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I Just Watched...

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13 minutes ago, TheCid said:

Weren't all posters for similar movies from this period sleazy?  Just like the covers on pulp fiction books.  I have been watching the Honey West TV series and Irene Hervey is one of the three main actors.  I think she plays Honey's aunt(?), but sort of takes care of the office/home where Honey lives.

Yeah, she played Aunt something on that show. She was only on occasionally though. Not every episode.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

A Cry in the Night (1956)  -  6/10

220px-Cry_in_the_night_1956_poster_small

Thriller featuring Raymond Burr as an unstable man-child who kidnaps Natalie Wood. Her cop father Edmond O'Brien, along with fellow cop Brian Donlevy and Natalie's boyfriend Richard Anderson, desperately search for her, while she tries to reason with Burr before he does something drastic. Also with Irene Hervey, Carol Veazie, Mary Lawrence, Peter Hanson, and Anthony Caruso. I've seen this kind of story a hundred times (it's on every other cop show each week, as well), so any enjoyment was dependent on the film's style and cast. The former, unfortunately, is pedestrian and uninspired. The cast makes it passable, though, with strong work by Burr. I had to chuckle at the scene early in the film when Burr bashes Anderson in the head. I'll think of it the next time I see any of the Perry Mason reruns featuring the two of them. The poster above is rather sleazy.

 

This movie was a big disappointment to me.

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1 minute ago, Hibi said:

This movie was a big disappointment to me.

Yeah, it certainly wasn't anything very memorable. I wasn't expecting much, though. Like I said, I thought Burr was good, but everyone else was just there. Donlevy's character was unnecessary, and it may have been more compelling with just dad-cop O'Brien and boyfriend Anderson looking for her. And I was very disappointed that no one slapped around Burr's mother. She was a piece of work. O'Brien came close, but Donlevy stopped him, the rat.

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LOL. A by the numbers programmer. I thought with Natalie Wood in it, it would be better. NOT! The mother angle was humorous though.

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11 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Yep. You'd think he at least would have tried for a TV store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOL!!

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Female Jungle (1956)  -  5/10

220px-Femalejungle.jpg

Very low-budget noir, the only one released by AIP. When a hot new Hollywood starlet is murdered, the cops think it may have been off-duty detective Lawrence Tierney. Larry was blackout drunk, so he's not even sure if he's guilty or not, and decides to investigate the case himself. Featuring Burt Kaiser (who also produced and co-wrote) as a sweaty artist, Kathleen Crowley as his wife, Jayne Mansfield (in her movie debut) as his girlfriend, John Carradine as a creepy publicity columnist, Bruno Ve Sota (who also directed and co-wrote), and a handful of actors using pseudonyms: Duane Gray (as Rex Thorsen), Cornelius Keefe (as Jack Hill), Davis Roberts (as Robert Davis), and Alan Jay Factor (as Alan Frost).

hqdefault.jpg

This was shot in '54, but sat around until Mansfield made a name for herself. Co-star Crowley was reportedly sexually assaulted (off set) during production and left the movie, so they cut her role and used a stand-in. The whole film is a bit clumsily edited and shoddily filmed, but it adds a little seedy flavor to things. It's also a bit too talky. I liked Carradine, with streaks of silver hair and large glasses, nattily dressed. He scares Crowley with his state-of-art home stereo system on which he plays classical music too loudly. Mansfield looks good, too.

Female-Jungle-1956-2.jpg

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Female Jungle (1956)  -  5/10

220px-Femalejungle.jpg

 

I never heard any story of Kathleen Crowley being assaulted before and am sorry to hear it, if it is true. I primarily remember the beautiful actress from a handful of appearances she made on the Maverick TV series, usually as an elegant con artist trying to out wit the Maverick brothers. She showed a subtle humourous flair in those shows, and she always looked like a million dollars.

one-of-our-trains-is-missing-airdate-apr

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47 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I never heard any story of Kathleen Crowley being assaulted before and am sorry to hear it, if it is true. I primarily remember the beautiful actress from a handful of appearances she made on the Maverick TV series, usually as an elegant con artist trying to out wit the Maverick brothers. She showed a subtle humourous flair in those shows, and she always looked like a million dollars.

