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Get up, you ******* abortion!!!!!!!! **SPOILERS**, 24 March 2015

Fine cast of stalwart actors and superstars in mostly the British film industry make their mark in this war-actioner regarding the mercenary- era stories of note in 1960s-70s post-independent African countries. This has a plot a little more than that with skullduggery at home from a wealthy Industrialist, Stewart Grainger who's tasked Richard Burton as Allan Faulkner a former Colonel, of course taking on the same mantra with all the rag-tag of experienced ex-soldiers he can muster to extricate (not kidnap really is it?) a made-up African leader Julius Limbane (Winston Nshona) from of course a made-up African state of Zimbala.

To cut a long story short, that's the job. But you have to watch how easily it falls into that kind of film/movie. Right from recruiting the right-hand men, their protests from the wife/or the men's happily leaving them notes/divorce right away and although they're getting paid, no pondering on them perhaps getting killed violently thousands of miles away. The major Actors, Richard Harris, (Rafer Janders), Roger Moore (Shawn Fynn), Hardy Kruger (Peter Cotzee) playing a hard- lined Apartheid era soldier and of course the wonderful Jack 'NCO' Watson as well as homosexual (purposefully) support from Witty, played by the excellent Kenneth Griffiths' medic make this an excellent blood and guts saga of this kind of genre. What is of course added, is the issues in the film. Africa, hot exotic but not welcome in a sweaty fighting-atmosphere and our band up against what appears to be Cuban- led African soldiers (very tight on info here of the time!).

The mission goes ahead, parachuting into Zimbala but alas, after the extrication of Limbane from the prison where he was held, the men find they're double-crossed by Grainger and left to rot, for his new deal's with someone else and what is in his best interests. The team are now tasked with fighting their way out for themselves as well an injured Limbane.

Burton and Co. have to plan a new way out, get this, they actually stumble on a DC-3 some miles away from an irate Irish missionary priest (Frank Finlay) who's known begrudgingly to Janders. However, this is their little lifeline in a while, but of course, they're all getting wiped out along the way in getting to it! There are some usual and okay-ish action scenes and plenty of bullets flying as expected. Janders and Coetzee are killed more or less at the last knockings as is medic Witty in a last stand with a number of the African soldiers as is the stalwart NCO Jack 'Sandy' Watson. The remainder, Burton and Moore make the plane and fly back out. Limbane though, dies, so that was worth it!

What made the film which can be a bit standard is of course the good cast. There has been much made about the film for other reasons which are reflected 'in' it, for example 'Africa rising' as Limbane and the racist Coetzee exchange the ideology behind whites in Apartheid South Africa and the Africa movement to remove them. The two bond over what must be done to secure both their futures in the new Africa or South Africa that will come - coincidentally, the issues really DID make South Africa what it is as Mandela's fairness and compassion mirrored that of the banter between Coetzee and Limbane.

What makes it is as I said is the fine cast and as is mentioned, perhaps an American actor would have propelled it in the states more, as Burton, though respected in America was in his last throes of his career. There are good feelgood moments too when Burton takes out Grainger back home in 'Merry old' and neat touches like Coetzee killing guards with his cyanide-tipped crossbow. Some of the dialogue can be exceptionally British and dreadful 'isn't he a love', 'you two beauties' (Moore talking about a couple of hoodlums, incidentally, one of which is David Ladd, Alan's son - only a cameo role too small of course for the American-impact market as I mentioned).

A good, watchable film, but wouldn't say it's out of the ordinary, just a great cast nonetheless as I say! (Watch out for lesser-known but interesting actors, Stanley Baker's son as 'Esposito' and Ian Yule, Playing 'Tosh' a former real-life mercenary with Colonel 'Mad Mike' Hoare, who was also an NCO in 'Zulu Dawn'. 'Take the high ground!').

