Friday, October 29, 2021

Week of October 30 - November 5, 2021

 


 

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at scinema@earthlink.net.

Brain Teasers:

Which star of Italian Westerns had worked with New York lawyer Allen Klein before Klein became involved with The Rolling Stones?
Bertrand van Wonterghem and George Grimes knew that it was Tony Anthony.

Which "Italian Western" was actually intended to be a time travel adventure, but most audiences didn't understand that?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was GET MEAN

Which "Spaghetti Western expert" thought that the hero of UN DOLLARO TRA I DENTI was revealed as an "army spy" at the end of the film?
No one has named the expert.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Charles Gilbert asked "Which star of spaghetti westerns educated at Oregon State made a serious effort in the 70's to market a smoker product he labelled 'Death Cigarettes'?"
Charles Gilbert asked  "Which American actor frequently seen in spaghetti westerns appeared in episodes of 'I Dream of Jeannie'?"
Which Italian actress felt that appearing in a "Bond" film hurt her career?

Name the movies from which these images came.


George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Tony Anthony in GET MEAN.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?


George Grimes, Bertrand van Wonterghem, and Angel Rivera identified last week's frame grab of Luciana Paluzzi and Sylva Koscina in LE FATICHE DI ERCOLE, aka HERCULES.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?


George Grimes and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Sylva Koscina in director Federico Fellini GIULIETTA DEGLI SPIRITI, aka JULIET OF THE SPIRITS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?


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

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I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at scinema@earthlink.net if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:

Highly enjoyed:

Da Vinci's Inquest season one (1998)

Da Vinci's Inquest season two (1999)

Enjoyed: 

Hacks season one (2021) - I'll watch just about anything featuring Jane Adams. After these ten episodes, I might add Hannah Einbinder and Jean Smart to that list.

Mildly enjoyed:

LA BESTIA DEBE MORIR, aka THE BEAST MUST DIE (1952) - Probably the first film version of the Nicholas Blake novel, this Argentine film was beautifully photographed by Alberto Etchebehere and directed by Roman Vinoly Barreto. 

QUE LA BETE MEURE, aka THIS MAN MUST DIE (1969) - After watching LA BESTIA DEBE MORIR, I pulled this out for a rewatch. As much as I enjoy looking at Caroline Cellier, I found that I prefer the Argentine film in terms of how the story is told. Director Claude Chabrol seemingly couldn't resist a dialogue about modern writers, tossing the name of his frequent collaborator Paul Gegauff into the mix. He also cast fellow director Maurice Pialat as the police inspector.

UN BAISER S'IL VOUS PLAIT, aka SHALL WE KISS? (2007) - Imagine a French language Woody Allen film without the jokes. Julie Gayet is crossing a street in Nantes when she asks Michael Cohen if he knows where she can get a taxi. He ends up giving her a lift to her hotel, but then spends the evening with her over dinner and drinks. He wants to kiss her goodnight, but she says no. She then tells a long story explaining why she doesn't want to kiss him. Her friend, Virginie Ledoyen was happily married to Stefano Accorsi, but had a long time close friendship with Emmanuel Mouret (who was also the writer/director of this film). Mouret complained to Ledoyen that since his girlfriend left him, he became obsessed by not having physical contact with a woman. He tried a prostitute, but she wouldn't allow him to kiss her. Of course, Mouret asked Ledoyen for help. Neither character was smart enough to know that this would change their relationship, and I guess Mouret thought the audience would find their confusion funny. Eventually, they decided to live together, but what to do with Accorsi? They decided to set him up with Mouret's ex-girlfriend Frederique Bel, but their conspiracy was uncovered by Accorsi who was devistated. Ledoyen can't be happy with Mouret if Accorsi was unhappy, so their relationship fizzled. So after explaining the danger of a kiss, Gayet finally agrees to give Cohen a goodbye kiss, provided that they don't acknowledge how it feels. He finally leaves her but it is obvious that the kiss meant a lot to both of them. Fans of Franz Schubert may enjoy the non stop classical music, with also includes pieces by Antonin Dvorak, Giuseppe Verdi and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Students of human behavior may accuse Mouret of thinking viewers are stupid. Viewers who enjoy looking at skinny attractive women will find something of value.

