Friday, October 15, 2021

Week of October 16 - 22, 2021



To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which American actor who made Italian Westerns played the brother on a TV series to Jerome Courtland?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which German actor appeared in a Western made in Spain and another Western made in Croatia in 1964?
Angel Rivera knew that it was Sieghardt Rupp who made PER UN PUNGO DI DOLLARI and UNTER GEIERN in the same year.
Bertrand van Wonterghem noted: " I also first thought about Sieghardt Rupp but he was born in Austria. Then Klaus Kinski (Poland), Mario Adorf (Switzerland) That's why I tried Götz George a German actor born in Germany."

Which German actress worked with directors Mario Bava, Antonio Isasi, Luigi Comencini, Jean Girault, Giorgio Bianchi and Lucio Fulci?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was Elke Sommer.

Which British actress was born in Austria and worked with directors Giorgio Simonelli, Marcello Baldi, Anatole Litvak and Silvio Amadio?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was Jocelyn Lane, aka Jackie Laine.

Which Italian actor worked with Mario Costa, Guido Malatesta, Giorgio Capitani, Romano Ferrara, Fabrizio Taglioni, Paolo Heusch and Vittorio Cottafavi?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was Luciano Marin.

And now for some new brain teasers:

What was the original Italian title for the movie made in Spain based on THE BOUNTY KILLER by Marvin H. Albert?
By what name was Richard Wyler known when he worked in Hollywood?
Why did Ella Karin stop making movies in 1976?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Lo Lieh, Patty Shepard and Lee Van Cleef in EL KARATE, EL COLT Y EL IMPISTOR, aka THE STRANGER AND THE GUNFIGHTER.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Angel Rivera and Charles Gilbert identified last week's frame grab of Gordon Scott and Leonora Ruffo's dummy in MACISTE CONTRO IL VAMPIRO, aka GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

John Black and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Gina Lollobrigida and Horst Buchholz in CERVANTES, aka THE YOUNG REBEL.
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:

Mildly enjoyed:

HARRY DEAN STANTON: PARTLY FICTION (2013) - German documentarian Sophie Huber spent some time with Stanton who would rather sing than talk. Thankfully some friends of his participated and got him to talk a bit, including Wim Wenders, Sam Shepard, David Lynch and Kris Kristofferson. The highlight of the film for me was Stanton explaining that "Everybody's Talkin' (At Me)" was written by Fred Neil about heroin and was inspired by Luke Askew. I'd like someone to do a Ken Burns style film about this unique American actor.

THE MORTICIAN (2010) - British writer/director/co-producer Gareth Maxwell Roberts delivered an odd little film made in Louisiana, USA, starring musician Method Man of the Wu-Tang Clan as an emotionally stunted mortician. The film was relentless unrealistic in its gritty portrait of a destroyed city under populated by street gangs and prostitutes. This could have been the locale of a 1980s Italian dystopian action flick like BRONX WARRIORS, but there was no indication as to when this story took place. Roberts brought a deliberate pace to the film which along with the mystery of not knowing what was going on made for compelling viewing. A number of sources report "a mortician kills anyone who threatens a boy he found hiding in the morgue". That was a lie as the mortician doesn't kill anyone in the film, and the suggestion that the film had a vigilante bent was also false. Our hero saw villain Dash Mihok dump a woman's body in the canal. Later, the body was delivered to him at the morgue. At about the same time, his boss, Edward Furlong, introduced him to a new porter, E.J. Bonilla, who was serving his parole at the morgue. Parole officer Wendell Pierce of The Wire showed up to encourage our hero to report any violations by Bonilla so that he could take his ass back to the slammer. Our hero noticed a boy, Cruz Santiago, hanging around the morgue, and was concerned when Bonilla dragged the boy away. Eventually, we learned that the murdered woman was Santiago's mother and Bonilla's sister. Mihok was prostituting the woman and murdered her when she hid the boy away from him. The film ultimately was about our hero helping the boy to come to terms with his mother's murder, which helped him to come to terms with the disappearance when he was a boy of his own prostituted mother. While the film generated some suspenseful scenes, it wasn't a thriller. It seemed to want to be a character study, but was too unrealistic to be a successful one.

Squid Games (2021) - As portrayed here and in PARASITE, life in South Korea under capitalism is hard. You would think North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would be championing this show more.

