mhrabovsky6912

IMDb member since June 2007
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    IMDb Member
    14 years

Reviews

Tarzan's Fight for Life
(1958)

Tarans's Fight For Life
A lot of critics have panned this movie as a poor Tarzan film ...I totally disagree...Gordon Scott is a magnificent Tarzan with a superman physique - just what the role demanded....Scott must save a tribal village from an evil witch doctor named Futa who hates Tarzan with a passion because Tarzan knows that the witch doctor's medicine is inferior to Dr. Carl Sturdy who is in the jungle trying to develop a serum to fight tropical infections....adding to the film is a romance between Dr. Sturdy's daughter (Jill Jarmyn) and her father's medical cohort. Movie was made in brilliant technicolor with very good lighting effects....Gordon Scott gives the Tarzan yell from a limb on a tree as Futa's henchmen try to attack and kill natives bringing supplies to Dr. Sturday...It should be mentioned that MGM inserted several ft of footage to this film from film from "Tarzan and the Lost Safari" also starring Scott.....Scott is by far the most athletic Tarzan of them all, the handsomest and best athlete for the role... Check out a scene where a 25 ft python is wrapped around Scott who is trying to protect Jane from attack....lots of good action scenes and lions and evil tribesman...standard fare for the day for a Tarzan movie....Scott introduces his son as "Tartu" and not "boy" for some strange reason in the film....James Edwards (the cook in "The Caine Mutiny") gives a good action job as the evil Futa.....I liked this Tarzan film a lot and one year later Scott starred in the classic "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" with Anthony Quayle and a young Sean Connery of 007 fame.

Son of Robin Hood
(1958)

The Son of Robin Hood
Absolutely, ridiculous tale of Robin Hood's alleged son who is really a girl....don't get too confused.....it confused me at first....tale concerns Robin Hood's offspring who was expected to be a man, who comes back to England to fight, not the Sheriff of Nottingham, but a bird named "DeRoche"......Al Hedison inherits the role of Robin Hood's son as it appears RH did not have a true son.....ridiculous acting, poorly staged action battles and acting worse than "Plan Nine from Outer Space".....in one instance a group of Deroche's men try to corner the men of Sherwood and Robin Hood's daughter shoots an arrow in a man in a tree who was a spotter for DeRoche.....man falls out of tree and no where are the 25 men of DeRoche after the shooting!!!! Cardboard castle walls among the other ditties....want more - son of Robin Hood gets invited to DeRoche's castle and soon starts bedding DaRoche's girlfriend!!!! Whew!!! No recognizable actors of any renown.....Robin Hood's men (25 years older!!!!) wipe out the bad guys along with Hedison......this total production by 1959 standards could not have cost more than $100,000 to make.....where was Peter Cushing in this film???? Go figure.......

A Thunder of Drums
(1961)

A Thunder of Drums
This is a very good and mostly forgotten western that made the rounds in 1961. In 1960 MGM paired Luana Patten and a young George Hamilton in the feature film with Robert Mitchum, "Home from the Hill"....figuring on cashing in on the teenage and young adult crowd director Joseph Newman paired them again in this top notch western. Story concerns a desolate, poorly supplied western fort somewhere in the southwest trying to fend off Indian attacks on unsuspecting settlers...The post is ran by Captain Maddocks (Richard Boone), a crusty, worn out, cantankerous old bird whose military career has passed him by and put him in charge of this desolate hole....by coincidence, a fresh young officer (Lt. McQuade) played by George Hamilton arrives at the fort attempting to make a name for himself...problem is he does not have any practical experience like serving at a fort fighting Indians....he has been put in Provost and office jobs by his father, a General.....oddly enough, the very General who basically ended Maddock's career for an oversight. Maddocks immediately runs roughshod over McQuade and makes his life generally miserable since he is considered a greenhorn officer on a fort that needs reliable veterans who know how to fight and outfox Indians. To complicate matters more, McQuade's former girlfriend is ensconced on the fort and engaged to another officer while still loving McQuade (Hamilton)......she is played by the lovely Luana Patten. Tensions get worse between Patten, McQuade's fellow officers at the fort and Captain Maddocks. McQuade is torn between his duty, his hatred of Captain Maddocks, and his hidden passion for Patten. Fireworks explode when Hamilton is seen embracing Patten by her fiancé. Oddly enough things start to work out for Hamilton as Maddocks is forced to send him out on patrol.....McQuade shows his mettle and leadership and impresses most of the soldiers. Charles Bronson plays a meddling, snaky private who tries to show up Hamilton's affair with the lovely Tracy. A big fight erupts and Hamilton holds his own.... In the end Hamilton becomes Maddock's favorite officer and a strange friendship starts to bloom. Patten, realizing that her love for Hamilton will never work out soon departs the fort and leaves for good. A top notch cast, including Arthur O'Connell, Charles Bronson, Richard Chamberlin, Boone and Hamilton.....a mute girl in the film is played by Tammi Marihugh. It is hard to figure out why this film has never been released on DVD or rarely seen on television.....it is one of the top westerns of the 60s, but not given much recognition. Richard Boone was perfectly cast as the cantankerous Captain Maddocks....this is a western you would want to see.

