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Review: "The Valley Of Gwangi" (1969) Starring James Franciscus And Gila Golan; Warner Archive Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Hank Reineke

The blending of two disparate but popular film genres – in this case, the horror/sci-fi film with the saddle opera - was hardly new when The Valley of Gwangi hit the big screen in 1969. This film’s most identifiable predecessor, one pitting cowboys against a prehistoric monster, might be The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956), but truth be told Hollywood had been combining these two genres almost from the very beginning. In the 1930s and ‘40s, audiences thrilled to the ghostly monochrome exploits of such western serial heroes as Ken Maynard, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Buster Crabbe with such films as Tombstone Canyon (1932), The Vanishing Riders (1935), and Wild Horse Phantom (1944). Universal’s Curse of the Undead (1959) was a later but no less interesting experiment for Hollywood’s preeminent fright factory. The studio removed the vampire from the usual atmospheric Gothic trappings of old Europe and dropped him onto the sagebrush plain.
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The Valley of Gwangi

Gwangi! Ready your rifles and lariats because this is one of the best. Harryhausen’s happiest dinos- à go-go epic comes thundering back in HD heralded by Jerome Moross’s impressive music score. Unless you count The Animal World, all of the stop-motion magician’s feature films are now available in quality Blu-rays.

The Valley of Gwangi

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1969 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 95 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: James Franciscus, Gila Golan, Richard Carlson, Laurence Naismith, Freda Jackson, Gustavo Rojo.

Cinematography: Erwin Hillier

Visual Effects by Ray Harryhausen

Art Direction: Gil Parrondo

Film Editor: Henry Richardson

Original Music: Jerome Moross

Written by William E. Bast

Produced by Charles H. Schneer

Directed by Jim O’Connolly

“Ladies and Gentlemen, what you are about to see has never been seen before, I Repeat, has never been seen before by human eyes!”

In just the last month three
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Boy on a Dolphin

Killer Greek scenery in CinemaScope graces Jean Negulesco's relaxed thriller about art theft in the Aegean. But viewers are more likely to remember Sophia Loren's sexy wet diving costume that insured that her American debut didn't go unnoticed. Boy on a Dolphin Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1957 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 111 min. / Street Date October 25, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Alan Ladd, Clifton Webb, Sophia Loren, Alexis Minotis, Jorge Mistral, Laurence Naismith, Piero Giagnoni, Gertrude Flynn, Marni Nixon (voice), Scilla Gabel (Loren underwater). Cinematography Milton R. Krasner Film Editor William Mace Original Music Hugo Friedhofer Written by Ivan Moffat, Dwight Taylor from the novel by David Divine Produced by Samuel G. Engel Directed by Jean Negulesco

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Back when working on extras for The Guns of Navarone we saw documentation showing that Columbia Pictures had to jump through a lot of hoops with the Greek Royal Family
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

18 films that took their inspiration from James Bond movies

Bourne and Mission: Impossible, right back to Harry Palmer and Danger Diabolik - meet the many pretenders to James Bond's throne...

Since 1962, the James Bond franchise has come to define the spy genre, for good or ill. More broadly, every thriller and action film that comes out now either uses them as inspiration, or attempts to ignore or re-work the tropes that have come to be associated with the series.

Coming off the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, and with the release of a new Bond film this year, now seems like the perfect time to take a look at a sample of the films which have been inspired by James Bond — either as homages, parodies or reactions.

