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Calamity Jane (1953)
8/10
Whip Crack Away................
17 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Calamity Jane" was a change for star Doris Day. Instead of the virginal girl next door types she usually played, she took on the challenging role of the legendary foul mouthed, whiskey swilling frontier scout Calamity Jane. Of course her act was cleaned up for family viewing. Even so Day gives an inspired performance as the gruff but heart of gold Jane.

The film opens with a rousing rendition of "The Deadwood Stage" - (Whip crack away) Then moves into Deadwood where we meet a clean and sober Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel) who treats Calamity as one of the boys. When a female entertainer Francis Fryer (Dick Wesson) is mistook for a female by saloon owner Henry Miller (Paul Harvey), Fryer is forced to perform in drag too much boos and cat calls.

Calamity takes it upon herself to go to Chicago to hire popular singer Adelaid Adams (Gale Robbins) to come to Deadwood to perfprm. In Chicago, Calamity mistakes Adams' maid Katie Brown (Allyn Ann McLerie) for her. Katie comes to Deadwood and becomes a hit when she performs as herself rather than an imitation of Adams. She becomes attracted to Lt. Danny Gilmartin (Phil Carey) but thinks that he is Calamity's man. Wild Bill meanwhile has developed a liking for Katie.

Calamity invites Katie to move in with her. Katie feminizes the unkempt cabin and the two women become friends. With the annual ball at the army fort coming up, Danny asks Katie to accompany him. She is reluctant at first but accepts. That leaves Wild Bill to take Calamity to the dance. But is dumbfounded when he see Calamity all dolled up for the first time. Anyway, all gets sorted out and the right peron winds up with the right partner and all leave happily ever after.

The characters of Hickok and Jane bear little resemblance to the real life characters so Warners took liberties in bringing the to the screen. For example, I don't think either of then got married and certainly not to each other. Day is outstanding nonetheless, Keel less so. Both get to sing mostly forgettable tunes as does McLerie except for Day singing "Secret Love", "Put 'em in a Box, Tie "em With a Ribbon" and "The Deadwood Stage".

In addition to Chubby Johnson who plays the stage coach driver Rattlesnake, there are several western veterans who pop up throughout the couse of the picture. Watch for Lane Candler, Budd Buster, Edmund Cobb, Franlyn Farnum, Glenn Strange, Robert Fuller, I. Stanford Jolley, Rex Lease, Tom London, Emmett Lynn, Kermit Maynard, Francis McDonald Gene Roth among others.
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6/10
When I Was Just a Little Girl........
16 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Romance on the High Seas", make no mistake about it, was especially designed to introduce Doris Day to film audiences. It was directed by the legendary Michael Curtiz with musical numbers handled by the equally legendary Busby Berkley.

The plot, if you can call it that, is silly to say the least. It's about a very rich couple Michael and Elvira Kent (Don DeFore, Janis Paige) who each suspect the other of "fooling around". Michael sees Elvira seemingly cozying up to a car salesman (Douglas Kennedy) and Elvira suspects that he is involved with his new secretary Miss Medwick (Leslie Brooks). Much hilarity ensues.

Elvira hires aspiring singer Georgia Garrett (Doris Day) to impersonate her on an ocean voyage to Rio De Janero while she remains home to spy on Michael. Much hilarity ensues. Michael meanwhile engages the services of Private Investigator Peter Virgil (Jack Carson) to go on the voyage and spy on his wife. Much hilarity ensues. Michael and Georgia (as Elvira) form an attraction for each other. But, unexpectedly, Georgia's "boyfriend" Oscar Farrar (Oscar Levant) arrives on the scene. Much hilarity ensues.

When the ship docks in Rio, Peter is felling guilty over his attraction to what he thinks is a married woman. His messages back to Michael have him confused so he flies to Rio to see what is going on. Much hilarity ensues. Tlo further complicate matters, Elvira also decides to go to Rio. Much hilarity ensues. Through all of the confusion, Georgia and Peter are united in love and she gets her big break performing in a local night club and everybody lives happily ever after.

Day steals the picture getting to sing a number of songs including "It's Magic" three times. She became a major star after this film and never looked back. I never thought of Jack Carson as a romantic lead. He was more at home as a second banana to Dennis Morgan in those days. Janis Paige would appear with Day in "Pease Don't Eat the Daisies" 12 years later. Don DeFore's career was on the decline to the point that he wound up plying the next door neighbor on the "Ozzie and Harriet" TV show.

Also in the cast are S. Z. Sakall as the cuddly old Uncle Lazlo Lazlo, Franlin Pangborn as a hotel clerk and Fortunio Bonanova as the band leader who gives Day her big Break.
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6/10
It's Deja Vu All Over Again!
13 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I suppose if you hadn't seen "The Kennel Murder Case" (1933, you would enjoy "Calling Philo Vance" a little more. Because you see, this is a remake of the earlier film which starred William Powell arguably the best in the series.

James Stephenson takes over as Vance and although no Powell, gives creditable performance in the lead. The storyline was changed to a war time scenario where Vance is working undercover in Vienna, trying to prove that airplane designer Arthur Coe (Richard Kipling) is selling design secrets to foreign powers. Vance finds the necessary evidence but is arrested and deported before he can take action.

Back in the good old USA, Vance, who is now working for ex-D.A. Markam (Henry O'Neill) a Chief Investigator for some unknown agency, goes to seek out Coe. However on arriving at Coe's residence, Coe's body is discovered by butler Gamble (Martin Kosleck). The body is behind a door locked from the inside with a gun in his hand indicating suicide which Marham's assistant Ryan (Edward Brophy) is quick to point out.

The plot from this point forward is word for word identical to that of the original. Coe's brother Bisbane (whom we never meet) is found dead in a closet. Although Vance concludes that Brisbane killed his brother using an interesting device, but there appears to be another murderer involved. Vance tricks the murderer into revealing himself and.......................................................

It was sad to see that the Philo Vance series had been reduced to programmer status re-using an existing script from an earlier film.
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7/10
Look Into My Eyes................!
12 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Garden Murder Case" from MGM boasts a cast that includes three former silent screen stars. As Philo Vance we have Edmund Lowe (What Price Glory? - 1926), H.B. Warner (King of Kings (1927) and Henry B. Walthall (The Birth of a Nation - 1915) as well as an excellent supporting cast.

Edmund Lowe makes an excellent Philo Vance. He has the poise and class of an upper crust detective unlike some of the previous actors (William Powell excepted) who played the part.

