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Watched Last Night

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  • Smart Alec (1951). An odd little number which veers from drama to comedy and back again. We get the usual cocky and smug performance from Peter Reynolds but who here is most suitably cast as the title character and he still has his real hair at this point, which he messes up a couple of times as part of his over-elaborate cunning alibi plan. He's set to inherit a fortune from his uncle if he can bump him off and uncle is duly bumped off . . . but did Smart Alec do it? Once the police arrive in the shape of Edward Lexy, Charles Hawtrey and Kynaston Reeves the story changes gear into high farce with pratfalls and arch line delivery. The trial scenes, surreally (and cheaply) shot by director John Guillermin revert to drama. A clever, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS-like tale written by a very smart alec, Alec Coppel.


    • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post

      Afraid I don't know, Steve - the smaller one looks like Paul Fix in the 1950s!
      Never mind, Talking Pictured are showing The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) tomorrow at 23:59



      • Originally posted by John Hamilton View Post

        My friend, you NEED to watch The Beauty Jungle. I think you will thank me!
        Well I finally got around to watching The Beauty Jungle and I'm afraid neither it nor Janette Scott appealed. It's all a matter of taste I suppose, but I much prefer her in Scoundrels!


        • Just finished watching Payroll (Michael Craig, Billie Whitelaw 1961) on TPTV. A very entertaining film in the 'thieves fall out, kill each other and swindle everyone else' genre. It moves along very nicely and is IMO beautifully photographed. The best bit was the music, all swaggering brass and somewhat reminiscent of the Peter Gunn theme. Listened to on decent speakers it has some real heft. A most enjoyable couple of hours.


          • The Dancing Years (1950). Lederhosen, pigtails and loud uniforms abound in this twee slice of Technicolor nonsense "Based on the Play Devised, Written and Composed by Ivor Novello". There are songs with undecipherable lyrics, daft dances and much melodramatic twaddle which can only be partially rescued by the glorious Austrian locations in this tale of penniless Rudi becoming a world-famous composer (with considerable ease) and his love for operatic chanteuse Maria. Dennis Price, always stiff in lead romantic roles, does his best and even sings a bit of a song as Rudi and Gisele Preville plays Maria, while Patricia Dainton is Dennis's early girlfriend, Anthony Nicholls the understanding prince enamoured of Maria and Grey Blake a dead ringer for Leslie Phillips. It's very well presented, but seems terribly dated, even for 1950 or even 1939 when the original play first opened.


            • Nightbeat (1948). Join the police and see the pavement: two demobbed commandos join the fuzz, but soon fall on opposite sides of the fence. Double dealing and triple crossing quickly leads to conflict and then to murder. A highly enjoyable noir-ish thriller, beautifully lit by Vaclav Vich, and with a marvellous performance by Christine Norden - not her film debut as is claimed - as the bad girl who goes even badder! Hector Ross and Ronald Howard are good cop and bad cop and Anne Crawford plays the girlfriend of good and brother of bad. Also bad is nightclub owner Maxwell Reed, who has an oddly-accented Sidney James in his employ. The ending is at bit of a cop-out, literally, but it's entertaining getting there.


              • The Saint (2017)

                Fans of the original series and the books will probably be pleased to hear that, despite being 'released' this week, the latest Saint movie is unlikely to be appearing at the local multiplex. A messy pastiche of James Bond, (for SPECTRE read The Brotherhood), Batman (Bruce Wayne style flashbacks) and The Avengers (Steed and Mrs Peel) all wrapped in the sort of 1980s high-paced, low-brained action caper that would have suited Van Damme or his ilk. Adam Rayner is actually quite likeable in the role, as far as it goes, and Eliza Dushku makes an athletic Mrs Peel, er...Mrs Holm but its all pretty uninspired. Previous incarnations, Ian Ogilvy and Rodger Moore, pop up in a vain attempt to add credibility, the latter in a 15 second cameo that looks like it was shot on an iPhone.

                The whole thing is not helped by a troubled production history which, according to IMDB, saw it launched as a TV pilot in 2013, rebooted in 2015 with additional footage and then shelved until now. The reshoot may explain why Templar has a beard at the beginning and the end but is clean shaven throughout, and why Ian Ogilvy looks absolutely nothing like the younger version of the same character.


                • Madhouse (1974)

                  After the recent discussions on the extras page, I felt it time for a revisit to this Amicus/American International Tigon Man favourite.

                  A delicious campy horror comic, with Vincent Price in a selection of Sly Stone style fedoras, as a retired horror movie actor, making a comeback with his character Dr Death in an British TV series. Cue a series of grisly murders based on his previous films
                  Enormous fun with the bonus of Peter Cushing and Robert Quarry in supporting roles, thus Dr Phibes, Baron Frankenstein and Count Yorga together at last!
                  Vinnie does a lot of of eyerolling, probably at the script which doesn't warrant much attention, but the whole film is such rollicking fun, especially the scenes in the LWT Wembley TV studios, that it doesn't really matter.
                  With Adrienne Corri, Natasha Pyne.


                  • Demobbed (1944). "A Musical Comedy Burlesque" it says, but it's basically the bedfellow of Home Sweet Home (1945) and full of the same kind of low knockabout humour with some risqué lines, though it's slightly more varied as it comes from a mixture of Norman Evans, Nat Jackley and Dan Young who are the demobbed of the title and go to work (supposedly) in George Merritt's factory and thereafter foil a couple of crooks. There are a couple of concerts to get through first with the stars doing their set-pieces, most particularly Evans and his "Over the Garden Wall", Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, "The World's Famous Romanic Vocalists" (sic), belting out a few songs and of course lots of slapstick. Undemanding for six year olds.


                    • Yankee Buccaneer (1952) Jeff Chandler,Scott Brady,Suzan Ball + a young David Janssen.JC plays an early 19th C American Navy Captain who is sent to infiltrate a Pirate lair,not a bad film - quite enjoyable to watch

                      You Can't win em all (1970) enjoyable caper with Tony Curtis and Charles Bronson as a couple of merceneries in 1922 Turkey,worth watching for the Turkish scenery,Boats,large steam engine/railway footage and 3 x SE 5 aircraft for the air attack.