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A quick look at the slinky sleight-of-hand involved in making movies about magic.

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In 1932’s Chandu The Magician, Edmund Lowe plays the titular wizard. What famous boogie man plays his adversary?

Bela Lugosi Boris Karloff Peter Lorre Correct

Lugosi is a lot of fun but the real star of this movie is director William Cameron Menzies whose distinctive visual style graces every scene.

Incorrect

Question 2 of 10 2. Question

1953’s Houdini
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

16mm Double Feature Night at The Way Out Club January 3rd – Bonnie And Clyde & My Blood Runs Cold

Join us for some old-school 16mm Movie Madness! – It’s our monthly 16Mm Double Feature Night at The Way Out Club (2525 Jefferson Avenue in St. Louis)! Join Tom Stockman and Roger from “Roger’s Reels’ for complete films projected on 16mm film. The show is Tuesday January 3rd and starts at 8pm. Admission is Free though we will be setting out a jar to take donations for the National Children’s Cancer Society.

First up Is Bonnie And Clyde (1967)

Faye Dunaway is Bonnie Parker and Warren Beatty is Clyde Barrow in Arthur Penn’s violent, sexually charged and deeply influential crime drama, a nostalgic look back at notorious outlaws filmed with the passion and zeal of filmmakers who were beginning to explore the boundaries of their craft. With a legendary screenplay by writers Robert Benton and David Newman, Bonnie and Clyde features supporting performances by an exemplary cast that includes Gene Wilder,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Review: "The Conqueror" (1956) Starring John Wayne And Susan Hayward; Universal Vault DVD Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Doug Oswald

Released as a burn-to-order DVD from the Universal Vault Series, some may be quick to add that they should have kept “The Conqueror” in the vault. The movie is notorious for being one of the worst movies in Hollywood history. Much has been written about how terrible this movie is so I’m going to avoid jumping on that bandwagon. After all, calling this movie bad is like calling out water for being wet.

The movie is also a part of a conspiracy theory of sorts because many of the cast and crew died from cancer and some have connected those cancer deaths to the location filming in St. George Utah which was the stand-in for the Gobi Desert. St. George is downwind from where the above ground nuclear testing occurred in Nevada. Indeed, many involved with this movie did succumb to cancer including lifetime smoker John Wayne
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Vin Scully And The “Best Pillow In The World”

Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers, is calling it a career this weekend after 67 years in the booth. If you will indulge me, I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite moments from Scully behind the microphone, and about one night at Dodger Stadium that will make me miss him even more.

But first, a little background. I was never a big baseball guy growing up, even though I played a couple of seasons on a local Little League team. (Our squad was called the Firemen.) During those days, when I wasn’t playing the game, either in Little League or somewhere on my grandma’s farm with my cousins, the presence of a baseball broadcast usually meant that something I’d rather have been watching on TV was unavailable to see because someone else wanted to watch the damn game. (I tried to sit down,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Dr. Strangelove