The film opens during "a day at the races" where millionaire Lowe Hammle (Gene Lockhart) is holding court, counting his winnings. With him are his niece Zalia Graem (Virginia Bruce), Mr. and Mrs. Fenwicke-Ralston (Warner, Frieda Inescourt), and gigilo Woode Swift (Kent Smith) who is pursuing Zalia much to the dismay of Hammle and jockey Floyd Garden (Douglas Walton) who seems to be in some sort of trance. Joining the group is Philo Vance (Lowe).

Floyd mutters that he must fall and break his neck as he mounts his horse for the next race. He does just that. Vance rushes to his side but he dies. Vance becomes suspicious. D.A. Marham (Grant Mitchell) and Sgt. Heath (Nat Pendleton) take up the case. They meet at Hammle's 22 room Apartment where we learn that everyone hates him for one reason or another. You knoe what's likely to happen to him at some point.

Zalia hates to be under her uncle's control, Nurse Beeton (Benita Hume is trying to blackmail him over a previous affair, Swift is suddenly transferred to South America to get him away from Zalia and Dr. Garden (Walthall) is distraught of his son Floyd's untimely death. Later a shot rings out and a woman's scream is heard. Hammle is found murdered in his office. Enter cranky coroner Dr. Dorameous (Etienne Girodot) who determines how the man died.

Vance suspects that a woman is guilty because of the weapon that was chosen for the murder. Hammle's crusty old mother (Jesse Ralph) begins accusing Zalia of the crime. Vance takes pity (or more than pity) on the young woman. Mrs. Fenwick-Ralston comes down the stairs apparently oblivious to her surroundings and boards a bus and unexpectedly commits suicide by jumping off the double decker.

While walking with Zaliia, the pair are forced to take refuse from a storm in a museum, Vance has a revelation when he shows Zalia how a python hypnotizes his intended victim. He now realizes how the crimes were committed. He confronts the killer who then apparently hypnotizes Vance and.............................................................

One of the better non-Powell entries in the series.
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6/10
Lukas Totally Miscast!
11 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
With "The Casino Murder Case", the Philo Vance series returns to MGM which explains the rather large cast and top notch production values. Unfortunately, the casting of Paul Lucas as Vance just doesn't work. As good an actor as he was, he just couldn't pull this one off with his Hungarian Bela Lugosi like accent and continental manners. Philo Vance was supposed to be a bon vivant smart talking American detective (see William Powell). Oddly enough, Powell was working at the studio at the time on his "Thin Man" series.

What this film does have in it's favor is its excellent supporting cast including a young and energetic Rosiland Russell in an early role. The story centers around the rich and famous Llewellyn family We meet the matriarch Mrs' Llewellyn (Alison Skipworth) and her secretary Doris Reed (Russell) at an auction (watch for William Demarest as the auctioneer) that Philo Vance (Lukas) is attending. Vance receives a note warning of imminent danger to son Lynn (Donald Cook) if he goes to Uncle Richard Kincaid's (Arthur Byron) casino on a certain night. Vance takes an interest in the case.

Lynn does go to the casino but is poisoned. He is saved by the quick action of Vance, who is also there. (Watch for Keye Luke as Taki a Casino employee). At the same time back at the Llewellyn estate, Virginia Llewellyn (Louise Henny) the flamboyant wife of Lynn, is also poisoned but dies. Vance, D.A. Marham (Purnell Pratt), Sgt. Heath (Ted Healy) and coroner Dr. Doremus (Charles Sellon) rush to the scene. Amid much family squabbling, we learn that the elder Mrs. Llewellyn and Virginia had quarreled that night. Lynn's volatile sister Amelia (Isabel Jewell) is involved with family doctor Dr. Kane (Leslie Fenton)

Meanwhile Vance has taken up with Doris Reed and a budding romance begins. Later a shot ring out and the elder Mrs. Llewellyn is found dead of a gun shot wound. She has left a suicide note confessing to Virginia's murder. But Vance is not convinced that there wasn't an elaborate plot concocted by someone in the family to throw Vance off the trail and place the blame on an innocent party. After following some false leads, including the involvement of "heavy water" as a poison, Vance follows the clues and false leads and finds the guilty culprit.

It was unusual to see Philo Vance get heavily involved with the leading lady. But hey, it was Roz. Lep G. Carroll has a nice bit as Smith the butler. His scene with a trunk on a staircase is hilarious. Eric Blore plays Vance's butler Currie and he and Healy along with Carroll provide the movie's lighter moments.
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6/10
Puff! Where's the Magic Dragon?
9 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
With William Powell moving on to MGM and "The Thin Man", Warren William takes over the role of detective Philo Vance in this entry.

A party is being held at the Stamm residence where it seems, everybody hates every body else. The "party" is being held in honor of the forthcoming wedding of playboy Monty Montegue (George Meeker) and Bernice Stramm (Margaret Lindsey). Bernice is less than enthusiastic over the wedding being in love with childhood sweetheart Dale Leland (Lyle Talbot) Host Rudolph Stamm (Robert Barrat) seemingly is getting himself falling down drunk. Others in attendance are Ruby Steele (Dorothy Tree) who has a past with Monty, Greef (William Davidson), the oily Tatum (George E. Stone) and of course, the butler Trainor (Arthur Aylsworth).

The group decides to go for a swim in "The Dragon Pond". Monte, Greff and Leland all dive in. Montegue who is an expert swimmer fails to re-surface. All efforts to find him fail. Greef calls the police. D.A. Markham (Robert McWade), Philo Vance (Williams) and Sgt. Heath (Eugene Palette) rush to the scene.

Vance orders the pool drained but they find only what appears to be dragon footprints in the mud. Weird old Mrs. Stamm (Helen Lowell) spins a tale about the ancient curse of the dragon. They finally locate Montegue's body in a pot hole away from the pool. Coroner Dr. Doremus (Etienne Giradot) examines the body and finds claw like marks on Montegue's neck.

Vance's investigation leads him to the family crypt wherein he finds a scuba diving outfit with gloves and flippers that resemble dragon claws and footprints. Hmmmmmm. He also discovers the body of Greef who apparently was getting too close to the killer. To reveal more at this point would give away the ending. Rest assured, Vance identifies the killer and all live happily ever after.

