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I Just Watched...

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Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986) - 7/10 - Part 3 in the Shaolin Temple series of films starring a young Jet Li. In this outing, he and his fellow temple novice friend assist in trying to assassinate an evil ruler. The plot is secondary to awkward comedy scenes (Jet Li in drag!) and many kung fu battles. Jet shows how he earned his stage name with the almost inhuman speed in which he performs his acrobatic martial arts style. Action fans will enjoy this one. From the Shaw Brothers.

 

 

First time watched.     Source: DVD.

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The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1986) - 6/10 - Competent if not very exciting TV adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe tale. George C. Scott stars as a retired French police detective who is coaxed out of his doldrums to solve a mysterious and brutal series of murders. Co-starring Rebecca DeMornay as his daughter, Val Kilmer as his visiting godson, and Ian McShane as the combative head of police. There's good costume work, and a few nice exterior shots, but the limited budget constrains a bit, and the story resolution is as silly as it always is. All in all, though, it's passable, and will appeal to fans of the lead performers. Produced by Robert Halmi.

 

 

First time watched.    Source: DVD.

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BROKEN LANCE 1954 is a western starring Spencer Tracy as the patriarch rancher with four sons. The three sons from Spencer`s first marriage are Richard Widmark, Hugh O`Brian and Earl Holliman. When his first wife dies, Spencer marries Katy Jurado a Native American. They have a twenty five year marriage including Spencer`s youngest son Robert Wagner.

 

The three older sons are a disappointment to Spencer, and the eldest Richard hates his father and youngest brother.Spencer rules his ranch with a iron fist, and he uses a whip with authority. Many cattle on the ranch have died because the creek water was poisoned by a copper mine. Spencer  hrides to the mine with his four sons, and he destroys the equipment injuring some of the miners in the process.

 

The law comes down hard, and somebody will have to serve jail time. Robert Wagner knows that his father would die in prison, so he serves the three year prison term. Richard Widmark refuses to go, and Hugh - Earl are weaklings. Robert is released, and there are still problems on the homefront. Richard is angry and defiant saying he worked sixteen hours a day since he was ten years old. Spencer suffers a stroke after a nasty fight with Richard.Spencer signs over the ranch to each of his sons.

 

Richard does not feel that he has been paid enough, and he begins to sell his section of the ranch to oilmen. While going into town to complete the deal, Spencer with help gets on his horse to stop him.before he completes the contract. He catches up toRichard and his other two sons, but he has already died while still on his horse.

 

Robert comes after his brother, and they engage in a shootout. Robert finally gets away by diving into a river. Richard is still intent on shooting his youngest brother,but a Indian ranchhand Two Moons kills Richard.

 

Spencer is excellent as Matt Devereaux, and his scenes with Richard Widmark are especially well done. There arguments as father and eldest son are convincing.

 

BROKEN LANCE was the first film Spencer did after leaving MGM.The film is available free to AMAZON PRIME members.

 

 

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Part 3 in the Shaolin Temple series of films starring a young Jet Li. In this outing, he and his fellow temple novice friend assist in trying to assassinate an evil ruler. The plot is secondary to awkward comedy scenes (Jet Li in drag!) and many kung fu battles.

But no number in which the Shaolin Temple sings "On the Good Ship Lollipop". :(
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Broken Lance is a remake of House of Strangers, set in contemporary (ie. late 1940s) New York with Susan Hayward and Edward G. Robinson (in the Spencer Tracy role) among others. Have you seen that one? Both films are pretty good, although I haven't seen either in a while.
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BROKEN LANCE 1954 is a western starring Spencer Tracy as the patriarch rancher with four sons. The three sons from Spencer`s first marriage are Richard Widmark, Hugh O`Brian and Earl Holliman. When his first wife dies, Spencer marries Katy Jurado a Native American. They have a twenty five year marriage including Spencer`s youngest son Robert Wagner.

 

Katy Jurado was a Mexican-born actress and one of the Five Wives of Ernest of Borgnine.

 

She got an Oscar nomination for BROKEN LANCE in 1954, for Best Supporting Actress- this was on the heels of a small furor that arose in 1952 when she did not get a nomination for her part in HIGH NOON, a furor which- to me- seems kind of silly because the last time I watched HIGH NOON I was laughing out loud at how ridiculous she is in the role.

 

was she good in BROKEN LANCE?

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Katy Jurado was a Mexican-born actress and one of the Five Wives of Ernest of Borgnine.

 

She got an Oscar nomination for BROKEN LANCE in 1954, for Best Supporting Actress- this was on the heels of a small furor that arose in 1952 when she did not get a nomination for her part in HIGH NOON, a furor which- to me- seems kind of silly because the last time I watched HIGH NOON I was laughing out loud at how ridiculous she is in the role.

 

was she good in BROKEN LANCE?

Yes, she was good in Broken lance.   Broken Lance had a wonderful cast.

