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The Stork Club (1945)
This film is considered a "classic" -- why, I dunno. The film is overly long, and moves at a snail's pace. The scene where Hutton sings in the Penthouse is GODAWFUL! They could've done a LOT more with the basic premise of this film.......but didn't. Or, they should've shortened it by about 20 mins. or so. The only redeeming feature in this film is the millionaire (I forget his name), and even HE is wasted!
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Better than the first one!
The story, action, and special effects come fast & furious in this one! Some parts of this film contain comical "bits" (like when the boy has to go to the bathroom on the train) that remind one of the "Indiana Jones" films.
The special effects are INCREDIBLE; I especially like the "mummy fight" scene on the double-decker bus!
The ONLY special effect that looks kinda "fake" is the Scorpion King at the end of this film; it doesn't look real AT ALL! (especially the "human" part). I noticed that it moves rather quickly, as if the effx people realised that it wasn't quite "up to snuff", and didn't want you to get a good look at it.
Even so, I HIGHLY recommend this film!
Norm Vogel firstname.lastname@example.org
Night of Terror (1933)
A GREAT "Old House" film!
As usual, i must disagree with the other reviewer. All that cliche-ic stuff (secret panels, the "maniac", seances, etc) is what makes this film a GREAT "Old House" film! Granted, Lugosi is wasted in this role, but the entire film builds up a creepy, sinister "atmosphere".
Both Maltin and the other reviewer dismiss the end of the film, where the maniac speaks to the audience but, I first saw this when I was about 6 years old, and it scared the bejesus out of me for several nights!
Don't analyzse this film....just WATCH it....and ENJOY!
An EXTREMELY interesting film!
As usual (!), I TOTALLY DISAGREE with Maltin's review of this film! It's quite a study of 2 sisters and a brother, living in their ancestral home in a small town. The brother becomes romantically involved with a woman at his job, and one of his sisters, a hypocondriac, does her best to break up the romance by pretending to have "heart trouble". The brother must decide whether to marry the girl (& leave), or to be a "prisoner" in
the house, and take care of his sister forever.
Maltin's "40's censorship" comment is totally off-base here, as "censorship" had nothing to do with it! The ending, as it was filmed, makes the film soooo much better than if it ended on a "sour note". (I can't say more without giving anything
away). It has some "Hitchcock-esque" touches and is an EXCELLENT film!
Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Pretty good, but could've been better!
It's quite interesting how the film begins PRECISELY where Dracula ends! Van Helsing has just driven the stake thru Dracula's heart, and is taken to jail for Dracula's murder! A clever touch! He gets his psychiatrist friend to defend him in the murder trial; one wonders why he didn't get Johanthan Harker, Nina, or any of the OTHER people who went thru the "Dracula menace" with him earlier! Several things could've been improved: "Dracula" was obviously a dummy in the coffin, the psychiatrist was a very "cold" person (no "bedside manner" and rather egotistical), and it would've been interesting to have shown the Scotland Yard Inspector actual PROOF that she was a vampire at the end of the film (having her body turn into a skeleton, or something).
Even with these minor faults, it's a good atmospheric film; Holden is superb as the Count's daughter! And, the method of killer her was pretty clever! Norm
Dangerous Corner (1934)
Good, but confusing!
This is an intriquing mystery of a bond theft and a suicide (?) that is discussed by a group of people (connected with both) over dinner. There are sooo many flashbacks and plot twists/changes, that it becomes quite confusing as to "what's what"! The ending leaves you with a feeling of "that's IT?!?!",
& I'd recommend that you see it SEVERAL times before everything "sinks in"!
Blake of Scotland Yard (1937)
A good serial!
This is one of the BETTER serials that I've seen! Unlike many others (most notably the Republic films), there ISN'T a fight scene (and/or a car going over a cliff) every 10 minutes!
In fact, all the main characters act (surprisingly) INTELLIGENT for a change! (And, trip up the 'bad guys' very often).
My only complaint is that, like all the other serials, the good guys are armed with guns, which (for some odd reason) they NEVER USE (until the final chapter).
The Iron Claw (1941)
Not one of the best serials.
If anyone has seen the intriguing still of the heroine in the clutches of the creepy-looking "Iron Claw", let me assure you that this serial doesn't live up to that.
It's a 15-Chapter serial (about 4 1/2 hours, running time) about a treasure in gold that's hidden the home of a miserly old man. His family (including the Iron Claw) is out to steal it from him. The first few chapters are pretty boring, with the family listening thru keyholes on each other, and the traditional "serial thrills" (cars going off cliffs, etc) are missing from this film. And, the heroine's fake "scream" (which is, unfortunately, all thru this film) drives you crazy after awhile.
