bkoganbing

IMDb member since June 2003
    Highlights
    2013 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    10,000+
    Lifetime Filmo
    10+
    Lifetime Bio
    1+
    Lifetime Trivia
    10+
    Lifetime Title
    1+
    Top Reviewer
     
    IMDb Member
    16 years

Reviews

Rawhide: The Immigrants
(1962)
Episode 23, Season 4

A Junker on the prarie
This Rawhide story has Wishbone, Jim Quince, and Clay Forrester looking for strays when they are kidnapped and brought to a Prussian house on the prarie. Lording it over all is John Van Dreelan, a Prussian count who has taken his estate over to our west. Said estate includes a number of peasant serfs who are treated as such.

It takes all three of the drovers to make sure that these folks know that in America we have no serfs. We just fought a war to get rid of slavery,

Van Dreelan cuts a nice figure as the Prussian Junker count. Good story all around especially after Paul Brinegar is let loose in the kitchen.

Private Detective
(1939)

Cross purposes
From the Warner Brothers B picture unit comes Private Detective and it's Jane Wyman in the title role. Wyman's current case involves a divorce where Gloria Dickson is seeking custody of her child Henry Blair from her estranged husband John Eldredge who is a wastrel. But if Eldredge can get a hold of the monies set aside for Blair from his grandfather his wastrel lifestyle can go on.

When Eldredge is murdered Dickson looks good for it. But though they work at cross purposes, Wyman and her ex Dick Foran who is a homicide cop solve the murder.

For comic relief we have Maxie Rosenbloom as Foran's sidekick. This film is compared to the Torchy Blane series where Wyman did the last one. There are definite similarities, especially when Rosenbloom is on screen. In the Torchy Blane series, Tom Kennedy played the brain dead detective and Rosenbloom slips nicely into his big feet.

Entertaining as it is Private Detective gives no hint of what Wyman would do later.

Blue Bloods: Stirring the Pot
(2018)
Episode 8, Season 9

The Reagans disagree
This episode has Bridget Moynahan caught in the middle of a feud between her father and Governor David Zayas. Tom Selleck is not happy about the DA not prosecuting drug busts with a small amount in possession and takes appropriate action.

Donnie Wahlberg is caught between a rock and a hard place as he tries to cover up for Detective Josh Randall who froze during a shootout. Wahlberg and Randall go back to the Academy together and have a lot of history.

Will Estes starts having doubts about his own leadership capacities when one of the men in his charge is nearly killed.

It's a good mix of stories in this Blue Bloods episode.

I've Got Your Number
(1934)

Making a living with Ma Bell
I've Got Your Number casts Pat O'Brien and Joan Blondell as a pair who make their living with the phone company. O'Brien is a line repairmen and Blondell is a switchboard operator. O'Brien is a roughneck, but as Blondell learns he grows on you after a while.

O'Brien gets Blondell a job with Henry O'Neill's brokerage house, but she's suspected of being part of a gang that robs the place of six figures of negotiable securities. It's up to O'Brien and sidekick Allen Jenkins to clear her.

I've Got Your Number is fast and breezy and entertaining. The film has a good pace to it and doesn't let up, My favorite scenes are with Glenda Farrell and a phony spiritualism racket she's got going. Farrell steals the film in her scenes.

You'll also like Eugene Pallette in his scenes as O'Brien's overwrought boss.

One good product from Warner Brothers.

Havana Widows
(1933)

C U in C-u-b-a
Back in the days when Havana was quite the recreation spot for Americans two chorus girls, Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell decide they don't like living hand to mouth in the Great Depression. So they bamboozle Allen Jenkins out of $1500.00 which he gets from his boss gangster Ralph Ince. Farrell has Jenkins wrapped around her finger, he is such a sap in Havana Widows.

When they get to Cuba, Blondell makes a play for rich Lyle Talbot. But the getting isn't easy, there are a lot of Blondells and Farrells out there on the same mission.

The girls are funny, but this film really belongs to Allen Jenkins. Frank McHugh also gets some laughs as the perpetually inebriated attorney who'll secure you a divorce between shots.

I'd check this one out.

Smarty
(1934)

High spirited and vivacious
Smarty has Warren William and Joan Blondell as a husband and wife. Joan is a vivacious tease and a flirt and William has limits on his patience. One night when she proves too much William belts her on the chin and Blondell files for divorce.

Johnny on the spot lawyer and neighbor Edward Everett Horton offers to be Blondell's divorce attorney and he marries her. But we're talking life with Horton and his fuss budget personality.

I think you can figure this one out. It's most dated because in this day and age no one slaps a woman without condemnation.

Still F. Hugh Herbert's script has quite a few laughs in it and Warner Brothers regulars Claire Dodd and Frank McHugh get their share also as neighbors and card playing regulars.

Funny at times, but most dated.

The Big Valley: The Iron Box
(1966)
Episode 11, Season 2

Hellhole Prison
This Big Valley story has Nick and Heath being falsely arrested and sent to a labor camp without trial. In the process Heath sustains burns on his left leg. They work him in the prison, but get him no medical treatment.

David Sheiner plays a former sea captain who graduated from the Bligh sea school. And he delights in tormenting Peter Breck with Lee Majors's condition as precarious as it is.

Such talented folks as Walter Burke, Yaphett Kotto and Paul Picerni are in the cast. But Sheiner really steals this one.

