Our group was comprised of two adults in their 40's and two children aged 9 and 13. We all liked it very much. This is a subversive little film that will probably offend some. The film tackles two problems with modern society. Firstly, it examines society's pride in gaining material wealth. It is amusingly represented in the movie by a lower class villain's need to join a group of wealthy cheese connoisseurs (even though he is allergic to cheese). The film's viewpoint is that your leopard Gucci handbag doesn't make the person, rather the things you do make the person.
Secondly, there is interesting theme found in how the people view the box trolls. The people have been manipulated into believing the box trolls are vicious killers when in fact they are gentle scroungers. How easy the people are manipulated and how they don't want to think for themselves is a criticism of modern society as well.
Does this all sound heavy handed? It's not really presented that way. The kids loved it and so did the adults. Although if you are a politician; or a member of the American Corporate world; or if you believe your Gucci bag makes you better than your neighbor, you probably won't like this.
This film was believed lost by mystery film addicts when a 16mm print turned up on ebay in the early 2000's. The buyer kindly transferred the film to VHS so the rest of us could enjoy it. Now some people may complain about the lack of quality or production values but when your master is a beat up 16mm print I tend to be a little forgiving. Also the fact that it was long lost makes me grateful a print exists at all.
The film itself didn't disappoint this old mystery buff. Conway is great as the suave detective. The rest of the cast is very solid and the plot is a neat little twister about locating a hidden treasure. Not to be missed by mystery buffs and please forgive the quality as we are lucky to have it available to us.
This is the one film I pass along to my friends. Not because they are football/soccer fans. It doesn't matter if they are or not. Forget the synopsis. The central story is that of the England Manager. Let's admit it, he's a bit of a screw up. He picks the wrong players for his team, picks his assistants for the wrong reasons. He only gets the England job because the men the FA really want to give it to refuse to accept it. But there is something very very likable about him. He is in a way, an everyman. Someone who tries hard but life seems to give a few kicks to. Like most of us.
This is a comedy, make no mistake. But what separates it from average is it's heart. When England struggle game after game and the dream job turns to a nightmare for the manager we watch as the stress takes hold. It even starts to tear apart his personal life. It culminates at the media center just before England final group stage match and just after Mr. Bassett has been caught in a display of public drunkenness.
There, the men of the press, the self appointed voice of the public, demand his resignation. When he refuses, it causes a riot with cat calls from certain reporters. Quietly, while the reporters scream, Bassett reads the Kipling poem. A poem that has been his personal mantra through life. Which basically says stay true to your heart and do what you know is right. His poem silences his critics and upon completion he utters the now famous (for us Mike Bassett lovers) "England will be playing four, four, fu**ing two!" Which really is an exclamation mark for the poem. Stay true to your heart. And in this case, England do what you do best.
If I have made a mess of explaining why I love this film I only say this. Thank you to the filmmakers for this little bit of brilliance. It's hard enough to find a film that makes you laugh. But finding one that makes you laugh and touches your heart at the same time is indeed rare.
This is one film I go back to and enjoy every once in a while. Lyle Talbot has always been a likable mug for me. He is one of those old time professionals who I am always happy to see listed in a film's credits. The plot is simple but very good. Talbot works as a dispatcher at a small rural railway station. One rainy night, shortly after a company payroll has arrived at the station, a masked criminal arrives to steal it. Talbot intercepts the villain's plan and a struggle ensues. He manages to fight off the masked man and save the payroll. But during the fight he is away from his station and misses a call to change the tracks for an oncoming train. This causes a terrible train crash resulting in many lost lives.
Talbot is shocked when the police and railroad authorities don't believe his story. He is charged with negligence and sentenced to five years in prison. Yet fate intervenes and he escapes custody, going underground to live as a tramp in the country. One day he happens upon a rural station where his help is needed. An older dispatcher (Frank Reicher) falls ill and Talbot happens by just in time to save the station from another train wreck. Bitter from his experience with the railroad company and feeling betrayed by his fellow man, Talbot manages to put these feelings aside and agrees to cover for Reicher for a short time.