The Ipcress File (1965)

Produced by James Bond producer Harry Saltzman as a more grounded alternative to the largesse of Bond, The Ipcress File is more concerned with the intricacies of real spy-work — the endless paperwork,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Long Before Obi-Wan There Were the Eight D'Ascoynes: Guinness Day

Alec Guinness: Before Obi-Wan Kenobi, there were the eight D’Ascoyne family members (photo: Alec Guiness, Dennis Price in ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’) (See previous post: “Alec Guinness Movies: Pre-Star Wars Career.”) TCM won’t be showing The Bridge on the River Kwai on Alec Guinness day, though obviously not because the cable network programmers believe that one four-hour David Lean epic per day should be enough. After all, prior to Lawrence of Arabia TCM will be presenting the three-and-a-half-hour-long Doctor Zhivago (1965), a great-looking but never-ending romantic drama in which Guinness — quite poorly — plays a Kgb official. He’s slightly less miscast as a mere Englishman — one much too young for the then 32-year-old actor — in Lean’s Great Expectations (1946), a movie that fully belongs to boy-loving (in a chaste, fatherly manner) fugitive Finlay Currie. And finally, make sure to watch Robert Hamer’s dark comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Peter Cushing: A centenary celebration

For the fans of this wonderful man, which I proudly count myself as one; 26 May 2013 marks the centenary of horror legend Peter Cushing. One of the most versatile actors to grace the big screen, Cushing never gave a single bad performance throughout his 50-year career. A dedicated perfectionist, who believed in giving nothing less than his best effort, Cushing’s 100% commitment always lifted a bad film. The movie may fail him but he would never fail his public.

Cushing began his acting career in repertory theatre and with his legendary one-way ticket to Hollywood, made his film debut in 1939. After a couple of productive years in the States, he worked his way back to England following the outbreak of World War 2. Marrying actress Helen Beck, he worked on stage but struggled to find good roles until he became a member of the RSC under Laurence Oliver. As British TV’s first big star,
See full article at Shadowlocked »

TCM Classic Film Festival Continues To Expand In Final Weeks Before April 12 Opening

Latest Additions Include Star-Studded Appearances, Noted Film Historians,

An Opening-Night Poolside Screening of High Society (1956)

And a Vanity Fair Showcase of Architecture in Film

Complete Schedule for 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival

Now Available at http://www.tcm.com/festival

With just over two weeks left before opening day, the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival continues to expand its already-packed slate with new events and live appearances:

On opening night of the festival, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will be the site of a poolside screening of the lavish Cole Porter musical High Society (1956), starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Actresses Maud Adams and Eunice Gayson will attend a 50th Anniversary screening of the James Bond classic Dr. No (1962) and participate in a conversation about being “Bond Girls.” Filmmaker Mel Brooks will be on hand to introduce his brilliant parody Young Frankenstein (1974). Filmmaker John Carpenter will introduce his favorite film, the
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

TCM Classic Film Festival Adds Award-Winning Stars, Filmmakers And More

The 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival has unveiled another spectacular lineup of special guests and events for this year’s four-day gathering in Hollywood. Among the newly announced participants for this year’s festival are five-time Emmy® winner Dick Van Dyke, Oscar® winner Shirley Jones, two-time Golden Globe® winner Angie Dickinson, six-time Golden Globe nominee Robert Wagner, seven-time Oscar nominee Norman Jewison, longtime producer A.C. Lyles and three-time Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker. In addition, the festival will feature a special three-film tribute to director/choreographer Stanley Donen, who will be on-hand for the celebration.

As part of its overall Style and the Movies theme, the festival has added several films featuring the work of pioneering costume designer Travis Banton. Oscar-nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis will introduce the six-movie slate, with actress and former Essentials co-host Rose McGowan joining her for one of the screenings.

Other festival additions include a screening
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Camelot 45th Anniversary Blu-ray Arrives April 24th

  • MovieWeb
Camelot 45th Anniversary Blu-ray Arrives April 24th
Camelot -- the musical classic based on the Tony Award-winning stage production from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (Gigi, My Fair Lady) will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year with a newly remastered Blu-ray version, debuting April 24 from Warner Home Video.