Warren William's performance as Vance reminded me of Basil Rathbone's interpretation of Vance in "The Bishop Murder Case" (1929). Both gave wooden performances not even coming close to that of William Powell in five Vance films. Eugene Palette steals this film as the gravel voiced detective.
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6/10
Holmes! Who Is This Man?
7 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Bishop Murder Case" is an early sound film from MGM featuring detective Philo Vance, this time in the personage of none other than Sherlock...er Basil Rathbone. It's a rather static film as the industry was still learning how to make sound films at this stage.

Professor Bertrand Dillard (Alec B. Francis) discovers the murder of "Cock Robin" a suitor of his niece Belle (Leila Hyams). He calls D. A. Markam (Clarence Geldart) and ace detective Philo Vance (Rathbone). They discover a note signed by "The Bishop" referencing the fairy tale character Cock Robin. Signurd Arnesson (Roland Young) who is involved with the comely young Belle, arrives with one of his students John Sprigg (Carroll Nye) a friend of Robin who vows revenge upon the Robin's Killer.

Sprigg turns up murdered and again another "nursery rhyme note from "The Bishop" is discovered. Vance and Marham examine the evidence and upon first interviewing the bed ridden Mrs. Drukker (Zelda Sears) and then creepy husband Adoph Drukker (George F. Marion) suspect that they know more than they are saying about the Robin murder.

The Drukkers are next on "The Bishop's" list both turning up murdered again with nursery rhyme notes in evidence. Next in line is Prof. Dillard's chess playing friend Pardee (Charles Quartermaine) who is found next to a house of cards, dead of course.

Vance rounds up the usual suspects, the butler Pyne (Sidney Bracey), Arnessson, and even Professor Dillard . While all of this is going on, Belle is grabbed while searching the attic and tied up. The type writer on which the Bishop's notes were typed is found. Finally "The Bishop" is unmasked by Vance and it turns out to be................................................................

Basil Rathbone is best remembered for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes but he was still ten years away from that role. He spent the 30s playing mostly villains notably against Errol Flynn. He is rather wooden in the Philo Vance part that was owned by William Powell in five pictures. It was unusual to see Roland Young in a romantic role rather than the mousy little characters that he would come to play.

Although the film shows early sound growing pains, the mystery is quite entertaining. I just love those 30s who done its.
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Pioneer Woman (1973 TV Movie)
6/10
To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before!
6 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The title of "Pioneer Woman" pretty well tells you what this TV movie is all about. It's a family orientated movie to be sure, and could have been sub-titles "Little Sod Hut on the Prairie".

It's 1867 and John Sergeant (William Shatner) buys an 80 acre tract of land in Nebraska. He returns home excited but his wife Maggie (Joanna Pettit) is less than enthusiastic about the move. You see, she is pregnant and hasn't told her husband. Their children, Sarah (Helen Hunt - her debut) and Jeremy (Russell Baer) have mixed feelings over leaving the security of their Indiana home.

John's wishes prevail and they sell their belongings and set out for Nebraska first by train, wagon train and alone. When they arrive at their land, they are "greeted" by a group of nesters who refuse to give up the land that they have been cultivating for the past seven years. They force John to sign over his deed and while this is going on, Maggie loses her baby and run the family out of town so to speak..

The family decides to press on to Wyoming where they meet up with Joe Wormser (Lance DeGault who shows them the way to an available tract of land near his. On the way they meet cattleman Robert Douglas (David Jannsen) whom they well encounter later. John works hard cultivating the land and builds the family a sod hut to live in. As their crop of wheat is nearly ready for market, John goes off to town to register their claim.

Unfortunately, Douglas brings John's body home having found him killed in a violent rain storm. Maggie discovers that the family is near broke and despite wanting to return home, is forced to stay and sell the wheat crop to raise money. Just as the harvest is about to begin a prairie fire breaks out. Douglas and the surrounding neighbors rush to the Sergeant farm to fight the fire.

With the fire extinguished and the bulk of her crop saved, Maggie must now decide whether to return to Indiana or stay having developed an attraction for Douglas. Hmmmmmmm.

Joanna Pettit had been a glamorous leading lady in the 60s. She sheds all of that for her role as the widowed mother of two left ito fend for herself. Shatner hams it up as usual and Jannsen has little to do other than to suggest his attraction to Maggie.

Filmed in the "wilds" of Alberta, Canada.
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6/10
Where'd You Get Those Blue Eyes?
5 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't quite know what to make of this spaghetti western. To be fair, I am not all that familiar with the work of Terrence Hill. It has to be rated as a comedy although there are plenty of fights and saloon brawls. Oddly enough and unusual for a spaghetti, no one gets killed.

An English aristocrat Thomas More (Hill) comes west to claim his late father's ranch and property. The father known simply as "The Englishman" had been partners with three rough unkempt ruffians, Bull Schmidt (Gregory Walcott), Preacher Holy Joe (Harry Carey Jr.) and Monkey Smith (Dominic Barto). In a letter to the three from "the Englishman", he asks his former partners to "make a man" out of the tenderfoot. Tom it seems, prefers poetry, classic prose and bicycling to the rough and ready ways of the west.

Tom becomes enamored of beautiful rancher's daughter Candida Olsen (Yanti Somer). Her father Frank (Enzo Fiermonte) is the most powerful rancher "in these parts" who offers to buy Tom's ranch. He refuses. Also in the picture is Olsen's scruffy foreman Morton Clayton (Ricardo Pizzuti) who also has designs on Candida and threatens to run Tom out of town.

After being shown up in a showdown with Clayton, the three friends decide that it is time to make a man out of the timid Tom. Miraculously, in 30 days he becomes a rootin' tootin' gunslingin' cowboy. He renews the challenge with Morton and.................................................................

Following the success of the Clint Eastwood trilogy, many out of work Hollywood actors went to Europe to appear in spaghetti westerns. The latest were veterans Gregory Walcott and Harry Carey Jr. both of whom have substantial roles in this film. All the other roles were filled with poorly dubbed Italian actors.

Walcott's humorous encounters with the two greasy bounty hunters are sprinkled throughout the film. Carey, one of my personal favorites, is way over the top in his initial preacher scenes but otherwise is his old familiar self..

Apparently. this film was a third installment of Hill's "Trinity" films.
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Yuma (1971 TV Movie)
7/10
Clint Walker Stands Tall!
30 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Yuma" is a TV western intended I believe, as a pilot for a proposed series. Unfortunately, It didn't make it as the popularity of TV westerns was going down. It is a pretty good western in any case.

