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11 reviews in total 
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Hustle (1975)
A few more roles like this and Burt could have been a contender., 20 July 2017

Burt Reynolds really channels a young Marlon Brando in this film. He plays Lt. Phil Gains and is a cool character who doesn't like to get too close to people(he has a penchant for 30's style music and vernacular). He lives with his girlfriend, played by Catherine Deneuve, who happens to be a Call Girl but neither of them are willing to give up the dangers(mental and physical) of their careers. However, they dream about running off to Europe. It's as if they are afraid of what will happen if they do.

To sum it up, Gains is called in to investigate the body of a young girl found dead on a beach. It is ruled a suicide but the girl's parents, mainly her father, refuse to believe it. The father, played by actor Ben Johnson, is seeking revenge and Gains wants to be one step ahead of him.

To me, the standout in this film is actor Eddie Albert, who I've always had a crush on. This is probably the creepiest role he ever played. He's a lawyer with mob connections and won't let anyone stand in his way. He is also a client of Deneuve's character and grins ear-to-ear when talking about the dead girl and the pleasure he and friends got from her. We're talking HUGE creep factor here. In one scene he refers to the girl by saying "She could get milk out of a crowbar." Don't think I need to explain THAT line.

This film is the typical 1970's cop film with lounge jazz music playing over a car scene. Pretty tame by today's standards but did earn an R-rating. There is reference to a porno film that is supposed to feature Albert's character Leo Sellers(again pushing that creep factor up!). "Hustle" is probably one of Burt's more forgettable films but it is fun to see him take to a role so seriously after seeing him in Smokey and his other action films.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Don't listen to critics...See for yourself., 22 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I gave this 9 starts for two reasons: (1)I am a big admirer of Ray Burr and love to watch anything he does, (2) I love when characters become morally depraved by force or by choice. Now, I don't listen to critics...never found them useful. If I see a preview for a movie or it has an actor I like in it, I'll see it. I enjoy watching films and I don't see how picking films apart, comparing them to others is necessary. If you want to see a film, see it. Don't waste your time analyzing it. Anyway, to the review. Barbara Stanwyck plays quite the character in Kathy Ferguson, who works for a newspaper. She's not a reporter but rather the "Dear Abby" type. Still, it is impressive to see a woman having a career(and in the media for that matter). instead of being relegated to the role of housewife...a rarity for the 50's. ***Quick note, a very young Joe Conley plays a food delivery boy at the newspaper. Joe, as you may know, played Ike Godsey on "The Waltons." I digress, anyway you can see that Kathy is conniving and will do anything to get herself to the top of the ladder. It turns out a woman writing for advice is wanted for murder and two cops arrive looking for Kathy's help in tracking down the woman. One of the cops, Bill Doyle(Sterling Haden), takes a shining to Kathy and her likewise. She even gives Doyle's partner a false lead so Bill can solve the case. See, right there you can tell Kathy is the type that will do whatever to get what she wants. It later becomes quite a shock when Kathy turns down a lucrative newspaper job to become Doyle's wife in the burbs. She likes it at first but, who is she kidding? He has card games while the wives sit in another room and talk about mundane "wife" issues. Kathy can't stand it nor can she stand her milquetoast husband. She begins to create a plan that will get her the happiness SHE wants and hopefully make her husband happy too. She causes a car accident with the wife of Doyle's boss...Inspector Tony Pope(Ray Burr). Soon the couples become friends and begin to socialize and Pope takes a liking to Kathy. He even shows her some files of people he thought committed crimes for "interesting" reasons. Of course, Kathy plays into this interest further by saying she'd like to see HIS files "from time to time." Basically she's feeding Pope's ego...sort of like cheating on her husband "emotionally" not physically. I don't think Kathy cares for Pope in "that way" but he is showing interest in her which is something she is thriving for and he certainly lusts after her. Kathy later tells her husband to leave the department and get a safer job in Beverly HIlls. He relents(barely) but after a few minutes agrees to resign. Kathy knows, I mean KNOWS, the resignation will not go through because she's been showing so much interest in Inspector Pope that he'll beg Bill to stay. Turns out, Pope tells Doyle to rethink the resignation as things will be changing in the department. Kathy has a nice grin on her face upon hearing this. However, things don't change as fast as Kathy wants and she later plants notes that her husband easily finds. The notes accuse her of having an affair with someone in the department. This enrages Doyle(finally showing some guts) as Kathy had hoped. She claims the wife of Doyle's superior, Capt. Charlie Alidos(Royal Dano), is spreading the rumors because the couple is jealous of Bill and Kathy's friendship with the Popes(especially Kathy and Tony's recent closeness). Bill heads to the station and beats up Alidos. Inspector Pope finds out, investigates both men and sends Alidos to another department while keeping Bill instead, not before asking if the notes mentioned anyone in particular(i.e. Pope). Doyle quickly becomes Capt. but it's not enough for Kathy. She learns Pope's wife is ill and he plans to retire. She wants Bill to be Inspector and Pope said it could be possible. Then he kisses Kathy passionately. She pulls away but then realizes(you can see it in her eyes) if she sleeps with Pope he'll make Bill an inspector. Well, men lie and so does Tony. He tells Kathy to leave him alone and that the one-night stand was a mistake on both parts. He warns her to leave him alone and, of course, she doesn't. Now she can't live with the fact that she put-out for another man and didn't get anything in return. She decides someone needs to die and soon she finds herself on the opposite side of the law. I love how Ray uses Kathy and how she resorts to becoming a sex pawn. Ray plays the kind of man you love to hate and it was just before he started his role as "Perry Mason."

