o/t: it’s back! – Todd Mason’s Overlooked A/V: links to reviews, etc. of films, tv, radio, podcasts, stage drama, museum shows, videogames and more . . .

After a short hiatus, here’s the welcome return of Todd’s ever-rewarding roundup, Click HERE to be taken to Todd’s Sweet Freedom blog and all the individual links.

A. J. Wright: Whispering City; Marilyn McCoo

Alice Chang: Dark Souls; PlayStation 4; Persona 5; Ori and the Blind Forest

the Allan Fish Online Film Festival 2017

Anne Billson: Diamonds Are Forever (Cat of the Day)

The Big Broadcast: 21 May 2017

Bill Crider: Our Miss Brooks (1956 film) [trailer]; She’s All That [trailer]; Return of the Lash; The Man in the Iron Mask (1939 film) [trailer]; Mainly Millicent: with Roger Moore as James Bond (1964)

Bob Freelander: The Last Detail (1973)

Brandon Smith: Underrated 1987 films

Brian Arnold: The Milton Berle Show: 1966 episode with guests Adam West, Van Williams and Bruce Lee

Brian Busby: The Critical Age; The Patriot (1998 film)

Brian Lindenmuth: John Tuska on western film and westerns generally; films from Dorothy M. Johnson’s fiction

B.V. Lawson: Media Murder; Mystery Melange

Chuck Rothman: Whale Rider

Colin McGulgan: The Flying Scot; The Wild One; The Earth Dies Screaming; The Shakedown

Comedy Film Nerds: Steve Byrne; David Huntsberger; Jackie Kashian: spoiler discussion of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2; Steve Gillespie

Cult TV: Special Branch: “Intercept”; The Frighteners: “Bed and Breakfast”

Cynthia Fuchs: Nerve; Patriots Day; The Neon Demon

Dan Stumpf: Return to Warbow: Sing and Like It; The Hustler

Dana Gould: Eddie Pepitone; Ken Reid; Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?; Lizzie Borden

David Cramner: backgammon in film and literature; Aldous Huxley on TechnoDictators

David Vineyard: This Man is News

Earl Green: Trying Times (courtesy Brian Arnold)

Elgin Bleecker: Naked City (1948 film); Line of Duty

Elizabeth Foxwell: Shield for Murder: 99 River Street; George V. Higgins speaks (1985); House by the River; David C. Raskin: Lie Detection and the Judicial System (1975 lecture)

Evan Lewis: The Maltese Falcon and related matter: The Adventures of Sam Spade: “The Kandy Tooth”; The Maltese Falcon (1941 film); Satan Met a Lady; The Maltese Falcon (1931 film); &…Star Trek Continues: “Pilgrim of Eternity”; The Brasher Doubloon

The Faculty of Horror: The Descent

George Kelley: Cabaret (current stage production); The Grace Kelly Collection

Hal Horn: Underrated 1987 films

How Did This Get Made?: Stealth; My Stepmother is an Alien

Iba Dawson: The Get-Down; Turner Classic Film Festival 2017: Ntrate; Pre-Code Films

International Waters: Graham Elwood; Guy Branum; Caroline Mabey; Lucy Pearman; host Dave Holmes; Bil Dwyer, Ophira Eisenberg, Tom Bell, and Holly Burn

Ivan G. Shreve Jr.: Spotlight Scandals; the color episodes of The Andy Griffith Show; The Mysterious Airman; Trials of O’Brien; Never Let Me Go; Calvin and the Colonel; Feel My Pulse; Afraid to Talk; Crime Does Not Pay: “A Thrill for Thelma”; Blondes and Redheads: Pre-Code Comedy Classics, Volume 2; Swiss Family Robinson (1940 film); Early Women Filmmakers

J Kingston Pierce: Roger Moore; more on Moore

Jack Seabrook: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: “The Gentleman Caller”; “Return of Verge Likens”; “Bed of Roses”

Jackie Kashian/The Dork Forest: David Huntsberger; Bryan Cook; Renee Camus; Al Madrigal (on Lee Child); Scott Rogers

Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin: The Jackie and Laurie Show

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Feud: Bette and Joan; The Pied Piper (1942 film); Five Stars: Teresa Wright, Ann Blyth (surprise!), Joseph Cotten, Paul Lukas, Wallace Ford

Jake Hinkson: Dekalog; They Live by Night

James Clark: The Wind Will Carry Us; Ten (2002 Iranian film)

James Curtiss: Underrated 1987 films

James Reasoner: Whispering Smith; Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story; Broken Trail (2006 telefilm); My Favorite Brunette

Janet Varney/The JV Club: Christine Lennon; University of Chicago Sex Week Panel; Kristina Rodgers

J.D. Lafrance: Frantic

Jedidiah Ayres: Small Crimes

Jerry House: I Married Joan; The White House Correspondents Dinner; The Burns and Allen Show (radio): “What’s Wrong with Gracie”; Mr. I. A. Moto: “Project 77”; Postmark for Danger; The Lady from Chungking; The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: last episode; The Clock: “Nicky”; This is Your FBI: “The Friendly Killer”; The Adventures of Topper

John Grant: Un Crime; A Time to Kill (1955 film); Wrong Number (2002 film); Powers Boothe; “Tragic Error”; The Mysterious Doctor; Inquest; The Purple Gang; “Los Crímenes”

John Scoleri: Dark Shadows Before I Die

John Varley: Death Race 2050; Empire of the Sun

Jonathan Lewis: Rage (1972 film); The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave; The Treasure of Pancho Villa; Ghost Town (1988 film)

Judy Gold/Kill Me Now: Felicia Michaels

Karen Hannsberry: Great Villain Blogathon; Five Stars: Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer, Barbara Stanwyk, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis; Hold Your Man

Kate Laity: “Witches” at September Gallery

Ken Levine: next season’s sitcoms; sitcom writing underachievement

Kim Newman: Kaboom; Don’t Let Him In; Cobra Woman

Kliph Nesteroff: The Steve Allen Christmas Show (1961); The Paul Lynde Show (with guest Jodie Foster).[..a vintage example of sub-par sitcom writing…]; East Side, West Side: “The Beatnik and the Politician” with Alan Arkin

Kristina Dijan: The Invisible Ray; Union Depot; Great Villains Blogathon; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Laura G: Disneyland; Split Second; Dina Merrill and Roger Moore; Daredevils of the Red Circle; Challenge to Lassie; Spencer’s Mountain; All the King’s Men; Hollow Triumph; The Big Heat; Iron Man (1951 film); The Man Who Cheated Himself; Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival 2017

Lindsey D: Eyewitness (1956 film); Let’s Make It Legal; Topper Returns; Extraordinary Tales; Two on a Guillotine

The Long Shot: Tim Baltz; Helen Hong; Paul Danke; Jordan Brady

Louis Fowler: South Bronx Heroes; The Firm

Maria Alexander: What Star Wars (including the radio series) meant for me…

Mark Anthony Lacy: Top 12 1960s sexploitation films

Martin Edwards: Dead Man’s Evidence; Don’t Talk to Strange Men; Crimefest; Allied; Thriller of the Year (stage); Danger by My Side; Stranger in Town

Marty McKee: The Return of Count Yorga; Prescription: Murder (Columbo pilot); Silent Rage; Around the World Under the Sea: Night Patrol; Jungle Moon Men

Mildred Perkins: The Dressmaker

Mitchell Hadley: New York City-area television, 22 May 1968; Roger Moore; TV Guide 18 May 1968

Movie Sign with the Mads: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai; The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Noel Vera: Takaw Tukso (“Passion Play”); MNL 143

Patti Nase Abbott: 30 Rock; 1984 (1984 film); Late Night with David Letterman; A Quiet Passion

Patricia Nolan-Hall: Ricardo Cortez; Simon and Laura; Five Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, James Cagney, Laurel and Hardy, John Wayne; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Dial M for Murder (1954); Little Boy Lost; Me and My Pal; The Far Country