Marshal Dave Harmon (Clint Walker) arrives in Yuma, Arizona to "clean up the town". He encounters two wild drunken cowboys who recklessly speed into town on a "borrowed" stage coach. Harmon follows them into the saloon and learns that they are Rol (Bing "Neil" Russell) and Sam King (John Glover) brothers of tough trail boss Arch King (Morgan Woodward) who is on the outskirts of town with a large herd of cattle.

Sam, a hothead, draws on Harmon who is forced to kill him in self-defence. Rol surrenders peacefully and is jailed. Local big shot freighter Nels Decker (Barry Sullivan) warns Harmon that Arch King will surely come gunning for him.

Harmon meets local freighter Mules McNeil (Edgar Buchanan) who has been holding the jail keys since the departure of the previous marshal. Harmon befriends a young Mexican boy Andres (Miguel Alejandro) and gives him a job sweeping up the jail house. He then registers at the local hotel run by Julie Williams (Katherine Hays) and an immediate attraction takes place.

Later that evening two men, Sanders (Robert Phillips) and Army Captain White (John Kerr) feign breaking Rol out of jail. However when Rol crosses the street he is back shot by Sanders with Harmon's shotgun. Capt. White protests stating that he was duped into taking part in the killing. Andres who was asleep on the floor of the jail tells Harmon that one of the men wore bright shiny boots the sign of an Army man. Harmon visits the local fort commander Major Lucas (Peter Mark Richman) for information on White.

Decker it seems, has been cheating the local treaty Indians out of their rightful supply of cattle and other things for his own profit. Harmon vows to right this wrong. Meanwhile, Arch King arrives in town and believes Harmon is guilty of killing his brothers. He listens to Harmon's explanation and gives Harmon one day to come up with the killer or he will assume Harmon to be guilty.

Harmon puts two and two together and comes up with Decker and Sanders as the guilty parties. They leave town with Harmon in hot pursuit. But, are they the only guilty ones? It seems that there was a joker in the deck and...........................................................................................

Clint Walker is best known for his long running TV series "Cheyenne" He was a big man standing at 6' 8" so his parts were limited mostly to westerns although he did a fine job as one of the "Dirty Dozen" (1967). Barry Sullivan was on the downside of his career and plays the wily villain here. Edgar Buchanan had been around for years and was a dependable character actor. Bing Russell, father of Kurt, is billed as "Neil" Russell for this film.
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The Red Rider (1934)
7/10
Did He Say Marajuana?
26 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Red Rider" was a better than average serial and is not to be confused with the "Red Ryder" character created by Fred Harmon I guess it just got under the wire from the Production Code which came in in 1934. In the story one of the villains smokes marijuana cigarettes and is mentioned aloud in the dialogue. Another oddity is the casting of star Buck Jones as a redhead. As far as I know he was not a redhead.

Anyway, Red Davidson (Jones) is sheriff of Sun Dog, Montana and is best friends with Silent Slade (Grant Withers). Slade is romancing Joan McKee (Margaret LaMarr) the daughter of rancher Scotty McKee (J.P. McGowan) who is firmly against the relationship. McKee it seems has a past. He is visited by Jim Breen (Walter Miller) who accuses him of double crossing him guns him down and escapes through a window. Slade discovers the body and is arrested as the killer.

Slade is found guilty at trial and is sentenced to be hanged. Red as sheriff will have to execute his friend. Believing Slade to be innocent, he allows him to escape rather than carry out the execution. Red, feeling guilty, resigns as sheriff and roams the country. He winds up just north of the U.S./Mexican border at a ranch run by Robert Maxwell ((Charles K. French) who as it happens, has a comely young daughter Marie (Marion Schilling).

Red pals up with ranch foreman Johnny Snow (Edmund Cobb) and explains every thing to him. Slade meanwhile has joined up with Breen's gang in an effort to prove that Breen was the killer of McKee. To further complicate matters, there ire stolen smuggled diamonds that has disappeared while being brought over the border from Mexico where Breen has his ranch. Each of the principals including Mexican bandito Joe Portos (Richard Cramer) accuses the other of a double cross.

As it happens, the diamonds turn up hidden in a saddle horn that Red had won in a poker game from Portos. Marie sets her sights on Red in spite of Johnny's love for her. She even gives Red a kiss, a no no for "B" western heroes.

Finally there is a showdown between Breen and Portos over the diamonds. Then Red steps in and.....................................................

This 15 chapter serial has all the usual elements, the chases, poorly staged fights, the usual cliff hanger chapter endings, trap doors, secret tunnels, double crosses, gunfights and rare for a "B" serial, romances, two to be exact with poor old Edmund Cobb lamenting in the background. You have got to hear Cobb's serenading of the heroine.

Buck Jones had been a major western star since the early 20s and this was one of several serials he made in the 30s and 40s as well as appearing in several features. He wound up as one of "The Rough Riders" in the early forties along with veterans Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton. Grant Withers never quite made it to the western hero list. He did appear in a couple of serials and played the police inspector in the Boris Karloff Mr. Wong series. In the forties and fifties he played mostly villains at Republic and other studios.

Other notables in the large cast are Monte Montegue and Jim Thorpe providing comedy relief as the Abel brothers, Bud Osborne, Dennis Moore, Hank Bell and John Merton in various roles.
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Apache (1954)
7/10
Ole Blue Eyes!
24 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
If you can accept stars Burt Lancaster and Jean Peters as blue eyed Apaches, then you may enjoy this movie. It is essentially a showcase for Lancaster's athletic prowess as he leaps over rocks and runs like a deer across the frontier.

The story opens in 1886 with the surrender in New Mexico of Geronimo (Monte Blue) and his warriors for shipment off to a reservation in Florida. Massai (Lancaster) is having none of this. He claims to be the last Apache warrior and acts accordingly. Al Sieber (John McIntyre) and his Apache scout Hondo (Charles Bronson) who had brought Geronimo in are now charged with capturing the rebellious Massai. Nalinle (Peters) professes her love for Massai and stands by him as he is captured.

Massai is shipped off to Florida with Geronimo but manages to escape from the train carrying them. Massai begins his cross country trek back to his homeland in New Mexico. Along the way he meets a Cherokee farmer named Dawson (Morris Ankrum) who shows Massai how the Indian has adapted to the ways of the white man. He gifts Massai with a sack of corn seeds. Although Massai is still an Apache warrior he brings the seeds back to New Mexico and shows them to Nalinle and her father Santos (Paul Guilfoyle). Perhaps there was something to what the Cherokee had told him.

