Reviews written by registered user

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

Page 1 of 121:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]
1209 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

The Final Episode, 26 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


"The Gallant Men" was an American television series that debuted on ABC in the fall of 1962. It followed a company of US soldiers from the Sept 1943 invasion at Salerno, and their battles up the boot of Italy. The series ran for a total of 26 episodes during 1962-63. Leading the cast is Robert McQueeney, who also narrates the story. McQueeney is a newspaper reporter who follows the company on their exploits. (Sort of an Ernie Pyle clone) The rest of the regulars are played by, William Reynolds, Robert Ridgely, Francis X Slattery, Eddie Fontaine, Roland La Starza, Roger Davis and Robert Gothie. There are the standard types sprinkled throughout, the joker, the card sharp, the loner etc. This is the 26th and last episode of the series.

This last episode of the series starts with a German artillery barrage on a British truck convoy. Several of the men are badly hurt and hauled off to the rear for treatment. The tale now switches to the American Infantry company the series has been following. They have all been sent back to Naples for a spot of R and R. (They seem to get a lot of this in the series) Visiting Naples to entertain the troops for the U.S.O. is Hollywood actress, Dorothy Provine. And as it so happens, Provine and company commander, William Reynolds, know each other. The two had been an item years before she became famous. The two click again as if nothing has happened.

The next day, Provine and her piano man, George O'Hanlon, hit a British hospital to put on a song and dance show. It is a hit with the wounded. That is except for one man, David Frankham. Frankham is one of the wounded men from the opening scene. It seems that Frankham has been unable to move his arms or legs since.

Provine takes a personal interest in the lad and keeps returning to see if she can help. The medical type in charge, Jack Greening, tells Reynolds that Frankham's problems are all in his mind. There is no medical reason he cannot move. Reynolds steps up and starts a fight with Provine, this causes Frankham to respond and finally move.

This is not what one would call, a great last episode. It was interesting to see George O'Hanlon in a bit. O'Hanlon, who also wrote the episode, would become known to a whole generation of kids as the voice of George Jetson.

The Germans push back, 26 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE GALLANT MEN: The Crucible 1963

"The Gallant Men" was an American television series that debuted on ABC in the fall of 1962. It followed a company of US soldiers from the Sept 1943 invasion at Salerno, and their battles up the boot of Italy. The series ran for a total of 26 episodes during 1962-63. Leading the cast is Robert McQueeney, who also narrates the story. McQueeney is a newspaper reporter who follows the company on their exploits. (Sort of an Ernie Pyle clone) The rest of the regulars are played by, William Reynolds, Robert Ridgely, Francis X Slattery, Eddie Fontaine, Roland La Starza, Roger Davis and Robert Gothie. There are the standard types sprinkled throughout, the joker, the card sharp, the loner etc. This is the 25th episode.

The Americans are trying to push the Germans up a mountain valley and out of the area. The Germans though are not inclined to go. They not only stop the American drive, but prepare a counter-attack themselves. HQ needs some prisoners to interrogate.

As luck would have it, a German soldier approaches the company lines looking to surrender. The man, Kurt Landen, is apparently disillusioned with the war and wants to see out the remainder in a p.o.w. camp. Landen however gets himself shot by one of the company soldiers, Eddie Fontaine. Fontaine had not heard about taking any prisoners.

The company commander, William Reynolds, rushes the wounded German back to the closest mobile hospital. He takes Fontaine along as a guard. At the hospital, the doctor in charge, Ed Nelson, goes to work and saves the wounded German. Nelson and Reynolds it seems know each other from their college days. They do not like each other.

Reynolds questions the German for info of a possible counter-attack. He decides that the man is lying about German troop movements etc. The doc, Nelson, tells Reynolds that he thinks the young soldier is just frightened. Reynolds contacts the regiment higher ups and tells them he is sure that an attack is coming. He also suggests that the mobile hospital be moved further back behind the lines. Of course this does not sit well with Nelson.

