Secret Of The Chateau (1934)

secret of the chateau 1934

Murder mystery about a rare book thief that no one has even seen. He or she is also wanted for murder. One of my favorite early comediannes, Alice White plays her usual ditzy role and gets to deliver one liners. The movie isn’t anything special but it’s always nice to see Alice.

An auction is being held to dispose of a murdered Duke’s library. Inspector Marotte of the Surete attends. Also there is the heir to a fortune, Paul  De Burnay with his friend Armand (George E.Stone). He tells book shop owner Fos that he has a Gutenberg Bible to sell. He and Armand take a seat in the next room where the auction is underway. Paul sits next to Julie Verlaine (Claire Dodd).

Marotte recognizes her as someone who he sent to prison for six months as a thief. A book was stolen from the auction and Marotte suspects Julie. He’s right. She walked out of the auction with Paul and then went back to Lucien Volaire’s (Jack La Rue) place. She steals books and he sells them. She wants to end their arrangement. He says he won’t let her go. He says the next job is to steal a Gutenberg from a deceased count’s nephew. She knows he’s talking about Paul.

She travels to the French countryside to Paul’s chateau. A number of people live there including Paul’s aunt, Martin the butler (Osgood Perkins) and his wife the cook, Bardou the trustee of the estate and Paul’s ex girlfriend Didi (Alice White). She keeps trying to get two thousand dollars from Bardou she says Paul owes her. He won’t inherit for another five years.

Bardou wants to donate the Bible to a museum and keeps it under lock and key in a chest with an alarm system. He also has a fake copy in there. Julie spots that one right away. Joining the party that night is Professor Racque. a bookseller. Then a bell rings in the tower and Paul’s aunt says that means someone is going to die. Julie finds out that it was rung by Lucian who snuck in through a window. He said ringing the bell was just his way of announcing himself. He tells her he’s staying the night to make sure she steals the Bible.

It’s not long before a shot is heard. The Bible is gone. Marotte shows up and he has all the suspects where he wants them. The movie is based on a story by Lawrence G.Blochman best known for his Dr.Coffee series. Those stories were the basis for the summer replacement TV show “Diagnosis:Unknown” in 1960.

The movie gets bogged down towards the end and the only bright spots are the antics of Alice White.

Alice White

Alice White



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Brass Monkey (1948)

brass monkey 1948

A crime movie laced with music and comedy from Terry-Thomas and Carole Landis. It’s all a big plug for the Carroll Levis radio show on the BBC.  The movie also has Herbert Lom. Overall it’s instantly forgettable.

Kay Sheldon (Carole Landis) and her fiancee Max Taylor are on a cruise ship returning to England. Also on board is her old friend, broadcaster Carroll Levis (Himself), Max is bringing back the third of the “see no”  brass monkey that goes back to the eighth century. Max is jealous of the attention Carrol pays to Kay. That leads to some arguments.

Max gives the monkey to Kay as a gift. Max doesn’t know it but Kay gives it to Carroll. Max has his usual trouble going through customs since he’s a known smuggler. While his luggage is being searched Max signals to Peter Herbert (Herbert Lom) pointing to Kay and her suitcase.

The customs inspector is frustrated that he couldn’t find anything on Max. Peter catches up with Max and he tells him that he gave Kay the monkey since she wouldn’t have any trouble getting though customs. Antique dealer A.J.Gilroy has the other two monkeys and a client who will pay sixty thousand pounds for all three. All he has to do now is get it from Carroll.

Carroll’s ditzy secretary Avril Angers (Herself) picks him up at the dock and gets lost. A lot of impatient wanna bes are waiting at his studio to audition. Terry-Thomas does a musical number. Peter barges in after Carroll and Avril finally get there. He can’t get the monkey because Avril put somewhere and since it’s been ten minutes she forgets where she left it.

Gilroy’s client isn’t happy and plays hardball with him. Gilroy goes to Carroll’s studio and says the police may be inquiring about the monkey. That night Max breaks into the office looking for the monkey. Someone kills him. Carroll comes in and picks up the gun. Kay comes in and thinks he did it. So do the cops.

Before it’s all over there’s another murder and a mock broadcast of Carroll’s show. Terry-Thomas is back with another song and a comedy routine. Other guests include popular singer of the day Hutch and Carole Landis does a tune. There’s also a saw player and a girl that plays “Flight Of The Bumble Bee” on the accordion.

This isn’t something to search around for but it is nice to see Herbert Lom and Carole Landis along with Terry-Thomas.