XX Spoilers XX, 13 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not entirely awful, but not entirely good either, Mainly, if you're a fan of the British film-noir crime genre of course. David McCallum, a brooding, vicious, little villain decides to kill for money. Enter his old chum Kenneth Cope, fresh out of prison as the mate wanting his cut from another job they did yet HE went inside for. McCallum talks his chum into that 'one last job'at the strip club he frequents, having sized-up the Boss's takings from the office safe even though Cope's five minutes out of prison. But can McCallum ride his luck and stop at killing? Nope - he carries on, basically. That's about it and of course, as no-one in those days in British cinema at least was allowed to be seen to be getting away with crime, (until after 1970 I believe?). That's about it as I say, he gets his in the end. Set among the world of a strip club in typical 50s/60s style of Brylcreem, cigarettes and bad jazz music complete with cymbals at the drum kit,(oh and London smog) the script is pretty ordinary and does drag in a few places. It has its 'kitchen-sink' atmosphere, arguing with his dad, but he is a villain so it's not surprising. However, it has just enough to hold you as another one for the wet Saturday/Sunday afternoon slot when you haven't anything to do. It IS, interestingly worth seeing alone perhaps for McCallum playing an out-of-character villain, with a cockney accent of sorts, something not seen a lot of in his career, the only other one offhand I can think of for him was 'Violent Playground'. Although Cope's played 'wrong-uns' he plays a good role as just that. Worth also of note, McCallum's then-wife Jill Ireland starring as the 'girl in the picture'. Pretty lame ending but the one you couldn't do much with, well, they couldn't here!

Mr Ree, whyyyyy you wear no uniform!?!?! ** SPOILERS **, 14 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No doubt about it, this is THE most memorable martial arts film of all time. One, the master, Bruce Lee, totally excelled in, even if there are a lot of choreographed moves, it/he still looks ultimately impressive. The film however does have a fair plot. 'Braithwaite' a sort of pseudo-crime agency bigwig, recruits Lee, to bring down a drugs and crime kingpin, 'Han'. Han, of course, 'lives big' as is said in the film, on an island of his own, with an added 'sportsman-like' attitude (or so it seems) in bringing all the martial arts talent into one place for a fighting tournament. This brings Lee into contact with also, some of the real dregs of society - ones that can fight! Roper, (John Saxon) a kind of fair-spirited guy lead by his gambling addiction and running away from it/the trouble he's in and his chum he bumps into, the somewhat rough diamond, but spirited, 'flashy' 'Williams' played by Jim Kelly. The know each other well from their days in 'nam. There are others introduced like 'Parsons' another ne'er-do-well. Braithwaite also has a female agent on the island whom he's not sure is still alive, May Ling.

Braithwaite co-erces Lee into doing his bidding in trying to either bring Han down or at least let him get word to Braithwaite and HIS chums to take him down at the right moment. After all, a wily old man, lets Lee know that Han's right-hand man, 'O' Hara' murdered his sister. It's the old revenge trick that gets Lee to finally make his mind up and take Han on for the death of his sister - now it's personal!

There are various fights and excellent fight scenes in the tournament. Lee even gets his chance to revenge his sister in killing O'Hara by some martial arts shoot-out, er, 'kick-out'.

There's all sorts of entertainment on the island - girls for the likes of Roper and Williams especially, good food, a chance to enter some kick-ass martial arts games and us getting to see them. Lee has found May Ling and they plan to expose Han and alert Braithwaite as May Ling says a lot of girls go missing in Han's sewer of drugs and prostitution.

Lee in the meantime, dresses in black, scales and scouts the island for information into Han's den of depravity and degradation.

Part of all the 'enjoyment' on the island is to sucker-in the dregs Han's invited to bring some more 'talent' into his little empire. This doesn't run to letting people run around his island. But Williams, even though having been warned, sampling the moonlight after his session with the girlies, gets the blame for Lee doing it. Han announces to all in the tournament courtyard, someone wasn't where they should be but uses this to demonstrate he isn't messing around - he blames his guards for the failure and shows all and sundry through his other henchman 'Bolo' that they'll be summarily executed by kicking, stamping and the breaking of necks etc., of the guards. To emphasise Han knows HE knows Williams was the perpetrator of the spying, (even though it was Lee) he slyly asks Williams if he's shocked, the flash one himself replies: 'Only how sloppy your man works!' (Trying to convince Han he isn't scared of what he's just witnessed). Roper isn't impressed at all and says to his good pal Williams they need to talk about what's happened! Han's marked Williams for death and they have a fight-out, Han with clawed false hand and all, after accusing him of being the 'spy' (when it was Lee anyway).

