Ida Lupino and Howard Duff have nothing to work with in this duller than dull movie that comes across like a throwaway episode of a TV anthology series. It sounds like it was recorded in a cave and contains the type of annoying vocalise usually found in cheap SF or horror movies. Music trivia fans take note, this is the movie where the standard “Angel Eyes” was introduced.
Agnes Langley (Ida Lupino) is hired by Lorna Gaye to be the caretaker of the family seven acre country estate. The last caretaker was Lorna’s cousin Jennifer who disappeared. Lorna wants local businessman Jim Hollis (Howard Duff) to look in on Agnes to see how she’s doing.
Agnes finds Jennifer’s diary and gets curious about what happened to her. Holis delivers her groceries. Not bad since he owns the store. Nineteen year old Orin (Robert Nichols) is a handyman who works for Holis. He’s loaded with theories about what happened to Jennifer.
Agnes turns up a 78 record of weird music and then a bank book with seventy thousand dollars in it. She thinks that Jennifer may have been a blackmailer. She worked for a lawyer who committed suicide and a lot of his papers are missing,
Holis points out that there aren’t any withdrawals and there’s no name in the book. Now Agnes thinks Jennifer is buried in the cellar. They look and find nothing but junk. Holis convinces her to come to a dance with him that night at the local Inn. This is where songwriter Matt Dennis performs “Angel Eyes” (For the definitive version check out Sinatra).
Orin can’t stay out of things and searches Holis’s desk and finds the bankbook. Holis warns him to stay away from Agnes and shut up about Jennifer. It’s no surprise that Agnes and Holis start a romance. There are hints that Orin is jealous but that dumb storyline stops in its tracks. Too bad the movie didn’t.
The resolution is stupid. It all adds up to a total waste of time. Even hard core Lupino-Duff fans should forget this bore-a-thon exists.
Robert Nichols is actually twenty-nine and having him play a teenager is ludicrous.
British gem that should be rediscovered. A merchant sailor gets mixed up in a robbery while his Jamacian shipmate deals with bigotry while on shore. That element is handled very softly but is unusual for 1951.
Danny MacDonald (Bonar Colleano) smuggles small items ashore like cigarettes, booze and nylons. Customs always has their eye on him. His merchant ship docks in London and he convinces his Jamacian pal Johnny Lambert (Earl Cameron) to bring in two packs of smokes for him.
That night Danny has to go to a theater to make contact with Vernon The Gentleman Acrobat (Max Adrian). Vernon and three cohorts are planning a robbery and want Danny to smuggle a package onboard. Danny doesn’t know what it is or how it’s being acquired.
While he’s talking with Vernon, Johnny is befriended by Pat the cashier and they have a night on the town. The next day they’re looking over the city referred to as the pool of London. Pat thinks she sees a man walking on a roof. Johnny doesn’t see him so they forget about it.
The man is Vernon and he’s using his acrobatic skills to break into a building. He gets in and knocks out the watchman and then lets his three pals inside. They all go to an office and rob a safe. The three run outside and Vernon heads for the roof. He has to knock the watchman out again.
An alarm is going off and the cops chase the getaway car. The three ditch their car in the water and lose the cops. Danny meets them later and is handed a package. He goes to see his brassy girlfriend Maisie (Moira Lister). She opens the package. It’s diamonds. She tells Danny about the radio report of the robbery. The watchman died.
She takes the diamonds and hides them in some face cream and gives the new package to Danny. They don’t know it but her sister Pamela (Joan Dowling) is listening through the wall. Later on Pamela is wearing Maisie’s best dress and the two have a donnybrook and Pamela runs outside…right into a cop.
At the station she tells them what she heard. Meanwhile everyone on the ship is being searched when they come back. Danny gives the package to Johnny feeling he could smuggle it onboard since he was never a suspiciou character to Customs.
This is defintely a movie to be on the lookout for.
A solid story about a man holding on to his New Mexico ranch against a gang of crooks from Texas. He not only has to fight them off but deal with the beginning of a harsh winter.
It’s the 1870′s in New Mexico. Tom Radigan has a ranch in the mountain country. He has one man, John Child, helping him. Radigan has been struggling for four years to keep his cattle ranch going and it looks like it may start paying off soon.
Trouble starts when Tom senses something amiss. It’s a good thing he does as a gunman is lying in wait. Tom manages to get the drop on him and blow him away. Coming into town is Angelina Foley with a large herd of cattle and a gang including hardcases Ross Wall, Barbeau, Bitner, Coker and Harvey Thorpe.