It just so happens that the masked villain responsible for Talbot's fall from grace also works at this station. Eventually all the plot threads come together in a most enjoyable way. The story is extremely well written, the performances are really good. Lastly, I'd like to counter the previous reviewers assessment that Talbot's performance as a bitter man is not very good. To me it is bang on. Talbot is basically a nice guy embittered by one event in his life. When the old man falls ill, his true nature comes forward and he no longer has time to feel sorry for himself.
Directed by Ford Bebee. Starring Lyle Talbot, Polly Rowles, Frank Reicher, Henry Brandon, William Lundigan.
I like Edward Brophy. He was best playing a mug with a twinkle in his eye. But he is miscast here as the "intellectual who likes the sauce". He just can't make it work. He sounds cardboard trying to play the professor. Likewise, I enjoy Hugh Beaumont. To me Beaumont was similar to Alan Ladd, great in the right role, but with a rather cold screen persona.
Let's be honest, these were made on the cheap and relied heavily on the stars to bring life to very average scenarios. Personally, I think the Brophy/Beaumont team fails. I like them both, but it doesn't work here. Compared with the TV detectives series of the era the Dennis O'Brien mysteries are fine, but if you are looking for a lost gem from the detective genre you won't find it here.
Perhaps the high mark of this excellent series and certainly one of my favourites. The episodes starts with the three men searching under bushes in the countryside for a treacle can Compo buried years before. Compo isn't sure just what he put in the can but it must contain some valuable antiques. After a long search, the men take a break at a local pub where Compo & Clegg decide they should find a woman for Foggy. They tell a tall tale to the waitress, saying Foggy is an eccentric millionaire who made his fortune in frozen turkeys. The waitress is not impressed with the poor Foggy, but a wealthy Foggy impresses her a great deal.
After a wonderful scene where the waitress shows her interest to the bewildered Foggy, the three men return to the countryside to find the buried treacle can. Foggy comes up with a suggestion as to why their previous search failed and a new search is initiated. The finale features one of the funniest sequences in the entire series.
The version I have is from a 16mm print for a US TV station, although I suspect this played on British TV first. The premise is simplicity itself. Rutherford and Stringer Davis travel around England by horse and carriage visiting three estates where ghosts have supposed (and famously) appeared.
If this sounds like a bit of nonsense, it is. If it sounds boring and stupid, it is not. The three stories are played out with deadly seriousness, as Miss Rutherford, in a hushed whisper, enquires of the ghostly sightings. The host of the home then tells a tale from long ago. Some the tales are better than others, but Margaret never misses a step. Her seriousness and great acting ability draw the viewer in and make this a totally enjoyable experience. It would be great fun to play this at Halloween for visiting friends. But perhaps this is more for an older crowd who can appreciate the subtleties of the show.
An entertaining little B' drama. Victor McLaglen stars as a retired boxer who now works as a doorman. He is a well liked mug who has a devoted daughter, Joan (Nan Grey) and a snobbish son, Jeff (Donald Briggs). Even though Jeff is soft and looking for the easy life, his father stays loyal. Jeff works as a broker for a big firm and is set to marry the boss' daughter. One problem. The family is high society and Jeff fears his dad's low social standing would nix the marriage. So he pretends he has no family. McLaglen is hurt but sees Jeff's point and lets Jeff have it his way.
Jeff is married but soon he makes a very serious mistake. He "borrows" money from a client and invests in a "sure thing" stock. The "sure thing" loses big and Jeff is short his client's cash and looking at a jail term. His father quickly steps in and decides the only way to make the money Jeff needs is to train a young boxer, Bob Hill (Tom Brown) for a bout against the local champ.
McLaglen's plan is have his boy lose by drugging his fighter's drinking water. He will before hand place a big bet on his opponent to win. It's the only crooked thing he's ever done in his boxing career but his son's needs come first.
McLaglen's pal, Mushy (William Frawley) places the bet, but mistakenly places the bet on Bob Hill to win. Of course, everything works out in the end. Mushy drinks the tainted water meant for Bob. Bob knocks out the champ. And the prize money and gambling money help Jeff from serving a jail term. Jeff, feeling guilty over his treatment of his father, confesses to his wife and her family about his humble upbringing and they prove they aren't so bad by gladly excepting the good hearted McLaglen into the clan.
