Friday, September 10, 2021

Week of September 11 - 17, 2021


To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which Sicilian born actor played Richard Harrison's brother in a Western directed by a Spaniard?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew it was Claudio Ungari, aka Robert Hundar, from EL SABOR DE LA VENGANZA, aka GUNFIGHT AT HIGH NOON, directed by Rafael Romero Marchent.

Can you name a Western starring Gianni Garko in which he does not play Sartana, but that name is used in the title?
George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was UN PAR DE ASESINO, aka SARTANA KILLS THEM ALL.

Which character from The Bible that was played by Gianni Garko?
George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was David in SAUL AND DAVID.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which American actor worked with directors Mario Bava, Enzo G. Castellari, Vittorio Schiraldi, Jose Antonio de la Loma, Alberto De Martino and Sergio Martino?
Which Italian actress worked with directors Daniele D'Anza, Peter R. Hunt, Giuliano Montaldo, Allen Baron, J. Lee Thompson and Duccio Tessari?
Which Italian writer went from collaborating with Federico Fellini to directing Italian skin flicks?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Thomas Hunter in UN FIUME DI DOLLARI, aka THE HILLS RUN RED.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Enrico Maria Salerno in L'ASSEDIO DI SIRACUSA, aka SIEGE OF SYRACUSE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

No one has identified the above photo yet.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes, Angel Rivera and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's frame grab of Kien Shih and Ahna Capri in ENTER THE DRAGON.
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:


CRUSADE IN EUROPE (1949) - The disc I have features three episodes 6) The Campaign, 7) Rommel Routed and 8) Sicily, Operation Huskey. I wasn't aware that 26 half hour TV episodes were made based on Dwight Eisenhower's book, but the ones I saw were quite good.

EMANUEL (2019) - Director Brian Tetsuro Ivie delivers a moving documentary about the June 17, 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Interviews with the friends and families of the nine murdered churchgoers inform us of the lives lost, but the main focus of the film is how the bereaved countered the expressed hate of the shooter with forgiveness.

FIST OF LEGEND (1994) - A remake of FIST OF FURY, aka THE CHINESE CONNECTION, this effort by director Gordon Chan improves on the original with a more complex portrait of Shanghai in the 1930s and a better sense of character. Chan, and producer Jet Li, even come up with a way to make the film less anti-Japanese, though FIST OF FURY was an huge success in Japan with all of its anti-Japanese sentiment. With Martial Arts choreography by Yuen Woo-ping, the film is filled with exciting action and star Jet Li even does some Bruce Lee-like moves. However, Bruce Lee never allowed an opponent to seem at all his better or equal. Yasuaki Kurata is splendid as an understanding Japanese Martial Arts master, and Shinobu Nakayama is charming as our hero's Japanese girlfriend. Billy Chau makes an impressive villain, and the filmmakers make no attempt to give him any sense of depth.

FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL (1974) - Shane Bryant's understated performance helps to make Peter Cushing's last appearance as Victor Frankenstein a wonderful finale. John Elder's script is usually criticized for reusing old plot elements, but director Terence Fisher brings a wonderful atmosphere complimented by James Bernard's music.

THE GATEKEEPERS (2012) - Five former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service, are interviewed by director Dror Morech about their roles since the 1967 "Six Day War". Using archive footage and computer generated animation, the major events leading up to the current mess between Israelis and Palestinians are discussed. 

Mildly enjoyed:

Marvel's What If...? episode five (2021)

It's the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown (2000) - Released seven months after the death of Charles M. Schulz direct to home video, this was the 39th animated special supervised by Schultz and unfortunately showed that inspiration was at a low ebb. The story of the Pied Piper always struck me as problematic as a children's story, and adapting it to the Peanuts characters only results in softening it. Snoopy playing a concertina allows for alot of the running time to be taken up with music as he rids the town of sports mice. Instead of taking away the town's children when the Mayor and this Council welch on the deal, Snoopy takes away the Major and his Council with the music inspiring them to do barbershop quartet style songs.