Criterion's special edition of Stanley Kubrick's doomsday comedy is more powerful than ever in a 4K remaster; and it even comes with a top-secret mission profile package and a partial-contents survival kit. A Kubrick fan can have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 821 1964 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 95 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date June 28, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones, Tracy Reed Cinematography Gilbert Taylor Production Designer Ken Adam Art Direction Peter Murton Film Editor Anthony Harvey Original Music Laurie Johnson Written by Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George from his book Red Alert Produced by Stanley Kubrick, Leon Minoff Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When I heard that Criterion was putting out a Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb I thought that there already was a disc out there from The Collection. Nope, Sony released a Blu-ray in 2009, and back around 2000, a DVD. I was thinking of a deluxe laserdisc from Criterion sometime in the early 1990s. I remember being impressed by its extras, which included documentary materials about the Bomb in the Cold War years. Potential new fans of Kubrick's wickedly funny movie are being born every year, which leaves those of us for whom Strangelove was an important part of growing up having to remind ourselves just how good it still is. I remember recording the soundtrack off TV in high school and memorizing all of the dialogue; this has to be the most quotable movie of its decade. I also can remember my father's reaction when we watched it together on network TV, ABC, I think. An Air Force lifer who wouldn't discuss politics (or much of anything), the Old Sarge had little use for 'defeatist' movies like On the Beach. But he thought the premise of Seven Days in May wasn't really farfetched, having worked with Hap Arnold and Curtis LeMay. He shook his head after seeing Dr. Strangelove but I could tell that he found it very funny. It's too bad the two of us couldn't have gotten our senses of humor more in sync -- as soon as I wore my hair long, I think he stopped trusting me. I believe that Dr. Strangelove is one of few movies that 'made a difference' in that it redirected American public opinion about a major life issue. From that point forward only the ignorant and Shoot First fanatics talked about nuclear war as win-able, at least not until the neo-con Millennium. 1963 audiences had little use for suspect 'pacifist' movies that ended in masochistic doom, like On the Beach. The nuclear crisis was such a hot topic that that the low-key English science fiction film The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a surprise hit. Strangelove is more realistic than the straight atom nightmare movies. We're told that when Ronald Reagan was briefed at the start of his first term in office, he asked where the White House elevator to the War Room was. He figured it was there because he saw it in the movie. The decision to opt for broad comedy was Kubrick's inspired stroke. Dr. Strangelove may be the first hit film that was a bona-fide black comedy; I don't recall anybody even using the expression before it came out. It's not a crazy comedy where anything funny is okay. The backbone of the story remains 100% serious, while the jokes relentlessly demolish the death-cult logic of our Nuclear Deterrent. Kubrick and Terry Southern populate Peter George's credible cold-sweat crisis with insane caricatures given ridiculous names. The scary part is that, no matter how stupid they behave, none are really that exaggerated. Peter Sellers serves triple duty in a trio of characterizations, effectively outdoing previous champion film chameleon Alec Guinness. George C. Scott steals the show as an infantile Air Force General who acts like a Looney Tunes cartoon character. And the rest of the inspired cast nails their highly original quasi-comic characters. Every joke is a gallows joke; we're never allowed to forget that we all have an atomic noose around our necks. I almost envy the dead viewers still unfamiliar with Dr. Strangelove, as seeing it for the first time was a mind-opening experience. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), the commander of Burpelson Air Force Base, orders a flight of B-52s to attack Russia. He then seals off Burpelson to prevent a recall of the planes. Exchange officer Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) tries to talk him into divulging the recall code. Holding court in the War Room, President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) is horrified to discover that such a Snafu is even possible. He orders General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) to take Burpelson Air Base by force and recall the planes, and gets on the hotline with the Soviet Premier. Up in the lead B-52, Major 'King' Kong (Slim Pickens) receives Ripper's orders, coded 'Wing Attack Plan R.' He urges his crew to avoid Russian defenses and reach their primary target, while Turgidson tries to talk Muffley into launching an all-out attack. Advising in the War Room is ex-Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove, a grinning theoretician already fantasizing about the sexual recreation for the ruling elite in the VIP bomb shelters, where America's chosen high officials will be living for the next 93 years. Dr. Strangelove divides its time between three main locations, each with its own deadly serious function and each overlaid with a different comedic tone. In his locked executive office in the Alaskan Air Force Base, the sexually obsessed American General Ripper faces off