Friday, July 10, 2020

Week of July 11 - 17, 2020

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

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."?
No one has answered this question yet.

From the English language version of which Italian Western comes the line, "But you told me it's bad not to trust a friend, but to trust a friend is bad, too."?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian Western featured the song "Heart of Stone"?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian Western, in its English language version, has the line, "God bless his soul. Aw the hell with him."
No one has answered this question yet.

Which American actor, who played Hercules, was awarded the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports 
Award on February 9, 1978?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which American actor, who made an Italian Western, appeared in a Broadway show with Carol Channing?
No one has answered this question yet.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which American director of a Western shot in Spain worked as a Film Editor for Universal Pictures in the 1930s?
What John Ford directed movie featured a plot idea also used in A REASON TO LIVE A REASON TO DIE?
Which Italian Western, in its English language version, has the line, "Now it's your turn, Montero."

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes and Bertrand Van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Nieves Navarro and Antonio Casas in UNA PISTOLA PER RINGO, aka A PISTOL FOR RINGO.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Charles Gilbert and George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Ed Fury in LE SETTE SFIDE, aka THE SEVEN REVENGES.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came? 

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Giuliano Gemma in CORLEONE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab from SEPPUKU, aka HARIKARI.
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 American Experience "Return With Honor" (1998) - Many former U.S. prisoners held in North Vietnam recount their experiences and consider their humanity under duress.

ROZMARNE LETO, aka CAPRICIOUS SUMMER (1968) - Director Jiří Menzel follow up to CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS is just as enchanting, though, without the World War context, not as dramatic. 

BLOOD FATHER (2016) - 2nd viewing.

Mildly enjoyed:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) - When this first came on, I didn't think another version of this story needed to be made, and after finally watching it, I know I was correct. I spent most of the viewing experience wishing I was watching SCROOGE (1970) and kept remembering the songs from that movie. Still the 1984 version gets some points for employing a bunch of terrific actors like Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, David Warner, Susannah York, Roger Rees, Nigel Davenport, and Joanne Whalley. Of course, George C. Scott played Scrooge.


Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman (2009)

Mr. Wroe's Virgins (1993)

RAMPAGE (2018) - There is some fun giant monster movie effects here, but also some lame brain script ideas. The film loses points for killing off Marley Shelton so quickly.


Did not enjoy:

DEPRISA DEPRISA, aka FASTER FASTER (1981) - Director Carlos Saura jumps on the Quinqui bandwagon and of course his film gets picked up by the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies instead of the films by Jose Antonio de la Loma. Whereas de la Loma showed the life of the deliquents, Saura attempted to make a political statement by having his cast of non-professionals hanging around Fascist monuments.

Dragnet "The Big Starlet" (1968) - Boy the reboot of Dragnet was much more sanctamonious than the '50s version. And I hate the "updated" closing credit music. Partnered with Henry Morgan, Jack Webb tries to find a 16 year old female runaway who came to Hollywood to be in the movies. After appearing in one pornographic movie, she kills herself. There is some interest in the scene where a Vice detective runs down the difficulty in prosecuting someone for smut. 

Hap and Leonard season one (2016)

