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The Rogues (1964)
This was a short lived classic.
The very fact that this excellent series did`nt last long is a testimony to the FACT that the North Americans (the T.V. addicts) are somewhat lacking in mental stability. I`ve always been of the opinion that it is possible to estimate a persons intellect by their choice of entertainment. Some of the trash prefered strongly underlines this conclusion. Mr. Ruplenas made a more than apt comment when he mentioned the popularity of The Beverly Hillbillies ( an execrable series to say the least). The line up of stars and the diversity of the plots in The Rogues should have ensured longevity for this series, unfortunately for the viewers who like class , it did`nt.
Mama's Family (1983)
The quality of this programme is`nt surprising.
Just recently started to watch the reruns of this show and I am wondering how I could have missed the initial airing of it. This is an excellent comedy series which doesn't rely on sexually connotated trash. Sick of the current comedic filth?, then you`ll enjoy this laugh a minute offering, the characters are superbly portrayed and the plots always hilarious.
All in the Family (1971)
Bigotry provides a basis for an extremely funny comedy series.
Archie Bunker a bigot motivated by his own "ideals", is perfectly portrayed by Carroll O`Connor. The rest of the cast also display acting skills that help to elevate what could have been a mundane series. One could expect that a theme such as bigotry would prove most distasteful but the carefully written script and the excellent acting does the opposite. Archie`s out of place and grammatically incorrect remarks add to the humor. All in all a superb comedy series.
As Time Goes By (1992)
The ACME in comedic entertainment.
Considering the sexually orientated trash which assails the optics of those depraved enough to watch it, comedy over the last decade is
of cesspool quality. As Time Goes By is typical of the top quality Britcoms, subtle, clever and superbly acted. Yes, I am aware of the
extremely vulgar junk that is imported from Britain but, their top drawer offerings are just that TOP DRAWER. Unfortunately I do have to watch some of the trash (how nauseous) in order to compare them, however it does`nt need a complete viewing in order to assess the differences, quality is quality and trash is trash.
Keeping Up Appearances (1990)
This is comedy for the true cognoscenti.
It is said that laughter is healthy and I certainly subscribe to this theory. After watching the more sophisticated Britcoms I am amazed
at the amount of quality shows "churned" out by the studios over the pond. The humor is non stop and (until the early 90`s) free from the sexual innuendoes that have (in my view) ruined the finest comedy to be seen on T.V. Keeping up Appearances is superb clean fun, the references to sex are superficial and do help support the humor. I Love Lucy is regarded as one of the best comedy series (not by me) but compared to these Britcoms it is puerile junk. I have found that one of the best yardsticks in estimating a persons mentality is to find out what their taste in comedy is. You`ll soon detect the
The Undying Monster (1942)
Another B movie that rates highly.
This was a good creepy movie that I would give a high rating. One drawback was the unnecessary second rate humour which could have detracted from what was a fine example of this particular genre Why some of these old horror films are`nt shown more often is a puzzle to me. Maybe there is`nt enough blood, gore, sex and profanity because it seems that the ingredients for a successful movie are these sickening items. The film concerns a curse which dogs the members of the Hammond family. The film is set in a manor in some remote area of England, ( the set used in the Basil Rathbone version of the Hound of the Baskervilles seems familiar) plenty of fog and eerie sounds help to create the usual creepy atmosphere. The plot is predictable but is
enough to keep viewers more than interested. The werewolf, the central character, is rarely seen, however this gives the film a greater accent to the mysterious aspects of it. It is well worth watching I`m sure you will enjoy it even though it is a hackneyed theme.
If this trash is funny then so is a severe dose of dysentery.
If you think this is funny then you will relish the idea of being told that you have been diagnosed with decomposing legs. This jerk Myers is possibly (How about Martin Short) the lousiest "comedian" I have ever seen. Last night I watched one of those classy British comedies To The Manor Born. Tonight I attempted to view this garbage. I could`nt believe that there are people who think this is funny, I`ll bet their craniums are full of air. ABSOLUTE TRASH. Maybe his stint on Saturday Night Live contributed to his excursion into the realms of idiocy.
99 River Street (1953)
A bit different and worth watching.