The film starts with a scam. A truck load of new rubber tires is switched for a load of worthless used tires. The crooks plan is to deliver the worthless tires at night to the retailer and then set them on fire before they can be identified as junk. The viewer isn't sure who is behind the crime, but it is evident a number of people who work at the tire manufacturer are aware of the switch.
The scene shifts to private detective Jess Arno (William Gargan) who is driving to a beach house with a client (Phyllis Brooks) who is involved in a blockbuster murder case. Upon entering the beach house, Arno finds the corpse of a woman. Since there is no working phone at the beach house, Arno drives to a nearby club and phones the police. The police arrive and as they enter the beach house they find the corpse has vanished. The police doubt Arno's story but Arno had previously made an important discovery. He identified the designer of the dress on the corpse.
Of course the two subplots come together and soon Arno is tracking the killer. Production values are pretty good for a Columbia B. The cast is filled with veterans of such material and they do an excellent job as expected. Margaret Lindsay plays a real estate agent who is also Arno's fiancée. She is determined to make sure Arno's interest in his client stay professional. Also on hand are James Burke as the slightly dense local detective and Thomas Jackson playing his usual cynical Police Captain. Top suspects include a nosey reporter played by Dick Purcell; an oily crook, played by Jerome Cowan; and a nightclub owner, played by Edward Norris.
Lowery plays Tim Scott, a man running from his past. Previously, he was working as a "high man" when an accident occurred resulting in a terrible fall and the death of a co-worker. Now Lowery drifts from small job to small job. By chance he meets two women (Phyllis Brooks & Mary Treen) who are setting up a lunch bar at a big building project. The three have a minor brush with the law which results in all of them spending the night behind bars. All three are rescued from the hoosegow by Lowery's former boss (Roger Pryor), who just happens to be a foreman on the building project where Brooks & Treen are setting up their business.
Pryor convinces Lowery to return to work for him, but not at his old job, this time working on the ground. The rest of the film deals with the romance between Lowery and Brooks, and Lowery facing his demons and returning to his old job as a "high man".
If you have watched and enjoyed other Pine Thomas films, I'm sure this one will be no different. It's a little slow in spots. The romantic subplot wasn't interesting to me and took up far too much time. Typical for the Pine Thomas films is that they lack a little flare and zest. And although there is actually location shooting this film has a ton of rear screen projection shots. In fact it may set some sort of record for rear screen projection shots used.
Ultimately, a fine cast has trouble overcoming a so-so script and low production values.
The film focuses upon Florence Rice's character, a nurse who was wrongly convicted of poisoning a patient. Now, Rice has been paroled, although the elderly doctor she worked for is still behind bars. She sets up in her new home but quickly learns than the witness who can clear her and the doctor is scheduled to be executed in New York. She decides to "break" parole and fly to New York to convince the witness to tell the truth.
Now the mystery turns to the plane trip from California to New York. There is much mystery and many subplots, including an inventor, Conrad Nagel, who is travelling to Washington to patent a revolutionary armaments discovery. The film has moved fine to this point and one would think the film would gain intensity during the flight with the mystery that abounds. Yet somehow, the film begins to lose steam.
The plot gets a little shaky as Nagel with little to go on, suspects Rice is hiding from authorities. Likewise, the parole board suspect Rice has taken flight shortly after she has left for New York. Both plot developments are contrived and leave the viewer to accept the unlikely.
Back on the plane, the storyline picks up again as a poisoning occurs. The victim survives, yet indeed this development is bad news for Rice who is quietly trying complete her trip unnoticed. Shortly after, another poisoning brings death. Authorities are quick to uncover Rice's identity and accuse her of the murder. It's left to the clever inventor, Nagel, to find the killer, prove Rice's innocence, and allow her to complete her journey to New York.
It is an "OK" presentation but leaves you a little disappointed. The premise is interesting and with a little more expertise in execution and care to plot this could have been a memorable B mystery.