Uncnsrd: Jeezy (2021)

Did not enjoy:

GRAVE, aka RAW (2016) - It took at least 20 production groups, not to mention a number of tax incentive organizations, to make this flick and I can't begin to understand why they would agree to participate. Were they all fans of WTF stories? Perhaps they felt that since the project was written and directed by a woman, Julia Ducournau, that they should support it because it said something new about the female experience. The movie starts with a young woman causing an automobile accident in the country. Later on, it turns out that this was caused by Alexia, played by Ella Rumpf. She is the older sister to Justine, played by Garance Marillier, who is joining her sister as a student at a veterinary school. Both Alexia and Justine were raised by their parents to be vegetarians, but as part of the hazing ritual for new students, both young women were forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys. It turns out that their parents had originally met at the same school, and had probably unwent the same hazing ritual. If this is an accurate portrait of how veterinary schools are run in France, they should immediately be shut down. Anyway, the taste of raw meat awakens in Justine feelings that she doesn't understand. Alexia has already accepted these new sensations and promises to teach her younger sister. While waxing Justine's public hair, Alexia accidentally cuts off part of a finger. Alexia faints, the emergency people on the phone recommend that Justine put the amputated appendage in ice, but the younger sister finds herself chewing on it. Leaving the hospital, Alexia takes Justine out to the countryside and causes another automobile accident. To Justine's horror, Alexia then feeds on the passenger's head wound. Does Justine report Alexia's extraordinary action? No. Does the accident have any impact on the plot of the movie? No. After taking a bite out of another student's lip during a make-out party, Justine decides to jump on her gay male room mate, played by Rabah Nait Oufella to lose her virginity. He prevents her from biting him, so she bites her own arm, getting it to bleed, which seems to satisfy her. At another party, Justine gets plastered, and Alexia pulls her away into an human morgue. The next day, Justine is shunned by her classmates, and it isn't until her room mate forces her into a restroom to show her what's on the internet that she understands why. Most everyone at the party witnessed Alexia waving the arm of a dead man infront of Justine, bating her to bite it. Furious, Justine attacks Alexia infront of most of the school, where the older sister bites a chunk out of the younger sister's face. Later, when they've calmed down, Justine has Alexia spend the night in her room, while Justine sleeps with her room mate. When Justine awakens to find the room mate dead and much of his leg devoured, she fears that she did it. It isn't until she finds her sister in the corner covered in blood that she realizes that Alexia did it. With her parents, Justine visits the imprisoned Alexia. Afterwards, at home, the father informs Justine that their meat problem was inherited from their mother, and he has the scars to prove it. He feels that Justine will be able to find a solution to the problem. Huh? If the parents knew they had a dangerous malady, why didn't they try to find a solution before they had children? What kind of insanity caused this to have a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and be designated as getting "univeral acclaim" on Metacritic? 

NORWOOD (1970) - After the success of TRUE GRIT, producer Hal Wallis seemed to think that he could plug Glen Campbell into something like an Elvis Presley musical, and the road trip novel by Charles Portis would be the perfect vehicle. As Portis wrote the novel on which TRUE GRIT was based, Wallis also hired the GRIT screenwriter Marguerite Roberts to adapt it. Kim Darby was appealing in GRIT, so why not add her to the mix. Well, NORWOOD was not at all like TRUE GRIT, and director Jack Haley Jr. could not turn it into something entertaining. Song writer Mac Davis failed to deliver even one memorable tune.

RACHIDA (2002) - Algerian writer/director Yamina Bachir's film is about a modern young woman, played by Ibtissem Djouadi, who works as a teacher. Suddenly, a group of young men, including a former student, stop her on the way to school and demand that she carries a bomb into the school. When she refuses, they shoot her in the street. Luckily, neighbors come to her aid and she recovers at the hospital. With her mother, Djouadi moves to a small village to recuperate. Expressing her terror to venture outside, Djouadi is told by her mother of her own feeling of being beaten down as she got older. The mother expresses this in an old song, "If I told you of my disappointments I'd fill a thousand books. If I told you of my sorrows the mountains would roar. If I told you of my grief the sea would break into a storm. If I told you of my sadness the mute would find their voices." Living in the small village proves to be no sanctuary, as terrorists make periodic raids. Djouadi mourns how this is affecting the children, and relishes her appointment as the new teacher. Preparations for a wedding spurs the village to hope for the future, but, of course, terrorists attack the town looking to kidnap women and murder any man who tries to stop them. As the dead are buried, Djouadi refuses to give into her grief and assembles the children for another day in the classroom. 

