Friday, October 1, 2021

Week of October 2 - 8, 2021



To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which Italian actress worked with directors Daniele D'Anza, Peter R. Hunt, Giuliano Montaldo, Allen Baron, J. Lee Thompson and Duccio Tessari?
No one has answered this one yet.

Which American actor who appeared in Italian costume action films became a producer for Walt Disney Productions?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which American actor who made Italian Westerns played the brother on a TV series to the actor who became a producer for Walt Disney Productions?
No one has answered this question yet.

What film was Cameron Mitchell shooting in Almeria at about the same time Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone were making their first film together?
Bertrand van Wonterghem and Angel Rivera knew that it was PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Charles Gilbert asks, "Which film starring Gordon Scott featured narration spoken by Everett Sloane?"
Which German actor appeared in a Western made in Spain and another Western made in Croatia in 1964?
Which American actor had played college football for Louisiana State University?

Name the movies from which these images came.

Tony J. Williams identified last week's frame grab of Robert Woods and Fernando Sancho in LOS PISTOLEROS DE ARIZONA, aka $5,000 ON ONE ACE.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

Bertrand van Wonterghem and John Black identified last week's photo of Bella Cortez in IL GIGANTE DI METROPOLIS, aka THE GIANT OF METROPOLIS.
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?

No one has identified the above photo yet.
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:


Great Performances "Harold Prince" (2018) - This is a splendid overview of Prince's career and life in the theater, but there is no mention of the movies he made, nor is there a mention of Bob Fosse. Fosse's cruel caricature of Prince in ALL THAT JAZZ colors many people's perception of Prince, and it would have been interesting for there to have been some examination of their rivalry. Documentaries about Fosse all mention his successes with THE PAJAMA GAME and DAMN YANKEES - both produced by Prince. Prince helped to create the Broadway production of CABARET, so to have Fosse change it into the movie version must have troubling - especially since it was such a big success for Fosse. I've seen three stage productions directed by Harold Prince and wasn't satisfied with any of them, but there is no denying his importance.

The Melies Mystery (2021)

Paul Robeson The Tallest Tree In Our Forest (1977) - Director Gil Noble's documentary about the singer, actor and civil rights activist is fascinating. And it gives a nice mention of SONG OF FREEDOM, though they never mention that it was produced by Hammer Films.

Summer of Rockets (2019) - I'll watch just about anything featuring Keeley Hawes and I might add Lily Sacofsky to that list after seeing her in this. It is also always nice to see Claire Bloom. Reportedly writer/director Stephen Poliakoff based this 6 hour tv mini-series of invention, spies and traitors on incidents from his childhood, which makes me very curious about what happened to his older sister.

What if...? Ultron won (2021) - Beware a villain that can eat galaxies.

Mildly enjoyed:

His Dark Materials season one (2019) - I'll watch just about anything featuring Anne-Marie Duff, so I guess season two isn't as inviting. However, I'm really enjoying watching Dafne Keen and though I want to see Ruth Wilson's character dead, she's always a plus. That is my problem with season one. If you are going to create so many characters that the audience wants to see dead, and then end the season without any satisfaction,  it is hard to celebrate your show.

THE GOLDEN COMPASS (2007) - I had seen this years before I watched His Dark Materials season one and I did not find it upsetting, so I watched it again to understand why. Credit should be given to writer/director Chris Weitz for compressing the material into something under two hours long, but that reportedly was not his idea - New Line re-cut the film. But, by doing this, the anguish over the stolen children is so downplayed as to barely register. Also none of the Will Parry story was used and Billy Costa was not seen dying. The film ended three chapters short so that it would have an hopeful ending meaning I'll never see how they portrayed Lord Asriel's betrayal. I am hoping that Dakota Blue Richards soon gets a role to fulfill her promise shown here.

