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Columbo: Troubled Waters (1975)
"We're on the high seas! I don't ask people, I ORDER them!"
This is a typical example of a Columbo episode and other users comments cover the story line and plot etc.I just wanted to comment on the overall atmosphere of the episode.
I think someone has already pointed out the fact that, because the action takes place in a confined area, it works better. I thought that it was a great idea to make Columbo to have to use his detective skills to their utmost without any backup from forensics, photography or any other colleques to help him. The business with the fingerprints was a depiction of detective work reduced to it's most basics, using whatever you can find and having to fall back on your training.
I didn't understand the fact that Robert Vaughn's wife did not visit him in the hospital area.
I thought that Dean Stockwell's hair style was incredible.
A few plot holes here and there but overall a good episode.
English Muffins and Marmalade, my wife's favourite!
This episode is one from the later series. It does not have anyone in it particularly famous as in the early 1970's series and the story, bending the format established from those early episodes is a bit contrived playing as it does on the character of the unseen Mrs Columbo. The Mrs Columbo bit does not appear until well into the story which drags a bit then picks up again finishing with a very good entrapment plot device. The best part of this episode for me is the food theme that seems to run through it. First of all the villain has dinner with her married boyfriend. Columbo is then seen, as in quite a few episodes, with a carton of coffee surveying the murder scene.He goes and has a bowl of chilli which he does not like and then stops off for a lolly ice. He calls on the villain who is having breakfast of coffee, English Muffins and Marmalade which Columbo declines. He contacts a psychiatrist, who treated the villain, in a restaurant while having dinner with a glass of wine, while offering Columbo the menu and orders something plain but which arrives very fancy and Columbo asks for a doggie bag. After the "funeral" he takes the villain home to what is supposed to be his place and cooks breakfast and eats it. This consists of a fried egg previously made coffee and ...you guessed it! NO... toast and marmalade Not a bad episode but the food was fun!
This is for me one of the best Morse episodes.Freddie Jones is excellent as the father of the murder victim and he shows what a good actor he is. His scenes with John Thaw especially at the end are brilliant. Overall the story keeps you guessing until the end, with various twists in the plot. It also gives a good insight into the world of art.The scenery is fine and the whole episode has a "feel" about it, i've seen it several times and never tier of it. For Morse fans this episode has it all; Oxfordshire countryside, real ale, sophisticated suspects, stately home, an eccentric victim and lots of red herrings to keep you guessing.
Campbell's Kingdom (1957)
Who am I playing this time?
I haven't seen this film for a long time. I saw it in the cinema in the late 50's early 60's and over the years since on TV. I think it probably still stands up due to the fact that it is in colour, it's a good clean action film with no heavy violence or strong language, and it has some familiar faces in it. Sid James of course was in Hell Drivers playing a truck driver,with Stanley Baker,who was the hero but, in this one he is the baddie, as he was in Checkpoint which also starred James Robertson Justice who was in the Doctor films with Dirk Bogarde. There are probably other connections, but this and the other films are very straight forward and untaxing to watch.
The Man in Half Moon Street (1945)
Stay young and beautiful..forever
This is a great little underrated film with a beginning, middle and end. There are some great lines of dialogue and good solid performances by the whole cast especially the two leads and the police inspector, an early Columbo who smells a rat and won't give up. You cannot explain the fingerprints! There is a great scene where the main character walks along the road chatting and posts a letter, then the camera pans, to reveal a dead man sitting upright in the car, very sinister and cruel of the murderer to leave the body there.If you follow the scene you are not expecting it. This film has some relevance to today with the obsession with image and staying young forever if possible, never growing old. But there is always a price to pay! Well worth a viewing.
Man in the Moon (1960)
A Large Bar of Chocolate Please
I think this film is brilliant. It depicts an era in British history that has long gone.Bubble-type cars, bars of chocolate at the railway station where you could just hop on a steam train and go up to town (London) or anywhere,without having to worry about pre booking or reserving seats, leave your car on the road just outside the station, and it would be there when you got back and no fee! There is a great scene where the use an emersion tank very similar to the stress relieving floatation tanks of today but this looks more fun. Another great scene is near the beginning when Blood reports to the Common Cold Research Station, which actually existed, and there are scenes of galeforce winds in the corridors and rain stopping play in a cricket match. The story line rattles along with pace and as usual in these films, there's a great supporting British cast.
Midsomer Murders: Blue Herrings (2000)
you become invisible
This is one of my favourite episodes of Midsummer Murders, I think that as the series has run the episodes are stretched a bit thin over 2 hours but this one that keeps your interest, It is memorable for a great line of dialogue when Nigel Davenport, as a resident of the retirement home, says the main thing to know is that as you get older, or to a certain age, you become invisible. This, in the UK, is very true and a sad reflection of how older people are perceived in society to-day, the concept that that a whole generation of citizens just disappear as regards to the younger members of society and the older you get the more invisible you become.
The MacKintosh Man (1973)
lets see how fast he's prepared to go
I saw this film when it was first released in UK.I thought it was a reasonable thriller. I remember the car chase with Newman driving a Ford van being pursued by the baddies in an old Mercedes, and they end up going over the cliff. I thought Newman must have done the driving stunts himself and was quite intrigued by the thought of such a big star driving an old van at such high speeds. The prison escape was very well staged and plausible and while the film has a violent edge to it, it never quite convinces as a memorable one. It draws you into it's plot but leaves you a little high and dry in between the action sequences. Worth seeing and maybe a DVD release with some location details would be good.
..and what about this young lady's feelings..?
I have seen this film along with On Moonlight Bay many times on TV, not when they originally came out in the cinema, I wasn't a big fan of musicals then and I can't say I'm a big fan of Doris Day, but these two films are so uplifting and fun they are excellent to watch. It's something to do with the balance of light drama/comedy to songs, the songs don't intrude and seem to help the plot along. If I had to choose, it would probably be this film out of the two because of the great feel good factor with everyone enjoying themselves at the end out at the pond. My favourite scene is right at the end when Leon Ames seems to be the only one who hasn't got a clue what's going on, and says to his wife ..."and what did you think.... and she's just as puzzled as he his and the music comes up.........
Hell Drivers (1957)
this is cold-blooded murder, and i'm not having any part of it!
I saw this film when it had a rerun in my local cinema in the 1960.s. I think it is great, more realistic than many British thrillers of the period, except perhaps film like "The Long Haul" and possibly "Highjacked", (but the fight scene at the end of that is a bit sloppy to say the least!) I thought the final scene were McGoohan and Hartnell go over the cliff and the camera cuts back to them in the cab bracing themselves for the impact was horrible! The scene, I think, still has the ability to shock. Films up to that point would not have cut back to the baddies in mid-air like that, waiting for their inevitable end. Ma is also the only person who can keep the drivers under control.
This film also has some memorable quotes: "I'm the foreman"......"and that's not all you are" "Suppose we meet something coming the other way?"...."look on the bright side, suppose we don't?" "No I can't drive, they took my licence away"