The Hand (1960)

the hand 1960

A copper finds a local drunk with pockets full of money and…..his hand is missing. Lots of talk and little action in this hour long movie that doesn’t have much of a story or much of a reason for being. It has a Jazzy soundtrack better suited for a P.I. TV show. In fact, the movie would probably have worked better as a TV episode.

IN a POW camp in Burma in 1946 three captured British soldiers refuse to tell their captors where their regiment is located. Having run out of patience the camp commander draws his sword and cuts off one of their hands.

Moving up to present day London: Sgt.Foster is walking his beat and comes across Charlie Taplow. He’s a local drunk and is passed out. He has five hundred pounds in his pockets. Foster takes him to a hospital after seeing that one of his hands has been cut off. Sgt.David Pollitt (Ray Cooney) and his boss Inspector Munyatd (Ronald Leigh-Hunt)ask Charlie what happened. He says a man named Roberts offered him the money for his hand and he took him up on it. Later that night a nurse and Pollitt discover a window open in Charlie’s room. He’s gone. His body is found in the river. He’s been murdered.

A ticket found in his wallet leads Pollitt and Munyard to the Allin House Nursing Home. Charlie was registered there as Roberts. Munyard talks with nurse Geiber while Pollitt talks with Dr.Crawshaw who performed the amputation. He takes a gun out of a desk drawer and kills himself. Later the doctor’s cousin Roger (Derek Bond) shows up. He says he’s wealthy and doesn’t know why his cousin would shoot himself.

Munyard gets a phone call at the hospital from someone looking for Roberts. They trace it to a rooming house and discover Mike Brody. He refuses to say why he’s looking for someone names Roberts. Brody only has one hand.

Pollitt stands guard outside while Munyard goes back to the station. Two men approach Pollitt and then jump him and work him over and lock him in a storage room. The two along with a third man go to Brody’s. One of them stabs him. He’s still alive when the cops get there and mumbles the name Roberts. Pollitt finds a box. Inside….a hand.

Mrs.Brody calls Munyard and tells him she’s being followed. While on the phone a man come sup behind her and hangs the phone up. He says he’s George Adams and is looking for Roberts. He only has one hand.

Anything else from here on in would be a spoiler. The ending is laughable.

Ronald Leigh-Hunt as Inspector Munyard

Ronald Leigh-Hunt as Inspector Munyard

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Product Music, Vol. 1: Industrial Show Tunes in Praise of the Products We Trust

PRODUCT MUSIC-COVER

1 –Unknown Artist Clark Equipment: Hooray For Human Engineering 1:51
2 –Unknown Artist Ford Motor Company: Tractor Drivin’ Man 2:47
3 –Unknown Artist American Standards: My Bathroom Is A Private Kind Of Place 3:13
4 –Unknown Artist American Standards: Look At This Tub 2:15
5 –Unknown Artist American Standards: My Ultra Bath 1:40
6 –Unknown Artist 7-11: Dance The Slurp 2:14
7 –Unknown Artist Mary Kay Cosmetics: Gentle On My Mind 1:20
8 –Unknown Artist J.C. Penney’s: He’s A Penney Man 3:02
9 –Unknown Artist Westinghouse: Power Flower 2:29
10 –Unknown Artist Ford Motor Company: Standing On The Corner 1:34
11 –Unknown Artist Borden’s: Shake It! 2:20
12 –Unknown Artist Squibb Pharmaceuticals: The New Generation 2:19
13 –Unknown Artist Frito’s: The Frito Twist 2:15
14 –Unknown Artist Bold Detergent: The Most Beautiful Girl In The World 0:59
15 –Unknown Artist Westclox: Madison Avenue Tango 1:10
16 –Unknown Artist Mary Kay Cosmetics: Saints Go Marchin’ In 1:08
17 –Unknown Artist Exxon: Up Came Oil 3:02
18 –Unknown Artist Exxon: We Got’em 1:06
19 –Unknown Artist Clark Equipment: My V.I.P. – Tribute To Salesmen 3:41
20 –Unknown Artist Emerson/Chromalox: The Eight Seasons Of Chromalox

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Castle In The Air (1952)

castle in the air 1952

Entertaining movie about a Scottish Earl who tries to sell his run down castle before it’s taken over by the Coal Board.

The Earl of Locharne’s (David Tomlinson) ancestral castle is falling apart. He’s trying to make some money using it as a bed and breakfast. Creditors are starting to hound him. His assistant Boss Trent (Helen Cherry) does her best to help him. He nicknamed her Boss because she runs things. She’s also crazy about him but he doesn’t pick that up. One of the lodgers is the batty genealogist Miss Nicholson (Margaret Rutherford). She’s a member of the Jacobite Society and believes the Earl is the real King John of Scotland. The castle is also haunted by the ghost of his grandfather’s mistress.

