Reviews written by registered user
|10 reviews in total|
A blind man stumps by mistake into a murder and, as he doesn't know who, why or where, nobody believes him. The premise is interesting, but from there on the film spirals down and rapidly acquires a US made Republic Serial flavor, where the hero is again and again stupidly putting himself in trouble with the baddies but luckily --as the baddies aren't that clever either-- saving his neck every time. The hero breaks and enters and breaks and enters, and he is so lucky --did I mention he is lucky?-- that he not only survives but twice he easily finds decisive clues that the baddies --did I mention they weren't clever?-- left carelessly around for him to find. Everything but going to the police; obviously, that would be too absurd. We all know that amateur detectives are always much more competent than Scotland Yard's trained detectives. To help, all the time Reed is walking around with a marmoreal face that seems to scream: "look how handsome I am". Perhaps to compensate all his beauty, the female lead is quite plain and, in the final take, she looks downright ugly. I had much higher expectations, especially being this a British film. (Perhaps I was so predisposed because the most recent British film of that era I watched was "Obsession"... and that is entirely another matter.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Everybody seems so enthusiastic about this episode. So am I, to the extent of the message it transmits, the cautionary tale, the moral it proposes. But going down to the script details, I find the neighbors' behavior insufficiently supported. After all, they start attacking each other on the flimsy basis of a power shortage, a few electrical disturbances and, above all, the sci-fi opera plot described by a teenager in the vaguest of terms. The boy is not even quoting any scientist on that; he just describes the argument for an alien-invasion movie. And the neighbors go on believing this fantasy with no question. In spite of the Norman-Rockwellian appearance of Maple Street, I wouldn't wish to live in such a non-thinking neighborhood.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I couldn't disagree more with the other review. BB makers are decided
to do whatever to create suspense. And that includes showing the police
as utterly incompetent while thinking viewers wouldn't notice. *
SPOILERS!!! (Lots of them). First, in the initial shootout, while
Salazar, the drug lord himself, kills his target with one shot (he does
it IN PERSON and with no mask so he could be identified later? How nice
of him to accommodate the screenwriter!) Danny (a trained officer) at
almost pointblank is unable to even put a bullet remotely around the
bad guy, who then escapes easily. * Later the police learn that in the
past the drug lord has killed horribly all his witnesses, but Danny is
not worried. No protection is given to him, while he calmly discusses
with his wife arrangements to take her and their children to a safe
place (someday; no need to hurry...). * Danny learns of Salazar's
whereabouts from the mobster's girlfriend. In spite of being the bad
guy one of the FBI-most-wanted who has a number of hit men and hoodlums
working for him, Danny prepares (and carries out successfully) a setup
with the sole assistance of his partner; no other police officer
participate (how good is he! How self confident!). * At the press
conference, against implicit but evident warnings --the police chief
refuses to answer questions about identities-- the prosecutor betrays
the identity of the witness (Danny Reagan) but nobody thinks much of
it. * (Only after the bad guy is in custody) Danny sends a police
escort to take his wife away but apparently the officers underway took
the wrong bus (or were not pedaling fast enough) because the bad guys
arrive first to the house and impersonate the police officers.
Seemingly, Danny did not consider necessary (or convenient) to send to
his house officers whom his wife might know, so she goes out of the
house with these two perfect strangers who, lo and behold, then kidnap
her. * While the police know that all past witnesses against Salazar
were killed, nobody thinks necessary to give protection to the
drug-lord's girlfriend, who then is kidnapped and killed. What a
No need to go any further. This episode was horrible, and I am done with Blue Bloods.
A viewer praised the score by Gerald Gouriet (never heard of him, I guess he is a Canadian). Question is: If the music was supposed to be a homage to Bernard Herrmann (the composer of Hitchcock's Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northwest, Marnie) then Mr Gouriet did a great job. Otherwise, it is just too much musically a copycat. Perhaps director Donovan prescribed the similarity on purpose, as many visual passages in this film have been resolved in the non-realistic -almost oneiric- way Hitchcok staged some scenes in his films. A case in point: when Josh is reading the newspaper microfilms at the library, titles (in red) are superimposed over the pages of the newspaper. When Josh is dreaming, color turns red. When the camera shoots down on the smiling and hopeful faces of students is another moment where viewers realize a professional director is holding the reins. All in all, as a TV movie is clearly above average. Watchable, well acted by everybody.
Action scenes --especially those taking place in Barcelona-- are filmed as if in slow motion, with telegraphed blows. The characters behave oddly. The former hit-man --whose life has been threatened by fellow gangsters intending to stop him from giving testimony before the courts-- is paraded by his bodyguard (the movie's hero) all over Barcelona. The bad guys are incredibly clumsy as well: horrible aiming with the guns and slow motion movements, thus allowing the hero to conveniently kill all of them. The two police officers assigned to assist in the protection are dumb: they open the door at a simple knock, without preparing themselves (and, lo and behold! both are instantly killed by the bad guy, at the other side of the door). And so on. One point for the effort of making an action movie in an unusual environment. They should keep trying: it was a good idea. But, even though it is a relatively simple genre, shooting these action films takes some practicing and learning too.
The series told the adventures of an Argentine businessman, owner of an
import-export company seated in London. The character was first
introduced in an episode of Man of the World, a 1961-62 series starring
Craig Stevens as world-rambling photographer Michael Strait.
The original name was Carlos Borella, or Barella. Even though that family name sounded adequately Argentine (because it sounds Italian) it does not exist, and it probably was a misspell of the Spanish name Varela, so in this series, the name was corrected accordingly.
