Friday, July 2, 2021

Week of July 3 - 9, 2021


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which Italian film director made one film with Steve Reeves, three films with Gordon Scott, one with Mark Forest, four films with Giuliano Gemma and one with Anthony Steffen?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was Giorgio Ferroni.

Which Italian Western has a circus performer hero who thinks of himself as a coward?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was IL PISTOLERO SEGNATO DA DIO, aka TWO PISTOLS AND A COWARD.

Can you name two Westerns directed by Sergio Corbucci in which the hero uses a Mauser semi-automatic pistol?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew of one: IL GRANDE SILENZIO, aka GREAT SILENCE.
Can you name the other one?

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which American actor who made Italian Westerns committed suicide at the Airport Hilton in Rome, 1971?
Which American actress worked in movies featuring Renzo Montagnani, Klaus Kinski, Sidney Poitier, Tony Kendall and Clint Eastwood?
Can you name two actors who made Italian Westerns who had daughters who made movies accused of being child pornography?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Tomas Milian in TEPEPA.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Angel Rivera, Charles Gilbert and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of John Drew Barrymore in LA GUERRA DI TROIA, aka THE TROJAN HORSE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Paulette Goddard, Rod Steiger, Shelley Winters and Tomas Milian in GLI INDIFFERENTI, aka TIME OF INDIFFERENCE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

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:


Bosch season seven (2021) - Just about everyone is back for the final season on Amazon Prime and Madison Lintz is looking great.


HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN (2015) - Slut-shamed during high school, Jewel Staite returns to her home town after her mother died. Now a successful columnist, Staite got revenge on her former neighbors by accusing them of being closed minded prudes. At her mother's funeral, Staite is accosted by Lauren Lee Smith who declares that she is actually quite adventurous sexually. Staite asks if she has ever been in an orgy. Later, after Smith discovers that her husband, Ennis Esmer, has "dead sperm", she requests that Staite arrange an orgy - secretly hoping to get pregnant. Soon, everyone they know in town is asked to participate, but everyone has difficulty actually going through with it. Writer/director Jemery LaLonde has concocted a very funny sex comedy that is basically romantic. And he was able to get Staite and Katharine Isabelle in the same cast for the first time since DaVinci's Inquest. Kristian Bruun and Rosemary Dunsmore from Orphan Black also appear.

LADY BOSS The Jackie Collins Story (2021)

Mildly enjoyed:

Všichni dobří rodáci, aka ALL MY GOOD COUNTRYMEN, aka ALL MY COMPATRIOTS (1968) - Writer/director Vojtěch Jasný reportedly took ten years to get this film made, and, not surprisingly, it was banned by the government of Czechoslovakia and the director went into exile. In 1969, Jasný was awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival. The film examined life in a small farming community from 1945 until 1958 and how Communist Party edicts ruined the lives of seven men who were, in the beginning, friends. Showing the natural beauty of the country, the film was visually lyrical and never became melodramatic. In 1977, the Czech government produced an unofficial sequel called THE MORAVIAN LAND to refute this film's portrayal of communist blundering in agricultural reform. In 1999, Jasný, who now lived in the U.S., made RETURN TO PARADISE LOST, about a Czech returning after the fall of the Communist government for an update on life in the farming community he left.

LE BONHEUR, aka HAPPINESS (1965) - While Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard made movies exploring the fantasy that two men could be happy sharing one woman, Agnes Varda made a movie about a man totally in love with his wife and two children becoming even more happy with the love of a single woman as well. Not one to shy away from ambiguities, Varda then has the husband tell his wife why he's been more happy than usual, and she seems to accept it. They make love, but when he awakens he finds that his wife is dead from drowning. After a period of trying to be a single parent, the man finally commits to his lover and she takes over the role of being his wife and the mother of the two children. This is not the kind of material one would expect from a woman filmmaker. Some consider it an Horror movie. If so, it is the most lyrical Horror movie ever made which beautiful scenes in the countryside accompanied by music by Mozart. Jean-Claude Drouot plays the man, with his real life wife, Claire, and his real life children, Olivier and Sandrine, playing his wife and children in the film. Marie-France Boyer, who resembles Claire Drouot, plays the other woman.