Based on T.H. White's "The Once and Future King," this lavish film adaptation recalls a fleeting, mythical time of love and chivalry -- the reign of King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table. Although torn apart by the conflicts between passion, love, honor and duty, it was a golden era that could have been ... and could yet be. Richard Harris (Harry Potter 1 and 2, Unforgiven) stars as King Arthur, with Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus, Letters to Juliet) opposite him as Queen Guinevere and Franco Nero, Redgrave's current husband (Die Hard 2) as Lancelot. Joshua Logan directed and Jack L. Warner produced.

Winner of three 1968 Academy Awards (Best Adaptation Scoring,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Diamonds Are Forever 40th Year Anniversary Retrospective

It is, some say, a Roger Moore Bond movie without Roger Moore in it. That’s because Diamonds Are Forever — which celebrates its 40th anniversary this week — is as camp as Glastonbury in June.

Camp? Yes. Camp. Look at the evidence: it has saucy innuendo galore (“You seem to have caught me with more than my hands up”); a Shirley Bassey-delivered title track with Don Black’s ‘ooh-er’ lyrics; a gaudy Las Vegas setting; gay hit men; a moon buggy chase; plus Ernst Stavro Blofeld holding the world to ransom with an outer-space death ray. You know. That kind of camp.

It might have been different had George Lazenby returned for a second bite at Bond, or if American actor John Gavin (from Psycho) had played 007. In fact, Gavin had already signed a contract but, at the last minute, due to studio jitters, Sean Connery was made an offer
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Mark Gatiss on his love of Hg Wells and horror

Mark Gatiss is perhaps best known for his work with comedy sketch show The League Of Gentlemen.

He has written episodes for, and appeared in, Doctor Who and played Mycroft in the BBC's Sherlock series, which he co-created with Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat.

Mark was also in the BBC's 2005 live remake of The Quatermass Experiment, during rehearsals for which David Tennant was offered the role of Doctor Who.

The 44-year-old recently presented A History Of Horror on BBC Four as well as adapting Hg Wells' sci-fi novel The First Men In The Moon, in which he starred as Edwardian scientist Professor Cavor.

Cavor's invention of a substance ('Cavorite') which can deflect gravity enables him and colleague Arnold Bedford to travel to the moon.

There they find a breathable atmosphere and creatures they call Selenites as they become involved in events that will eventually make the moon as inhospitable as it is today.
See full article at The Geek Files »

Tony Curtis: a true Hollywood star

He was beautiful as a young slave in Spartacus, yet Curtis's greatest role was in Some Like It Hot, dressed as a woman and wooing Marilyn Monroe

Blog: A career in clips

Gallery: A life in photographs

Obituary: Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis, a tremendously witty and self-deprecating raconteur in his later years, used to tell a story about starting out in the movies. Playing the tiny role of "bellboy" in the 1949 Barbara Stanwyck film The Lady Gambles, he was in his bellhop costume, getting ready to come on for a rehearsal, when he saw the director picking his way towards him behind the set over the light cables. Curtis fluttered with excitement: what did he want? Give advice about the craft of acting? To discuss his motivation? His characterisation? To discuss a fascinating, subliminal frisson of erotic connection with Stanwyck? At last the director arrived, leant over and hissed:
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Win Tickets! Feb. at the Egyptian: Giants and Gremlins!

Another month dawns fellow monster maniacs, and Famous Monsters wants to invite you to the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for two devilish double features, sure to whet the appetite of any fan!

First up on Thursday, February 25 is a double feature of Gremlins, followed by its sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

From the Egyptian’s official website:

Thursday, February 25 – 7:30 Pm

Gremlins, 1984, Warner Bros., 106 min. Dir. Joe Dante. When Billy (Zach Galligan) breaks the cardinal rules for the keeping of his rare new pet – no water, no food after midnight and no bright light – chaos is unleashed in his idyllic small town. What once was cute and fuzzy transforms and multiplies into a horde of dangerous, mayhem-loving creatures. With Hoyt Axton, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller, Corey Feldman and Glynn Turman.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch, 1990, Warner Bros., 106 min. Dir Joe Dante. Six years after the original, everybody’s favorite
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

See also

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