Ernie Driscoll (John Payne) loses his heavyweight boxing crown and
has to endure the nagging tirades of his wife. She realizes that Ernie`s defeat and his deteriorating fighting abilities will mean no more big paychecks. She gets involved with Brad Dexter ( a
small time hood) hoping that Dexter`s big time ambitions will help to elevate her social and financial status. However when Dexter does hit it big, her demands and threats incur his ire and he kills her. Driscoll is blamed and now has to find out who did kill his wife. From here on in the action is fast and furious. Evelyn Keyes and
Frank Faylen are his allies (Keyes, a budding actress and Faylen a
buddy working with Driscoll as a cab driver) who ably assist in
the dangerous quest to find the killer. Earlier in the film Keyes had tricked Payne (Driscoll) into believing that she had killed a
man during an argument. Payne follows her to the scene of the "crime" which appears to have occurred on the stage of an empty theatre. She becomes hysterical as she looks at the body, Payne comforts her and tries to calm her. The murder is a hoax. Keyes is on trial to display her acting skills. The lights go on and
several people appear, all applauding the performance given by Keyes. Driscoll is furious and attacks them knocking the nearest man down. His anger is short lived and he befriends her realizing that his
violent attack had probably lost her the role for which she was
auditioning. A series of encounters with other hoods (also looking for Dexter and whatever he has) eventually leads to the location of Dexter. The final scene takes place on the deck of a ship where Dexter is planning to make his escape. A fight between him and Payne results in a confession and the subsequent exoneration of
Payne. One thing I find very realistic in movies starring John Payne, and that is that his fights all seem to underline his obvious skill at being able to throw punches that any boxer would be proud of. Watch his fistic display during a fight he has with Jack Lambert. This happens midway through the film when Payne corners Lambert in a sleazy hotel room and "persuades" him to reveal the whereabouts of Dexter. A film full of action and tension, see it I think you`ll agree.
Blue Streak (1999)
Typical dime a dozen trash.
Certainly makes the L.A.P.D. look bad. Another film to be filed in my movies to avoid folder. First class trash which underlines
the second rate comedy purveyed by Martin Lawrence. Anyone who likes this movie is in serious trouble (mentally).
Another excellent offering from the British studios.
I have never been disappointed with any of the mysteries from across the "POND". The plots are always so unique and absorbing. The acting is always superb making you feel as if you were actually there. Some of the dialects can be such that it is imperative that one is not distracted whilst viewing. I must admit I get so absorbed that nothing can cause me to be distracted. This particular offering is another masterpiece and certainly maintains the standard which we are accustomed to.
Dogpound Shuffle (1979)
Quite often film titles can be misleading as to quality.
This film was most entertaining and well worth watching. The fact that Ron Moody was a principle player is almost a guarantee of a good film. This film concerns the adventures (or misadventures) of Moody who has lost his pet dog. He teams up with a drifter (David Soul) and together they hunt for the lost pooch. Their efforts get them into a series of predicaments one of which gets Soul a beating at the hands of the dogpound attendant ( a big brutal looking man). The beating was not in vain as they find out where the dog is. Another (not as hazardous) situation, has both men being asked to provide entertainment at a large house owned by one of the local bigwigs. Earlier Moody and Soul had strutted their stuff in a downtown bar. Moody the song and dance man and Soul accompanying him with his harmonica. They earned a few dollars ( both men being broke ) and also gained the attention of the son of the the bigwig. He invites them to perform at a party which his father is giving the following evening. They agree but only after substantial financial rewards are promised. They prove to be a resounding success and fortified with food and money continue the search for the dog. Eventually the whereabouts of the dog is located but the new owner is not prepared to give up the dog. Moody, who is also a drifter, is a most persuasive character ( a "skill" he has acquired via his many years on the road) and he has little trouble in tricking the reluctant new owner into parting with the dog. The film ends with Moody and Soul making plans for their future together. See it, I,m sure you will find it very entertaining and a nice departure from so many humdrum offerings.
To the Ends of the Earth (1948)
The never ending war against the drug trade.
This film is great from start to finish as it outlines the ingenious methods used by the drug traders. Some harrowing scenes as the Chinese slaves (being smuggled to pick poppies) are disposed of. A freighter of doubtful origin is spotted off the U.S. coastline. The coastguard investigates and as it draws near, the captain of the coast guard cutter is witness to a most appalling scene. The slaves being
smuggled are underneath a large tarp on the deck of the freighter. The captain of the ship, realising the consequences of his human cargo, decides to remove the evidence. The slaves are shackled to the anchor chain which is now released into the ocean. The fate of the slaves is sealed and the proof of the illegal cargo is removed. The matter is reported and from then until the end of the film, it is non stop action and intrigue. Dick Powell is the narcotics agent assigned to the task of tracking down the drug growers and dealers. It is a very involved film with lots of surprises (do not blink). A great twist at the end.
