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.

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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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Lady In Cement (1968)

lady in cement 1968

Sinatra is completely miscast as a hip Miami P.I. who lives on his boat. The movie is based on the second of three books written by Marvin H.Albert using the name Anthony Rome. Albert wrote the screenplay. You’d think he would have treated his own work a lot better. Of course with Sinatra there are a number of in jokes including a go-go joint named Jilly’s. Huge Montenegro provides what had to be the absolute worst soundtrack of his career.

Tony Rome (Frank Sinatra) and his vice cop pal Rubin (Pat Henry) are out treasure hunting. Tony dives down and finds a blonde with her feet encased in cement. She was stabbed to death.

Tony is hired by ex-con Waldo Gronsky (Dan Blocker) to find Sandra Lomax. Tony’s pretty sure that’s the lady in cement. Tony goes to the go-go bar where Sandra worked. He talks with her roommate Maria Baretto (Lainie Kazan). She says she last saw Sandra at a party being tossed by rich socialite Kit Forrest (Raquel Welch).

Kit calls her neighbor, former gangster Al Mungar (Martin Gable). He shows up with his son Paul and a couple henchmen. Tony takes a walk with them and he’s told not to bother Kit again. No chance of that.

It’s not much longer that Maria is murdered and Tony is a suspect. He also runs afoul of Jilly’s owner Danny and his boyfriend Seymour. A couple hoods try to rub out Gronsky but get shot dead by Tony and Gronsky for their trouble. Gronsky also has a bullet wound. That doesn’t stop him from knocking out a couple cops. Too late. Tony’s police pal Lt.Dave Santini (Richard Conte) shows up and Gronsky is taken to the hospital.

Tony makes his way to artist Arnie Sherwin (Richard Deacon) who he pays to draw a sketch of Sandra. It’s the lady in cement. The movie continues with oddball characters and another murder. There’s a sequence where Tony is wanted for murder and Santini has to bring him in.

Tony gets away from him in Santini’s police car and he’s chased by his pal in his car through Miami to the Fontainebleu Hotel. There are some music in jokes during the segment.

Meanwhile, Gronsky has escaped from the hospital and is hiding out at Mabel’s Massage Parlor. When he was shot that’s where he told Tony to take him before getting arrested. Tony finds him in a back room watching “Bonanza.”

Of course Tony solves the case and manages to deliver some supposedly hip one liners along the way. The movie is real dated and doesn’t hold up at all.

 

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That’s How Rhythm Was Born-Boswell Sisters

BOSWELL SISTERS-COPY

(2:45) 1. Rock And Roll
(3:04) 2. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
(2:44) 3. Lousiana Hayride
(3:11) 4. Shuffle Off To Buffalo
(3:08) 5. Sophisticated Lady
(3:20) 6. Song Of Surrender
(2:59) 7. Sleep, Come On And Take Me
(2:56) 8. That’s How Rhythm Was Born
(3:08) 9. The Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia
(3:01) 10. Coffee In The Morning And Kisses In The Night
(3:15) 11. Forty-Second Street
(3:08) 12. Minnie The Moocher’s Wedding Day
(3:09) 13. The Darktown Strutter’s Ball
(2:49) 14. If I Had A Million Dollars
(3:20) 15. It’s Written All Over Your Face
(2:25) 16. Charlie Two-Step
(3:10) 17. Trav’lin’ All Alone
(2:49) 18. St. Louis Blues
(3:04) 19. Dinah
(3:21) 20. The Object Of My Affection

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