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The Sea Chase

John Wayne plays a German sea captain in a film that goes out of its way to create a favorable image of our former enemy, with hardly a Nazi flag or even a German accent in sight. Wayne and his co-star Lana Turner are as Teutonic as Blondie and Dagwood, yet the film works as a basic adventure – we like the charismatic star, and the sea chase format guarantees extra interest.

The Sea Chase

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1955 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 117 min. / Street Date July 11, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: John Wayne, Lana Turner, David Farrar, Lyle Bettger, Tab Hunter, James Arness, Richard Davalos, John Qualen, Paul Fix, Alan Hale Jr., Peter Whitney, Claude Akins, John Doucette, Tudor Owen, Adam Williams.

Cinematography: William Clothier

Film Editors: William Ziegler, Owen Marks

Original Music: Roy Webb

Written by James Warner Bellah, John Twist from a novel by Andrew Geer

Produced and Directed
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Blood Alley

Now a successful producer, John Wayne tries a big budget action picture with an anti-Communist theme. It’s The Alamo on a ferryboat, set in the far East where the locals are a hungerin’ for Freedom. Wayne is an apolitical adventurer who just feels like savin’ Chinese and kissin’ Lauren Bacall. Ace director William Wellman holds it together — barely.

Blood Alley

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1955 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 115 min. / Street Date July 18, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Paul Fix, Joy Kim, Berry Kroeger, Mike Mazurki, Wei Ling, Henry Nakamura.

Cinematography: William H. Clothier

Film Editor: Fred McDowell

Original Music: Roy Webb

Written by A.S. Fleischman, from his novel.

Produced by John Wayne

Directed by William Wellman

John Wayne was extremely busy in 1955, starring in movies for big studios as well as for his own company Batjac. He was rated the most popular Hollywood star and was making constant public appearances,
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Cat People

This kitty needs no introduction: Simone Simon is the purring-sweet immigrant with a dark atavistic secret. It's Val Lewton's debut smash hit. The real hero is director Jacques Tourneur, who conveys a feeling of real life being lived that won over audiences of 1942 and drew them into his web of fantasy. Cat People Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 833 1942 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 73 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date September 20, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Elizabeth Russell, Theresa Harris. Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca Art Direction Albert S. D'Agostino, Walter E. Keller Film Editor Mark Robson Original Music Roy Webb Written by De Witt Bodeen Directed by Jacques Tourneur

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Val Lewton never had to be 'discovered,' actually. Life magazine awarded him his own photo layout and the critics praised him as the maker of a new brand of psychologically based horror films.
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Fixed Bayonets!

Samuel Fuller's first picture under his Fox contract is a fine Korean War 'suicide squad' tale, filmed on a sound stage but looking quite authentic. Richard Basehart leads a fine cast. Lots of cigars get chomped, and Gene Evans is actually named Sgt. Rock. Plus an excellent commentary from Trailers from Hell's new guru Michael Schlesinger. Fixed Bayonets! Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1951 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 92 min. / Street Date September 20, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Michael O'Shea, Richard Hylton, Craig Hill, Skip Homeier, Neyle Morrow, Wyott Ordung, John Doucette, George Conrad Cinematography Lucien Ballard Art Direction George Patrick, Lyle Wheeler Film Editor Nick DeMaggio Original Music Roy Webb Written by Samuel Fuller from a novel by John Brophy Produced by Jules Buck Directed by Samuel Fuller

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Sam Fuller's third independent film The Steel Helmet was a risky proposition
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Review: "The Gallant Hours" (1960) Starring James Cagney; Kino Lorber Blu-ray Edition

  • CinemaRetro
By Doug Oswald

James Cagney is Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., Usn in “The Gallant Hours,” available on Blu-ray for the first time by Kino Lorber. Affectionately known as “Bull” Halsey, the movie is a biography of Halsey told in a semi-documentary style with most of the narration provided by Robert Montgomery, who introduces people, locations and explains the action occurring off stage. Montgomery, a distinguished Us Naval officer in WWII, also happens to be the director of the movie and this is his final effort on film.

