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Avalanche Express (1979)
Average Spy/thriller/catastrophe movie with all-star-cast and weak direction
This regular action tale contains thrills , intrigue , tension , excitement galore , entertainment and loads of falling snow . Suspenseful spy movie packs exceptional plethora of prestigious actors incarnating the motley group of spies for this All-Star Adventure and sadly ending picture for both , actor Robert Shaw who was very ill during filming and filmmaker Mark Robson . This his last movie was a jinx , appropriately titled ¨Avalancha express¨. Soviet KGB General Marenkov (Robert Shaw who died during its production) defects to the Americans and together with his CIA handler Harry Wargrave (Lee Marvin , he is mentioned in the novel the movie is based on) they plan an operation meant to reveal the Russians are attempting to develop biological weapons and several KGB agents in Europe . During the trail they must survive a lot of dangers : spy-catchers , terrorist attacks , crossfire , double-crosses and avalanches . All planned by a Russian top agent named Col. Nikolai Bunin (Maximilian Schell) . As the route of the train journey on the "Atlantic Express" , was from Milan, Italy to Rotterdam, Holland.
This exciting film contains noisy action , thrills , shootouts and results to be mediocre . And a great cast though wasted formed by the Hollywood Wax Museum . Besides , a large support cast such as Maximilian Schell , Joe Namath , Horst Buchholz , Mike Connors , Claudio Cassinelli , David Hess , Sky du Mont , Dan Van Husen and Günter Meisner . The picture has elements of ¨disaster genre¨ as when a train is threatened by lots and lots of falling snow . Passable acting by trio protagonist : Lee Marvin , Robert Shaw and Linda Evans . Robert Shaw is acceptable as KGB head who tries to defect , Shaw passed away during filmmaking , in fact most of his dialog had to be dubbed by a mimic . Colorful cinematography in Panavision by Jack Cardiff , though uncredited . Thrilling as well as atmospheric musical score by Allyn Ferguson .
Lavishly produced by Guthrie and Robson with a reported budget of $12 million , it was the most expensive film project shooting in Europe . The motion picture was middlingly directed by Mark Robson , though the film's closing credit tells the following : "The producers wish to express their appreciation to Monte Hellman and Gene Corman for their post production services¨ . In the early 40s Mark Robson was much involved with the low-budget terror unit in charge of producer Val Lewton , for whom made ¨Seventh victim¨, ¨The ghost ship¨, and ¨Island of the dead¨. In the late 1940s Robson joined Stanley Kramer's independent company and directed his biggest commercial hit to date with ¨The champion¨. Years later Robson made another good film about corruption in boxing world titled ¨The harder they fall¨ with Humphrey Bogart. In the late 1960s, his work did decline . And of course , ¨Von Ryan Express¨ was one of his best films ; this one is certainly one of the best movies ever made about the WWII escapes . And this ¨Avalanche Express¨ turned out to be an unfortunate film in which Robson and his main star , Robert Shaw, died suddenly from heart attacks . As Monte Hellman finished the direction and Gene Corman -brother of Roger Corman- completed Robson's duties as producer . In spite of a top-notch cast , spectacular images , tense images and noisy action , all of them don't make this one a good effort of its kind . This is an ordinary spy movie , being a little boring and embarrassing . Rating : 5 .
Man of La Mancha (1972)
Lively and enjoyable musical version based on immortal novel written by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra
Musical rendition upon the best literary work ever written that stands in a unique position between medieval chivalric romance and the modern novel . This ¨Man of La Mancha¨ adapted from the musical play , a hit Broadway , by Dale Wasserman , being compellingly directed by Arthur Hiller packs a nice cast such as Peter O'Toole , James Coco , Sofia Loren , Harry Andrews , John Castle , Brian Blessed , Ian Richardson and Rosalie Crutchley . Based on the classic novel written by Miguel De Cervantes , Don Quixote is considered one of the most influential works of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon and deemed to be one of the greatest novels in literature history . Miguel De Cervantes (Peter O'Toole) is framed by an issue allegedly from the thunderous life and is incarcerated by the Inquisition . Don Quixote (Peter O'Toole) is the crazy , aging nobleman who embarrasses his respectable family by his feats . It follows the adventures of a nameless Hidalgo who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry , undo wrongs , and bring justice to the world , under the name Don Quixote . To these ends, ¨Alonso Quixano¨ dons an old suit of armour , renames himself "Don Quixote", names his exhausted horse "Rocinante", and designates Aldonza Lorenzo (Sophia Loren) ,who is actually a downtrodden prostitute , as his lady love , renaming her Dulcinea del Toboso . Quijote , nearing fifty and some years of age , recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza (James Coco) , as his squire, who often employs a unique , earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood . Adapted from the work of Miguel de Cervantes , we then follow Don Quixote on their adventures , his squire Sancho Panza and an old horse named Rocinante . On their journeys , they rescue dames in distress in honorable acts and fight giants among other perils , with Don longing to be with the love of his life , lady Dulcinea . Backed by his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza, he duels windmills and defends his perfect lady Dulcinea named Aldonza.