Midsomer Murders "The Christmas Haunting" (2013)

THE TECKMAN MYSTERY (1954) - Seeing Duncan Lamont as a Scotland Yard Inspector is almost as much fun as watching Margaret Leighton as a femme fatale. Wendy Toye directed but her film isn't as amusing or as suspenseful as it wants to be.

UNCNSRD "Bebe Winans" (2021)

UNCNSRD "Loretta Devine" (2021)

Did not enjoy:

FARAON, aka PHARAOH (1966) - Slowly paced and frustrating as hell, director Jerzy Kawalerowicz's film version of Boleslaw Prus' novel was an huge success in its native Poland and was even nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1967 Academy Awards. It seems like a film made by Egyptologists who were frustrated by the simplistic presentation of power in most movies about Ancient Egypt. Three years in the making, the film is a convincing portrait of ancient Egypt, though we never view the lives and homes of the peasants. Jerzy Zelnik plays the heir to the throne who can't wait to take power and straighten out the kingdom. He wants to take away the power of the priests, but frequently makes wrong decisions that play into the hands of this enemies. A number of sympathetic characters are introduced, particularly Krystyna Mikolajewska as Sara, who are mistreated by our "hero" and get no dramatic satisfaction in the storytelling. It would appear that no one protested the "gray face" makeup on all of the Poles playing Egyptians.

WEST OF CARSON CITY (1940) - After the Four Notables  sing "Let's Go", reporting how everyone should take cover because the cattle roundup is over and there's no more reason to be sober, Johnny Mack Brown takes off to stop the Pony Express rider to tell him to inform Fuzzy Knight that he'll have to keep the ranch running a little longer as Brown is not finished yet helping a neighbor with his cows. When the rider arrives in the now ghost town to deliver the newspaper to the store owner, he finds that Knight is sleeping on the sidewalk. However, when Ernie Adams rushs up to inform everyone that he's finally found gold on his claim, the rider takes off to spread the news. Suddenly, the town is booming again, so Harry Woods assembles his henchmen to take advantage with crooked gambling and stagecoach robbery. When Brown arrives at his ranch. it is in shambles with only the cook still around. He informs his boss that everyone else has run off to the gold strike. Brown sets off to get his men back, but gets distracted by stopping a stagecoach robbery. It turns out that the bad guys weren't planning to rob the stage - they were intending to prevent Judge Robert Homans from bringing law and order to town. Dispite Woods' various efforts, Homans does bring law and order to town with the help of Brown. Woods sends two men out to take care of Brown, who is on a riding date with Homans' pretty daughter Peggy Moran. Even though the villains are shooting at a woman, our hero doesn't kill anyone - only knocking their pistols out of their hands. Brown orders Woods to clear out of town in 24 hours, so Woods counters by kidnapping Homans and Moran and forcing Homans to pen a note telling Brown to lay off. Brown rescues the judge and his daughter and then leads his cowboys into town to throw Woods and company out. The Four Notables sing "On the Trail To Tomorrow" as our heroes pilot a stagecoach full of prisoners down the road. Fuzzy Knight's comic schtick seems to have been stuck into the film as he figures very little in the proceedings. There is more reused footage from other movies here than usual for a Universal Western and no one mentions Carson City. Ray Taylor directed.


David Deal enjoyed:

HEAVY TRIP (18) - After playing in the basement of a reindeer slaughterhouse for 12 years, a Finnish metal band has a chance to play at a festival in Norway, so they determine to write an original song, pick a band name, and make the best of it.  Hilarious and sweet, this is a clear winner.  Highly recommended.

THE WEB (47) - Small time lawyer Edmond O'Brien is tapped for a sucker by Vincent Price to take the wrap for murder.  Nicely woven tale keeps the viewer guessing.  Ella Raines is the twist and William Bendix is the suspicious cop.




Mildly enjoyed:




Charles Gilbert watched:

WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST (1956) B&W. Why would a giant hypodermic needle need finger holes?

Honey West episode 1 "The Swingin' Mrs. Jones" The fetching private "I" practices judo with partner Sam Bolt (John Ericson). She has a pet oscelot. Ray Danton guest stars in this first episode.