The movie opens at Halsey’s retirement ceremony, incorrectly stated as 22 November 1945 (Halsey retired from active duty in March 1947). Reflecting in his cabin with his steward, retiring Chief Petty Officer Manuel Salvador Jesus Maravilla (Leon Lontoc), the movie flashes back to the Battle of Guadalcanal as Halsey takes command of American forces in the South Pacific on 16 October 1942. Once he arrives on board his flag ship,
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Hitler’s Children

Rko's morale-building wartime thriller adds an element of sexual perversion to its story of Nazi crimes against children, thus creating one of the studio's all-time biggest hits. Bonita Granville is the victim Tim Holt her Nazi-youth heartthrob, and Otto Kruger provides the perverted sneers. Hitler's Children DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1943 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 82 min. / Street Date December 1, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Otto Kruger, H.B. Warner, Lloyd Corrigan, Erford Gage, Hans Conried, Gavin Muir, Nancy Gates, Egon Brecher, Peter van Eyck, Edward Van Sloan. Cinematography Russell Metty Film Editor Joseph Noriega Original Music Roy Webb Written by Emmet Lavery from the book Education for Death by Gregor Ziemer Produced by Edward A. Golden Directed by Edward Dmytryk

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Perhaps the most popular anti-Nazi info-propaganda thriller of the war, Hitler's Children is a very well made shocker that
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Five Came Back

Dalton Trumbo and Nathanael West contributed to the screenplay for John Farrow's suspense adventure about a plane crash in the Amazon jungle -- who will survive? Lucille Ball is the ranking castaway in a glossy Rko thriller that's been restored to a fine polish. Five Came Back DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1939 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 75 min. / Street Date June 30, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Wendy Barrie, John Carradine, Allen Jenkins, Joseph Calleia, C. Aubrey Smith, Kent Taylor, Patric Knowles, Elisabeth Risdon, Casey Johnson, Frank Faylen. Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca Original Music Roy Webb Written by Jerome Cady, Dalton Trumbo, Nathanael West story by Richard Carroll Produced by Robert Sisk Directed by John Farrow

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When they list the 'big' pictures of 1939, the ones that we're told made that year Hollywood's best ever, there are some winning titles that don't get mentioned.
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200 Greatest Horror Films (50-41)

Special Mention: Dead Ringers

Directed by David Cronenberg

Written by David Cronenberg and Norman Snider

Canada, 1988

Genre: Thriller / Drama

Dead Ringers is one of David Cronenberg’s masterpieces, and Jeremy Irons gives the most highly accomplished performance of his entire career – times two. This is the story of Beverly and Elliot Mantle (both played by Irons), identical twins who, since birth, have been inseparable. Together, they work as gynecologists in their own clinic, and literally share everything between them, including the women they work and sleep with. Jealousy comes between the two when Beverly falls in love with a new patient and decides he no longer wants to share his lady friend with Elliot. The twins, who have always existed together as one, have trouble adapting and soon turn against one another. Unlike the director’s previous films, the biological horror in Dead Ringers is entirely conveyed through the psychological
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Warners’ Special Effects Blu-ray Collection

I'll trade you two RKOs for two Warners', an even swap! This quartet of movie-magic wonderments offer a full course on old-school film effects wizardry at its best. Willis O'Brien passes the baton to disciple Ray Harryhausen, who dazzles us with his own effects magic for the first '50s giant monster epic. And the best monster thriller of the decade is offered at its original widescreen aspect ratio. It's all special enough to merit a mid-week review. Special Effects Collection Blu-ray The Son of Kong, Mighty Joe Young, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Them! Warner Home Video 1933-1954 / B&W / 1:37 Academy - 1:85 widescreen / 335 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / 54.96 or 19.98 separately Starring Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack,, Frank Reicher, Victor Wong; Robert Armstrong, Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Frank McHugh; Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods, Lee Van Cleef; James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens,
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Two O’Clock Courage

Ready for more Anthony Mann? This light comedy thriller / borderline noir leans on amnesia for a plot hook and to motivate an all-night prowl on the streets of Los Angeles the Rko back lot. Tom Conway and Ann Rutherford star, but the real thrill is in the secondary female leads -- Jean Brooks from the Val Lewton movies and dreamy Jane Greer in her billed feature debut. Two O'Clock Courage DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1945 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 66 min. / Street Date June 16, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 18.49 Starring Tom Conway, Ann Rutherford, Jean Brooks, Bettejane Greer, Richard Lane, Lester Matthews, Roland Drew, Emory Parnell. Cinematography Jack Mackenzie Original Music Roy Webb Written by Robert E. Kent, Gordon Kahn from a story by Gelett Burgess Produced by Ben Stoloff Directed by Anthony Mann  