LE GRAND PARDON II, aka DAY OF ATONEMENT (1992) - I did not know that this was a sequel when I watched it. It just seemed to me that writer/producer/director Alexandre Arcady felt there was a need for a French version of THE GODFATHER with a Jewish crime family. Now that I know about LE GRAND PARDON, I see DAY OF ATONEMENT as Arcady's need for his version of THE GODFATHER PART 2 set in Miami. The version I saw ran about 120 minutes and felt very choppy. I kept imagining that the original version ran about 180 and got butchered by the U.S. distributor. But it seems that the long version was only 139 minutes, so maybe the choppiness was not the fault of an American distributor. In any case, Arcady had too much material to spend enough time to flesh out story elements. DAY OF ATONEMENT began with flashbacks to Roger Hanin being arrested by Jean-Louis Trintignant from the first film. The narrator explained that his arrest was witnessed by his son and grandson. Ten years later, Hanin was out of prison attending the bar-mitzva of his grandson, played by Jean Benguigui, in Miami, Florida. Hanin's son, Richard Berry, had become a successful banker laundering money from drug dealers. When one drug dealer crashed the party and threatened Berry, another drug dealer, Christopher Walken, had that man machine gunned to death as he left his Catholic church. Berry had plans for an huge construction project, and went to Walken for financial help. In exchange, Berry was to deliver one ton of cocaine to Walken. Berry's man talked a drug smuggler out of retirement to bring the stuff to Miami. What Berry didn't know was that the retired drug smuggler, Gerard Darmon, was a cousin who wanted revenge on Hanin's family, so he set up Berry to fail. Add to this pile of plot 1) Berry's girlfriend, Jennifer Beals, being blackmailed by the DEA to spy on Berry and 2) Hanin meeting and starting a romance with motel owner Jill Clayburgh. Amidou popped up in a small role helping the import of the ton of cocaine. Director Arcady's son, Alexandre-Jouan Arcady, played Darmon's brother. Alexandre would become an Horror movie director with the name Alexandre Aja. Romano Musumarra was blamed for the bombastic music score which just about never stops during the running of the version I saw. Cinematographer Willy Kurant, who shot the much more enjoyable CANNABIS, did a professional job.

NEAR DARK (1987)

PRINCE OF THE SUN (1990) - Cynthia Rothrock always looked better in Chinese movies, even when it is obvious that she's being doubled by a guy with a blond wig. Sparring with Jeffrey Falcon is good stuff. Considered a rip-off of THE GOLDEN CHILD, PRINCE OF THE SUN is not as much fun as MAGIC CRYSTAL, but it has action directed by Tak Yuen of HOLY FLAME OF THE MARTIAL WORLD to balance out all of the goofy comedy with Sheila Chan. At one point Conan Lee gets to show his stuff and he's never looked more like Jackie Chan than in this movie. Wellson Chin and Shan Hua are credited as directors. 

RED SORGHUM (1987) - Who would have thought that a movie that starts off with an unwilling bride, Gong Li, being ridiculed by the men carrying her sedan across the countryside for marrying a rich leper would end with a suicide attack on a Japanese Army truck? Who would have thought that a man pissing into barrels of freshly made wine would inadvertently create a celebrated vintage? Who would have thought that the film debut of director Zhang Yimou and actress Gong Li would garner them international acclaim? Based on parts of the RED SORGHUM CLAN novel by Mo Yan, aka Guan Moye, the film could almost be called a folk musical for all of the singing that occurs. Like many mainland Chinese films from the 1980s, there is much pictorial beauty and a rather one-dimensional script.

SILVER BLAZE, aka MURDER AT THE BASKERVILLES (1937) - This low budget British flick starring Arthur Wontner as Sherlock Holmes and Ian Fleming as Doctor Watson really isn't very good, but it's a pleasant stew of familiar elements. H. Fowler Mear and Arthur Macrae are the credited screenwriters who've changed the plot slightly to make this a sort-of sequel to THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. Holmes and Watson decide to vacation at the home of Sir Henry Baskerville, played by Lawrence Grossmith, just as Inspector Lestrade, played by John Turnbull, is posted at the nearby Wessex Cup horse race. Coincidentally, a bookmaker employs Professor Moriarty, played by Lyn Harding, to prevent the favored winning horse, Silver Blaze, from running the race. Most of the plot follows the original short story, except the writers bring in Col. Sebastian Moran, played by Arthur Goullet, as one of Moriarty's men who shoots the rider off Silver Blaze, thus preventing him from winning the race. Our heroes then follow the bookmaker to Moriarty's secret lair and the film ends with Professor Moriarity arrested by Inspector Lastrade. Thomas Bentley directed. This was the last of the five films featuring Wontner as Holmes.

Did not enjoy:

ZWEI FRAUEN, aka SILENCE LIKE GLASS (1989) - 19 year old ballerina Jami Gertz faints during a performance and finds herself in a clinic for cancer patients. Bald-headed Martha Plimpton is her roommate and most of the film is the two of them dealing with the possibility of death. Reportedly based on a true story, the screenplay by Bea Hellmann and director Carl Schenkel - with some assistance by Donald Arthur - rejects sentimentality, but can't avoid tear inducing scenes. George Peppard and Gayle Hunnicutt are reunited after P.J. as Gertz's parents, Bruce Payne and Rip Torn are her doctors. While set in the United States, the film was mostly made in Germany with an entirely English speaking cast including Dayle Haddon, James Remar and Yeardley Smith.

US (2020) - As much as I enjoy Saskia Reeves, I just found this annoying.

VIOLETTE & FRANCOIS (1977) - Seeing this in Spanish without English subtitles is not an ideal way to watch this movie. Isabelle Adjani and Jacques Dutronc are a young couple who worry about how to feed their baby after Dutronc loses his job. They decide to shoplift, and come up with some novel ways of going about it. In the end, Dutronc gets caught and takes a beating. In court, Adjani discovers that Dutronc's wealthy family could have prevented them from being thieves, so she takes the baby and leaves. After threatening to kill himself throughout the movie, Dutronc, in the end, doesn't. Jean-Loup Dabadie wrote the script which was directed by Jacques Rouffio.