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My Chauffeur (1986) - 5/10 - Light weight comedy from Crown International about a kooky female limo driver (Deborah Foreman) and the chaos she leaves in her wake. Co-starring Sam "Flash Gordon" Jones, E.G. Marshall, Sean McClory, Howard Hesseman, Julius Harris, and "introducing Penn & Teller." Dopey fluff with all the substance of a soap bubble.

 

 

First time watched.    Source: DVD.

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Kronos (1957)  -  sci-fi

 

Morris Ankrum is featured - he's in too many of these films,

so if you happen to see this guy on the street, run for your life.

 

*  *  *  *  *

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Morris Ankrum is featured - he's in too many of these films,

so if you happen to see this guy on the street, run for your life.

 

:lol:

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Yes, she was good in Broken lance. Broken Lance had a wonderful cast.

Thank you.

Ive only seen her in HIGH NOON and she is almost camp in that one.

Im just glad she survived the marriage to Borgnine.

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Yes, she was good in Broken lance.   Broken Lance had a wonderful cast.

Mentioning the name, Katy Jurado always reminds me of this story. 

 

I think it might have been Jack Paar who said he was walking past some stores and at one, there was a sign on the window offering classes in "Judo Karate" and he said the person with him commented, "Wasn't that who was married to Ernest Borgnine at one time?"

I thought you might enjoy that one, Columbo Fan!

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The Naked Cage (1986) - 6/10 - Better-than-average women-in-prison flick from the Cannon Group. After a bank teller is mistakenly thought to be part of a violent hold-up, she is sent to the Big House, where many of the standard WIP events and characters appear : fights between inmates, crooked guards, and an uncaring warden. The acting and script are slightly better than what's usually presented in these movies. Starring Shari Shattuck, Angel Tompkins, Lucinda Crosby, Stacey Shaffer, and Christina Whitaker.

 

 

First time watched.     Source: DVD.

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High School Hellcats (1958) Daddykins spends most of his waking

hours with his nose buried in a newspaper, ******** and moaning

about nothing in particular, and using a suspicious amount of

time commenting on his daughter's lipstick color and states of

undress. Mama likes to play bridge and then come home to

prepare her culinary specialty, Swanson's Turkey Roll with

Assorted Vegetables and Asparagus Upside Down Cake TV

dinner. Is it any wonder only child Joyce is drawn to the local

high school girl group, the Hellcats. It's a club, not a gang.

The Hellcats specialize in such deep criminal depravities as

smoking, drinking, wearing slacks, and shoplifting $1.98 earrings

from the local five and dime. Ma Barkers they ain't. Joyce

meets a straight arrow young man working his way through

college. He is so nice he makes no attempt to get inside

Joyce's pants. Or he could be a closet case. The Hellcats are

always led by the girl with the biggest boobs, in this case

Connie. Being so top heavy, Connie tips over and falls down

the cellar stairs at a "wild" party. All Hellcat breaks loose.

We eventually find out that Connie didn't accidentally fall

down those stairs, but was pushed down them by her

second in command, Lezie. With all the tsuris finally over,

Joyce realizes she was existentially alienated from herself

and comes to grips that she has to go her own way. A

sadder but wiser teen, she resigns from the Hellcats,

and returns home to Mom and Dad, who have learned

their lesson, whatever it was.

 

Not quite funny enough to be camp, not quite bad enough

to be a total waste, this is another in the series of where

did the parents go wrong with their teens and thank goodness

it only takes one death to turn things around. Not bad for

the genre and entertaining for those who enjoy watching

a lot of nose cone bras maneuvering around in tight spaces.

And since it only runs 69 minutes, you don't feel too guilty,

having spent such a short amount of time watching it.

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City on Fire (1979) - 3/10 - Atrocious Canadian disaster film with several well-known embarrassed cast members. A disgruntled refinery worker sets the stage for an unnamed city to go up in flames. Barry Newman gets top billing as a doctor, with Susan Clark, Leslie Nielsen, Shelley Winters, James Franciscus, Richard Donat, Donald Pilon, Ava Gardner as a TV host, and Henry Fonda as the Fire Chief. The script is bad, the acting is bad (even from the veterans), and the effects are worse. I watched the MST3K version, so that made it a little more bearable. 

 

 

First time watched.      Source: YT.

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Dark Of the Sun (1968) on TCM today, according to fans it's a cut version, didn't catch Ben's introduction, so don't know what he said. Anyway it was a quick moving violent action yarn set in the Congo. Rod Taylor, Jim Brown, 7-8/10.

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Dark Of the Sun (1968) on TCM today, according to fans it's a cut version, didn't catch Ben's introduction, so don't know what he said. Anyway it was a quick moving violent action yarn set in the Congo. Rod Taylor, Jim Brown, 7-8/10.

