intended as sort-of an hommage.

NUYORICAN DREAM (2000) - I'm certain that director Laurie Collyer and co-producer John Leguizamo intended this documentary about a family from Puetro Rico trying to survive in Brooklyn to humanize the image of people living in poverty and devastated by the drug culture.

THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE (1951) - It's the winter of 1871 and there's a prison break in Carson City, Nevada reports the narrator. Most of the convicts are recaptured, but six escape into the mountains where the posse decides to let them go and die in the winter storm. One does, but the other five make it down to Lake Monte Diablo, California. There they find a little settlement where eight women are living alone while their men are off prospecting. Zachary Scott is convinced that Glenn Ford led them to this place because this is where the loot that was never found was hidden. He doesn't believe Ford when our hero tells him that he came here to find Harry Carter, who lied and got Ford convicted of murder. Granny Ethel Barrymore may be bed ridden, but she in charge of the women, and she's protective of Gene Tierney who is supposed to marry Carter when he returns. Not surprisingly, Ford and Tierney get sweet on each other, and he gives her the newspaper clipping about the trial. Carter's sister, Ann Dvorak, refuses to hear anything bad about her brother, but Tierney rides off to warn him. Meanwhile, Scott uses his charms to confuse Dvorak and she tells him where Granny hid the guns. Eventually, Dvorak searches her brother's stuff and finds the missing loot. Ford finds Tierney and while bringing her back is able to stop the handsome, young rapist/murderer of the convicts, Richard Hylton, from killing Barbara Bates. Bates' mother, Jeanette Nolan, leads a group of women to bash Hylton to death. Ford is captured by Scott and the two other convicts, Cyril Cusack and Jack Lambert, and they try to beat the whereabouts of the money from Ford. Dvorak gives the money to Tierney, Tierney gives the money to Scott and the convicts try to leave when the settlement's men folk return. The three convicts are killed, with Scott losing the money in the strong mountain wind. Ford tries to convince Carter to tell the truth, but Carter pulls his gun and Ford kills him. All of the survivors gather to bury the dead when the posse, led by Sheriff Ray Teal, arrive asking about the five escaped men. Granny replies that the five new graves is the only statement they have to make. The narrator, reportedly Dale Robertson, then tells us that this is a true story and why that area is now called Convict Lake. He also says that there is no record of what happened to Ford and Tierney, but that most people think they went off to live happily ever after. Michael Gordon is the director of this, and like most Westerns everyone uses a Colt Single Action pistol which wasn't available until 1873.

7 DOORS TO DEATH, aka VANISHING CORPSES (1944) - It's a PRC production starring Chick Chandler and June Clyde directed by Elmer Clifton!


Charles Gilbert watched:

A Man Named Eastwood - High Plains Drifter - Behind the Scenes - The Making of

DEFEAT OF THE BARBARIANS (1962) Ken Clark doesn't get much to do but still headlines this pedestrian costumer as a court page for Spanish royalty. You'll also see Piero Lulli and Moira Orfei.

THE FULLER REPORT (1968) Ken Clark is in Sweden to race in Formula One but gets sidetracked with espionage and a bevy of beauties. One of them (Beba Loncar) is being duplicated, via plastic surgery on another gal, to assassinate POTUS visiting there.

BREAKING AWAY (1979) A teen (Dennis Christopher) with a penchant for Italian culture is driving his car salesman dad (Paul Dooley) crazy. Pops gets a break only when junior is with his working class friends or cycling down the highway racing an 18 wheeler (A rare Peterbilt 352H..the only reason I checked out the film.) He bombs out in the official Italian bicycle race but recruits his pals to participate as a team called the "Cutters" in another race, sanctioned by the university chancellor, against college boys with whom they've been feuding. Filmed in Bloomington, Indiana.


David Deal enjoyed:


Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (04) - A documentary on LA's first cable channel that, led by its enigmatic leader, championed little-seen domestic and foreign films. A must-see for film lovers.  Directed by Xan Cassavetes.

I VAMPIRI (56) - A gorgeous film that deserves an HD presentation.  Roberto Curti's biography of Riccardo Freda brings this groundbreaking film into socio-political context.


THREE ON A TICKET (47) - An old acquaintance drops dead in Michael Shayne's (Hugh Beaumont) office and shortly thereafter a fancy blonde wants Shayne to kill her husband.  Could these two cases be connected?  Fun fourth entry in the PRC series has Cheryl Walker back as Shayne's girlfriend secretary.

Mildly Enjoyed


Did Not Enjoy

MURDER CAN BE DEADLY (62) - Con artist couple decide to fleece one more rube before bailing out of town but get caught in a closing web of doom.  Little Brit noir is naïve for the time and has no star power.  Skip it.


Bertrand Van Wonterghem enjoyed:

Vive la France (2012, Michaël Youn)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, George Roy Hill)

The blood on Satan's claw (1970, Piers Haggard)

Boss nigger (1975, Jack Arnold)

Chikyû bôeigun / The mysterians (1957, Inoshiro Honda)

The invaders - episode « The innocent » (1966, Sutton Roley)

Dorohedoro - season 1 episodes 5,6, 7 and 8

DC's legends of tomorrow - season 4 - episode 5 « Tagumo attacks !!! » (2018, AlexandraLa Roche) - episode 6 « Tender is the Nate » (2018, Dean Choe)

Zhuo yao ji / Monster hunt (2015, Raman Hui)

The twilight zone - episode « The howling man » (1960, Douglas Heyes)

Mildly enjoyed:

Penny dreadful : city of angels - season 1 episode 2 « Dead people lie down » (2019, Paco Cabezas)

The sacred (2012, Brett Donowho)

Turist Omer uzay yolunda / Turkish Star Trek ( 1973, Hulki Saner)

Kaette kita yopparai / Three resurrected drunkards (1968, Nagisa Oshima)

I, Dougals Fairbanks (documentaire) (2018, Julia and Clara Kuperberg)

Spara Joe. e cosi sia ! (1971, Emilio P. Miraglia)

Man vs. (2014, Adam Massey)

Ludo (2015, Nikon & Qaushiq Mukherjee)

Farscape - season 2 - episode 15 « Won't get fooled again » (2000, Rowan Woods)

Voyage to the bottom of the sea - season 2 -episode « The left-handed man » (1965, Jerry Hopper)

Did not enjoy:

Meng quan lan hua shou / Dreaming fist with slender hand (1979, Karl Liao)

Observance (2015, Joseph Sims-Dennett)


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