with a veddy proper English officer in a farcical one-act. Beady-eyed and intense in his anti-Communist convictions, Sterling Hayden contrasts beautifully with Seller's genial Group Captain, who can't fathom the depth of his commanding officer's madness. The action in the B-52 is a throwback to those gung-ho WW2 action films in which a racially and ethnically diverse attack team uses brains and guts to barrel through their suicide mission. Even though their pilot is a cowboy clown (Slim Pickens doing his only characterization, Slim Pickens) they're an admirable bunch, seemingly the only humans capable of doing anything without red tape or Coca-Cola machines getting in their way. The horror is that our heroes' mission is totally against every moral precept ever imagined. The docu feeling in the B-52 is further amplified by the gritty newsreel-like footage of the taking of Burpelson Afb, with American troops fighting American troops. In 1964 these were traumatic, subversive scenes. U.S. troops on film are supposed to fight for freedom and righteousness, not kill each other. Kubrick has the audacity to place in the middle of it all a big sign that reads, 'Peace is our Profession.' The grainy authenticity of these scenes would come back to haunt us when similar footage started being seen nightly on television, fresh from Vietnam. The center of activities is the War Room, a Camelot-like round table of Death located in the basement of the White House. The rational President Merkin Muffley trips over an ideological roadblock in the form of Buck Turgidson, a gum-chewing military nutcase itching to go to war and overjoyed that Jack Ripper has 'exceeded his authority.' The President is hardly in charge of foreign policy, and none of fifty advisors come to his aid with any original thinking. An amateur among experts, Muffley must be shepherded through protocol by an assistant. Here's where Southern and Kubrick make their biggest points, basically asserting that a showdown with the Russkies is inevitable because the American stance is a military one -- Sac just wants the peacenik in the Oval Office to get out of their way. The comedy is all over the place, and it's a miracle that it works. The stand-up humor on the hot line to Moscow is very much like a Bob Newhart routine. At Burpelson, it's the Goon Show all over again. Sellers' Mandrake cannot sway General Ripper, and the moronic Major Bat Guano (Keenan Wynn) suspects the Raf officer of being a 'deviated prevert.' Up in the bomber, Mad Magazine craziness is grafted onto combat realism. Previous looks at the Air Force's flying deterrent were enlistment booster films like Strategic Air Command. Kubrick drove his English craftsmen to fake the entire bomber interior right down to the switches and gauges. The aerial combat is more realistic than that in escapist films, even with inadequate models used for exteriors of the jet bomber in flight. Dr. Strangelove maintains a nervous tension between absurd comedy and morbid unease. Kubrick's main career themes -- sexual madness, treacherous technology and the folly of human planning -- come into strong relief. We're motivated to root for the fliers that are going to destroy the world. Then we fret over the President's pitiful lack of control. Dour, glowering Russian Ambassador De Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs the War Room about his country's solution to the costly Arms Race, the dreaded Doomsday Machine. Security advisor Dr. Strangelove enters the film in the last act to serve as sort of an angel of Death. Based loosely on Rand-corporation experts that calculated eventualities in nuclear war scenarios, Sellers' vision of Strangelove is a throwback to German Expressionism. A Mabuse in a wheelchair, he's black-gloved like the brilliant but mad Rotwang of Metropolis. Strangelove enters like the specter of Death itself; his grin looks like a skull. Contemplating 'megadeaths' gives him sexual pleasure. The detonation of the first bomb seems to liberate Strangelove, and he finds he can walk again. The character is straight from the Siegfried Kracauer playbook. The evil of nuclear war has restored the representative of apocalyptic Nazi vengeance to full power. Twenty years after his death, we all get to join Hitler in his suicide bunker. First-time viewers are usually floored by the audacious Dr. Strangelove. Only the truly uninformed will not recognize baritone James Earl Jones as one of Major Kong's flight crew. Those going back for a repeated peek will derive added enjoyment from Kubrick's deft juggling of his several visual styles and his avoidance of anything that might deflate tension: we hear about the recall code being issued but are spared any view of the responsible military personnel that must have sent it. Some of the best fun is finding details in designer Ken Adam's impressive War Room, such as the pies already laid out in preparation for the aborted pie-fight finale. Even better is watching the War room extras as they strain to maintain straight faces no matter how funny Sellers and Scott get; that contrast is what makes the comedy so brilliant. Watch Peter Bull carefully. In one extended take he starts to smile at Sellers, more than once. He catches himself and then is clearly on the verge of cracking up, forcing Kubrick to cut away. The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is the expected sterling transfer of this Kubrick classic, a 4K digital transfer. I put it up against Sony's old Blu-ray and the difference is not so great as to recommend that a trade-up is necessary. However, it looks extremely good. The Kubrick faithful out there will be thinking, 'I must not allow a disc shelf gap.' The HD picture