Mr.And Mrs.North (1942)

mr.and mrs.north 1942

Based on characters created by Richard and Frances Lockridge. The books all had a comedic element but nothing like Gracie brings to the movie based on a play. Throughout the movie Gracie is Gracie as she plays Pamela North. Jerry North is played by William Post,Jr.

Publisher Jerry returns from Boston and Pamela makes him stop by the apartment of Louis Berex (Tom Conway). Jerry doesn’t know it but Louis has been having an affair with sculptress Carol Brent and he wants Pamela to try and convince Carol’s husband Stanley to get a divorce.

When they finally get back to their apartment the superintendent tells Jerry there was a lot of noise in there the day before. He thinks it was Jerry and says his secret is safe with him. Jerry finds a gold compact on the floor. It’s not Pamela’s.

Then some friends drop by, patent attorney Stuart Blanton and Ben and Jane Wilson (Jerome Cowan and Virginia Grey). Ben spots the compact and pockets it. They leave and then Pamela opens the liquor closet and a body falls out. Coming over to investigate are Lt.Weigand and his associate Mullins. She gives them a silver compact and says that’s the one Jerry found.

Now Pam and Jerry have the place to themselves…almost. At the door is Fowler Brush man Talbot. Jerry chases him away until he says he couldn’t get into their apartment yesterday. A man inside wouldn’t open the door. At the mailbox Pamela finds the North name covered over with a card that says Blanton.

They go to a party at Blanton’s and he tells Pamela to take the card to the police. It’s later discovered that the murdered man is Carol’s husband Stanley. He was on opposite sides with Jerry in a plagiarism case a year or so ago.

As things progress look for Keye Luke as Blanton’s houseboy Kumi. There’s a running gag as Talbot gets a letter to appear at the D.A.’s office or else. He keeps trying but when he announces himself as a Fowler Brush salesman he isn’t given time to explain and keeps being thrown out of offices. The ditzy Pamela keeps confusing everybody so naturally she ends up solving the case.

I enjoyed the book series and the TV series (1952-54) with Richard Denning and Barbara Britton. I also liked this movie because I’m a Gracie fan. If you’re not you may find her manic comedy hard to take.



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Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla (1952)

bela lugosi meets a brooklyn gorilla 1952

This one makes Bela’s upcoming years with Ed Wood look like a step up. The “comedy” team of Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo do a horrible imitation of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. You be the judge but I still say imitation is the sincerest form of forgery and this sure looks like a pale imitation. Petrillo’s low rent Jerry Lewis is so bad it’s actually offensive. Lewis even went to the studio and threatened a lawsuit.

Duke and Sammy fall out of a plane. They were headed for Guam to do a show and are now on a tropical island called Kola Kola. The chief’s daughter Nona (Charlita) saves them from having their heads removed. She and Duke hit it off and Sammy gets jealous. Nona says she has a sister. Out comes the obese Saloma. It’s supposed to be funny as she chases the skinny Sammy around.

Nona says she studied in America because she is due to be queen of the island one day. Duke says they have to get to Guam so Nona takes them to meet her boss Dr.Zabor (Bela Lugosi). He’s a scientist working on evolution with a chimp named Ramona. He has an assistant named Chula. Zabor is jealous of Nona and Duke’s relationship.

Duke and Sammy stay with Zabor. The island lawman Pepe has a wireless and will see if he can get them a boat out of there. Nona’s getting upset about Duke leaving and Ramona is attached to Sammy. The chief has everyone over for dinner. Zabor doesn’t like the way Duke and Nona can’t keep their hands off each other.

Duke and Nona head for some privacy in the jungle. Zabor signals Chula to follow. He reports back that he heard Duke ask Nona to marry him. She gives her necklace since that’s the island custom. Back at the lab Zabor injects a formula into Ramona and she turns into a spider monkey. That convinces him he can turn a man into a gorilla.

Duke is on his way to Pepe’s when Chula hits him over the head and brings him back. Sammy and Nona are searching for him when they comes across the necklace hanging on a bush. If you think this movie has been over the top stupid already….just wait. It ends exactly like you’d think it would.

This was supposed to be the first in several movies starring Mitchell and Petrillo but it was the first and only one.

Duke Mitchell & Sammy Petrillo

Duke Mitchell & Sammy Petrillo

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The Larkins (1958-64)

the larkins

Sitcom about a family that includes a henpecked husband, his wife and their daughter and her G.I.husband who all live together. Sounds simple but it’s a good cast in a funny show.

Opening episode: September 19,1958: “Wide Open House” – It opens with Jeff Rogers (Ronan O’Casey) talking to viewers, explaining that he’s a G.I. who married Joyce Larkins (Ruth Trouncer) and now lives with his in-laws. Joyce comes out and says her father is stuck up a ladder.

Jeff goes to help. Alf Larkins (David Kosoff) is trying to hang a banner welcoming home his son Eddie from National Service. Alf’s loud mouth wife Ada (Peggy Mount) is giving instructions. A cord on the ladder broke and before Jeff can do anything Ada pulls a cord and Alf comes falling down.

In the kitchen neighbor Myrtle Prout is waiting for Eddie. Ada reluctantly invites her to a big bash she’s throwing for him. Outside the banner is finally up. The man who designed it comes by and that’s when Alf finds out how much it cost. Next a man comes over and says he’ll be there that night with a four piece band. More money going out.

Ada and Alf are arguing in the living room about money. Eddie comes into the kitchen. He gives Jeff, Joyce and Myrtle watches. He takes Myrtle into the broom closet. He just wanted to show her the luminous dial. Eddie goes into the living room but his parents are too busy arguing to notice him.

The party is on as Ada has invited half the neighborhood. Alf is assigned to answer the door. He tells Jeff he can’t wait until they run out of records for the gramophone. Just then a man from the record shop shows up with more. Alf misdirects him. He doesn’t get a break from the noise as the band shows up.

Eddie comes downstairs and gives Alf a break at the door. He opens it for the next guests. It’s two MP’s. He slams it closed. Then Jeff answers and says he lives there. Alf also keeps them out. Then Ada thinking they’re friends of Eddie brings them in to the party. There’s a nice bit coming.

A funny series that ran for forty episodes.

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Beyond The Law (1968)

beyond the law 1968

Another good spaghetti western with Lee Van Cleef. Three saddle tramps that live on robbery have their eyes on a hundred thousand dollars worth of silver. This is a good mix of comedy and action. The big surprise is Lionel Stander as Preacher, one of the thieves. Gordon Mitchell has a nice sense of menace as gang leader Burton.

Al flags down a stage for a ride. Passengers include Preacher (Lionel Stander) and Ben Novack (Antonio Sabato). Ben is delivering a payroll to the miners. Through a clever robbery where Ben doesn’t have a clue the money is gone Billy Joe Cudlip (Lee Van Cleef) picks up the money bag on the road and hides it behind some rocks.

In town Ben says the money was insured and will be replaced. The miners are about to get nasty when Cudlip rides in and shames them out of it. He and Ben become friends. Ben is from Europe and is getting his first taste of the West.

Cudlip, Preacher and Al figure a way to get a hold of the replacement shipment. Their plan goes well until the Burton gang shows up and tries to rob the stage. Cudlip and Sheriff John Ferguson are on the stage and are dead shots as some of the Burton gang bites the dust. They also get help from Preacher and Al as they pick off more of the gang.

Ferguson is wounded and back in town he gives up his star to Cudlip. The bandit is now the new sheriff. Burton is angry at his gang and is determined to get his hands on a hundred thousand dollar shipment of silver. Federal agents are due in town to guard it so he has to get it before they show up.

Cudlip decides it’s time to leave town and Preacher and Al go with him. Inside an abandoned cabin they’re cooking up some stolen chicken when some of Burton’s boys show up. Big mistake as they end up on the wrong end of Cudlip and his pals.