This musical version of The Man of La Mancha starred by Peter O'Toole as Cervantes and Don Quixote giving nice acting . While Peter O'Toole was generally slated for his "singing" performance in the film, what many critics chose to overlook was the fact that this was not O'Toole's first musical ; indeed, his appearance in Herbert Ross' musical remake of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) . This is the amazing and fun story of a Hidalgo , fanatic for chivalry novels , decides to go on imaginary adventures along with his friend , the simple farmer Sancho Panza , who becomes his squire . This enduring romantic adventure deals the enthusiast , passionate knight Don Quixote and it is paced in enjoyable as well as deliberate rhythm . The film is quite amusing with emphasis on spectacle and following freely the immortal novel scripted by MIguel De Cervantes Saavedra .At the picture occurs several known episodes , such as : when ¨the knight of sad countenance¨ arrives at an inn , which he believes to be a castle , as he calls the prostitute he meets ,"lady¨ : Sophia Loren ; Don Quixote's attack on windmills that he believes to be ferocious giants ; Don Quixote attacks 'the ¨knoght of the mirrors¨who actually results to be the Bachille Sanson Carrasco played by John Castle . Being stunningly photographed by excellent cameraman Giuseppe Rotunno and well produced by Alberto Grimaldi and Saul Chaplin .
¨The man of La Mancha¨ results to be another of uncountable versions dealing with the unforgettable novel ¨Don Quijote De La Mancha¨ by Miguel Cervantes y Saavedra and in which Quixote and Sancho take on numerous dangers and adventures . Other recounting about this notorious story are the followings : ¨Don Quixote¨ (1933) by G.W. Pabst with Feodor Chaliapin Sr. ; ¨Don Quijote De La Mancha¨ by Rafael Gil with Rafael Rivelles , Juan Calvo and Sara Montiel ; Don Kikhot (1957) Russian recounting by Grigori Kozintsev with Nikolai Cherkasov as Don Quixote de la Mancha / Alonso Quixano ; ¨Orson Welles's Don Quijote¨ with Akim Tamiroff ; ¨Don Quijote Cabalga De Nuevo¨ by Roberto Gabaldon with Cantinflas and Fernando Fernan Gomez ; and for American TV : ¨Don Quijote¨ by Peter Yates with John Lightgow and Bob Hoskins ; latterly : ¨Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha¨ (2015) by Dave Dorsey . Besides , Spanish series titled ¨El Quijote de Miguel de Cervantes" (1991) TV series 1991-1992 by Manuel Gutierrez Aragon with Fernando Rey , Alfredo Landa , Aitiana Sanchez Gijon , Manuel Alexandre , among others . And for cartoon movie was made ¨Don Quijote De La Mancha¨ by Cruz Delgado and ¨Donkey Xote¨ (2007) by Jose Pozo .
Maciste all'inferno (1962)
Decent Sword and Sandals movie nicely performed by ex-gondolier Kirk Morris and compellingly shot by Riccardo Freda
Riccardo Freda's Mucleman great success is compellingly directed with startling visual content . Martha Gunt (Vira Silenti) is accused of witchery by a nasty judge (Andrea Bosic) and Maciste (Kirk Morris) attempts to free her and demonstrate her innocence . As Maciste travels to Hell to find a witch and make her undo a curse she put on the surface world . After the fires of Hades and frenzied attacks by ferocious beasts , there remained only the venom of 'The Witch's Curse' .