I read about it here:

The movie was shot in six days. Kathleen Crowley was the lead; one day with half the film to finish she turned up to filming three hours late claiming she had been raped. The script was rewritten to build up the role played by Jayne Mansfield and additional scenes were shot involving a double for Crowley.[1]

[1]  Gary A. Smith, American International Pictures: The Golden Years, Bear Manor Media 2014 p 30

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_Jungle

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Flight to Hong Kong (1956)  -  5/10

220px-Flight_to_Hong_Kong_poster.jpg

Crime drama with Rory Calhoun as a member of an international smuggling and theft ring. He meets American author Barbara Rush and falls for her, much to the annoyance of his current girlfriend Dolores Donlon. Calhoun makes a number of miscalculations, leading to betrayal and danger. Also featuring Paul Picerni, Soo Yong, Pat Conway, Mel Welles, Werner Klemperer, Paul Brinegar, James Hong, Gene Roth, Rhodes Reason, Victor Sen Yung, and Timothy Carey. I was bored with this for the most part, although I liked the bleak tone of the second half. Timothy Carey has a very small role as a sketchy boat captain, although he gets a couple of unsettling close-ups.

hongkong72.jpg

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9 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

hongkong72.jpg

Maybe it's me but somehow that just doesn't look like a friendly smile.

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Francis in the Haunted House (1956)  -  4/10

FTM.fffffposter3.gif

Based on the epic novel by Victor Hugo, Mickey Rooney stars in this powerful examination of the resilience of the human spirit. Rooney meets a talking mule named Francis (voice of Paul Frees, doing his best Chill Wills), who warns Mickey that bad guys are murdering folks up at a transplanted Scottish castle manor said to be haunted. The mule is obviously an allegory for man's conscience, and the castle, with its attendant dangers and pitfalls, a microcosm of the world that man must exist in. Featuring stunning supporting performances from the great Mr. David Janssen as Lt. Hopkins, Virginia Welles, James Flavin, Paul Cavanagh, Mary Ellen Kay, Ralph Dumke, Richard Deacon, and Sir Timothy Carey as Hugo. A moving and evocative rumination on existentialist themes, this is one of the towering achievements in cinema history, a work of staggering genius the likes of which will never be seen again.

 🤞

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10 hours ago, TomJH said:

First Kill (2018)

So when did Bruce Willis stop caring?

That's an interesting question, so leave it up to the film-culture Historian to ponder that one...

....

...AHA! I know!  :)

I would put the historical cutoff date to 1991, when he was still playing "Hip dudes" in Hudson Hawk, but a large part of the disastrously inflated budget was in tweaking his onscreen/marketing image to try and hide the fact that his hairline was obviously receding.  (Yes.  Not making this up.)

He still had hair in 1988's Sunset and 1990's Die Hard 2, but after '91, he switched to his "bullethead" shaved look, and adopted more "bulletproof" comic-book personas to go with it. 

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I watched two with a theme:

Fright aka Spell of the Hypnotist (1956)  -  3/10

5a3b89378a5518aa7b8af81804a102d7.jpg

When psychiatrist Eric Fleming uses hypnosis to help capture escaped killer Frank Marth, he accidentally also hypnotizes bystander Nancy Malone. This causes Nancy to seek out Fleming later, at which time he re-hypnotizes her and seemingly unlocks memories of Nancy's past life as an Austrian princess. Also featuring Humphrey Davis and Elizabeth Watts. This low-budget affair features a little on-location photography, with some nice NYC street scenes, which accounts for the 3 star rating I give the movie. The rest of it is near complete garbage, with a leaden pace, poor production values, awful acting, and one stupid moment after another in the script. I counted at least three times that Fleming looked into the camera. Malone isn't bad, but Fleming ranges from wooden to painfully amateurish, and I know he was capable of better. I've seen this listed as a horror movie, but it should have been listed as "horrible".

 

I've Lived Before (1956)  -  6/10

91aRkjd4MKL._SY445_.jpg

More past life drama as airline pilot Jock Mahoney becomes convinced that he's the reincarnation of a WWI fighter pilot who died in action. Unfortunately, he comes to this conclusion while in mid-flight and almost crashes a passenger plane full of customers. This causes the company to insist Jock gets his act together before coming back to work, so with the support of girlfriend Leigh Snowden, Jock goes to see psychiatrist John McIntire. However, his best bet is with Ann Harding, a passenger on Jock's ignominious flight, and someone who seems to have known his past life persona. Also featuring Raymond Bailey and Jerry Paris. This is a bit slow and way too talky. I also think they lifted a lot of footage from Lafayette Escadrille. That being said, it's a well made film, and the performances are up to snuff. 