Needless to say, the Germans do launch an attack and it is headed right towards the hospital. All the patients are loaded up on trucks and hustled back to a new location. The wounded German, a driver, John A. Alonzo, a nurse, Suzie Carnell and Private Fontaine are on the last jeep to leave.

They end up trapped in a ruined Italian village by the German attack. Fontaine ends up having to defend the party with only a carbine and a couple dozen rounds. The man puts up a stiff fight with a group of SS troopers and manages to hold them off till rescue arrives. A pretty average episode of what has turned out to be a rather average series.

Of note here, is actor John A. Alonzo. Alonzo would give up acting in the mid -1960s and become a cinematographer of some stature. The Oscar nominated Alonzo was the director of photography on, VANISHING POINT, HAROLD AND MAUDE, LADY SINGS THE BLUES, BAD NEWS BEARS, NORMA RAE, THE CHEAP DETECTIVE and CHINATOWN.

Low Rent Noir Programmer, 25 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


A low rent programmer put out by Pine-Thomas and released through Paramount Pictures. This low rent noir drama was made by the "Dollar Bills", William Thomas and William Pine. The two Bills were known to be tight with a buck as they churned out low-budget fare for the bottom of the double feature. They were so good at this that they ended up in charge of the b-film unit at Paramount studios.

Robert Lowery, Barbara Britton and Lola Lane headline this quickie. Lowery is a mechanic from Chicago who decides to move to L.A. He loads up his car and heads for the big sunshine. His money however runs out and he needs to sell his car for some ready cash. He stops at a town to see what he can get for his heap.

Lowery is soon approached by Lola Lane with an offer to buy his car. But they need to wait till the next day because her boyfriend has the money. Lowery agrees and they all meet the next morning outside the local bank.

The deal though is not the one Lowery was hoping for. Lane's boyfriend, and his brother, Ed MacDonald and James Bush are really bank hold-up men. Lowery has been tricked into being the getaway driver for a bank robbery. Two men, a cop and a bank employee are shot with the Policeman being killed. The bank employee is taken to hospital in serious shape.

Needless to say Lowery ends up in Police custody while Lane and the other two make good their getaway. Nobody believes a word of his story about being forced into the crime. Lowery is sure the bank employee can clear him. But of course the man dies before he can do this. Lowery manages to get in a couple of quick punches and hotfoot it into the night.

The rest of the tale involves Lowery getting hooked up with the dead bank worker's sister, Barbara Britton. He convinces her to help clear his name as well as find her brother's killers. The clues lead them to a roadside diner ran by Elizabeth Risdon. Risdon just happens to be the mother of the two men Lowery and Britton are looking for. There are a few exchanges of flying fists and lead needed before everything is put right.

Not great, but, by no means is it a waste of time. It moves right along with only a 64 minute runtime.

The director was William Thomas. By directing their own productions, Pine and Thomas increased their bottom line.

The d of p was long time b-film and television man, Fred Jackman. Jackman worked in the industry from 1935 till 1981.

What is really of note here, is the writers, Geoffrey Homes (Daniel Mainwaring) and Winston Miller. Mainwaring is well known to film noir fans for doing the story or screenplays to, THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS, THE BIG STEAL, THE LAWLESS, THE TALL TARGET, ROADBLOCK, PHENIX CITY STORY, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, THE GUNRUNNERS and of course, OUT OF THE PAST. Winston Miller worked on the westerns, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, STATION WEST, RELENTLESS, Carson CITY, RUN FOR COVER and BOUNTY HUNTER.

A wound and a pretty Woman, 24 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE GALLANT MEN: A Taste Of Peace 1963

"The Gallant Men" was an American television series that debuted on ABC in the fall of 1962. It followed a company of US soldiers from the Sept 1943 invasion at Salerno, and their battles up the boot of Italy. The series ran for a total of 26 episodes during 1962-63. Leading the cast is Robert McQueeney, who also narrates the story. McQueeney is a newspaper reporter who follows the company on their exploits. (Sort of an Ernie Pyle clone) The rest of the regulars are played by, William Reynolds, Robert Ridgely, Francis X Slattery, Eddie Fontaine, Roland La Starza, Roger Davis and Robert Gothie. There are the standard types sprinkled throughout, the joker, the card sharp, the loner etc. This is the 24th episode.