PSYCH-OUT (1968) - I'll watch just about anything with Susan Strasberg, but preferably something that doesn't try to fill 82 (let alone 101) minutes with a script that wouldn't fill an half hour TV slot. Produced by Dick Clark, this film might have been trying to honestly capture the San Francisco "Summer of Love" scene, but director Richard Rush couldn't resist every psychedelic movie cliche. Did cinematographer Laszloe Kovacs shoot this before or after EASY RIDER? The most interesting thing about watching this now is seeing future PRETTY WOMAN director Garry (misspelled Gary in the credits) Marshall playing a plainclothes detective, future CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE? director Henry Jaglom as "Warren", future KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS director John Cardos as a "Thug", future COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE director Robert Kelljan as "Arthur" not to mention future DRIVE HE SAID director Jack Nicholson as the male lead. Also in the cast are Bruce Dern wearing an horrible wig, Max Julien, Dean Stockwell, Adam Roarke and Linda G. Scott. 

WINNETOU 1. TEIL, aka APACHE GOLD (1963) - After DER SCHATZ IM SILBERSEE sold 10 million tickets at the West German box office, Rialto obviously wanted a follow - up. Director Harald Reinl returned, but without Karin Dor. Marie Versini was the female lead as Winnetou's sister.  The first movie had been based on the eighth published Karl May story about Winnetou, but as Lex Barker was set as Old Shatterhand, they didn't want to introduce Winnetou's first white brother, Old Firehand (published in 1878), to the film series yet, so they went to the origin story of the Winnetou - Old Shatterhand relationship. Now we got to see Sam Hawkins, played by Ralf Wolter, give our hero his nickname after witnessing him clobber a saloon full of ruffians. APACHE GOLD was my favorite German Western growing up, so seeing it again proved to be disappointing. Partly this may be because the U.S. release dropped a lot of Wolter's schtick and all of Chris Howland's stuff, so there was less of the unfunny comedy. But mostly because Winnetou was a bit of an asshole in this story, wiping out the town of Roswell as he was unable to tell the good whites from the bad. Also the trial by racing leaky canoes seemed a big much as was the ability to build railroad tracks in the night without any of the bad guys noticing. So was this from where the makers of JOE KIDD stole of the idea of a train plowing through a saloon? The film started with Barker as a "green horn" newly arrived from the east wearing an holster and pistol. Later he went into the trial by combat in normal clothes with his shirt neatly tucked into the waist of his pants. After he became Winnetou's blood brother, he got the buckskin outfit that was his trademark. He hadn't yet gotten the Henrystutzen, Henry carbine rifle, seen in DER SCHATZ IM SILBERSEE. Winnetou didn't get Silberbuchre, or Silver Gun, until his father was killed. It always seemed strange that American director Sam Peckinpah would cast German actor Mario Adorf as a Yankee sergeant in MAJOR DUNDEE, but he had already made four Westerns in Europe including this one. This was Walter Barnes first appearance in the Winnetou series. Naturally, the Apaches were mostly the good guys here, with the Kiowa as the natives in league with the bad guys. Was that why the Apache extras got better wigs then the Kiowa extras?  As in the first of the series, the villains sought a treasure of gold which the Indians have hidden, but this time there wasn't an escape tunnel already prepared. Here the villains tunnel through the floor of the saloon and across a field to reach the hut a distance away that had explosives. Does anyone know from where this film got the buffalo footage?

