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9 reviews in total 
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Is it ME, who has a logical problem?, 10 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First I agree, this is a fine Columbo. However, one thing bothers me logically: In the first operation, that Mayfield performed on Dr. Hidemann, he uses a thread, that will dissolve itself, so that the cardiac valve will fall out of its place and consequently kill Dr. Hidemann, which is Mayfield's intention. Correct so far? As Columbo threatens, police will perform an autopsy, if Dr. Hidemann dies, assuming to find NO thread in the heart which would be proof of Dr. Mayfield having used the wrong kind of thread. Correct so far? Therefore Mayfield hastens to perform another operation in order to "exchange" the thread by using the correct permanent thread this time. Now comes my problem: What is it actually, that Columbo can use as proof against Dr. Mayfield? A permanent (correct) thread? What proof would it be? The second operation is "excused" anyway by "urgent" reasons. A dissolving thread? THAT would be a proof. But from where should he get it? It was only used in the first operation, therefore it could only be a bloody(!) tiny something coming out from the wound. But Columbo triumphantly holds a long(!) tuft of clean(!) thread in his hands in the end of the film. What does it prove?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Music to make you shiver, 10 April 2009

For me, especially with movies concerning a subject of awe or majesty like this one, the music can contribute so much to the film. This film is the peak of it. The music alone nearly makes me cry. I have seen other Jesus films like "The Greatest Story Ever Told", but it does not move me as much. In King of kings the props, gowns, actors are adequately lavish, the story itself is OK, I could do with less scenes of Barrabas and his fighters and of Herodes. It would have tightened this long film considerably. But one bit concerning the cast always puzzles me, whenever I see this film. Jeffrey Hunter plays his role wonderfully, but has a somewhat sinister expression. Strange enough, it is the traitor Judas (Rip Torn), who fits my image of a soft-faced Jesus much better.

Juggernaut (1974)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Did you notice?, 29 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film is a suspenseful adventure of a group of experts, who have to disarm several bombs in barrels on a liner. The detonators of the bombs are sophisticated secured against disarming. The experts have a wise working procedure: They all work simultaneously on a bomb and communicate with each other via headset. The most experienced top expert describes each step he does in advance, so that the others can follow. Well, if he makes a mistake - it will be his last. His last message to the others is therefore to avoid the particular step.

I want to concentrate on a logical mistake in the film and a dangerous violation of the working procedure by the top expert himself which are due to add suspense for the viewer. These faults are made by the script to follow the film principle, that the hero does not die, but have to win in the end.

The expert finds a relay, the contacts of which he wants to isolate from each other which he communicates to his partners. But then his friend does this BEFORE him and consequently causes "his" bomb to explode. If they would stick to their usual procedure, the top expert would have to suffer from his mistake.

Even worse is the second blunder: The criminal who planted the bombs is a former colleague of Fallon (the film hero) from war times where they did the same job together. After the police found him, he is connected to Fallon via telephone. The last "fuse" for deactivating the bomb is the decision whether to cut a blue or a red wire. One will deactivate the bomb finally, the other will cause it to go off. Fallon asks him, which he should cut. Knowing that he will kill his war friend, the criminal tells him to cut the (wrong) blue wire. First: Why should he be interested to kill his former friend? Nothing in the film indicates any reason for this. But Fallon seems to suspect something. After some seconds of consideration he then cuts the RED wire WITHOUT telling his friends before. Of course it is the correct wire, which he THEN shouts to his friends.

Now let's think this over: All his friends heard that he should cut the blue wire and consequently must assume that he will do so, because he did not tell them otherwise. If the criminal had NOT lied and Fallon - as he did - cut the red wire, then the bomb would have gone off. But the others, who assumed, he had cut the blue wire, will now cut the red and thus causing all bombs to explode. Why did Fallon violate their working procedure so dangerously?

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A hint concerning the closing music, 19 January 2008

It happens quite often, that I see a film in which some music is embedded, that stays in the mind. Then I want to know, what music it is. Only rarely such information is given in the end titles. So it is the case in "Sauerbruch". The film closes with Sauerbruch being reminded by his wife not to forget to go to the concert. "Bach! That is good." he replies. After this we see them entering a Gothic church while a Boy's choir with organ is performing "Unser Leben ist ein Schatten" (Our life is a shadow). This wonderful piece is indeed by Bach - but not by the famous Johann Sebastian, but by his ancestor Johann Bach (1604-1673). There is a CD-box (three CDs) with the title "The Bach family" (though being a German recording, the box bears this English title). And another hint: The recording in the film is a bit more grandiose concentrating on the powerful beginning of the piece. The mighty closing organ chords do not belong to this motet.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Heartwarming and by all means not at all unrealistic, 16 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Somebody has added the stupid line "Vom Trauerkloß zum Herzensbrecher" to the title, which I even don't want to translate. It raises false expectations. There is no Stan Laurel turning into Jean-Paul Belmondo, just an average man who could be living next door without you even noticing him for months.

