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My favorite film genres include horror, drama, & comedy. For me, old films rock!!!!!!!! I like some of the new stuff, too.
For Love or Money (1963)
Kirk Douglas has his hands full!
For Love or Money stars Kirk Douglas as an attorney to Thelma Ritter, a very wealthy widow, with three daughters. She wants Douglas to match them with marriageable suitable men. The comedy begins as Douglas tries to be a matchmaker to all three sisters with hilarious results! However, there's a catch...Douglas can never let on to the sisters that he's trying to play cupid for them or let them know the role their mother is playing in the matchmaking.
The reasons for watching this light romp are the screen chemistry between Douglas and Mitzi Gaynor, who plays the eldest of the three sisters and is very head strong. In addition, its a great film to watch for all the Thelma Ritter fans, who are use to her playing maids (All About Eve, A Letter to Three Wives). She plays the role of the wealthy widow like she was born into it.
Another reason to watch is the climax at the end, which I will not spoil, because you just don't see it coming. It made this film a joy to watch.
Now, here's an issue...this film never made it to video or DVD. For anyone looking to watch this gem, you will have to search for it on cable.
Her Twelve Men (1954)
Greer Garson in color!!!!!!
Greer Garson portrays a teacher at an all boys school in this familiar vehicle from MGM studios. She must be a teacher to her students and a mother simultaneously. In the process, she attracts three suitors.
I love Garson and I'm a huge fan, however,I will also agree this is not her best film. Its only for those who are big fans of the actress. Also, for those who are die-hard fans of Garson, if you need another reason to see it? She's in color! It was filmed in color and is not one of Turner's colorized films. Garson fans like myself know the majority of her films were done in black and white.
While I agree with the previous post stating this film is a familiar vehicle for Garson, I disagree with him on the statement that Garson could have chosen a better film to appear in. I'm sure the previous poster has not forgotten that when this film was made, Garson was still under contract to MGM and the company had been dealing with a shift in power during this period. The powers that be at the studio would not give the actress parts that were fitting of her abilities and range. As a result, she took films like this to avoid being shunned by the film community and to continue working. She also was trying to avoid being sued by the studio for breach of contract. Eventually, she did grow tired of being stuck in films like this so she did what any graceful woman like herself would do...she waited for her contract to expire by taking films like this. When her contract was up, she left.
For more inside information of Garson, the poster above should read her book, "A Rose for Mrs. Miniver" to get an in depth understanding of this great actress.
Also, on a sad note, this is one of Garson's films that has never gone to video. :(
Another Part of the Forest (1948)
Greed to an all time low...
Another Part of the Forest tells the story of a patriarch of a very wealthy southern family & the constant powers struggles he endures within his own family.
There are some very interesting elements of this story that keeps one guessing. For starters, how did the family make their money is one. Two: why does the matriarch of the family keep herself locked away not only from the rest of the world but her family, too.
Another interesting plot is the relationship between the father & his only daughter. There are some incestuous overtones there.
I love this film. Screen writer Lillian Hellman was very good at dealing with human emotion, interaction & confrontation. For those of you that enjoyed "Little Foxes", you will enjoy this film because its the prequel to it.
This film has a very strong cast which is headed by Fredric March. All the cast members hold their own very well. Even though this film is play, it translates to the screen very well.
Now for the bummer:This film never made it to video for some odd reason. I only have it because I recorded it on cable one night. For those of you that have cable, I would check with your local listings.
If you love good drama, you won't regret it.
House of Darkness (1948)
This house is full of darkness...
The film opens with a man who decides to visit a house that has reputation of being haunted. He's frighten away & later learns of the manor's history.
It seems many years ago two men fought over money & the ownership of the house. One thing leads to another and one of them is murdered by way a heart attack. The ghost of the dead man comes back to haunt his murderer.
While this genre has been done before, I still recommend this film for its atmosphere & haunting music score. Its the kind of film you can watch with the lights off, still be entertained & not have nightmares about it. This is one of actor Laurence Harvey's earlier works & he shines in this film although some may think his acting is over-the-top. It works here because his character is slowly being driven insane.
When searching for this film, try rental stores that specialize in non-mainstream films. I found this gem by accident in a rental store that actually has a section for British films.
Rhett still doesn't give a damn...
The is the mini-series that was inspired by the novel written by Alexandra Ripley.
The story begins at Melanie's funeral in Atlanta, GA. Rhett has decided to proceed with the divorce that he threaten to get from Scarlett. Poor Scarlett has schemed to get him back but to no avail. Eventually, Scarlett decides to visit her relatives on both sides of her family & we are whisked away to Ireland, the home of her father's ancestors due to a secret she's carrying.
Many plots take place in this mini-series. So many that the viewer may need a score card: 1) Scarlett's attempts to get Rhett back. 2) Rhett's attempts to forget Scarlett. 3) Scarlett's Irish branch of the family and an impending revolution. and 4) Scarlett's attempts to hide her secrets(she's got a ton of them!).
And that's just the the surface! There are two things that make this wild ride problematic: Too many sub plots and characters. When I first saw this on TV, I would get confused at times because there where so many new characters created just for this story. At times it would seem the writers would just draw plots out of thin air. Many of them are never resolved and are just left hanging.
For those of you that have seen "Gone with the Wind", I only recommend you see this film for the very same reason I did, I wanted to know what would happen to Scarlett. I also recommend you see "Gone with the Wind" first, then see this film.