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The Weapon (1956)

Efficient British crime drama/thriller about a young boy who finds a small hand gun in some building rubble, accidentally shooting a playmate in the chest. Believing he has killed him, the frightened boy runs away, and soon the London police will be in a city wide search for him.

Jon Whiteley gives a winning open faced performance as the boy, with Lizabeth Scott as his frightened mother and Steve Cochran as a U.S. army man stationed in England who is also called in on the case when ballistics show that the gun involved also killed an American soldier ten years earlier. Cochran is a hard nosed type, with no real interest in the missing boy, just in retrieving the gun. Herbert Marshall also appears as an English police superintendent.

Directed by Val Guest, this satisfactory little drama moves at a brisk pace and particularly benefits from its on location shooting in the streets of London, bringing atmospheric authenticity to this tale of a search for a small boy in a large city, as well as a time capsule quality to the production. There will be a final showdown between Cochran and the killer of the American soldier, who is also in a hunt for the boy so he can retrieve the gun.

The most sensitive scene in the film takes place in the apartment of the former girlfriend of the slain soldier, now a hardened French call girl, played by Nicole Maurey. In an exchange with Cochran Maurey suddenly drops her tough facade and, in tears, bemoans the harshness of her life. "I am a dead woman," she says. Tough guy Cochran softens in response to her emotional anguish, showing his own human side.

At one point Maurey walks to her window to peer at the night sky as she says, "I sometimes look at the sky this way, hoping that maybe some day a star will fall down and hit me in the face and I won't have to be me anymore."

A few seconds later she will ask the empathetic Cochran to kiss her and when they embrace they are two "tough" guys finding warmth for a moment in each other's arms.

It's an unexpectedly touching scene.

Olive Films has released yet another of its strong DVD releases with this film. Sure it's a typically barebones edition but the black and white print is lovely and a constant pleasure for the eye. The three stills posted below are all from the DVD.

WpMwCYr.png

rbMUdzq.png

aGBgU6F.png

2.5 out of 4

 

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The rest of it is near complete garbage, with a leaden pace, poor production values, awful acting, and one stupid moment after another in the script.

Don't hold back....

Thanks for slogging through so many movies, Lawrence. I'm a Something Weird fan with a stack of maybe 25 double features waiting to be viewed.

Haven't seen a "Francis" film since I was a kid. Love haunted house movies in particular, so will actually give that one a try.

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I just watched the 1940 WB soaper THE LADY WITH RED HAIR starring Miriam Hopkins and Claude Raines. I'm a big fan of both, so I knew at least there would be great acting, and there was!

It's the story of an early stage actress, who billed herself "Mrs Leslie Carter" based upon her memoirs. I think she used her married name as a jab against her husband who divorced her & took custody of their child. (she went on to be in a few silents) While I wasn't really interested in the story so much, it was fun watching the two stars be well, stars. The best scenes are in the actor's boardinghouse, every cliché is trotted out. But fun to see Laura Hope Crews expand her typically one dimensional persona as Hopkins' mother.

(wow-look at Wiki's photo of Crews!)

Laura_Hope_Crews.jpg

Love the always reliable Victor Jory in his role as a disgruntled actor who drinks. He's got such a distinctive voice & looks and I always wondered why he didn't get any leading roles. Poor Cecil Kellaway is wasted in a teeny role with only one scene alone. The boyfriend Lou Payne is limply played by Richard Ainley, and a stronger actor may have helped the story. But when Hopkins' character Caroline Carter is faced with a choice of a life of domesticity or the stage...her decision is predictable.

This movie was enjoyable enough, a well paced 78min, a little lacking in the writing but made up for by the stellar performances. I love Hopkins take on a "progressive thinking" sort of woman and of course Rains reigns. He actually somewhat resembles the person he's portraying; the weirdly collared David Belasco as seen here on Wiki:

220px-David_Belasco_circa_1915_oval_port

"he launched the theatrical career of many actors, including Mary Pickford, Lenore Ulric and Barbara Stanwyck. Belasco pioneered many innovative new forms of stage lighting and special effects in order to create realism and naturalism"

So even if this movie is to learn more about his career, I'm all for it.