Angelina says they have a paper signed by the governor in 1844 deeded the land to her. She says Radigan has got to clear out. He tells her it’s a phony because the man who signed it was not the legal governor. The courts are far away so she figures Radigan is in a losing fight.
Radigan tells her there isn’t enough grass for that many cattle, especially with winter coming on. She’s stubborn and the herd is driven right up to Radigan’s door. Inside are his hand John and seventeen year old Gretchen. She’s John’s foster daughter that he rescued from the Indians. If Playboy were around and did a feature on girls of the west she’s be the centerfold.
The gang doesn’t know it but Radigan had constructed a tunnel out back in case of an Indian raid. The three go out that way and head for the mountains. Radigan has a cave all prepared with food and ammo.
Radigan doesn’t know it but Angelina and company have another agenda for being there. Along the way there are bar fights and shoot outs and Radigan has to go to an outlaw town to get some help.
It’s a good story with enough action to satisfy any western fan.
Martin Mull-Fred Willard
The best takeoff on late night TV talk shows starring Martin Mull as Barth Gimble and Fred Willard as Jerry Hubbard. Frank DeVol is bandleader Happy Kyne. The band are The Mirthmakers. This just skewers egomaniac hosts, clueless sidekicks and wacky bandleaders. It’s a spinoff from “Mary Hartman,Mary Hartman.”
In this episode the opening is the usual funny stuff between Mull and Willard followed by a song called “Ice Cream Baby” by DeVol singing along with the band.
Out come the first guests. They are Mister X, Mister Y and Mister Z. They’re all mobsters in disguise and talk about their work. Jerry Hubbard is of course way out there and keeps coming up with stupid questions.
The next guest is William W.D.Bud Prize played by Kenneth Mars.. He always wears a truss on his chin. He became a semi-regular on the show. He makes no sense. He does a bit about getting a ransom note for twenty-dollars for the return of something called Chow Chow.
Jerry tells Barth he has a surprise for him. It’s a member of his fan club. She has a singing telegram for Barth. It’s a subpoena to appear in court. Barth and Jerry close the show.
This episode begins with Barth wanting President Carter to prove he’s a bigger TV star than Barth. This is a very funny bit. Now Tom Waits sings “The Piano Has Been Drinking.” Tom sits on the couch and Barth and Jerry talk to him about his car breaking down in Fernwood. The interview keeps getting more bizarre….and funny.
Kenneth Mars returns as W D Bud Prize from the Fernwood Chamber of Commerce. He still has his truss from the chin-a-donist. It has a plastic golf ball on the end. He talks about getting more tourists to Fernwood. He says the town is rich in unskilled, unemployed workers. Tom Waits is still there are adds some bizarre comments.
After a commercial Jerry introduces Barth with a production number to prove he’s a bigger star than Jimmy Carter. Barth comes out with a hat and cane next to a wax dummy of Carter. Barth challenges the figure to juggle and sing. The final challenge is encores. Jerry declares Barth the winner. Barth goes back to the host chair and closes the show.
The first half is a beyond awful attempt at a movie. Luckily there’s a lot of music to distract from the horrible acting and anemic storyline. The last half is a concert. Fast forward through the movie parts and you’ll hear some great music.
Cab orders girlfriend Minnie to fix his drink. She asks him to sing the song he wrote for her. He does an acapella version of “Minnie’s A Hep Cat Now.” She comes back with his drink and throws it at him. She says he doesn’t sing that song the way he used to ever since Nettie came around. Cab slugs her. In the background is a guy sitting in a chair reading Variety.
Nettie comes by. She’s Cab’s manager. She got him an audition. That night Cab and a quintet do a couple numbers and what a surprise, they get hired. The club owner thinks it’ll put a stop to gangster Boss Mason who is opening his club across the street.
Minnie goes to see Mason and wants him to bump off Cab. Cab is packing them in. Minnie tells Mason and Mo The Mouse that they don’t have any customers. Boss and Mo go across the street. Mason tells Cab he’ll pay him double. He wants his answer in a half-hour and it better be yes.
To save the idiotic storyline it all ends with Boss shooting Minnie and Cab shooting Boss. The cops arrest Mo. As Minnie is dying Cab once again sings her song. Now he’s off on a world tour.
The second half takes place in a club as the band swings for the rafters. There are a couple vocals from The Peters Sisters and way too many tap dance numbers. Cab does a great version of “St.James Infirmary.” This segment ends with the swingin’, singin’ wedding of Cab and Nettie. The band sings “Don’t Falter At The Altar” and Cab sings, “A Gal Named Nettie.”
Considered by many critics and readers a SF masterpiece. No argument from me. A great story from beginning to end with a lot of surprises along the way. You can see the influence it’s had on many of the current era of SF (read that Science Fiction or if you prefer Speculative Fiction) writers.
