Reviews written by registered user
|20 reviews in total|
"Feet First" is a fine Harold LLoyd film, that clearly shows the master comic as adept to making funny talkies as he was to making silent movie classics. Harold Lloyd possessed a great sense of timing as well as a keen sense of what made audiences laugh. Even if you've seen "Safety Last" (referring to the "hanging on the clock" scene) you'll enjoy this film (including the similar but still hilarious scene with Lloyd hanging from the side of the building). Concerning another reviewer's comment about "racial slurs", undoubtedly the reference is to a scene whereas Harold Lloyds's character (while hanging from the building) calls out to a black fellow using the name "Charcoal". Look, it was 1930; thats the way it was then, so get over it. "Feet First" is a wonderfully funny motion picture from one of the screen's greatest comedians, Harold Lloyd.
Bela Lugosi was always an underrated actor; capable of different types of roles. This a good Lugosi "who-done-it movie. Like Bela's "Dracula", this film lacks a musical score; however the acting is very good and Bela's performance will please his legions of fans. He doesn't wear a cape or tends to his usual "mad scientist" lab here. Instead, Mr. Lugosi dons a tuxedo for most of the movie! The plot deals with something that was only a dream for a lot of people during the thirties; television. It's interesting how much television was on the minds of many people in 1935. In fact, TV would have been a part of the American lifestyle much earlier had it not been for World War Two. "Murder By Television" shows a glimpse of what was to be as well as being a good murder mystery from the mid-thirties. Recommended viewing.
I must admit that "Carnival Rock" surprised me when I saw it for the first time last night. This film is more of a drama than a rock movie; complete with a pretty good story line and some fine acting. David Stewart plays the role of "Chrisy" Christakos, an owner of a small time carnival who happens to be madly in love with a young girl singer he hired, played nicely by Susan Cabot. The supporting players do a fine job in making this film believable and enjoyable. Musically, there are a few highlights. First, The Platters do one of their hits "Remember When". In this movie, you'll also get a look at the early careers of two singers who went on to fame in country music, Bob Luman and David Houston. Look for a young James Burton (who played lead guitar for Ricky Nelson and Elvis) backing up both Luman and Houston. The only complaint I have is that the producers didn't let these 2 guys sing their entire numbers. In most cases, you'll hear just the first or second half of what sounded to be some great rockabilly songs. "Carnival Rock" is a movie that wanted to go beyond what many rock films of the day were famous for; little or no plot. This film succeed nicely. I recommend it.
There are four Bela Lugosi movies that are mt favorites. They are "Dracula" (of course), "The Devil Bat", "The Raven", and "Bride Of The Monster". Lugosi gives one of his best acting performances in this film; particularly in the scene where he states "I have no home". That scene (in my opinion) is the high point of the movie. Lugosi was a genius; using facial expressions to enhance his incredible acting. Nobody could do it like him. The plot and acting in "Bride Of The Monster" is fine and they cast carries the entire affair very well indeed. This is not a high budget from MGM or Paramount, but instead it is a fine example of what can be done with a low budget and limited resources . "Bride" is a must see for any Lugosi fan and will delight those who enjoy this type of movie.
I wouldn't say this is a bad movie; in fact it's pretty typical of the type of film that the "poverty row" studios were releasing at the time. Filmed for Monogram, Bela Lugosi is very effective in his role as the somewhat demented doctor-scientist, masquerading as a respected member of the community. In this movie, Bela and his henchmen have the nasty habit of stealing young brides, and, after their demise, injecting Bela's wife with a serum taken from their bodies in order to keep her young. Lugosi is more than up to the task in making this an enjoyable film, however, the movie suffers from the ultra-wooden acting of co stars Luana Walters and Tristram Coffin. Coffin (nice name for a guy in a horror flick) is especially bad in this case. I've seen him in numerous movies and tv shows and he is always the same; stiff, wooden and utterly unconvincing. Miss Walters is only slightly better, but she too lacks the acting talent to make her role believable. Still, the viewer can enjoy the great Lugosi act out yet another dastardly scheme only to be foiled in the end! Despite the poor acting by some, "The Corpse Vanishes" is an enjoyable movie for all to see.