makes quite a bit of difference in understanding Kubrick's photographic strategy. Not only do the hand-held Burpelson combat sequences approximate the look of documentary footage, a more contrasty and grainy film stock has been used. Switching "film looks" later became a fad for directors looking to be viewed as artists. The idea perhaps reached its zenith in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. Back in 1964 the effect of imitating a news film look was quite stunning -- audiences reacted to the combat scenes as if they were real. I'm glad that we're finally beyond the frustrating early DVD years, when someone (at Warner Home Video?) claimed that Stanley Kubrick insisted that his films be shown at the old 1:33 aspect ratio for TV and disc. Even if they wangled a note from Kubrick to that effect, I still believe that the aspect ratio games were played because Kubrick was too busy to oversee new masters of his films, and Whv wanted to market them in a hurry at a minimum of cost. That's all old news now, but there was also the interesting aspect ratio question concerning Strangelove. At least one disc iteration -- Criterion's laserdisc, I'm fairly sure -- was released in a completely un-original dual-ratio scan. Kubrick apparently said that he preferred to see the War Room scenes at a full-frame 1:37, and so this one transfer of the film popped back and forth between ratios. I've never heard of anything like this before or after. Criterion's British 1:66 framing for this disc is correct, even though the film was probably screened at 1:85 for many of its American play dates. Criterion's new extras begin with interview featurettes with well-chosen spokespeople, like scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill. Kubrick archivist Richard Daniels' piece is quite good, as is an examination of the film's visuals by two of the original camera crew. The son of author Peter George gives an excellent account of his father's life and the adaptation of his novel Red Alert. George reportedly liked the notion of turning his story into a black comedy, especially when his original narrative was changed very little. The stroke of genius was deciding that the entire subject could best be approached as a sick joke. Other extras are repeated from Sony's DVD disc of 2004. A making-of docu interviews several surviving technicians and actors, and a primer on the Cold War atom standoff goes deep into detail. The featurettes have input from Robert McNamara, Spike Lee and Bob Woodward. Critics Roger Ebert and Alexander Walker are also represented. Docu pieces on Peter Sellers and Kubrick appear to suffer from legal restraints disallowing the use of clips from non-Columbia sources. The Peter Sellers show features several choice film clips from the 'fifties, including Sellers' almost perfect take on a William Conrad-like hired killer. We're shown some stills from the legendary The Goon Show, which is not mentioned by name. A Stanley Kubrick career piece that uses UA, MGM and Universal trailers covers a lot of territory a bit too quickly. It does have some nice interview input from Kubrick's partner James B. Harris. Harris has since given terrific interviews on Criterion discs for Kubrick's The Killing and Paths of Glory. Criterion's Curtis Tsui produced those discs as well as this one. An entertaining extra is a pair of vintage 'split screen' fake interviews with Sellers and Scott intended for publicity use. Each actor projects his chosen PR image. They're charming, especially when Sellers takes us on a lightning tour of regional English accents. I wonder if those distinctions have faded, 52 years later? As a pleasant surprise, Curtis Tsui has overseen the creation of a collectable, highly amusing substitute for a standard disc insert booklet. Inside an authentic-looking 'Wing Attack Plan R' envelope, David Bromwich's insert essay is printed in the form of classified orders on two sheets of loose-leaf paper. Terry Southern's hilariously profane 1994 essay on the movie comes in the form of a Playboy parody, illustrated with photos of Tracy Reed as 'Miss Foreign Affairs.' Finally, the disc credits and details are printed in a genuine miniature Russian Phrase Book and Holy Bible, a little bigger than one-inch square. It indeed offers some phrases that I'll have to try on my multi-lingual daughter, like "Where is the toilet?" But the cover Lies, as there's no Bible in there that I could find. Also, no nine packs of chewing gum and no issue of prophylactics. On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Dr. Strangelove Blu-ray rates: Movie: Excellent Video: Excellent Sound: Excellent uncompressed monaural + alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-hd Master Audio Supplements: (from Criterion stats): New interviews with Stanley Kubrick scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill; archivist Richard Daniels; cinematographer and camera innovator Joe Dunton; camera operator Kelvin Pike; and David George, son of Peter George, on whose novel Red Alert the film is based. Excerpts from a 1966 audio interview with Kubrick, conducted by physicist and author Jeremy Bernstein; Four short documentaries about the making of the film, the sociopolitical climate of the period, the work of actor Peter Sellers, and the artistry of Kubrick. Promotional interviews from 1963 with Sellers and actor George C. Scott; excerpt from a 1980 interview with Sellers from NBC's Today show; Trailers; insert essay by scholar David Bromwich and a 1994 article by screenwriter Terry Southern on the making of the film. Deaf and Hearing-impaired Friendly? Yes; Subtitles: English Packaging: Keep case Reviewed: June 7, 2016 (5136love)