In town five of Burton’s boys harass the lovely Sally when Ben shows up. It’s five against one. Ben uses martial arts to start taking care of them. One finally hits him over the head with a rifle. Rather than press their luck they leave.

The town is going to have a big festival. That’s when Burton chooses to strike. He and his gang ride in. You know there’s going to be trouble…big trouble. Now all comedy is dropped and things get real serious.

There are some changes to the usual spaghetti formula and this is one worth seeking out.

Lionel Stander appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows. He’s probably best known as Max in “Hart To Hart” (1979-84).

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The She Beast (1966)

the she beast 1966

You could call this “The Keystone Kommie Kops Meet The Exorcist.” It takes place in modern day Transylvania and concerns a witch’s curse. Starts nowhere and goes nowhere. Even die hard Barbara Steele fans should give it a pass.

Count Von Helsing reads his ancestor’s journal about an incident in 1765.  A local witch is given a grisly execution and tossed into the lake. Before drowning she promises to be back and puts a curse on everybody, whether they carry a torch or not.

Present day: Philip (Ian Ogilvy) and his wife Veronica (Barbara Steele) are on their honeymoon. What better place than Transylvania? They stop at a hotel run by the degenerate Groper. He gives them garlic cloves with their tea. Von Helsing tells them it’s a local superstition. Veronica asks if he knows the Draculas. He says they’ve been gone a long time but the area did have a satanic religion for a while.

That night Philip and Veronica start doing what honeymooners do until Groper is caught spying on them. Philip shows him in no uncertain terms he doesn’t appreciate an audience. When Groper comes to he steals the distributor cap out of their VW.

Philip gets it back and they drive off. As they near the lake the steering doesn’t work and the brakes are history. A truck is coming. They end up in the lake. The truck driver takes them back to the hotel. Looks like Veronica is a goner. The truck driver wants to get the cops but Groper tells him not to.

Philip comes to and wants to know where Veronica is. Von Helsing shows up. Later he brings the witch back to life. Just so happens Veronica’s spirit is inside her. Von Helsing takes Philip back to his cave and starts reading from the journal. Philip doesn’t want to hear it and runs back to the hotel.

A young girl goes into the hotel and tells Groper she’s scared after hearing strange things. Groper’s lust-o-meter is in overdrive and he attacks her. She manages to get away. Outside Groper sees Philip and crowns him with a bottle and puts the body in the road hoping he’ll get run over. A truck just misses him and Von Helsing gets his body out of harms way.

As things move along the two go into town and capture the witch. Good thing Von Helsing always carries a hypo with him. They take the body back to the hotel and put it in the freezer. He tells Philip he’ll have to do an exorcism but he left his stuff back at the cave.

When they drive off the cops shows up with the truck driver. They find Groper’s body and then the witch’s cold form. Pretty stiff after being in the freezer. They arrest the truck driver for murder and take the witch’s body away for an autopsy.

Our heroes aren’t putting up with that as the movie takes a comedic turn with the cops being buffoons and getting into a long chase after Philip and Von Helsing. Then the movie tries to get serious again but it’s too late. It doesn’t have a clue about what it wants to be and ends up useless. To answer an obvious…that’s not Barbara as the she beast. It’s a guy named Joe “Flash” Riley.

Barbara Steele as Veronica

Barbara Steele as Veronica

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Collected-Roy Orbison 3 CD’S


01. Trying To Get To You (2:42)
02. Ooby Dooby (2:14)
03. Uptown (2:08)
04. Only The Lonely (Know The Way I Feel) (2:26)
05. Blue Angel (2:52)
06. Running Scared (2:13)
07. Love Hurts (2:28)
08. Crying (2:47)
09. Candy Man (2:45)
10. Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream) (2:33)
11. The Crowd (2:24)
12. Working For The Man (2:26)
13. Leah (2:41)
14. In Dreams (2:50)
15. Falling (2:23)
16. Blue Bayou (2:31)
17. Mean Woman Blues (2:26)
18. Pretty Paper (2:45)
19. Borne On The Wind (2:54)
20. It’s Over (2:49)
21. Oh, Pretty Woman (2:59)
22. She Wears My Ring (2:31)
23. Goodnight (2:30)
24. (Say) You’re My Girl (2:48)
25. Ride Away (3:27)