Not a great show, but great acting in this episode, 20 January 2013

Sorry, but I'm basing my review on this one particular episode. The show is blah at best and Caesar Romero's acting is stiff. The standout in this episode is actor Alan Hale, jr. Trading his trademark blond locks for a brunette look, it makes him look more low-down and slimy which is perfect for his character. He plays Dan(Danforth) Brown, an American who had a promising naval career until a shipwreck off of China sent him to prison. Now, hiding in Macao from his family, drowning his sorrow in booze and gambling. His only friends are his wife and an elderly woman he calls "princess." To make money, Dan agrees to ship smuggled goods, including drugs, for a Chinese syndicate. Problem is, they want to cut their ties with Dan(permanently) but he has a better idea. Meanwhile, Steve(Romero) is hoping to bring Dan back to the US to visit his ailing father but Dan wants nothing to do with it. Plot is corny but Hale gives a great performance as a skid row skipper who has nothing to live for and will do anything for money.

6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Again, not true to the series, 7 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hi, I gave this a substantially higher rating than Return to Dodge because this is a good movie to watch, plus Matt Dillon LOOKS like Matt Dillon. Not some loner mountain man with Patrick Swayze like hair.

This movie is good at face value and if you like Westerns, but it's not for the Gunsmoke fan. Here's why: Many are still angry that the writers allowed Matt Dillon 1 kiss to someone other than Miss Kitty. In the GS episode "Matt's Love Story." He gets amnesia and is saved by a hard-nosed, woman rancher. She learns to love him and he her. Matt kisses her and then spends the night with her. At the episode Matt finally regains his memory and realizes he cannot stay with the woman, Mike Yardner(Michael Learned). She's angry but understands. FFWD to Last Apache, Mike Yardner has a daughter named Beth who is Matt's love child from that fateful night way back when. Mike tell Matt about Beth and he returns to the ranch. But Beth has been kidnapped by Apaches so it's Daddy Matt to the rescue.

I think it was a disservice to bring up the Matt's Love Story plot in this movie and a greater insult to show Matt had a love child. It just didn't jibe with the GS standard.

13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Not true to the original, 7 September 2005

While it's a joy to see Matt and Kitty back together, this movie sorely lacked any hint of the Gunsmoke magic. In a nutshell, Matt Dillon is now a mountain man, Kitty has left Dodge and Newly O'Brian the former gunsmith and deputy is now marshal.

