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Watched Last Night

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  • Where have all the People gone? (Peter Graves, Kathleen Quinlan 1974). Made for TV and the copy the Amazon streaming service uses seems to have been taped off-air and copied a few times just for good measure. Anyway...Peter Graves is out with his kids huntin' & fishin' when a truly epic solar flare makes everything go haywire. People die, turning to white powder and animals go berserk. The electricity supply is off and the phones don't work. Most cars are out of action too. What follows is somewhat episodic as they attempt to get home to see if Mrs Graves has got the tea on. Along the way they pick up a young lad who has lost his parents to raiders, and I was expecting Mr Graves to ask him if he had ever been inside a Turkish prison but it didn't happen.


    • I'm almost halfway through disc one of "Pretenders", the 70's TV series starring Frederick Jaeger.
      I watched this when it was first televised & it always stuck in my memory.
      It captures the time of the Monmouth rebellion brilliantly & I am thoroughly enjoying it!


      • Farewell Again (1937). A troopship bringing home a regiment to England after five years in India is given just six hours to turn around and head out to the near east for an indefinite tour. We are given the interwoven stories of the officers and men on board, their wives and family with them, and their girlfriends who are not. Above decks, the officers and their ladies dance away the evenings in dress uniforms supping pink gins and below decks, the ordinary soldiers have jolly old sing-songs and mugs of tea.
        A terribly dated and sentimental film which is also an unsubtle propaganda piece showing how everyone rallies round for King and Empire, in some ways this is a kind of precursor to In Which We Serve, but with a much more hackneyed storyline. Leslie Banks plays the colonel commanding with Flora Robson as his sickly wife, while Sebastian Shaw is the womanising captain who falls for the ship's nurse Patricia Hilliard. Robert Newton's ultra-jealous private has about the daftest story arc and even the comic come-uppance of professed bachelor Alf Goddard, who has to face his missus Edie Martin, is thrown away. Also featured are Anthony Bushell, Martita Hunt, Edward Lexy, Wally Patch and John Laurie. Directed by Tim Whelan with interiors photographed by James Wong Howe.
        Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 24th March 2019, 07:02 PM.


        • The Iron Maiden (Michael Craig, Cecil Parker et al, 1962. Dir Gerald Thomas). Woke up a bit early today and couldn't get back to sleep so put the telly on to see this just about to begin. It's one of those 'cast of thousands' British productions, an all-star bash, a veritable who's that? of British film talent of the time, plus a few token Americans including Alan Hale Jr, fresh from steamin' and a-rollin' as Casey Jones. The plot, such as it is, concerns a deal between a British aircraft firm and an American buyer in danger of being scuppered because the buyer's daughter and the designer don't hit it off. At least I think that was it as my attention was quickly taken up in spotting all the famous faces and trying to remember their names and what I knew them from.
          In all, a gently amusing film but not particularly outstanding in any area.


          • Make-up (1937). I've never been that keen on circuses or circus films, so there's a black mark against this one before it starts. Furthermore, it stars the stiffest of stiffest actors Nils Asther as a doctor who, shades of James Stewart in The Greatest Show on Earth, makes his living in make-up as a clown. I can never understand why the audiences scream with laughter as soon as a clown appears in a circus ring, but we get plenty of that in this slow and dreary drama which involves two women in love with boring old Nils who has a jealous rival in lion tamer Kenne(th) Duncan, all eye-liner and whips. The usually lively June Clyde and Judy Kelly are as tiresome as the rest of the cast, with the exception of John Turnbull and Lawrence Grossmith who provide momentarily mild amusement in a boasting drunk scene. However, overall the thing is possibly a good contender for The Dullest Show on Earth.


