I saw seven movies for the first or second time last week:
"Carry On Cowboy" (1966)--Elaborate spoof goes after the western genre. There are scenes lifted from "High Noon", "Johnny Guitar", "The Harvey Girls", and many others. The Indian attack is one of the highlights of the movie. Scattershot satire hits the target more often than it misses. Read the signs. The running gags with the undertaker and "firewater" are notable. I could list the movies parodied, which made the movie even funnier. Enjoyable watch.
"Dracula Has Risen From The Grave" (1968)--Despite a good beginning and a spectacular ending, film seems stuck in a rut. The music score sounds a rehash of the scores from previous Hammer Dracula films, the plot is predictable, the special effects range from just ok to excellent, the screenplay is a paint-by-numbers job. Only Christopher Lee as Dracula and Barbara Ewing as a tavern maid excel acting wise. Film isn't Bad, just disappointing.
"Two-Way Stretch" (1960)--Peter Sellers and company plan and execute a heist; the fact that they're incarcerated is the perfect alibi. Obstacles put in their way are entertainingly disposed of. Very funny movie.
"Pardon Us" (1931)--Laurel & Hardy feature gets off to a promising start, then fizzles after the first thirty minutes. The collision of jail and L & H's whimsical universe don't mesh well. Hardy gets to sing, and shows off a fine tenor voice. OK time passer, but not worth staying up for.
"Autumn Leaves" (1956)--Joan Crawford stars in this uneasy mix of soap opera and thriller about a spinster who Finally finds Love in the form of Cliff Robertson--or is she just a "neurotic need"? Dialogue is sprinkled with howlers: "Isn't it strange how that wonderful song reminds you of chicken salad" "Are you sure you're seeing live girls?". Movies' theme song is sung by Nat King Cole, and is very listenable. Film is worth one watch.
"The Howling II: Stirba, Werewolf ****" (1985)--Sequel to "The Howling" (1981) stars Christopher Lee and Sybil Danning as the only professionals in the cast. The transformation scenes are fairly well done; the rest of the special effects are cheap to laughable. Lee and Danning somehow keep from laughing. The soundtrack is ok. In case any viewer missed it, the most memorable shot in the film is repeated in the credits--17 times.
"While The City Sleeps" (1956)--Good Fritz Lang thriller has Dana Andrews, Ida Lupino, Vincent Price, etc on the trail of a serial killer (John Barrymore Jr.). The interaction between the newspaper staff is more interesting than the manhunt. Film is very worth a watch.
Most Favorite--"Two Way Stretch" (1960).
Least Favorite--"Autumn Leaves" (1956).