This is the type of film that one might find listed in the old Forgotten Horrors book about forgotten chillers from independent studios. From Majestic Pictures during the golden age of mysteries, a rare film I had tried to hunt down many years back with no luck. I was pleasantly surprised to see the film listed for sale on Amazon and quickly made the purchase.
For it's type, a 1930's independent studio release, it is quite good. An actor with many enemies is bumped off during a party at a theatre. The actor was a true rogue making it tough for the detectives probing the case. C. Aubrey Smith plays Hanvey, a cagey, methodical sleuth. While, Sam Hardy, plays Gallagher, a dim-witted police captain, played mostly for laughs. One of the running gags throughout the film is Gallagher arresting whomever is the top suspect at a certain time.
Did I mention the monkey? Groan if you want to, that's what I did when I saw him. Yes, monkeys were certainly popular in films during the late 1920's and early 1930's and yes the monkey is a suspect in the case. Although the monkey is not really annoying, far too much screen time is wasted on him, especially when considering the talented actors on hand for this minor B picture. C. Aubrey Smith is always welcomed. Ruthelma Stevens was a treat whenever she made a rare appearance. Same for Paul Cavanagh and Hale Hamilton, all excellent performers.
The finale is unique, in that Smith, like Sherlock Holmes was to do upon occasion, solves the mystery, but then lets the killer go free, feeling justice had been served. For collectors of rare films and the people like myself who enjoy the poverty row studios, warts and all.
Lamour plays a saloon singer who goes through men like a seal goes through fish. She meets Montgomery and she decides he'll be her next lover. It's a whirlwind romance and the lawyer and saloon singer are soon married. The ink on the marriage license is barely dry when Lamour is looking to upgrade her position in life.
Lamour first becomes "friends" with a boxer, then moves on to a gambler, presumably because the gambler has more dough. Montgomery gets steamed by his wife's behaviour until she reassures him there is nothing going on. Lamour is a real crumb, but Montgomery is in love and believes what he is told, not what he sees. If it sounds like this is all shaping into a good noir, forget it. It plays out like a period musical, not a gritty crime film. All in all, not a bad way to spend 90 minutes. The performers are good, and the film moves along at a breezy pace. Nothing outstanding, but good fun.
This is quite a good little film. Make no mistake, this is a low budget B' from Republic. However the story and cast exceeded my expectations. Don Castle stars as the man who possesses a valuable statue of Madonna, a statue that is suppose to bring luck to those who are true of heart. Castle has total faith in people (and the statue) and regularly lends it out for special events like a wedding, where the statue will bless the bride and groom with good fortune.
Sheldon Leonard plays the crook who wants to steal the priceless statue. His plan is to have a cohort arrive at Castle's home and take the real statue and leave a worthless fake. His cohort is a tough dame, played by Lynne Roberts. She comes to Castle's home, but circumstances arise and she begins to feel Castle's faith in man and the statue, causing her to renege on her bargain with Leonard. Leonard doesn't take this very well and sets out with a new plan to snatch the statue and deal Roberts a blow for her double cross.
This film is no masterpiece, just a pleasant, well executed B' thriller for those who enjoy such films.
Three friends win big at the racetrack. While celebrating at a pub they discover their bookie has cheated them and paid them off in cut up newspapers instead of currency. Enter Mr. Cupid, a wealthy businessman who loves to gamble. The foursome play poker well into the night and Mr. Cupid loses big. With no money in his pockets it is agreed that Mr. Cupid turn over a small business to the boys. The boys are quite excited about becoming businessmen until they learn their new company, a marriage agency, is failing badly.
Fate seems to have dealt them another bad hand when in walks a wealthy widow (Advice Landone) who is looking for a rich husband. The boys quickly decide that one of them (Charles Farrell) will pretend to be rich and romance the lovely lady. However, the wealthy widow is a fraud, and just as poor as our unlucky trio. This is a low budget British comedy with little star power, but the cast works very hard. It is short and sweet at just over an hour and I did enjoy the film.