            • Berserk (1967). Being a glutton for punishment, I rolled up for another circus yarn, but at least one that is pottily entertaining and inadvertently amusing. Joan Crawford displays samples of her New York wardrobe as well as a custom-made leotard by Edith Head as the owner of The Great Rivers Circus which manages to skip from Leeds to Liverpool to London with the same audience, but at each stop bloodily minus a member of the troupe. Scotland Yard sends in dapper Robert Hardy to investigate, while Joan grittily declaims every line she's got to ensure she's not outshone by Ty Hardin, Diana Dors, Michael Gough, Judy Geeson and Philip Madoc. Who's next for the chop, and who is responsible?
              Long sequences of circus acts involving elephants, performing poodles and lions pad out the nasty yet camp proceedings and, just as we get to the climax, the film stops dead once more, this time for Ted Lune, Golda Casimir, George Claydon and Milton Reid to sing a song. A typical Herman Cohen mixture of flash and gore shot in vivid Technicolor by Desmond Dickinson, but apart from the demise of one of the characters, directed with little flair by Jim O'Connolly: Herman and Jim also manage to get themselves into the never-changing big top audience.


              • Intimate Relations (1937). June Clyde redeems herself in what sounds like an adult film, but is in fact a brisk, carefree, but quite daft comedy. She plays showgirl Molly who is admired by philandering millionaire Garry Marsh. Meanwhile, Garry's wife Vera Bogetti admires Christopher Trace lookalike Jack Hobbs, who does not return her feelings and tries to get out of it by saying he's engaged to June; unfortunately, he does not know Garry's infatuation for her. The usual nonsense ensues, with Moore Marriott tripping around the sidelines as Molly's impecunious and drunken stepfather. Oliver Gordon is also rather good as the snooty impertinent (and ultimately inebriated) butler.
                There are three reasonably tuneful songs for June to sing, although the duet with Jack goes on for several verses too many, and director Clayton Hutton keeps the insignificant proceedings moving along quite nicely.


                • A flurry of good films on TV (on BBC2 so no ad breaks)

                  The Wooden Horse (1950)

                  Scott of the Antarctic (1948)

                  Odette (1950)

                  A very good flurry



                  • The Kitchen (1961). A high drama ensemble piece set in a busy London restaurant kitchen, a literal sweat shop, and all life is there with raised emotions and racial tensions. From an Arnold Wesker play, the subject matter is maybe better suited to the small screen - the exterior scenes add little to the ongoings - but the energetic direction from James Hill and classy editing by Gerry Hambling keep things on simmer until they boil over. Highly-strung cook Carl Mohner has a massive chip on his shoulder and is a recipe for disaster as he generally dislikes just about everyone, but has a passion for waitress Mary Yeomans. Eric Pohlmann is the proprietor and Charles Lloyd Pack the disinterested head chef with Brian Phelan, James Bolam, Gertan Klauber, Martin Boddey, Sean Lynch and Frank Atkinson all failing to spoil the broth, but the best work comes from Tom Bell who has a splendid monologue about halfway through.


                    • Paddington (2014)

                      A little bear from darkest Peru, travels to London in search of a home.
                      Charming and witty version of the Michael Bond children's stories, with some good jokes, mostly at the expense of the prevention of children doing anything vaguely risky. The Snowflake brigade, several years before the term was invented.
                      Paddington himself is nicely voiced by Ben Whishaw, and there is energetic support from Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi.
                      Fun family entertainment.


                      • Oh, Boy! (1938). Weed Percy Flower is given a potion that transforms him into a veritable Casanova, but it also gradually regresses him into a baby. This is somewhat unfortunate because he has to foil American hoods from stealing the Crown Jewels as well as win back his girlfriend from his bitter rival . . .
                        Albert Burdon puts in a typically energetic performance as poor Percy in this genuinely amusing comedy directed at breakneck speed by Albert de Courville. The sequences where it's peewee Percy are well done with a mixture of decent special effects and large sets not unlike Brats and The Devil-Doll and Percy speaks like the voices in the Haribo Starmix adverts. Mary Lawson is the ingénue this time with Robert Cochran as the large bully who is also after her hand, Jay Laurier is Percy's beefeater father and the crooks are played by Bernard Nedell, Edmon Ryan and Edmund Dalby.
                        Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 3rd April 2019, 08:45 AM.