WINNETOU 2. TEIL, aka LAST OF THE RENEGADES, aka WINNETOU: THE RED GENTLEMAN (1964) - After being sidetracked by OLD SHATTERHAND, Lex Barker and Pierre Brice were back at Rialto Films, along with composer Martin Bottcher, cinematographer Ernst W. Kalinke, writer Harald G. Petersson, director Harald Reinl and even Karin Dor. Oddly, Ralf Wolter was absent, but one of his buddies traveled with Barker, though I didn't hear the buddy ever identified. (Was he that "Gunstick Uncle" played by Mirko Borman that appeared in the IMDb listings?) Our heroes were carrying the proper weapons from DER SCHATZ IM SILBERSEE, and Old Shatterhand's horse, Hatatitla, was even named. Unfortunately, this episode tried to get historical and, as usual when European Westerns try to quote U.S. history, the results were embarrassing. For example, how could this story take place during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln with no mention of the Civil War and with these post Civil War weapons? At least these white villains weren't going after Indian Gold. Here, like Guy Madison in OLD SHATTERHAND, Anthony Steel was after Indian land, but Steel's reason was Oil! Klaus Kinski played Steel's main henchman, who was more than willing to murder innocent women and children to stop peace from breaking out between white and red men. (On reflection, while never graphic, the amount of carnage in these stories was chilling.) Apache Chief Winnetou travels north to help make peace between Col. Renato Baldini and members of the Assiniboin, Ponca, Mandan, Pawnee, Chippewa, Osage, Sioux, Navajo, Schoschone, Crow and Dakota tribes. On the way, he saved Assiniboin Chief's daughter Karin Dor from a bear and Lt. Mario Girotti from being burned at the stake. Girotti took an instant fancy to Dor, but Dor fell in love with Winnetou. During the peace talks, Girotti suggested that his marriage to Dor would cement the peace between whites and reds, so our hero and his woman must part for the good of all. Meanwhile, Steel, Kinski and the bad guys massacre another wagon train of innocents in an attempt to start war. As expected, Reinl handles the action well, and even had the bad guys construct siege weapons against our heroes who were behind cover. And this was 16 years before HEAVEN'S GATE. Eddi Arent also returned from DER SCHATZ IM SILBERSEE again playing Lord Castlepool, who proved to be more useful to our heroes this time. You can't miss Gojko Mitic on the screen, even if he wasn't listed in the credits. The IMDb reported that Horst Frank was another uncredited performer, but I didn't see him. While this film did not have an escape tunnel, it did feature an huge cave with a secret exit and mysterious multi-colored lighting. 

UNTER GEIERN, aka AMONGST VULTURES, aka FRONTIER HELLCAT (1964) - Did Rialto producer Horst Wendlandt have a beef with star Lex Barker going off to begin making a series of films based on Karl May's Kara Ben Nemsi novels for CCC Film? Or did he just feel that the market demanded more Winnetou? In any case he activated a series featuring Winnetou's other white brother, Old Surehand, played by Stewart Granger. For this new series, Rialto brought in director Alfred Vohrer and writers Eberhard Keindorff and Johanna Sibelius, but kept composer Martin Bottcher. Perhaps to reassure old fans, many familiar faces from the previous films were brought back including Gotz George and Ilija Ivezic from DER SCHATZ IM SILBERSEE, Walter Barnes from OLD SHATTERHAND as well as Renato Baldini and Mario Girotti from WINNETOU 2. TEIL. Gojko Mitic, who had been in every Winnetou movie so far, got a major supporting role as the son of the Schoschone chief who became a leader after his father's murder. The big selling point for the U.S. market though was female lead Elke Sommer and she was a lot of fun. The IMDb believed that Sieghardt Rupp made this movie after going to Spain for PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI, and here he played the leader of the Vulture Gang. The Vulture Gang had an ambitious plan to not only rob the goldtrain in the care of Renato Baldini, but also to attack a wagon train headed to Arizona. When it became known that Sommer carried a fortune in the money belt around her waist, they wanted that too. The plan might have worked if Miha Baloh hadn't decided to prematurely attack Walter Barnes' ranch and try to blame the Schoschone. This alerted Winnetou and Old Surehand who had to undergo a Manitou lie detector test to win Mitic onto their side. Stewart Granger brought a light-hearted charm to his role which helped audiences to overlook how clumsy the script was. (Just how many times will George become a prisoner?) Walter Barnes commented on what a pleasant fellow Granger was off-set, but on-set he refused to allow director Vohrer to talk to him - everything had to go through assistant director Eva Ebner. Reportedly this was not unusual behavior for Granger who often did this with Hollywood directors. As Ralf Wolter went with Lex Barker to the CCC Films, Milan Srdoc arrived as Old Wabble to serve as comedy relief.

