Reviews written by registered user
MartinHafer

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Good...not great. But it does talk about PTSD., 24 June 2017
7/10

The term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was coined more recently, so you won't hear it used in "Submarine Command". However, some of the symptoms clearly are what Lt. Cmdr. Ken White (William Holden) are clearly what he's struggling with...making it one of the earlier war films to tackle this.

The film begins during the closing days of WWII. Ken is second in command on the USS Tiger Shark, a sub. When the ship is under attack from a Japanese plane, he orders the ship to dive in order to save it from being sunk. Unfortunately, the Captain and one other man are stuck on the deck...injured and unable to make it in time. The CPO aboard (William Bendix) holds Ken responsible for losing the men...though he had no other choice. Even the widow and father of the Captain assure Ken he did the right thing...but Ken won't forgive himself or forget it.

When he returns to the US, he gets married...and proves to be a surly husband. His wife has difficulty getting close to him and he is a jerk. When the Korean War arrives, the Tiger Shark is once again activated...and Ken is in command. Can he work through his anxieties and self-doubt? Or, will he simply remain a surly jerk?

This is a decent but not great sub film...and there are quite a few great sub films out there. My biggest gripe is that the CPO was insubordinate at times and it seemed ridiculous for Ken to keep him on the ship as well as bring him aboard years later. But still, this is a minor problem and overall it's very good and worth seeing.

Fred MacMurray plays such a despicable jerk, you wonder why they ever released this film!, 23 June 2017
2/10

Apparently folks at Paramount held off releasing "And the Angels Sing" for a year...sure sign that they probably thought the film would bomb. Much of this might have been because Fred MacMurray played a real jerk...not the sort of guy he played in "Double Indemnity" but more of a cad who thinks nothing of stealing or sexually harassing ladies. I don't understand the studio making such a picture...and a few other things didn't help it either.

The Angel Sisters (Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn and Mimi Chandler) don't really like each other very much. In particular, Nancy (Lamour) is angry with Bobby (Hutton) because she won't get a job and the family could really use the money. Surprisingly, Bobby finally tells her family that she DOES have a job. She volunteered her sisters to sing with her on Saturday night at some club.

At the club, the bandleader, Happy Marshall (MacMurray) horribly sexually harasses Nancy the second he meets her. Well, it turns out this isn't the worst thing about Happy. Later, he promises Bobby a high paying job traveling with the band as their singer...and instead he steals her money and uses it to get his band to Brooklyn!! If this doesn't sound like a very good plot for a film...well, this sure had me thinking the same! So what's next when the four sisters set out for Brooklyn to confront Happy?

In addition to MacMurray's character who continues to be a total pig throughout the movie, it also loses points from me simply because I can't stand Betty Hutton. Her shtick is SCREAMING songs and occasionally screaming her dialog...and I have no idea how she ever became popular.

Despite all that, I must admit that I liked some of the music (NOT Hutton's solo...good grief, no!). As for the story...well, it's simply horrible. On balance, I can EASILY understand why they shelved this movie. With a few script changes (and gagging Hutton), it could have easily been better.

An interesting curio for "All in the Family" fans., 23 June 2017
6/10

This is the first pilot for what became "All in the Family". Apparently the network didn't like some of the cast so they had different actors play Gloria and Richard (later changed to Mike). In particular, this Gloria seemed VERY New York Italian and the later incarnations were more middle America and ethnically ambiguous. D'Urville Martin played Lionel in both pilots--the one and "Those Were the Days" (the second pilot). By the time the first actual episode came along ("Meet the Bunkers"), Richard/Mike, Gloria and Lionel were the actors we are now familiar with and more likable than the pilot actors...though perhaps this is more due to familiarity.

The episode itself is essentially the same as in the second pilot AND the first episode. It's Archie and Edith's anniversary and the kids make them a nice brunch. But, not surprisingly, Richard and Archie get to arguing about race and then later about the existence of God. And, like these two other episodes, Archies racial slurs are a bit more frequent and vulgar than you'd hear in later episodes.

Overall, very similar to the second pilot but perhaps a bit grouchier and more harsh. Watchable and interesting...particularly if you are a fan of the later series.

A few other things to note...the family is named 'Justice' in this one and the opening song is VERY different towards the end and Richard/Mike is Irish (as he is in the second pilot)....oh, and Carroll O'Connor is sporting a toupee!

The SECOND pilot episode for "All in the Family"., 23 June 2017
7/10

"Those Were the Days" is the second pilot episode for what became "All in the Family". Apparently, the network hated the first one so they made a second pilot (which wasn't unusual and showed they had SOME interest). Still, much of what's in the second pilot isn't in the first aired show...with different actors playing Mike and Gloria (they are called Dickie and Gloria) as well as Lionel. There's also a much more open floor plan for the set.

The story finds Archie going with Edith to church for the first time in years. However, after they return, Archie is in a grouchy mood and gets into an argument with Dickie about the existence of God. Much of what they say was actually re-used later in the first aired episode "Meet the Bunkers". And, incidentally, the SAME as the first pilot! Like that episode, Archie's repertoire of racial and ethnic slurs is MUCH more offensive and colorful than you'd later hear on the show.

So is this good? Yes. It does seem weird seeing different actors and overall I'd say it's a nice curio for folks who love the show and are curious to see what it could have been.