This classic Sword and Sandals movie gets an atmospheric and stunning direction from genre master Riccardo Freda . This is one of the many muscle men of Peplum who dominated Italian sword-and-sandal epics in the early 60s, it results to be a crossover of Greek Mythology , Peplum , witchery and necromancy , ordinary bare-chested bondage scenes , epic with adventures , struggles , bizarre scenarios and being quite entertaining . Here appears several mythological characters such as Prometheus , Cyclope , Sysifo , a demoniac serpent and several others . ¨Maciste all'inferno¨(1962) resulted in this film being one of the few in which the hero's name, Maciste, was used in the English dubbed version . for other films involving Maciste, when the English language track was recorded in the US, his name would usually be changed to a more familiar name such as "Goliath" or "Samson" . This movie , also known as "Maciste all'Inferno" or "The Witch's Curse" inspired a wave of Italian Peplum films blending mythological/fantastic/horror elements . The film belongs to sub-genre blending fantastic , horror and Peplum , like are : ¨Hercules in the core of earth¨ (Mario Bava) , ¨The conquest of Atlántida¨ (Vittorio Cottafavi , 1961) and ¨Maciste against the vampire¨ (Giacomo Gentilomo,1961) . Once the genre had lost its audience in the mid-60s, producers and filmmakers maintained for a few more years in war stories and westerns .
The picture was well starred by Kirk Morris , he often dyed his pompadour-styled hair blond and he had a slight, sulky resemblance to Elvis Presley. Italian Kirk Morris -born Adriano Bellini- was born in the late 1930s and plucked from the canals of Venice for his go at moviedom . A gondolier when discovered by an Italian movie producer, he was deemed a perfect speciman to showcase their spectacles and a fitting hero to help offset the silly special effects and ridiculously dubbed dialogue and he was one of the very few Italian bodybuilders to achieve stardom in the sword and sandal/mythological . This also made him one of the few leading performers who was able to speak the Italian dialog from the script. Morris eventually migrated to the United States where he went into the advertising field . Years later he returned to Italy and the movies , this time as a producer . If one must try to distinguish Kirk from the rest of the mythical bodybuilders such as Steve Reeves, Gordon Scott , Alan Steel or Sergio Ciani , Richard Harrison , Dan Vadis, Reg Park , Rock Stevens , Brad Harris , among others . Other than that his stoic posing of Hercules, Samson, Maciste and the others were no better or worse . Besides , appearing famous Eurotrash babes such as Helene Chanel and Vira Silenti and notorious Italian secondary as Andrea Bosic .
Colorful cinematography in Mario Bava-Style by cameraman Ricardo Pallottini in gaudy colours and groundbreaking atmospheres . Being shot in the marvelous caves of Castellana Grotte, Bari, Apulia . Appropriate and eerie music score by Carlo Franci , including creepy chores . The motion picture was well directed by Riccardo Freda who used a number of aliases during his career, including Robert Hampton or George Lincoln and as screenwriter Riccardo Fedra . Riccardo Freda (¨Secret of Dr. Hitchcock¨ , ¨The ghost¨) along with Mario Bava (¨Planet of vampires¨, ¨House of exorcism¨) are the fundamental creators of Giallio genre . Freda worked in many popular genres, including viking films, Peplum, spaghetti westerns, action, and even Softcore, but it is his horror films and Giallo mystery films which stand out and for which he is best remembered . His artistic spirit led him to a strong belief in the importance of visual composition in filmmaking . Freda along with Vittorio Cottafavi continued to realize films in the historical-spectacular style , at which he developed a considerable skill and mastery . From the mid-50s Freda's liking make for atmospheric and colorful scenes of shock began to itself apparent , especially in such Musclemen epics as ¨Teodora¨ , ¨Spartacus¨ , ¨Giants of Thessaly¨ , ¨The seventh sword¨ , ¨Maciste all's inferno ¨, the latter a gripping/horror Peplum and of course ¨Maciste in the court of the Great Khan¨, one of his best films . In the early 60s , he was a pioneer in Italy of horror-fantasy films frightening audiences the world over , especially with ¨I Vampiri¨ and ¨L'Orrible Segreto del Doctor Hitchcock¨ as he combined with that wide-staring of actress , the British-born Barbara Steele . He also made adventures as ¨Black Eagle¨ , ¨The son of Black Eagle¨ , ¨White devil¨ , ¨Son of D'Artagnan¨ , and uncredited ¨Daughter of D'Artagnan¨ ¨. From there he went to melodrama and spy films as ¨¨Mexican Slayride¨and ¨Coplan FX18¨ and even made some western as ¨No killing without dollars¨ with Mark Damon and signed under pseudonym as George Lincoln . Freda's movies had popular appeal , and were usually commercial hits . Several were French/Spanish/Italian or other European co-productions . He has been called a filmmaker "who brings some style to exploitation pictures", and has something of a cult following . Rating : 6.5/10 , better than average Muscleman movie .
