17 items from 2015
Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing costar in a worthwhile horror attraction -- and for once even share some scenes. Amicus gives us five tales of the uncanny, each with a clever twist or sting in its tail. Creepy mountebank Cushing deals the Tarot cards that spell out the grim fates in store; Chris Lee is a pompous art critic wih a handy problem. Also with Michael Gough and introducing a young Donald Sutherland. Dr. Terror's House of Horrors Blu-ray Olive Films 1965 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 98 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98 <Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Donald Sutherland, Alan Freeman, Max Adrian, Roy Castle, Ursula Howells, Neil McCallum, Bernard Lee, Jennifer Jayne, Jeremy Kemp, Harold Lang, Katy Wild, Isla Blair, Al Mulock. Cinematography Alan Hume Film Editor Thelma Cornell Original Music Elizabeth Lutyens Written by Milton Subotsky Produced by Max Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky Directed by »
- Glenn Erickson
Constance Cummings: Stage and film actress ca. early 1940s. Constance Cummings on stage: From Sacha Guitry to Clifford Odets (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Flawless 'Blithe Spirit,' Supporter of Political Refugees.”) In the post-World War II years, Constance Cummings' stage reputation continued to grow on the English stage, in plays as diverse as: Stephen Powys (pseudonym for P.G. Wodehouse) and Guy Bolton's English-language adaptation of Sacha Guitry's Don't Listen, Ladies! (1948), with Cummings as one of shop clerk Denholm Elliott's mistresses (the other one was Betty Marsden). “Miss Cummings and Miss Marsden act as fetchingly as they look,” commented The Spectator. Rodney Ackland's Before the Party (1949), delivering “a superb performance of controlled hysteria” according to theater director and Michael Redgrave biographer Alan Strachan, writing for The Independent at the time of Cummings' death. Clifford Odets' Winter Journey / The Country Girl (1952), as »
- Andre Soares
Oscar-winning actor Ralph Fiennes has signed on to voice Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's loyal butler, in the "Lego Batman" movie at Warner Bros. Pictures.
The spin-off to last year's successful "The Lego Movie" sees Will Arnett reprising his role as the Caped Crusader. This time he's joined by Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl and Zach Galifianakis as The Joker.
The role is a distinguished one with actors such as Michael Caine, Michael Gough, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Alan Napier having portrayed it in the past. Currently Sean Pertwee plays him on Fox's "Gotham," while Jeremy Irons will take on the role in next year's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice".
This also adds yet another major franchise to Fiennes' resume following his roles as Voldemort in the "Harry Potter" films, »
- Garth Franklin
Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee, Peter Woodthorpe, Michael Gough, George Coulouris | Written by Milton Subotsky | Directed by Freddie Francis
For fans of Hammer Horror films, Amicus was another studio that felt comfortably close to its style, yet just different enough to bring more diversity to your horror taste. With The Skull, Amicus brought together horror icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in yet another story of the dangers of the darker side of life…
The Skull sees Cushing star as Dr. Maitland a collector of strange and unusual artefacts. When he buys a skull said to be that of the Marquis De Sade, he ignores the warnings from fellow collector Sir Matthew Phillips (Christopher Lee) of the dangers of owning it. As the skull soon begins to take control of his mind, he soon realises the danger he has put himself and his wife in, »
- Paul Metcalf
Written by John Elder
Directed by Terence Fisher
Hammer Film Productions is one of the oldest, most respected film studios to ever earn significant popularity. Founded in 1934 in England, the production company earned an outstanding sequence of success in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s by re-appropriating several well known horror stories like The Mummy and Dracula, as well as concocting several original concepts. Even in 2015, long after the studio’s heyday, cinephiles continue to look back at and appreciate the work Hammer put out during those three illustrious decades. Being such specialists in breathing new life into old horror tales, it would only seem befitting that they would try their hand at a new adaptation of French author Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera novel.
Transplanting the action over to home soil in London, this iteration of The Phantom of the Opera »
- Edgar Chaput
Doctor Who warps back on to our screens in two short days, with the premiere of a new 12-part series of sci-fi, sonic screwdrivers and Capaldi attack eyebrows.
But while the BBC has broadcast more than 800 episodes of generation-defining time travels, there's been as many cracking scripts that never made it to our TVs – from key character deaths to Jk Rowling cameos.
1. Jk Rowling vs. wizards
David Tennant wasn't fond of the idea - he felt it sounded like a spoof - so Davies quashed the story to placate his leading man. In its place, we got 'The Next Doctor', which was pretty magical in its own right - so no damage, no foul.
2. Stephen Fry's 1920s adventure
While we have seen many different actors take on the role of Batman over the years, we have actually only seen two big screen Alfred Pennyworths. The first was Michael Gough, who played Bruce Wayne's butler in both the Tim Burton movies and the Joel Schumacher entries; and the second was Michael Caine, who played the part throughout Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. Because of this, Jeremy Irons actually has a surprising amount of freedom with his interpretation of the same part in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - and judging from his recent comments, he's taking full advantage of that fact. Irons has been up at the Toronto International Film Festival this past week celebrating the world premiere of the new thriller High Rise, and it was while speaking with The Toronto Sun that the actor explained how we can expect his version of Alfred Pennyworth to »
'Alice in Wonderland' 2010 with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. 'Alice in Wonderland' 2010: Plenty of visuals, no substance In the interest of full disclosure, I should start this commentary on Alice in Wonderland by saying that I have never been a fan of Tim Burton's works. I've enjoyed a couple of his movies, but the vast majority of them I've found uninspiring and, really, quite boring. Burton's eye for unusual worlds, particularly in terms of art direction and costume design, is not lost on me. But how can I possibly find Tim Burton a great director when he continues to offer the same tricks, over and over again? True, Burton's stories and characters change from movie to movie. What he offers, however, does not. What's there beyond cool visuals? What's there beyond the neo-gothic atmosphere he offers in Batman, or the brilliantly rendered chocolate factory playhouse in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? »
- Nathan Donarum
Vivien Leigh ca. late 1940s. Vivien Leigh movies: now controversial 'Gone with the Wind,' little-seen '21 Days Together' on TCM Vivien Leigh is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 18, '15, as TCM's “Summer Under the Stars” series continues. Mostly a stage actress, Leigh was seen in only 19 films – in about 15 of which as a leading lady or star – in a movie career spanning three decades. Good for the relatively few who saw her on stage; bad for all those who have access to only a few performances of one of the most remarkable acting talents of the 20th century. This evening, TCM is showing three Vivien Leigh movies: Gone with the Wind (1939), 21 Days Together (1940), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Leigh won Best Actress Academy Awards for the first and the third title. The little-remembered film in-between is a TCM premiere. 'Gone with the Wind' Seemingly all »
- Andre Soares
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
Horror Hospital, 1973.