One hope is American Mrs.Coldfelter Dunne (Barbara Kelly) of Denver. She’s a rich divorcee who wants to buy the castle because of her Scottish heritage. She’ll pay a quarter of a million dollars. The fly in the ointment is Mr.Phillips. He’s from the Coal Board and they want to requisition it as a hostel for the miners and their wives.

A tour is going through the castle. Mrs.Dunne shows up and Boss tries to let the Earl know who she is but can’t get the message across. Phillips is part of the group. The Earl is describing what terrible shape the place is in for the benefit of Phillips He takes them to a room where the ghost resides. She scares everyone downstairs.

He finally finds out who the lady who joined the tour is. As things move along Boss is jealous of the attention he’s paying to Mrs.Dunne. Phillips is staying on despite the fact that he’s been given the worst room in the place. No hot water and the wind keeps howling through the cracks. The ghost keeps showing up too.

It looks like Mrs.Dunne is going to buy it after all. The Earl doesn’t tell anyone why he and Mrs.Dunne are heading into Aberdeen. They’re going to the solicitors office to close the deal. They get waylaid into going to Mrs.Nicholson’s group meeting which turns into a bash.

The Earl and Mrs.Dunne returns very late to the castle not feeling any pain. Boss is jealous and also angry thinking the Earl scammed Mrs.Dunne into buying the place since the Coal Board is taking it over.

The movie has some mild laughs and some charm as it works its way to the solution. The ghost doesn’t have much to do with anything but a castle has to have at least one.

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Meet The Wife (1963-66)

Thora Hird-Freddie Frinton

Thora Hird-Freddie Frinton

Sitcom about a plumber and his constantly talking wife. He likes to spend time at the pub while his wife wants him to spend more time with her. It has a laugh or two along the way and even though it’s a chance to see Thora Hird her character can get on your nerves..but then again…she’s supposed to. Freddie Frinton plays husband Fred.

November 7,1966 episode: “Old Time Dancing” – In an effort to get them to do something together Thora enrolls them in a dance class. Fred isn’t happy and would rather drink beer and play darts.  The class has entered a contest where the prize is an appearance on the “Come Dancing” TV show hosted by Peter West.

Fred is more than annoyed at the woman giving him dancing lessons but maintains his cool…barely. Everything he does is wrong. Back home Thora gets her dress ready for the big night. Fred is upset that he has to wear a tie and tails and gloves. In the dressing room he has shoes in a bag. He’s just back from a plumbing job. In a hurry he brought one old shoe and one new one. Then it turns out they’re both for a left foot. Thora finds another one he managed to bring.

The first dance goes okay. Before the second one Fred decides he needs a drink. Out on the floor Thora’s charm bracelet gets caught in Fred’s cuff link. No first prize for their team. Thora does win for best dress.

Later on they’re about to watch the show on TV when the phone rings. It’s the show. Thora is all excited while Fred talks on the phone. It’s not what she thinks.

Though the show had a decent run most of the series only contained four episodes. Overall it was a dull outing.

Thora Hird had a lot better luck as Ivy Unsworth in “In Loving Memory” (1979-86) and as Edie Pegden on “Last Of The Summer Wine” (1986-2003).

Posted in British TV, Comedy, TV-Comedy Shows, vintage TV | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Astounding She-Monster (1957)

the astounding she-monster 1957

If you’ve ever wondered what’s below the bottom of the barrel, here it is. Every scene is stretched beyond the limit to take up an hour. It’s no surprise that the “acting” and “writing”  will have you searching Roget’s to try and find a term for something this bad. The movie starts with a narrator that doesn’t have a clue about how to read copy. That’s what happens when the budget is this low.

Nat, Brad and Esther the lush kidnap society dame Margaret Chaffee. They head for the San Gabriel Mountains. Geologist Dick Cutler (Robert Clarke) is walking his dog Egan near his mountain cabin when he sees a UFO. He thinks it’s a meteor.

If he saw the alien that came out of it he’d think she was from a low rent revue. Brad is driving along and then he sees her. She’s glowing. It’s not because she had a good time on the ship. It’s radium. Brad runs the car off the road. Now they all have to walk and they don’t believe Brad.

The big plan is to steal Dick’s Jeep. Dick warns them that they’ll never make it at night since the Jeeps’ lights don’t work. Esther downs a bottle. Harry the Fire Warden calls Dick and asks if he’s seen any fires because of that strange glow in the sky.

Brad goes outside. It’s her! (Shirley Kilpatrick). He empties his revolver. Bullets bounce off. She touches Brad. He’s toast. Nat hears the shooting and investigates. He finds Brad’s body. There she is again. Now here comes Egan barking away. That’s all for him. Nat doesn’t have much luck with his revolver either.