Visit DVD Savant's Main Column Page Glenn Erickson answers most reader mail: dvdsavant@mindspring.com

Text © Copyright 2016 Glenn Erickson
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Criterion Collection: The Killers | Blu-ray Review

  • ioncinema
Criterion digitally restores this earlier release, a combination offering of Robert Siodmak’s 1946 film noir masterpiece The Killers paired with Don Siegel’s retro 1964 remake. Famed adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s short story, both filmmakers take liberties with the original material to create aggressively different products. Siodmak’s version is not only the German ex-pat’s enduring masterpiece, it’s a definite cornerstone of classic American film noir. Though Siegel’s 60s rehash is considered tacky pastiche of the era, it’s brutal, hard boiled B-grade pulp, notable for its own significant instances.

Siodmak’s version arrived during a golden era of noir, premiering a year after WWII officially ended, with cinematic masculine representation on the eve of an overhaul as method acting would soon reign supreme. Hemingway’s spare story gets a face life from Anthony Veiller (The Stranger; Night of the Iguana), using the murder as a jumping
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Beyond Narrative: The Future of the Feature Film

Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.

Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the
See full article at Roger Ebert's Blog »

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – The Review

And so another holiday tradition comes to a close. Thirteen years ago (naw, can’t be!), Peter Jackson delivered the first of a Christmas-time trilogy with the inaugural entry of the Jrr Tolkien trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring. Two years later he closed it out with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, and after reaping a bounty of gold a few months later at Oscar time, he bid adieu to Middle Earth. But after a couple of features, the siren call of the wizards and elves drew him back for, not a sequel, but a prequel. The film rights to this earlier Tolkien work was finally untangled from a legal web , one tougher than those weaved by fearsome giant spiders. After the intended director moved on, Jackson was back on board, creating three new films from the singular novel. 2012 saw
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Blu-ray Review – The Killers (1946)

The Killers, 1946.

Directed by Robert Siodmak.

Starring Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmund O’Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene and Jack Lamberto

Synopsis:

A pair of hit-men carry out the murder of an unresisting victim. A partnership of insurance investigator and police detective try to establish the facts surrounding the crime.

Taking a classic Ernest Hemingway short story and expanding it to include a full variety of twists and turns, this crime drama directed by German émigré Siodmak was one of the originators of the film-noir genre. Starting off with the professional murder of its main star (Burt Lancaster, in his cinema début) is an ultra-modern approach to this whodunnit. A feast for fans of guess the outcomes, the motivations and fixations of the film’s main players are delicately balanced, and as a whole the piece benefits from a collection of superbly poised performances.

Lancaster brings a haunting quality to
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Chicago Critics' Top 100 Horror (or Just Plain Creepy) Films in History

Scariest movies ever made: The top 100 horror films according to the Chicago Film Critics (photo: Janet Leigh, John Gavin and Vera Miles in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho') I tend to ignore lists featuring the Top 100 Movies (or Top 10 Movies or Top 20 Movies, etc.), no matter the category or criteria, because these lists are almost invariably compiled by people who know little about films beyond mainstream Hollywood stuff released in the last decade or two. But the Chicago Film Critics Association's list of the 100 Scariest Movies Ever Made, which came out in October 2006, does include several oldies — e.g., James Whale's Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein — in addition to, gasp, a handful of non-American horror films such as Dario Argento's Suspiria, Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre, and F.W. Murnau's brilliant Dracula rip-off Nosferatu. (Check out the full list of the Chicago Film Critics' top 100 horror movies of all time.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Revisiting Buck Rogers In The 25th Century

  • Den of Geek
Andrew time travels 35 years back to revisit the theatrical release of the Buck Rogers In The 25th Century film...