Han now lets Roper, William's good pal, know about his 'operation' letting him know HE knows all about Roper's background and would be a good cadet for him. It looks like Roper may be swayed, but then Han lets him know the price of folly, failure and betrayal - he shows him Williams hanging from the rafters - Roper, sickened, especially by seeing his dead chum rebels.

A fight ensues, Lee even does some amazing fighting with all of Han's useless remaining guards (reminds us of all the droids in the later 'earlier' Star Wars serials - I mean what use ARE they all?!?).

Lee's locked up, but in James Bond style, he'll always escape - he also lets out various prisoners held in Han's dungeons who will undoubtedly make a massive army to take on Han's guards. (Convenient, eh?!).

The summary massive fight ensues in the outdoors, with hundreds of feet and fists flying everywhere, but of course, Lee will take on Han. With a tense bit of fighting near the end, Lee of course, takes Han out. The prisoners who helped have done over Han's men (they would be 'better' than Han's wouldn't they?). An end shot of Lee and Roper giving the thumbs-up to one another and the late arrival of Braithwaite's guys invading Han's island brings the film to a good close.

We can always pick holes in this film but on the whole it was massively enjoyable with never a real dull moment. As I've said, with Lee at his best and still with a central plot. The beautiful Ahna Capri (who is killed in the final melee) was Han's head concubine who had a little crush on Roper, lends some glamour. (There's no real love-interest thankfully - May Ling looks a little longingly at Lee but that's about it, as I say, thankfully!). Also, there would be big issues among some with stereotypes (check my heading - from a Chinese person to Lee!) and even Jim Kelly, although hamming it up big time, seems very ''Shaft'-and-medallion-wearing like', but this was also the '70s. Another aspect, dare I say it - EVERYONE AND ANYONE oriental can do martial arts it seems!

**Possible Spoilers**, 16 December 2014

This was an extremely weird but enjoyable series, of comedy-drama, focussing on the locals who live in the 'Crezz' (Crescent) in a supposedly-normalised suburban area. It had a mish-mash of famous British faces perhaps focussing also on people who were normally known for both comedy or drama. The main character actor was Joss Ackland. I remember one particular episode where the residents were engaging in a potato-fight! It was quite vivid as I was around 14-15 at the time of its broadcast. What struck me most, was how ITV then out of only three British channels, broadcast this in the afternoon slot - where you found quality drama only on this channel, (remember 'Crown Court' and 'General Hospital', anyone?). But sadly, this programme illustrates how bad UK ITV and others have become with endless repeats of cooking programmes and 'wimmin's' type of programming in this afternoon slot (as well as 'Diagnosis Murder' occasionally - no offence, but these are very crass compared to this kind of drama and it smacks of what is lost for eternity with cheap and nasty programmes - sad, but true!)

"You heroic horse's ass!" ***SPOILERS***, 19 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A classic film by any criterion by Sam Peckinpah, in his usual blood-and-guts fashion. That fact aside, being quite strange, as it's very much an anti-war film, told really from the perspective of a rag-tag German Army platoon fighting its way back from the Russian Front in 1943 (the turnaround for the German Army in WW2).

Rolf Steiner, (James Coburn), the respected stalwart NCO newly promoted from Corporal to Sergeant, falls foul of arrogant Prussian-Aristocrat officer, Captain Stransky (Maximilian Schell). Stransky, still a novice coming from peaceful, occupied France makes no secret of WHY he asked for a transfer to the Russian Front - 'to win the Iron Cross', he says, as arrogantly as he is... arrogant! He's immediately looked on with disdain by the ragged but experienced Colonel Brandt (James Mason) and Captain Kiesel (David Warner).

Stransky even discovers himself a nice lackey, in Lieutenant Trebig, holding the latter's homosexuality he has recently observed with his adjutant, over his head.

His opportunity to win the Iron Cross 'dishonestly' presents itself in a Russian attack at his headquarters - only he squirms down below in the subterranean mire, whereas Steiner, the platoon and an equally respected Lieutenant Miers take on the Russkies head-on.