SHENG SI JIE, aka STOLEN LIFE (2005) - Director Li Shaohong is considered China's most respected female film director, and this movie has been honored with many awards. Zhou Xun plays a young woman who was sent away by her mother to be raised by her grandmother in Beijing, so it is not surprising that she feels alienated and alone. With money sent by her absent mother, Xun is accepted into college, so a bright future seems possible. Unfortunately, she meets delivery boy Wu Jun who seduces her and gets her pregnant. Forced to drop out of school, Xun discovers that her mother has given Jun money if he promises to put the new baby up for adoption. After her child is gone, Xun finds out that Jun has been given money from adoption agencies and that he's fathered many children that he has sold for adoption. Deciding not to murder Jun, Xun feels that she has finally grown up and feel that there is hope for the future. However, after she sees that Jun has gotten another young woman pregnant, Xun can't help but ask the adoption agency to tell her if her lost child in happy with the new family. 

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Charles Gilbert watched:

DAY OF ANGER (1967) Fast gun Frank Talby (Lee Van Cleef) back in the town of Clifton to settle a score takes a greenhorn hayseed named Scott (Guiliano Gemna) under his wings. The lessons learned come in handy when they turn on each other in the finale.

Mayday: China Air Lines Flight 611. Depiction of 2002 disentegration of a 747 leaving Taiwan with 225 passengers. A neglected tailstrike damage 22 years earlier proves to be the cause of structure failure.

Mayday Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland. 1988 crash kills all on board plus 11 on the ground a few days before Christmas. A briefcase bomb in the cargo hold detonates by timer in flight. Among the dead is the son of actor David White.

Route 66 "You Never Had It So Good". (1962) B&W. Buz Murdock (George Maharis) wants to court Terry Prentiss (Patricia Barry) so he applies for and wins a corporate position at an architectural firm she created to be near her. Her boss (Peter Graves) loves her too.

MIAMI SUPERCOPS (1985) Hill and Spencer again making a movie while touring Miami. They spend as much time out of uniform investigating a cold case heist that occurred in Detroit 22 years prior that had impelled them to resign.

FISTFUL OF LEAD aka SARTANA'S HERE, TRADE YER PISTOL FOR A COFFIN (1970) Uruguayan-born George Hilton plays Sartana assigned to prevent thefts of gold shipments. Nello Pazzafini gets a substantial role as a bandit.

HOLYWATER JOE (1971) Tongue-in-cheek oater with title character (Lincoln Tate) paid to retrieve Confederate army deserter Charlie Bennet (Richard Harrison in a rapscallion role) for court-martial. He's remanded to salty Colonel Jeff Donovan (Ty Hardin) who has some unscrupulous plans to use a army-issue cannon on a bank.

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David Deal enjoyed:

SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (73) - See the Television Fright Films of the 1970s book for a full review of this silly shocker.

ATOM AGE VAMPIRE (60)

THE HUNTER WILL GET YOU (76) - Manhunter Jean-Paul Belmondo, who is frequently hired by the cops under the table to set up hard-to-catch criminals, is now after one of the country's most brutal, mysterious criminals, Bruno Cremer. Gritty crime film could use a bit more action but is still rewarding viewing for the star's charisma and the time capsule aspect.

THE CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND (67)

THE VAMPIRE BAT (32)

SATAN'S SLAVE (76) - First time watching the Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray.  Looks good!