The House on 92nd Street (1945)
Makes you wonder what we are not told.
The plot for this film has been outlined among the other comments.
Hilarious was how one "critic" described it (should see a doctor). I enjoyed it as it did what it was meant to do and it did it well. Henry Hathaway is a director who does this type of film better than anyone else. The narration throughout the film was most informative although some people may consider it a distraction. The identity of Mr.Christopher was revealed in some of the other comments thus
spoiling what would have been a surprise ending.
The descriptive words ludicrous and ridiculous can be inadequate.
This movie belongs in the extreme realms of absolute fantasy. I find
it hard to believe that there are viewers who regard this as possibly the greatest sci/fi. movie of all time. A giant worm (one of the most basic forms of life ) has the mental capacity to plan a strategy
capable of outwitting the residents of a small town ( TOWN?!) which consisted of maybe a dozen rickety old buildings. Bearing in mind this is a sun baked desert (let us not confuse the desert with the
beach where the sand is soft) and only the very top layer is of a
manageable texture. Now we have a creature capable of propelling its soft body through the ground at speeds which I estimated to be way is excess of any man made device. It sucks a two ton station wagon down into the depths ( the headlights were still on hours later, some
battery I must get one ) and wraps a tentacle around the axle of a large pickup almost preventing it from moving. The acting was poor as was demonstrated in the casual approach to the most precarious situations. I am well aware that a degree of make believe is necessary in order to provide acceptable entertainment, that is what sci/fi. is all about. This film strains any concept of logic to a level which I find completely unacceptable. The Alien series and both versions of The Thing are way better and I could list numerous other horror and
sci/fi. movies superior to Tremors. I will not be wasting my time
with the sequels.
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
Even a masterpiece can have flaws.
This film will always be among my favourites, one of Oscar Wildes best tales. The subtle Wilde witticisms so eloquently delivered via the superb voice of George Sanders make this film worthy of the most
laudable praises. The film is a classic (would you expect anything less from a Wilde inspired production). The rest of the cast, especially Hatfield, give stellar performances and I liked the expression of awe and horror on the face of Lowell Gilmore when confronted by the portrait in all of its debauched malevolence. Two faults, one of which was Hollywoods depiction of the East end of London. This particular area of London was an unsafe,violent and noisy place where a man dressed like Dorian Grey would have been accosted the moment he appeared on the streets. I also think that a singer as demure as that portrayed by Angela Lansbury would not have
been the type of entertainer who would have been welcomed by the
usually boisterous and intoxicated crowds who frequented this notorious area of London. Music lovers will like the Chopin Prelude which Grey "plays" and which is ideally suited to the ominous atmosphere hovering throughout the film. Some creepy moments especially the
unveiling of the portrait.
Smart Alec (1951)
A fat budget does not mean a good movie.
This was one of the many low budget movies made after the war. Most of them were obviously "cheapies", poor acting ,lousy dialogue and terrible plots (what else). This was a low budget film which did not fall into that category. Peter Reynolds played the role of Alec Albion a most unscrupulous arrogant bounder. He becomes the heir to a large fortune which is to be paid when his uncle (the benefactor) dies. Albion cannot wait and decides to precipitate the demise of the uncle. He hatches a foolproof plan which is guaranteed to make his future very very comfortable. So ingenious is his plan to end the uncles life it succeeds beyond his wildest dreams. Albion is the prime suspect and is brought to trial. However his alibi is so perfect and he is acquitted. Being such a braggart and knowing that once you have been acquitted you cannot be tried again, he decides to reveal the brilliant plan. He arranges a press meeting and with contemptuous glances at one and all he tells them of his perfect crime. The police arrest him immediately and charge him with the murder. He protests that they are violating the law ,informing them that you cannot be tried again for the same crime.
To continue with any further comments will spoil the end of this film. If it is ever released again do not miss it, it is a first rate "B" movie.
Home Alone 3 (1997)
No brain needed.