Rebel in Town
(1956)

Rebel in town
Hollywood made a slew of so called "B" westerns during the 1950s, mainly black and white 80 minutes jobs meant to fill a second feature at the local theatre.....when I saw the top notch actors in this film I figured it would be worth watching and it was very good....John Payne, J. Carrol Nash, John Smith, Ben Johnson and Ruth Roman round out a very solid cast.....in a lot of these so called B westerns there were a lot of films about confederate soldiers on the run rummaging and pillaging so the plot was somewhat familiar....what set the tone for this film was the slaying of a young boy who was gunned down by a rebel coward, who thought that a cap gun going off was the real thing and he turned around in an instant and shot the kid dead...what follows are real character studies of the rebel family and their self righteousness about how a member of their family killed a little boy and the intense manhunt led by John Payne, the boy's father....Ruth Roman plays a very compassionate, caring mother while grieving for her dead son and tries to instill logic and a level head into her husband Payne who starts to lose his cool nearly every moment in the film.....Strange part to the movie when one of the rebel band is rounded up by Payne and brought to his house not knowing he was one of the rebel band....questions follow and soon Payne realizes his "guest" is part of the family that killed his son....a mob scene follows as usual and soon law and order is restored....in the end Payne nails the real killer (John Smith) in a knife fight in a barn as he tries to escape town....his father, J. Carrol Nash forgives Payne in the end for his son's cowardice..... Payne is reunited with his wife who was at the breaking point with her husband's blood thirst for revenge.....a solid, very worthwhile western, considering it was made rather cheaply by a small studio Bel Air productions..but released by United Artists.....

One-Eyed Jacks
(1961)

One Eyed Jacks
A great film, one of the best westerns of all time....Marlon Brando directs a pure masterpiece....when you think of the great revenge westerns of which there are plenty, this one along with "Nevada Smith" with Steve McQueen ranks as a pure winner. Brando in the lead role of a bandit with a large chip on his shoulder assembles a fabulous cast of villains, ladies and a solid story.....Karl Malden, a snake in the grass (ala "Neveda Smith" with McQueen) is over the top as Brando's former gunslinger pardner who deserts him and leaves him to the Mexican federales...the slimy Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens are about as snarly and nasty as they come in a western....solid cast of slimy villains, and the lovely and professional Mexican leading lady Katy Jurado round out the cast...but wait, what about Pina Pellicier, a very young and fresh face, who is a sweet and innocent daughter who falls in love with a mixed up, hell bent for leather Brando...she nearly knocks you out with her performance..... What role couldn't Brando do???? A performer of the highest magnitude...and then there is the lovely Carmel, California seaside which is shown throughout the film....probably a stone's throw from Pebble Beach where they filmed. One of Karl Malden's best villain roles along with his job in "Nevada Smith" and "Parrish" with Troy Donahue....what an actor he was....this is a don't miss film for action fans....a pure delight.

Sangaree
(1953)

Sangaree
Wow, finally got my DVD copy of "Sangaree" just recently, and this is a top notch movie for it's time.....Fernando Lamas with the Ricky Ricardo accent, his voice and Desi Arnaz almost sounds exactly the same......story concerns the old south and Lamas being awarded the rights to a plantation and all of its wealth by a dying patriarch...... The family of two beautiful women, Arlene Dahl and Patricia Medina and Tom Drake (of "Meet me in St Louis" fame).....take no particular stance against Lamas, but a con artist doctor and his son do and challenge the will in court....Lamas prevails, but has to fight tyranny in old Savannah trying to protect the vast Darby empire from pirates and the plague.....con artist doctor Bristol tries to hide his warehouse from the public because it contains stolen contraband and is a haven for infested rats. Lamas organizes the town citizens and exposes corruption in old Savannah.......in the end he winds up with Nancy Darby, played by Arlene Dahl....for my money I would have taken the lovely Patricia Medina as a love interest...she was a staple in 50s costume dramas and as beautiful as they come. Have to wonder why this film was never released to video by Paramount....a top notch cast and a very good story. This is just one of lots of classics that have never gotten past the courts or whatever and been released to video....why??? It took over twenty years of legal wrangling before "The High and the Mighty" with John Wayne was released also. If you like good 50s costume dramas you will love "Sangaree"......

Ursus
(1961)

The Mighty Ursus
Ursus, Maciste, Goliath, Samson, Hercules, Atlas, wow, those Italian muscle man producers must have had a hard time figuring out what to call the musclebound actors who played all these legendary muscleman heroes.....In the "Mighty Ursus" Ed Fury, formerly Ed Holovochick, has to find his former fiancé and attack some nasty villains in the process....this is a typical sword and sandal movie of the time....Fury was a decent actor but nowhere nearly as muscular as Gordon Scott, Mark Forrest and Steve Reeves who made the bulk of these "epics" so to speak.......the public back in the early 60s loved these sword and sandal epics....the budgets were very skimpy for these films, but handsome musclebound actors and women running around in skimpy costumes made the male audiences flock into the theater..... The plots were mostly all the same, a damsel in distress, evil rulers overthrowing a population and our hero coming to the rescue....Steve Reeves, Gordon Scott, Mark Forrest, Richard Harrison, and Fury made a flock of these films. Ursus proved a popular title and several "Ursus" films were made with a few different actors. In some of these Italian films the muscleman was called "Maciste"...go figure.....Fury got tired of these cheap, low budget sword and sandal flicks and went back to Hollywood for a little success.