Carroll Levis

Carroll Levis

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Hamfat Swing 1936-1938-Harlem Hamfats

[2:39] 1. Oh Red
[3:05] 2. Lake Providence Blues
[2:40] 3. What You Gonna Do
[2:38] 4. Live And Die For You
[3:00] 5. Move Your Hand
[3:03] 6. Let’s Get Drunk And Truck
[3:18] 7. Weed Smoker’s Dream
[2:31] 8. The Garbage Man
[2:46] 9. Bad Luck Man
[3:05] 10. Hamfat Swing
[2:37] 11. Growling Dog
[3:03] 12. Hallelujah Joe Ain’t Preachin’ No More
[3:07] 13. Let Your Linen Hang Low
[2:53] 14. Rosetta Blues
[3:00] 15. Root Hog Or Die
[2:40] 16. Black Gal You Better Use Your Head
[3:02] 17. Gimme Some Of That Yum Yum Yum
[2:50] 18. It Will Never Happen Again
[3:02] 19. Delta Bound
[2:42] 20. Mellow Little Devil

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The Body In Central Park (Murderers Club Of Brooklyn) (1967)

brooklyn murderers club (the body in central park)

Fifth movie in the eight picture German series about FBI agent Jerry Cotton. This is a pretty decent B movie about a gang of blackmailers and murderers.

Jerry (George Nader) is invited to a party by the rich Mr.Dyers. Agent Phil Decker goes along. Dyers received a letter demanding a million dollars. His friends Johnson and Cormick also got similar letters. Upstairs Dyers daughter Jean gets a pair of shoes delivered by Sally Chester. Her father custom made them for Jean.

Downstairs Jerry is suspicious about a waiter. While he confronts him a masked gang with machine guns breaks in. They kidnap Jean. In the getaway car the gang realizes they made a mistake, They grabbed Sally. A phone call comes in from the gang saying they can find Sally in Central Park. Jerry, Phil and the cops go there and search. Jerry finds her on a park bench with the waiter. They’re both dead.

Now they manage to grab Jean despite her being guarded by the FBI. Dyers puts a briefcase with newspapers inside a storage locker. With Jerry and Phil keeping an eye on the locker the gang gets the briefcase from in back of it. Too late for Jerry and Phil. It also costs Jean her life.

Johnson pays up after his son Bernie is threatened. Jerry follows the briefcase through a subway tunnel and kills some of the gang. Eventually Jerry is told to drop the case into a freight train car. After that Jerry drops onto the train and battles it out with a couple gang members. While he’s doing that his car blows up.

The two men are brothers and they’re defended by sleazy lawyer Randolph Warner. Jerry wants to know who paid the high price for the lawyer. He has an ex con go to the lawyer’s office He has a mask on and Warner dials a phone number. The man makes him hang up before it connects. He memorizes the number and gives it to Jerry. Turns out it’s a mission of the Salvation Army. Jerry goes there and is surprised to see Bernie sitting there.

Phil gets kidnapped and also grabbed is Edna Cormick, Mr.Cormick’s daughter. As the movie continues lots more bullets fly and Jerry doesn’t even get his white shirt dirty or even take off his tie. This is a good entry in the series. If you’ve never seen a Jerry Cotton movie this is a good one to start with.


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Jazz At The Hollywood Bowl 2 CD’S

CD 1
Playtime: 72:10

01. Introduction (Norman Granz) (1:41)
02. Honeysuckle Rose (Jam Session) (12:11)
03. The Ballad Medley: I Can’t Get Started / If I Had You / I’ve Got The World On A String (Jam Session) (8:11)
04. Jumpin’ At The Woodside (Jam Session) (14:11)
05. Introduction To Art Tatum (Norman Granz) (0:31)
06. Someone To Watch Over Me (Art Tatum) (3:14)
07. Begin The Beguine (Art Tatum) (3:08)
08. Willow Weep For Me (Art Tatum) (3:54)
09. Humoresque (Art Tatum) (4:05)
10. Introduction To Ella’s Band (Norman Granz) (0:39)
11. Love For Sale (Ella Fitzgerald) (3:09)
12. Just One Of Those Things (Ella Fitzgerald) (3:55)
13. Little Girl Blue (Ella Fitzgerald) (3:10)
14. Too Close For Comfort (Ella Fitzgerald) (2:52)
15. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Ella Fitzgerald) (3:24)
16. Airmail Special (Ella Fitzgerald) (3:56)
CD 2
Playtime: 68:13

01. 9:20 Special (Oscar Peterson) (3:16)
02. How About You (Oscar Peterson) (5:01)
03. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South (Louis Armstrong) (3:28)
04. Indiana (Louis Armstrong) (4:25)
05. The Gypsy (Louis Armstrong) (4:49)
06. Ole Miss Blues (Louis Armstrong) (5:22)
07. The Bucket’s Got A Hole In It (Louis Armstrong) (5:11)
08. Perdido (Louis Armstrong) (3:14)
09. You Made Me Love You (Louis Armstrong) (4:17)
10. Mack The Knife (Louis Armstrong) (4:03)
11. Stompin’ At The Savoy (Louis Armstrong) (4:55)
12. You Can Depend On Me (Louis Armstrong) (3:22)
13. Mop Mop (Louis Armstrong) (3:23)
14. You Won’t Be Satisfied (Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong) (3:41)
15. Undecided (Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong) (3:43)
16. When The Saints Go Marching In (Entire Ensemble) (6:05)

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Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die (1966)

kiss the girls and make them die 1966

One of my favorite comedies. A great spoof on James Bond and friends. You’ll see traces of “Dr.No” and “Moonraker.” It’s all done without slapstick or any kind of manic, over the top frenzied acting. This is total fun. The title is bad on purpose. Don’t let that keep you from watching this one.

Lord Aldric (Terry-Thomas) is in the Brazilian jungle studying the local Indians. He comes across a tribe where the girls are doing a sexy dance but the men could care less. He makes a note in his diary and is then shot and killed.

CIA agent Kelly (Mike “Mannix” Connors) is in Brazil checking out David Andonian (Raf Vallone). He might as well since he’s sent several assassins trying to bump him off. Kelly disposes of most of them while feeding his penchant for bananas.

In Rio he manages to save a girl from poisonous spiders. All in a day’s work. Andonian is busy collecting girls. One of them is Susan Fleming (Dorothy Provine). He invites her for a trip to the interior on his yacht. Down below is Kelly. He’s all tied up and Andonian shows him a tank of piranhas. Also there is the body of Lord Aldric. It’s a demonstration of what those little fish can do. He just wants Kelly to see what’s going to happen to him.

While Andonian goes out on a boat with some crew members Kelly manages to get untied and take care of a guard. He’ spotted by Susan. Andonian returns and one of his men machine guns Kelly in the water. He explains it away to Susan. They don’t know that Kelly changed clothes with the guard. Now Kelly is sitting under the bow of the yacht eating a banana.

A party is being tosses at the embassy for Lord Aldric. It finally breaks up when they find out he’s no longer among us. A search is on for his diary. Susan steals it. Turns out she’s a British agent. Her car is being followed. Good thing her chauffeur James (Terry-Thomas) has numerous talents that come in handy. They’ll also be needed later. There’s a funny scene between Kelly and Susan as they threaten each other with their spy gadgets.

The main part of the story is that Andonian has a rocket that will send a wave over the United States that will destroy the sexual urge in the entire population thereby destroying the country. The Chinese want it and Andonian is going to make a deal.

The last thirty-five minutes are very funny as Kelly and Susan try to save the world. If you like spy spoofs, don’t miss this one.

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Nearest And Dearest (1968-73)

nearest and dearest

One of the best sitcoms. It stars Hylda Baker and Jimmy Wheeler. They’re Nellie and Eli Pledge, a brother and sister who who ran a pickle factory. Hylda says a lot of malapropisms that add to the humor. Rumor has it that the insults they traded in the show were nothing compared to what happened between the two off stage. They supposedly hated each other. In 1973 when the show ended Hylda starred in “Not On Your Nellie” where she played essentially the same character but with a different name. Wheeler starred in “Spring And Autumn” (1973-76).

Opening episode:August 15,1968 – “It Comes To Us All” – The founder of”Pledge’s Pure Pickles” is about to die. He’s bed ridden and ninety-seven years old. His daughter Nellie has been taking care of him. His son Eli left fifteen years ago and hadn’t been seen since.

Word has been given to the police that Eli should return home. After a girl has had enough of his antics in the car and leaves, a policeman (Ivor Dean) comes by. Eli jumps the gun and admits to not having a driver’s license or insurance. The cop just wanted to tell him about his father and how he should return home.

Back home his father had a tough time recognizing him. Eli and Nellie talk about their childhood and trade insults. Dad finally expires and Eli doesn’t have much decorum at the funeral.

A lawyer comes to the house and before he’s all the way in Eli asks him, “How much?” Each employee is left a certain amount that depends on how many years they worked at the factory. Eli and Nellie aren’t too happy when they see most of them have been there for sixty years.

After that’s dispersed the house is left  to them and the factory. They do get twenty thousand pounds but only if they live in the house and keep the factory going. The money is set aside in a trust fund. There are two keys left to them with a note marked “For my nearest and dearest.” They fit two boxes inside the bottom drawer of a dresser. They’re both in for a surprise.

This is a funny show and should be seen again.


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