Santos betrays Massai and he is again captured by Sieber. Massai believes that Nalinle has also betrayed him and vows to kill Santos and his daughter. Massai escapes once more and wages a personal war against the world. He starts by killing evil Indian Agent Weddle (John Dehner). He kidnaps Nalinle and plans to kill her. But she persists in her love for him and gradually he comes to love her and the two marry by Apache custom (i.e. no preacher).

Massai and Nalinle hide out in the mountains and she convinces him to plant the corn seeds. A crop of corn grows and Nalinle becomes pregnant. Massai anxiously awaits the birth of his off spring. But Sieber and Hondo pick up their trail and close in. Massai hides in the cornfield and Sieber goes in after him and...........................................................................................................................

Burt Lancaster had been an acrobat prior to his movie career and kept himself in good shape as witnessed by his running and jumping and excellent physique. Jean Peters , I believe, had been one of Howard Hughes "protoges". Charles Bronson was still acting under his real name of Buchinsky at this point. Walter Sande is along as Lt. Col. Beck the fort commander and Ian Mac Donald as Clagg, Weddie's partner.

Yes, there really was a Massai who wreaked havoc and eventually disappeared into Mexico.
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7/10
Better Than Average Spaghetti Western!
21 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Hills Run Red" is a spaghetti western to be sure but it is bolstered by having Thomas Hunter play the lead, Henry Silva as the all in black gunman and veteran Dan Duryea as Hunter's ally. Of course, you'll have to put up with the poor dubbing of the Italian actors and the customary loud music that is prevalent in these films.

Jim Houston (Hunter) and Milton (Nando Gazzolo) are two rebels on the run with stolen Union money ($600K) at the end of the American Civil War. Chased by Union soldiers, the two decide to split up with Houston continuing the chase and Milton absconding with the money. Houston is arrested, roughed up and sent to prison for 5 years. Milton meanwhile, has kept all of the money and become "the most powerful rancher in these parts". Houston's wife is left destitute, losing their ranch to the bankers. Milton refused to help her out and she subsequently dies leaving their young son Timmy (Loris Loddi) to fend for himself.

Houston is released from prison, takes on the name of Brewster and returns home to find his wife and child gone. He swears revenge against his former partner who now goes by the name of Seagull. He employs an all in black gunfighter names Mendez (Silva) who leads a group of gunmen who enforce Seagull's wishes.

Brewster is helped fend off Mendez' gunmen by a stranger known only as Winnie Getz (Duryea). Getz, unbeknownst to Brewster is an undercover army officer looking for the stolen funds.

The rest of the movie has Brewster rallying the townsfolk to attack Seagull's herd of horses and Mendez' retaliation in the town. Many bodies pile up on both sides. Finally there is a showdown between Brewster and Mendez, followed by the inevitable confrontation with Seagull/Milton.

Henry Silva is way over the top as the laughing, complete with close ups, villain. Dan Duryea, in one of his last films, takes the acting honors in this one. He was always good. As the romantic interest, we have Nicoletta Machiavelli playing Milton's sister Mary Ann.

Above average but still a clone of the Clint Eastwood trilogy.
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The Cave (2005)
7/10
Underground Alien?
19 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Cave" takes place in the a vast underground network of caves where a group of divers are trapped amid horrifying monsters.

The film opens 30 years prior to the main story, where a group of explorers enters an ancient church in the Romanian Carpathian mountains. Inside, the group plunges to their certain deaths (or did they?) when the church collapses.

Fast forward 30 years and Dr. Nicolai (Marcel Iures) is assembling a team to descend into the caves below the church to find out what happened to the original explorers. He brings in the McAllister brothers, Jack (Cole Hauser) and Tyler (Eddie Cibrian) who are expert cave divers. On the team are Dr. Kathleen Jennings (Lena Heasley), tomboy Charlie (Piper Perabo), Top Buchanan (Morris Chestnut), Briggs (Rick Rowangelo), Alex Kim (Daniel Dae Kim) among others.

While exploring the caves life forms of various sizes are discovered. Jack becomes infected with a parasite and begins to change noticeably. An explosion seals the cave leaving the party stranded. They begin to plan searching for an alternate exit. They find some remains from the original group and also evidence that all may not have perished.

As they proceed several of the group are attacked by flying predatory monsters. The group concludes that the monsters have evolved from human sources. Is Jack turning into a monster? Briggs and Dr. Nicolai meet gruesome deaths at the hands of the monsters. The athletic Charlie sets out on her own to find the exit but doesn't make it. The others press on with Tyler maintaining his faith in his brother to find a way out. Finally Jack finds a way out but not before..................................................................................

Scary enough thriller with a tip of the hat to "Alien" (1979). The ending leaves the door open for a sequel which never came.
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6/10
Hello, Hello....Who's There?
18 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"When a Stranger Calls" is another of those lone teenager against the creepy caller movies that were popular at the time.

Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) is hired to baby sit the two small children of a rich couple who live in a luxurious home with all the bells and whistles. At first she makes herself comfortable but soon begins to hear noises imagined or otherwise. She discovers housekeeper Rosa (Rosine Haten) tending to the birds and fish in the elaborate atrium. She relaxes.

Then Jill begins to receive heavy breathing phone calls from an unknown person. Then her friend Tiffany (Katie Cassidy) shows up unannounced scaring the daylights out of Jill. It seems that Tiffany had made out with Jill's boyfriend Bobby (Brian Geraghty) causing a rift between the two. Jill sends Tiffany away but Tiffany runs into some difficulty leaving the grounds.

The phone rings again and Jill at first suspects that Bobby is playing a prank. She calls him and he assures her that it was not he. Jill's friend Scarlett (Tessa Thompson) trees to comfort her but the cell phone reception is fuzzy. The phone calls intensify with the caller now making threats against Jill. She contacts the police who advise her to keep the caller on the line for at least 60 seconds in order that the calls can be traced.

The police call back to advise Jill that the calls are originating from within the house. Oooooooh! Jill begins discovers the bodies of Rosa and Tiffany and flees to find the children and protect them. Then the mysterious stranger makes his appearance and.........................................................

If you were paying attention at the beginning, you know that a brutal murder takes place and that the location of this story is a mere 125 miles away. Serial killer anyone?

Young Camilla Belle has to carry almost the whole movie by herself and does a creditable job in doing so. Is it just me or do you think that Camilla looks a lot like Tom Cruise?
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6/10
Captain High Liner's Gonna Get You!
13 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"I Know What You Did Last Summer" is one of those teen horror slasher flicks that were popular at the time. It's about four friends who try to cover up a hit and run accident in which they were involved.

Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Helen Shivers (Sara Michelle Geller), Barry Cox (Ryan Phillippe) and Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr.) are all graduating High School and moving on to college. Helen wins a local beauty contest and the four go to the beach to frolic and celebrate. On the way home with Barry intoxicated and Ray driving, they hit an unknown person on the road. The man appears to be dead so the four agree to cover up the incident and dispose of the body.

As they are ready to dump the body into the ocean, Max (Johnny Galecki) drives up. The four feign Barry throwing up to avert suspicion. Max drives away. At the pier, as they are ready to dump the body into the water, they discover that the man is still alive but throw him in any way.

Fast forward one year and Julie upon returning home from college for the summer, receives a note stating, you guessed it, "I Know What You Did Last Summer". She goes to the others to warn them. Barry suspects that Max is behind the note and roughs him up. However later, Max is visited by a dark figure wearing a rain slicker and hat covering his face who brutally murders him with a meat hook. Max's demise is not discovered until later.

Julie and Helen decide to try and find out who their victim was. He is identified as David Egan. They suspect that perhaps a family member or distraught friend of the dead man are responsible for the threats They go to visit Egan's weird sister Melissa (Anne Heche) who suggests that David was suicidal and perhaps intended to be run over.

The killer continues to stalk the four creating fear among them. He even gets into Helen's home and cuts her hair as she slept.. Ray it seems, is not being directly harassed casting suspicion upon him. At the beauty pageant where Helen is to present this year's crown to a new winner, she sees the killer attack Barry in the balcony of the hall. By the time Helen and a policeman reach the scene, there is no trace of either Barry or the killer.

The policeman is the killer's next victim as he is trying to drive Helen to safety. The killer then proceeds, in one of the film's more scarier sequences, to chase Helen through the back alleys catching up to her on the edge of the annual July 4th parade. Along the way, he manages to kill Helen's sister Elsa (Bridgitte Wilson-Sampas) when Helen goes to her shop for help. Meanwhile, Julie goes to Ray for comfort but then suspects him as the killer. A passerby saves her from Ray who is chasing her trying to explain and tells her to board his boat for safety. Wrong move. Julie is finally cornered by the killer when.....................................................................................

The killer, whose identity will not be revealed here, was quite adept at popping up and disappearing undetected. For example, when Max's body is discovered in the trunk of Julie's car in a bed of crabs, she runs to tell the others. When she returns with them a few minutes later, there is no trace of Max, the crabs or the killer.

You have to know that there would be a sequel. It was revealed at the movie's end when another mysterious message appears on a mirror in Julie's locker room from an unknown source.

The killer,unmasked, begins to stalk her chasing her around the boat. In an ice compartment, Julie discovers the bodies of Max , Barry and Helen.
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Vacancy (2007)
8/10
Peek a Boo I'm Watching You...Don't Try To Hide, I'm Every Place!
9 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Vacancy" is an engaging thriller along the line of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". It has the isolated motel, the creepy manager, the lost couple, the doomed cop etc.

Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David Fox (Luke Wilson) are travelling on a side road (isn't it always?) and are essentially lost. they come upon a service station where a mechanic (Ethan Embry) gives them directions. As luck would have it their car breaks down a couple of miles down the road. They walk back to the service station only to find it deserted. They then proceed to the adjacent motel.

The couple meets the Mason (Frank Whaley) the odd ball manager who rents them a room. While looking for something to pass the time, David discovers some video tapes. The tapes have seemingly been made in the very room in which they are staying and contain scenes of people be attacked and "snuffed" out. They also begin to hear loud noises. David complains to Mason who reassures him that he will "take care of things"

David discovers hidden video cameras around the room and realizes that he and Amy are to be the next snuff victims. Two hooded killers are prowling about . Amy and David try to escape but their attempts are thwarted at every turn. David finds a trap door in the bathroom leading to a network of underground tunnels. They manage to crawl up in Mason's office which contains several monitors and recording equipment. Amy manages to call 9-1-1.

A sheriff's deputy (David Doty) arrives on scene and has look around and becomes suspicious. He tries to help Amy and David but is brutally murdered. Amy and David escape back to their room. Finally, the killers break in and incapacitate David leaving Amy to fend off the attackers alone. She tries to flee in her car but.....................................................

An excellent thriller from start to finish.
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Insanitarium (2008 Video)
6/10
What a Bloody Mess!
8 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Insanitarium" is as bloody as a movie can get. It's about a man who gets himself committed to a sanitarium run by a mad doctor in order to rescue his sister.

Jack (Jesse Metcalfe) is concerned over his suicidal sister Lily (Kiele Sanchez). He prevents her from hanging herself. She is then sent to a sanitarium "for her own protection". Jack later learns that Lily is in danger in the sanitarium. The institution is run by a fanatical mad Doctor Gianetti (Peter Stormare) who is using his patients as guinea pigs for his experiments with a new drug.

Jack feigns madness in order to have himself committed to the sanitarium to rescue his sister. But when he is inside, he discovers the horrors within. Several patients are in isolated cells away from the general population. They have been the subjects of Gianetti's experiments which turn patients into violent flesh eating monsters. Eventually Jack finds Lily and they plan their escape.

The general population is overseen by Nurse Henderson (Molly Bryant) and her assistant Nancy (Olivia Munn). Charles (Evan Parke) is the burly security guard. Vera Downing (Carla Gallo) is Gianetti's assistant whom he uses for "other matters". Patient, Heather (Lisa Artur0) has her eyes on Jack. Jack takes Dave (Kevin Sussan) into his confidence.

As Jack gets closer to Gianetti, the madman short circuits the electrical system, releasing the violent in mates. All hell breaks loose as the violent patients begin to attack and devour each other. Jack, Lily, Dave and Nancy attempt to escape through the madness. Vera meets a particularly gory end.

There's plenty of blood and gore to satisfy even the most discriminating viewer. The special effects are well done as is the editing of the violent attacks. Surprisingly enough, there is little nudity except for the Heather character. There are a couple of mild sex scenes sprinkled in as well. For what it is, it's not a bad horror flick.
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Wind Chill (2007)
6/10
I'll Be Home For Christmas!
4 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Wind Chill" is an eerie story about a couple of college students stranded on the side of an isolated road in the dead of winter.