OLD SUREHAND 1. TEIL, aka FLAMING FRONTIER (1965) - For his third and final effort in the Winnetou series, Stewart Granger got a film with his character's name as the title. He also got the return of Alfred Vohrer, the director of UNTER GEIERN. Reportedly this was to be the beginning of a trilogy of Old Surehand films - the like trilogy of novels by Karl May, but it was a box office disappointment so 2 & 3 never got made. At this point, viewers should be used to these stories being told out of order. In this film, we don't get the beginning of the friendship between Old Surehand, real name Johnny Garden, and Winnetou, but we get our hero rescuing Old Wabble, aka Jeromy Sanders, from the volcanic cave in which he had been hiding for three years since the murder of Surehand's brother. (I believe it was a cave on the side of a volcano because of all of the smoking rocks scattered about.) Perhaps the poor box office performance of the film was a result of Winnetou's minor role here. He didn't even appear until after 40 minutes of running time. Reports that Granger and Pierre Brice never shared the screen were false, but they only appear together in one scene. Most other times, they speak to each other at a great distance - usually with Brice on a tall mountain or cliff. Naturally, Winnetou was the one who solved the conflict between the Comanches and the Cavalry though Old Surehand did the most running about. For this film, Old Surehand's goal was to find his brother's murderer. Old Wabble wasn't able to identify the murderer, but knew that he was called "the General". Luckily, "the General", played by Larry Pennell, was also the one trying to start a war between the whites and the Comanches so that he can claim the Comanche land on which a gold mine was found. So, screenwriter Fred Denger was able to combine all of the plot threads into a single climax, where we just knew that even though our hero wanted the villain taken alive to face an hanging that circumstances would occur to find a bullet ending the story. Only the opening sequence where the bad guys robbed a train and attempted to murder all of the passengers seemed not to fit into the plot. Reportedly, Old Shatterhand was also featured in the original novel, but Winnetou's "Old" buddies never met in the film series. The female lead this time was Letitia (Leticia) Roman, and her on-screen relationship with Mario Girotti was perhaps the best told romance of the series. Wolfgang Lukschy appeared here after doing PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI and SANSONE E IL TESORO DEGLI INCAS for Italian directors. Dusan Antonijevic of WINNETOU 3. TEIL returned to play a different Indian Chief. Vladimir Medar of DER SCHATZ IM SIBERSEE and UNTER GEIERN was among the familiar faces. While the footage of the buffalo being killed wasn't exactly the same as what was seen in WINNETOU 1. TEIL, I guess it came from the same unknown source. While I didn't spot any phony cacti, there was a questionable totem pole and Comanche cremation. Has any other movie featured a torture scene in which a man was tied under a stalactite held up by a rope that a candle was slowly burning through? Did Warner Bros./7 Arts decide that they wanted some Winnetou business for they handled the U.S. release of this movie instead of Columbia Pictures.

WINNETOU UND DAS HALBBLUT APANATSCHI, aka WINNETOU AND THE HALF-BREED APANATSCHI, aka HALF-BREED (1966) - Why do internet sources use the term "CROSSBREED" for this film? Was there ever an English release with that odd term? Getting a script from the writer of DER OLPRINZ and OLD SUREHAND, Fred Denger, pretty much ensured that this effort would suffer from poor plotting. Getting the director of DER OLPRINZ, Harald Philipp, also ensured a less than stellar result. Did producer Horst Wendlandt decide that U.S. distributor Columbia Pictures had the right idea of cutting out the comedic guest star and shortening the film to under 90 minutes? Because this film doesn't have a comedic guest star and it runs under 90 minutes. Unfortunately, it also felt like an episode for television, lacking the spectacle Harald Reinl usually provided. Walter Barnes' half-breed daughter Uschi Glas turned 21 and so he showed her the secret gold strike he was holding for her. As Glas' mother, Marija Crnobori, was Apache, Winnetou was invited for the reveal. Unfortunately, they didn't invite little brother Marinko Cosic, so he didn't know not to show the gold nugget he found to the friends of Glas' fiance, Petar Dobric and Vladimir Leib. Glas' fiance, Gotz George, was horrified that his friends were so quickly seized with gold fever and would eventually murder Barnes in an effort to find the gold strike. Dobric and Leib fled to town, which had been taken over by Ilija Dzuvalekovski's gang. When Dzuvalekovski found the nugget, he tortured the murderers and was told that Glas knew where to find the gold. And so began the back and forth capture and rescue of Glas and Cosic with Old Shatterhand joining in to rouse the townsmen and then the railroad workers to twice attack the town, at one point planning to dynamite every building to bring the villains into the open. When the Apaches show up to help our heroes, footage from WINNETOU 1. TEIL was reused. For those viewers missing the tunnels used in the first Winnetou films, here was a secret passage from the saloon to the nearby cemetery. While it was fun seeing Lex Barker and Pierre Brice filling in their usual roles, Ralf Wolter didn't get much screen time and only once gave away that he was wearing a wig. As in DER SCHATZ IM SIBERSEE and UNTER GEIERN, Gotz George was in hyperkinetic mode which quickly became tiring, and the magic tricks were ridiculous. The Apache camp was only visited for a short time, and they were back in teepees - possibly because they blew up the pueblo in WINNETOU 3. TEIL, but that story took place in the future, not the past. And whose idea was it to give the Apaches totem poles? Probably because of the rising popularity of the Westerns coming out of Italy and Spain, this ninth Winnetou feature was considered a box office disappointment, but it helped to launch the film career of Uschi Glas. It would seem that neither Warner Bros/7 Arts and Columbia Pictures wanted HALF-BREED, and it didn't get an U.S. release until 1973 by Hampton International.