While clearing a hilltop of German troops, the company commander, William Reynolds, is wounded. He is hauled off to the medical types for repairs. They decide that the man is just plain worked out. They send him off to Naples to heal up and have a bit of rest and relaxation. The men in the company do not like this idea. They have come to look on Reynolds as a bit of a good luck charm. They have the lowest casualties in the Division, and they all believe it is because of Reynolds. Morale starts to slip.

The medical types in the rear area decide that Reynolds might be suffering from combat fatigue. They want him to stay longer. Newsman, McQueeney pays Reynolds a visit. He claims he has the perfect cure for what ails him, a dishy brunette, Julie Adams. Adams works for the Army helping the Italians rebuild their villages etc.

Of course the two take a shine to each other. They attend a party where Adam's boss, DeForrest Kelly is. Adams tries to arrange for Kelly to get Reynolds transferred to the rear area unit. Reynold gives the matter some serious thought. That is till he hears that one of his squads and been wiped out in a German artillery barrage. This news helps makes up his mind, back to the front he goes.

Julie Adams is of course best remembered for her leggy display in the 1950's horror classic, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Looks and plays like a Film Noir, 24 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ve stinu aka In the Shadow 2012

An excellent looking production set during 1953 in Stalinist Czechoslovakia.

A Detective with the Police is drawn into what seems to be a simple burglary case. The Detective, Ivan Trojan, roots around and soon comes up with a prime suspect. The man is soon under wraps at the station. Now Trojan finds that the case is anything but simple. The boys from State Security show up and put the grab on the suspect. Trojan is told that the case has already been solved and to stop investigating. Trojan however just can't play along, and soon discovers that there is a big government conspiracy at work.

The Communist Czech Government is planning on currency devaluation even though they are denying this. This action will literally make the savings of Czech citizens worthless. To cover up this action, they are having a series of show trials. The Communists have set up a long con and are framing many of the remaining Jews left in the country. They tell the press that the Jews are smuggling cash and gold out of the country to send to Israel.

Now Trojan happens onto the scene of a post office robbery. There are 4 dead and a large amount of cash is gone. Again, the State Security bunch arrive on site, without even being called. They chase Trojan away and again tell him it is a State matter. Trojan has managed to retrieve a shell casing and a spent bullet from the scene. He tells the Security men nothing about this.

Trojan has the bullet tested and now finds the caliber is only used by State Security agents. What is going on he wonders. Does he stop looking? Of course not, he is a cop of the old school. He had been a cop before the war, and before the Reds took over.

Needless to say, as Trojan still continues to investigate, the bodies continue to pile up. He and his family are now on the receiving end of several less than subtle warnings. The wife is "mugged" and ends up in hospital. Trojan realizes that he is being followed. In the mix here is former German SS Officer, Sebastian Koch. Koch is now working for his Soviet captors on the case. He is helping set up the so called Zionist plot to smuggle currency. He is doing this because he was offered a return home to Germany.

The viewer can see that the warnings etc are not going to have the desired result with Trojan. The man is bound and determined to find the real reasons for the murders, robberies and show trials. It will be the death of him.

While there are a few plot holes in the story, the look and feel of the film is top-flight. The dark streets, rain, dingy settings are all put to good use by the director, David Ondrícek. The cinematography by, Adam Sikora, is simply awe inspiring. It is noir through and through. The cast is all excellent as well, with Trojan shining as the world weary type who just cannot let go.

Well worth a look. The film was an entry for Oscar nods, though it was not actually nominated.