Did not enjoy:

OLD SHATTERHAND, aka APACHES' LAST BATTLE (1964) - As producer Horst Wendlandt of Rialto Film held the rights to the Karl May novels (though he reportedly used very little of that material), rival producer Artur Brauner of CCC Film had to come up with something "inspired" by the characters inorder to cash-in. One can only wonder at what sort-of contract Wendlandt had with Lex Barker and Pierre Brice that they were willing to work for a rival producer. Argentine born Hollywood director Hugo Fregonese was brought in to direct the production which had a bigger budget then the Rialto Films and was shot on 70mm film. Unfortunately, the script credited to Ladislas Fodor and R.A. Stemmle was filled with frustrating plot turns and scenes which felt like needless padding - such as two Apache dance numbers and a full song by saloon owner Kitty Mattern. As in WINNETOU 1. TEIL, an evil white guy murdered whites and put the blame on the Apaches. This time the villain, U.S. Army Captain Guy Madison, got help from Comanches, which led to a duel to the death between Winnetou and the Comanche chief. Madison enlisted the help of Corporal Gustavo Rojo, as well as outlaws Rik Battaglia and Mirko Ellis - all four of whom would go on to make Westerns in Spain.  As in WINNETOU 1. TEIL, Ralf Wolter traveled with his pals Dick Stone and Will Parker, but again those two didn't get to do much except find Sam Hawkins amusing. Reportedly, future film director Aristide Massaccesi played the role of Col. Hunter behind the credit of Jim Burke, but I don't believe it. Daliah Lavi was the female lead this time, and she survived the film, partly because her story line went nowhere. I don't know who doubled her for the nude swimming scene, but it seemed correct that she would be unshaven. While the Apaches lived in pueblos in WINNETOU 1. TEIL, here they lived in teepees, and the Croatian scenery wasn't nearly as spectacular, even with the phony cactus planted in view. Again Old Shatterhand didn't have the Henrystutzen from DER SCHATZ IM SILBERSEE. This time he usually used a Winchester rifle, but he often picked up a fallen pistol from a villain. Winnetou did have his Silberbuchre. Without tunnels and music by Martin Bottcher, this didn't seem like a Winnetou movie. Riz Ortolani did this job around the same time as the Spanish Western EL SABOR DE LA VENGANZA, and the music sounded similar. Reportedly Serbian actor Gojko Mitic was an Apache extra on this film. He would later star in a series of East German Westerns obviously inspired by the Winnetou films. 

LOS JAGUARES CONTRA EL INVASOR MISTERIOSO (1975) - A trio of beefy guys who ride motorcycles and wear jaguar masks with capes and tight short shorts are investigating synthetic diamonds and discover an extraterrestrial alien - who looks like a fellow wearing a Planet of the Apes mask - is behind the scheme. An highlight of the movie is when everyone shows up in a nightclub as the singer does a Spanish version of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly". A second highlight is when the villain is gunned down and the opening chords to Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" can be heard. Director Juan Manuel Herrera is mostly known as a cinematographer, but was unable to ensure that all of his camerawork was in focus.


David Deal enjoyed:




ANYTHING FOR JACKSON (20) - A couple takes Satanic steps to bring their dead grandson back to life and get more than they bargained for. Crisp, low-budget horror with plenty of atmosphere and dedication.

UNDER THE VOLCANO (21) - Documentary about George Martin's recording studio in Montserrat that was a happening place in the 1980s.


Mildly enjoyed:



SONJA THE WHITE SWAN (20) - Biopic on the famous skater that is interesting enough but skimps on character development and relationships that would give it weight.



