The Navy Lark (1959)

the navy lark 1959

Dull service comedy with the usual storyline of the lazy unit that has it all their own way until an uptight Captain wants to shut them down.

A minesweeper unit is on Boonzey Island  near Portsmouth. Captain Povey has seen reports that there aren’t any mines in the area and goes out for an inspection tour. A couple crew members plant a phony mine named Bessy. They didn’t notice the real thing floating near by. The crew of the Compton minesweeper bring it aboard. Povey is nervous when they try to disarm it. Until they get a signal from the Chief they don’t know it’s for real. Povey doesn’t see the message and they toss it overboard and of course it explodes.

CPO Banyard runs a scam that doesn’t work and then tried plan B. Povey is on his way back so they fly a quarantine flag saying there’s been an outbreak of yellow fever. Povey doesn’t buy it and lands. One sailor pretends to drop dead and his body is thrown into the water. Povey leaves but the trick is discovered and now he’s really determined to make them redundant and transfer everybody to the Foreign Service.

Gaston Higgins owns a bar and likes to get drunk. When he does he rambles on about tossing the British off the island. The crew sends word that a revolution is brewing but Povey doesn’t buy that either and gives them three days to get off the island. The Admiralty believes the story because a Marine photographer has been sending back stories about the rebellion. Now Povey is in troubles with the British and French and told to sort it out or else.

Povey goes back to the island and a fake attack is launched on Gaston. The scam is revealed and he was caught up in it thinking it was for real. Now his career is on the line. It’s up to him how it all turns out.

The movie sinks into stupidity thinking it’s just being wacky. It’s based on a successful  BBC radio series. The movie only used one radio cast member. Maybe the rest knew better.

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Dial 999 (1958-59)

dial 999

Robert Beatty stars as Detective Inspector Mike Maguire, a Canadian assigned to Scotland Yard. The show isn’t anything special and it’s no surprise it only lasted one season.

From 1959: “50,000 Hands” w/William “Dr.Who” Hartnell – Jeff Richards (William Hartnell) and Jack Bingham rob a safe in a plastics factory. Jeff knocks out the watchman but ends up getting shot. Jack, who is never without his gloves, calls 999 for an ambulance. When it arrives he helps one of the attendants carry Jeff out. When the attendant goes back inside to help his partner with the watchman Jack takes off in the ambulance.

He drives off the beaten path and leaves Jeff. He returns with a car. He doesn’t know a hobo has been watching. The cops get a tip on which way the ambulance went. By the time they get there the hobo is inside trying to steal blankets for a good night’s sleep. He tells the cops what he overheard Jack and Jeff saying.  Jack drives back to his house in the nearby small town. His wife Marge isn’t happy to have a wounded Jeff on the premises.

Jack goes to a hospital and steals a hypodermic and some morphine. A nurse sees the broken glass from the drug cabinet and starts dialing the police. Jack strangles her. Now it’s murder

Maguire has an idea. Fingerprint everyone in town. That’s 25-thousand people. He’s looking for a match from the factory, the ambulance and the drug cabinet. Madge panics when she hears about it and then really gets uptight when she spots a cop headed for her place with his fingerprint case. That gives Jack an idea. Too bad for him he forgot about a couple things.

The episode is so far fetched that it defies any kind of belief and credibility.

William Hartnell was the first to play Dr.Who. He lasted from 1963-73.


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Maisie (1939)

maisie 1939

First in the successful Maisie series with Ann Sothern as a Brooklyn show girl. In this debut she’s stranded in a small Wyoming town and talks herself into a job on a ranch managed by Robert Young. It’s a bit better than okay but saved by Southern who is a lot of fun to watch.

Maisie Ravier gets stranded in Big Horn, Wyoming. The show she was supposed to join folded before she got there due to the business being done by a rodeo and carnival. She talks herself into a job at the rifle concession run by Rico (George Tobias). She’s doing her pitch and talks Slim Martin (Robert Young) into taking shots.

He’s not interested in her and doesn’t notice his wallet drops behind the counter. Rico comes back, sees the wallet, grabs it and takes off. Slim has Maisie arrested for stealing it. That gets straightened out and she sneaks into a truck and ends up at the Bar D Ranch managed by Slim. He can’t wait to get rid of her.

Ranch owner Clifford Ames (Ian Hunter) is coming out with his wife Sybil (Ruth Hussey). Slim has ranch hand Shorty (Cliff “Ukelele Ike” Edwards) drive Maisie to the train station where he’s to meet the couple. Maisie talks herself into a job as Sybil’s maid. While unpacking for her Maisie pulls out a picture on Sybil with a man who isn’t her husband. She puts it on the dresser.

Slim was afraid he was going to be fired since the ranch isn’t doing well. Not the case. Clifford wants to patch up his marriage. Slim takes Sybil on a long ride to the original ranch house. That gives her an idea. She sends for her lover, Richard Raymond. Meanwhile Maisie becomes friendly with Clifford. They take a ride and the station wagon hits a rock and turns over trapping Clifford inside.

Maisie walks five miles to the old ranch house where Slim and the boys are supposed to be. Instead she finds Sybil and Raymond. He wants to help Clifford but Sybil won’t let him. He leaves before Slim shows up. Maisie tells him about Clifford and Clifford is taken back to the ranch.

That night it’s obvious love is in the air between Maisie and Slim. They’re going to get married. Then Maisie tells Sybil she’ll keep quiet as long as she feels like it. Sybil lies to Slim and says Maisie is attracted to Clifford. Slim buys it. Maisie leaves town. Now things take a real serious turn and the movie has the obvious ending even if it is cornball.