Fun in the Big Easy, 22 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


This is the 30th episode of the 39 episode run of the 1954 to 1956 series, ADVENTURES OF THE FALCON. Film noir icon Charles McGraw headlines as Mike Waring, an agent of the U.S. Government. The series follows McGraw as he travels the world putting the kibosh on various criminals and foreign agents. The series is loosely based on the FALCON series of films of the 1940's.

This time McGraw gets involved in a case of kidnapping. The ex-wife of a US Government official, Osa Massen, arranges to take her son out of the country. The boy, Tommy Ivo, had been awarded to the husband, Lester Matthews in the divorce settlement.

However, the pilot Massen has hired to help in the deed has other plans. The man, Robert Strauss, decides the whole deal could be a cash cow for him. Besides the 5 large he is getting from Massen, Strauss figures he will call up Matthews and do a bit of blackmail. He intends to put the bite on the Government type for 50 grand.

Government agent McGraw is put onto the case. The trail leads to New Orleans and a small airport on the outskirts of the Big Easy. Of course there is the mandatory pulling of guns, and a stand up exchange of knuckles needed before the swine, Strauss, is collared. The boy's parents decide to make up and everyone but Strauss is happy.

This one is a quick half hour worth of action.

Russian Mini-Series about behind enemy lines actions, 22 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

DIVERSANTY aka "The Subversives" aka "The Saboteurs" 2012

This is a four-part mini-series that ran on Russian television during 2012. Each part is a separate story about Soviet NKVD operations against the Germans in World War Two. The NKVD was the early version of the KBG.

The first episode has the Soviets out to kill the German SS and Gestapo leaders of occupied Ukraine. Special units drawn from the Soviet security services, NKVD, are sent to help various guerrilla units disrupt the German rear areas. The man in charge seems to lead a charmed life as he enters various German headquarters and shoots them up. He does this by wearing a German officer's uniform.

The second part has the Soviet types landing groups of saboteurs and coast watchers on the coast of Norway. The job of these groups is to report on any passing German ships. Then the Soviets send out aircraft to bomb the German ships. Later the episode follows the groups as they invade Northern Finland.

Part three deals with a partisan bunch out to assassinate the German commander of the area bordering Poland. The Nazi in charge is always one step ahead of the Soviet plans for his demise. They finally convince the man's maid to plant a bomb under his bed. The German is then woken during the night by being blown to bits. The maid and her family are flown to Moscow to visit Stalin and company.

The fourth part of the series deals with the NKVD special forces playing cat and mouse with their German counterparts, The Brandenburg Regiment. The Brandenburg Regiment was one of the best at behind the line sabotage etc. During the early days of the German advances through the Russian steppes, the regiment was sent ahead to capture important bridges etc. They did this using Soviet uniforms and vehicles.

While interesting, the producers have really played fast and loose with historical accuracy. While there were hordes of Soviet partisan groups in the rear German areas. They were for the most part, troops that had been left behind during the many retreats of 1941 and 1942. They were not specially trained saboteurs sent by Moscow. Several of the parts contradict what was presented in the previous part. This comes off almost like a Soviet era production.

The four parts run for 176 minutes as a whole. Not bad, but could have been better.

Better than i was expecting, 21 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


This one is a real potboiler. It is about three sisters going hammer and tongs over a multi-million dollar inheritance. The three are played by Kathleen Hughes, Sara Shane and the drop dead gorgeous, Marla English. Also in the mix are John Bromfield, Anthony George and Madge Kennedy.

The three sisters all suffer from mental problems, Hughes is just mad about money. Miss English suffers from a somewhat overdeveloped sense of attraction to the male of the species. Sara Shane is just loose in the brain pan and has some real self-esteem issues. Stuck in the middle of these dingbats, is, John Bromfield.

This story has to be seen to be believed. One of the highlights is a nasty cat fight between Hughes and English. If you are a fan of over the top melodramatics, then this is the one for you. It is really quite fun.