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

This disc will get immediate attention from fans of director Anthony Mann. Another
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Murder, My Sweet

As far as Hollywood was concerned, hardboiled pulp author Raymond Chandler was big news in 1944 and 1945, working with Billy Wilder on the Production Code breakthrough hit Double Indemnity, and getting two of his popular Philip Marlowe books transposed to the screen -- and not completely shorn of their racy content. Savant Blu-ray Review The Warner Archive Collection Warner Archive Collection 1944 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 95 min. / Street Date September 15, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99  Starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, Mike Mazurki. Cinematography Harry J. Wild Art Direction Carroll Clark, Albert S. D'Agostino Film Editor Joseph Noriega Original Music Roy Webb Written by John Paxton from Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler Produced by Sid Rogell, Adrian Scott Directed by Edward Dmytryk

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Many films noirs seem to come from the same stylistic universe, in terms of themes and visuals. But a few of the
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Remembering Actress Simon Part 2 - Deadly Sex Kitten Romanced Real-Life James Bond 'Inspiration'

Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939).[11] This thematic and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

La Bête Humaine and Cat People Actress Remembered Part 1 (Revised and Expanded Version)

'Cat People' 1942 actress Simone Simon Remembered: Starred in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic (photo: Simone Simon in 'Cat People') Pert, pouty, pretty Simone Simon is best remembered for her starring roles in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie Cat People (1942) and in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). Long before Brigitte Bardot, Mamie Van Doren, Ann-Margret, and (for a few years) Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm in a film career that spanned a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both sides of the Atlantic – at times, with fatal results. During that period, Simon was featured in nearly 40 movies in France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and Hollywood. Besides Jean Renoir, in her native country she worked for the likes of Jacqueline Audry
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Alexandre Desplat and Composers With Six or More Original Score Oscar Noms And No Wins

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Of the 114 titles eligible for best original score at the 87th Academy Awards, five of French composer Alexandre Desplat’s scores have made the list: Godzilla, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Monuments Men and Unbroken. The final nominees will be announced Jan. 15.

Desplat has become one of the most prolific composers in Hollywood since his first Hollywood film score for 2003’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, and he has received six Oscar nominations in eight years. His first nomination came for 2006’s The Queen and was followed by 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2010’s The King’s Speech, 2012’s Argo and 2013’s Philomena. If he is nominated again this year — for one or more of his scores — he will have upwards of seven nominations in nine years, yet Desplat has never won. He joins five other
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: Top 100

Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.

Come Back Tonight To See My List Of The 200 Best!

****

Special Mention:

Wait until Dark

Directed by Terence Young

Written by Robert Carrington

USA, 1967

Directed by Terence Young,
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100 + Greatest Horror Movies (pt.4) 75-51

Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.

As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.

****

Special Mention:

American Psycho

Directed by Mary Harrron

Written by Mary Harron

2000, USA

Bret Easton Ellis’s dark and violent satire of America in the 1980s was brought to the big screen by director Mary Harron. Initially slapped with the MPAA’s kiss of death (an Nc-17 rating), American Psycho was later re-edited and reduced to a more commercially dependable “R”. Perhaps the film works best as a slick satire about misogyny,
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Review: A Trio from Hitchcock — “Notorious”, “Spellbound”, and “Rebecca”

  • Comicmix
Alfred Hitchcock is today best known for his work in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to Universal and Warner Bros. steady stream of restored re-releases on Blu-ray but recently, 20th Century Home Entertainment reminded us that the master director wasn’t exactly idle in the years before. A trio of his 1940s works – Notorious, Spellbound, and Rebecca – are now out on Blu-ray for the first time and it begs a fresh look at his black and white thrillers.

Hitchcock began his stormy relationship with MGM producer David O. Selznick with 1940’s Rebecca, a psychological drama which is noteworthy as the director’s first American film. Adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s bestseller, it featured Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson. Being a gothic tale of loss, while gently questioning whether or not Olivier killed his first wife, it was a good fit for Hitchcock, introducing him to the American
See full article at Comicmix »

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