The Truth About Spring
(1965)

The Truth About Spring
Top notch comedy/adventure film with a very solid cast....you gotta wonder why Disney did not make this film...it had three of Disney's top performers at the time, Hayley Mills (Pollyanna) and James McArthur and John Mills from - Swiss Family Robinson, both huge grossing films for the Disney vault.....story is about a young, growing of age lady Hayley Mills who wanders around the Bahamas with her landlubber father, a sea captain who wanders aimlessly about and supposedly has a map for buried treasure hidden on his boat...Mills and her father John Mills are a team so to speak - they are waiting for the correct time to find treasure but some of Mills adversaries on the treasure hunt force their way into the action too. In other words some other adventurers want in on finding the treasure....after all getting together through a compromise of sorts a load of dynamite is set off on a beach and lo and behold they find no buried treasure - just a bunch of skeletons.....back to square one!!! Through some shifty juggling Mill's father has managed to con their rivals out of a $1000 advance to find the treasure....ha-ha-...it backfires on the other looters. Secondary in the film is a blossoming relationship between Mcarthur and Hayley....they are slowly falling in love, much to the delight of Mills father who realizes that wandering about aimlessly at sea for years and years is no life for his daughter. In the end McArthur departs Mills boat and returns to his uncle's yacht minus Hayley....then McArthuer quickly realizes he cannot leave the best thing ever in his life on that dumpy fishing boat of her fathers....quickly McArthur and Hayley get together and a marriage is on the way...This is a lighthearted film with lots of laughs and a decent story to tell......made especially for the teenage set of the mid 60s with a cast to attract them in McArther and Hayley Mills. Very hard to understand why this film has never been put on DVD, considering the top notch cast.....one of Hayley Mills best films. A real treat for the teenage audience.

Phantom of the Rue Morgue
(1954)

Phantom of the Rue Morgue
A top notch horror thriller for it's time when it was released in the 1950s.....not a slasher film, those types of movies were not even considered during that time period....story concerns some very brutal murders of beautiful young women in and around some Paris France nightclubs in the very early 1900s....women are mutilated and the local gendarmes (police) are mystified....how could they be so badly beat up and decimated....the local police question everyone and the local inspector pays too much attention looking for suspects at the local college.....no clues are to be found.... finally after another gruesome murder a local student is implicated since he was near the area looking for the murderer himself...the local cops are very anxious to pin the murder on the student since they have no other suspects and the heat is on to find the killer (s). After some serious head scratching the student, Steve Forrest puts two and two together and figures that no man could be physically capable of crashing through glass ceilings and mutilating and stuffing corpses up a chimney and severing limbs....the evidence points to an animal such as a gorilla...naturally the local gendarmes do not believe it a first. After the gorilla escapes from his local pen at the zoo and murders again, police have to release Forrest from custody. Evidence points to the local zoo and its curator Professor Marais (Karl Malden) Police quickly rush to the zoo to find the ape carrying around another potential victim, the fiancé of Forrest. The cops kill the gorilla and in a somewhat funny scene the ape lands on Malden and gives him a Mike Tyson working over...ugh!! This film was released in 3D in 1954 during a period when Hollywood was trying to figure out how to keep its audiences away from television.....3D was a silly gimmick that gave a few thrills by wearing plastic glasses to enlarge and somewhat make more believable the image on the screen...it looked like the image was coming right at the viewer more explicitly than in regular format. All in all this is a good, decent horror thriller for it's time...the music composed by David Buttolph is pretty good and adds a touch to the mystery. The guy in the gorilla costume is very believable and you feel almost compassionate seeing the gorilla in his cage responding to affection from the fiancé of Forrest. Decent little thriller.

Friendly Persuasion
(1956)

Friendly Persuasion
What is it about a movie you saw as a ten year old kid in 1956 that sticks in your mind forever??? Friendly Persuasion is just such a film....it is a film that transcends all ages with strong emotion, peace, love and understanding.....FP might possibly the greatest Hollywood film of all time...certainly there are arguments for it being so....first of all it has brilliant casting with Dorothy McGuire and Gary Cooper as mother and father Birdwell.....at the time they might have been the very best male and female actors of their time.... Anthony Perkins handles his role as Josh with temerity and rigidity and wonderful emotional battles...like the scene where he cries out loud after shooting at the river...Phyllis Love as Mattie is strong, caring, sweet and pushed to her emotional boundaries....little Jess played by that wonderful kid at the time was splendid, Richard Eyer...who could forget him as the genie in "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad"......every emotional string is pulled within the Birdwell family in order to avoid involvement with the Civil War encroaching their Indiana home. Their religion bans fighting but what to do when directly threatened with potential lethal harm. Then there are other Quakers who try to force their beliefs on the Birdwell family....director William Wyler directs a brilliant, flawless movie....he knew when to inject comedy, action, fighting and personal involvement to a tee.....you will howl in delight as Jess and Josh Birdwell visit Dorothy Main and her three, hapless, love starved daughters......then there is the antics at the county fair filled with comedy and genuine pure laughs...also Professor Quigley the organ salesman will make you howl......for my money the scene near the end when the rebel soldier is pinned to the tree and thinks he is going to die - but suddenly he is let go by Cooper is very emotionally draining and worthy to see......the solider melts down in a very compelling and emotional way as he is allowed to live.....there are so many moments in FP to talk about.....the horse race between Cooper and his neighbor are a stitch and Doprothy McGuire provides her own antics like blowing dust off of her bible......another compelling scene when a union major is called to the Quaker church to warn the Quakers about the dangers of not fighting to save their lands.....Cooper with that famous statement, "If I am called to violence, I hope that I can be an instrument of the Lord"......there are so many memorable scenes to talk about...this is just a movie par excellence and you can watch it 20 times and not get bored.....to this day 45 years later I think about avoiding violence in my life and "being an instrument of the Lord"....watch this movie with your family and be delighted......

