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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Franco Zeffirelli ~ Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972) Graham Faulkner & Judi Bowker




Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Italian: Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna) is a 1972 film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Graham Faulkner and Judi Bowker. The film is a biopic of Saint Francis of Assisi.

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DIANA RIGG The Hothouse (1964) A Hazard of Hearts (1987) The Haunting of Helen Walker (1995) Valerie Bertinelli





 







The Hothouse (1964) Diana Rigg TV debut

Donald Churchill is Gordon Parsley
Miranda Connell is Charlotte Parsley
Harry H. Corbett is Harry Fender
Michael Darlow is MC
and
Diana Rigg is Anita Fender

Miss Rigg debut TVappearance which wold eventually lead to Emma Peel in classic TV series “The Avengers” co-starring Patrick Macnee as John Steed.

Director: Guy Verney
Writer: Donald Churchill

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Armchair Theatre: Season 5, Episode 9 ... The Hothouse (13 Dec. 1964)


The Haunting of Helen Walker (1995) Valerie Bertinelli and Diana Rigg
TV remake of the Henry James' classic tale "Turn of the Screw", with changes in location and character names. A live in nanny discovers two children haunted by the spirits and deeds of their former care givers.

TV date: Dec. 3rd, 1995

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A Hazard of Hearts (1987) Diana Rigg, Helena Bonham Carter

A romantic film starring Helena Bonham Carter in one of her first major roles. Based on a novel by Barbara Cartland and released in 1987.

Directed by John Hough
Written by Barbara Cartland (novel), Terence Feely
Based on A Hazard of Hearts by Barbara Cartland
Starring Diana Rigg, Edward Fox, Helena Bonham Carter, Fiona Fullerton
Distributed by Gainsborough Pictures
Release date: 27 December 1987
Running time: 90 minutes
Country: United Kingdom

Plot

Compulsive gambler, Sir Giles Staverley, is tricked into gambling away his home by his old adversary Lord Harry Wrotham. As Staverley is distraught and desperate, Wrotham gives him one last chance - he will gamble everything Staverley has lost against Staverley's daughter's hand in marriage and her trust fund of 80,000 guineas. Staverley agrees and loses once again, but unable to face his daughter, Serena, he kills himself. Lord Justin Vulcan, a notoriously cool, clear-headed gambler, challenges Wrotham for the house and the girl and, much to Wrotham's disgust, wins. Justin now finds himself in possession of the house and Serena, but has no idea of what to do with them. After meeting Serena and realising that she is much younger and more attractive than he had imagined, he installs her as a guest at Mandrake, his family home, despite the opposition of Justin's mother, Lady Harriet Vulcan. As Lady Vulcan attempts to marry Serena off to anyone except her son, Serena and Justin become friends and he teaches her about Mandrake, the home he loves.

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Buy one or BOTH Dame Diana Rigg Gems!

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Friday, December 28, 2012

House That Would Not Die (1970) Barbara Stanwyck & Bridge Across Time (1985) David Hasselhoff


Bridge Across Time (1985) David Hasselhoff, Stepfanie Kramer & Randolph Mantooth
London Bridge, London, England, 1888. Jack the Ripper dies in the Thames river. London Bridge, Lake Havasu, Arizona, 1985. The last original stone used to rebuild the London Bridge is laid, all the city is happy. But since that moment some strange murders happen. The policeman Don Gregory has some suspects, but his ideas are quite strange, he thinks about a Jack the Ripper revived. Nobody believes him... Written by Paola Vaccari

Director: E.W. Swackhamer
Writer: William F. Nolan
Release Date: 22 November 1985


The House That Would Not Die (1970) Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Egan
An American gothic horror film directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. Made for television, it was first broadcast as ABC's "Movie of the Week on October 27th, 1970. The film was based on the novel Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels and produced by Aaron Spelling and his production company Aaron Spelling Productions, Worldvision Enterprises.