A young college girl (Emily Blunt) is seeking a ride home to Delaware for the holidays. Rather than bus it, she accepts a ride share from a guy (Ashton Holmes) who has a crush on her. At first she doesn't like him and suspects that he is some sort of pervert. She gets locked in a service station washroom and believes that the guy had something to do with it. Anyway they continue on when the guy suddenly turns off on an isolated side road claiming that it is a scenic short cut to their destination.

Suddenly another vehicle comes out of nowhere and runs the young couple off the road and disappears. They are forced to stay in the car to keep from the freezing cold outside. After nattering at each other, the couple comes to relay on each other. Then a highway patrolman (Martin Donovan) knocks on the car window. He becomes unexpectedly violent and the suddenly disappeared. Several other zombie like creatures are seen on the outside. The guy discovers an abandoned house in the woods with several creepy corpses buried there.

Reading a newspaper article, the girl discovers that this particular location has had a couple of fatal accidents and that as in "Groundhog Day", the couple are being forced to relive a particularly gruesome accident over and over. But is this real or is the girl hallucinating due to the extreme cold? Then, the guy dies leaving the girl alone. Shortly thereafter a snow plow comes along. The driver (Ned Bellamy) agrees to help her. But then in true deja vu fashion the snow plow is side swiped and run off the road and the driver killed by the zombies....or was he?

The ending has the girl trying to find her way back to the service station but is suddenly given help from an unexpected source.

Not a bad movie but there remains a couple of questions. For example, where did the oncoming vehicle(s) come from? Were they real or supernatural? Did the couple actually see the cop and the other ghosts or was it in their imaginations? Why weren't the characters given names?

Worth a look.
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The Plague (2006 Video)
4/10
Children of the Damned Meet Zombies of the Living Daed!
31 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Plague" is a blood and guts zombie picture that leaves many questions unanswered. More about that later.

Children of the world under the age of nine years suddenly become comatose. Farmer David Russell (Arne MacPherson) rushes his young son to the local hospital only to find every other child under 9 there too. Ten years pass and the children have aged accordingly. Then out of the blue comes Tom Russell (James Van Der Beek) David's brother, who has just been paroled from prison where he had been serving a sentence for killing a man in a bar brawl.

Suddenly the comatose children awake and become violent killers of all adults...a sort of biting the hand that fed you. David's son Eric (Chad Panting awakes and kills his father. Meanwhile Tom has met up with ex-wife Jean (Ivana Millicevic) and her brother Sam Rayner (Brad Hunt). They go to David's house and discover him murdered. Eric attacks them and is killed in the process.

Gradually, the zombie like children, who now are fully grown, are taking over the town. A young couple, Kip (Joshua Close) and Claire (Brittany Scobie I think) are just over the age of 19 and try to blend in with the zombies. Sheriff Cal Stewart (John B. Connelly), his wife Nora (Dee Wallace) and Deputy Nathan Burgundy (Bradley Sawatzky) join up with Tom, Jean, Sam, Kip and Claire to try to escape the carnage. Nora releases her daughter from captivity even though the daughter is one of THEM. Predicably, The daughter turns on her mother and kills her. Sheriff Stewart is forced to shoot his daughter as a result. Leaving him with no other alternative, the sheriff blows his brains out.

Anyway, the principals are killed off one by one until only Tom and Jean remain. Cue the weird ending where...................................................

The film leaves the viewer scratching his head. What caused the plague? Who caused the plaque? Was it aliens or a supernatural source such as the devil? What exactly did that page from the minister's diary actually mean? How were the zombies able to communicate with each other? And on and on and on.

I see on IMDb that there is a director's cut running at some 107 minutes. I saw the 88 minute version. Could some of the unanswered questions be cleared up in the extended version? Who knows.
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Devour (2005 Video)
5/10
The Devil Made Me Do It!
28 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Devour" is a "B" blood and guts movie with plenty of both . Its about a well to do college student Jake Gray (Jensen Ackles) who has visions or if you will, premonitions of violent acts. On his 21st birthday his friends Dakota (Dominique Swain) and Conrad Dean (Teach Grant) gift him with a computer game called "The Pathfinder" which it seems has all of Jake's personal data coded in.

Jake meets comely young Marisol (Shannyn Sossamon) while working his job at a computer store. He meets her again at the nursing home where his crippled mother Anne Kilton (Jean Griffen) is staying. A relationship develops. Meanwhile things in Jake's world are changing. He starts getting wierd phone calls through the Pathfinder game foretelling of events to come.

After Jake is fired his boss accuses him of robbing the store. However the video footage clearly shows the boss doing the deed. Hmmmm. Later, Conrad is found dead, having committed a bloody suicide after shooting a couple with whom he had had problems, in their bed during a passionate lovemaking. Dakota meanwhile, has been fending off the advances of her horny professor and end up murdering him and committing suicide herself.

Jake begins to have visions of demons and premonitions of him shooting his father Paul Kilton (Alan Ackles - Jensen's real life father). Could it be the devil that is behind all of this? Anyway, it all ends up in a gory finale where.........................................................

I guess the viewer should bee aware as to what kind of film this will be when the opening sequence has Jake gutting a cougar that he has just shot. Don't know how this is supposed to fit into the story.
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4/10
Where'd You Get Those Googly, Googly Eyes?
25 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Killers From Space" is a low budget independent science fiction feature. It stars Peter Graves as scientist Dr. Doug Martin in one of his early (and forgettable) roles.

Dr. Martin is studying atomic clouds resulting from a nuclear explosion. His plane disappears and Martin and the pilot are presumed dead. However, Dr. Martin turns up unexpectedly at his base seemingly unhurt. He has a strange scar on his chest. Col. Banks (James Seay) orders Martin to rest at home. His wife Ellen (Barbara Bestar) notices some strange behavior in her husband.

FBI agent Briggs takes an interest in the case. Col. Banks and Dr. Curt Kruger (frank Gerstle) administer a truth serum to Martin who then tells them what happened to him. It seems that he was actually killed in the plane crash but a group of bug-eyed aliens living in underground caverns, restored him to life and repaired his heart. The alien leader explains that they are planning to take over earth from its inhabitants as their home planet has been destroyed.

As Martin tried to escape, he encountered giant insects and lizards which the aliens plan to use in their attack. Martin vows to destroy the aliens using nuclear energy He times the explosion and....................................................

This movie reminded me of the old Republic serial in which Leonard Nimoy appeared. The aliens were similarly costumed and hid out in caves. The aliens with their googly eyes look ridiculous and the giant insects and lizards are painfully obvious in cheap rear projection shots.