All-in-all, the whole film is "muddled" and is an embarrassment to James Horne. Pass this one up and watch Quigley's classic "The Crimson Ghost" instead!
The Girl from Mexico (1939)
THE best "Mexican Spitfire" film!
This film, without a doubt, is the best MS film! Lupe Velez is refreshing in this role, and even gets to do some musical numbers (ala' Carmen Meranda).
As the series went on, it was reduced to Lupe constantly screaming at her hubby, & Leon Errol lurching around in the (tiresome) "Lord Epping" routine (which often over-shadowed the series). A "Must See" !!! Norm
Murders in the Zoo (1933)
Lionel Atwill in a plumb role as a director of a zoo who's insanely jealous of his wife, to the point to having his "competition" murdered by the animals in the zoo. He is a real SOB in this film!
I highly recommend it! The only "downside" of it is Charlie Ruggles' "drunk" routine, which gets extremely tedious in parts. (One wishes that Atwill would've done HIM in, and early on in the picture!).
Has the same "tenseness" as the original "Most Dangerous Game".
Busman's Honeymoon (1940)
Don't waste your time with this one!
This film has the makings of a good mystery film -- detective hubby marries mystery-writer wife, and move into the house where the wife was born.
Unbeknownst to them, the last owner of the house was murdered the night before!
This film relies HEAVILY on "local color" and the "local characters" to keep it going. (The mystery is a flop). It's overlong (you wonder WHEN it will end!) and the title is misleading -- there's no "supernatural element" in it whatsoever. Recommended for insomniacs!
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Jim Carey's funniest film in a LONG time!
Everyone knows what this film is about, so i won't rehash the plot. There are many people (including myself) who actually LIKE what is commonly called "gross humor"; if you're one of those Politically-Correct, thin-skinned Wussies, then STAY HOME! You will NOT like it!
But, MANY people do! I took my 80 year-old Mom to see it (she's
offended by the "sexual dancing" in "Dirty Dancing"!), but laffed quite a bit thru it! (In fact, she wants to see it again!). Jim Carrey has a WINNER! Norm
IMPORTANT: WATCH THE FILM TO THE VERY END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Devil Bat (1940)
Not a bad film....
As a Bela Lugosi fan, i MUST disagree with the initial reviewer; this is not such a bad film! Ok, you can see the wire that the "bat" flies on, but remember -- they didn't have digital effects back then!
Lugosi is EXCELLENT as a scientist who feels he has been cheated out of the money from a perfume formula he invented. His performance is VERY convincing.
If the above-mentioned reviewer thinks it's "worse than any Ed Wood film", he hasn't seen "Glenn or Glenda?".
Devil Bat is a most enjoyable film! Norm
The Door with Seven Locks (1940)
Pass this one up.
This film is (VERY!) loosely based on the Edgar Wallace book, but the ONLY thing it has in common with it is the DOOR!
I am an avid reader/collector of Wallace, and (I had to admit it!), but I was totally bored by the whole business! The pacing is extremely slow, and the film goes on forever!
The only redeeming thing about it is the heroine, who is a "good-looker"! (btw, the mad doctor bears an uncanny resemblance to the mad hunter in the Fay Wray version of "The Most Dangerous Game).
Ghost Catchers (1944)
Olsen & Johnson's FUNNIEST film !
This film is to O & J what "Hold That Ghost" is to Abbott & Costello -- by far, their FUNNIEST film!
A Southern Colonel and his two daughters move into a "haunted house" in NYC...O & J (who own the night club next door) help them "despook" the place!
NOTE: Someone has written me about this film -- I HAVE IT in my collection of over 800 films! If you would like a copy, pls EMAIL me, using the addr next to my name: create a "regular" email; DON'T click on the addy. I might not get it!!!!
"Last the Best of All the Game!" Norm
Bulldog Jack (1935)
Don't waste your time with this one!
This film, simply put, is TERRIBLE! The acting is amateurish, and the characters run around a lot, but the whole thing FLOPS!
The only redeeming things about this film are the (always beautiful!) Fay Wray, and the sets of the abandoned subway tunnels.
Only die-hard Bulldog Drummond fans should see THIS one....if you can! (It's the "Plan 9" of Bulldog Drummond"!).
Movie Crazy (1932)
One of Lloyd's BEST films!
This film, along with "Safety Last" (and a couple of other silents) is one of THE funniest films he ever made!
This is quite unusual, in that he is primarily known as a silent-screen comedian, and this is a SOUND film! It is by far his best "talkie"!