If you dream of an Asian wife that by chance enters your life, this is the film for you. It is the Swiss version of the movie "Green Card" with a Happy End. A stout locomotive driver, who hast passed his youth and leading so normal a life, that is is already boring, is asked by a friend to marry his(!) Thai girlfriend in pretence, so that she can stay in Switzerland. Reluctantly he finally agrees. As he is a nice man, the girl soon discover his "real" qualities and step by step they really fall in love with each other. Surely not the first arranged marriage, which has turned the participants into real lovers, the film's story is not at all loony. It even has its humorous moments, when bride and groom come to the ex-bachelor's flat. The man even has to fight a pimp and a bureaucrat to keep his love by his side. A nice surprise awaits him at the end of the film. To be watched and enjoyed with a twinkling in the eye.

Griseldis (1974) (TV)
Entertaining, even suspenseful for those who like this kind of movies, 16 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I guess, you are either a fan of these kind of love stories by writer Hedwig Courths-Mahler or they mean absolutely nothing to you. They are always knitted according to the same scheme, which can be summed up in the phrase "Poor but adorable beauty with stainless character loves earl, duke or baron (and vice versa) and get's him in the end after some confusion or misunderstanding. A happy-end is compulsory."

The same applies to this film which proceeds closely according to the book after which it was made. The voice of a narrator is heard now and then in the film reciting from the book word by word, that you can even read in it as you follow the film.

This film is not only a love story it also has crime elements in it, because it begins with the earl returning home from court where he has been accused of having poisoned his quarrelsome wife, but could not be convicted for want of evidence. Therefore many friends turn away from him, but the beautiful blonde girl - employed as a tutor for the earl's daughter - fell in love with him already by seeing his photograph and hearing about his fate. She yearns to help him and succeeds finally in playing Sherlock Holmes. A happy marriage is the inevitable ending of the film. By they way: It is also easy enough and soon revealed, "whodunnit".

The film and story play in the beginning of the 20th century. It even has a style of late Victorianism in it - however, it plays in Germany.

As I said: for those, who love these films, a heartwarming, sweet and pleasant pastime. As I read quite a few of the writer's books, I would even say, one of her best and a successful film implementation too.

My last hint: Don't forget your handkerchiefs.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A warm and touching episode, 13 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Over the past years I always got hooked, when "Dallas" is on the air again. But I must admit, that my interest frequently cools down when the stage is reached, where "Pam" left the series and the filmmakers start bringing in more and more new characters. I feel, there is no storyline anymore to follow and the sterile exchangeable faces they bring in only add to the confusion. Already the changing faces of Miss Ellie and the episodes after Bobby died, only to come back later, declaring all episodes in-between to a dream, was hard to swallow. I guess, the reason of this was, that actors and producers could not agree on the salary until one side complied. Still I was happy about it and you could notice, that they always tried their best to keep the logical thread in it. But later-on I always got the feeling, that the filmmakers were not really committed anymore and only did a halfhearted job.

The more I enjoyed this early episode "Royal Marriage". I only saw it on a DVD, after DVD-boxes with "Dallas" are sold in shops now. In fact, this episode was never broad-casted in Germany as the comment on the box states. We missed a very warm, emotional part of "Dallas" so far. This is one of the early episodes, were Lucy falls in love with the son of another oil magnate. She even has the consent of J.R. But no warm feelings for the young couple is his reason, no, he only has business connections with the Mainwaring company in mind. As the story unfolds, you can notice, how the groom-to-be gets more and more uneasy, but the reason is still in the dark. I got a notion, when his friend(!) Sam meets them in the restaurant for a short "Hello". One can notice how the man fights with himself until he reveals his secret to Bobby (who of course is as understanding as usual). You may have guessed by now, that the young man is an homosexual. And nobody knows - not even his family. They only wonder, why he still has not "settled down". In this situation, I guess, many homosexuals put themselves under pressure, to "proof" themselves and others, that they are "normal". This is the reason, why he even agrees to marry Lucy, whom he really cares for. But in the end he has to confess to poor Lucy, who of course is shattered. This brings a line of Jessica Lange in "Tootsie" to mind, which she says to "Dorothy" (Dustin Hoffman as a woman), when she thinks, she found out, that "Dorothy" is a lesbian: "I love you, but I can't love you." J.R. with his ears all around Dallas already knows about Kit's problem, but - hiding it from Lucy - STILL presses the two young towards marriage having only the business union of the Ewings and the Mainwarings in mind. I believe, this episode has more reality of life in it than usual and it depicts the character of Kit sensitively. I guess, this subject might not even be easy to bring up in the United States, and it might have been scorned off by some viewers, but the "Dallas" crew handles it with balance and empathy.