I awarded an extra point in my rating for Peter Graves performance. He as always, gave a performance way better than the lame script he was given. He would go on to a long and prosperous career finding fame on TV in such shows as "Mission Impossible" and A & E's Biography series and movies such as "Airplane" where he demonstrated his comedic talent..
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Night Fright (1967)
5/10
Low Budget Indie "Thriller"
24 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Fright Night" is one of those cheap independents involving rich college students driving big expensive cars. It's about a creature prowling through the bushes attacking unsuspecting couples.

The film opens with a couple making out in a remote location in the bush. We hear a report over the radio reporting a fireball crashing into the hills just before a mysterious creature (whom we do not see) attacks the couple. Squeaky clean college couple Chris Jordan (Ralph Baker Jr.) and his girlfriend Judy (Dorothy Davis) discover the mutilated couple while frolicking through the bushes themselves.

Sheriff Clint Crawford (John Agar), the local law enforcement investigates. He and his deputy Ben Whitfield along with reporter Wes Blau (Gary McLain) find a large footprint of an unknown creature. Crawford has a plaster cast made of the footprint and brings it to his old friend Professor Alan Clayton (Roger Ready) for examination. Clayton you see, once worked for the space program and tells Crawford that the creature is the result of an experiment in outer space gone horribly wrong.

The "gang" led by Rex Bowers (Frank Joly) and Darlene Scott (Darlene Drew) against Crawford's warning set up a beach party in the danger zone. Judy Scott a nurse, who is Crawford's intended tries to warn her sister as do Chris and Judy. All but Rex and Darlene leave the scene. The creature, whom we finally get to see, attacks Rex and Darlene flees Meanwhile Deputy Whitfall is attacked and killed.

Crawford decides to set a trap for the creature (which looks like an 8 foot tall hairy gorilla) and..........................................................................

John Agar is the only "name" actor in the cast. His career had fallen on hard times in recent years however, he does his best in this story in spite of the cheap production values and largely unknown supporting cast. The creature is not shown until well into the film and even then only in the dark shadows.

Say, wasn't Chris Jordan driving an Olds Toronado?
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The Mule (2018)
8/10
On the Road Again..................
19 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Clint Eastwood returns to acting in front of the camera once again in a role that he was born to play. At an age when most of his contemporaries are either in the ground or sucking soup through a straw, ole Clint turns in another masterful performance as Earl Stone a man down on his luck who strikes it big one last time.

Earl Stone is a horticulturalist who is about to lose his business. Earl is also on the outs with his family, ex-wife Mary (Dianne Wiest) and daughter Iris (Allison Eastwood) who haven't spoken to him since he failed to show up at Iris' wedding years earlier. Grand daughter Ginny (Tiaissa Farmiga) holds out hope that he will show up for her upcoming wedding. After his business is foreclosed, Earl goes to Ginny's wedding but is rebuked by his ex-wife and daughter.

A guest at the wedding makes Earl an offer he cannot refuse....to drive for a Mexican cartel transporting drugs across the country. He accepts. At first reluctant, he relents when he sees the fruits of his labor. He buys an expensive new truck and helps out friends who are in need. Earl is having the time of his life. Due to his spotless driving record and age, Earl goes on to be one of the most successful "mules" working for the cartel. Cartel boss Laton (Andy Garcia) assigns a "handler" Julio (Ignacio Serricchio) to keep an eye on him. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) assigns two agents...Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) and Trevilirio (Michael Pena) to bring down the cartel. Special agent in Charge (Laurence Fishburne) demands results.

When Earl proves to be reliable, Laton invites him to Mexico to be feted. Earl gets to romp with a couple of hotties and has the time of his life. After he returns to work a power change takes place within the cartel and now Earl is no longer trusted. Against orders, Earl goes to ex-wife's side as she lays dying. In poignant scenes, Earl, stays with her until she passes.

With Bates and Trevilrio on his trail as well as the cartel's enforcers, Earl is on the run. Then the enforcers catch up to him and.......................................................

Clint Eastwood at the tender age of 88 proves that he can still carry a film. He goes from Earl's reveling in his success to his ultimate guilty conscience at the climax. Dianne Wiest gives an excellent performance as the ex-wife, particularly in her closing scenes. Cooper, Pena, Garcia and Fishburne do what they can in limited roles. Serricchio as the "handler" also impresses.

Let's hope that Clint has a few more such roles in mind for the future.
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4/10
Whatever Happened To....The Fourth Crown?
15 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This one is a little hard to review because frankly, it's not a good movie. It's about a group of soldiers of fortune who break into the castle of deadly cult headed by a fanatical cleric known as Brother Jones (Emiliano Redondo).

We first meet adventurer J.T. Striker (Tony Anthony ) as he roams through the catacombs of a deserted castle in search of a key to the mysterious four crowns which allegedly contain powers that will solve all of man's problems. Along the way, he encounters flying bats, wild dogs and slithery snakes (Don't know where they all came from). He finally retrieves the key and returns to Professor Montgomery's home.

Montgomery and his assistant Socrates (Francisco Rabal)) are in possession of one of the magical crowns. Two of the others are in the possession of Brother Jonas and his followers. The key opens a lock revealing a scroll that I missed the point of. At any rate Striker joins up with Socrated and Montgomery and recruits a team consisting of a drunk, Rick (Jerry Lazarus), an aging circus clown, Edmond (Gene Quintrano) and a trapeze artist Liz (Ana Obregon). They plan to sneak into Brother Jones castle like compound and steal two of the remaining crowns.

Along the way, the mysterious key takes on a life of its own creating all sorts of flashing light effects for whatever reason. The group consisting of Striker, Liz, Edmond ,Rick and Socrates manage to "slip into" the castle undetected with piles of equipment to pursue their goal. Nowc it seems the castle is protected by an elaborate laser system. (Don't know where the cult got the money or expertise for this).

By climbing over the security system using a series of trapeze like equipment, they finally reach their goal but not before the tragic loss of three of the five members of the team. Finally the survivors reach the two crowns and....................................................................................

"The Treasure of the Four Crowns" was filmed in 3-D and there are plenty of "comin' at ya" effects throughout the film. In 2-D, the effects are less effective thereby taking away from the "excitement" of the movie.

The ending is particularly bizarre and has to be seen to be believed (or not). And hey, where was the fourth crown in all of this.
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