Sandokan alla riscossa (1964)
Adventure movie in exotic scenarios filled with action , emotion and spectacular battles
This Sandokan entry was decently directed by Luigi Capuano with an European cast and it contains rousing action , romantic adventure , mayhem and a fine cast doing a fine job . In the further story of ¨Sandokan the Great¨ , our hero saves the damsel in distress called Samoa (Franca Bettoia) and fights an evil ruler , Sir Charles Brooks (Mario Petri) . Filmed in Singapore ; it tells the tale of Sandokan who is a Malaysian prince who , with a group of renegades , goes up against an ominous governor called Lord Brook . ¨This Sandokan against Leopard of Sarawak" or ¨The vengeance of Sandokan¨ boasts a nice cast as Ray Danton , Franca Bettoia , Mario Petri , Guy Madison , Alberto Farnese . As Sandokan teams up with a bunch of colleagues to even the score with a nasty governor during the 1800 . When Sandokan learns he is the rightful heir to the throne of Malaysia, he immediately sets of to claim his land back . Exciting story of love and adventure , the complete romance and the exotic events about the famous hero Sandokan based on novels by Emilio Salgari . As Sandokan , lord of Malaysia , sets out in pursuit enemies and rescue his lover accompanied by his European friend Yañez (Guy Madison) and Tremal-Naïk (Alberto Farnese or Albert Farley) . Sandokan infiltrates into governor palace but he is betrayed and discovered . Along the way Sandokan takes on several dangers and finally a spectacular battle against Lord Brook and his hoodlums who are trying to carry out the princess execution .
This is an entertaining oriental movie , full of action, thrills , double-crosses and of course , a lot of duels and fights . Being a so-so European co-production among several countries such as Italy, France , and West Germany . It is a grade-B flick with noisy adventure , emotion , slavery , breathtaking ship attacks , guns provoking a lot of deaths , and many other things . Decent production by Ottavio Poggi with adequate Ray Danton as Sandokan , and Franca Bettoia as Princess . The flick packs enjoyable as well as exotic atmosphere , luxurious gowns , evocative sets , alright cinematography and powerful score . Lots of intrigue , treason , luxurious scenarios , twists and turns . Sympathetic performances by main star cast such as Ray Danton , Guy Madison who had a fruitful career as American as Italian , gorgeous Franca Bettoia and agreeable secondary cast ; as the marvelous main actors are completed by a stellar cast full of veteran Italian players as Alberto Farnese as Tremal-Naïk , Raf Baldassarre as Teotrokis , Nando Poggi , Mino Doro and special mention Mario Petri as Lord Brook . Splendid color from 16 mm , including appropriate cinematography by Bitto Albertini . Being shot on location in Singapore and other exotic places . Evocative score by Carlo Rustichelli , including classical music and some sounds in oriental style . This one was a popular film by that time , getting big success at European Box office . The motion picture was professionally directed by Luigi Capuano . He was a good craftsman who made all kind of genres , and especially adventure movie . Capuano directed Spaghetti Western such as "Il Magnifico Texano" , Peplum as ¨Revenge of Ursus¨ ,"Revenge of the Gladiators" , "Hercules and the Black Pirates" and of course Adventures such as "Zorro in the Court of Spain" , "Zorro, Rider of Vengeance" , ¨Zorro and three musketeers¨ ,"Tiger of the Seven Seas" , ¨leopard of Sarawak¨ , ¨Vengeance of Sandokan¨ , "Terror of the Red Mask" starred by Lex Barker and "The Lion of St. Mark" set in Venice and starred by Gordon Scott .
Other pictures about this fictitious personage are the followings : its sequel ¨Sandokan Fights Back¨ (1964) with same players ; ¨pirati della Malesia (original title) by Umberto Lenzi with Steve Reeves ; "Sandokan, La Tigre di Mompracen¨ or "Sandokan the Great" (1963) with Steve Reeves as Sandokan , Geneviève Grad as Mary Ann and Andrea Bosic as Yanez ; "Le Tigri Di Mompracem" (1970) by Mario Sequi with Ivan Rassimov as Sandokan , Claudia Gravy , Andrea Bosic , Luis Dávila , José Torres . And TV ¨Sandokan¨ (vey popular series of the 70s) with Kabir Bedi , Philippe Leroy and Adolfo Celi . And finally "The return of Sandokán" (1996) , ¨Il Figlio Di Sandokan" (1998) , TV series played by Kabir Bedi and directed by Enzo G Castellari .