Will Mannon, the evil gunslinger who appeared in a self-titled episode of Gunsmoke, is released from prison to kill Matt and the judge who put Mannon in prison. Another prisoner, Jake Flagg, who is an old friend of Matt's, breaks out of prison by using the warden as hostage. Flagg needs to warn Matt about Mannon. The gunslinger shoots the warden and Flagg is now wanted by a young, overzealous deputy and some bounty hunters. Several of the unscrupulous bounty hunters actually stab Dillon who is found and taken back to Dodge where he awakens to find Miss Kitty. Matt tries to help protect Flagg meanwhile Mannon returns to Dodge where he torments Miss Kitty as he did in the original episode. Back then he had raped Kitty and beat her, something Matt did not know.

Okay, inconsistencies. First, but this is my opinion, Matt would not have become a Mountain Man. It's just not him(maybe they got him confused with his Zeb Macahan character from How the West Was Won). Second, Kitty explains why she left Dodge. It's a flashback from the episode "The Badge" where Matt is shot and Kitty just can't handle seeing him hurt anymore. Any fan of the show would know that this episode(don't know when it aired but certainly not in the last year of the show) ends with Matt meeting Kitty and sort of convincing her to come back, which she does. The movie made it sound like she never came back. Amanda Blake left the show in 1974. There are reports she claims she was sick and tired of the character and the commute(she was living in AZ at the time). Others question that producer John Mantley fired her for money reasons. They allegedly did not get along at all. Third, in the episode Mannon, he is apparently shot dead from how the episode ends but I guess it could have been interpreted as him possibly surviving.

Those are disappointments show-wise. Other ones that made fans cringe are James Arnesses' hair and make-up, absolutely scary. Kitty looked her age and did not look bad at all. Amanda Blake had contracted AIDS and she later died from the disease 2 years after this film. Ken Curtis did not return, he reportedly wanted more money than Blake. Finally, Matt and Kitty never kiss at the end, they never even get together. She see's him through a window and sheds a tear as he goes back to his lonely life. Reportedly, the original script had Matt walk into the hotel where Kitty was(and you could use your imagination). There were too many Flashbacks which took away from developing the plot to this movie. They actually show one Flashback twice.

John Mantley produced the movie and I was surprised someone with such a grasp on GS let this be the end product.

Also, the cover art for the movie on this website only show's James Arness. There is another version which has a small picture of Kitty on it.

Otherwise, it's fun to see M&K back together.

6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A Strange Ride, 28 May 2005

I just picked up this movie on the internet and after watching had mixed emotions. There really is NO plot line here. Darren McGavin has lost everything and seems like a wishy washy kind of turd in the punchbowl. Someone tries to Repo his ex-wife's car and that's how gets involved with the inept ring of repo guys, headed up by the tough as nails Sylvia Miles. McGavin's character Mike is teamed up with a 16 year old juvy who takes him in and falls in love with him. He doesn't feel the same(does the word statutory rape ring a bell???) but she wants to bang him anyway. Mike is too interested in banging some of the women who's cars are wanted by the bank and he ends up doing them too. There's not much to see in this film. Gratuitous car chases, goofy performances by the Hudson Brothers who were like the Three Stooges or trying to be like them, horrible fight scenes(though McGavin did know Karate but that wasn't evident here) and one bad love making scene with McGavin and Joan Collins(yes, Joan Collins). But it's fun to watch McGavin, he's a delight no matter what he does. Why did he do this schlock(filmed in Toronto I might add)? It was the pet project of his second wife, the late Kathie Browne. Oh, let me add 2 gratuitous scenes of McGavin's untanned butt. The highlight of the movie(at least to me).

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Fun Made For TV Disney Movie, 16 February 2005