A load of trash like the series which preceded it. Any one who laughs at this should see a psychiatrist as soon as possible. I sat through this garbage and did not smile once. My wife could not believe that I could sit through it, she saw five minutes of it then went to bed. However, as I pointed out to her, you cannot be critical if you have not seen it. TRASH personified.
The Norliss Tapes (1973)
A film that qualifies as a genuine "creepie".
My wife watched this and wished she had,nt. One of my favorites it had some very scary scenes especially the one when the sister opens the drapes at the motel. If you like scary stuff you will enjoy this but be prepared for an ending which leaves you wondering.
Green Dolphin Street (1947)
Drama, action, romance, the ingredients for a good movie.
A good film which will satisfy all tastes. Geographical diversions from France to New Zealand certainly add to the movies scenic appeal. Splendid action via the earthquake and flood scenes in New Zealand plus the tense atmosphere when the natives threaten to attack. The female viewers will enjoy the emotional aspects especially the final 10
minutes. The romance is gentle and restrained unlike the slop which we are assailed with in the modern trash movies. Another nice wrinkle...... no profane language. If you can see it I think you,ll find it very entertaining.
La tempesta (1958)
Russian history is an ideal source for making exciting movies.
Well worth seeing especially if you are a "fan" of Russian history. Can be confusing at times so pay attention. Hollywood has a nasty habit of straying from the facts, sometimes authenticity can be boring. This time, however, very little deviation from actuality is necessary as this period is one of the more turbulent in the history of Russia. See it you will enjoy it. Some good battle scenes.
Vertical Limit (2000)
Very unrealistic but still a nailbiter.
This film has all the thrills you want and some. However you must overlook the mountaineering goofs (I think the person who advised the director as to the veracity of the technical aspects of this film was not very experienced, if at all.) and there are plenty, you will enjoy the cliffhanger situations which occur with pulse raising regularity. I enjoyed it but only because of the edge of the seat situations.
The Snorkel (1958)
Should be a regular on the rerun circuit.
No one could portray the role of a villain with more skill than
Peter Van Eyck. This film was made for him and if you can overlook the obvious predictability of it you will be more than compensated by its more than average share of suspense. Dont miss it if it comes around again, you wont be disappointed.
I Love Lucy (1951)
This is garbage personified.
One evening when my wife and I were watching As Time Goes By my grand-daughter, who was scanning through the T.V. guide, had noticed tha I Love Lucy was on later that night. She is only nine so she can be excused for the momentary decline in her mental stability. The episode was the one about the chocolate factory and she giggled all through it. My wife looked at me awaiting my comments. I rolled my eyes to the ceiling and remarked, "Maybe as her brain developes she will realize what absolute trash this is". Compared to the better British comedies it is like comparing a skateboard to a Caddilac. I think that the only show worse than this is Saturday Night Live. Ugh.
The Fatal Night (1948)
A good imagination can enhance the visual aspects of a "scary" movie.
I saw this film when I was eleven years old and I will never forget the gripping atmosphere which lasted throughout the entire film. This movie was based on a story which I read in one of the Dorothy L. Sayers books of short stories. It was called The Gentleman from America and proved to be a genuine thriller when made into a movie. If it is ever re-released dont miss it it is a top drawer "spook" film with an excellent twist at the end. Why some of these old "creepies" are not available is a shame, they don,t rely on sex and bloodletting just good old atmospherics and imagination.
A good movie does not need gratuitous sex and violence.
I remember first hearing this on the radio 1948 and I can still recall the tricks my imagination played every night when bedtime came around. The T.V. version which I have seen a couple of times, is among my favourite "spook" films. If it is ever aired again, and I certainly hope it is, viewers should not be distracted as the portent can be misunderstood. I have always been a fan of the good supernatural films and I compiled a list of other good films of the genre. A Warning To The Curious, The Familiar, A Fatal Night,The Cat People, The Creeper, Night Comes To Soon, Horror Hotel, When Aunt Ada Came To Stay, The Hungry Glass, The Grim Reaper. You will no doubt observe that only one of the films I have listed was in colour. I think that black and white seems to create a more creepy atmosphere although the colour segment in Dorian Gray was absolutely necessary, the shock value of that scene would have been diminished without it. The Norliss Tapes and most of the Night Strangler Night Stalker series had some genuinely creepy scenes and are among my favourites.