Jack Slade
(1953)

Jack Slade
This is a deep, dark, western about a man who tries to fight the devils in his psyche as a gunfighter and a man who wants to settle down with a wife in a small town.....Mark Stevens gives a solid performance as Slade, a man who grew up with violence and lives with it on a near daily basis.....Slade as a kid accidentally kills a man and lives with the demons of the mans death.....as a man growing up he lives with a man who was a stagecoach driver and became his mentor....trying to go straight he takes over the running of a stagecoach line in the west and has to make his mark...the stagecoach line has a problem with stolen horses depleting it ranks....Slade goes after the gang stealing the horses and blows away several bad guys...the killing keeps going on as Slade becomes a target for every gunslinger in and around the town....Barton McClane a staple as a bad guy in those old black and white westerns plays Slade's nemesis.... Mclane swears to kill Slade and in the end in a saloon with his partner holding a gun on Slade tries to humiliate and belittle Slade.....his partner holds a gun while Slades is on the bar...Slade's wife enters through a side door and shoots down McLane's sidekick while Slade blows away McClane. Again, this a deep, dark western with Mark Stevens giving a very solid performance as Slade...a man who looks greasy and dirty throughout the whole film....sort of goes with his personna.....for one thing Stevens is not the most handsome guy around who could have played this role, maybe Kirk Douglas or Robert Mitchum...In fact Mitchum played a very, very similar role to this film in "Man with the Gun" a 1955 oater about a dark, sinister sheriff blowing everyone away who gets in his way. Both films remarkably similar.....Dorothy Malone is a real beauty in this film as Jan Sterling was in "Man with the Gun".......both women much younger in those 1950 days....Both Stevens and Mitchum both shot down laying on the ground in the final scenes in both films.... This is a western that will not disappoint for a 1950s B film.

The Sons of Katie Elder
(1965)

Sons of Katie Elder
From the opening scene with that locomotive spewing smoke out the top to that riveting Elmer Bernstein score I had a feeling this would be a top notch cowboy film....the director Henry Hathaway assembled a terrific cast...Earl Holliman, the Duke, Dean Martin...Martha Hyer, Dennis Hopper, the old character actor himself James Gregory and George Kennedy. Good to see Martin reunited with the Duke after the great performance he gave as a drunk and a bum in "Rio Bravo"....Martin had that inate ability to be very good in westerns. The Duke is at his best as the leader of the Elder brothers who must assemble and find out how their mother and father died so suddenly and losing all of their property and possessions. Great shot of the Duke standing on a mountain top as the Elder boys gather around Katie Elders funeral....the Duke standing there looking tall in the saddle so to speak...you got the impression right from the start of this film the Duke would be in control and get his revenge. The Duke goes into town to find some answers with his brothers and runs into roadblocks all over....the Sheriff played by the venerable Paul Fix wants him out of town and quick...the local banker lies and covers up Katie's estate and the man who wants control of the town, James Gregory wants the Duke to hi tail it out of town....to make sure the Duke doesn't cause any trouble he hires a gunslinger to take control.....to make matters worse the sheriff has a very high strung and emotionally out of control deputy who wants to confront the Elders at any opportunity. The town boss, Morgan Hastings kills the sheriff and tries to affix the blame to the Elders.....the deputy buys into it and chases the Elders relentlessly. Problem is the Elders down and out on their luck and out of money agree to go on a cattle drive...the sheriff and Hastings cuthroats follow them into a confrontation....after blowing away Kennedy the Duke and his brothers go back into town to confront Hastings....you know the Duke will nail Hastings to the wall at end....best scene in the film is when a nasty George Kennedy, the hired gun tries to bully the town mortician and the Duke arrives on the scene and smacks Kennedy with a Buford Pusser type block of wood right across the kisser.....plenty of fans in the audience back in the 60s loved that scene....the Duke taking no guff from any gunslinger!!! This is probably one of the Duke's best westerns ever....right up there with "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", "Fort Apache", "The Searchers", "Alamo", "True Grit", "Rio Bravo" and "Big Jake".... the Dukes fans will love this western. This is nearly two hours of good, solid entertainment and you will love the Elmer Bernstein musical score. A must for Wayne fans.

Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei
(1959)

Last Days of Pompeii
This may have been the first film Steve (Mr. Hercules, himself) Reeves made after his enormously popular two Hercules films. Reeves certainly did not lose any of his granite carved physique before signing on to do this film. Story concerns Reeves as roman tribune who returns home to Pompeii after a sabattical in the roman legions. He discovers his father dead and seeks out to avenge his murder, all the while keeping the ruling class in Pompeii in worry that he may use his influence and go to Rome to emperor Tiberius. The christians are blamed for a load of murders in and around Pompeii, but in the background it is not the christians who are committing murders but a well organized band of roman traitors, who disguise as leaders during the day but murderers at night. One of the corrupt leaders is the lovely Anne Marie Bauman, who merrily rides along on a home made roman sled early in the film. Even the local church leader is part of the gang of henchmen...Reeves meets the daughter of the roman counsel and a relationship begins. Reeves is in love, but doubts the sincerity and truth of the lovely Christine Kaufman who is a self professed Christian and meets secretly with them at night in a cave. Reeves quickly discovers and learns the christians are not murderers and sets out to prove it...he then gets gang attacked by the roman traitors. Correct part of the film shows blind roman girl named Nydia who is also a Christian convert and is a maid to Kaufman. In the original novel about Pompeii there is a blind girl named Nydia. Soon Reeves fights off and kills band of traitors along with the help of his followers. Volcano then erupts and shows the total destruction of Pompeii....only Reeves and Kaufman are able to escape via a small boat.....very good special effects showing the destruction of Pompeii with Reeves running in the streets trying to find his love.... Check out scene with Reeves pulling chains out of prison walls and his set of massive biceps bulging. Reeves certainly had the body of a roman gladiator and then some...a body carved from granite. Of of Reeves best films.