A Hi-jacking, 13 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE DETECTIVES : Shuttle 1960

This one is episode 38 of the 97 episode run of, THE DETECTIVES. This series starred Robert Taylor and ran between 1959 and 1962. The first two seasons ran at a half hour and the last season had a runtime of an hour. The series followed the detective squad in a big city precinct. Cast regulars included, Mark Goddard, Russell Thorson, Tige Andrews, Lee Farr and Adam West. Robert Taylor headlines as Police Captain, Matt Holbrook.

Detective Captain Robert Taylor and one of his men, Mark Goddard, are returning from a week off spent trout fishing. They hit the local airport to hop the DC-3 back to L.A. There are only 7-8 people on the flight, so there is plenty of room to stretch out. Taylor happens to know the pilot as they had served in the Air Force in WW2 together.

Half way through the flight, two of the passengers, Johnny Seven, and John Newton yank out a pair of .45 automatics. They are hi-jacking the plane. The pair had pulled a 100,000 hold-up and need a quick getaway. Newton is also a pilot and takes over the controls after giving the airline pilot a pistol whipping.

Detectives Taylor and Goddard make a move for their luggage where their service weapons are. Johnny Seven catches the play and grabs up the Detectives guns. The Detectives get a further chance at the hi-jacking pair when they fail to switch fuel tanks.

A few blows are exchanged and the crooks end up on the wrong end of their own guns. The plane heads back to L.A. and a safe landing.

Interesting early television episode on what would become a regular occurrence, hi-jacking.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Air war over Kursk 1943, 7 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


This one is a Russian mini-series set in 1943 on the southern front in the U.S.S.R. The story is about the pilots, officers, and ground crew of a Soviet Fighter Regiment. The Regiment is a mixed outfit with male and female pilots. They all fly early versions of the Yak fighter.

The standard Soviet types that always seem to be present in these productions are on display. The fair minded officer in charge, the rat of a NKVD political commissar, the lads fresh out of training and so on. One of sub plots has the NKVD swine trying to get a leg over on the female types. Play along, or get a bad report type stuff. He is also always trying to get an ex gentry type in hot water.

The story starts out with a bang, with the group, lead in the air by one of the female pilots, in a fur-ball with a gaggle of German Me-109's. There are losses on both sides before all head back to their own bases. The Soviets were out trying to discover the location of a German armored train. The train has been shelling the Soviet front line. After several more raids and more than a few losses, the Soviets manage to destroy said train.

The story now focuses on the interplay between the pilots and the commanding general. He is riding the Regiment's top officer for better results and less personal losses. There is now a bit where the NKVD swine has a leading pilot with 250 missions to his credit, shot. The man was suffering from battle fatigue and could not fly anymore. Needless to say, this has an adverse effect on morale.

One of the Regiment's pilots is shot down over German lines and captured. He is questioned and tossed in a camp with several dozen other Soviets. He manages an escape and reaches the Soviet lines only to be arrested. Again, the NKVD commissar is in play. The commissar dislikes the fact that this particular pilot has drawn the affections of a female pilot he lusts after. The charges do not stick and the pilot returns to the Regiment.

It looks like the Germans are preparing an attack on a massive scale. (Kursk) The Regiment is sent out on daily recon missions to discover the German positions. The Germans are not amused here and bomb the hell out of the Soviet airfield. They also shoot the hell out of the Soviet recon patrols.

The German's finally attack and break through the lines. The pilots make one final attack on the Nazis, the survivors then fly to another airfield further behind the front. The Germans overrun the base they just left. The ground personal, officers and medical troops all put up a valiant defence but are wiped out, including the swine of a commissar.

The tale ends with a small group of survivors returning some months later, to lay a wreath at the site of their former base.

Not bad at all. There is decent cgi for the flying scenes, as well as plenty of good period detail. They showed the difference between aerial combat on the western and eastern fronts. On the western front, combat mostly took place over 12,000-15,000 feet. In the east, pretty well all combat took place at low level, 1,500-3,000 feet. This was because the Soviet Airforce was a tactical force, as opposed to a strategic one in the west.

Page 1 of 121:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]