The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
Nice murder mystery compellingly directed by John Huston with intrigue , thrills and twists
This enjoyable suspenser contains intriguing events , emotion , and plot twists . A former intelligence officer called Anthony Gethryn (George C. Scott) is tasked by the heir to the Gleneyre estate to investigate the unusual deaths of a disparate group of eleven men on a list . Later on , a mysterious stranger (Kirk Douglas) visiting an English state whose owner is a Lord , Marquis of Gleneyre (Clive Brook) , and the puzzling series of killings that coincide with his arrival . As retired MI-5 officer has to figure out the unusual deaths of a varied group of eleven men on a list , each seems to have died in mysterious circumstances . Working with a survivor from a airplane disaster, Raoul Le Borg (Jacques Roux) he discovers weird clues until an unexpected conclusion . The main question is the following : Someone committed killings . Can you guess who's behind the disguise?
This whodunit packs crisp performance , intrigue , thrilling scenes , suspense , twists and turns . The main gimmick results to be the all-star-cast are all heavily disguised in the character roles . This is a family film made by John Huston , as it was partially filmed on John Huston's own estate in Ireland and played by Huston's friends as well as his son . The best scenes turned to be when the stars appeared at end of the film in unmasking sequence where they peeled off makeup . Highlights of the movie result to be the fox chase scenes under an impressive soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith . Very good support cast such Robert Mitchum , Tony Curtis , Frank Sinatra , Herbert Marshall , Gladys Cooper , Marcel Dalio , Bernard Fox , being the fourth of seven films that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together and final film of Clive Brook . And cameo by John Huston , who was an avid rider and hunter, appeared in a small role as Lord Ashton in a short dialogue scene in the last hunt . The filmmaker's child Tony , billed as Anthony Waller Huston plays Dana Winter's son . Evocative as well as atmospheric cinematography in black and white by Joseph MacDonald . Thrilling and suspenseful musical score by the great Jerry Goldsmith .
The motion picture well produced by Edward Lewis was stunningly by the great John Huston at his best , its tense filmmaking makes this crackerjack entertainment . The picture was made in a good time of the 60s , 70s and 80s when Huston resurged as a director of quality films with Fat City, (1972), The man who would be king (1975) and Wise blood (1979). He ended his career on a high note with Under volcano (1984), the afore-mentioned Honor of Prizzi (1985) and Dublineses (1987). Rating : Above average , this is one of John Huston's best films , a model of his kind , definitely a must see if you are aficionado to suspense films . Huston broke a new ground with this landmark movie , providing classic scenes and agreeable dialogs . Rating : Above average , as the intrigue is entertaining on its own .
Secret Beyond the Door... (1947)
Suspenseful and mind-boggling tale of killing , jealousy and mental disorder
Pseudo-Hitch intriguing drama about a woman who gradually realizes she is married to a killer and may be next on his list .This classic suspense film contains emotion , intrigue , chills, and evocative scenarios . When a lovely as well as wealthy heiress named Celia (Joan Bennett) spends a fun holiday she meets a good-looking guy called Mark Lamphere and ends up falling in love with him . Later on , she marries the widower (Michael Redgrave's first American film) and finds out weird happenings about him . She and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her . Understandably , she wonders what plans he might have for her . The mansion has got a lot of rooms that are replicas of known murder sites . In the tour of the three rooms, Mark Lamphere recounts the tales of three murders, all of which are fictional. However in the first room, he mentions the St Bartholomew's Day massacre and the Guise family in France. The massacre is a real historical event, where French Roman Catholics attacked French Huguenots (Protestants) on 24th of August 1572 resulting in many deaths.
Dazzling Hitch/style suspense movie about a beautiful woman marries a rare man with a shock revelation around every corner their mansion . It packs hallucination , treason , Bennett plays a rich wife trying to help her hubby , well played by Michael Redgrave , who is suffering from amnesia and who might be a murderer too . The picture takes elements from classic Hitchcock films , carrying out a crossover among ¨Suspicion ¨, ¨Spellbound¨ and ¨Rebeca¨ . In fact ,Fritz Lang's attempt to do his version of Rebeca (1940) was a project fraught with disaster. It ran over budget and over schedule, while Lang was at constant loggerheads with his leading lady, Joan Bennett . As it stars the great Joan Bennett , being compellingly directed by Lang ; but it is not as outstanding as their former movies together : ¨Man hunt¨, ¨The woman in the window¨ and ¨Scarlet street¨. Support cast is pretty good such as Anne Revere as Caroline Lamphere , Barbara O'Neil as Miss Robey and Paul Cavanagh as Rick Barrett .