Palm Springs Weekend
(1963)

Palm Springs Weekend
You have got to give Warner Bros studios credit for milking Troy Donahue for all they could get with the teenage audience....there was "Summer Place", "Parrish", "Susan Slade", "Rome Adventure"...Warner Bros was riding the high waves with Donahue for the teenage audience in the early 60s.......then they apparently decided to remake "Where the Boys Are"....this time the film is in Palm Springs California instead of Florida....Stephanie Powers more or less recreates the role Delores Hart had in "Where the Boys Are".....a young student looking for teenage/young adult love...Troy Donahue basically recreates the role George Hamilton had.....the handsome lover boy looking for romance.....basically corny and overly silly in a lot of respects. Plenty of comedy though as Jerry Van Dyke plays a over the top goofball who winds up with the homely down and out girl...sort of like the role Frank Gorshin had in Boys Are with Connie Francis....lots of similarities with both films. Troy Donahue did not have to do much acting...just stand around looking handsome and available and the gals ate him up. In a silly teenage film like this much acting was not required at all. For my money a scene near the end where Donahue and Stephanie Powers were standing in front of a fake, paper rock, supposedly in the desert was laughable....Powers says "look out there, see the sands, it is the valley of lost lovers" ha=ha-ha.....or something to that effect....Donahue stands there listening to her with a silly gape on his face....just totally laughable acting. Nothing like that old puss himself Jack Weston to play the lovable loser - he was the basketball coach trying to keep his players under control and falling for the matronly owner of the motel they were at....Weston always a lovable loser, just like in "The Cincinatti Kid" and "Thomas Crown Affair" in the 60s..... For my money Jerry Van Dyke steals the movie as a looney over the top comedian....once again, this is a teenage love flick at it's best....if you saw "Where the Boys Are" you have seen "Palm Springs Weekend"....just the same two films stitched together with different actors....Bob Conrad as the spoiled, rich kid with the fast T-Bird and Connie Stevens as the nubile, and very available coed....she gets mixed up with the wrong guy. Top notch film for the teenagers in the early 1960s.

The Cincinnati Kid
(1965)

The Cincinnatti Kid
Many people get into arguments about what is Steve McQueen's best movie....for my money I like "Neveda Smith" but others will take "Bullitt", "Thomas Crown Affair" or "Papillon".......well put "The Cincinatti Kid" right up there too......McQueen is definitely the king of cool in this high profile gambling tale. Only problem is that Edward G. Robinson, a very late cast addition to the role as Lancey Howard is the star attraction. How can you not stop watching and listening to everything Robinson says...he is the real "king of cool" in this film, not McQueen. "As long as I am around kid, you will always be second best" holy smokes, is that a line or what???? I like director Norman Jewison adding a few scenes with McQueen prodding a young shoe shine boy, telling him he is not ready to ever beat the kid in a coin throwing game....as the end of the film the shoe shine kid shows up and slam dunks McQueen with a line, "you ain't ready for me kid"....wow!!! Then there are the two female sirens in the film to pique your interest - Tuesday Weld and Ann Margaret. Margaret is on fire as a sexy, adultering hot lady ready to give the kid all he can take - sexually. Weld plays a down to earth home spun gal looking for a LTR with the kid.....McQueen seems to struggle with which gal he really is looking for. Margaret nearly melts the screen with her sexuality and slinky outfits.....then there is the ever good Karl Malden playing her husband, a down and out never to be real good poker player who must deal cards to survive......Joan Blondell as "Ladyfingers" the card dealer gives a super performance as a lady of the town...she really lays it on to Howard about his age and abilities....Rip Torn adds credibility as a down and out gambler who is not in the class as Robinson but wants to see him lose badly....he even tries to bribe Malden to dally the cards so Robinson will lose... all to no avail as Robinson remains the king and the scene at the end when McQueen defeated is seen with a bead of sweat rolling down his face.....wow!!! As McQueen walks out of the hotel to the streets he looks like a man who was just given a death sentence by a judge....what to do next...guess what, his gal pal Weld is waiting to whisk him away.....great ending to the film. One of McQueen's best films and he and Malden would be reunited a year later in "Neveda Smith"....definitely a film for McQueen fans. Only problem is who was the hair stylists for this film....Weld and Margaret wearing definitely 1960s hairdos, not like the 1930s setting. Also seeing diesel trains rolling along - there were no diesels in the 1930s..

Junior Bonner
(1972)

Junior Bonner
With all the good and entertaining movies Steve McQueen made, my favorite being "Neveda Smith" McQueen pulled off a couple of clunkers too, "Junior Bonner" and "The Reivers".....neither of those two films will endear Mcqueen fans....in "Junior Bonner", Mcqueen is a down and out worn out cowboy just like his father trying to hang onto the rodeo circuit for anything he can milk out of it. His life is bars and fast women and riding bulls. This film just rambles on and on with down home ramblings typical of the Texas cowtowns it represents. Bonner cannot escape his dad, Ace Bonner, his mom and bars and rodeos......pretty much typical of the rodeo circuit I guess. He has a chance with a beautiful cow town gal named Barbara Leigh but as beautiful as she is Junior still wants the rodeo circuit more than women and settling down. His brother Curly (Joe Don Baker) tries to get him to go into business with him selling trailers and McQeen does not want any part of it - just the bars and rodeos. Not much of a story if you will....just bars and rodeos and watching fights with his mother and father. Reminds me a bit of "Baby the Rain Must Fall", a film Mcqueen made similar to "Junior Bonner". He played a driftless cowboy in that one too. At the end of "Junior Bonner" McQueen is off to Australia while in Rain Must Fall he never becomes anything but a wanderer. McQueen could play that role quite well. Not the best Mcqueen tale.