I saw it in January when TCM had a tribute to Rod Taylor on what would have been his birthday.  I loved seeing it, but I don't think I would watch it a second time.  Very well done.  That birthday line-up also included another movie I had never seen before which I would watch again: The Liquidator: a spy comedy directly referencing James Bond with Shirley Bassey singing the theme song and with Jill St. John as the leading lady.

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LawrenceA:  In regards to CITY ON FIRE (1979-Canadian) I bought 2 copies of that movie on tape years ago.  I only mention it because I used to horde Astral Video releases and when I found CITY ON FIRE a decade or so ago in a nice old Astral clamshell I bought it.  Then I read Astral had used a Canadian Tv print of the movie so I bought the U.S. release on "Charter Entertainment". 

 

     A Canadian-made skyscraper movie:  BLACKOUT (1978).  Directed by Eddy Matalon.  Has a good cast.  A so-so movie.   

 

     If you watched CITY ON FIRE then you may as well watch BLACKOUT. 

 

     Astral Video also released "Blackout" and was the source for my viewing of it. 

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Necropolis (1986) - 3/10 - Cheap horror thriller from Empire Pictures. It's the old stand-by about a witch being killed by angry townsfolk in the olden days, but not before she curses them all with vengeance. Cut to modern times, and the witch shows up in NYC as a motorcycle-riding punkette with a trashy fashion sense. She tracks down the descendants of the townspeople and dispatches them one by one, taking the occasional break to dance by herself to bad New Wave music or perform various satanic rituals. This plays like a slightly-better made Andy Milligan movie. Those who know Milligan's work know what to expect. Those that don't should stay away. 

 

 

First time watched.      Source: DVD.

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LawrenceA:  In regards to CITY ON FIRE (1979-Canadian) I bought 2 copies of that movie on tape years ago.  I only mention it because I used to horde Astral Video releases and when I found CITY ON FIRE a decade or so ago in a nice old Astral clamshell I bought it.  Then I read Astral had used a Canadian Tv print of the movie so I bought the U.S. release on "Charter Entertainment". 

 

Rob Salem, a Toronto critic, described 'City on Fire' as "almost eerie in its badness".

 

I thought that was a great observation. I did get an eerie feeling watching that weird disaster movie on tv. I tried to watch it a couple of times but could never get through it completely.

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Broken Lance is a remake of House of Strangers, set in contemporary (ie. late 1940s) New York with Susan Hayward and Edward G. Robinson (in the Spencer Tracy role) among others. Have you seen that one? Both films are pretty good, although I haven't seen either in a while.

No, I haven't` seen HOUSE OF STRANGERS. I wonder if the film is available on YOU TUBE?

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While I was rewatching the excellent ALL ABOUT EVE 1950, another connection between Bette Davis and Anne Baxter came to mind. Beginning in September 1983 I started to watch the TV series HOTEL starring James Brolin. Bette was in the pilot episode, but she became ill being replaced by Anne Baxter as the hotel owner Victoria Cabot. The series ended in May 1988, and unfortunately Anne passed away before the series ended.

 

HOTEL was similar to THE LOVE BOAT with different guest stars every week, and I never missed a episode.

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I suspect a movie like CITY ON FIRE was one of those Canadian 'tax shelter' productions.  And there were plenty of others, too.  A cinematic free-for-all.   

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Me and the wife, last movie of the day, saw CALLING DR. DEATH on Svengoolie.  One of those old INNER SANCTUM movies---and as is usual whenever my wife sits in on ANY movie with LON CHANEY JR. in the cast, makes wisecracks about "Tending the rabbits."

 

I also have a friend who NEVER liked that old movie franchise.  Back in the early 80's, he even got kicked out of the local BLACKHAWK FILM SOCIETY chapter for referring to tham as  THE INNER R E C T U M movies! B)

 

 

Sepiatone

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Cries and Whispers (1972). If you're sick of the current trend of having movies use a mostly teal color palette with orange for the explosions, then this is the movie for you. Ingmar Bergman and his inematographer Sven Nykvist use a palette of red, red, red, red, and red as a backdrop for their story of three sisters in circa-1900 Sweden. Agnes (Harriet Andersson) is dying of cancer, and her two sisters Karin (Ingrid Thulin) and Maria (Liv Ullmann) come to comfort her in her final days. Not that they're much comfort, since the whole family is dysfunctional for reasons that are never clearly delineated. And they all have bizarre sexual hangups.

 

I'm sure I'll be in the minority, but I found that when it comes to dysfunctional families, this movie pales in comparison to Bergman's later Autumn Sonata. There, the characters are real people and it's easy to identify with them. Here, they seem like little more than ciphers standing in for basic human emotions. It doesn't help that the film is grindingly tedious when it isn't being gratuitously creepy (in the creepy old uncle way, not in the horror movie way). What was the point of the "dream" sequence toward the end, anyway?

 

5/10 for the story, 9/10 for the cinematography, which won Nykvist an Oscar -- it's not just the overwhelming use of red that makes the cinematography interesting.

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