THE LAWLESS FRONTIER (1934) - I saw the version that played on the Westerns Channel, which was "restored" by Films Around the World, Inc, and Fox Lorber, with an annoying new music score by William Barber. If you
want to see the original version you can find that on YouTube, but it is missing a chunk around the 45 minute mark. Written and directed by R.N. Bradbury, this is the tenth Lone Star Western produced by Monogram. Earl Dwire is a half white/half Apache villain posing as Mexican who kills John Wayne's father at the beginning of the movie. It happens while Dwire's men appear to be rustling cattle, but the scenes are so dark in both versions that I'm only guessing. Prospector George Hayes (aka Gabby) returns to his home to report to his granddaughter, Sheila Terry (a frontier woman with plucked eyebrows and full makeup), that the claim is petered out so they should return to town. Before that can happen, Dwire arrives to scout Hayes' place. Terry opens up a secret passage to an old mine tunnel in the house behind a cupboard, which leads out a crevice. She overhears Dwire with two of his men talking about kidnapping her and killing Hayes. When Dwire returns, the home is padlocked and empty. Hayes attempts to get away, with Terry hidden in a sack on a packhorse. They almost get away with it, except that when crossing a river, the sack falls off the packhorse. Luckily, Wayne is nearby and is able to drive into the river and save Terry. Seeing the duplicity, Dwire and gang give chase. Unfortunately, Terry's horse stumbles (possibly with tripwires) and she is thrown to the ground. Wayne is able to pull her aboard his horse, and then leaps into a tree. As the bad guys pass underneath, Wayne drops onto the last rider and takes over the horse. He then transfers from one horse onto the new last rider of the gang and leaves him in the dust. After shooting at the gang inorder to divert them from pursuing Hayes and Terry, Wayne jumps his newest horse into a river for a clean getaway. In town, Wayne and Hayes attend a meeting called by Sheriff Jack Rockwell to form a posse to go after the outlaw. With most of the town at the meeting, the bad guys pull a robbery. Wayne is the only one to spring into action and guns down a villain trying to get away with the loot. The Sheriff shows up, takes the loot away from Wayne and spends the rest of the movie being suspicious of our hero. Slipping away from the Sheriff, Wayne rigs a double action pistol to fire by pulling a string, so that when the outlaw gang rides along in a narrow canyon they think they're under attack. While his men dismount to investigate, Dwire rides off alone allowing Wayne to give chase. Transferring from his horse onto Dwire's, Wayne catches the villain after Dwire's horse falls (possibly thanks to tripwires). Even though Wayne turns his prisoner over to the Sheriff, the lawman still doesn't trust our hero. The Sheriff clamps a leg iron on Dwire's left ankle with the boot on and ignores Wayne's uncertainty about its effectiveness. Wayne decides to take off to see Terry, which is when his knife is thrown into Hayes' back. Hayes fires off a shot before passing out and the Sheriff handcuffs Wayne to a bed next to Dwire. While a deputy sleeps nearby, Dwire slips his foot out of this boot and the leg iron. After killing the deputy (off camera), Dwire aims to shoot Wayne, but Hayes pops up and scares him away. Hayes unchains Wayne, and off he goes to chase after Dwire on horseback again. After failing to transfer onto Dwire's horse and falling down an hill, Wayne decides to plop his stomach on a board and surf down a water chute in pursuit. Luckily, the chute ends near where Dwire is riding, but Wayne fails to catch him. Miraculously, Dwire rides into a low hanging tree branch and is knocked out of his saddle. After being dragged by his horse a good distance, Dwire is able to stand up, only to find Wayne striding to catch him. Dwire sets off walking into the desert with Wayne doggedly pursuing. After a bit, Dwire finds a watering hole and lays down to drink. Wayne notices the "Don't Drink Poison" sign that Dwire missed, and so our villain dies. After the Sheriff tells Terry that Wayne killed Hayes, she jumps on her horse to find him. Instead, she is captured by two of the outlaw gang, but Hayes shows up (how isn't explained) to give Wayne an horse to rescue her. When the rest of the gang shows up, our heroes lead them into the crevice opening to the secret tunnel. After all of the outlaws pursue Terry and Hayes into the tunnel, Wayne seals the opening with dynamite. After convincing the Sheriff that he's a stupid idiot, Hayes, Terry and Wayne allow the Sheriff to arrest the gang as they come out from behind the cupboard one at a time. After an optical wipe, we see Terry using a telephone to ask Sheriff Wayne what he wants for dinner, before Hayes takes over to inform them both what will be dinner. Yakima Canutt gets an actor's credit as one of the bad guys, but he was probably also responsible for the many stunts performed in this oddball picture.

TAGEBUCH EINER VERLORENEN, aka DIARY OF A LOST GIRL (1929) - Of undisputed historical interest, the second film that Louise Brooks did with director G.W. Pabst flirts with sexual perversity while feeling moralistic. Brooks plays an innocent girl who doesn't understand why her housekeeper is being discharged, while it is obvious to us that housekeeper has been made pregnant by the girl's father. So, it isn't surprising to us that when the father's business partner seduces and impregnates the girl, the father has the child taken away from her and she is sent to a reformatory. The reformatory is being run by a sadistic lesbian. After our heroine escapes from the reformatory, and she finds out that her child has died, she becomes a prostitute. Circumstances eventually come around to give our heroine a positive story conclusion, but it is a hard slog to get there.

INDEPENDENCE DAY-SASTER (2013) - With Alien machines coming up from under the ground, this Syfy Channel flick takes almost as much from director Steven Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS as it does from ID4. The shaky hand-held camerawork makes THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT look like a classic MGM production. This film ends with almost promising a sequel, which, thankfully, never came.


JUDGE PRIEST (1934) - Yikes! If Stepin Fetchit doesn't offend you, Hattie McDaniel singing as she washes clothes won't either. Will Rogers is charming, but jokes about lynching go a bit far.

MotherFatherSon (2019) - 8 part TV mini-series starring Richard Gere and Helen McCrory.