WINNETOU UND SEIN FREUND OLD FIREHAND, aka THUNDER AT THE BORDER (1966) - It was ironic that Winnetou was introduced by Karl May in the 1875 novel OLD FIREHAND, and that the character Old Firehand didn't make it on to film until the last effort by Rialto Films. Old Shatterhand was more popular with May's readers, so Rialto replaced Old Firehand with Old Shatterhand in the first movie DER SCHATZ IM SIBERSEE. There was no getting around the fact that Lex Barker made a more impressive hero than Rod Cameron did in his debut in the series. By the time this film was made, producer Horst Wendlandt obviously became aware of the competition from Italy and Spain for Western movie audiences, and changes were made. The distinctive Martin Bottcher music was replaced by a new score by Peter Thomas, which used a fuzzy electric guitar similar to what was heard from Italian composers. Writers David De Reszke and C.B. Taylor joined Harald G. Petersson in scripting a story set along the Mexican border, which was unique for a German Western but standard for the Italians and Spaniards. These writers still provided a number of WTF moments even though the basic plot resembled something like SEVEN SAMURAI and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Actually, the movie started with the Silers gang attacking Winnetou, played by Pierre Brice, his sister Nscho-tschi, played again by Marie Versini of WINNETOU 1. TEIL and a band of Indians robbing them of their herd of horses. Gang leader Harald Leipnitz of DER OLPRINZ ordered the death of the escaping Indians, but, thankfully, the Native Americans ran into a fur trapper and his friends. The trapper, Old Firehand (aka Jason Waade - with two "a"s), played by Rod Cameron, Caleb, played by Vladimir Medar of DER SCHATZ IM SIBERSEE and three other films in the series, and young Tom, played by Todd Armstrong of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, proved able to chase off the villains. Winnetou and his sister decided to accompany the white trappers to town in order to report the crime. At this point, the plot suddenly changed into something like RIO BRAVO. In the Mexican town of Miramonte, our heroes discovered that Silers' brother, Walter Wilz, was being held for murder by Army Sergeant Rik Battaglia of OLD SHATTERHAND. Unlike RIO BRAVO, our heroes attempted to organize the town's people into a defense. A number of town's people decided to leave town rather than fight, only to be murdered on the road by the Silers' gang. At one point, Winnetou rode off to get help and made the biggest blunder of the series - though wiping out the town of Roswell in WINNETOU 1. TEIL was pretty bad. Riding into a Mexican bandit gang, our hero tried to appeal to their racial identity by asking them to help save their fellow Mexicans from the Silers' gang. Unfortunately, bandit leader Miha Baloh, of UNTER GEIERN and three other films in the series, decided to join Leipnitz in destroying the town. Coincidentally, Miramonte happened to be the home of Nadia Gray of LA DOLCE VITA. It turned out that Gray's son, Jorg Marquard, was the offspring of a night Old Firehand spent in New Orleans 17 years ago. English aristocrat Viktor de Kowa proposed marriage to Gray about 72 times, and while he was a comedic figure, he proved able in battle against the bad guys. Again accepting that these films weren't released in chronological order, we knew the romance between Armstrong and Versini couldn't go anywhere, because she would fall in love with Old Shatterhand in WINNETOU 1. TEIL. There were plenty of phony cacti in this film, but director Alfred Vohrer handled the action better here than in his previous two efforts. Surprisingly, he even had Medar jump on a burning stuntman in an effort to put out the flames. Brice had to put out his own burning pants for one shot. What happened to convince Columbia Pictures to distribute THUNDER AT THE BORDER in the U.S. after not touching the last two films? And why, after 9 films, did they get someone new to re-voice Pierre Brice in English?