Carlos Varela was played by the Argentine actor Carlos Thompson (for almost 30 years married to German actress Lilly Palmer until her demise, in 1986) who was exceedingly handsome and 40 years of age at the time. The character often dressed on a white suit, worn a hat and he was always incredibly suave & debonair. (At the time I was aged 11 or 12, and I wished I could look and act as cool and assured as Varela-Thompson.)
Each episode, Varela was called to exotic locales, to solve problems where his company or his friends were involved. He never carried a gun and things were always solved with wit over brute force.
It was a favorite of mine (although I admit that I paid far more attention to the imposing central character than to the plots) but evidently there were production problems. Perhaps they had the only too common low ratings, or perhaps what happened is what I read somewhere: that, unlike his Spanish or his German -which were fluent- Mr. Thompson's command of English was somehow limited and that created shooting difficulties. (If there were language problems, they don't show at all in the ten episodes were we can hear Thompson speaking fluent English). At any rate, something went very bad with this series, since from episode 10, Thompson/Varela was replaced by British actor John Turner (as Bill Randall, a friend of Varela, who is supposedly gone away on a trip...)
Claudio DG Argentina
Carlos Varela (Carlos Thompson) and, as usual, a pretty woman (here
played by Suzanna Leigh) embark on an elegant Mediterranean cruise to
impart a painful lesson to a couple of card sharks (a retired
self-appointed Colonel and his sister-accomplice, a middle-age woman by
the name of Mamie) who have, in the past, taken advantage of the ship's
passengers in the game of bridge.
Step by step, Varela dismounts the tricks the couple use to cheat and finally, with the assistance of his butler Chin (Burt Kwouk) who is waiting the table, he replaces the stack with a prepared set where the cards have been arranged under a combination shown in Eli Culbertson's book (where the cheaters receive all the best cards but, alas, the turns to play are extremely inconvenient for them, so they end up losing big time). Bridge players should enjoy this episode very much.
In spite of my efforts, this comment is biased. I am Argentine, and
this episode introduces the character of an Argentine businessman,
owner of an import-export company seated in London and Panama. The
character, named Carlos Barella (or Borella in the closing titles) is
played by handsome, suave and debonair Argentine actor Carlos Thompson.
At the beginning of the episode, Strait is arrested in Cuba for
photographing something he shouldn't. Desperate, Strait's assistant
recruits the assistance of Barella, who has connections with the Cuban
government. Barella travels to Havana, finds the incriminating photos
Strait took and discovers that an Argentine scientist is being kept
prisoner to work for the Cubans. So, under the not-so-distant
surveillance of the local secret police he plays a memorable nocturnal
scene of kisses and hugs with another American photographer (gorgeous
Shirley Eaton) inside a parked car. At some point, in a
sleight-of-hands he replaces himself with an inflatable dummy, so he
could sneak away from the police -to go rescue the scientist- while
Eaton's character stays behind, hugging and kissing the dummy. I won't
reveal more; this episode is available at stagevu.
Evidently, the Borella-Thompson combination was striking enough to entice British producer Harry Fine to launch, in 1963, a short-lived series on the character, also named The Sentimental Agent. In the series, the legendary Burt Kwouk played Barella's sidekick.
I remember at the time -I was 11 or 12 y.o.a.- that I liked Man of the World very much, but mostly I was fascinated with the impeccably sophisticated, wordly, ladies' man, elegant Barella.
Early in my infancy, Richard Greene's Robin Hood was, for me, the real,
the only portrait of Robin Hood. At that time, I could not notice the
budgetary constraints, especially noticeable today in the minute sets
where action took place. In the same way, this 1958 Invisible Man was,
for me, the true depiction of the Invisible Man: a type of superhero,
always fighting for justice. I was eight years of age at the time, so I
was very surprised when I learned, later, that Wells original character
was not a hero, but a very troubled man.
I enjoyed the I.M. effects very much and I never spotted a wire; however, quite often, things like telephones, pens and cigarettes behaved strangely when lifted by the invisible man: they tended to somehow oscillate, a movement not to be expected from an object supposedly held by a hand (invisible or otherwise).
Nevertheless, it was good and fun. ALL 26 EPISODES ARE AVAILABLE FOR WATCHING OR DOWNLOADING at Internet Archives dot org (Classic TV Section) or at Uncle Earl's Classic TV web site. Don't miss them.
I also agree with the previous commentator that ITC, very markedly at that time, usually offered products of a superior quality. I'm an admirer of Ralph Smart (the producer of this series), who would be later responsible for the excellent and unsurpassed Danger Man (Secret Agent Man) starring Patrick McGoohan.
I was confused reading one after another so laudatory reviews; I began
thinking that I really wasn't paying attention when they aired the
show. But then, I found a review from Canadian blogger Geno Sajko, who
resumes EXACTLY the outstanding feature I most remember about the show:
"... they have kids doing stupid things getting them into trouble
(taking the show to a attempted comedic level), and characters who
acted so stupidly - not believably. Too many episodes around some dumb
tw*t doing something stupid after being asked not to, thus costing
time, food, supplies etc, then rescuing them."
In a hostile or at least unknown environment, people acted like they were strolling through a Kentucky prairie. The Martin couple behaved like Lost in Space's Dr. Smith, always furthering their own agenda and finally creating problems for all, themselves included.
My vague -and perhaps mistaken- recollections also include an absence of visual attractions: In my mind, people are walking all the time on dirt; all around looked like brown dust, and that's all there was.
Actors were excellent (and often gorgeous), but the characters were unable to gain my sympathy.