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220px-Femalejungle.jpg

Wow that double wide certainly doesn't look like Miss Mansfield's neat little caboose. Or is that Crowley pictured? In any case, just awful artwork & tagline "sex on the rocks".

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12 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Francis in the Haunted House (1956)  -  4/10

FTM.fffffposter3.gif

Based on the epic novel by Victor Hugo, Mickey Rooney stars in this powerful examination of the resilience of the human spirit. Rooney meets a talking mule named Francis (voice of Paul Frees, doing his best Chill Wills), who warns Mickey that bad guys are murdering folks up at a transplanted Scottish castle manor said to be haunted. The mule is obviously an allegory for man's conscience, and the castle, with its attendant dangers and pitfalls, a microcosm of the world that man must exist in. Featuring stunning supporting performances from the great Mr. David Janssen as Lt. Hopkins, Virginia Welles, James Flavin, Paul Cavanagh, Mary Ellen Kay, Ralph Dumke, Richard Deacon, and Sir Timothy Carey as Hugo. A moving and evocative rumination on existentialist themes, this is one of the towering achievements in cinema history, a work of staggering genius the likes of which will never be seen again.

 🤞

You are joking, right?

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2 hours ago, TomJH said:

The Weapon (1956)

Efficient British crime drama/thriller about a young boy who finds a small hand gun in some building rubble, accidentally shooting a playmate in the chest. Believing he has killed him, the frightened boy runs away, and soon the London police will be in a city wide search for him.

Jon Whiteley gives a winning open faced performance as the boy, with Lizabeth Scott as his frightened mother and Steve Cochran as a U.S. army man stationed in England who is also called in on the case when ballistics show that the gun involved also killed an American soldier ten years earlier. Cochran is a hard nosed type, with no real interest in the missing boy, just in retrieving the gun. Herbert Marshall also appears as an English police superintendent.

Directed by Val Guest, this satisfactory little drama moves at a brisk pace and particularly benefits from its on location shooting in the streets of London, bringing atmospheric authenticity to this tale of a search for a small boy in a large city, as well as a time capsule quality to the production. There will be a final showdown between Cochran and the killer of the American soldier, who is also in a hunt for the boy so he can retrieve the gun.

The most sensitive scene in the film takes place in the apartment of the former girlfriend of the slain soldier, now a hardened French call girl, played by Nicole Maurey. In an exchange with Cochran Maurey suddenly drops her tough facade and, in tears, bemoans the harshness of her life. "I am a dead woman," she says. Tough guy Cochran softens in response to her emotional anguish, showing his own human side.

At one point Maurey walks to her window to peer at the night sky as she says, "I sometimes look at the sky this way, hoping that maybe some day a star will fall down and hit me in the face and I won't have to be me anymore."

A few seconds later she will ask the empathetic Cochran to kiss her and when they embrace they are two "tough" guys finding warmth for a moment in each other's arms.

It's an unexpectedly touching scene.

Olive Films has released yet another of its strong DVD releases with this film. Sure it's a typically barebones edition but the black and white print is lovely and a constant pleasure for the eye. The three stills posted below are all from the DVD.

WpMwCYr.png

rbMUdzq.png

aGBgU6F.png

2.5 out of 4

 

Hmmm. I hadnt heard of this film.

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11 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I watched two with a theme:

Fright aka Spell of the Hypnotist (1956)  -  3/10

5a3b89378a5518aa7b8af81804a102d7.jpg

When psychiatrist Eric Fleming uses hypnosis to help capture escaped killer Frank Marth, he accidentally also hypnotizes bystander Nancy Malone. This causes Nancy to seek out Fleming later, at which time he re-hypnotizes her and seemingly unlocks memories of Nancy's past life as an Austrian princess. Also featuring Humphrey Davis and Elizabeth Watts. This low-budget affair features a little on-location photography, with some nice NYC street scenes, which accounts for the 3 star rating I give the movie. The rest of it is near complete garbage, with a leaden pace, poor production values, awful acting, and one stupid moment after another in the script. I counted at least three times that Fleming looked into the camera. Malone isn't bad, but Fleming ranges from wooden to painfully amateurish, and I know he was capable of better. I've seen this listed as a horror movie, but it should have been listed as "horrible".