WINNETOU UND SHATTERHAND IM TAL DER TOTEN, aka WINNETOU AND SHATTERHAND IN THE VALLEY OF THE DEATH (1968) - After three box office disappointments, Horst Wendlandt and Rialto Films stopped making movies about Winnetou. After two years, Artur Brauner and CCC Films must have decided that it was time for a revival, and toward that end they reunited Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Karin Dor, Ralf Wolter, Vladimir Medar, Eddi Arent, composer Martin Bottcher and director Harald Reinl. Rik Battaglia replaced Herbert Lom as the villain and it was back to Croatia for everyone. But, to make this effort special, doubles for Brice and Barker were sent to the U.S. for footage of them riding around the Grand Canyon - though the terrain didn't quite match the European scenery. This time the fantasy didn't suppose a secret cave filled with Indian gold, but a secret Valley of Death which was sort-of an Indian version of the Egyptian "Valley of the Kings" - naturally filled with totem poles. This idea first popped up in UNTER GEIREN, but was cut out of the English FRONTIER HELLCAT version. Here the Valley had abundant sulfur gas that exploded into flame when ignited. There was also a Valley of Snakes, a forest of bee hives and a Sioux "torture pole". Attacked by bandits, Major Sima Janicijevic hid the gold shipment and entrusted the location to Winnetou before dying. Winnetou sent a letter to the Major's daughter, Karin Dor, whom the bandits tried to kidnap from a stagecoach, but Old Shatterhand heard the gunshots and saved her. She came to testify at her father's court martial and begged for sixty days to prove that her father did not steal the gold. Convinced that the letter, written in Apache, held the secret to the gold's location, the bandits follow Dor and Barker to Colorado. Soon our heroes were joined by Captain Clarke Reynolds (aka Fred Vincent), whose job was to make certain Dor didn't steal the gold. At one point, Barker rides off to get help from the Sioux, but his friend, Chief Black Panther had died, and the new Chief, Red Buffalo (played by Vojislav Govedarica, aka Wojo Govedariza), wanted death to all whites. Eventually our heroes made it to the land of the Ozarks, who helped our heroes find the gold shipment hidden in the Valley of the Death (or Valley of the Dead, or Valley of Death). (How the Major hid the wagon there was never explained.) Of course the good guys won in the end, and the suggestion was made that Dor and Reynolds would couple. It would seem that this production had some trouble because the hair and makeup for Rik Battaglia were so different from the scenes shot outdoors and the interior scenes in the courtroom that I kept expecting it to be revealed that he was playing twins. This time Eddi Arent's character wasn't chasing butterflies, but was trying to find a unique plant on which he could put his name and gain eternal fame. He hired Ralf Wolter to be his scout, and, naturally, they run into Old Shatterhand and join the adventure. At 89 minutes, this was the shortest Western that Reinl made, but it failed to inspire the production of more Winnetou movies. What led to his divorce from Dor was unknown, and they never worked together again. Interestingly, the German DVD for this film doesn't feature an English language soundtrack, so whomever made the English subtitles didn't have a ready-made English translation to copy. This led to some odd subtitles, especially when "danke schoen" became "BedanM".

Uncnsrd "Lynn Whitfield" (2021)

Did not enjoy:

Hightown season one (2020) - While it's nice to see a series endorsing fingering, why wrap a mediocre cop show around it?

JAMBOREE! (1957) - Before heading to England and getting into the Horror movie business, producers Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky delivered this jukebox musical featuring many hot rock 'n' roll stars doing, possibly, their worst songs. Well, Jerry Lee Lewis did "Great Balls of Fire". And Fats Domino did "Wait and See".  It was interesting seeing Paul Carr, a familiar face from TV shows like Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and Rawhide, getting the romantic lead in a feature. And who thought that Freda Holloway should be the face for Connie Francis' voice?

MEET THE SPARTANS (2008) - Writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer had a fairly successful career up to 2015 despite never getting a good review. Surrounded by unfunny material, Kevin Sorbo and Tiffany Haddish actually come off fairly well. All of the Britney Spears jokes have actually become even more unfunny over the years.


TERESA DE JESUS (1962) - KWHY-TV played an 80 something minute version of this 2 hour and 11 minute movie, so I can't really say that I've seen it. I mention it because the cast includes many splendid Spanish actors who went on to make Westerns including: Jose Bodalo, Roberto Camardiel, Jose Moreno, Alfredo Mayo, Antonio Casas and Jose Maria Caffarel. Aurora Bautista of DEGUEYO, 20,000 DOLLARI SUL 7 and KIDNAPPING! PAGA O UCCIDIAMO TUO FIGLIO plays a 16th century Carmelite nun whose mystical visions put her at odds with the Spanish Inquisition.