01. Crawling Back (3:16)
02. Breakin’ Up Is Breakin’ My Heart (2:09)
03. Twinkle Toes (2:37)
04. Lana (2:18)
05. Too Soon To Know (2:49)
06. You’ll Never Be Sixteen Again (2:54)
07. There Won’t Be Many Coming Home (2:45)
08. Communication Breakdown (3:00)
09. Cry Softly Lonely One (2:54)
10. Walk ON (2:54)
11. Heartache (3:14)
12. Penny Arcade (3:08)
13. She Cheats On Me (2:51)
14. Still (2:35)
15. Easy Way Out (3:28)
16. Wild Hearts (…Time) (3:32)
17. Handle With Care (with The Traveling Wilburys) (3:20)
18. You Got It (3:31)
19. End Of The Line (with The Traveling Wilburys) (3:28)
20. California Blue (3:58)
21. She’s A Mystery To Me (4:17)
22. Oh Pretty Woman (Live) (6:20)
23. I Drove All Night (3:47)
24. Heartbreak Radio (2:58)

01. That Loving You Feeling Again (with Emmylou Harris) (3:59)
02. Crying (with K.D. Lang) (3:47)
03. Sweet Caroline (3:04)
04. I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You) (3:16)
05. Help Me, Rhonda (2:55)
06. Belinda (2:32)
07. What ‘d I Say (2:55)
08. Sleepy Hollow (2:39)
09. No Chain At All (2:26)
10. Mama (3:00)
11. The Way Is Love (4:12)
12. Blue Angel (A Black and White Night) (3:14)
13. Blue Bayou (A Black and White Night) (3:16)
14. Claudette (A Black and White Night) (3:10)
15. Indian Summer (with Larry Gatlin & Barry Gibb) (3:46)
16. One Of The Lonely Ones (2:37)
17. I Will Always (2:41)
18. (Love Me Like You Did It) Last Night (3:12)
19. Coming Home (with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis & Carl Perkins) (4:04)
20. Waymore’s Blues (with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis & Carl Perkins) (2:22)
21. You May Feel Me Crying (4:15)
22. Life Fades Away (3:43)
23. She’s A Mystery To Me (Studio Demo with Bono) (4:53)
24. Oh, Pretty Woman (Live At The Johnny Cash Show) (3:47)

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The Grand Duel (1972)

Lee Van Cleef as Sheriff Clayton

Lee Van Cleef as Sheriff Clayton

Spaghetti with an off and on sense of humor, a terrible soundtrack, lots of action and Lee Van Cleef. It’s uneven but but if you’re like me and are a Van Cleef fan it’s watchable.

The stage is carrying an uptight matron, two girls, an English undertaker and Sheriff Clayton (Lee Van Cleef). They stop outside Gila Bend where Philip Wermeer is holed up. He’s surrounded by bounty hunters led by Hole. They work for the Saxons. Clayton is there to arrest him. Philip escapes and is picked up on the road as they stop next at Silver Belle. Another narrow escape with the next stop Jefferson City where Clayton used to be the sheriff.

Philip was wrongly convicted of killing Ebeneezer Saxon, the patriarch of the family. Clayton knows who really did it and in his own way is protecting Philip. The Saxon Brothers, David the new patriarch, Adam and Eli the town sheriff control the town.

Some scenes seem tossed in just to get across how mean the brothers are. Eli is obsessed with finding out who killed their father. Philip wants to know who killed his father who held the location to a vein of silver.

The movie starts to develop certain plot lines like the humorous English undertaker in the wild west but drops it. That was probably a good thing. It does get pretty silly when David rants about getting a Saxon in the White House. There are way too many close ups that redefine the expression “in your face.” Still the presence of Van Cleef makes it all worthwhile.

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