Paul D Brazill: Dog Soldiers; Last Cab to Darwin; Len and Company

The Projection Booth: The Lost One; The Ninth Configuration; Who is Arthur Chu?; Mommie Dearest; Wanda Whips Wall Street; Rick Marx; Tami Stronach

Raquel Stecher: The Beguiled; Dancing Lady; What’s Up, Doc?; The China Syndrome

Ren Zelen: Something Wild

Rick: The African Queen; Five Stars: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Katherine Hepburn; Young Sherlock Holmes; Billy Wider; Marlowe; equestrian films

Rod Lott: Wolves at the Door; The Circle; Rest Stop: SST: Death Flight; SnakeEater; SnakeEater II: The Drug Buster; The Belko Experiment

Ruth Kerr: Night Nurse; You Can’t Take It With You; Five Stars: Ida Lupino, The Nicholas Brothers, Thelma Ritter, John Wayne; Stella Dallas; TCM Classic Film Festival

Salome Wilde: A Woman’s Face (1938 Sweden and 1941 US); Laird Cregar; Five Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Gabin, Ida Lupino, Lauren Bacall, Peter Lorre; Nazi noir: The Murderers are Among Us; Turn the Key Softly; noir and the Oscars; Finger of Guilt (aka Intimate Stranger)

Scott Cupp: Arsene Lupin; The Giant Claw; The Neanderthal Man (1953 film); Reaper: Pilot

Sergio Angelini: Last Resort; The Woman in Green; The Marseilles Contract

Stacia Kissick Jones: Johnny Guitar; Gas-s-s-s

Stacie Ponder: The Fog

Steve Lewis: The House That Dripped Blood; The Murder of Dr. Harrigan; Hero; Company Business; Medicine Man (1992 film)

Television Obscurities: The Halls of Ivy: “The Old Professor Forgets His Umbrella”

Todd Liebenow: Underrated 1987 films

Tynan: Roman Holiday; Blue Jay; East of Eden

Vienna: The Jimmy Stewart Museum; Ricardo Cortez; Charles McGraw

Wayne Dundee: Arizona Bushwhackers

She Devil (1957)

|
The fruitfly serum transforms her into a femme fatale!
|

US / 78 minutes / bw / Regal, TCF Dir & Pr: Kurt Neumann Scr: Carroll Young, Kurt Neumann Story: “The Adaptive Ultimate” (1935 Astounding) by John Jessel (i.e., Stanley G. Weinbaum) Cine: Karl Struss Cast: Mari Blanchard, Jack Kelly, Albert Dekker, John Archer, Fay Baker, Blossom Rock (i.e., Marie Blake), Paul Cavanagh, Helen Jay.

Dr. Richard Bach (Dekker)—who appears to be both a brilliant surgeon and president of Grand Mercy Hospital—arrives home from a foreign business trip to discover that his protege, close friend and housemate, medical researcher Dr. Dan Scott (Kelly), has developed a new serum, one that in animal tests has effected miraculous cures for what should have been terminal illnesses/injuries.

Hannah Blossom Rock (i.e., Marie Blake) welcomes Richard (Albert Dekker) home.

The theoretical underpinning of Dan’s work could be regarded as a sort of bastard offspring of various pseudo-Lamarckian theories of evolution:

Dan: “. . . the new research I mentioned before you left. It’s a project designed to prove that the cure of any disease or injury is essentially a product of adaptation.”
Richard: “Oh, yes. You were proceeding on the theory that all living organisms possess the ability, in more or less degree, to heal themselves.”
Dan: “By adapting themselves to any harmful change in their environment. A lizard, for example, will shed an injured tail—grow a new one. A chameleon will change its color for self-protection.”
Richard: “And you hope to develop a cure-all serum from insects, since they are the most adaptive of all living organisms?”
Dan: “Exactly. So I have developed a serum from the most highly evolved and most adaptive of all insects—the fruitfly. It’s the one insect that’s known to produce a higher percentage of mutants—or changelings—than any other.”

A fruitfly (uncredited).

