11 items from 2017
The Howling, 1981.
Directed by Joe Dante.
A female reporter is attacked by a notorious murderer so to get over her trauma she is sent to The Colony for relaxation. And then her problems really begin…
After meeting up with notorious killer Eddie ‘The Mangler’ Quist (Robert Picardo – Star Trek: Voyager) in a dark porno theatre as part of a police sting, television reporter Karen White (Dee Wallace – E.T./The Lords of Salem) starts to experience strange visions, resulting in her distancing herself from husband Bill Neill (Christopher Stone – Cujo) and being unable to do her job. On the advice of her doctor George Waggner (Patrick Macnee – A View to a Kill), Karen and Bill are sent to The Colony, Waggner’s coastal retreat where Karen is advised »
- Amie Cranswick
In regards to his filmic output, director Michael Winner was wildly inconsistent at his worst and wholly divisive at his best (and vice versa). The remarkable thing is that those two extreme opinions can be about the same film; some find the kinetic sleaze of Death Wish (1974) powerful and disturbing, others find its ham-fisted social grazing problematic and off-putting. But it was a big hit, so naturally Universal let him ride the satanic tide with The Sentinel (1977), a Good vs. Evil, Portal to Hell potboiler that warms this Fulci-loving heart three years before Lucio even set foot in New Orleans.
Given a limited release in January stateside, The Sentinel barely broke even on its $4 million budget, and the critics hated it, deeming it lurid, reprehensible trash. Which it is; but it’s also ridiculously entertaining and has a few truly haunting moments. Turns out Winner could do horror—and yet »
- Scott Drebit
By Hank Reineke
Though heavyweights Columbia and Universal produced as many serials as Republic Pictures from 1929-1956, the latter studio is generally best known for its exciting sound-era chapter-plays. Universal and the less widely known Mascot Pictures were in the game the earliest; both studios began releasing their sound serials in 1929. Mascot would only last six years or so. Universal – choosing to concentrate exclusively on the production of feature films – effectively got out of the serial business in 1946. Republic and Columbia hung on to the production of chapter-plays the longest; they released their final serials in 1955 and 1956, respectively.
Republic wasn’t only a serials factory. The studio was in the low budget feature filmmaking business as well, busily churning out a dizzying array of westerns, adventure pictures, and mysteries. They would test the box-office potentials of the horror film market during the 1940s with limited success. As a second-tier “Poverty Row” studio, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
1972 / 1:85 / Street Date July 18th, 2017
Cinematography: David M. Walsh
Film Editor: Eric Albertson
Written by Woody Allen
Music: Mundell Lowe
Directed by Woody Allen
A how-to book for fledgling libertines, David Reuben’s bestselling Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) was the kind of sex manual that could remain on the coffee table when the in-laws arrived. An everyman’s guide to the birds and the bees, it ambled through its range of racy topics, from sodomy, cunnilingus to, um, plastic surgery for the genitalia, with both commonsensical and alarmingly retrograde attitudes, dispensing its advice with all the excitement of an insurance agent’s visit. When Woody Allen was given the opportunity to adapt it, »
- Charlie Largent
Updated: Following a couple of Julie London Westerns*, Turner Classic Movies will return to its July 2017 Star of the Month presentations. On July 27, Ronald Colman can be seen in five films from his later years: A Double Life, Random Harvest (1942), The Talk of the Town (1942), The Late George Apley (1947), and The Story of Mankind (1957). The first three titles are among the most important in Colman's long film career. George Cukor's A Double Life earned him his one and only Best Actor Oscar; Mervyn LeRoy's Random Harvest earned him his second Best Actor Oscar nomination; George Stevens' The Talk of the Town was shortlisted for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. All three feature Ronald Colman at his very best. The early 21st century motto of international trendsetters, from Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro and Turkey's Recep Erdogan to Russia's Vladimir Putin and the United States' Donald Trump, seems to be, The world is reality TV and reality TV »
- Andre Soares
'The Magnificent Ambersons': Directed by Orson Welles, and starring Tim Holt (pictured), Dolores Costello (in the background), Joseph Cotten, Anne Baxter, and Agnes Moorehead, this Academy Award-nominated adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel earned Ricardo Cortez's brother Stanley Cortez an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White. He lost to Joseph Ruttenberg for William Wyler's blockbuster 'Mrs. Miniver.' Two years later, Cortez – along with Lee Garmes – would win Oscar statuettes for their evocative black-and-white work on John Cromwell's homefront drama 'Since You Went Away,' starring Ricardo Cortez's 'Torch Singer' leading lady, Claudette Colbert. In all, Stanley Cortez would receive cinematography credit in more than 80 films, ranging from B fare such as 'The Lady in the Morgue' and the 1940 'Margie' to Fritz Lang's 'Secret Beyond the Door,' Charles Laughton's 'The Night of the Hunter,' and Nunnally Johnson's 'The Three Faces »
- Andre Soares
The 2016 blu ray release of the Frankenstein and Wolf Man Legacy Collections was a moment of celebration for movie and monster lovers everywhere, bringing together all the golden age appearances of Frankenstein’s misbegotten creation and Larry Talbot’s hairy alter-ego. Universal Studios treated those dusty creature features to luminous restorations; from Bride of Frankenstein to She Wolf of London, these essential artifacts never looked less than impeccable and, at times, even ravishing. Colin Clive’s frenzied declaration, “It’s Alive!”, never felt more appropriate.