I caught this one SEVERAL years ago on the Disney Channel. I remember originally seeing it on the Wonderful World of Disney in 1980(I think WWOD was on CBS at the time;but I was only 4). Buxley Hall Military Academy for Boys is steeped in tradition, founded by Gen. Eulace Buxley in the 1800's and now run by his relative. The problem is enrollment is way down, it owes money and the bank wants to foreclose. The only way to save Buxley is to make it co-ed with a girl's school. Of course Col. Joe Buxley hates the idea and doesn't warm up to the house mother or the noisy girls. In comes Jeremy Ross who lost his parents. Jeremy's uncle would like to enroll him and if Jeremy likes it, the uncle will pay off the school's debt. The problem is Jeremy's leech of an aunt and her gigolo husband are fighting Jeremy's uncle for custody(which includes the boy's sizable inheritance). If they can secretly make his life miserable at school, he'll beg to leave and they can offer him a more "stable" home than his single uncle can. But that's not going to happen soon because Jeremy finds a friend in young Posie(who despises the military school's stiff rules). Jeremy is also protected by the GHOSTS of Gen. Buxley, his wife Bettina and Sgt. Chester Sweet. Together the ghosts plot to save Buxley from demolition and Jeremy from his relatives.

Overall a fun, kid friendly movie with plenty of the common, goofy sight gags involving ghosts. Character actor Guy Raymond plays Ben Grissom the drunken caretaker who often see's ghostly activity but no one behind it. Coincidentally Raymond played Ed Peavey in the TV Show "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" and had many of the same reactions. You can catch Monte Markam in a post "The New Perry Mason" role and Victor French in a pre "Little House on the Prarie"/"Highway to Heaven" role. Also memorable, character actor Vito Scotti playing another accented character(at least he plays an Italian) and actress Ruta Lee in an over the top comical performance. Another coincidence, Rad Daly who played Jeremy and Tricia Cast who played Posie, appeared together a year earlier in the TV version of the "Bad News Bears." Rad played Josh Matthews the snobbish baseball player of the elite team always razzing the bears and Cast played Amanda Whirlitzer.

15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Herbie, the little VW with a mind of its own, 22 December 2004

This is a true Disney Classic, in fact Walt Disney had a hand in developing the story but, sad to say, never lived to see it hit the big screen. In the film, we learn rather quickly that race car driver Jim Douglas(Dean Jones) has hit rock bottom after being a prominent race car driver(what caused his demise? it's not explained but it appears that he got into quite a few bang ups). He lives with a Buddhist named Tennessee Steinmetz(Buddy Hackett)who finds a soul in everything.

Jim soon looks for a new car and comes across a fancy dealership, only to be embarrassed by the owner Peter Thorndyke(David Tomlinson) who refuses Jim's $80 offer for a gorgeous race car. While in the showroom, a VW rolls in that was supposed to be scrapped. As Thorndyke berates the little car, Jim sticks up for it and soon the car thinks it has a friend and follows Jim home. To avoid being blamed for stealing the car, Jim agrees to buy it from Thorndyke but the car acts up. Jim is about to return it when he's caught in a drag race because someone makes fun of the VW. Herbie blows the competition away and Jim falls in love with the car's speed, but Tennessee knows it has heart and names it Herbie.

Soon Jim, Herbie and Tennessee are winning races and Jim's ego inflates while Thorndyke's temper grows since he too races and loses every time to Herbie. Thorndyke decides to sabotage the little car and when he succeeds, Jim turns his back on Herbie. Once Jim realizes HE hasn't being winning the races he tries to find Herbie who has since run off. Herbie gets impounded after an accident and Jim must sell him to a Chinese man who agrees to let Jim drive Herbie in a big race. If Jim wins, he gets to buy Herbie back for a buck. Needless to say, Thorndyke once again sabotages Herbie,but hey, this is Disney. Who do YOU think wins out at the end?

I had to give this movie a 10 because it has so much going for it. Comedy, some drama, romance. We know very little about Jim Douglas except when Tennessee describes him as down on his luck, angry, and one who was prone to getting into trouble. Jones did an excellent job as the cocky, angry, egotistical driver who is knocked down a few pegs by his friends and a little car. The character mirrored Jones back then, who admits in his biography that he was a dirt bike racing nut prone to losing his temper quite a bit and having an affinity for women other than his wife. Michelle Lee is grand but we don't see much of her and Hackett plays the sincere bit amazingly well especially when he tells Jim that he was nothing without Herbie. For comedic relief David Tomlinson was terrific as was his assistant Havershaw(Joe Flynn of McHale's Navy fame).

