I saw seven films for the first time last week.
"The Bed Sitting Room" (1969)--Richard Lester comedy of London after WW III is intermittently amusing, occasionally "laugh out loud" funny. But too often the film is just unfunny; the atmosphere, the situation, and the dogged insistence of the characters refusing to admit anything wrong about their attitudes becomes infuriating. It kills the impulse to laugh. Points are scored off organized Religion and Mao. The best line has to do with Charlton Heston wrestling the Pope on BBC television. Marty Feldman, Dudley Moore, and Peter Cook are the most consistently funny performers in the film. Found on YouTube.
"War Gods of the Deep" (1965)--Jacques Tourneur's final film stars Vincent Price, Tab Hunter, and David Tomlinson in an AIP adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "City Under the Sea". Price does the narration and the mountains of exposition the script gives him. Hunter and Tomlinson are acceptable horror film good guys. Film is an odd mix of horror and absurdist humor (Tomlinson worries about a pet rooster all film long). Good cinematography, good to so-so acting, and source material a muddled script can't destroy makes for a film worth seeing. Saw on YT.
"The Big Store" (1941)--Lesser Marx Bros. MGM film doesn't have the stranglehold of Plot that destroyed The Bros. spontaneity in"Go West" (1940) , and so one liners are scattered through the script. Virginia O'Brien has a good number, a Swing version of "Rockabye Baby", and she and Groucho do a fast Jitterbug. The silent comedy influenced finale is memorable, as a store is demolished by The Bros. on roller skates. Film is better than its' reputation.
"The Rains of Ranchipur" (1955)--Starring Lana Turner, Richard Burton, and Oscar nominated Special Effects. Talky remake of "The Rains Came" (1939) has Turner as the predatory Lady Esketh, who uses and then discards men like Kleenex, and Burton as the saintly Dr. Safti, who is torn between his love for Turner and India. All this is merely an excuse for Turner to model her Helen Rose wardrobe, throw off occasional waspish remarks, and watch Burton's impression of a robot. Finally, the earthquake/flood hits--and it's worth waiting for. Impressively well done, with state of the art Special Effects, sequence conclusively proves Twentieth-Century Foxs' need for waterproof makeup (watch Burton's makeup disappear, never to return--except for copious amounts of mascara). Entertaining watch, if only to see the predecessor of some of the set-pieces from "Earthquake" (1974). Found on archivedotorg.
"Dragonwyck" (1946)--Mankiewicz Gothic starring Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in 1840's New York. Film is overlong but literate, and the secret had to be less detailed than in Anya Seton's novel, but film is entertaining nonetheless. Tierney and Price do justice to their roles; Spring Byington adds a memorable cameo as Magda. An ok watch. Saw on YT.
"Blood From The Mummy's Tomb" (1971)--Hammer Gothic about the desecration of a Cursed Egyptian princess's tomb. Each member of the archaeological expedition takes an object from the tomb. The daughter of the leader is subsequently possessed by the spirit of the princess, and tries to get the objects back for eternal life. Film is very good. Saw on YT.
"Son of Paleface" (1952)--Frank Tashlin directed sequel to "The Paleface" (1948), reteaming Bob Hope and Jane Russell, and adding Roy Rogers and Trigger to the mix. Hope is the even more obnoxious son, who's gone West to collect his fathers' fortune--which he finds is nonexistent. Russell is the lady bandit, Torch, and Rogers is the Federal man. Trigger gets some of the best gags; the scene with Trigger and Hope in bed together is a classic of sorts. Watch Hope's pipe when Russell caresses him during her song "What a Night For a Wingding". Film repeatedly takes accurate aim at The Code, with verbal and sight gags. Tashlin's tendency to use women as cartoon figures is shown in this early film, and Russell goes along with his parody of her image as a sex kitten. Watch for cameo appearances. Very enjoyable film.
Favorite--Son of Paleface (1952).
Least consistent--The Big Store (1941).