The title leads the viewer to believe they are about to watch a classic comedy. However, this film is no comedy, rather a drama with some thriller aspects. Set shortly after the war, Gordon Jackson, plays an British soldier who served in France during the war. He has returned to civilian life and is about to marry his sweetheart (Christina Gregg). Shortly after the ceremony he is contacted by a woman (Lisa Daniely) he knew in France who he romanced during the war.
The story unfolds that Jackson was seriously injured during the fighting in France. During this time, Daniely claims Jackson proposed and they were married. Unfortunately for Jackson, he lost his memory for a short time and he can't disprove her claim.
Daniely offers to leave the two newlyweds forever as long as Jackson can pay her a considerable sum of money. Now Jackson (and the viewer) realizes that Daniely is a fraud and they were never married. But how can he prove it and is someone else involved in the blackmail scheme.
The film is certainly no cracker, but the current rating (3.2) is a little harsh. Yes, it's a little staid and very low budget. Still it was a pleasant enough 65 minutes if one is not expecting too much.
I loved horror movies as a kid. Now when I go back to the genre I once loved it is sometimes surprising just how good Boris was. Not long ago I bought the complete series of the Colonel March of Scotland Yard British TV series. And man Boris was good in that. Even here, a dying man, he still has that commanding voice and charisma.
This movie in it's parts is quite good. The cast is strong, the plot has potential, the production values look good. There are moments where you think this movie is going to start to kick ass. However the whole does not equal the sum of it's parts. It drags in spots. There are long sequences that add little to the story. I know the movie was produced over many years and the continuity is lacking. Some careful editing down may have made this a more enjoyable film. Still, another evening with Boris is never a bad thing.
I picked up this baby because I was hoping for a spooky expedition story set in Egypt. Robert Taylor plays a millionaire going to Egypt to locate a buried tomb that holds the priceless Glass Sphinx. His assistant in an expert in such matters, played by Angel del Pozo. Also accompanying him are his niece and an exotic beauty he has just met, played by Anita Ekberg. Adding a little suspense is a mystery man (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) who is following the expedition.
This all sounds good to me. Unfortunately the creative team key on the romantic subplots of the film. Taylor is mad for Ekberg and the niece is falling for the mystery man. Alas the most memorable scene is not the unearthing of a vengeful mummy, but a clumsy romantic scene between Taylor and Ekberg. They are both having a morning shower, side by side, in outdoor shower stalls. Ekberg drops her soap and Taylor leans under the stall and hands it back to her. Then they have an intimate moment as the both hold on (far too long) to the soap and each others hand. This might seem romantic to two teenagers, but for two, ahem... mature stars, it plays out quite silly.
Set in post war Japan, the film tells the tale of a woman (Martha Hyer) looking for her missing brother. Her brother operated a small export business and has suddenly disappeared. Strangely his business partner has also vanished. Japan is portrayed as a hotbed for smugglers and snoopers all trying to make a buck anyway they can.
Hyer soon comes in contact with the Japanese police who are somewhat sympathetic but they are also hunting for her brother because they believe he was involved in some smuggled opium. In steps an American ex-serviceman (Byron Mitchie), who works the black market and agrees to help Hyer find her brother.
Mitchie, who has a total of two film credits in his career, is an odd choice for the lead role. He is a giant of a man, looking 7 feet tall, with a slight frame, mammoth hands, and a long flop of hair that waves across his face every time he moves his head. Hyer begins to fall for him, but the audience is soon let in on his dark side. He was branded a coward during his service days and bitterly looks for redemption. He is also secretly married to a Japanese woman and he is not above kicking her in one of his delusional fits.
Eventually it is revealed that Mitchie is the business partner of Hyer's brother. He murdered her brother and went into hiding under a new identity. As Hyer begins to suspect the truth, so do the local authorities, who are aided by the the brother of Mitchie's Japanese wife.
The irony of the film's title, "Oriental Evil", is that the greatest evil in the film's story is found in Mitchie, the US ex-serviceman. Definitely worth a look for collectors of the odd and unusual.