THREE BLONDES IN HIS LIFE.(1961) B&W. Globetrotting insurance investigator and ladies' man Jock Mahoney grills three glamorous gals xabout the death of a client. Sidekick Jesse White is also on the case. With Greta Thyssen.

THE CRUEL TOWER (1956) B&W. Working class melodrama about a tower maintenance crew. Young John Ericson plays a tramp taken in by Harry "Stretch" Clay (Charles McGraw). Jealously ensues with Mari Blanchard around becoming a dangerous catalyst at those heights.


Bertrand van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed: 

Edge of the world (2020, Michael Haussman)


Only murders in the building – season 1 – episode 1

Chapelwaite – season 1 – episode 1

Comme des garçons (2018, Julien Hallard)

Jombitamjeong / Zombie detective (2020, Jae Hyun Shim) – season 1 – episodes 1 to 12

Mildly enjoyed

Un par de asesinos (1970, Rafael Romero Marchent)

Did not enjoyed:

The tamarind seed (1974, Blake Edwards)


Angel Rivera wrote: 

I watched the Spike Lee documentary "NYC Epicenter: 9/11- 2021 1/2" Parts 5 & 6 which deals with 9/11. I live in the borough of Queens and worked @ Elmhurst Hospital at the time and remember the hospital setting up to maybe take in victims of the attack only being told that condition had changed from rescue to recovery and that no patients would be heading our way. Watching the documentary, I saw things I had not known at the time; such as boats going to evacuate people from Manhattan island; the sight of people jumping from the towers before the towers collapsed and an interview with a United airline flight attendant who knew members of the flight crew of United 93 and believing that the flight may have been shot down because of what he saw of the crash site. Just now I finished watching an ABC news special "9/11:  America remembers" where someone who was with VP Cheney and Condoleezza Rice hearing the VP ask the pilot "was United 93 shot down?" and the pilot's response that they could not confirm that the flight had been shot down, but the person realizing about reports that the passengers had tried to prevent the plane from crashing into a building and causing the crash into the field where it hit..

I also watched "Titans" episode about the origin of Hawk and Dove, two superheroes I remember reading about back in the seventies; although these were not the heroes as I remember them. The series is very violent and now included nudity I was not expecting.

I also watched "Stargirl"; "Supergirl"; "Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail"; "Awkwafina is Nora from Queens" (a comedy not for every one's taste, but humorous for me): "Brooklyn Nine Nine; and "Younger".

I also saw two episodes of "Alfred Hithchcock presents". One which featured George Segal and Anne Baxter titled, "A Nice Touch" from 1963 in which Seagal, is an actor who seduces talent agent Baxter into helping him get parts and then tricking her into killing her husband with promises of being with her if she removes the husband as an obstacle to their "happiness". The other episode from 1957 featured a teen-aged Carol Lynley (she was 15 at the time) who has just caused the death of her domineering aunt, played by Jeanette Nolan and tries to frame a pre-"Ben Casey" Vince Edwards of the murder.

I also pulled out  my DVD copy of "Flaming Star" and watched it and every time I watch it I see something I had not realized, like the film also featured Richard Jaeckel  as Barbara Eden's brother who loses his fiance in a Kiowa attack and L. Q. Jones who is also a victim of the same attack. The one song Elvis sings in the movie is placed in such a way that a family heading home from the festivities at Elvis's home are singing the same song before they are killed in the Kiowa raid. The performances are all good, especially presenting the prejudices of the characters which are a fitting reflection of the troubled times of the early civil rights struggles. (The film was released in 1960.)  The film was also directed by Don Siegel who would also direct several of Clint Eastwood's films as well as the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"(1956).

On YouTube I tried to watch "Vengeance of Ursus" which featured Samson Burke, a name I only remembered  from "The Three Stooges meet Hercules" and did not really know that much about him. I found the movie to be too formulaic for this type of movie and could not really enjoy it. Burke's performance was also pretty awful in my opinion.


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