YOUNG WIVES' TALE, aka FUN FOR FOUR (1951) - Ronald Jeans wrote this play in 1949, dealing with the post war housing shortage. Two couples - Joan Greenwood & Nigel Patrick and Derek Farr & Helen Cherry - with new babies share an house, along with a single woman - Audrey Hepburn. The behavoir of Greenwood's baby boy sends one nanny packing, but Cherry is able to secure a new one. Confusion erupts when Guy Middleton makes a play for Greenwood, is sent away by Farr and the new nanny mistakes Farr for Greenwood's husband. Jealous, Patrick makes a play for Hepburn and the new nanny packs up to leave saying everyone is a "sex maniac". Naturally, everything gets straightened out in the end - except that the neighbor's dog has run off with the dinner roast, Greenwood's baby has flooded the bathroom playing with boats in the tub and both Patrick and Hepburn are complaining about cutting their hands, while the brass band parades outside. While Greenwood, Cherry and Hepburn are quite charming, the characters in the screenplay by Anne Burnaby are too annoying for enjoyment, though Henry Cass directs them with competence.


Charles Gilbert watched:

TIME WALKER (1982) A college professor (Ben Murphy) is back from Egypt with a mummy, crystals, and green fungus. The ancient on display in sarcophagus mobilizes with fury when a frat boy steals the crystals. Turns out the wrapped menace is extraterrestrial and needs them to return home. With Antoinette Bower.

ROAD HOUSE (1948) B&W. Night club/bowling alley proprietor Jefty Robbins (Richard Widmark) hires chanteuse Lily Stevens (Ida Lupino) to entertain his patrons. The cute little singer is constantly lighting a cigarette, but wows the crowd. Jefty's long time buddy and employee Pete (Cornele Wilde) dismisses her at first but they eventually fall in love. Trouble is Jefty wants her, too. 

THE BIGAMIST (1953) B&W. Ida Lupino directs and stars as the other woman (Phyllis) for salesman Harry Graham (Edmond O'Brien) who lives in San Francisco with barren wife (Eve) Joan Fontaine. Adoption agency case worker Mr. Jordan (Edmund Gwenn) follows him to LA and discovers the deception but somehow sympathizes. [A bus tour in Beverly Hills sites celebrity homes including that of the actor who played Santa Claus (Gwenn)]. The titular philanderer becomng a father with Phyllis is arrested, but the film ends before sentencing. Odd to see Kenneth Tobey as an attorney.

THE INNER CIRCLE (1946) B&W. Crime flick with levity features Adele Mara and Warren Douglas as secretary and private investigator dogged by police lieutenant William (Bud) Frawley when they themselves become implicated in the murder of a columnist. Just 56 minutes run time.

The Cool Ghoul Dick Von Hoene. Cincinnati talent from the 70s was part time newscaster and full time horror host on his Saturday night fare Scream-in. Interviewees include musician Shad O'Shea.


Bertrand van Wonterghem enjoyed:

Gojira : kaiju wakusei (anime) (2017, Hiroyuki Seshita & Kobun Shizuro)

The incredible Mr Limpet (1963, Arthur Lubin)

The secret war of Harry Frigg (1968, Jack Smight)

The champions – episode « The beginning » (1967, Cyril Frankel)

Yi guyeokui michin X / Mad for each other – season 1 (2020) - episodes 1 to 4

Paranormal – season 1 (2020) – episode 3

Mildly enjoy:

Rage at dawn (1955, Tim Whelan)


Angel Rivera wrote:

"So I dragged out my copy of THE TROJAN HORSE and watched it. Barrymore portrays Ulysses as a sly character and with  none of the nobility of say Steve Reeves' Aeneas. Along for the ride are Mimmo Palmara who portrays Ajax in the same manner he portrayed Iphitus in HERCULES and Arturo Dominici as Achilles. The film begins with the death of Hector and when compared to the more recent film TROY which starred Brad Pitt as Achilles, it is still worth the watch.
"Recently I also watched FRANKENSTEIN 1970 which I have not seen since the 1960s and as I did not remember much about it, it was like seeing it for the first time. Boris Karloff plays a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein who is allowing a TV crew to  film a documentary about his ancestor in his castle while he uses the cast and crew as spare parts for the revival of  his ancestor's creation. It plays like one of those old Universal sequels to the original FRANKENSTEIN with none of the style, but its only saving grace is Karloff himself.
"I also watched THE WICKED STEPMOTHER which is the last film of Bette Davis and features my favorite actress Barbara Carrera. While she looks beautiful in her scenes the movie is how do you say, STUPID! I know that Ms. Carrera was hired after Ms. Davis walked off the picture, but Ms. Davis was probably right in doing so, as the film is an embarrassment for all involved. Its a modern tale of witchcraft, but plays like a bad sitcom."


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