Miers is killed fighting bravely, Steiner is injured and goes on leave, having it off with a nice bit of skirt (Senta Berger as Eva, his nurse) and then there's the evaluation of the attack - Stransky puts his name down somewhere for the Iron Cross and put upon Trebig is called as his witness, surprise, surprise, never mind he's boasted about winning it in the first few words he uttered to the upper echelons. Steiner returns, and swears blind to the inquiry into 'who lead the attack, Stransky or Miers' that the latter lead the fighting and Stransky was nowhere to be seen. Steiner is needed as a second witness for Stransky, the latter even asks Steiner for this! Colonel Brandt again leans on Trebig to tell the truth but he can't even wobble slightly with Stransky threatening to reveal his homosexuality.

The platoon acquires a new Gestapo soldier, he's warned by Steiner he's not a popular man in spying on them - and that he'll get a bayonet up his ass if he even sneezes the wrong way. The platoon is sent out and encounters severe fighting that is vicious as the Russian Front was. Even a scrape with some Russian women leaves a couple of them killed, the green and innocent new private Dietz gets his as does the Gestapo man - in a not very nice way, it has to be said. But they still have to manage to get back to their lines. Stransky is beside himself in not being nominated for his Iron Cross as he feels he can't go back to his upper-class family in disgrace without one.

In the meantime,Steiner's platoon is as cut off somewhere and are struggling to get back to own their own lines. An order from Brandt is put out, to all units to break off and get back. Stransky deliberately sees to it that Steiner's platoon don't get the message but in any case, Steiner and Co. manage to get back to their own lines, using the approved code on the radio, to take his men in. Of course, Stransky gets wind of all this first and decides it could be a fake - that's his explanation anyway! He orders his men to open fire on Steiner and his platoon even when they wave their hands and blurt out the password/code wildly. Only three of the original platoon make it back including Steiner, who sees Trebig in the trench. (Trebig by now even states to himself 'my passage home' - some attempt to show he isn't totally lead by Stransky). Trebig wails that it wasn't his doing and it's Stransky all along. Steiner just lets rip on Trebig with his machine gun in typical Peckinpah fashion, letting him know his little fable cuts no ice.

Steiner catches up with Stransky, telling him Trebig is dead, Stransky retorts that Trebig wasn't under his command for a long time - then the two go head-to-head in some sort of duel into the Russian Melee as a challenge. This near-last scene has Brandt leading a charge and Steiner and Stransky going off to fight. Stransky hasn't a clue how to reload his machine gun and Steiner just laughs his head off in the ending scene, showing an explosion by a railway carriage as we are lead to believe the two of them have been killed.

An interestingly-filmed British-German production, with Peckinpah's blood and guts approach and set-pieces giving him rein to exploit it to its maximum potential. It must be said, the film was a hit in the then West Germany. But you can see why. It shows it mainly from their perspective. A product of anti-war feeling from Germans, on the Russian Front is this debatable? They even take in a young Russian boy-soldier as some sort of 'chum' after Stransky previously ordered him to be shot, as was the norm in Russia at the hands of the German Nazi ideology. As also, they meet some Russian women and some humanity is shown from the platoon, with scant reference to rape, scorned upon by Steiner - this is not mostly truthful to German soldiers of the period. I'm not saying they couldn't show any humanity, but it looks as if it's promoted and wasn't typical of the war on the Russian Front. Steiner as an anti-war but courageous soldier at odds with a king-s**t officer Stransky is well-played and the latter's deceit for his own ends perhaps warranted him getting killed more violently. The action is well-handled and typical as I have said of Peckinpah, but this remains one of the best and memorable war films we all grew up with before Saving Private Ryan.

Excellent little thriller with neat touches ***SPOILERS***, 11 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As JohnRouseMelliotChard says, this film is deserving of more or better exposure, although of course, the Sunday afternoon slot would merit it, but in today's PC and wishy-washy liberal idiom, it wouldn't get the chance. Although 'internet grooming' by today's social media has become a worry, or a worrying 'norm', this film shows that with even less technology in those days (1962), an accomplished pervert was still able to do the same! A young sixteen-year-old, Jean, played by Christina Gregg is standing by a 'phone box, waiting for the bus that takes her to her babysitting job in the pub, run by Ron, (Conrad Philips). The 'phone rings, no-one seems around to answer it, Jean decides to pick it up. A man with, it has to be said, a sexy, captivating and smooth voice 'coaxes' Jean into talking, somewhat on her part anyway, naively.