Yes there are some over the top, goofy and somewhat embarrassing sight gags and a few interesting moments(i.e. Carol thinking Jim has ulterior motives when Herbie brings them to a make-out point, i.e. when Herbie tries to kill itself, and when Jim finally admits to Carol that he's just a bum), but the film has heart, like Herbie. The film had three more sequels, a five part TV miniseries, a re-make in 1998(or so) and there's a new film coming out. Jones only did Love Bug, Monte Carlo(film 3), the miniseries and made a pathetic appearance in the 1998 film. In each one, Jones was still down on his luck but nothing like the sad figure he portrayed in Love Bug. Great classic film, filled with 60's nostalgia.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
All in Good Fun, 16 December 2004

This one is in no way superior to the original Airport and is not even as good as Airport 77(had a better cast). This one is a who's who of TV actors(Norman Fell, Conrad Janis, Jerry Stiller) and had many more annoying characters than Airport or Airport 77. Come on! Jerry Stiller(don't think he or is son are funny, IMO) slept through the whole damn mid air collision. Charlton Heston(I'm not a big fan of his strained face and dialogue) gave a gutsy but annoying performance as did Karen Black. I love how the Carol Burnett Show spoofed this film calling it "Disaster 75." Burnett even spoofed her own show in this spoof. Still, take this film for face value. I hate when a lot of people critique a movie and call it "this was predictable," "this was garbage." Look, in my opinion movies are to entertain not enlighten. If a comedy or romance film has the same old plot, who cares as long as it's fun getting to the predictable ending. Just sit back and enjoy the ride unless the film is utterly boring. Airport 75 is camp, kitch, soap opera, but FUN TO WATCH! I was surprised that the film allowed a female heroine this time. Back then, most stewardesses were considered air heads and this being the height of women's lib you'd think the producer/studio would shy away from making the stewardess somewhat capable. But maybe it was reverse psychology?? I did enjoy George Kennedy's role this time as a Big Wig unlike his role in the original Airport. To see his pained expression as he tries to talk to his helpless wife and son...I enjoy seeing an actor in an unfamiliar element. IMO, Sid Caesar's character should have been sucked out that hole and Erik Estrada...say no more. This film always reminds me of that Aloha Airlines incident in the 1980's where the fuesalage(sorry for any typo) came apart in midair causing a huge whole, though no one was lost or killed in that incident. Just check Airport 75 out for curiosity sake, if you happen to catch it on TV.

Airport (1970)
20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Disaster in More Ways Than One, 16 December 2004

I thoroughly enjoyed Airport, hands down the best of the four flicks in the serial(does Concorde count? It was MFTV). There was so much tension going on both with the airline, the airport and the lives of some of the passengers and crew members. This was a good old fashioned 60's flick, but not too cheesy. Helen Hayes is excellent as the little old lady who with all the grace and charm, has made a career out of stowing away. I love how she fights with Jacqueline Bisset's character in order to distract the mad bomber on board(Van Heflin). The tension when Joe Patroni(George Kennedy) guns the plane's engines and gets that plane out of the snow was gut wrenching. Burt Lancaster as the married and harried airport manager who has some what of an affinity for his assistant. Dean Martin gave such a surprising dramatic performance as the captain who was carrying on a love affair with Bisset's stewardess who later tells him she's pregnant. Even Gary Collins wasn't THAT bad. The film's climactic ending leaves you nothing short of disturbed and breathless. Maureen Stapleton, upon learning the plane has landed after being blown up by her husband, walks up to the injured passengers bawling her eyes out and apologizing for her husband's actions. Of course my favorite is the scene where Bisset's character Gwen(who was wounded in the blast) is being escorted by the doctor who tells the EMT's on the ground that Gwen is pregnant. Martin is also escorting her, completely bypassing his wife, who is ready to give him a hug and then soon puts two and two together. What a way to find out! That dejected look on Hale's face, who is once again playing her, oh so kind and understanding character, you can't help but hate Martin for this last scene. Hale almost never played the "bad girl." She's a favorite of mine. Airport will keep you on edge. Haley managed to intertwine the suspension and soap opera dramatics that made the prime time soap opera "Hotel" so popular. He definitely walks a fine line and doesn't go over either one.

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