The Tomb of Ligeia
(1964)

Tomb of Ligea
I had always thought that "Plan Nine from Outer Space" was the worst movie I had ever seen...well, "Tomb of Ligea" would be a close second....totally boring, with a dry script and Vincent Price running around the whole movie wearing a silly looking pair of sunglasses and wincing in the light when his glasses are taken off. Typical Roger Corman low budget dullsville.......Price runs around the whole movie trying to resurrect his dead wife Ligea while Lady Rowena his new wife tries to figure out what is going on.....guess what, who is the star of this film, Price, his wife or an ever present screetching black cat who attacks Price and his wife and puts wounds on their faces.... This black cat gets almost as much attention as Price and his wife in the film.....somehow I don't think that cat is very scary. The rest of the film is fox chases and totally boring conversations inside Price's castle in England. Price acts insane throughout the whole film and you can never figure out what he is going to do next....Elizabeth Shepard plays a dual role as Ligea and Lady Rowena....totally laughable part in the beginning of the film when Ligea suddenly awakens in her casket in the cemetery with a humorous smile on her face.....Price cracks: "only a momentary nervous reaction" yikes!!!!! No one ever did explain why the church elders did not want Ligea buried in the church cemetery....ugh!!! typical ending with castle in flames and Price and Rowena running around trying to escape. For my money the black cat was the star of the film with that loud and hissing screetch!!! Probably the worst film Price ever made....

Creature from the Black Lagoon
(1954)

Creature from the Black Lagoon
Top notch horror tale that has not lost it's appeal over time....quite shocking for it's time in the early 1950s when it was released...I was 10 years old when I saw it at the movie theater and how do you describe being scared that bad.....Universal had worn out the Frankenstein/Wolfman/Dracula genre in the 30s and 40s and Creature was a welcome addition to the Universal monster stable. The film became a smash hit when released in 1954 and every kid I knew back then was the "kreetch" when they went swimming anywhere trying to duplicate that twisting and turning side to side motion the creetch had.... The film was so successful it spawned two sequels, neither of which came anywhere near to being as good as the original..... The story was excellent - a half man - half fish being discovered in the ruins of the amazon jungle.....all the creetch wanted to do was be left alone but alas a team of scientists had other ideas. The creature is a very elusive monster to say the least and spears, rotonol, and bullets could not rein in him for the most part. When captured the creetch reacted in his own way - showing the beast that he was but not doing anything else except trying to escape. The creetch had a yearn for love also as he stalked the beautiful Julia Adams throughout the film and tried to win her over in the end. But alas beauty killed the beast and the creetch went to a subteranian grave at the end. This is a monster you had a heart for....somehow I wanted the creetch to escape and torment his attackers......for a small part of the film he did just that. Still one of the top all time monster movies.....a classic.

Taste of Fear
(1961)

Scream of Fear
Holy smokes, a Hammer thriller like this movie and guess what, Peter Cushing was not in it!! ha-ha....Hammer, a small studio in England made a string of horror/monster films in the late 50s and early to mid 60s...they wore out the Dracula/Frankenstein genre until there was nothing left to milk out of it....usually Peter Cushing was a mad scientist or an adventurer trying to sort out murders etc. I first saw this little gem in 1961 at my local movie theater and it has left a lasting impression on me...wow, this seems like a film Alfred Hitchcock would do....it has a few shocks ala "Psycho" and the swimming pool scene with a dead man with bulging eyes buried deep in a villa swimming pool was quite a shock for a 13 year old in 1961. Susan Strasberg, who I will always remember in "Picnic" gives a stirring performance as a stand in for a daughter who goes to the french riviera to visit her father who she has not seen in ten years. This film is brilliantly directed with no wasted moments and all the performers seem creepy to a disillusioned Strasberg. First there is her creepy step mother and then a overacting butler/driver who try to convince her that her seeing her dead father sitting in chairs all over the home is a visionary malfunction. The plot seems rather simple - scare Strasberg to death or paranoia and then the step mother would inherit her father's wealthy estate if Strasberg was declared mentally incompetent. A very scary scene when Strasberg is trapped in the back of a car with a dead man with bulging eyes and sent over a cliff to a watery grave below. Problem is the joke is on the step mother and her butler boy friend. Strasberg is not the real daughter of the man - she is a friend of the real daughter and is sent to the home to find out what is really going on with her father. The plan seems to be working but alas Strasberg escapes from the drowning car and the plan is foiled as she leads police to the step mother and butler. In the end the butler boy friend pushes the nasty mother in law over a cliff sitting in a wheel chair to a watery grave below. This is a Hammer film at it's best - a real scary, deep psychological thriller....the music is rather creepy too..adds to the dimension of the film. Susan Strasberg acts just perfectly as the supposed cripple girl who asks plenty of questions and cannot get out of a wheel chair -not until the end when she reveals her true identity. This film is a real gem...problem is it is very hard to ever find this film on local television....check out the cable channels. A real gem.

Nevada Smith
(1966)