Directed by Anthony Balch.
A rock musician becomes the victim of a mad doctor who is looking for subjects to practise his mind control surgery on.
As British as fish n’ chips and cups of tea, Horror Hospital is a 1973 spoof on the mainstream horror movies of the time – Hammer, Amicus, etc. – that stars Robin Askwith (Confessions of a Window Cleaner and owner of probably the most exposed bottom of the 1970s) as Jason Jones, a failed rock musician looking to take a break from everything so he books a holiday at a health farm called Brittlehouse Manor way out in the countryside. On the way he hooks up with fellow traveller Judy Peters (Vanessa Shaw) and they arrive at the manor where they are the guests of Dr. Storm (Michael Gough »
- Gary Collinson
We rewatched the classic 1980s comedy, Top Secret! It took surgeons two weeks to wipe the smile off our face...
"Is this the potato farm?"
"Yes, I am Albert Potato"
If you're laughing at the quote above, then it's fair to say that you're already a Top Secret! fan. But if you're wondering what that actually means, then chances are you've missed out on one of the very best comedies that the 1980s had to offer.
Now the classic comedy Airplane!, rightfully, has been the beneficiary of some hugely forensic work, just to try and keep on top of its many, many background jokes. In fact, one DVD edition had a special feature just to point out all the things you may have missed on your first, tenth or fiftieth time around. Turns out there were quite a few in my case.
The Naked Gun, made just under a decade later, »
By Lee Pfeiffer
Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff collectively made countless films that varied widely in terms of quality. However, they always brought dignity to every role they performed. Sadly, the two icons of the horror film genre only worked together twice.The first time in the late 1950s in "Corridors of Blood" and the second and last time in what turned out to be the final film of Karloff's career, the 1968 Tigon Films production of "The Crimson Cult" (released in the UK as "Curse of the Crimson Altar" and in some territories as "The Crimson Altar" and "Black Horror"). Karloff barely got through the arduous shoot during a particularly cold and unpleasant British winter. However, always the ultimate professional, he persevered and continued the film until completion, even after having been hospitalized with pneumonia. The result is a film that is not particularly well-loved by horror film fans »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter at the Academy Awards Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter on the Oscars' Red Carpet Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter sported matching hairdos upon their arrival at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Tim Burton's global blockbuster Alice in Wonderland, in which Helena Bonham Carter is one of the featured players (as the Red Queen), won Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction. Bonham Carter was a Best Supporting Actress nominee for Tom Hooper's The King's Speech (as another queen, Elizabeth). Helena Bonham Carter: Career boosted by Oscar nomination Helena Bonham Carter's film career began in earnest in James Ivory's 1986 Best Picture Oscar nominee A Room with a View, in which she romanced Julian Sands. She kept on working without creating too much of a stir – e.g., Lady Jane, »
- D. Zhea
When it comes to the world of heroic fantasy, there have been a hell of a lot of really great butlers. We’ve got such luminaries as Ram Singh (The Spider), Bernardo (Zorro), Cadbury (Richie Rich), Ianto Jones (Torchwood), Lurch (The Addams Family), Max von Mayerling (Sunset Boulevard), two different Smitherses (Veronica Lodge and the Simpsons), Fritz Brenner (Nero Wolfe), Birmingham Brown (Charlie Chan) and of course Edwin Jarvis (The Avengers or Agent Carter – take your pick). There were the Green Hornet’s Kato, but that dude was more of a partner/sidekick than a butler, and Jack Benny’s pal Rochester was only technically a butler. He was actually Benny’s arch-enemy.
But head and shoulders above all other butlers, the king of the mountain of butlers is Bruce Wayne’s own Alfred Pennyworth. You can tell from the actors who played him on film and television – Michael Caine, »
- Mike Gold
Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret. The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »
- Andre Soares
One is written by Richard Matheson, based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, directed by Roger Corman, and stars Vincent Price, while the other features Boris Karloff, Barbara Steele, and Christopher Lee—you’d be hard-pressed to find more star-studded horror lineups than those included in Tales of Terror and The Crimson Cult, two films coming out on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, the special features of which have been announced.
Here are the special features that are expected to be included on the Tales of Terror Blu-ray/DVD and The Crimson Cult Blu-ray, both of which are slated for an April release (bonus features via Kino Lorber):
Tales of Terror Blu-ray/DVD Bonus Features:
New on-camera Interview with Producer/Director Roger Corman New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas New Audio Commentary by Vincent Price Historian David Del Valle & Actor David Frankham Original Theatrical Trailer Maybe more »
- Derek Anderson
17 items from 2015
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