SON OF ROARING DAN (1940) - The version shown on The Westerns Channel is missing at least seven minutes. We don't see our hero introduced to his "father" nor to Eris. As The Texas Rangers singing "Yippi Ki Yi", Roaring Dan McPhail, played by Robert Homans, rides his range with Tick Belden, played by Fuzzy Knight, Jane Belden, played by Nell O'Day, and a couple of bodyguards against the Thorndyke bunch. They hear a gunshot and see Charlie Gregg, played by Eddie Polo, trying to lasso Eris Brooke, played by Jeanne Kelly, while both are on horseback. Jane shots Gregg off his horse and McPhail takes the wounded man prisoner. Eris tells that she saw Gregg shoot a man, so McPhail wants her as a witness for the trial. Johnny Mack Brown arrives in town by the stage dressed like a dude and introduces himself to the sheriff as Horace McPhail, who was raised back East by his divorced mother. Brown is introduced to Eris and she knows that he's not Horace McPhail because she's seen the real Horace McPhail in New York City. Meanwhile, The Texas Rangers sing "And Then I Got Married" in the bunkhouse and our hero has a fist fight with bully Big Taylor, played by Dick Alexander. Casey Waters arrives in town to deliver money to saloon owner Thorndyke, played by John Eldredge, and he identifies our hero as Jim Reardon. Thorndyke is spooked because he killed Reardon's father. The Texas Rangers sing "Let 'Er Buck Powder River" while Special Prosecutor Stuart Manning, played by Tom Chatterton, informs Eris that it was his idea that the late Marshal Bill Reardon's son should pose as the son of Roaring Dan as part of a plan to get Thorndyke. The day before the trial, Big Taylor tricks Eris to leave the Brooke Ranch and she is kidnapped by Thorndyke's men. Tick tells Thorndyke that the Sheriff knows where Eris is being held, tricking the bad guys into riding out and leading our hero to the hideout. As the trial begins, Thorndyke steps up to be the defense lawyer and says there is no case since Eris isn't there. Tick steps up to delay the proceedings with a rambling testimony. Reardon rescues Eris and gets her to court just in time to testify. One of Thorndyke's men tries to shoot Eris from a window, but Jane guns him down. Other villains put a gun into Reardon's back while Thorndyke shoots Roaring Dan. The villain orders his men to keep everyone in the courtroom until he cleans out the money in his safe. Reardon dives out a window upsetting the plans. Eventually, Reardon punches Thorndyke down the saloon stairs while a wounded Roaring Dan and his men take the gang prisoner. In the end, Roaring Dan says he knew that Reardon wasn't the real Horace, but he is the man he always wanted his son to be, so he's turning over the ranch to him. Reardon and Eris walk away with arms around each other while Tick declines to continue fanning Roarding Dan in his hammock. Future director Paul Landres was the Film Editor on this, which Ford Beebe directed. Reportedly this was a remake of 1914's CHIP OF THE FLYING U. 


Charles Gilbert watched:

DESERT LEGION 1953 French Legionaire Alan Ladd accidently discovers a lavishly appointed hidden Algerian city where resides lovely princess Arlene Dahl. Her father the king prefers the blonde captain to take her hand in marriage over the ambitious Omar (Richard Conte).

FIVE FOR HELL (1969) Gianni (John) Garko stars as an American soldier leading his capable men on a furtive mission behind Nazi Germany lines; men including the gravity-defying Nick Jordan, jesting Sal Borgese, and big Sam Burke. They enjoy tertiary help in the form of female officer Helga (Margaret Lee) who keeps SS colonel Klaus Kinski occupied with her feminine charms as the Yanks prowl about with their espiel and valor.

COMMANDOS (1968) Military class struggle highlights this war drama as Seargent Lee Van Cleef clashes with officer Jack Kelly during a campaign in North Africa. The small band of American commandos sublty infiltrate a German tank unit until an epic battle ensues upon discovery of the ruse.  One from each side survives to a truce in the end and cooperate to lay the dozens of fallen in a row. Rest of the cast includes Marilou Tolo who plays the sole hooker doing business amidst so many men.


David Deal enjoyed:


THE GHOST (63) - Riccardo Feda's next Gothic, following The Horrible Dr. Hichcock, is not a sequel but an entirely different type of horror tale.  This time Barbara Steele has a much more interesting character to play and comes across as a real, if nasty and evil, person instead of simply a cipher.  This deserves a hi-def restoration.



Mildly enjoyed


Did not enjoy



Bertrand Van Wonterghem enjoyed:

Ssauja Gwisina  / Bring it on, ghost  - season 1 – episode 5 (2016, Park Jun Hwa)

Dead still – season 1 –  episode « development » (2019, Imogen Murphy)

Musekinin Kanchō Tairā / The irresponsible captain Tylor, OAV 1 – 2 Tylor’s war  (1994, Koichi Mashimo)

Get Smart season 2 - episode « The expendable agent » (1967, Bruce Bilson)

The last of the fast gun (1958, George Sherman)

The château (2001, Jesse Peretz)

Mildly enjoyed:

Der Schatz der Azteken (1965, Robert Siodmak)

Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes (1965, Robert Siodmak)

Uchu keiji Gyaban / X-Or / Space sheriff Gavan episode Hashiru Jigen Bakudan! Shirobai ni Notta Ansatsusha  (1982)

Monster episode « Heru dr Tenma » (2004, Masayuki Kojima)

Peking express (1951, William Dieterle)


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