On the Run (1965) (TV)
Not a TV show so much as an extended commercial for Jan & Dean., 23 June 2017
3/10

Aside from some nice music, there isn't much about this oddity that would appeal to anyone but die-hard Jan & Dean fans. It was made for TV about a year before Dean Torrence suffered a horrible car crash that left him with serious and permanent injuries.

The show has nothing in the way of plot and just follows Jan & Dean to a variety of places where they end up singing like it's a music video. You see them at a concert, walking about in the zoo, going to the airport, riding in a cab in DC, going to the Smithsonian and going to the Lincoln Memorial. The duo were pleasant enough but not exactly actors...and the show is a strange little curio from the 1960s and on YouTube if you are interested.

An international variation on the sleazy women in chains genre., 23 June 2017
4/10

This film is ostensibly about women who were sent as prisoners to the infamous Devil's Island in French Guiana. However, this mostly seems like an excuse to assemble a large group of comely women (often with breasts bulging from their dresses) and have them punished or raped by the men running the prison. Considering this French-Italian picture was made in the early 60s, this means that most of this is done off camera and it's not nearly as sleazy as the genre became in the late 60s and early 70s where they were essentially soft-core skin flicks with strong hints of lesbianism. Here, it's quite subdued by comparison...but still rather sleazy and exploitational.

While the American actor Guy Madison is listed first in the credits, he doesn't appear until almost 40 minutes into the film. He's the new leader of the prison who is shocked to see how depraved the prison has become. He orders the men to stop beating and molesting the women and to treat them humanely (crazy concepts, I know). However, his reforms are short-lived as it turns out he's got a HUGE secret...and the old ways are soon re-instituted. Is there any hope for these 'ladies'?

Like so many European productions of the era, they brought in a token American actor and dubbed the film into multiple languages in order to increase the marketability abroad. Actors such as Clint Eastwood, Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart, Burt Lancaster and the British actor Dirk Bogarde were lured into these mostly Italian productions. Madison's career by the early 60s was stalled and his making this film was a decent career choice, as some of these films made the actors mega-stars (Eastwood)...plus it offered a paycheck in spite of little in the way of artistic appeal!

Overall, it's a sleazy but not TOO sleazy film...watchable but not much more. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" it is NOT!

The Shadow (1954) (TV)
I think I see why this one was not picked up..., 23 June 2017
3/10

Lamont Cranston and his girlfriend, Margot, are not sure that the police have the right man when Detective Harris arrests the murdered woman's boyfriend for the crime. Eventually, they solve the case and all is well with the world.

Although there have been pulp, movie, radio and television versions of The Shadow, this early TV pilot was never picked up by any of the networks...and after viewing it on YouTube, I think I can see why. The show is very dull, a bit static and the leading characters amazingly uninteresting. This should NOT be the case, as Lamont Cranston (the Shadow) should have had a much more interesting and almost hypnotic voice since he supposedly has great mental powers*. Instead, you've got uninteresting Tom Helmore playing the great crime fighter...a bit of a letdown.

*One of the radio actors who played The Shadow was Orson Welles and his melodious voice was PERFECT for the character.

Bill does his part....and so does Bill., 23 June 2017
6/10

Young Bill (John Mills) has just joined the British Army, as he wants to do his part now that war has arrived. Well, Old Bill (Morland Graham), his father, wants to do his part as well...though no one takes him seriously due to his age. Plus, he already fought in WWI like a good patriotic Brit would have done. At first he's rejected but ultimately joins up...and ends up serving with his son.

It is hard to believe that a many pushing 50 would be inducted into the regular army, though the Home Guard (volunteers who drilled and trained in case the country was actually invaded) would have loved to have had Old Bill. Regardless, you should suspend your disbelief and just watch this pleasant comedy. Not a great film by any standard but a nice propaganda film made to stir up British pride and patriotism when things were their worst.

Mindbogglingly bad....and you wonder WHO thought this was a good idea!!, 23 June 2017
1/10

For years I have thought that the worst television show ever was "The Brady Variety Hour". Well, I have found one much worse...though fortunately the execs in charge of ordering new TV shows turned this one down!! It's "Superpup"...the adventures of a Superman-like dog who solves crimes! And, it's MUCH worse than it sounds!!

"The Adventures of Superman" was a popular 1950s TV show. However, after the death of the leading man, George Reeves, some numb-skull came up with the bright idea of using the same sets and continuing the series....with dogs in almost all the roles (there also is an annoying mouse puppet). So, a bunch of super-creepy dog heads were created and their dead-like expressions is something that is nightmare fodder for children! Add to that super-annoying cartoony voices and you have a recipe for the dry heaves!

If you are insane or like self-torture (like I do), then go to YouTube and type in "Superpup"...and you, too, can witness this monstrosity that offers not one minute of actual entertainment...just pain and awfulness!

The power of the one determined individual., 23 June 2017
8/10

"Born to Glory" is almost like two films in one. The first part, which is actually pretty much unnecessary, is about a simple sailor, Albert Brown (John Mills) meeting and marrying a woman. This portion is pleasant but not especially compelling. However, when Albert goes to to sea the film improves considerably...especially after war breaks out and Albert's ship is sunk by a German ship. He and what's left of the crew are taken prisoner by the same German ship...a ship damaged but not sunk in the encounter. Albert manages to escape and then wages a one man war on the Germans...shooting at them and harassing them as they try to repair their ship. It's all very exciting...and a great example of a simple individual rising to the occasion. Overall, this is a well made and inspiring film--one that gets better as the movie progresses.


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