Once synonymous with science fiction, the phrase ‘That Buck Rogers Stuff’ once called to mind everything the average person thought about Science Fiction - ray guns, rocket ships and robots. Certainly in the 1928, when the then-christened Anthony Rogers made his debut, he was something pretty unique in Sci-Fi - the space adventurer as swash-buckler. Given the nickname ‘Buck’ by John F. Dille, the novel, Armageddon, was adapted into the comic strips in 1929 and then in 1932, Buck Rogers became the first major Science Fiction radio drama. 1939 saw Larry ‘Buster’ Crabbe take on the role for a 12-part serial. All of this is to say that Buck Rogers was around for quite a while before many people of my generation discovered him.

Buck Rogers In The 25th Century arrived on UK shores via the medium of cinema.
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Cry Danger’ steers itself mostly clear of the dangers of director debuts

  • SoundOnSight
Cry Danger

Written by William Bowers

Directed by Robert Parish

USA, 1951

The road that ultimately leads creative people in the filmmaking business to the highly coveted director’s chair is rarely the same from one candidate to the next. Some are fortunate enough to direct a feature from the get-go. The number of directorial debuts from stunningly young men and women premiering at festivals is a testament to that journey. Others take the long road, filling in a great many roles on movie sets, learning the ropes of many trades before they finally helm a project. Robert Parish’s journey began at age 11, when he appeared in the 1927 short Olympic Games. After years of acting and editing, his directorial debut finally came in 1951 with the mobster film Cry Danger.

Unexpectedly released from prison after 5 years courtesy of an alibi from someone he has never met, infamous hoodlum Rocky Mulloy (Dick Powell
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Blu-ray, DVD Release: Cry Danger

  • Disc Dish
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 15, 2013

Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Olive Films

Dick Powell in on the hunt for revenge and cash in Cry Danger.

Dick Powell (Murder, My Sweet) and Rhonda Fleming (Out of the Past) star in the 1951 film noir crime drama Cry Danger, which makes its DVD and Blu-ray debut with this Olive Films release.

Powell is Rocky, an innocent man just released from prison who’s on the hunt for both the $100,000 bankroll he allegedly stole and the people who framed him. Then there’s Delong (Richard Erdman, The Men), a disabled Marine veteran who produced the evidence that led to Rocky’s release and who now wants part of the stash in exchange for his help. But Rocky has a different plan,…

Directed by Robert Parrish (The Purple Plain) and featuring the glorious black-and-white cinematographer of Joseph F. Biroc (It’s a Wonderful Life), the film
See full article at Disc Dish »

DVD Review: "The Naked Jungle" (1954) Starring Charlton Heston And Eleanor Parker

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer 

The Warner Archive has acquired the home video rights to certain vintage Paramount films including the 1954 adventure The Naked Jungle. Although Charlton Heston had already been a popular young leading man for a few years, the studio still felt that Eleanor Parker had more boxoffice clout (!), thus she received top billing. Nevertheless, the movie is fondly remembered by Heston fans as a pivotal entry in his career simply because it is so offbeat. A plot description might lead one to believe it is a science fiction or horror story: a South American plantation is menaced by Marabunta, an unstoppable army of billions of ants that devour any living thing in their path. However, the story is based on scientific fact as these occurrences do take place in deep jungle, though fortunately, the real life ants are not known to eat people or animals. Heston plays Christopher Leiningen,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

It’s Not TV: HBO, The Company That Changed Television. In the Beginning Was the Word — Radio

In the Beginning Was the Word — Radio:

“I like doing radio because it’s so intimate. The moment people hear your voice, you’re inside their heads, not only that, you’re in there laying eggs”.

Doug Coupland

We can watch TV — or movies, YouTube videos, play videogames, exchange video phone calls — from anywhere and everywhere: on line at McD’s, from our seat on our commuter bus or train (usually annoying the hell out of the napping business professional next to us), even from a toilet stall (crass, I grant, but I’ve seen — , well, ahem, I mean, I’ve heard it done). It’s nearly impossible for a generation growing up immersed, submerged, and buried in portable visual media to imagine the magnetic hold radio had on its audiences back in its early days. Think about it, all you smartphone and ipad users, wi-fiers and Hopper subscribers: there
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Robert Altman: The Hollywood Interview

Director Robert Altman.

Robert Altman: Eclectic Maverick

By

Alex Simon

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Venice Magazine.