13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Developing smoothly and brilliantly but too quick and predictable in the end, 4 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So far I have seen many "Columbos". This one belongs to the better part of them all, however, it has some logical defects, as I believe. A coldblooded lawyer kills her husband and partner-in-business. Her motives can only be guessed in the midst of the film, when the daughter of her killed husband (and her step-daughter) unveils her father's character to Columbo as straightforward and honest "He could never live with a lie." The evil lawyer-woman on the other hand only wants to share in her husband's reputation and wealth - thus the reason for marrying him. According to the daughter's testimony her father finally finds out and threatens with divorce. The man is killed just in the beginning of the film - as usual in a "Columbo" - no arguments and fights are shown, therefore we have no other evidence for the woman's motive to kill him than the daughter's statement. We can also assume that the stepmother does not begrudge some money to the stepdaughter, thus adding to the motive for her crime.

The crime itself is clever carried out and the alibi built up in a sophisticated way that shows the intelligence of the woman.

Columbo works his way through the cobweb of lies and fake facts as we know him playing in this film the role of the gawky cop with special emphasis, which let's us smile many times. The filmmakers even go so far as to point out Columbo's peculiarities, his anecdotes and his "wife" (a silent role, as she is mentioned in nearly every film, but in fact never seen - experienced Columbo fans will know this) to the viewer through the killer's mouth, when she finally sees through Columbo. By then she will have regretted underestimating "bloodhound" Columbo, I am sure. The ending of the film, however, leaves me a bit puzzled behind. It comes too quickly, too predictable and does not fit in with the clever character of the evil woman - to my taste:

S p o i l e r:

In a talk with her stepmother Margaret gives her a hint, that she might shut her mouth and stop trying to track her down, when Leslie gives her a considerable amount of money in cash here and now, promising to leave the country for Europe again. Of course, this is a trap set up with Columbo, because in this way he can get hold of some bills of the "ransom" money, which in turn is the final evidence and the last nail to Leslie's coffin. Even as Columbo tries to explain it in the end (more to the viewer than to Leslie, I presume, because the filmmakers might also have felt the weakness of this ending): "You are an exceptional intelligent woman, but you have no conscience, and therefore believe, that others are alike, so hoping to "buy" Margaret's silence." - I don't swallow that. The woman is much too bright, no matter how low her conscience may be, to believe, she could settle this by paying Margaret out. Especially because it was her beloved father, whom she killed. How dumb must a killer be, to assume, that he could buy forgiveness from the victim' relatives? It also does not need much to know, that the money bills are registered and therefore must not be used, given out or spent after much dust has settled over the issue. As I said, this does not fit to the coldblooded killer-lawyer at all and leaves a good developing film with a stale end.

12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Though opulent in clothes and decoration, not the best of versions, 18 August 2006

The first film of this story, that I came to know, was the 1975 version with Richard Chamberlain as ruthless avenger and I must say, this older film (1961) with Louis Jourdan as Edmond cannot compare with it.

Sure, the filmmakers made all efforts, if you look at the settings, equipment and clothes. But to my taste the film lacks suspense. The story unfolds nice and neat but without any climax. All dramatic moments are predictable. Also in contrast to the 1975 TV version here the music is no more than pleasant background noise without any dramatic effect.

The scene with the Abbe Faria in the dungeon is but a small intermezzo - nothing shows the development from the naive, unsophisticated Edmond into the clever coldblooded count of Monte Christo by learning from the Abbe. Even this version is much longer than the 1975 film, it has less story in it. Here the count is still too much Edmond, showing more feeling as would fit for an avenger. Like an ordinary man, he rummages in the treasure, whereas Richard Chamberlain keeps this short and considers the treasure just a tool for his revenge.

The 1961 count of Monte Christo is still in love with Mercedes and tries to get her back and she also yearns for him. Maybe so much romance was wanted by the 1960s audience. So the ending - even similar with the 1975 version is not really credible here. Whereas in the latter it fits with the depicted characters, here it only seems to be a tribute to the original book. Considering the story unfolding in this older film, a happy-end would be the logical consequence.

Richard Chamberlain, on the other hand, is exclusively a count with barely any rest of Edmond left in him, whereas Louis Jourdan is as the count still too much Edmond and no sinister look can hide that. Jourdan is a brilliant actor and makes the best of it, however, he cannot save the film. It should be noted, that this very Louis Jourdan plays the State Attorney Villefort in the 1975 version - and plays it wonderful.