Incidentally, that sentence of Dan’s—“It’s a project designed to prove that the cure of any disease or injury is essentially a product of adaptation”—contains multiple misunderstandings of the way that science works. First, unlike mathematics, science doesn’t deal in proofs. Second, any project that decides its desired result from the outset is profoundly unscientific, for reasons enlarged upon in my book Corrupted Science: Fraud, Ideology and Politics in Science (2007; new, revised and vastly expanded edition expected *koff koff plug plug* in March/April 2018 from See Sharp Press).

Dan (Jack Kelly) explains his breakthrough to Richard (Albert Dekker).

Likewise, fruitflies are not at all “the most highly evolved of all insects” (it’s precisely because they’re so rudimentary that insecticides are so ineffective against them) and I don’t think it’s the case that they’re especially adaptive: it’s just that individuals have short lifespans and thus there are more generations within any particular period of time; more generations per (say) month means more mutations per month, making fruitflies a good experimental subject for students of heredity.

But I digress.

Returning to the plot: As noted, Dan’s experiments on animals have been highly successful, the only oddity being that the leopard he cured has now turned black. He’s keen to experiment on a human subject. Despite initial concerns about the ethics, Richard agrees to set him up with a patient who, while facing imminent, inescapable death, is yet compos mentis enough to give consent to the experiment.

Kyra (Mari Blanchard) was on the brink of death . . .

. . .  but now look at her!

That patient proves to be Kyra Zelas (Blanchard), at death’s door because of tuberculosis. Within hours she’s not just cured but Continue reading

o/t: the Medicine in the Movies Blogathon

Charlene of Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews announced this some little while ago, but I learned about it just yesterday. Charlene has most kindly allowed a very late enrollment from me, so expect my post on the blistering quasi-noirish medical-sf “classic” She Devil (1957) to appear on Saturday.

In the meantime, to learn about all the other excitements that will be appearing over the weekend, click on the picture below.

oie_x8KTlPj7fSnV

Save

Save

Save

Wrong Number (2002)

|
Not sorry?
|

Canada, US / 97 minutes / color / Northern Eagle/Triton, Tsunami Dir: Richard Middleton Pr: Ken Nakamura, Tim Riley Scr: Richard Middleton Story: Lorna Lambert Cine: Walter Bal Cast: Brigitte Bako, David Lipper, Kane Picoy, Barry Blake, Eric Roberts, Cas Anver (i.e., Cas Anvar), Simon Peacock, Jo Marr, Karen Cliche, Chip Chuipka.

I went into this not expecting a huge amount but found it to be one of the more engaging neonoirs I’ve seen in a while.

Starting from the opening credits, our intermittent narrator is Josh Grey (Roberts), recently murdered by person or persons unknown. As he tells us,

“They say sometimes there are three sides to every story—his side, her side, and the truth. This is one of those stories.”

And he’s right. Even though we might expect him, as someone speaking from the afterlife, to know the truth of the matter, he’s guessing as much as the rest of us are as we watch a set of narratives in which it seems just about every narrator is an unreliable one.

Eric Roberts as Josh Grey.

Brigitte Bako as Dana Demotte.

Let me qualify that “set of narratives” remark. There are plenty of movies—a classic recent example is the wonderful À LA FOLIE . . . PAS DU TOUT (2002; vt He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not) starring the equally wonderful Audrey Tautou—in which we’re presented with first one and then another account of a sequence of events, the second account forcing us to radically reappraise our initial impression. In Wrong Number the variant accounts are presented almost as if part of a single narrative: we’re never quite sure who if anyone is the false narrator.

I should add that Wrong Number has a lot of the feel of a (very good) TV movie. But pay attention to Continue reading

reblog: Raymond Burr Centennial

** When I read this stupendous (and very well illustrated) essay on one of the greats of the noirish screen, I hesitated about one millisecond before asking blogger Brian Camp if I might reblog it here. He kindly assented, so . . .