It's the Fall of 1977 and I'm a bored and rebellious ten year old in search of a new movie to occupy my underworked and creativity-starved brain, feeling far too mature for previous favorites Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and wanting something more up-to-date and edgy than Chaplin's City Lights (1931). I needed a movie to call my favorite that would be symbolic of my own new-found manhood (and something that would really piss off my parents and teachers). Mom and Dad were going out for the evening, leaving me with whatever unfortunate baby-sitter happened to need the $10 badly enough to play mother hen to an obnoxiously precocious only child like myself. I scanned the TV Guide for what
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Friday Noir: Violence begets violence in ‘Dial 1119′

  • SoundOnSight
Dial 1119

Directed by Gerald Mayer

Written by Hugh King and Don McGuire

U.S.A., 1950

If there is one thing about older films which can cause a surprise among modern audiences, it is the acting style of the period. A frequent complaint coming from those whose exposure to movies of the 30s, 40s and 60s is limited is that the variety of the acting is vastly different from what is typically experienced today. Back then, being a bit more on the theatrical, or melodramatic side, was a good thing, whereas in the early 21st century, subtlety is what people admire most. Imagine what a melodramatic performance serving a mentally challenged character would be like, a thought which could very well turn people away from watching Marshall Thomspon in Dial 1119, but those people will have missed perfectly calculated, chilling role.

Director Gerald Mayer, nephew of the legendary producer Louis B.
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Friday Noir: A quintessential ‘femme fatale’ storms her way through ‘Tension’

  • SoundOnSight
Tension

Directed by John Berry

Screenplay by Allen Rivkin

U.S.A., 1949

Who is the infamous femme fatale? From what dark depths of humanity was she born and will men ever be able to truly resist her seductive moves? Such queries can spark endless discussions, among them the quality of the actresses who have portrayed them throughout the decades, especially in the early days of the noir genre. What appears to be all showmanship and flash hides the real talents of the actresses interpreting the roles. Not everyone can pull off the task with flying colours. Some actresses simply have the ‘fatale bug.’ Jane Greer was one of the most popular of her contemporaries, her role in Out of the Past being the most celebrated. Another talented, seductive thespian of the time that should not be overlooked is Audrey Totter, who made quite a career for herself with a great many roles in noir films.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

DVD Review: "Two On A Guillotine" Starring Connie Stevens, Dean Jones And Cesar Romero

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Although often erroneously attributed to legendary producer William Castle, the 1965 chiller Two on a Guillotine certainly has all the hallmarks of one of his productions: a modestly-budgeted scarefest backed by an intense, sensational marketing campaign. In fact, the film was, perhaps improbably, produced and directed by William Conrad- that's right, the same character actor who originated the role of Matt Dillon on the Gunsmoke radio program and who would enjoy leading man status in the 1970s as the star of the popular Cannon detective series on TV. The off-beat story begins in the 1940s and finds Cesar Romero as 'Duke' Duquesne, the world's greatest magician and illusionist. Everyone is enamored of him except his wife Melinda (Connie Stevens), who is tired of being a beautiful prop in his act. On the eve of presenting his most ambitious stunt, which involves faking Melinda's beheading on a guillotine,
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Obsessive, Compulsive, Procedural #3: ‘The Good Wife’

  • SoundOnSight
The Good Wife

Created by Michelle King and Robert King

imdb, CBS, Sundays at 9Pm

3.01 A New Day

Directed by Brooke Kennedy

Written by Michelle King and Robert King, based on a story by Meredith Averill

3.03 Get A Room

Directed by David Platt

Written by Michelle King and Robert King, based on a story by Julia Wolfe

3.04 Feeding the Rat

Directed by Fred Toye

Written by Keith Eisner

3.05 Marthas and Catilins

Directed by Félix Enríquez Alcalá

Written by Ted Humphrey

3.06 Affairs of State

Directed by Dean Parisot

Written by Corinne Brinkerhoff

*****

When CBS originally announced The Good Wife it seemed like a terrible idea. Make a TV series about the wife of a fallen politician? The one forced by circumstances and her own ambition to stand by his side and publicly forgive him? Even when doing so means doubling your public humiliation?

Three years in, The Good Wife is by
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