Atmospheric as well as mistly cinematography in black and white by Stanley Cortez . Thrilling and frightening musical score by the classic Miklos Rozsa . The motion picture was professionally directed by Fritz Lang . Lang directed masterfully all kind of genres as Noir cinema as ¨Big heat , Scarlet Street and Beyond a reasonable doubt¨ , Epic as ¨Nibelungs¨, suspense as ¨Secret beyond the door, Clash by night¨ , Western as ¨Rancho Notorious and Return of Frank James ¨ and of course Adventure as ¨Moonfleet¨ .
Semen, una historia de amor (2005)
Pleasant Spanish comedy with humor , fun , amusing situations and nice players
Ariadna (Leticia Dolera) , a trapeze artist wishes to have a baby by means of artificial insemination . She goes to an artificial insemination clinic where Ariadna is dealt with a doctor called Serafin (Ernesto Alterio) . Then , Serafin falls in love for Ariadna . But Ariadna really wants to pregnant herself and have a child for her twin sister Penelope (Leticia Dolera) . This causes in Serafin a peculiar sense of paternity and decides to take the baby for himself from the nursery .
This agreeable comedy contains lots of humor , a love story , entertainment and amusement . This is a slightly funny film with entertaining events , giggles , emotion and a charming romance . The film moves in fits and starts most of which would be desirable , with more traps the viewer resists any kind, and some moments of enjoyment and others quite a few embarrassing . It contains several touches of humor and irony , especially at the role performed by Ernesto Alterio . This is a typical Spanish comedy from the 2000s with the usual ingredients such as enjoyable humor , social habits , relationships among people and amusement . The characters in this film are all lovable despite being rather pathetic and silly . The picture attempts to spread optimism about the events of life , births and love , with its amusing sides but also including some deceptions . Duo protagonist is very sympathetic , Ernesto Alterio and Leticia Dolera give likable as well as attractive acting . Support cast is pretty good such as Héctor Alterio as Emilio , María Isbert as old lady , María Pujalte as Gloria , Malena Alterio as nurse and Janfri Topera as Barman . And cameo by the same filmmaker ,Inés París , as Natalia .
Atmospheric and lively musical score by Christopher Slaski , adding some enjoyable songs . As song ¨Pobre Serafín¨ being Written & Performed by Andy Changoand Background Vocals by Ariel Rot . Including a spotless pictorial cinematography shot in Madrid by Nestor Calvo (Atomica , Lobo , Nos Miran , Lobos De Washington , Años Barbaros , Miguel and William) , showing splendidly the evocative scenarios, as he photographs almost perfectly the elements of each shot , every sequence , every space . This motion picture "Semen, a Love Sample" was professionally written and directed by Ines Paris and Daniela Féjerman . Ines Paris is a writer and director, known for Maitena: Estados Alterados (2008), Miguel y William (2007) , A Mi Madre Le Gustan Las Mujeres (2002) Se Quien Eres (2000) . And Daniela Féjerman is a writer and director, known for Sindrome Ulises , Montaña Rusa , Siete Minutos and this ¨Semen¨ . Rating : 6 . Acceptable and passable . Well worth watching . The flick will appeal to Spanish comedy buffs .
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
A Hickcoktian courtroom puzzle game masterfully played and perfectly directed by the great Billy Wilder
Entertaining suspense movie packs thrills , intrigue , twists and turns ; being realized in Hitchcock style . As the tale is ordinary Hitchcock fare that plays and preys the senses including sensational acting , enjoyable dialog and interesting screenplay from start to finish . Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) is detained on suspicion of killing an elderly acquaintance . He employs an experienced but aging barrister, Sir Wilfrid (Charles Lawton) as his defense attorney who is recovering from a severe heart attack . The ill advocate at law is attended by a nurse Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester , they were real-life husband and wife).
Excellent film packs drama , emotion , suspense and plot twists . This agreeable and often intriguing picture from master of comedy has a memorable scene after another . It contains interesting intrigue based on Agatha Christie's novel , fun intrigue , amusing situations and keeps the action at feverish pitch . The film followed the basic story of Agatha Christie's play, but director and co-screenwriter Billy Wilder opened up the story by including numerous scenes that did not take place solely in the courtroom, as the play had, and changed the emphasis from "Leonard Vole" to "Sir Wilfrid Robarts¨. Top-notch and unforgettable performance from Charles Laughton as the peculiar as well as intelligent barrister , throwing himself into the role with dedication and delight . Nice acting by Tyrone Power , this would be his last complete film , he would die of a heart attack while on the set of his next film (Salomon) less than one year after release of this one . Sensational support cast , including familiar faces such as Elsa Lanchester , John Williams , Henry Daniell , Ruta Lee , Torin Thatcher and veteran Ian Wolfe . Special mention for Una O'Connor , this was Una O'Connor's last big screen motion picture and she was the only member of the original Broadway cast of the play to repeat her role on film . Evocative and atmospheric cinematography in black and white by Russell Harlan . The producers were so concerned about the financial success of the film that during the credits, an announcer urges the audience not to reveal the film's ending to anyone . Lavishly produced by Arthur Hornblow Jr. and Edward Small , as the courtroom setting, which cost $75,000 to build, was a recreation of an actual courtroom in London's Central Criminal Courts , The Old Bailey.
