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  • Originally posted by Tigon Man View Post
    The Skull (1965)

    Robert Bloch's short story of an occult collector who buys up the skull of the Marquis De Sade and lives to regret it, bought to the screen by Amicus.
    Director Freddie Francis puts flesh on the bones of an undernourished script, with several neat touches including shooting from inside the skull looking out and a nightmarish dream sequence were Peter Cushing's Maitland is put on trial by judge Frank Forsyth!
    Christopher Lee in a clever twist plays against type as Cushing's mild mannered friend Sir Matthew, whilst Cush is the more forceful of the two.
    Patrick Wymark is excellent as Marco, the seedy thief cum dealer in esoteric antiquities and the cast includes Jill Bennett, Nigel Green and Patrick Magee.
    Skilfully directed and nicely acted, Amicus at their best.
    The Skull was second half of the next in the 1980 Horror Double Bill on BBC2 and Tigon Man sums it up very well. The period pre-titles start is very like a Roger Corman AIP production and the last part of the film, with little dialogue and wall-to-wall atmospheric and eccentric music, is beautifully lit, one of Francis's best directorial works.

    Preceded by Tower of London (1939), Universal's follow-up to Son of Frankenstein with Basil Rathbone as a scheming Richard of Gloucester, supported by deadly torturer Mord, played by Boris Karloff. Vincent Price gets lots of wine to consume as Clarence.

    Comment


    • Hangman's Wharf (1949). Ultra-cheap location shot epic from E. J. Fancey which plays out like a children's yarn with pantomime acting, dreadful dialogue that states the obvious, incompetent staging with several examples of "crossing the line" and illogical interiors. Edinburgh doctor based in London David Galloway finds himself suddenly involved in a mysterious murder, aided by perky reporter Alison Maxwell and dogged by blundering Detective Inspector Prebble.
      Although the aforementioned dialogue includes several "Things are really beginning to make sense" statements, they don't as it's not entirely clear what's going on, despite the explanations given at the end. Things marginally improve when we open out and get to "Baymouth", but the set-ups continue to be of home movie standard. Fruity-voiced John Witty plays the dumb doctor (who manages to check out the various ways in which a dead man was murdered in literally 4 seconds) and chooses to use the worst Scottish accent this side of Scotty in STAR TREK. Genine Graham is the reporter and Campbell Singer the policeman. The only other familiar face belongs to Patricia Laffan as the villain's wife.
      Written, photographed and directed by Cecil H. Williamson so we know who to blame.

      Comment


      • Suspect (1960). Slick thriller from the Boulting Brothers, allegedly made in under three weeks to prove it could be done. Idealist scientist Tony Britton is inclined to disclose years of research work to foreign powers after the British government slaps a "top secret" order on it. He's encouraged to do so by embittered and maimed Korean war veteran Ian Bannen and by seedy middleman Donald Pleasence. It's all quite tense and well-acted, especially by Peter Cushing as the chief scientist, Kenneth Griffith as his aide and Virginia Maskell as the scientist and former fiancée of Bannen. However, Thorley Walters is just a little too mannered as the eccentric and forgetful security chief and the comedy skits with Spike Milligan as an Eccles-like caretaker are a mistake. Raymond Huntley, Sam Kydd and a pre nose-job Anthony Booth are in the film too, which also co-stars lots of pipes, tweeds and sexist remarks.

        Comment


        • Dulcima (1971)

          Starring Carol White and John Mills

          8/10

          Comment


          • The Blue Lamp (1949). Ealing's love letter to the police presents a somewhat cosy view of postwar London with jolly sing-songs in the cop shop canteen and "real" villains aiding the boys in blue in rounding up a rogue delinquent killer, and it does slip into some mawkish sentimentality, but it's still one of their best films with extensive location filming atmospherically caught by Gordon Dines and Lionel Banes, taut direction by Basil Dearden and a stand-out performance from Dirk Bogarde. It's almost "G'night all" before "Evenin' all" from Jack Warner as P.C. Dixon, although contrary to popular belief, he doesn't have his fateful meeting with Dirk until about 40 minutes in and leaves us about 10 minutes later. Jimmy Hanley is the rookie prototype Andy Crawford (here called Mitchell) and Gladys Henson plays Mrs. Dixon. Bernard Lee, Robert Flemyng, Meredith Edwards and Clive Morton are among the cops and Patric Doonan and Peggy Evans among the robbers. At times it's got a semi-documentary feel to it with no incidental music score. Another example of Ealing's "best" year.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
              The Blue Lamp (1949). Ealing's love letter to the police presents a somewhat cosy view of postwar London with jolly sing-songs in the cop shop canteen and "real" villains aiding the boys in blue in rounding up a rogue delinquent killer, and it does slip into some mawkish sentimentality, but it's still one of their best films with extensive location filming atmospherically caught by Gordon Dines and Lionel Banes, taut direction by Basil Dearden and a stand-out performance from Dirk Bogarde. It's almost "G'night all" before "Evenin' all" from Jack Warner as P.C. Dixon, although contrary to popular belief, he doesn't have his fateful meeting with Dirk until about 40 minutes in and leaves us about 10 minutes later. Jimmy Hanley is the rookie prototype Andy Crawford (here called Mitchell) and Gladys Henson plays Mrs. Dixon. Bernard Lee, Robert Flemyng, Meredith Edwards and Clive Morton are among the cops and Patric Doonan and Peggy Evans among the robbers. At times it's got a semi-documentary feel to it with no incidental music score. Another example of Ealing's "best" year.
              Not forgetting one of my favourite cinema lines as the police hunt Dirk Bogarde at a White City dog meeting and one of the bookies instructs his tic tac man "If anyone spots Tom Riley signal 100/30 the seven dog".