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Raymond Burr would have turned 100 today, May 21, 2017. He’s most famous for three roles, two on television and one in the movies. On television he first starred in “Perry Mason,” portraying the title character, a criminal defense attorney who won almost every case he took. The series premiered on CBS in 1957 (sixty years ago this fall) and ran for nine seasons (until 1966). He then returned to the role in a run of 26 TV movies that began in 1985 and continued until his death in 1993. (The final film aired after his death.)

Perry Mason 1957:

Perry Mason 1985:

View original post 4,596 more words

Erreur Tragique (1913)

|
Noirish’s humble contribution to the Allan Fish Online Film Festival!
|

vt Tragic Error
France / 25 minutes / bw silent / Gaumont Dir & Scr: Louis Feuillade Cine: uncredited Cast: Suzanne Grandais, René Navarre, Marie Dorly, Ernest Bourbon, Paul Manson.

According to the opening intertitle, René, Marquis de Romiguières (Navarre), and his wife Suzanne (Grandais) are “In their chateau, built atop the battlements of the Cévennes,” where they “enjoy a wonderful honeymoon.” The atmosphere doesn’t seem terribly honeymoonish, to be honest: the couple seem to be a staid and settled pair, content to be waited upon by their elderly housekeeper (Dorly).

One day a note arrives for René from his lawyer, Panonceaux. René’s properties in Paris require some personal attention, and as soon as possible.

Stuck for a couple of days in Paris, far from the arms of his wife, René takes himself to the cinema to see Onésime, Vagabond.

Although, as far as I can establish, Onésime, Vagabond never existed outside the bounds of Erreur Tragique, it’s clearly meant to be one of the (genuine) long-running Onésime series of perhaps nearly eighty silent comedy shorts (authorities differ on the exact number) released between 1910 (Le Rembrandt de la Rue Lepic) and 1918 (Onésime et le Billet de Mille). In the English-language incarnations of these movies the character of Onésime, who was played throughout by Ernest Bourbon (1886–1954), was renamed Simple Simon, which gives you about as much as you need to know of Onésime’s personality: he’s an Innocent Abroad figure whose presence sparks off humor, sometimes quite sharp, sometimes involving social commentary, sometimes of a fantasticated nature. You can watch one of these movies, Onésime Horloger (1912), which falls into the latter category and was written by Feuillade, here (with English intertitles).

While watching Onésime, Vagabond in the Parisian cinema, René is aghast to see none other than his wife Suzanne playing a role. Worse still, the man whose arm she’s on, and who joins her in ribbing the tramp Onésime, is clearly on affectionate terms with her.

Onésime (Ernest Bourbon) clowns on a park bench in front of Suzanne (Suzanne Grandais) and the mystery man (Paul Manson).

You or I might dismiss this as a nothing—who cares if Suzanne was an actress before her marriage, and screen affection is something that actors are paid to mimic—but René falls instantly into the embrace of obsessive jealousy. He Continue reading

reblog: Goodbye Powers Boothe

Reblogged from Shades Of Noir :

 

I am saddened by the recent news of the passing of actor Powers Boothe. He had a long and varied acting career appearing on television and the big screen.  His was a face recognized by many, but perhaps his name was not as well known. As a fan of his work I knew his name. Of all the characters that he portrayed I have two clear favorites, Philip Marlowe and Gideon Malick.

PhillipMarlowe-640x400

393aa1d786792c3ea304d0915ad42053

In the mid 1980’s Powers Boothe brilliantly portrayed Raymond Chandler’s iconic private eye Philip Marlowe. Two all too brief seasons of the show Philip Marlowe, Private Eye aired on HBO in 1983 and 1986. Powers Boothe seemed born to play this role. He excelled at playing the

READ THE REST HERE.

Save

Save

Mysterious Doctor, The (1943)

|
How did the Headless Man choose his victims?
|

US / 57 minutes / bw / Warner–First National Dir: Ben Stoloff Scr: Richard Weil Cine: Henry Sharp Cast: John Loder, Eleanor Parker, Bruce Lester, Lester Matthews, Forrester Harvey, Matt Willis, Frank Mayo, Phyllis Barry, David Clyde, Clyde Cook, Harold De Becker, Crauford Kent, Leo White.