Charles Gilbert watched:

BLOOD OF DRACULA (1957 B&W. Vampire in a girl's dormitory serves to round out AI's teenage monster rally. An ambitiously evil chemistry teacher (Louise Lewis) uses hypnotic powers derived from an ancient amulet to alter the personality of the school's new troubled student. Richard Devon atypically cuts a propitious role as a cop.

THE ENFORCER (1951) B&W. Bow-tied DA Martin  Ferguson  (Humphrey Bogart) works with police chief Roy Roberts in attempting to put away a gang leader named Mendoza (Everett Sloan) operating a 'murder for profit' ring. Story unfolds largely in layered flashback.With Ted de Corsia. Not nearly as good as THE ENFORCER 1976

IT'S A BIKINI WORlD (1967) Brian Walker on his Drive-in Theater website commemorates Tommy Kirk after the  Disney star's passing this week. Co-stars Deborah Walley.


Bertrand van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed: 

1998 Lock, stock and two smoking barrels (1998, Guy Ritchie)


Testa t'ammazzo... croce sei morto... mi chiamano Alleluja (1971, Anthony Ascott, aka Giuliano Carnimeo)

Star Trek – episode « a taste of Armageddon » (1967, Joseph Pevney)

The time tunnel – episode « crack of doom » (1966,William Hale)

4 for Texas (1963, Robert Aldrich)

Au service de la France - season 2 –episode 4

Mildly enjoyed

La casa de Papel – season 3 – episodes 2 to 8 – season 4 – season 5


Angel Rivera wrote:

Okay now I have a question. You say you watched "Treasure of Silver Lake" in German with English subtitles. At the beginning of the film when they introduce "Old Shatterhand" they give him a name. In the version I have which was the version released by Colombia here in the US, the name they say sounds like Charles Thayer or Sanger, I can't make it out because of the manner of speech of the narrator. In the subtitles do they give "Old Shatterhand" a name? (You say "Charles May", then are the names I think I heard made up for the English dub?)

[I can't speak for what the English dubbers intended, but the subtitles read Charles May. The Wikipedia page on Old Shatterhand also give that as his real name.]

Also as a Zorro aficionado I tried to have as many different versions as I could for my collection.
I watched the Family channel Zorro when it originally aired and had to pull out my VHS copy of the film of "Zorro; the Legend Begins" which aired on the Family channel as the introductory film for the series I recorded back in the 1990s.
Now you find that it does not have "a sense of European influence because even though it was filmed in Spain with a co-production deal with French  TV, the other co-producers were Americans. (New World the company founded by Roger Corman and former associates of Corman, Goodman-Rosen and the Family channel (formerly the Christian Broadcasting Network now owned by Disney and called Freeform). So even though it was filmed in Spain it had a crew from Spain, England and The United States.
The star was Canadian actor Duncan Regehr who had starred as Errol Flynn in a mini-series based on Flynn's autobiography and in the television  mini-series version of "The Last Days of Pompeii".  The female lead was Patrice Martinez (listed in the credits as Patrice Camhi) who had appeared in the Steve Martin comedy "The Three Amigos". Also on hand (for the first season only) was Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. of the American "FBI" series.
Now I had to rewatch the film to understand your review. I agree with some of what you said. While it is clearly patterned after the 1950s Disney series it had none of the charm nor nostalgia feel of the old series. And it looked like what it was-- a made for TV movie with American television sensibilities. But as a Zorro production in my opinion it is okay.
But I would like to mention a film I did watch on Netflix which I think was excellent. That was "Worth" starring Micheal Keaton about the 9/11 emergency fund. It is definitely worth (no pun intended) seeing.
I also caught "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death "(1989) on YouTube. Now the copy was obviously a poor copy that had been  uploaded from a TV print, but was still serviceable to watch. Now this film stars Shannon Tweed, Bill Maher, Adreinne Barbeau and Karen Mistal. While it tries very hard to be a satire of Indiana Jones and other macho type heroes, it also tries to be a satire of male and female roles. I mildly enjoyed it and recommend its viewing only as a curiosity piece.


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