                        • The Wicker Man :The final Cut(1973)

                          Three versions of this now available as we still do not get the complete version,

                          This one is billed as " Approved by director Robin Hardy, The Final Cut is the finest and most complete version of The Wicker Man. Featuring brand new extras, this 40th anniversary edition is every The Wicker Man fan's perfect ending to a much mythicised search for the most complete version of the film. Having left no stone unturned in the search for the original film materials, the ghosts have now been laid to rest, as we can finally and happily confirm, that this is The Final Cut."

                          This one is shorn of 10mins,lt;maybe one day we will get THE complete version.

                          Here is the Comparison
                          • Theatrical Version
                          • Final Cut

                          • Theatrical Version
                          • Unrated

                          • Theatrical Version
                          • Director's Cut



                          • Originally posted by cassidy View Post
                            I watched four episodes back to back of the excellent Killing Eve series including the final episode which I downloaded. It took me a while to get into this as I watched the first couple of episodes straight after watching Bodyguard. I'm glad however that I stayed with it as each episode became more gripping As the final episode is due to be shown this Saturday I wont go into detail apart from praising the standard of the acting particularly the main leads Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Kim Bodnia.
                            I've just read that the new series of Killing Eve coming soon was written by Emerald Fennell, the dolly redhead who played one of the midwives in Call The Midwife. Is that really true? Amazing how these people can turn their hands to different skills!


                            • Still qualifies as "Last Night", I think.

                              Bank Shot (1974)

                              A film I last watched back in 1986 and a lot funnier than I gave it credit for at the time. With the help of some unlikely accomplices, including Sorrell Brooke and a neck-braced Bibi Osterwald, escaped prisoner George C. Scott masterminds an ingenious bank robbery - stealing not just the money but the bank itself.

                              I vaguely remembered the scene in the sauna where Joanna Cassidy seduces George, and a beautiful silhouette shot of the gang unloading their equipment but very little else. Not even the entertaining police car/mobile bank chase that almost ended the movie. The overlong final shot slightly spoilt this underrated heist caper, I'm afraid (it was similar to the ending of Catch 22, which, coincidentally, Bob Balaban was also in). Clifton James got most of the laughs as the dogged prison warden who never quite catches up with the team. Bank Shot is paired with a more obvious George C. Scott classic on my 'barebones' DVD copy,The Hospital.

                              Followed by an historic episode of Dark Shadows. This was the last one videotaped in black-and-white and ended with the DRAMATIC return of Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott) to the Collinsport community. She escapes too (from a sanitarium), thanks to her nine-year-old ghost friend Sarah Collins (Sharon Smyth). The former waitress had been officially declared "dead" by doctors in order to protect her from vampire Barnabas Collins, Sarah's 150-year-old brother, who happens to be in The Blue Whale as she enters.


                              • Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party (1968). "Is it good?" childlike Meg (Dandy Nichols) might have asked. Well, it depends on your definition of "good", your tolerance for Pinter's repetitive, non-sequitur dialogue and if you can get past that "what the hell is going on here?" feeling. Unlikely bedfellows Pinter, William Friedkin and Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky keep this mainly stuck in the front room of a seedy Worthing boarding house ineptly run by Dandy and Moultrie Kelsall with their one lodger, mysterious on-edge loafer Stanley, played by Robert Shaw. Then along come two "gentlemen", Sydney Tafler and Patrick Magee, who quickly take over the place with their focus on Stan and an oppressive aura of unease and tension builds up. Helen Fraser pops in a couple of times as the silly Lulu. All of the characters do odd things and seem to live in their own worlds. Technically, the film is well-made, and although some critics rave about the genius of Pinter and his mastery of language, others are content to regard the work as pretentious and unstructured claptrap. Take your choice.