              Comment


              • The Fast Lady (1962). Another of the Stanley Baxter/James Robertson Justice/Leslie Phillips comedies, this one with Julie Christie also in the driving seat, along with Kathleen Harrison, Eric Barker, Allan Cuthbertson and a host of other familiar faces in cameos including Frankie Howerd, Bernard Cribbins, Esma Cannon, Dick Emery and Fred Emney. Stanley is short-fused Murdoch Troon who falls for Julie but also falls foul of her father JRJ. He has to prove his worth by learning to drive and The Fast Lady is his chosen chariot. A load of slapstick nonsense really, but it motors along amusingly in vivid colour, admirably steered by Ken Annakin with Don Sharp on 2nd unit.
                Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 17th October 2017, 09:04 PM.

                Comment


                • Tigon Man
                  Tigon Man commented
                  Editing a comment
                  For motoring fans the period vehicles are a treat..

              • The Shakedown (1960) Essentially a remake of Joe Pevney's 1950 US film of the same name (though that did without the definite article), this plays like a Merton Park Edgar Wallace on steroids. One of a number of films cashing in on the relaxation of the censorship shackles after Room at the Top, this was X-rated in its day. Terence Morgan comes out of gaol determined to get even with Harry H. Corbett, who has taken over his prostitution racket. We know Corbett (whose accent is variable but mainly Steptoe) is in trouble when we see that his main henchman is the perennially hapless Larry Taylor. Morgan finds that none of his old cronies is interested in helping him and so, via an altercation with Paul Whitsun Jones, he comes across down on his luck photographer Donald Pleasence and instantly comes up with a new money making plan involving setting up Pleasence in a plush new studio complete with "model school", which will actually be a front for a blackmail racket. The money for this comes from Morgan singlehandedly relieving Corbett's henchmen of the months takings. Back at the Yard, Robert Beatty, fresh from the TV series Dial 999 in which he played a Mountie on secondment to the Met, seems to be reprising his role but takes an inordinately long time to get his man, bearing in mind that he has a plant on the inside (as does Corbett), one can't help thinking that even Dixon of Dock Green might have wrapped this up rather quicker.
                Morgan plays his role with relish and comes across as a kind of Simon Templar who has gone over to the dark side. Hazel Court is as decorative as usual and there are loads of familiar faces in support including blink and you'll miss them turns by Angela Douglas and Jackie Collins as models under the tutelage of Georgina Cookson. Bill Owen has a rather pointless role as one of the many people (friend and foe) who Morgan ruthlessly rides roughshod over (he really does not have a single redeeming feature).
                John Lemont's direction is serviceable and the film is competently lit by Brendan J. Stafford, one of his last features before spending the sixties on ITC TV series. Happily, the producers avoided the temptation to import a fading American to play the lead and is generally well served by the familiar British cast.
                Although this has B-movie written all over it, it actually went out as a main feature on Rank's second string National release at the end of January 1960, supported by the dour Russian war drama Destiny of a Man. At least the punters were no doubt cheered up by seeing the trailer for the following week's offering, Pillow Talk!
                Last edited by Odeonman; 19th October 2017, 01:41 PM.

                Comment


                • Natural World - H is for Hawk: A New Chapter on BBC2 last night.
                  A lovely piece of documentary about Helen Macdonald and the follow-up story to her award winning “H is for Hawk” when she took and trained another captive bred Goshawk.