One foggy night in darkest Cornwall a peddler (De Becker), terrified by local legends of the Headless Man—the ghost of tin miner Black Morgan, who lost his head in a dispute over the ownership of the Wickham Mine—conquers his fears enough to give a lift to a stranger, Dr. Frederick Holmes (Matthews), ostensibly on a walking tour of the English Southwest. (And a very rapid if rather aimless walker, be it noted: we later discover he was in Camborne, in Dorset, the night before, and St. Ives, in Cornwall, the night before that!)

Holmes hitches a lift from the peddler (Harold De Becker).

The peddler drops Holmes off at the Running Horse Inn in the village of Morgan’s Head. There the stranger discovers that the publican, Simon Tewkesbury (Mayo), wears a hangman-style leather hood at all times because, years ago, a stick of dynamite went off in his face. (The hood is going to play an important, albeit outlandishly implausible, part in the plot later on.)

 The foreboding figure of barman Simon Tewkesbury (Frank Mayo).

Holmes also discovers that the locals are suspicious of and resentful of visitors—

Simon: “Us folks in Morgan’s Head don’t like to be laughed at, Dr. ’Olmes. Especially by strangers we don’t.”

—unless said strangers buy drinks all round, a trick taught to Holmes by village tosspot Hugh Penrhyn (Harvey). Those drinks are our first sign that this movie, though set in England, was a US product: the beers come Continue reading

Inquest (1939)

|
One of the earliest Boulting Brothers movies!
|

UK / 58 minutes / bw / Charter, Grand National Dir: Roy Boulting Pr: John Boulting Scr: Francis Miller, Michael Barringer Story: Inquest (1931 play) by Michael Barringer Cine: D.P. Cooper Cast: Elizabeth Allan, Herbert Lomas, Hay Petrie, Basil Cunard, Barbara Everest, Olive Sloane, Philip Friend, Harold Anstruther, Malcolm Morley, Jean Shepherd, R. Watts-Philipp, Richard Coke, Charles Stevenson, Jack Greenwood, Peter Madren.

Bucolic scenes . . . a cricket match on the village green . . . dozing dotards and their dogs . . . ruminating cows . . . the village pub . . .

And then suddenly the spell is broken as a shot rings out.

In the attic of Cove Cottage a rummaging William Trelease (Stevenson) has Continue reading

Purple Gang, The (1959)

|
A “youthful rat-pack of terrorists”!
|

US / 85 minutes / bw / Allied Artists Dir: Frank McDonald Pr: Lindsley Parsons Scr: Jack DeWitt Cine: Ellis Carter Cast: Barry Sullivan, Robert Blake, Elaine Edwards, Marc Cavell, Jody Lawrance, Suzy Marquette, Joseph Turkel, Victor Creatore, Paul Dubov, Dirk London, Kathleen Lockhart, Nestor Paiva, Lou Krugman, Robert Anderson, Mauritz Hugo, Danny Mummert, John Close, Ralph Sanford, George Baxter, Paul McGuire, David Tomack, Don Haggerty, Congressman James Roosevelt.

This gives the impression—complete with pompous introduction from a political stuffed shirt—of being a dramatized documentary about the real-life Purple Gang, which terrorized Detroit during the 1920s and 1930s, but in fact its moments of consonance with the historical reality are fairly few and far between, and usually consist of the scripters merely incorporating a stray aspect of the truth in hopes it’ll somehow stand in for all the rest. Just to add to the air of divorcement from reality, while the setting is stated to be the late 1920s and the early 1930s, there’s no effort, through costume or effects, to place the action anywhere else but in the 1940s.

Congressman Roosevelt introduces our tale.

The stuffed shirt in question is Congressman James Roosevelt, Chairman (it says here) of the Committee on Narcotics of the California Delegation in the Congress of the United States, who bizarrely addresses most of his remarks not to the camera but slightly to our right of it. After he’s done, we then get a scrolled legend aiming to persuade us further of the movie’s authenticity:

This picture is based on Continue reading