Neveda Smith
I have often asked myself what was my favorite Steve McQueen movie......sometimes I think it is "Bullet" other times I think it was "The Thomas Crown Affair", then I think of "The Great Escape".....when the bell finally rung though I gave it to "Neveda Smith" and why not? McQueen is over the top as an Indian "boy" (although he seemed much older that the part called for), who is hell bent on revenge against three murderers of his parents. Some awesome villains in Karl Malden, Martin Balsam and the legendary Arthur Kennedy. Give a lot of kudos to Brian Keith also, as a man who finds a helpless Max Sand (McQueen) getting started out on his revenge mission - and tries to help him get used to the ways of the outlaw world.....it is very apparent Sand would not have gotten his revenge without the help of Jonas Cord (Keith) who showed him how to shoot, eat and chase bandits and how to look out for himself in more ways than one..... The director Henry Hathaway moves the film along very smoothly and never lets McQueen have a dull moment in the film.....he keeps McQueen cunning, clever and hell bent on revenge all throughout the film. Pat Hingle as the prison guard in the Louisiana swamp turns in a typical Pat Hingle performance - a ruthless, hellbent for leather prison guard who shows little to no mercy on anyone. Remember him as the father from hell in "Splendor in the Grass"??? Suzanne Pleshette seems a bit miscast as a plantation slave girl - she is way too beautiful and smooth to play a rough, worn out slave girl who toiled on a plantation in the swamps. Give a lot of credit to Arthur Kennedy as one of the killers....he gives his typical outstanding performance as an odd ball with a twisted personality and is only concerned about his own welfare. If McQueen and Pleshette died leaving the swamp it would not bother him one bit. Karl Malden as the last of the three to get taken out gives a very worthy performance you come to expect from him. He tries every way he can to find out if McQueen, a new member of his outlaw gang is the real Max Sand, a wacko who is tracking him according to news reports. McQueen very coolly reacts calmly to Malden's wicked remarks about Indian women (McQueen mother was an Indian***) in an attempt to get Sand to show his identity. Alfred Newman's musical score is a classic also...very good music throughout the film. The final scenes where McQueen cuts down Malden bullet by bullet is a classic - you don't know whether to feel sorry for McQueen or Malden at this point in the film. Very coolly McQueen rides off leaving Malden shot up in misery screaming at Sand as he leaves. As they say, McQueen was the "king of cool" and you could see it very easily in this film. One of the best westerns ever made in my opinion.

Tarzan the Magnificent
(1960)

Tarzan the Magnificent
After seeing "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" in 1959 I thought Gordon Scott had made the best Tarzan film ever.....one year later "Tarzan the Magnificent" comes along and it is nearly as good, just a tad not as good as TGA.....Scott, a bulging musclemen and very handsome makes a great Tarzan, and the old cornshuck scripts and groans were taken out of his vocabulary again and he is a thinking, intelligent ape man hell bent on righting the wrongs of the notorious Banton gang....as in "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" Scott is after a gang of cuthroats and killers again and wont settle the score until they are all captured or killed. Producer Sy Weintraub assembled another top notch cast of veterans like Jock Mahoney and John Carradine as superb villains and some other newcomers too......a couple of nice looking women are again in the mix ala TGA.......This time instead of doing the chasing of villains as he did in TGA, Tarzan is chased and followed by the murderous Banton gang, hell bent on getting back their brother (played by Jock Mahoney) who has been captured by Tarzan and has Tarzan wanting to give him to the authorities in a settlement a few miles away. Problem is Tarzan must escort a group of mixed up civilians who do not know the ways and treacheries of the jungle terrain. Tarzan is constantly trying to stay ahead of the Banton gang and yet is slowed to a crawl by his civilian misfits. Then Mahoney creates ultimate friction by wooing and stealing one of the group's wife.....Tarzan has his hands full at this point!! In the end Scott must fight the remainder of the Banton gang and wipe them all out ala TGA.....in the end he delivers Mahoney to the proper authorities and Scott returns to his jungle realm. All in all this is another great Weintraub production of an intelligent Tarzan and Scott rises to the role in superb fashion. He is definitely the best Tarzan ever in my opinion. Very sadly this was Scott's last Tarzan film and the thing that has perplexed me is why Weintraub after the amazing success of TGA and T the Magnificent did not want Scott to make more of these great Tarzan movies. Very sadly a skinny, underweight Jock Mahoney became the next Tarzan and he is no Scott......nowhere near as handsome either. Scott at this point joined his good friend Steve Reeves and made a slew of the very popular sword and sandal Hercules type films in Italy during most of the 60s......Scott finished up his film career with a good Italian western "The Tramplers" made in 1966.....

Il figlio di Spartacus
(1962)

The Slave (Son of Spartacus)
This is one of Steve Reeve's best ever films and possibly the last one in which he was in a tribune or Roman centurion costume...... Italian director Sergio Corbucci conconted up an idea to continue the life of Spartacus with Reeves as his son gaining a large measure of revenge on corrupt Roman counsel Ceasar Crassus who is running an illegal corrupt empire right in the heart of roman territory....In fact Crassus is getting so powerful that Ceaser himself sends Reeves to investigate what Crassus's methods are and report back to Caeser. Along the way on his trip to see Crassus the ship that Reeves is in hits a river barge and dumps him and a lovely Italian slave named Saida into the river. Reeves survives and he and Saida walk through the roman desert unaware that slave drivers are rounding up all the slaves they can to be bought and sold. Reeves and his gal are captured and Reeves breaks loose from the pack and wreaks his revenge on slave leaders with some dazzling sword work, wiping out a flock of slave drivers. One of the members of the slave band recognize a medallion worn by Reeves as the symbol of Spartacus, since the slave member was a member of Spartacus's force twenty years earlier. Reeves initially is unconvinced that he is truly the son of Spartacus and muses in a catacomb about his true identity. He sees the sword handle of Spartacus and it is the same talisman as his medallion. Reeves recognizes his true heritage and goes to work on wiping out Crassus and his evil empire......raid by raid Reeves and his band wipe out Crassus's gang all the while maintaining his identity as a roman centurion from Caesar.....in the end Reeves is caught and given a death sentence by Crassus....his followers then free him and Caesar must make a decision as to whether or not Reeves followed his orders as a true centurion. Caesar gives Reeves a death sentence but Reeves followers come to his rescue and Caesar relents. Good love story and the beautiful Ombretta Colli is Reeves's love interest. After this film Reeves became "Sandokan" and made one western in 1966 before retiring for good. I just love this film and Reeves had that marvelous physique that made any man drool!!!!! The immortal Steve Reeves, what a face and a body......