Movie Crazy could've easily been made into a silent, but the sound adds a new dimension to Lloyd's comedy! The gags come fast & furious - his "riding in a limo", his antics at the movie studio, and the commotion he raises in a fancy restaurant when he dons a magician's coat (with props!) by mistake.
The latter is one of THE funniest sequences in a comedy film!
This film is to Lloyd as "Sons of the Desert" is to Laurel & Hardy.....simply, his BEST!
SEE IT....and, prepare to split your sides with laughter!
Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Keaton's BEST film!
This incredible comedy is far, far better than his (oft over- hyped) "General"! The special effects and trick photography are astounding for it's day. There are sooo many incredible bits: Keaton on the motorcycle, "jumping thru the window" (mentioned in other reviews), and actually ENTERING a movie are classic!
(There is a scene in which Keaton falls from a watertower, and is blasted onto railroad tracks by the force of the water. He immediately gets up and starts running away. Years later, during a physical examination, it was discovered that he had actually BROKEN HIS NECK when his head hit the rail!).
You have GOT to see this film; whether you like silents or not!
The Devil Commands (1941)
One of Karloff's BEST!
Karloff plays a college professor who tries to communicate with his dead Wife using electrical devices. He leaves the University, and holes up in a delapidated mansion to
continue his experiments. He hires a sinister housekeeper and a deformed servant to help him.
At one point, he has several dead bodies sitting around a table (sort of a "seance"), all wearing metal helmets. A supernatural vortex begins to stir above the table, and the bodies all lean forward into it -- this is REALLY creepy! (btw...the bodies are stolen from graveyards).
His daughter shows up and (of course!) tries to stop her now- demented father from doing these experiments...and, in the end, agrees to "sit in on the 'circle'", with chilling results....
This is a MUST see film! (btw - i HAVE it, and 100's of others!). Norm
Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
One of the poorer Castle films.
This film has a lot of potential (and, for a Castle production, you can tell that they had a good-sized budget), but the thrills are few and far between in this overly-long film.
They should've either added more "spooky business" or whittled the film down about 20 mins, or so.....it gets very "tedious" in parts!
And, like the other reviewer said, the ending is PURE "poetic justice"!
btw.....If you closely watch Castle's "intro" in the beginning of the film, you see his lips move, and the voice is obviously HIS, but it's out of sync with his lips. (I notice stuff like this). I wonder what he was REALLY saying????
The Rogues' Tavern (1936)
An interesting film!
As the other writer said, this is a "borderline Old House" film, but I feel that he under-rated it. The business about a "mad dog" doing all the killing is very unusual. Despite what he says, the "closeups of Joan Woodbury" are only done ONCE or TWICE. She is the "mystic" who is constantly predicting death to all present, and the closeups of her eyes are supposed to lend to the eeriness of the film. A VERY intersting film, if a bit melodramatic in parts! Check it out!
The Shadow Laughs (1933)
A VERY poor film.
This is a VERY confusing murder-mystery of the early 30's. I've watched it a couple of times, and it just doesn't make much sense in spots.
btw.....I dunno where they got the name for this film -- there is NO "shadow" and NO ONE laughs!
YOU won't, either!
Behind the Mask (1946)
A LOT of potential, but flops!
This film is about Lamont Cranston trying to track down a criminal who is masquerading as the "Shadow" and murdering members of the underworld. (And, giving the Shadow a "bad name").
This film has a LOT of potential (and it's VERY clever how the murderer pulls it off), BUT the jealous antics of Margo Lane & friend get to be sooo annoying that it all but ruins the film. (I'm glad to say that Lamont actually SPANKS her at the end of the film!). It's a shame that he didn't do that at the BEGINNING of this film!
One of THE best in the series!
While preparing to marry his fiancee (for the umpteenth time!), Drummond discovers that there is a treasure buried somewhere in the secret passageways beneath his ancient British estate.
When England's most-noted history professor reveals this to Drummond, he is invited to stay at the manor house. He is murdered before he can figure out the meaning of the ancient cypher, and Drummond & Co. have to discover it AND the murderer.
A VERY interesting story, with secret passageways, ancient torture devices, and all sorts of "death-dealing devices".
The Phantom Broadcast (1933)
A very sad film.
This film is really NOT a "mystery"....it's about a popular radio "crooner" (who has all the women swooning for him), and his mysterious relationship with his pianist/arrranger.
The film contains a VERY minor "mystery", but it is explained half-way thru the film (I can't reveal any more without giving it away).
However, this is a VERY sad film and has a very unhappy ending (I may be naieve, but I like my films to have happy endings!), and I wouldn't recommend this tear-jerker to anyone, unless you want a good cry.
Don't waste your time with this one.