In the 25th century everyone can teleport or jaunte to wherever they want. The catch is you have to know the coordinates of where you’re going or else….This has caused so much contention that the Outer Planets are at war with the Inner Planets.
Mechanic’s Mate 3rd Class Gully Foyle has been stranded on the Nomad for six months. On September 16,2436 he sees a ship headed his way. He sends up flares and anything else he can to attract their attention. The ship Vorga passes him by. He vows revenge on the ship’s owner Presteign. the head of a multi industrial corporation and whoever gave the order not to pick him up.
Foyle ends up on an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter that was taken over two hundred years ago and now forgotten. The population are known as The Science People. They tattoo a tiger mask on his face with the name “Nomad.” The leader Joseph chooses him for his daughter Moira.
Foyle manages to escape but only ends up in an underground prison in France that’s jaunte proof. The Nomad was carrying PyrE, a substance that could end the war. Presteign hires the radioactive Saul Dagenham to get out of Foyle where the ship is located. He can’t break him.
If he stands in a certain spot in his cell he can mentally communicate with another prisoner, Jisbella McQueen. They manage to escape. She gets him to a surgeon in Trenton who says he can remove the tattoo. The operation looks like a success, that is until Foyle’s emotions get the best of him and it comes back. Jisbella is eventually captured but Foyle gets away.
Foyle has disguised himself as the clownish Geoffrey Fourmyle who heads a giant circus. He’s also had his body altered to make him a deadly weapon. He’s still very much on the path of revenge and has to find out who gave the order not to rescue him. He’ll have to mingle with high society people to get closer to an answer. Since he doesn’t have a clue about how to handle them he hires Robin Wednesbury. She’s a one way telepath. She can send but she can’t receive. At party tossed by Presteign she sends him messages on how to act. He’s smitten when he meets Presteign’s blind daughter Olivia.
Foyle goes on the hunt for the surviving members of the Vorga to find out who gave the order. He’s dogged by an image of a Burning Man which is himself on fire.
This is one of those rare books that’s tough to put down when life gets in the way. It’s entertaining from beginning to end.
A must see for Mae West fans and fans of good movies in general. Like most of her movies of the time it’s set in 1892 and contains a lot of music and one liners. There’s an anachronistic touch as Mae sings a few Jazz tunes from the twenties with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Despite Mae’s patented humor the movie is mostly a drama and her lines don’t take away from it. She also wrote the story.
Ruby Carter (Mae West) is a sensation in St.Louis. Her boyfriend is boxer The Tiger Kid (Roger Pryor). His manager Kirby is upset that he’s spending more time with Ruby than training. He cooks up a plan and has one of his fighters (Warren Hymer) call Ruby in front of Tiger and pretend that they’re an item. Ruby doesn’t have a clue who he is but Tiger buys the whole thing.
Ruby gets an offer from Ace Lamont to come to New Orleans and work at his Sensation House Hotel. When she gets a letter from Tiger breaking their relationship she and her maid Jasmine (Libby Taylor) are off on the riverboat for the Big Easy.
Ace’s girlfriend Molly is jealous and lets Ruby know Ace is her man. She says she doesn’t steal other women’s men. The rich Brooks Claybourne (Johnny Mack Brown) showers her with jewelry and other expensive gifts.
Ace is also a fight promoter and one of his men leaves town rather than fight the champ. At the gym he runs into Kirby and Tiger is with him. He knocks out a top sparring partner with one punch and Ace arranges for him to fight the champ. Tiger doesn’t know it’s fixed. To get the money to sponsor the fight he sets it up with Tiger to rob Ruby of her jewels. He doesn’t have a clue the woman he’s to rob is Ruby.
Ace is taking Ruby out riding in the country in his carriage when a masked Tiger holds them up. Ruby is in shadows and he doesn’t recognize her. Back at the hotel Tiger and Ruby eventually meet. Later she peeks through a curtain and sees Tiger hand the jewelry over to Ace who puts it in a safe.
Tiger visits Ruby swearing she’s the one for him and the fighter who made the phone call to get Tiger jealous confesses. Tiger thinks everything is okay. He doesn’t know Ruby has a plan for revenge. Ruby and Ace are ringside at the fight right in front of Tiger’s corner. In round twenty-eight Ruby puts her plan into action.
The ending is rushed but it doesn’t take away from the production. Mae’s songs with Duke Ellington are top notch and there’s even a production number involving a revival meeting led by Brother Eben (George Reed). Mae is on a balcony looking down at the meeting and sings “Troubled Waters.”