An old house haunted by the spirits of it's original owners, witchcraft, black magic ... An Aunt and her niece (Barbara Stanwyck & Kitty Winn) inherit the house, but soon find themselves victims of possession. With Michael Anderson Jr.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Angels are our Guardians [Kindle Edition] Fact, Fiction, Fantasy?


“Angels are our Guardians”

Questions: Fact or fantasy? Do Angels exist? Do we really have a Guardian Angel? What is that little voice that warns us? Are there Celestial interventions? Do Guardians Angels guide and protect us?

The answer: Yes. To quote the legendary performer and best-selling authoress, Dale Evans: “How do I know - The Bible tells me so.”

To view on Amazon.com, click on PHOTO to your left ...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Angie Dickinson in The Norliss Tapes (1973) Roy Thinnes


The Norliss Tapes (1973) Roy Thinnes & Angie Dickinson

The Norliss Tapes starring Roy Thinnes and Angie Dickinson is an acclaimed 1970s TV movie which doles out the undead, vampirism and satanism all in one action-packed 72 minutes. Shot almost completely on location in San Francisco and around Carmel, this was more fun than many movie movies at the time. The same mix of police investigation, horror and stunt work that made The Night Stalker work so well.

Like his two Dark Shadows feature films, Dan Curtis successfully transplanted gothic horror into modern day settings, combining Van Helsing monster-hunting with present-day detective work. The Night Stalker and The Norliss Tapes are the seventies equivalent to The X-Files. Series creator Chris Carter even featured actors Darren McGavin (Kolchak) and Roy Thinnes (Norliss) in important episodes. Of course, Thinnes had also starred as paranoid UFO hunter David Vincent in The Invaders TV series.


In The Norliss Tapes, David Norliss is writing a book to debunk the supernatural. A friend calls him in to help a widow who is convinced that she was attacked by her late husband. She says that he was grey, incoherent and survived a shotgun blast in the chest. Could this be the supernatural at work? Is it a coincidence that the walking dead was seen in an old studio where he used to make bizarre sculptures…


Because it’s for TV, the film has to get you interested quickly, and keep you hooked before each ad break. Curtis, also directing here, ensures there’s action or scares at regular intervals – the non-stop highlights that play under the end credits would make a great trailer. The atmosphere is thickened by Robert Cobert's eerie soundtrack, making great use of sawing strings.


Glamorous Angie Dickinson is reduced to the role of damsel in distress, screaming her head off. She had a stronger role in Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill (1980) which is saying something. Smaller parts go to an aging Hurd Hatfield (thirty years after he starred in The Picture of Dorian Gray), and the lovely Vonetta McGee from Blacula.


If you wished there were more Night Stalker episodes, or if you’re into seventies horror, I think this is for you.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fight For Your Lady (1937) John Boles, Jack Oakie, Ida Lupino




Fight For Your Lady (1937) John Boles, Jack Oakie, Ida Lupino
RKO programmer with delightful moments from alluring cast. Starring John Boles, Jack Oakie, Ida Lupino, Margot Grahame and Gordon Jones. Directed by Benjamin Stoloff. Keywords: love, singer, ventriloquist, wrestler, swordsman
TCM airing

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Carol Lynley is Jean HARLOW (1965) Ginger Rogers is Mama Jean



Carol Lynley as HARLOW (1965)

NY Times, May 1965

"The "Harlow" based on Mr. Shulman's handiwork still lurks around the bend, trumpets blaring. Meanwhile, at the Paramount, is the race-winner penned by Karl Tunberg and shot, in the short-cut Electronovision process, apparently before the ink dried. The picture took eight days for filming, the last two due to inclement weather. It didn't rain long enough.

There is, front, center and anything but alluring, Carol Lynley as the nation's movie sex goddess of the thirties. She squeaks, occasionally furrows her youthful brow and twitches her nostrils.


Let's round out the cast. There's Ginger Rogers, as the star's whining, pushing mother; Barry Sullivan, as the girl's lazy, avaricious stepfather; Efrem Zimbalist Jr., as a lofty-nosed actor the heroine finally loves. Hurd Hatfield plays Paul Bern, her "incapable" producer-husband, and Jack Kruschen is Louis B. Mayer, depicted here as a kind of realistic, owlish Santa Claus.