Laurence Payne plays a skunk composer who is married to a beautiful woman (Patricia Dainton) but he decides that she isn't enough. So he starts a torrid affair with his wife's sister (Jane Griffiths). How low can you go? Although Payne loves no one but himself he decides to ask for a divorce so to please a nagging Griffiths. When his wife refuses to give him a divorce Payne and Griffiths concoct a murder plan to get rid of Dainton for good. Unfortunately for the pair, Dainton learns of their plan and sets out with a little plan of her own. As one would expect there are a few twists and turns to the finale that keep the viewer entertained.
There are tons of these low budget British crime films from this era. This one is slightly above the average with a nice screenplay and good performances across the board.
I had never seen this film on television here in Canada and I purchased the DVD solely based on the reviews found at Amazon UK. After all who doesn't love a Christmastime ghost story. I just finished watching this with my wife and we were not disappointed. The story builds slowly but with suspense. A young lad, James (Jon Newman), is reunited with a great Uncle (George Cole) he never knew he had. James travels to the country to Greville Lodge where his uncle lives. Both James and his uncle are very nice people but the uncle is somewhat somber.
James soon begins to have dreams that are connected to Greville Lodge. He dreams he is a lad much like himself and he befriends a boy and a girl who worked at Grenville Lodge many years before. Why are these strange dreams happening? There is a mystery for James to unravel. Something happened many years ago that still affects his uncle. Eventually James comes to believe that if he can unravel the past perhaps he can bring some joy to his solemn uncle.
This is not a horror film with exploding skulls and gargoyles (Thank heavens). It is a gentle ghost story, superbly written and well acted. I recommend it highly as a family Christmas movie.
First up, the only reason I am writing this review is I fear the low rating the movie has will drive some viewers away. A 4.2 rating implies junk and that is not the case at all.
The opening sequence showing the civil unrest in Egypt is well done and gives a nice back drop to the ensuing story. I won't repeat the synopsis which many have covered, except to say it is a little different, which is welcomed. The leads, particularly Mark Dana were quite good and earnest in their performances. The film manages to build suspense nicely and the short run time is probably a help.
The negatives are it doesn't have the glitz of a Hammer flick and there is zero gore that modern horror fans require. Also the Mummy is not in the film at all during the first half of the picture. This is no masterpiece by any means, but it is a well made low budget monster movie from the 1950's. If you love old B movies from the 1950's then this is a nice way to spend 75 minutes.
Now as far as film making goes this made for TV drama is quite exceptional. Molina is brilliant playing one of Britain's most famous comedians. However, the fans of Tony Hancock should be warned, this film is a portrait of the troubled man behind the legend. I have no idea how close to the truth this films is, but Hancock is not portrayed in a favourable light. This film suggests that Hancock had a drinking problem and that the talent of the famous TV show was in the scripts. These points of view are sure to anger some of Hancock's fans.
We have a TV movie biography of one of Britain's famous funny men. A viewer might expect a light-hearted romp. That is the furthest from the truth. One may not like the approach of the film makers, yet there is no denying that this is a compelling show, well above the average.
Henry Stephenson stars as a retired Scotland Yard detective. He is regarded as an icon because he has written volumes of books on the art of detection. While Stephenson is being honoured for his past successes, he senses modern detectives, particularly the current District Attorney, look at him and his methods as outdated. This spurs the old man out of retirement to prove himself to the know-it-all modern detectives.
As fate has decreed, there is a modern murder case that has stumped the District Attorney's office. Lloyd Corrigan, playing his usual amiable eccentric, is Stephenson's aid in sleuthing. This film is a very gentle and unusual mystery that was a welcomed diversion for this veteran mystery lover.
A small boy playing at a ruined churchyard follows a mysterious woman into the bowels of the church. She opens a secret compartment behind a brick wall. As the boy secretly watches, she is struck down and murdered by a mystery man. The frightened boy flees and the killer chases after him. The boy escapes but loses his cap in the process. The killer picks up the cap, which has a boys name tag sewn in the underside.
The killer sets out to silence the only witness. But fate is on the young lad's side. He had switched caps with a friend and it is his friend who the killer has mistakenly hunted and murdered. A clever reporter (Paul Carpenter) pieces together the clues and comes to realize the boy who witnessed the crime is still alive.
This would be considered a low budget British mystery. I found it to be little above average and a quite enjoyable 65 minutes.