nightwalker

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  1. nightwalker

    COLOR ME UNHAPPY WITH PROGRAMMING

    Although I do have a nice copy of Sea Spoilers. I also would come down on the side of not pre-empting scheduled films when a star dies.
  2. nightwalker

    Philo Vance, man of a thousand faces...

    Thanks, TopBilled. My understanding is that when Wright died, he left behind a novella that was indeed intended as a vehicle for Sonja Henie, however, that novella was The Winter Murder Case, which, while available, I haven't read. I'm not aware, though, of any connection between it and Sun Valley Serenade, and IMDB, while listing seven writers in connection with SVS, does not include Wright among them. Still, stranger things have happened... Edited by: nightwalker on Feb 1, 2014 11:53 AM to correct the number of writers involved with Sun Valley Serenade!
  3. nightwalker

    Philo Vance, man of a thousand faces...

    Thank you for your kind comments, one and all. I agree with you, willbefree25, when you say "Even a bad day of Vance pictures is better than a day of very bad post-1960 films on TCM."
  4. nightwalker

    Philo Vance, man of a thousand faces...

    Thanks. There's also a Spanish language version of The Benson Murder Case from 1930 with Ramon Pereda as Vance and, interestingly, an Italian miniseries in 1974!
  5. nightwalker

    Philo Vance, man of a thousand faces...

    Here's a little something I once posted on another forum in answer to the same question (as to why there were so many different Philo Vances): The answer to your question about why so many different actors portrayed Philo Vance lies, among other things, in the fact that the movies were produced at differing studios. The first Vance pictures to be produced were 1929's THE CANARY MURDER CASE, 1930's THE GREENE MURDER CASE, and THE BENSON MURDER CASE, all by Paramount and starring William Powell (and Eugene Pallette as Sgt. Heath). Between GREENE and BENSON, MGM, which had acquired from S.S. Van Dine, the author (actually Willard Wright) the rights to THE BISHOP MURDER CASE, rushed it into production to compete with and to cash in on the successful and popular Paramount efforts with Powell. Their picture starred Basil Rathbone, who was known at that point in his career primarily for playing heavies. Although he was adequate in the part, he did little to make it "his own" as he would with Sherlock Holmes some nine years later. In the meantime, Warners conducted a raid on some Paramount personnel, luring many of their top players, including William Powell, into their fold. As a result, when they acquired from Wright the rights to THE KENNEL MURDER CASE in 1933, it was a foregone conclusion that Powell would repeat the role. Unfortunately, although a very good film, Warners felt that the picture did not do well enough at the box office to justify Powell's salary demands, so when MGM expressed an interest in hiring him away from them, they let him go. This left Warners with the rights to THE DRAGON MURDER CASE in 1934 and no lead actor to play the part, so they determined on Warren William, who acquitted himself quite well in the role. Unfortunately for Warners, MGM acquired the rights to the next two available Vance novels, THE CASINO MURDER CASE (1935) and THE GARDEN MURDER CASE (1936). Because the studio wanted to keep William Powell identified with the Thin Man, they were not interested in having him continue as Philo Vance, so they called on Paul Lukas for CASINO (who's not bad if you can get past his accent) and Edmund Lowe for GARDEN (who's also not bad, but lacks the sophistication that Powell and William brought to the part). In 1937, Paramount chose to remake THE GREENE MURDER CASE as a B-mystery with Grant Richards and called it NIGHT OF MYSTERY. The picture did little for anyone connected with it and remains unseen today. In 1938, Paramount expressed interest to Wright in a new Vance picture in which he would be co-starred with Gracie Allen. Wright published a novelization based on the screenplay, but did not live to see the picture, which was called THE GRACIE ALLEN MURDER CASE and was released in 1939. Warren William, who was freelancing at the time, was signed to return to the part of Vance. The level of humor in this film can be judged from the fact that Allen continually refers to him as "Fido." I enjoy the Burns & Allen TV show, but solo, a little of Allen goes a long way for me. In addition, the character of Vance does not even appear until 30 minutes into the 76 minute film! In 1940, Warners chose to remake and update THE KENNEL MURDER CASE as CALLING PHILO VANCE, starring James Stephenson as a somewhat sinister Vance. The film was, in some instances, almost a scene-for-scene remake and wasn't bad, but it was the end of Vance as the character was conceived and written. In 1947, poverty row studio PRC turned out three not bad low-budget Vance films: PHILO VANCE RETURNS with William Wright, and PHILO VANCE'S GAMBLE and PHILO VANCE'S SECRET MISSION, both starring Alan Curtis as Vance. Although enjoyable little B pictures, Vance no longer resembled Wright's creation. Instead, he was a wise-cracking private detective. And that ended Philo Vance's big screen career.
  6. nightwalker

    The "Dull" World

    I never thought it was all that bad, but the fact that it ends before any dinosaurs get to run amuck in London (as in the 1925 original) was a bit of a disappointment. I also have always thought that Jill St. John should have won some kind of award for the phoniest "movie-fall" ever when she and David Hedison are being pursued by dinosaurs.
  7. nightwalker

    Classic Films on tv screens in movies

    In Summer of '42 (1971), the opening sequence has the three young protagonists watching Now, Voyager (1942) in a movie house, although that film actually was not released until October of 1942. And in Weird Science (1985), the two teenagers who "create" Kelly LeBrock have the 1931 Frankenstein on television at the time.
  8. The OP noted a couple of Johnson's sci-fi credits from the fifties: Attack of the Crab Monsters and It Came From Outer Space, but the one you're probably thinking of is This Island Earth from 1955. This film was given the MST3K treatment in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie from 1996.
  9. nightwalker

    Please help ID this movie.

    This sounds like Unconquered, 1947, with Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard.
  10. nightwalker

    THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES

    Yes, although it's slow in spots I like it and feel it's miles ahead of many of the films it inspired/influenced in terms of shock value. The nightmare scene could serve as a primer on how to be scary without being gory.
  11. nightwalker

    Cinema's Great Military Scroungers

    Good choices, all. I'd also mention Jim Hutton in The Green Berets.
  12. nightwalker

    Dracula spoof title sought

    I believe the film you're looking for is from 1976 and it exists in two versions. The one you probably saw is the American re-edit entitled Dracula and Son. The original is in French and is titled Dracula Pere et Fils. The French version is generally held to be the superior of the two, but since I haven't seen it, I can't comment on that. The film stars Christopher Lee and has sequences which seem to match what you have described
  13. nightwalker

    trying to find movie title

    It's probably The Magic Face, from 1951, with Luther Adler.
  14. nightwalker

    can you name this film??

    Except for the time frame in which you saw it, the film you're describing sounds like *The Vulture* from 1967, starring Robert Hutton and Akim Tamiroff as the winged one, however, in that film, the man with canes has mingled his atoms with those of a vulture, not a bat. Edited by: nightwalker on May 17, 2013 11:07 AM to add more info
  15. nightwalker

    Ten Commandments

    > {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}Yeah, you'd think the sea floor would be a bit muddy. Guess God took care of that........ From Exodus 14: ^21^ Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, ^22^ and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

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