Before I bought this movie on DVD, I never saw "Unknown World". After watching it, I realized that I didn't miss anything. Nothing (at least very little) happens in the movie! The viewer waits and waits, and then the whole thing is over. Did I miss something? Did I fall asleep? Yes, this is a film that, if you went to the theatre to see it in 1951, you'd have been better off hanging around the snack counter. I don't keep movies in my collection that I do not like, so this turkey will be hitting the garbage can real soon.
Here's another Alan Freed rock and roll movie that gives us a look and listen to some of rock's greatest stars. Musically. the film is better than average for a rock and roll film, even with Jimmy Clanton's usual nasal and bland "vocalizing". The Cadillacs do two songs; "Jay Walker" (dressed as Policemen) and the wonderful "Please Mr. Johnson". Jackie Wilson is terrific as usual (he was a very close friend of Alan Freed) and proves once again what a tremendous talent he was. The movie has some historical musical moments as well. This film has the only motion picture performance by the late, great Ritchie Valens (he does the Little Richard inspired "Ohh My Head"). Also featured is Eddie Cochran doing "Teenage Heaven". Unfortunately, performances by Eddie are rare because of his death in a traffic accident in England the following year. Check out Harvey (of The Moonglows) doing a rare solo number and a good performance by Jo Ann Campbell. Co-star Sandy Stewart performs two songs including a nice up tempo called "Playmate". "Jo Gohnny Go"'s plot is a little above average and the acting is fine in most cases. Chuck Berry is especially believable as is veteran character actor Herb Vigran. I just wish someone other than Jimmy Clanton were cast in a co starring role. Sure, he's the right age, but his acting is a bit wooden and his songs and voice makes you want to reach for the fast forward button on your remote control. Still, I would recommend this movie. Don't miss this one for a good time, great music and a little rock and roll history.
Mr. Rock and Roll is another in a series of quickly produced movies that
give us all a glimpse into early rock and roll. This film could have been
GREAT film but, for some reason, it seems like most of the acts chose
worst songs for this movie. Laverne Baker is a case in point, and whatever
made the great Moonglows wear mexican outfits (sombrero's even!) and do a
horrible song "Barcelona Rock"? Ugh! Ferlin Husky's tunes are forgettable
and what on earth is a Shaye Cogan? Lionel Hampton seems just as mis
as country star Ferlin Husky. Historically speaking, this would be our
look at Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers (they dis-banded shortly after the
film was released). Their two numbers are not their best, but very good.
Teddy Randazzo's songs are well done (he sings, among others, "Kiddio",
which was a hit for co-star and friend Brook Benton some years later).
also gives a fine acting performance as does Alan Freed.
With better songs, Mr. Rock and Roll would be a classic, but if you enjoy early rock and roll, this is still a good movie to see.
If you're a fan of the early days of Rock and Roll, then this is a must see. Rock Rock Rock has one of the best line ups of early rock talent seen in these types of films. Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers do two numbers as do The Moonglows. Also on hand are rare film appearances by The Flamingos and LaVerne Baker. Rock Rock Rock also contains the only film performance by the great rockabilly group, The Johnny Burnette Trio. Singer-songwriter-producer Teddy Randazzo does several songs with The Three Chuckles and is the male lead opposite Tuesday Weld (whose singing voice is over dubbed by a then unknown Connie Francis. The plot however, is unbelievably ridiculous (it centers around a prom dress!) and Tuedsay Weld plays an incredibly DUMB teenager (she thinks 1 percent of a dollar is one dollar). Alan Freed is great though, introducing the acts and you'll hear one of his top tenor sax specialists, Freddie Mitchell. Fast forward through the "story" and head for the musical numbers if you want, but don't miss this one if you love early Rock and Roll!
Actually, I don't find "Plan 9" as hilarious or hideous as other reviewers. Sure there is some bad acting and less that elaborate scenery. But "Plan 9" has a certain charm to it which makes it a favorite. Some movies are just outwardly terrible without being charming. I've walked out on those films in the theaters and thrown away the tapes and DVD's But I've watched this film over and over. I see the mistakes; like the scene where the police race to a scene in a 1957 Ford. When they arrive, thay're in a 1956 Ford. But thats ok. This movie is fun and far from the worst movie I've ever seen. For a real turkey try "Teenage Zombies". I bought that one, watched it for 15 minutes and threw it away. It was just horribly inept and stupid. "Plan 9", as I said earlier, has a certain charm to it, and for that fact, it is enjoyable.
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