All these, and unfortunates, under Alex Segal's direction, lope through the vignettes of this bony, bargain-basement appraisal of a famous, misguided and tragic young woman. The story, at least as souped up here, never suggests the evolution of a fine comedienne—an actress who learned—whose radiant, white-hot image brightened the screen, glowed and dimmed.

The picture has the tough-minded young heroine falling into her choice "Hell's Angels" role and then battling her mother, stepfather and studio over her sex synonymity, seeking solace in a doomed marriage and finally expiring, rather mysteriously, attended by true love (Mr. Zimbalist) as "Mr. Mayer" intones, "May God rest her soul." Most of the dialogue is atrocious. The picture hovers over the sequence of her tragic alliance with the suicidal Mr. Bern—a brief, amoral aftermath—with peephole solicitude.

Hermione Baddeley totters in with motherly advice to the heroine, playing Marie Dressler. Michael Dante, as a professional lover, clips off the film's most telling line to Miss Lynley: "Everybody has problems. But you stars are the ones who can afford to have them."

The Electronovision rush job on Miss Harlow's life and career is also a dimly-lit business technically. Maybe it's just as well. This much is for sure: Whatever the second "Harlow" picture looks and sounds like, it can't be much worse than the first.

B/W - Overall good quality for this low budget opus filmed in 8 days in EARLY videotape style media.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

D.W. Griffith “America” (1924) Carol Dempster + John Wayne, Red Skelton








“America" is a silent 1924 classic “historical war romance film” which portrays the heroic events during the Revolutionary war created by D. W. Griffith and adapted from Robert W. Chambers’ novel The Reckoning. (Griffith subtitle: Love & Sacrifice)

The plot mainly centers itself on the battles of the New York State with romance sliced into the individual movie scenes.

Starring Carol Dempster, Neil Hamilton
Directed & Produced by D. W. Griffith
Written by Robert W. Chambers
Cinematography, G. W. Bitzer, Marcel Le Picard, Hendrik Sartov, Harold S. Sintzenich
Editing by James Smith, Rose Smith
Studio: D. W. Griffith Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date: February 21, 1924
Runninbg time: 214 minutes

Criticism

The film’s climax was very original and thrilling, as in most other Griffith films, complete with action and exciting stunts in the rescue scenes. However, film critics described the motion picture as lacking in modernity of the time. The movie was unlike the other films of the time at its original release.

The story did not quite fit together as a whole and the order of which scenes were presented in was very confusing to follow, but was rather effective in individual scenes. The usage of title captions was also criticized.

There would be a block of text explaining motifs and character relationships rather than having the characters display them through their acting, which is not made clear on screen.

Reception

America did not spark itself onto the audience as well as Griffith’s previous films did. It is possible that the director had trouble differentiating between the colonists and British, since they both held origins to Great Britain. The audience is not clearly shown who are the antagonists and the protagonists. In addition, the movie’s time frame was not rational.[4] The film’s time period made for a very long romance for Nancy and Holden before they could actually be together, since the first scenes were in 1775, but concluded in 1789. Its failure was perplexing, despite heavy promotion, considering Griffith spent over a million dollars on the production.

Griffith used many popular movie actors at the time, but he felt that there was no need for them to play the roles in his films, and could not afford most of them anyway, after they began to consume nearly all of his money in expensive productions.

As a result, Lillian Gish, who acted in a well known film of his, “Orphans of the Storm,” departed him after he could not pay any more for her services and left him with Carol Dempster who had far less appeal than Gish. She showed very little on-camera allure with Neil Hamilton and only good with reaction scenes and had limited facial expressions.

The film was not completely useless to Griffith, but he was still in debt with massive amounts of money and did not receive that boost of attention he was hoping for.

also on DVD

America, Why I Love Her (1964, 1973) - John Wayne
Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance (1969)
John Wayne - The Pledge of Allegiance (1973)
Taps history told by John Wayne (1973)

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