Charles Gilbert watched:

BOUNTY KILLER (1965) Off beat oater has tentative Easterner Willie Duggan (Dan Duryea) just off the trail, and immediately in trouble upon entering the saloon when he charms pretty but sullen singer Carole Ridgeway (Audry Dalton).  Luckily gunman Jim Liam (Rod Cameron) bails out the dude with a pistol shot.  He befriends sea captain Luther (Fuzzy Knight) and decides the two of them should take up the lucrative vocation of bounty hunting. Mike Clayman (Buster Crabbe) is one of his prey, and so is the brother of the man who saved his life in the beginning. He finds his heroism is ill appreciated, leading him to take up the bottle  and becoming a loose cannon with his sawed off shotgun.. Co-written by Leo Gordon. Duryea's son Peter also appears. 

GO FOR IT aka NATI CON LA CAMICIA (1983) E. B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni) brings his cameras to Miami to film more madcap adventures of Terence Hill and ,Bud Spencer. Here they work with the C.I.A. in a spy spoof that includes thwarting a madman who plans to shoot down the space shuttle.

INTERNECINE PROJECT (1974) Ranking U. S. government official (James Coburn) in London determines that four of his associates have become liabilities to his career, and thus hatches a scheme to have them kill each other off.

Route 66 S03E13 'Where is Chick Lorimer, Where Has She Gone?' Overly dramatized srory of a bohemian lady (Vera Miles) remorseful for her sordid past. Tod (Martin Milner) falls for her. Buz is not in this ep.


David Deal enjoyed:







THE FOG (80)




Mildly Enjoyed



Bertrand van Wonterghem Enjoyed: 

Narcos – season 1 – episode 10 – season 2

The phantom speaks (1945, John English)

Gojira vs Kingu Gidora (1991, Kazuki Ohmori)

Mildly enjoyed:

Belmondo, le magnifique (doc) (2017, Bruno Sevaistre)

Hometown cha-cha-cha – season 1 – episodes 1 & 2
Bloodbath at the house of death (1983, Ray Cameron)

Did not enjoy:

I-man (1986, Corey Allen)

The guilty (2020, Antoine Fuqua)

Das Geheinis der chinesischen Nelke (1964, Rudolf Zehetgruber)

Family business – season 3 – episode 1


Angel Rivera Enjoyed:

"Red Sun"(1971)--"The First East-Meets-West Western"  starring Charles Bronson, one of the original "Magnificent Seven"(1960); Toshiro Mifune, one of the original "Seven Samurai" & "Yojimbo"(1961) [the source for "A Fistful of Dollars"(1964)]; Alain Delon, best known for "Rocco and His Brothers"(1960), "Le Samourai" (1967) & "Zorro"(1975),  Ursula Andress, the first silver screen Bond Girl from "Dr. No"(1962) and directed by Terence Young, the Director of "Dr. No"(1962), "From Russia With Love"(1963) & "Thunderball"(1965) .
I first saw this in the neighborhood theater back in 1972 when it premiered in the US and enjoyed it then and the other night when it was shown on TCM. The film has a lot of action, with some comic moments and some pathos.

"The Reluctant Astronaut" (1967), one of the films Don Knotts made under his contract with Universal Pictures in the 1960s after leaving the "Andy Griffith Show". I know for some, Don Knotts may be an acquired taste, but the film has one of the funniest visual gags I have ever seen. Knotts plays an apprentice janitor at NASA who is chosen as an ordinary Joe to ride in a US space capsule  as an attempt to out shine the Russians  in the Space Race of the 1960s. On reentry his capsule is supposed to  land in the ocean and then he would be picked up by a US aircraft carrier. But as the crew of the carrier is on the lookout for Knotts, his capsule lands on the carrier instead of the ocean, Unbeknownst to Knotts, he throws out the rubber raft and begins to row when after hearing the crowd on the carrier cheer, he realizes he is not in the ocean, but on the deck of the ship.

Mildly enjoyed:

"Impeachment: An American Crime Story (episodes 1 thru 5)
Clinton's impeachment trial and what led up to it as told thru the the point of view of Monica Lewinsky, as she also receives a producer credit on the limited series. While the series is somewhat interesting in terms of its depiction of historical events; the makeup for certain characters: such as: Clive Owens as Clinton just makes him look like someone in need of a nose job.


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