February 27, 2017

Saloon Bar (1940)

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“Saloon Bar” is an entertaining murder mystery directed by Walter Forde that combines elements of Hitchcock in the story and comedy. The film itself combines a number of entertaining minor stories that take place inside a pub, eponymously named. Customers at the pub discuss the latest news, which involve the hanging of a convicted murderer, but when a clue to the murder case is found inside the pub, the regulars decide to become actively involved in solving the crime and finding out who the real … [Read more...]

All the Right Noises (1969)

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Seemingly so obscure that it doesn't even warrant any comments on IMDB, yet simultaneously revered by the tiny few who have seen it, ALL THE RIGHT NOISES is a difficult film to categorise. Taken at face value alongside its director's other work (The Pleasure Girls, That Kind of Girl, The Brute and of course The Bitch), one could easily mistake it for a sleazy sexploitation title, and indeed a tiny part of me is disappointed this isn’t the case. Conversely, the other 95 percent was both delighted … [Read more...]

Gasbags (1940)

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“Gasbags” takes a humorous look at war and how the victim in real life can turn out to the the victor in a movie like this one. Released in 1941, one year after the London Blitz, the Crazy Gang is the unlikely winner in stealing a secret weapon designed to commit mass destruction on neighboring nations. The gang encounters a number of adventures when they accidentally come into contact with Germany as the result of being forced to go out of the fish and chips business. The film opens with the … [Read more...]

When the Bough Breaks (1947)

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Being a mother is the hardest job in the world, and it is even more difficult when the mother discovers her husband is not what he appears to be. Living outside of the box is a challenge in a society where certain standards are expected of young women, but can be done successfully when the individual will to survive is strong enough. “When the Bough Breaks” explores the myths and realities of motherhood as well as the complexity of human relationships where trust is involved. The movie opens … [Read more...]

Paroxismus aka Venus in Furs (1969)

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" I tried not to remember why I buried my horn... " Fnarr fnarr. Two minutes or so into this, one of several British-funded films Franco made in the late 60s under the patronage of the notorious Harry Allan Towers, and we've already hit a double entendre. Start as you mean to go on, I say.  "A guy like me without a horn is like a man without words.." Yes, Franco did write the dialogue (spoken with, it has to be said, sheer conviction by the fine American actor James Darren) himself, and … [Read more...]

Comrades (1986)

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Someone somewhere at the BFI deserves an award or at least a hearty congratulation of some kind for their constant unearthing and reissuing of lost British classics. And if ever a film was deserving of such a title, Comrades is surely it. The epic, unabridged tale of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (and in particular George Loveless), the circumstances that led to their transportation, and thus the beginnings of trade unionism as we know it, yet told through the eyes of someone more in love with the style … [Read more...]

The Case of the Frightened Lady (1940)

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“The Case of the Frightened Lady” is a tightly written murder mystery based on a play by Edgar Wallace that takes place on an English estate called Marks Priory. The Lebanon family, which has lived there for centuries, prides itself on being able to maintain their elite status, but they also harbor a much more terrible secret that eventually unfolds throughout the movie. As the credits open to the film, the central staircase in the grand foyer of Marks Priory is shown up close. Maybe it is … [Read more...]