The cast is top-notch, a who's who among TV & film actors alike spanning over three countries and so are the locales. You will travel from Atlanta, GA to Charleston, SC to London, England then to Ireland. The scenes that take place in Ireland will take your breathe away.
I will admit that this sequel does read like a soap opera which is why I only would recommend it to fans of the genre.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Here we go again...
While some sequels can't live up to the first film, Hellbound isn't one of them.
Set to pick right up from the first one, the story takes place a few hours after Kirsty's ordeal with the Cenobites. She ends up in an Institution for the Insane. Her doctor, as irony would have, is a mad doctor & hell bent on learning & unraveling all the mysteries of the puzzle box.
While he deceives others into thinking he's a caring person, underneath he has a very malevolent nature just like Frank Cotton from the first film. Actually, he's more evil than Frank. Case in point, he keeps his un-treatable patients in the cellar of the institute & uses one of them in his twisted plan. As the film moves along, you learn very horrible things about the doctor, not only in the present but in his past as well.
There are several plots going on in this film. For starters, Kirsty trying to get to hell to rescue her father (boy, this girl needs a serious bible study lesson! She's really convinced she can do it!), the return of Julia, and Dr. Channard trying to take over hell are just a few plots we see. One very interesting thing about this film is what I call the "Battle of the Cenobites! Watch if you dare!
While I like this film, I found some flaws in it. There a few special effects that look as if someone needed to go back to school. The battle of the Cenobites needed some more "bite" to it & it was too short. Some of the elements that I did enjoy are the plot that never stops and some of the special are quite good, especially Julia coming back.
I was also glad that many of the original actors & their characters were brought back for the sequel. Also I liked the script which helped the viewer to understand some things which occurred in the first film, sort of an "update".
For those that have never seen this film, take a few pointers in mind:
Like the first one, this not for the faint of heart! See "Hellraiser" first because in that way, some of this film will make sense to you.
And above all: ENJOY!
Hell was raised!
Of all the modern day horror films I own as well as those that I watch, this film by far is one of the best. Next to "The Exorcist", its one of the few that really scare me.
Hellraiser tells the story of a very selfish & greedy good-for-nothing name Frank Cotton. This man has got to be the sorriest person ever! He squanders his inheritance & even has an affair with his brother's wife on the eve of the wedding.
Frank is not only bored with life in general but he's also a very malevolent person which makes him a prime candidate for the Cenobites. When he opens the puzzle box, he gets more than he bargained for. Upon his brother moving back into the family house, when blood is accidently spilled into the floor, Frank comes back. He & his sister-in-law start killing men for their bodies to bring Frank back so he can deceive the Cenobites.
This film is good for several reasons. For starters the plot & the special effects which will blow you away! Its also a thinking man's horror film. I believe this film has a moral in it as well as a social commentary on how we as humans think we can control everything in & of this world. Just about everyone in this story pays a price for what they do.
For anyone that loves gore, atmosphere, good acting & writing as well eye-popping special effects, this one has all these elements & then some. True horror buffs consider this film the creme ala creme of horror films.
Don't miss it!
House of Frankenstein (1944)
Three's not a crowd...
I saw this movie as a child & loved it. As an adult, I think its way over the top for a horror movie but for some reason it works!
It tells the story of an evil scientist that wants revenge for being sent to prison. When he escapes with his partner-in-crime Igor, he goes forth with his plans which involve the following cast of infamous characters: the Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster & Dracula.
While this can be a bit much for some, its enough for the rest of us. The only one missing is the Mummy. This film is classified as a horror picture but feels more like a comedy/action/parody picture. I don't even think the major principles in the film or even studio took it seriously & neither should the viewer.
Its one of those strange pictures that was made to make a quick buck for the studio. To bring my point home, look at the actors & sets, hear the dialog & listen to the film's score: its all rehashed from the studio's classic horror movie archives.
Despite all that, its still an enjoyable movie. Its better than this junk of today.
I Bury the Living (1958)
Can he control your fate?
I saw this film recently & boy was I end for a shock. It keeps you on "pins & needles" (excuse the pun).
Its the story of a wealthy man that inherits the duties of running the local cemetery from an elder in the family. One day the man removes one the pins by accident & the owner of the grave plot turns up dead. Of course this doesn't go un-noticed by him. The cops never believe him & by the middle of the story the guy is out of his mind with fear because it keeps happening.
Due to Richard Boone's good acting & the good writing of this film, you too will be convinced of Boone's powers over the living & the dead. However, without giving the ending away, I was a little disappointed. But I let that go & allow this film to stay in my collection because underneath this film is a good whodunit.
Its the kind of film that takes you for a ride, plays with your powers of deduction, has you thinking you're right when you're wrong. It scares you & un-nerves you which is interesting because by the time the story ends, you realize you've been going through the same pathos that Boone goes through which is kind of fun.
Oh, for you lovers of classic TV characters, be on the lookout for the actor that portrayed the father of Denis from the show, "Denis the Menace".
The Vault of Horror (1973)
Don't go in this Vault alone...
I've seen & own many horror anthologies & this by far is one of the best!
It tells of five men who gather in the basement of a high-rise building & relate stories of nightmares, or could they be visions. The stories that are told here are weird & for a 70's film, are kind of very scary. Of the five, I would say my favorites are the one about the Indian rope trick & the town of vampires (Don't go there after dark!).
If you like a little campiness, some gross out as well as plot twists & over all good directing, this is for you. For those of you horror buffs that have yet to see this little gem, its directed by Roy Ward Baker & next to Terence Fisher & Freddie Francis, is one of England's best horror movie directors.
Don't miss it!