Before long, when jumping onto her bus, Jean's in a little headspin about the guy on the 'phone. So much so, she arranges to 'meet' him on the 'phone the following day. Add to this, talking to her sweet, yet precocious 14 year-old sister, Ann (Janina Faye), despite exercising caution, the latter's adding flame to the fire, probably unintentionally, but asking so many questions about the mystery man, clearly that Jean has been captivated by, even though it's just his voice. 'The man' (we don't have a name), carries on with this 'grooming' (for it's what he IS doing!).

On one occasion, she doesn't make the bus as she's kept late at work, she herself becoming very agitated by this - 'the man' plays on this when questioning her about her lateness for their 'phone-liaison, puts down the 'phone on her which leads to Jean become even more agitated - 'upping' his game on her. Soon as he can though, on the next 'rendevous' on the 'phone, he suggests they meet. All Jean can do is see no real harm and they make the date 'at the 'phone box'. Ann in the meantime is banned by the erstwhile pipe-smoking and laid back Dad-of-daughters from going 'to the local dance'. Jean has been banned from going out too to her pub job on the same night. The two of them make an excuse to 'Dad' of going to the pictures - a subterfuge to get them out of the house and do what they were going to do - EXCEPT that Ann decides to follow Jean on her 'date at the 'phone box' after finally warning Jean this may be a huge mistake. Even the friendly and funny Dandy Nichols as the bus conductor, Molly, informs Jean she's mad doing this and a warning about a local girl found strangled, 'Are you crazy, he might be anything', says Molly. 'Of course not,' replies Jean, 'not with a voice like THAT, you can always tell', she goes on, obliviously. (Talk about insane!).

Jean, eventually has second thoughts about this night of the date, runs off to the pub where she works - and - 'the man' appears at the very same place, asking Ron for directions! But then, Jean overhears and finally sees 'the voice/the man' ! Now knowing, that although she's out of danger in her new-found apprehension, she sees 'the man' ringing what of course must be the 'phone box. Watching and hearing him on the 'phone, she knows now another girl must be at the 'phone box as he is having the conversation in 'her name' (she gave the false name of 'Samantha' to 'the man'). Guess who it is - her sister, Ann, whilst looking for the now-disappeared Jean! The latter now knows she has to warn whoever it is. Jean confides in Ron she was going to meet this mystery man, Ron can't get his head around it as if Jean's mad, stating he had a conversation with 'the man' and he was meeting a friend. She rings the box, realising it's Ann, warns her, but, 'the man' is there - Ann says: 'I'm NOT Samantha!' 'He' replies: 'You ARE to ME!' I know I've put in 'Spoilers' but I'll let you see it!!!

This was a neat thriller, with equally neat touches. Dandy Nichols as Molly, saying what we all would to Jean but injecting some humour at times and of course, the one who steals the show a little is Ann, not only with Jean, but annoying her dad with her anti-hunting lectures and telling him what she thinks of him and the establishment in her no-nonsense way. It had a good script and I wouldn't say it was nailbiting until the end predictably, but it flows well and the script and acting, plus Jean's undoubtedly stupidity and naiveity - perhaps 'of the time' and that's part of the point, however common 'grooming' is now, make it well worth a watch.