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Ask A Policeman (1939)

ask a policeman 1939 2

Another comedy gem with Will Hay, Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott. This time they’re the police force in a coastal village that hasn’t had a crime for over ten years.

Because of the crime free record of Turnbotham Round the BBC does a broadcast from there featuring Sgt.Dudfoot (Will Hay). The two other cops, Albert Brown (Graham Moffatt) and J.Hardbottle (Moore Marriott) come back after a poaching run. The broadcast fades out and the crew go home.

Dudfoot gets a the word that since there’s no crime there’s no need for a police station there. He decides they have to catch a criminal and decide to set up a speed trap. They let the first driver go because he doesn’t have a license they can endorse. They nab the second car. Albert hits the driver over the head and they toss him in jail while he’s knocked out.

They go through his pockets and find out that he’s the Chief Constable. Before he comes to they ram his car into a nearby shop to try and convince him that the knock on his head came from an accident. He doesn’t buy it but the village Squire shows up and backs up Dudfoot.

They feel they have to get a bigger crime. It’s decided to plant a keg of brandy on the beach and say it’s from a gang of smugglers. A man comes in with a lantern. He says his brother is the lighthouse keeper and can’t be with his Granny who is at death’s door. He asks to hang the light on top of the station so the man can see that as long as it’s lit, Granny is still alive.

A man drops off a keg of rum. They think it’s the fake witness to the planted keg. Now Albert and Hardbottle come in with a keg. While they try and figure it out someone reaches out from a trap door in the floor and grabs the keg that was dropped off.

A storm starts and outside they head a woman scream. It’s Albert’s girlfriend Emily. She saw the headless horseman, a local legend. The cops investigate. They see a hearse carriage with flames coming out of the back. The driver is headless and goes into a garage. They get enough courage to investigate, see a headless shadow on the wall and run away.

As things move along they get a warning to mind their own business about smuggling. Now the silliness gets into high gear. If you need a movie to put you in a good mood, don’t miss this one.

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Nothin’ But The Blues-Joe Williams

[5:17] 1. Who She Do
[4:45] 2. Just A Dream
[2:41] 3. Hold It Right There
[5:12] 4. Please Send Me Someone To Love
[4:49] 5. Goin’ To Chicago Blues
[3:52] 6. Ray Brown’s In Town
[6:55] 7. In The Evening/Rocks In My Bed
[4:40] 8. Alright, Okay, You Win
[7:33] 9. Mean Old World Wee Baby Blues
[5:05] 10. The Come Back
[4:26] 11. Tell Me Where To Scratch
[3:27] 12. Sent For You Yesterday (And Here You Come Today)

Bass – Ray Brown; Drums – Gerryck King; Guitar – Phil Upchurch; Organ, Piano – Jack McDuff; Saxophone, Leader – Red Holloway; Vocals – Joe Williams; Vocals, Saxophone – Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson

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The Lost Atlantis (The Mistress Of Atlantis) (1932)

Brigitte Helm as Antinea

Brigitte Helm as Antinea

Weird German movie that isn’t like any other film with Atlantis in the title. No scientists, nukes, monsters or even a fish. It’s disjointed and moves slowly but if you like strange check it out.

Captain Saint-Avit of the French Foreign Legion is listening to a broadcast where a man is saying that Atlantis is not under the sea but under the sands of the Sahara Desert. He tells a fellow soldier that it’s true. That’s where he killed his best friend Captain Morhange. He tells his story. Back then he was a Lieutenant.

A French Foreign Legion patrol is checking out the attitudes of some desert tribes. They end up in a gun battle. Saint-Avit and Morhange are captured and taken below to Atlantis. Saint-Avit wakes up and sees a cheetah wandering around. Then in walks eccentric European Count Velovsky. Also around is drug addict Ivor Torsensen. He wants to see Morhange but neither one will take him to him.

Velvovsky tells him he’s been there twenty years but he’s not sure exactly where they are. He mentions Antinea (Brigitte Helm), the Goddess who rules the city. She sends word she wants to see Saint-Avit. That makes Tortensen jealous and he tries to kill Saint-Avit.

He makes his way to Antinea’s chamber. There she is striking a pose and he ends up losing a chess game to her. So much for winning his freedom. He gets obsessed with her but she digs Morhange. He could care less. He just wants out.

Velvovsky fills Saint-Avit on Antinea’s less than royal background. He doesn’t care. She orders him to kill Morhange. He goes looking for him.

I don’t want to spoil the rest of this but it has its strange moments. The narrative is really choppy but it’s the visuals that make it worth checking out. One note…throughout his entire ordeal Saint-Avit never takes off his tie.

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It’s Been A Long,Long Time-Harry James

[3:04] 1. It’s Been A Long, Long Time
[2:46] 2. Jubilee
[2:58] 3. Melancholy Rhapsody
[2:46] 4. Some Of These Days
[3:31] 5. Moanin’ Low
[3:04] 6. Life Goes To A Party
[3:16] 7. Music Makers
[3:14] 8. September Song
[2:39] 9. Trumpet Blues
[3:05] 10. Tango Blues
[3:56] 11. Moten Swing
[2:36] 12. Jump Sauce
[2:44] 13. The Mole
[2:54] 14. Strictly Instrumental
[2:14] 15. Oh, Lady Be Good
[3:08] 16. Loveless Love
[2:25] 17. On The Alamo
[2:46] 18. Moonlight Bay
[1:52] 19. Sleepy Time Gal
[3:08] 20. Melancholy Mood
[5:05] 21. James Session
[3:50] 22. St. Louis Blues
[2:45] 23. Tain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)

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