The motion picture was very well directed by Billy Wilder who includes several punchlines , amusing dialogues , humor and entertaining intrigue . Billy was one of the best directors of history . In 1939 started the partnership with Charles Bracket on such movies as ¨Ninotchka¨ , ¨Ball of fire¨ , making their film debut as such with ¨Major and the minor¨ . ¨Sunset Boulevard¨ was their last picture together before they split up . Later on , Billy collaborated with another excellent screenwriter IAL Diamond . Both of them won an Academy Award for ¨Stalag 17¨ dealing with a POW camp starred by William Holden . After that , they wrote/produced/directed such classics as ¨Ace in the hole¨ , the touching romantic comedy ¨Sabrina¨ , this ¨Witness for the prosecution¨ and two movies with the great star Marilyn Monroe , the warmth ¨Seven year itch¨ and ¨Some like hot¨. All of them include screenplays that sizzle with wit . But their biggest success and highpoint resulted to be the sour and fun ¨¨The apartment¨. Subsequently in the 60s and 70s , the duo fell headlong into the pit , they realized nice though unsuccessful movies as ¨Buddy buddy¨ ,¨Fedora¨ , ¨Front page¨ and ¨Secret life of Sherlock Holmes¨, though the agreeable ¨Avanti¨ slowed the decline . The team had almost disappeared beneath a wave of bad reviews and failures . ¨Witness for prosecution¨ rating : Above average , essential and indispensable watching . It justly deserves its place among the best ¨Court Dramas¨ ever made . One of the very best films of all time and to see and see again . An extremely entertaining and riveting film and completely provoking , as it ranked #6 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Courtroom Drama" . It's the kind of movie where you know what's coming but , because the treatment , enjoy it all the same .
The Quiet American (1958)
Suspense , politics and a triangular love story intermingle in this tense recounting of Graham Greene's classic novel
Fascinating and emotive political/drama /thriller set during Vietnam war with intervention of France and US . It boasts a very good cast such as Audie Murphy as the American , Michael Redgrave as Thomas Fowler , Bruce Cabot and Claude Dauphin as Inspector Vigot . It is Saigon set , at the time of Chinese New year 1952 . There was an emperor who ruled by permission of France to whom it belonged and 300 miles to the North of Saigon , both the emperor and the French were fighting a war against a communist army . But at war or in peace Chinese New Year was a time to forgive one's enemies square accountants with one's God and creditors and to rejoice is a world that , for two days , night be considered a happy one . Entertaining as well as taut picture dealing with a central romance along with thrills , political details and warlike deeds about Vietnam versus France conflicts . A young naive American named Alden Pyle (Audie Murphy) and a cynical older British journalist called Fowler (Michael Redgrave) disagree over politics in 1952 Vietnam and over a beautiful young native girl called Phuong (Giorgia Moll) . As a ¨quiet American¨ with dark secrets arrives in Saigon with his own plan to settle country's conflicts . As it's not clear whether Alden Pyle is just what he appears , as he seems to be an innocent young American opposite the older , intelligent Thomas Fowler . Eventually Fowler must confront moral conflicts and the relationship between Pyle and him reaches some problems connected with a Vietnamese General , at the same time the war and a political upheaval take place .
Interesting first rendition of the Graham Greene novel including a love triangle , emotion , wartime events and many other things . The picture relies heavily on the love triangle between the ironical British reporter , his enticing mistress and the strange quiet American , but it doesn't boring , neither tiring and nor dull . Michael Redgrave is very good as a correspondent covering a conflict and finding himself becoming personally involved when he befriends an American who is not all that he seems to and also falling for a beautiful young Vietnamese , a mesmerizing Giorgia Moll . Audie Murphy gives a career-best acting as the title role . The movie has its touching moments found primarily in the superb performances from trio protagonist . The movie received many good reviews at various International Film Festivals , but other places was panned by critics . In fact , in Europe, director-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz was savagely attacked for his film's infidelity to the source novel by Graham Greene, not least by Greene himself . The screenplay essentially turns the novel inside-out, so that the blundering "quiet American", whose extreme naiveté causes tragedies . The flick is dedicated to the people of the Republic of Vietnam , to their chosen President and administrators , wishing our appreciation for their help and kindness . The picture contains an adequate and evocative musical score by Mario Nascimbene , including oriental sounds . Furthermore , and atmospheric cinematography in black and white by Robert Krasker . This handsomely mounted flick was well directed by , resulted to be more a killing mystery than the political/drama , being compellingly directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz .
The second version (2002) was realized by Phillip Noyce . The US release of this movie was delayed for more than a year by the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001 . The producers were concerned that it would be seen as anti-American and Miramax decided to release this movie in the United States theatrically . The film ends with newspaper stories written by Thomas Fowler about Vietnam from 1954 to 1966 ; however , the book on which the film was based was published in 1955 , so these are mostly events which happened after the book came out . It was starred by Brendan Fraser , Michael Caine , Do Thi Hai Yen as Phuong , while this last retelling turned to be more faithful to Graham Greene than Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1958 take on Graham Greene novel .
Drama set in the seventies with a trio of sympathetic actresses : Candela Peña , Goya Toledo and Mar Flores
Mediocre acting, silly story and adequate cinematography in a regularly directed film . Average and cheesy film dealing with a witty as well downbeat look at actors , actresses , producers , filmmakers working in soft porn cinema or rated ¨S¨ in a country waking up after 40 years of repression . Set in Spain of the 70s , it deals with the soft-core porn Bizzness in Spain that sprang up after Franco was gone . Concerning three unfortunate actress (Mar Flores , Candela Peña , Goya Toledo) who attempt to achieve a hit in big screen , but only get to be hired by producers to nude them and to make love with . As they are hired by a powerful producer (Luis Zahera) and a filmmaker (Antonio De La Torre) , expert on erotic movies . The plot of the movies they are shooting concern about sub-genres of the seventies such as ¨Nunexploitation¨, ¨WIP¨ (women in prison) , and , of course , erotic or , soft-core or rated ¨S¨ .
This disconcerting as well as embarrassing drama contains crazy events , nudism , sexual scenes , amusement , disco-parties and tragical situations . The picture packs strong happenings , though surprisingly little sex and no violence , with exception some scenes played by Candela Peña who continuously shows her body . Sitting in a strange middle ground between the engaging description of a problematic epoch and the stylish set pieces , including enjoyable songs of the seventies and eighties played by famous singers such as ¨Baccara¨ . It is a passable but middling Spanish drama that offers no intellectual stimulus whatsoever , though it has hilarious moments and really not that much erotic scenes . Drama is sometimes cheesy and gross-out with numerous naughty and picaresque situations such as profanities , adulteries , jealousy , and suggested sex . It partially set the tone of the times in the seventies and eighties when had been made lots of films about nudism or ¨Destape¨. The film attempts to give a dramatic and sometimes tragic tone but it doesn't work , resulting in a mediocre and failed film . My feelings are extremely mixed but I must admit there are some brief and no very agreeable moments ; however , it also packs uneven drama , crude humor , profanity and grossed themes . The picture bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Dias De Cine¨ by David Alonso , similarly concerning about naked actresses and shooting films during cinematic nudism time of the 70s . The picture pays tribute to a lot of actresses of the seventies and ¨Transicion time¨ who naked in big screen and magazines such as Maria Jose Cantudo , Nadiuska , Agata Lis , Barbara Rey , Africa Pratt , Jenny Llada , Loreta Tovar , Adriana Vega , Blanca Estrada and Susana Estrada who shows up in the film as an interviewer .
It displays a luxurious as well as evocative cinematography by David Azcano . Good musical score by Lucio Godoy considered to be one of the best Spanish musicians , he had many successes such as ¨Blackthorn¨, All about my mother¨, ¨The others¨, ¨Amador¨ ,¨Girasoles Ciegos¨ , ¨Mataharis¨ and many others . The motion picture was middlingly directed by Dunia Ayoso and Felix Sabroso who were born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Canary Islands. Both of them have directed some acceptable comedies with dramatic elements . Both , directors and writers , known for ¨Descongélate!¨ (2003), ¨Perdona Bonita, Lucas Me Quería a Mí¨ (1997) , ¨Fea¨ (1994) , ¨El Grito en El Cielo¨ (1998) and La Isla interior (2009) until recent death of Dunia Ayoso .