4 items from 2011
Of all the available outlets for classic movies, TCM leads the (admittedly small) pack in variety, invention and print quality.
Still not nearly as widely available as it should be (try finding it on hotel televisions), the brand has nevertheless firmly carved an essential niche in the cable/satellite movie landscape, allowing owner Time Warner to maximize its vast library of vintage movies culled from numerous studio sources. In fact, Time Warner owns more titles than any other entity, and lately has been forthcoming with clever marketing ideas like the Warner Archive on-demand dvd service, which has been thankfully adopted by MGM, Sony, Fox and Universal. There are more titles available to the general public than ever before, often in pristine condition.
But to love a film you have to see it, and to see it you have to know it exists. »
Professor Jules Heitz travels to the remote Eastern European village of Vandorf when one of his sons is accused of murder before taking his own life. However, he encounters hostility from the locals and suspects that they are hiding something from him.
Despite threats of violence, Heitz elects to stay in Vandorf to find out the truth. During the dead of night, the calls of a siren lure him to the ruins of the castle where he has a fatal encounter with Magera, a snake-haired gorgon from Greek mythology who could turn a man to stone with her gaze.
In his last hours, he manages to send a letter to his surviving son, Paul, who promptly arrives in Vandorf to be greeted by the same hostility and violence as his father. Paul also has an encounter with Magera, although he is lucky enough to escape. Realising he needs help to combat this creature, »
- Andrew Smith
“My name is Bond - James Bond". That classic introduction to the cinema’s greatest secret agent is as famous as “I am Dracula, I bid you welcome.” When the box office success of Dr No (1962) turned the unknown Sean Connery into a movie legend, Hammer was never far away from the franchise. With their own films running parallel to the Bond series, Hammer and Eon Productions often made use of the same talent.
Dr No also marked the debuts of Bernard Lee (the first of 11 films as M) and Lois Maxwell (the first of 14 as Miss Moneypenny). Lee had a brief turn as Tarmut in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) and despite never starring in a Hammer horror, Maxwell turned up in their early fifties thrillers Lady in the Fog (1953) and Mantrap (1954).
As doomed double-agent Professor Dent, Anthony Dawson is best known as the vile Marquis in Curse »
During his fifty years as an actor, Peter Cushing found himself up against many monsters (some of whom he created) of varying creepiness. From his star-making role as Baron Frankenstein, the monster hunter certainly had his hands full...
The Abominable Snowman (1957): Intelligent Val Guest science fiction thriller, with Cushing’s scientist Dr John Rollison leading an expedition to find the Yeti, only to learn there is something more other-worldly about this particular monster.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959): Cushing gives his finest performance as Sherlock Holmes, battling the ferocious (and rather feeble-looking) dog that has cursed the Baskerville family for centuries. Cushing played the Great Detective in a 1968 TV series and turned up years later in The Mask of Death (1984), looking very frail but never losing his spark.
The Mummy (1959): Cushing plays crippled archaeologist John Banning, who ignores native warnings and activates a mummy (Lee again) that wrecks havoc. »
4 items from 2011
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