Now Universal has turned their attention to their other legendary franchise players, Dracula, the sharp-dressed but undead ladies’ man and Im-ho-tep, the cursed Egyptian priest who loved not wisely but too well.
Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection
1931, ’36, ’43, ’44, ’45, ’48 / 449 min. / B&W / 1:33 / Street Date May 16, 2017
Cinematography: Karl Freund, »
- Charlie Largent
The cultural impact of satanic megahit Rosemary’s Baby (1968) was substantial and immediate. All of a sudden supernatural horror was in vogue, whether directly mentioning the Big S or delving into covens and cults. Somehow if money was to be made, Lucifer would be there with his asbestos lined suitcase ready to take donations from one and all. Which brings us to the small screen’s Crowhaven Farm (1970), an ABC Movie of the Week that terrified TV audiences with the knowledge that not all evil has to be metropolitan.
Originally airing on Tuesday, November 24th, Crowhaven Farm’s closest competition was CBS’s Hee Haw, but even those yokels couldn’t beat ABC’s juggernaut, which always won its time slot. And while it may not be a match for Rosemary’s devilish wit and urbane horror (not much is), Crowhaven Farm still offers plenty of spooky, countrified atmosphere.
- Scott Drebit
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This week sees the 40th anniversary of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall so a career overview for the brilliant humorist/director seems in order.
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Woody is killed in a bloody gun ambush. Woody becomes president. Woody appears to tear a hole in the movie screen and “escapes” into the theater. »
- TFH Team
“Sure don’t look none too prosperous.”
The Grapes Of Wrath (1940) screens Thursday March 16th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood). The movie starts at 7:30. The screeening is sponsored by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis *(experienceopera.org) who will be staging an opera version of The Grapes Of Wrath May 27th, 31st, June 9th, 15th, 17th, 21st, and 25th. Cliff Froehlich, Executive Director of Cinema St. Louis, will introduce and lead a discussion following the screening. This is a Free event!
John Ford directed so many classics, but The Grapes Of Wrath may be his best. Adapted from John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, The Grapes Of Wrath tells of the hardships of the Great Depression on Oklahoma sharecroppers who are forced to migrate to Californian for menial work. The film paints a stark picture ofour country’s most bleak period. A time when unemployment was around 25%, dust was choking off normally reliable farmland, »
- Tom Stockman
Dana Andrews movies: Film noir actor excelled in both major and minor crime dramas. Dana Andrews movies: First-rate film noir actor excelled in both classics & minor fare One of the best-looking and most underrated actors of the studio era, Dana Andrews was a first-rate film noir/crime thriller star. Oftentimes dismissed as no more than a “dependable” or “reliable” leading man, in truth Andrews brought to life complex characters that never quite fit into the mold of Hollywood's standardized heroes – or rather, antiheroes. Unlike the cynical, tough-talking, and (albeit at times self-delusionally) self-confident characters played by the likes of Alan Ladd, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and, however lazily, Robert Mitchum, Andrews created portrayals of tortured men at odds with their social standing, their sense of ethics, and even their romantic yearnings. Not infrequently, there was only a very fine line separating his (anti)heroes from most movie villains. »
- Andre Soares
11 items from 2017
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