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North by Northwest (1959)
North By Northwest
no doubt about it, one of Hithcock's finest. drama, suspense, mystery, the the cutting wit and humor of it all, laced with the sensual and seductive Eva Marie-Saint, the sinister and suave James Mason, and Cary Grant who was the ultimate hero. perhaps in my lifetime, i've seen it so many hundreds of times, it's close to a thousand times. as i write, it's on Turner Classic Movies. i wont go on raving about one of my top ten all time movies. i do have a point, or a question. near the end of the movie, when the Chicago Police took Thornhill to the airport, and the Professor walked him to the plane, why did Hitchcock at that time, choose to deprive us of that one bit of duologue between the two of them with the roar of plane engines. it was the briefest exchange, but what was being said has always been lost on me. anybody with any clue, or inside info?
haven't seen this in 20+years.
as i recall, it was gripping enough to watch the two nights of it's broadcast. i remember the plot and story-line, but not much else. i'd like to get my hands on a copy on VHS, i doubt it's on DVD.if there's anyone out here who knows where it's available, i'd like to hear from you. it was the big thing in the mid-eighties, that being TV mini-series, such as The Sophisticated Gents, Cheifs, Backstairs at the White House, among a few. from the above comments, some didn't like it very much, but i found it compelling, i seem to think it began at the end, and was a backstair. i do want to see it again, so if any can help out, give me a yell.
When a Stranger Calls (1979)
fear factor....'check the children'
the comments of 80 responses and eight pages is a clear manifestation of the impact of When a Stranger Calls. 'have you checked the children', the line itself declares the parental nightmare that makes the blood run cold and slow. i'm old school, and a writer for years, who believes the 'suspension of dis-belief' scenario. Aliens, Predators, War of the Worlds may pull the trigger of some folk, but, the stark reality of stalkers, gang-related violence (Training Day) gets me every time. i will not debate the opening minutes of Stranger was one of the most edge-of-the-seat moments ever, nor how the movie slows a bit and the sudden ending thrills some and lets others down. but when the phone rings, "have you checked the children". you don't do it better than than that. Kirk Duncan is a frightening man. true. in the bar with Tracy (Colleen Dewhurst), and when he goes up to her apartment! the chase in the mission, and the determination of Cliff (Durning was brilliant), despite of his age and weight. the remake was good, and had more than a few moments, but it cant touch the original. like Cape Fear with Gregory Peck and Nick Nolte...Robert DiNiro and Robert Mitchum. some things you have to leave alone. re-release it, but don't remake it.
of all the blaxplotation films in the 70's, Melinda ranks on my list with Shaft, Superfly, Trouble Man, Cotton comes to Harlem, and such like. i had'nt seen it since 1974 maybe, and have been looking for it for more than 30 years. finally, i found it in San Francisco. the DVD was a good print although you knew it was as old as it is/was. Calvin Lockhart was brilliant as the narcissistic Frankie J Parker, and Rosiland Cash's role of Terry, displayed the strength and resolve of a strong Black woman of the time. violent and dark, with a hint of mystery and overloaded with the rage of revenge, Melinda was a thriller. as i watched again, for the first time, the lines all came back and i can remember how many of Lockhart's lines, i began using. incredible how influential movies can be to a 20year old African-American in the 70's.
Bill Kennedy at the Movies (1956)
bill Kennedy icon
i grew up in Detroit, and in those days of three local stations, WJBK TV2, WWJ channel 4 (long before WDIV), and WXYZ channel 7, there was CKLW, channel 9 from Windsor. Bill Kennedy among all the personalities of the area was most prominent. My mother and grandmother often ruled out soap operas if Bill had a good movie on. He was the original 4-1-1 for information. If you needed to know something or someone, Kennedy knew it or who it was and what they did. I am delighted to have been able to find him here, and to read commentary of those who were enlightened and informed and entertained by Bill Kennedy. in my mind's eye if can see him waving his arms and hands, as he gave way for "a spot", i.e., commercials. yes, i'm an old-school gentleman who recalls with fondness life in the motor city with Sonny Eliot, Mr. Belvedere, Rita Bell, Mary Morgan's Million-Dollar Movies, Ray Lane, Dave Bing and the Pistons at Cobo Hall, and without a doubt, Bill Kennedy at the Movies.
categorically: the worst one-shot fired
1969, i was a young man of 16 years of age. to claim then, that Turn-On was the worst thing i had seen in my life may not have said as much. So, now, at a suave and silver 53, having seen and experienced such much more, what i'll say has more bearing. all I remember is the show was so fast it was over, and I mean over. It was all we howled about in school the next day. i cannot recall one line from it and aside from the comments listed here, some don't trigger any thoughts. i really wanted to know if IMDb had it listed. well, I found it. thanks, what I do remember was it was'not Laugh-In like, which was the attempt here. thanks again for the listing, of which i'll share with my brother.
Billionaire Boys Club (1987)
enlightening and inspiring
i enjoyed the original mini-series as it was televised over two nights. i bought a VHS copy a few years ago, and was distressed finding a shorter and edited version that left out essential scenes that made this thriller run. the line from Judd Nelson's electrifying role of Joe Hunt..."then I declare war on you..." and Dean Karney's somber statement, "you can't beat a good conspiracy"...were priceless. the whole spin of affluent young men as corporate raiders and investors of commodities may have been noble aspirations, but only to get caught in the web of Joe Hunt's paradox philosophy. The book, of course has more depth and detail, closer to the reality of this true crime.
Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
one for the ages
Uptown Saturday Night is timeless. the cast was as strong as the stars of their times, and it would be hard row to hoe, to try and duplicate or re-make. Poitier and Cosby were priceless, and Harry Belafonte and Richard Pryor in their roles elevated the story. i have it on VHS and not a week goes by that i don't cue up at least one or two scenes, even if just to see and hear Cosby tell lie after lie. a true classic. The humor was slick and clean for it's time without the profanity and vulgarity which is the norm of today's genre. I did enjoy both Barbershop films, but it pales in comparison to USN. maybe because i'm from the old school, and I hold the trailblazers with high esteem and respect. Uptown Saturday Night made it's mark, and still does.
Shaft was/is/will be the man
I am an old-school man from Motown, and I was at the premiere showing in June of 1971 at the Palms Theatre. The impact and impression that is left in your mind dictates how one feels about anything. Shaft, starring Richard Roundtree, made it's mark on me then, and does now. From the opening scenes in the streets, to the end theme, when John Shaft came through the window...at the time, no Black man exercised such a strength of will and character as he did. the music score of Issac Hayes did/does/will be as timeless as the movie. The storyline was compelling, characters well-developed and colorful, the direction of Gordon Parks set a new standard, and even the fashion and wardrobe made a statement. Can you dig it?