Very ordinary *Spoilers*, 18 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just plain ordinary as I've said. A shame, because even though some of the great 'superstars' are that, i.e., the Eastwoods and Schwarzeneggers of this world, who have presence but not necessarily acting on a great points scale, neither had Lex Barker anything but the same - the gruff actor could've excelled at some point but was resigned to the world of B-movies. This story just has that recipe, girls, glamour, interesting scenery (South Africa)and just an obligatory plot of detective work. Barker is on the hunt for people being picked off (mostly around him) with mention of neo-Nazis to boot. As someone else has mentioned, there are some set-pieces of interest (but only to give it lacklustre merit) like the ostrich stampede. Obviously a foreign production designed with Barker in mind to sell it to the states even if a support featurette, it also beggars belief that Ronald Fraser was cajoled into it. Well, it was obviously a nice cheap holiday to South Africa and much cheaper once they were there already. Of note though, is Gert Van Den Bergh, who, being South African/South African set, hadn't appeared in a lot, other than any film set in that beautiful country - he was mostly remembered for his one and only large-scale, epic film 'Zulu' as Ardendorff, the Boer.

Sound Gregory Peck wartime drama *** Spoilers***, 3 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some may not like this film, where a little slow love interest moves in, but nevertheless, it works within the plot totally (and I'm not one for mush!). Gregory Peck, he whom makes any standard film above that, is the central character, Squadron Leader Bill Forrester. Again, the man plagued by problems, that of depression sinking in after the death of his wife in a blitz on wartime London, surviving the very same himself.

He's now stationed in Burma in the last stages of the war, but noticeably at odds with his squadron over his rantings which, undoubtedly have got the better of him, much to their angst. Everyone is affected by his angst which is getting more wayward and frustrating to all day by day and even the CO wants him out.

Thankfully, on the base, the laid-back Doctor Harris (ok, the 'M.O') (Bernard Lee) suggests he accompany him out of the 'camp' to see the other side and perhaps, why we're fighting this war. Harris introduces him to a missionary station run by a Mrs McNab (Brenda De Banzie). She welcomes Forrester to the 'enclave' where he meets a lovely, pretty Burmese teacher, Anna (Win Min Than). The love interest that then matures between them will obviously, and does, bring him out of his depressed state, as well as seeing how the missionary Mrs McNab has shown him the other side of himself via the mission - it'd humble anybody.

However, the war is always still there, Forrester is sent on a mission with the friendly but matter-of-fact Blore, the photo-reconnaissance man, played with usual upper-class aplomb in authoritative character actor, Maurice Denham (has that guy EVER looked young/had hair?). They and another new officer posted to the squadron, Carrington (Lyndon Brook) subsequently take off on the mission, but suffer engine problems and crash-land in a desolate, arid area of Burma - the film significantly changes tack where you least expect, I think, where the three have to survive in the 'purple plain'. Short of food, water and the intense heat, the characters come together or work against each other, in the case of Blore, the latter now finding himself at odds with Forrester, especially as they have to 'carry' Carrington as he was injured in the subsequent crash-landing. As the wilderness kicks into their attitude and physical being, Blore finally shoots himself, leaving just Forrester and Carrington finally making it home.

Forrester's love for Anna saw him through his worst time and the next time again. This film is one of those that doesn't feature a lot on TV, but it should, but it's still 'familiar' and remains in the back of your mind from time to time in movie history, as I say probably for not being shown enough. Brenda De Banzie's character did honestly get on my nerves with her 'Christian missionary' rantings, but it was central to the plot in bringing Forrester out of himself.

This is also another film that features the excellent De Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber. There are some moments of 'special effects' of the day, in this respect, maybe a bit laughable after the CGI of today, but still, competent for the time - watch it, it's good!

Frenzy (1972)
Lovely...lovely...lovely (Tongue-in-cheek sex murder story from Hitch!) xx Spoilers xx, 12 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Weirdly humorous in places, for Hitchcock at the same time meant to engage a story of a serious subject about a London serial killer, dubbed naturally by the media as 'The Necktie Killer' - it says it all about the sex killing to boot! A plot involving a disgraced former RAF officer, Blaney (Jon Finch, sadly not seen enough in film)implicated for the murders. After losing his job to the 'bastard' Bernard Cribbins at the pub he'd worked at, his erstwhile pal, 'ladies' man, wide-boy, Bob Rusk (Barry Foster) tries to help him out but, too proud to accept his help for a job, cash and a tip on a horse (that comes in and he failed to back) he then goes to see his ex, played by Barbara Leigh-Hunt. They do get on a little, but Blaney's the 'angry man' who always lets that get the better of him. Helped also by 'Babs' at the pub, the late Anna Massey ... let's just say that the latter two ladies end up wearing a tie, implicating Blaney further - what is it they say, victims are always victims to someone they know!!!