Inside the cabin Esther wants another bottle. Dick gets her one. Harry rings the phone. Esther won’t let Dick answer it. Nat drags Brad’s body back to the cabin. He shoots the bottle. Not bad for someone who empties his gun as the creature.

Hank calls back. Dick tells him there aren’t any fires. Harry tells him about the kidnappers. He hangs up and then turns on the radio. A news reader even worse than the narrator says Margaret’s father refuses to pay the ransom for fear that his daughter will be killed once they get the money.

Nat says they have to get out of there. They pile into the Jeep. It won’t start and here comes that creature again. There’s a lot of running in and out of the cabin. The creature chalks up a couple more earthlings before Dick figures out she’s wearing a metal suit. Then he gets an idea.

Someone must have bet you could make a movie for $5.95. This comes in below that. It’s so bad that it isn’t even worth laughing at. There isn’t one redeemable nano second in it. The best “actor” is Egan the dog.

People of my planet would never make a movie this bad. I must destroy you all.

People of my planet would never make a movie this bad. I must destroy you all.

 

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The Essential Capitol Collection-Keely Smith

KEELY SMITH-COVER

[3:24] 1. All The Things You Are
[2:03] 2. It’s Been A Long, Long Time
[2:54] 3. That Old Black Magic
[3:09] 4. Stormy Weather
[2:34] 5. You Go To My Head
[2:39] 6. S’posin’
[2:55] 7. Fools Rush In
[3:11] 8. The Song Is You
[2:25] 9. How Are Ya’ Fixed For Love
[2:47] 10. Be Mine (Little Baby)
[2:33] 11. I Wish You Love
[2:59] 12. Someone To Watch Over Me
[3:15] 13. The Man I Love
[2:50] 14. Don’t Let A Memory
[1:51] 15. What Is This Thing Called Love
[2:59] 16. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
[2:13] 17. (Nothing’s Too Good) For My Baby
[3:26] 18. I Can’t Get Started
[2:23] 19. There Will Never Be Another You
[3:29] 20. Imagination
[2:48] 21. The Whipporwill
[2:30] 22. Nothing In Common
[3:11] 23. When Your Lover Has Gone
[3:04] 24. All The Way
[2:52] 25. Stardust
[3:04] 26. Don’t Take Your Love From Me
[3:49] 27. When Day Is Done

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5 Against The House (1955)

5 against the house 1955

Four college students including two Korean War vets plan to rob Harold’s Casino in Reno as a prank. The movie fails miserably because of the ill advised attempt at snappy repartee and clever one liners between the four. There’s not one funny line and it goes on for almost an hour. Just horrible. It would have been a good crime movie if they had just stayed with the planned caper and stopped trying to  be witty. The positive in this movie is the performance of Brian Keith as a vet who left the psych ward too early. Kim Novak sings a couple songs. Her voice was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer.

Four students at Midwestern University, Roy (Alvy Moore), Ronnie (Kerwin Mathews) and Korean Vets Al Mercer (Guy Madison) and Brick (Brian Keith) go to Harold’s Club in Reno for some laughs. A man tries to rob a cashier but the cops nab him thanks to security up in the eye in the sky. The cops tells the four that it’s impossible to rob the place.

Back at school Al heads to a nightclub where his girlfriend Kay (Kim Novak) is a singer. He’s studying law but wants to get married. She’s more cautious. Brick is approached by a girl who thought he would keep more contact with her. Her date for the night shows up and objects to the attention he pays to her. Brick warns him to back off. He doesn’t and Al has to break it up before Brick kills him. He tells Brick he should go back to the VA hospital but he refuses and gets mad at Al.

The next day Ronnie talks about how bored they all are. He remembers what the Reno cop says and devises a plan to rob Harold’s as a prank. He says it’ll take seven minutes and they’ll give the money back.

Brick says they need Al with them and he’ll bring him in. They tell Al that they’re heading to Reno for vacation. Al has an argument with Kay and says he’ll go with them. He doesn’t know what they’re up to. While he’s packing, Kay comes into the room. She says they should go to Reno and get married.

Ronnie is from a rich family so the money for the caper isn’t a problem. They get a trailer for the back of the car. Al finally discovers what’s really going on. He has Roy stop the car so he can go outside and talk to Brick. Nothing doing. Brick pulls a gun and says Kay will also be part of the plan so all five will be in on it. Brick says if he doesn’t cooperate he’ll kill him.

The movie finally takes an all serious turn but it’s way too late. Time to put the plan into action. They approach casino worker Eric Berg (William Conrad). He pushes the money cart from the counting room to the tables.

If I want to see a movie about a casino robbery I’ll stick with The Rat Pack in 1960’s “Oceans 11.”

Guy Madison’s most famous TV role was as the title character in “Adventures Of Wild Bill Hickok” (1951-58).

TV fans know Alvy Moore as Hank Kimball on “Green Acres” (1965-71).

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