                  Much of it reminded me of the joys I felt working with birds of prey when I did a couple of falconry course back in the late 1970s. The Goshawk is a remarkably difficult bird to see in the wild and to train (Man). You never tame a hawk or falcon, you just get it to trust you enough to eat off your hand and to come back to you. They are still wild animals and every time it flies free it doesn’t have to come back to you (& sometimes doesn’t). But if it trusts you enough to get some food and care & shelter then that’s to everyone’s benefit (& delight)

                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Metro1962 View Post
                    Dulcima (1971)

                    Starring Carol White and John Mills

                    8/10
                    Love that film and isn't Carol White stunning in it.

                    Comment


                    • The last entry in the BBC's Horror Film season was a single one, The Beast Must Die (1974), yet more werewolfery as Amicus goes Blaxploitation when Calvin Lockhart hosts a charming weekend country house party to root out the wolf in human clothing among his guests. It's all done very po-faced with some flashy direction by Paul Annett and a funky score from Douglas Gamley. The guests are Michael Gambon, Tom Chadbon, Ciaran Madden and Charles Gray plus horror icons Peter Cushing with a dodgy wig and an even dodgier accent and Anton Diffring in an alarming sports jacket. Lockhart and Marlene Clark playing his wife frankly put in the worst performances, even though Marlene was dubbed by Annie Ross.
                      Like an earlier film in the season, Chambers of Horrors with its Horror Horn, this one has the Werewolf Break as its gimmick, with the dreaded tones of Valentine Dyall inviting you to identify the werewolf.

                      Comment


                      • Love on Wheels (1932). Not quite On the Buses: The Musical, more like Trouble in Store: No Norman Wisdom, with Jack Hulbert and Leonora Corbett regular passengers on Gordon Harker's Green Line bus who fall for each other. This despite Jack being an absolute idiot, albeit later with "inspired" advertising ideas and Leonora a talented musician whose best job is the plonk the ivories in a thieves' kitchen. There are really dreadful, dreadful songs throughout the silly thing, though it's interesting to see Selfridges in the 1930s. Edmund Gwenn sans rug, Miles Malleson avec, Roland Culver with bad teeth and Martita Hunt with undignified diction are also on board.

                        Comment


                        • The Strange Affair (1968). And this is not quite The Blue Lamp, but David Greene's downbeat but flashy depiction of corruption in the Met which sucks in naïve new copper Peter Strange. Michael York plays him with his open face up against Jeremy Kemp with his sweaty pock-marked one, with Susan George looking terrific as Michaels' underage flappy girlfriend and the villains are led by craggy Jack Watson with his two Kray Brothers-like sons played by Richard Vanstone and David Glaisyer. New Scotland Yard is shown like a monolithic building and multi-storey car park with George A. Cooper, Artro Morris, Michael Gover and Patrick Connor within its ranks and the civilians include Madge Ryan, George Benson and Rita Webb. The psychedelic 60s London is pictured well and there's of course an extended love-making scene which, however, has direct relevance to the plot for once. Kemp provides the most memorable performance as the intense and obsessed/borderline mad detective, albeit it's a mannered and somewhat theatrical one. Basil Kirchin and Jack Nathan provide their usual score.

                          IMDb has one of its best howlers for this film, as it claims the singer in the group in the pub scene, 'The Blue Mountain Boys', John E. Paul, is the actor John Paul.
                          Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 22nd October 2017, 07:10 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Time Flies (1944). Indeed it does and thereby creates the mystery as to why Tommy Handley, the star of this early time travel film, was so popular during the Second World War. Walter Forde directs this musical comedy in which Handley, Evelyn Dall and George Moon are transported from 1943 New York to 16th century England and the court of Queen Elizabeth in Felix Aylmer's time machine. Lots of nonsense ensues, with good production values in the sets and costumes, if not the script. Aylmer is ideal casting as the doddery professor and there's a brief appearance from Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt in more or less their Jerry and Albert roles, their last time together, I believe.

                            Comment


                            • The Whisperers (1966). Bryan Forbes' sombre study of old age in bleak Manchester opens in very CORONATION STREET-like manner, but with beautifully framed and lit images from Gerry Turpin, who does superb work throughout the film, along with superb set design by Ray Simm, set dressing by Peter James (who gets a prominent credit in the main titles) and unobtrusive music by John Barry. However, the star of this is certainly Edith Evans in her award-winning role as the lonely Margaret Ross, who thinks she hears voices in her flat as a distraction from her empty life. When others do interact with her, her criminal son Charlie, the devious Noonan family and her long-absent husband Archie, they all use her mercilessly. Eric Portman plays Archie in the second half of the film and he's excellent too and Avis Bunnage is marvellously manipulating as Mrs. Noonan. Nanette Newman inevitably appears as the girl in the upstairs flat, but it's only Gerald Sim as National Assistance man Mr. Conrad who is kindly towards Margaret. The kind of the film which lingers with you long after viewing.

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