So... in comes Alec McCowen, as the police officer investigating, with a neat touch of a horrible wife who likes to kill too ... by serving McCowen with awful 'experimental exotic recipes'. Whilst lapping up fry-ups when he's away from her, he's hunting for Blaney. But... however it looks, with tip-off after tip-off about Blaney's whereabouts and help from his posh mate Clive Swift, this guy's just so unlucky. Right up until the police finally get somewhere other than promotion in locating ... should I say who? I 'have' got SPOILERS up, so read no further if you don't want to know... yep, it was his chum, right along, Bob Rusk ... some friend!

The end is a nice piece as it looks as if Blaney has caught up with Rusk ... only for the police to finally nab him. This thriller had some good acting from 'angry' Finch as Blaney with a good supporting British cast. Some nice lines ... when a barmaid says to a 'regular' lawyer, 'He rapes them FIRST' ... 'Well, every cloud has a silver lining' replies the lawyer!!! 'We haven't had a good murderer since Christie, it's so good for the tourist trade ... they all think our streets are full of Hansom Cabs and whores with ripped throats!' he goes on! A nice little niche especially as it was Hitchcock's last, set in his own home town, with some neatly played touches of humour as I say. Foster is palatable as the murderer and people who don't like Blaney (the word 'bastard' is often used by him and others about him!) made this watchable. It's probably not lasted the test of time but still is worth your time if you like a thriller.

"Eggheads" (2003)
Eggheads - a very good way to spend half an hour of quizzing, 2 December 2013

As a personal 'must see' in the early evenings here in the UK, I catch Eggheads when I can. The show at the time of posting has now been going ten years. The format is easy-going. A team of 'challengers' take on what is commonly described as 'Possibly the best team of quizzers in Britain' as the Eggheads team consists of those who have become champions in former TV quiz shows in the UK. The two 'strongest' members it has to be said are Kevin Ashman and Daphne Fowler. The show has lost CJ De Mooi who was a regular on the team.

The team(s) consist of five members, but the Eggheads team has its standard five, but others who alternate leaving two others off the team when on in the 'five'. This 'alternating' team also consists of Barry Simmons, Pat Gibson, Judith Keppel, Chris Hughes and Dave Rainford. There is talk of CJ De Mooi returning after pursuing an acting career.

The challengers' team will be asked which of their number wants to take on which Egghead as long as that one hasn't already been on (after first being asked if your team wants to go 'first or second'). If you lose the multiple choice answers (3) to the question, well you lose! If at the end of three it's a draw, then a 'sudden death' shootout takes place without the 'multiple choice' help, so the winning answers in that case have to come from the depths of your knowledge. Series have been hosted by Dermot Murnaghan and Jeremy Vine (Brother of comedian Tim vine).

The show offers a prize, per show of £1,000 but this rolls over if the challengers fail to win, by another £1,000. As mostly is the case, when the Eggheads win, this will then mean tens of thousands of pounds further down the line to a team that does beat them.

As can be seen on the message boards about Eggheads, many have their pet-hates of the Eggheads team or particular members and some are asking if it's fair, that, some of the challenging teams aren't really from a broad perspective of knowledge and thrown in to the arena without a real cat-in-hell's-chance of winning - but some have won in spectacular fashion. A team of students were once all knocked out leaving just one challenger to continue in the final against ALL the Egghead team. This challenger won through and a total of £75,000! My favourite persons are probably Judith and Pat. Others have described Chris, Daphne, Kevin, Barry and CJ as unbelievably smug and a few of that number do indeed seem to sulk at losing or show extreme annoyance! Dave seems morose but I think that's just his manner, he's not really! Chris and Barry do remind you somewhat of the dodgy uncle tucking you into bed at night Daphne can be sickening in pretending, I believe, in not knowing the answer when she does and CJ often lost his round, only to be flailing his arms around when the rest of the Eggheads don't get a question right (even though, as I say, he's often already been knocked out). A good show, just to see them lose - hee-hee-hee!

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