Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Last Eight Movies...

All screened on VHS in a vain effort to clean out the acculmulation of casettes that has built up in my "Closet o' Movie Wonders"

"The Great Gabbo" (1929) Too static but a fun film starring Erich von Stroheim as a crazed ventriloquist. If there is a less music-hall like persona to be found than Stroheim's Prussian hauteur I'd like to see it.

Convention Girl (1935) A slight gangster drama built around the steel pier in Atlantic City, forgettable save for a rare straight turn by Shemp Howard as a mobster and some footage of the classic seaside side show acts including a diving horse routine.

Spite Marriage (1929) Buster Keaton's first and best talkie as a meek tailor who somehow marries a bombshell stage actress. After this Keaton's productions took a nose-dive at the comedy adverse MGM's studios, which is sad because of the lot Keaton should have made the transition to sound with no problem...he was that talented and confident. Alas the studio didn't give him the proper support and so Buster Maximus languished.

Seven Angry Men (1955) Raymond Massey that Axiom of the US cinema stars as John Brown with Dabs Greer, Guy Williams and Jeffrey Hunter as his sons...need I say more?

No Way Out (1950) starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. There were plenty of social type dramas in the 1950's as this film is desperate to prove. Poitier stars as a young hospital intern whose attempts to save the life of the brother of a notorious bigot occasions a race riot. the film is glib and naive, but Poitier is thoroughly charismatic and Widmark is at his scenery chewing best through-out. I believe that this film alos marks Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis' simultaneous film debut.

The Jokers (1966) Why isn't this film on DVD? Oliver Reed and Michael Crawford play a pair of upper class British ne'er do wells who hatch a plan to steal the crown jewels purely for the hell of it. And what the hell, they succeed then having carried the day in style they start pranking on each other. Very funny film and a rare comedy that makes good use of Oliver Reed and his neanderthal glower.

Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears (1973) When it came to spaghetti westerns, Mexico turns up a lot as a historic setting for some reason, herein Anthony Quinn plays a heroic but deaf gunslinger who is trying to prevent a coup in Sam Houston's short lived Republic of Texas. He gets translation services out of his sidekick played by Franco Nero. On paper this ought to be a gathering of the Gods, in fact, Quinn telephones it in and Nero overacts shamelessly in a bid to compensate. Even Pam Tiffin as a hooker with a heart of gold excited no interest.

Corruption (1968) A dreadfully miscast Peter Cushing stars as a surgeon who is using deadly transplant techniques to treat the facial scars of his super-model fiancee'.
Sound vaguely familiar it's "Eyes Without a Face" sans poetry, drama, class or a decent scare scene.
If you are a horror film fan, skip it, if you are a Peter Cushing fan, forget "Corruption" even exists.

No comments: