The Hills Run Red (1967)

the hills run red 1967

Minor spaghetti from Dino De Laurentiis starring Thomas Hunter along with Dan Duryea and an over the top Henry Silva. It’s the usual lead filled epic you’d expect from the genre. I prefer my spaghetti with Lee Van Cleef but this will do in a pinch. It was nice to see one of my favorites in Duryea.

Jerry Brewster (Thomas Hunter) and Ken Seagall are riding a wagon carrying an army payroll. Up ahead…Yankees. They draw cards to see who stays with the wagon and who takes off with the money. Ken says it could buy a nice ranch. Jerry draws the low card and Ken takes off. Before he leaves Jerry makes him promise to take care of his wife and young son.

The Yankees catch up with the wagon. Jerry says he was alone. The don’t believe him and use him for a punching bag. The war is over but..so what? Jerry will spend the next five years in prison.

Five years later Jerry is released. He doesn’t know it but Ken owns a big ranch. Jerry rides home only to find it abandoned. There’s a diary with an entry written by his wife that says she was told Jerry was killed in the war. She doesn’t believe it.

Ken, now under a different last name, finds out that Jerry is free. He orders his foreman Garcia Mendez (Henry Silva) to send two men to kill him.  When they get to Jerry’s place they open fire and Jerry heads for the barn. In the hayloft is Winny Getz (Dan Duryea). He tosses him a pistol with two shots. He makes one count and needs a knife to to finish off the other shooter.

Getz knows he’s out for revenge after finding out Ken refused his wife a loan and she was tossed off the ranch. She’s dead and Ken has his son. Getz says he should make Ken think he’s dead. He tells Jerry that he’s out of work and needs a job. He’ll get one at Ken’s ranch. To prove Jerry’s dead Getz takes a knife and cuts a tattoo off Jerry’s arm that has his wife’s name in a heart. It works and Getz is hired.

Jerry goes into Austin to Horner’s saloon and starts winning at craps. Saloon singer Hattie Gradner is upset that it’s distracting from her awful performance. Two of Mendezs’ men come in. One throws a three and insists it’s a seven and takes the money. Horner tries to toss them out. No luck. Then Jerry takes over and kills both of them.

On the trail Jerry runs into a small boy practicing with a slingshot. No doubt it’s his son Timmy. Later Mendez and a group of his men run into Jerry and the battle is on. Jerry takes care of all of them. As they around all tuckered out Mendez draws his pistol. Instead of killing Jerry he hires him.

At the ranch Getz doesn’t let on he knows him. Ken’s sister Mary Ann hears Jerry calling out in his delirium and goes to help him. Outside she’s confronted by Mendez who says she’ll go off with him one day to Mexico whether she likes it or not. He says she’ll learn.

Twelve of the men are going to ride out the next day with horses. Jerry sneaks into town and gets Horner to gather some men and ambush them on the trail. It’s a success….almost. One man survives and rides back to the ranch and tells Mendez what happen. He know someone double crossed them but can’t figure out who.

Mendez gets all the men together. It’s time to go to Austin and wipe everybody out. Mendez and Jerry are riding together. They get to a blacksmith’s place where Timmy stays. Jerry makes an excuse to get away from Mendez long enough to give Timmy a note to deliver to Horner warning him about what’s about to happen.

Timmy gets to town and Hattie grabs the note. She makes sure Horner doesn’t get it. The gang rides in and opens fire on everybody. Jerry gets upstairs and tells Horner what’s going on and he rides off. Everyone else is headed for Boot Hill.

Back at the ranch there’s a big party to celebrate their victory. Jerry and Mendez get into it when Jerry refuse to drink to the victory. Ken wants to know what’s going on. Jerry turns slowly and tells Ken who he is and what he’s going to do. He manages to grab Timmy and ride into Austin. The town is deserted…except for Getz.

Now there’s an unbelievable showdown between Jerry and Getz against Mendez and everyone else.

But wait….there’s more. There’s a nice little twist at the very end. There are a lot better spaghetti westerns out there but it’s always good to see Dan Duryea and Henry Silva is fun to watch as the psycho foreman.

The soundtrack is awful. It’s no wonder the usually reliable Ennio Morricone used the alias Leo Nichols.

Thomas Hunter

Thomas Hunter

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50 Country Number Ones 2 CD’S

COUNTRY-COVER

CD1:
1. I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash
2. El Paso – Marty Robbins
3. Walk On By – Leroy Van Dyke
4. Wolverton Mountain – Claude King
5. Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
6. She Thinks I Still Care – George Jones
7. Hey Joe – Carl Smith
8. Please Help Me, I’m Falling – Hank Locklin
9. (Oh Baby Mine) I Get So Lonely – Johnnie And Jack
10. Mama Sang A Song – Bill Anderson
11. Mexican Joe – Jim Reeves
12. If You’ve Got The Money, I’ve Got The Time – Lefty Frizzell
13. She’s Got You – Patsy Cline
14. North To Alaska – Johnny Horton
15. I’m Moving On – Hank Snow
16. Hello Walls – Faron Young
17. Heartbreak U.S.A. – Kitty Wells
18. Wake Up, Irene – Hank Thompson
19. Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
20. That’s My Pa – Sheb Wooley
21. Fraulein – Bobby Helms
22. Blue Blue Day – Don Gibson
23. No Help Wanted – The Carlisles
24. In The Jailhouse Now – Webb Pierce
25. My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You – Ray Price

CD2:
1. I Fall To Pieces – Patsy Cline
2. Battle Of New Orleans – Johnny Horton
3. Oh Lonesome Me – Don Gibson
4. Devil Woman – Marty Robbins
5. Misery Loves Company – Porter Wagoner
6. Wild Side Of Life – Hank Thompson
7. Alabam – Cowboy Copas
8. Young Love – Sonny James
9. City Lights – Ray Price
10. Ballad Of A Teenage Queen – Johnny Cash
11. Hey, Good Lookin’ – Hank Williams
12. Gone – Ferlin Husky
13. Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford
14. He’ll Have To Go – Jim Reeves
15. Why Baby Why – Red Sovine & Webb Pierce
16. I’ve Been Everywhere – Hank Snow
17. Always Late (With Your Kisses) – Lefty Frizzell
18. My Special Angel – Bobby Helms
19. Country Girl – Faron Young
20. Honky Tonk Song – Webb Pierce
21. Waterloo – Stonewall Jackson
22. I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby – The Louvin Brothers
23. Loose Talk – Carl Smith
24. Candy Kisses – George Morgan
25. A Dear John Letter – Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky

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Sleep, My Love (1948)

sleep,my love 1948

Looking fo a good movie? Check this one out. Good cast based on the novel by Leo Rosten. A man is trying to get his wealthy wife to kill herself so he can inherit her money and marry his model girlfriend.

Alison Courtland (Claudette Colbert) wakes up on a train. She doesn’t remember how she got there. A ditzy woman acts all concerned. She admires Alison’s purse and shows her there’s a gun inside. She’s Grace Vernay (Queenie Smith). She was acting on orders from her husband Charles (George Coulouris).

Back in New York Alison’s husband, architect Dick (Don Ameche) called the cops and said Alison was missing. Sgt.Strake (Raymond Burr) comes to the house. The phone rings. It’s Alison calling from Boston. Dick is relieved and then says he wants to take the call in another room for privacy. Strake listens in. Dick says his gun is missing. He has a minor shoulder wound. He told Strake he accidentally shot himself while cleaning the gun. He hints on the phone to Alison that she did it.

Dick asks Strake if he can get a Boston policeman to take Alison to catch a plane. At the airport Alison runs into her friend Barby with Bruce Elcott (Bob Cummings). He runs an airline in China and is headed back in a few days. Alison boards the plane with Bruce and he makes a move. Then he finds out she’s married. Oh well, he tried.

Back home Dick wants Alison to see psychiatrist Dr.Rhinehart. Later Alison answers the door. It’s Rhienhart. He’s acting pretty weird and it scares her. She goes to another room and when she returns, he’s gone. She faints at the top of the landing.

Rhinehart is really Charles. He’s a photographer. His model is Daphne (Hazel Brooks). Dick shows up at the house with the real Dr.Rhinehart and convinces Alison she imagines the whole thing.

That night Dick can’t take her to a party so she goes to a wedding. The groom is Bruce’s business partner and honorary brother Jimmie Lin (Keye Luke). Alison is drinking a lot and is feeling no pain. Meanwhile Dick is at an out of the way inn with Daphne. He gives her an expensive emerald bracelet. She’s putting the pressure on for him to confirm their relationship.

Bruce drives Alison home and she’s wasted but gets inside. She’s sees Charles but Dick and Bruce can’t find him. Dick gives her a sedative and she falls asleep. That’s when he tries to give her hypnotic suggestions about going out on the balcony and jumping off. A suspicious Bruce is driving Jimmie and his bride to their honeymoon cottage but can’t help but turn around and go back to the house.

Don’t want to spoil the remaining forty minutes. The minor drawback is the casting of newcomer Hazel Brooks. The part really called for someone like Lizabeth Scott. Brooks had a number of uncredited movie roles and not much else. It’s easy to see why. The rest of the cast is top notch making this one to see.

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Scotland Yard (1953-61)

scotland yard

Half hour series that went for thirty-nine episodes. It’s a police procedural. They were fillers shown at movie theatres during double features. The show was hosted by crime writer Edgar Lustgarten. They were said to be true stories from the Scotland Yard files. The show eventually found its way to TV in England and the U.S.

Opening episode: “The Drayton Case” – Christmas Eve 1941. a murder is committed during an air raid. Two years later a skeleton is found in the basement of a school. It’s taken to the medical examiner.

He’s able to give some sketchy information. He says it’s a woman who had been strangled. The missing persons files are consulted. There are hundreds of women listed and it takes months for them to find her identity.

The first suspect is her husband Charlie Drayton. He’s obviously a loser. He was supposed to pay his wife a pound a week in maintenance money. In 1938 he was missing payments and ended up in jail. He’s been out for a few years and Scotland Yard pays him a visit. He slips and says he doesn’t know anything about his wife’s murder. No one said anything about a murder but that’s not enough for them to arrest him.

They go to the scene of the crime and the school caretaker says there was a fire in the basement that night. The fire watcher kept trying to put it out before calling the fire brigade. Finally he had to call him. His name was Charlie Drayton.

The Inspectors go back to get him. He’s gone. Now there’s an air raid.

The shows were good in the fact that they weer no nonsense. No “clever” one liners just a straight ahead presentation.

Posted in British TV, Crime-Mystery-Spy, TV-Crime-Mystery-Spy Shows, vintage TV | Tagged | Leave a comment

Twice-Told Tales (1963)

twice told tales 1963

The last third makes it all worthwhile. There are three adaptions of Nathaniel Hawthorne stories with Vincent Price in all three.

“Dr.Heidegger’s Secret” published in 1837 – Old friends Alex Medbourne (Vincent Price) and Dr.Heidegger (Sebastian Cabot) are observing Heidegger’s seventy-ninth birthday. He asks Alex that if he doesn’t make it to age eighty he wants a withered rose his late fiancee Sylvia left him buried with him. She’s been dead for thirty-eight years. She became ill right before their wedding. Heidegger never married and remained devoted to her.

A rainstorm ends and Heidegger spots the door of his wife’s crypt is open. They go in nd spot water dripping from the ceiling. As they move the coffin out of the way the lid comes off. Sylvia is perfectly preserved. Heidegger takes the water back inside and puts it under a microscope. It’s not water.

Heidegger thinks it may be a preservative and takes a drink. He becomes younger and then it’s Alex’s turn. Time now to see if it will bring the dead back to life. Heidegger injects some into Sylvia (Mari Blanchard).

“Rappaccini’s Daughter” published in 1844 – Beatrice Rappaccini (Joyce Taylor) has lived with her father for twenty years and never leaves the house. She’s sustained by a serum from a plant. Anything she touches dies and her father Giacomo (Vincent Price) has to wear gloves in case of an accident.

She draws the attention of the university student next door, Giovanni (Brett Halsey). He likes what he sees. She tells him not to come down to the garden to see her. That won’t stop him. His professor (Abraham Sofaer) says Giacomo was a top scientist. His wife ran off with another man when Beatrice was born and he left the university.

Giovanni decides to take some flowers to Beatrice. He grabs the key to the garden door from the landlady and lets himself in. He sees a butterfly land on a purple plant and go up in a flame. Beatrice tells him to leave. She explains what’s wrong with her and proves it by touching a lizard. It’s stone cold dead. She runs off and he leaves the flowers. He also picks up the lizard and takes it to his professor. He drops the flowers and goes. Giacomo puts the flowers in her hands and they die. He has a plan.

This is the weakest of the three thanks in part to the uninspired acting from Halsey and Taylor.

“The House Of The Seven Gables” published in 1851 – This is one of Hawthorne’s best known classic novels. It’s about a family curse, ghosts, a house that drips blood and greed.

Gerald Pyncheon (Vincent Price) returns home after seventeen years with his bride Alice (Beverly Garland). His sister Hannah isn’t happy to see him. Strange things start happening to Alice. A locket floats onto a dresser and inside a painting that looks just like her.

Downstairs she starts to play the harpsichord and says a man named Jonathan Maulle (Richard Denning) is on his way. Gerald sent him a note earlier in the day but didn’t mention that to Alice. The Pyncheons’ and Maulles’ have been feuding for a hundred fifty years. Gerald’s ancestor, a judge, wanted the land the house is on and had the builder, blacksmith Matthew Maulle, hanged for practicing witchcraft.

Jonathan asks Alice how she knew the piece she was playing. He says his grandmother used to play it when he was a child. She doesn’t have a clue. There are bloodstains on a chair. Hannah explains that every male Pyncheon has died with blood on his lips including the judge whose portrait hangs in the room.

Later on Alice hears a ghostly voice calling for Nora. She goes outside and sees the ghost of Matthew. He turns into Jonathan. They realize that a hundred fifty years ago they were lovers. Looks like the remnants are still there as Gerald looks on.

Gerald really returned home because he’s broke and wants to find a hidden vault in the basement. Matthew is buried there along with directions to a fortune.

The book is a lot different but the core is there. It’s still worth reading all these years later. As for this part of the movie it is a must see.

 

 

 

 

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The Blue Parrot (1953)

the blue parrot 1953

Dull murder mystery that can be figured out in less than five minutes between yawns. Englishman Dermot Walsh trying to portray a New York cop in London to learn techniques from Scotland Yard is beyond laughable.

Rocks Owen runs a one man private car for hire. He also deals in hot goods. He stops in The Blue Parrot and collects two hundred pounds from club owner Carson. He has a drink with hostess Gloria when he gets a phone call about a job. He writes the address down and leaves his gold pen behind. The waiter picks it up.

The next day Rocks is found dead in his car. Across London the waiter is trying to pawn the pen. He hears the shop owner calling the police and ducks out. At Scotland Yard American cop Bob Merrick (Dermot Walsh) is with Superintendent Chester (Ballard Berkeley) when the call comes in.

Chester decides to send Sgt.Maguire undercover to The Blue Parrot and Bob volunteers to be back up as a customer. At the club Bob flirts with Gloria’s friend, a new hostess named Maureen. The waiter overcharges Bob for drinks. He’s not getting anywhere with Maureen. A customr named Stevens warns him about wasting Maureen’s time.

The next day at Scotland Yard Bob is complaining about Maguire as the waiter overcharged him. He gets a real surprise when he finds out the waiter was for real. Maureen is Sgt.Maguire (Jacqueline Hill).

They find out the waiter who tries to pawn the pen is Taps Campelli. They go to his flat and hear a shot. They go in and there’s Carla, The Girl With The Gun. She says Taps would sometimes appear on a show with her He was afraid of guns and wouldn’t even come near the stage while she was doing her act. She says Taps packed up and is gone.

Owen lived in an expensive rooming house run by Mrs.West. In his room the safe had been burned open. She says she doesn’t know anything about it and thinks Chester and Bob did it.

At the Blue Parrot Carson has a secret entrance to a cellar across the street under a cafe where Charlie the owner keeps an eye on things for him. Carson is hiding Taps out there but says he has to leave right away. Taps goes upstairs through the cafe and onto the street. He runs into Stevens, panics and gets hit by a cab.

This is boring stuff and isn’t worth your time.

Ballard Berkeley is familiar to TV comedy fans as Major Gowan in “Fawlty Towers” (1975-79) and as Guy Penrose in “Fresh Fields” (1984-85).

Between 1963 and 1980 Jacqueline Hill appeared on “Doctor.Who” first as Barbara Wright and then in 1980 as Lexa.

 

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The Conquest Of Space-A Conversation Between Dr.Wernher Von Braun And Willy Ley (1959)

CONVERSATION-TRACKS

A historic conversation between German rocket scientists Wernher Von Braun and Willy Ley. Highlights include the development of the German rocket programs during WWII, and the space program in the 1950’s. Recorded June 9th and 23rd, 1959, in New York City and Redstone Arsenal, Huntstville, Alabama.

 

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