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In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king
21 November 2016
That pretty much sums up the quality of this porn movie.

Let's face it. Most adult movies, even from the main studios, on a technical level are pretty awful. Their purpose is to show a lot of hardcore sex, not tell a coherent story. This one has a story. It is no great shakes, but it has one and it is competently done, though the set-up is pretty stupid. It's main point of interest, though, is Rachel Ashley. This is the only one I've seen her in and she is an incredibly beautiful woman and a very good actress. Why was she stuck in porn? A few porn actresses can act, but they aren't the most attractive ones. The lookers like the late Savannah couldn't act their way out of a paper bag.
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Stan Laurel lied
14 June 2016
Well, looks like Stan Laurel told John McCabe a whopper in MR. LAUREL AND MR. HARDY. He claimed someone said, "This guy is funnier than Semon," while this was being filmed and Semon in retaliation had Laurel (they were both paying convicts) handcuffed to a tree and did the rest of the picture without him, and then fired him. No such scene exists in the movie. Laurel is basically a co-star in this one. He is not around for the comic chase at the climax, which is pretty standard for a Semon comedy, but what do you expect? It is a starring vehicle for Semon. It is amazing he gave that much screen time to Laurel. This is the last of three Larry Semon comedies with Laurel. His roles get bigger with each one. Did Semon fire him after this one? You look at Laurel's filmography and he seems to be working steady and the Semons are actually the only ones from this period where he doesn't have the starring role, before and after. He seems to be hopping from studio to studio. It has been said this may have been during a period when Vitagraph temporarily shut down. I think it is just as likely Laurel moved on to do shorts where he was in the lead. Oliver Hardy also worked with Semon, but a few years later and was kinder in his reminiscence about him. As for the movie itself, this is one of the better Semon comedies and it is helped by Laurel's presence. Some of the gags seem very similar to later Laurel and Hardy movies.
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Surprising Adult Pre-Code Cartoon
7 September 2015
Let's face it. Terrytoons are generally crappy. This one is miles better than their usual.

The animation is better (though still far from a Disney or Fleisher from the same year), the gags are inventive, and it is a far cry from the usual Terrytoon of the period with the farm animals and the mice.

And the jungle girl gives Betty Boop a run for her money with the risqué gags. She is also sexier.

After catching this on YouTube, I thought I misjudged Paul Terry cartoons. Maybe they were better in the early thirties. But, no, the other ones I found were nothing.
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Funny Langdon talkie
17 December 2014
Probably one of the better Columbia shorts starring Harry Langdon, this one directed by Arthur Ripley who with Frank Capra wrote the classic Langdon silents. This reportedly is a remake of one of his silent shorts. Langdon't facial reactions often evoke Stan Laurel, but Langdon was doing the blank expression and goofy smile reacting to a pretty girl long before Stan Laurel. This might be why Laurel used Langdon as a gag writer on his last Hal Roach films. He also looks with that split curl down his forehead a lot like Lupino Lane who also was probably influenced by Langdon. Although it is often thought Langdon's career crashed when talkies came in, he was in decline at the end of the silent era when his features after he fired Capra bombed. Langdon actually worked regularly in shorts after that. His stay at Hal Roach was brief. He then starred in shorts for Educational, then moved to Columbia where he remained until his death in 1944. I saw this on YouTube.
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Where's Vinnie?
3 September 2014
Vincent Price's name should be up there as host. After the second or third year he was the host for many years. I think the first year he hosted it himself, then they gave him a female co-host, a different one each year. My memory is hazy on who they were. I think an early one was Ruta Lee and another time it might have been Zsa Zsa. The first few years it was just clips from the movies and people would phone in with their votes so whoever got the most at the end of the show won. Then they did it more like a fake Oscar ceremony. The hosts were dressed up formal and the voting was done before the show went on the air. When they switched the format, the show really stunk because the nominated films became different from the Ocar nominated ones. It was more like the People's Awards and who cares about that? But I lost interest by then. It would be nice if someone who knew how to do it got the facts together for this show so it would list all of the show's host. Although it was a local show, it was on for a long time and the hosts after the first year or two were well known actors.
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Ahead of Its Time?
22 April 2014
There is an episode of it on YouTube.

What is weird about this show, even though it didn't even last a season, it went into syndication in the early sixties.

That is where I saw it and according to Wikipedia was one of the first American shows broadcast daily in the UK.

I thought it was great when I was a kid and the episode on YouTube is very funny.

What a great premise, a nerd superman and just perfect for Wally Cox who plays him perfectly.

Why it didn't catch on is a mystery to me.
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Joy Ride (1958)
Edward Bernds' best feature film (which isn't saying much)
22 August 2012
Edward Bernds is best known for directing some of the better post war 3 Stooges shorts and the unintentionally hilarious Queen from Outer Space. All of his feature films with the possible exception Return of the Fly are strictly B's. Joy Ride is the B'est of the B's, at just sixty minutes, an amazingly short running time for the late fifties, it was intended to be bottom of the bill. It's subject matter would suggest exploitation fifties fun. But it is actually an understated, low key film in the style of the social realistic kitchen sink dramas of fifties' live TV, sort of Marty Meets Rebel Without a Cause. I saw it back in the seventies on television because Movies on TV gave it three stars. Maybe it is more like a solid two and a half, but if you watch it with modest expectations, you could be pleasantly surprised how effective this ultra low budget feature is.
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Combat!: Cat and Mouse (1962)
Season 1, Episode 9
An Anti War Nail Biter
16 August 2012

Maybe, just to be on the safe side.

This episode was written and directed by Robert Altman and shows a big advance to the mature visual style of the series after a clunky start.

This is also one of the best episodes with Morrow in top form and Salmi matching him doing a variation of a character he practically patented, the abrasive bully.

This might be the first episode Morrow's character reveals he was a shoe salesman before the war, making him a clear contrast to Salmi's career soldier.
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Early TV movie about adopted children seeking their parents
5 April 2011
When looking up this movie to answer an inquiry, I was surprised to see it had no user reviews.

This was certainly a better than average TV movie, was well publicized when released, had two well known actors in the leads, and was directed by Larry Pierce, the director of Goodbye Columbus, the movie that introduced Ali MacGraw and had her best performance (a lot of us thought she could act based on it until Love Story proved us wrong.

Meredith Baxter is a young woman with adopted parents who is searching for her actual parents. Beau Bridges is a young man she becomes involved with on an identical quest. Whitney Baxter, the mom on the TV sitcom Hazel and Meredith's actual mother, makes a brief but important appearance at the movie's climax.

I haven't seen it since, but was pretty impressed at the time, no world beater, but nicely acted, written, and directed.

What more do you want from a TV movie?
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Good quota quickie
8 March 2011
My first exposure to a British quota quickie and acting and screenplay on this one is superior to your typical American poverty row effort (but production values are not as slick as a B from a major studio).

A fairly funny unpretentious bedroom farce, feels like a stage adaptation but apparently isn't.

The third act shows a sliver of Noel Coward type wit peeking through some good sight gags and slapstick.

If it is true as rumored quota quickies were mostly screened when the sweepers were doing their job with no audience in the seats, they probably had a good time with this one.
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