Follow That Dream
(1962)

Follow That Dream
Holy smokes, as far as Elvis movies goes this one is a hum dinger!!! Elvis, very uncharacteristically plays a laid back dumbo, backwoods buffoon who naively sails along in life while feasting on the public welfare trough. Elvis and his homemade family of unadopted brethren scoot along a highway in Florida and set up a camp in the middle of nowhere.....along the way an very obnoxious social dept leader tries to get Elvis and his homemade family to vacate the area..... This film has Elvis battling the state welfare establishment while setting up a very lucrative over the pier fishing business, either legally or illegally - you make the choice. Some hilarious scenes with Elvis unintentionally trying to make amends and friends with some local gangsters and their hoods......Elvis seems so naive and goofy the gangsters are in disbelief. The gangsters are very hilariously tricked by Elvis into running off and away from Elvis's encampment. Great job by the character actor Arthur O'connell as Elvis dad.....he is about as goofy and aloof as Elvis in the film with some hilarious commentary. The scene in the bank where Elvis and his girlfriend (Anne Helm) attempt to borrow money is downright hilarious. All in all this is one of the Pelvis's best films....very lighthearted and you will find yourself laughing on more than one occasion in this movie. Film fans will like it since the state establishment is defeated and the little guys win with their day in court. All in all this and "Kid Galahad" two of Elvis's best overall films.

Rome Adventure
(1962)

Rome Adventure
The first thing you have to ask yourself about this film is is it a travelogue about Rome or is it a a romance movie??? Eighty percent of the film is Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette riding around Rome on a motor scooter while the camera pans all the historical sights in Rome. I have never learned so much about Rome all rolled up into one film!!! Troy Donahue, who was at the peak of his career in soap operas when this film was made gives another super soaper-doaper heart throb performance. Donahue was riding high with soapers like "Imitation of Life", "Parrish", "Susan Slade" and "A Summer Place"......the following year he was another hearthrob in the light headed "Palm Springs Weekend" with Stephanie Powers. In Rome Adventure Donahue is a student mired in Rome in a love mixup with the lovely Angie Dickinson and a young, very young Suzanne Pleshette. Who does he like better...sort of hard to figure at points in the film....Donahue runs around the entire film chasing both women. Rosanno Brazzi plays a very suave Italian gentlemen who is of wealth in Rome and tries to fall in love with Pleshette but he appears to be many years older than her.....it just wont work with a 20 year age difference!!! Substance wise this film did not give Brazzi the actor appeal he showed in "South Pacific"......in that film he was the hearthrob.....the famous "Al Di La" song rang out throughout the whole film and was a record hit in the US in 1962 from the movie soundtrack. All in all this film is a soaper special......teenage and young girls no doubt flocked to the theaters to see Donahue in 62 at the height of his career. Angie Dickinson had second fiddle in this film and you wonder how she liked playing second fiddle to Pleshette. The venerable Constance Ford, who usually plays a mother from hell is top notch as the owner of a book store in Rome where Pleshette gets a job....she was always a Delmer Daves favorite for his soap operas. Check out her voracious, aggressive dog..... This is a film that Warren Beatty probably could have played at the time too.....he and Donahue were top Hollywood hearthrobs at this time in the early 60s.....however, Beatty usually chose much more complex characters with mixed emotions like in "Splendor in the Grass" and "All Fall Down".......as for Rome Adventure cook up some popcorn and relax to a nice little love story from the early 60s when romance was more on the sweet side.

El hijo del capitán Blood
(1962)

The Son of Captain Blood
In the early 1960s Italian film producers churned out a ton of so called "sword and sandal" Hercules, muscleman type movies.....Hercules, Samson and Goliath type movies that packed American movie houses. After much success with these gladiator/Hercules movies, Italian film producers decided to make a few pirate movies also. They changed the pace of history a bit and came up with two very good pirate tales in "Guns of the Black Witch" with Don Megowan and "Morgan the Pirate" with Steve (Mr. Hercules, himself) Reeves.......then a good idea came up to cast the true son of Earl Flynn, Sean Flynn in "The Son of Captain Blood" in another pirate tale. As pirate tales go this one is pretty good considering a poor cast and a very inexperienced Sean Flynn in the lead role. Flynn, very young and handsome is the son of the legendary Captain Blood and sets sail for the seven seas......along the way he is captured by a band of pirates and flogged. Amusing scene as he is being flogged by pirate captain....after turning around after much whipping there is not one scratch on his back!!! Then mysteriously after being put in a hole on the ship a pirate deckmate becomes his friend without much explanation and frees him to overtake the pirate ship. Flynn then after taking over the pirate ship sets sail and captures a few Spanish ships. Along the way the very lovely Allessandro Panaro becomes Flynn's love interest. The plot of this movie is pretty good but the supporting cast behind Flynn is weaker than ten day old water. Ann Todd as Flynn's mother plays a solid role as a wise lady plantation owner. At the end of the film as Flynn and his pirates return to Port Royal, a hurricane destroys much of the island. Some pretty good special effects with the hurricane as miniature sets are destroyed. A very good scene also with Flynn in a thrilling sword fight in a tavern with rival pirate captain. For my money looking at the lovely Allesandro Panara is worth watching the film for me. This is not a bad pirate movie but it is not in a league with "Morgan the Pirate" with the immortal Steve (Mr. Hercules, himself) Reeves. This film was intended for a young audience in its time and it will not disappoint teenage and a little older ladies who would ogle at the handsome Flynn. Flynn shows surprisingly a good bought of swordfighting in several scenes. Not a bad pirate tale at all.

See all reviews