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Bertrand van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed: 

Invincible – season 1 – episode 1

Enjoyed:

Houdini and Doyle (2016) - episodes 8 to 10

Au service de la France – season 2 – episodes 5 to 7

Mildly enjoyed:

Boku dake ga inai machi / Erased (2017) – season 1 – episodes 2 to 6

The big valley – episode « Palms of glory » (1965, William A. Graham)

Bury me dead (1947, Bernard Vorhaus)

Did not enjoy:

Gojira vs Mosura (1992, Takao Ogawara)

La revanche des mortes vivantes (1987, Pierre B. Reinhard)

8 rue de l’humanit√© (2020, Dany Boon)

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Angel Rivera wrote:

"Sierra", an Audie Murphy movie from 1950 which featured Murphy and Dean Jagger as son and father who is wanted for a murder he did not commit and they are helped to clear his name by a woman lawyer played by Wanda Hendrix, who was married at the time to Murphy, but who was separated from him before the film premiered. Other cast members were: Burl Ives, who sings a lullaby which is used to help Murphy escape from jail; Tony Curtis (here listed as "Anthony Curtis" in the credits) and James Arness, Matt Dillon of TV's "Gunsmoke" fame (also a year before he played "The Thing from Another World") and Elliot Reid who would gone on to play Jane Russell's love interest in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". Other well known faces from the fifties are also seen in  the film.

"The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold" (1958) the second of two feature films based on the popular fifties TV series with a story of our two heroes coming to the aid  of Native Americans who are being murdered by hooded outlaws for the silver necklaces they wear which turn out to be pieces of a map which will lead to the "Seven Cities of Gold" of legend. The last piece is worn by a doctor whom only a maiden in love with him knows that he has Native American blood in him as it turns out he is the grandson of the chief of the tribe. This film would fall under what would be termed "an Indian western" as there is an attempt to show the prejudice Native Americans faced  and show them as something other than savages. The film has a happy ending as the villains are foiled and the Lone Ranger and Tonto help the Doctor and his bride use the the map to find gold on the tribe's land before they make their exit with a "Hi-Yo, Sliver."

"Crossed Swords" aka "Il Maestro di Don Giovanni", a 1954 film starring Errol Flynn. The film was made on location in Italy and it was obvious that  the Italian producers of the film hoped to benefit from Flynn's last successful swash-buckler "The Adventures of Don Juan" as no one in the film is known as "Don Juan". His co-stars are: Cesare Danova; Gina Lollabrigida; and Nadia Gray. As the villain, Roldano Lupi. The plot has Flynn with Danova as his "partner in crime" traveling the countryside romancing maidens and fighting with their over protective male relatives before Danova has to settle down to take over the responsibilities that he will inherit when his father, the Duke retires. Danova's sister,Lollabrigida has had an on-again-off-again relationship with Flynn. Lupi who wants to take over the dukedom, in order to get Flynn out of the picture has the Duke proclaim a law that any male who does not get married is to be banished from the duchy. The catch is that any male who does not hear the edict will be able to avoid the law. So we have a lot of scenes where Flynn is jumping out of windows to avoid hearing about law from the town crier. Lupi thinks he has gotten Flynn out of the way, but eventually Flynn leads the towns men against Lupi and his followers and kills Lupi in a duel. He ends up with Lollabrigida who pretends not to want to marry him before Flynn grabs her and the film ends with the two in a passionate kiss. Silly, but I am a sucker for a happy ending.

The Movies.TV network was showing a lot of movies with a Halloween spirit. I was only able to catch one, "Frankenstein meets the Space Monster" from 1965 starring "Mr. Pathmark" himself James Karen. The plot has aliens kidnapping Earth women for mating purposes. Karen has created an android they call "Frank" (played by a little known actor named Robert Reilly) who after he is disfigured by a ray gun and made to look more monstrous, fights and destroys a "space monster" brought by the aliens to help with their invasion. Frank destroys the alien ship as he sacrifices himself. Karen and his lady (Nancy Marshall) take a triumphant motorbike ride along the scenic road of one of the locations where the film was shot. This film was partially filmed in Florida and also the land of my ancestors and my parents, Puerto Rico, where that last scene was shot. (I was born in what was termed in a play I saw about the life of Hector Lavoe, the great salsa singer as "the largest city of Puerto Rico, "Nueva York" (New York City, lol!).

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