 

I've Lived Before (1956)  -  6/10

91aRkjd4MKL._SY445_.jpg

More past life drama as airline pilot Jock Mahoney becomes convinced that he's the reincarnation of a WWI fighter pilot who died in action. Unfortunately, he comes to this conclusion while in mid-flight and almost crashes a passenger plane full of customers. This causes the company to insist Jock gets his act together before coming back to work, so with the support of girlfriend Leigh Snowden, Jock goes to see psychiatrist John McIntire. However, his best bet is with Ann Harding, a passenger on Jock's ignominious flight, and someone who seems to have known his past life persona. Also featuring Raymond Bailey and Jerry Paris. This is a bit slow and way too talky. I also think they lifted a lot of footage from Lafayette Escadrille. That being said, it's a well made film, and the performances are up to snuff. 

As to Fright, I think I saw this film many, many years ago on tv. It is Maria Vetsera, right? The archduke's girlfriend? (a double suicide-Mayerling). Due to that Ferdinand, his cousin, I think, became the next in line to the throne and we all know how that went.

Poor Ann Harding! i'd see the film, just for her.

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41 minutes ago, Hibi said:

As to Fright, I think I saw this film many, many years ago on tv. It as Maria Vetsera, right? The archduke's girlfriend? (a double suicide-Mayerling). Due to that Ferdinand, his cousin, I think, became the next in line to the throne and we all know how that went.

Poor Ann Harding! i'd see the film, just for her.

Yes, it's the Mayerling scandal participants in Fright. The way the Fleming characters resolves everything at the end is one of the stupidest things I've seen in a movie in a long time, and it makes no logical sense whatsoever.

I forgot to mention that I've Lived Before, the better of the two past-life movies, was co-written by William Talman. 

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William Tallman? LOL! Yes, I remember seeing Fright on tv as a kid many years ago. I'd forgotten the title, but I remembered Malone and the backstory. Dont remember much else. Hadnt heard of Mayerling at that point. One of those tragedies that probably changed the course of history.

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17 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Female Jungle (1956)  -  5/10

220px-Femalejungle.jpg

Very low-budget noir, the only one released by AIP. When a hot new Hollywood starlet is murdered, the cops think it may have been off-duty detective Lawrence Tierney. Larry was blackout drunk, so he's not even sure if he's guilty or not, and decides to investigate the case himself. Featuring Burt Kaiser (who also produced and co-wrote) as a sweaty artist, Kathleen Crowley as his wife, Jayne Mansfield (in her movie debut) as his girlfriend, John Carradine as a creepy publicity columnist, Bruno Ve Sota (who also directed and co-wrote), and a handful of actors using pseudonyms: Duane Gray (as Rex Thorsen), Cornelius Keefe (as Jack Hill), Davis Roberts (as Robert Davis), and Alan Jay Factor (as Alan Frost).

 

This was shot in '54, but sat around until Mansfield made a name for herself. Co-star Crowley was reportedly sexually assaulted (off set) during production and left the movie, so they cut her role and used a stand-in. The whole film is a bit clumsily edited and shoddily filmed, but it adds a little seedy flavor to things. It's also a bit too talky. I liked Carradine, with streaks of silver hair and large glasses, nattily dressed. He scares Crowley with his state-of-art home stereo system on which he plays classical music too loudly. Mansfield looks good, too.

 

OK, tell us about the "female jungle."  Surely it takes more than two women to make a "jungle."

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Hot Cars (1956)  -  5/10

hotcars-1.jpg

Limp crime drama featuring John Bromfield as a used car salesman who gets caught up in a stolen car racket run by Mark Dana. Dana uses moll Joi Lansing to help seduce the goodhearted Bromfield into going along with things, although John's biggest motivator is wife Carol Shannon and their sick child. Also featuring Dabbs Greer as a cop, Ralph Clanton, Robert Osterloh, and Kurt Katch. This minor effort doesn't have much going for it. Gearheads may enjoy the cars a bit more than I did. I liked the big fistfight-on-a-rollercoaster finale, even if it looked a bit silly. The film thanks Big John's and Johnny O'Toole's used car lots for helping in the production.

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1 minute ago, TheCid said:

OK, tell us about the "female jungle."  Surely it takes more than two women to make a "jungle."

Well, there was the woman who gets killed at the beginning, and another woman named Connie who played a woman named Connie. 

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