Bonanza: Fallen Woman
(1971)
Episode 2, Season 13

One hot mess
This Bonanza story opens with Hoss Cartwright in Ford Rainey's courtroom testifying against Susan Tyrell's husband whom he stopped from pistol whipping someone. She's drunk and dissheveled, what we would call today one hot mess.

But when her husband is sentenced to 5 years she hands over her son to Dan Blocker saying she can't support him. In the Cartwright tradition they take in another stray in their tradition. Little Johnny Lee goes to live with the Cartwrights.

Blocker has with Tyrell a real reclamation project. But with the help of Doctor Arthur O'Connell the two manage to straighten Tyrell out.

Surprised Mitch Vogel was not in this story. Seemed like a natural to bring him in to the plot.

The Twilight Zone: A Passage for Trumpet
(1960)
Episode 32, Season 1

The high note
Jack Klugman makes the first of four appearances on the Twilight Zone in this episode. He plays a has been trumpeter who back in the day we learn played for Tommy Dorsey for a bit. But too much carousing has left him a shadow of his former self. His playing skills have left him and one day he just walks in front of a truck.

He wakes in a world where he hears praise from the only person who can see or hear him. And that he can hit a good high note, but that's not the only thing in life of value.

Klugman and that music critic John Anderson are a good matched pair in this nicely written Twilight Zone story.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes
(1971)

The Phantom Doctor
Vincent Price has the starring role in The Abominable Dr. Phibes a man long thought dead. But if he is dead than who is killing a lot of the doctors of London in the Roaring 20?

Phibes is a musicologist of sorts who has set up sort of an underground nightclub/laboratory where he conducts his experiments. He was thought dead from a car crash but survived. He does not speak, but Price's trained voice is used as voice over in his scenes.

Price blames Dr. Joseph Cotten and his medical team for his wife's death and we never really learn if there is substance to his belief. Price plans death of biblical retribution copying the nine plagues that befell Egypt.

Joseph Cotten turns to Scotland Yard, but of course Price eludes them and him.

If you haven't figured it out the film borrows heavily from The Phantom Of The Opera. It's a good vehicle for Price and Cotten and there are some good cameos by Terry-Thomas as one of the victims and Hugh Griffith as a rabbi.

Loose Ankles
(1930)

Where there's a will there's a way.
Loose Ankles is a title referring to how skilled professional escorts in those Depression years on the dance floors. Any other skills are coming with a bigger price. Loretta Young and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. are stars and this is a salad years picture for them.

This is also one of those eccentric wills pictures and the uncle and lawyer for the estate Otis Harlan reading the will says that the big house and most the loot provided go to granddaughter Loretta should she marry a man of the choosing of Harlan and his two sisters Louise Fazenda and Ethel Wales. And if scandal occurs it all goes to dog and cat hospital. Well if she can't have it all now it goes to the dogs, and the cats.

Whom she chooses to make scandal with is Fairbanks a young escort who's heart is just not in his work. I go no farther except that there's one wild and woolly nightclub scene involving a lot of the cast.

Big Kudos go out to Louise Fazenda who was doing physical comedy way before Lucille Ball on TV. She steals the film in the scenes she in.

Fans of the two stars shouldn't miss Loose Ankles.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
(1986)

I'm Ok --------- You're Ok -----------Are The Whales OK?
This might be the most unusual Star Trek movie out there as the original Star Trek prime regulars go back to 20th century San Francisco to get a pair of whales. It's a matter of survival for the earth.

There's a real threat to the planet as a super race (maybe it's the Q continuum) that has sent a probe to the earth that is causing all kinds of climate change. And they are sending out all kinds of sgnals causing massive flooding around the planet. They are sending out a signal to the humpbacked whales, the theory being that if the whales respond the planet is being taken care of.

But in our time the whales were hunted to extinction or at least this species of. So William Shatner and the gang go back to get some whales and save the earth.

This is one wild and far out story, but it's compelling and draws you in. Best scenes are Leonard Nimoy trying to fit into 20th century earth.

This film got 4 Oscar nominations in the technical categories. It's still enjoyable after over 30 years.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Hell's Kitchen
(2018)
Episode 8, Season 20

Supposed to be one of the good guys
Young Genevieve Angelson acts up in a car and she's been assaulted and the SVU squad for a bit goes after her Uber driver. But when she talks Angelson who works in a trendy restaurant fesses up that it was her boss Luke Kirby and she isn't the first nor was this her first.

Investigation shows that in Brooklyn three cases were brought from when he had a place there. But the Kings County sex crimes prosecutor Jacob Pitts has declined to prosecute all three.

Pitts is supposed to be big on women's issues and was rumored to be going for a political career.

I don't think I need to say much more, obviously there is a connection. Kirby and Pitts are a pair who think they can get away with anything.

They don't reckon with Olivia Benson and Philip Stone.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Missing
(2019)
Episode 17, Season 20

The Changeling
Two police officers respond to an auto accident scene after one of the drivers runs away. When the trunk is popped they find a 6 year old girl wrapped in a blanket. A special enough victim for SVU.

This episode has a lot of twists to it with some other kidnapping and a body of a child buried in a suspect's yard. In the end Mariska Hargitay realizes that some things have to work themselves out if they can.

The story has elements of the classic George C. Scott-Trish Van Devere-Melvyn Douglas film The Changeling. See if you don't agree.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Dear Ben
(2019)
Episode 12, Season 20

The Infamous Infinity Rapist
A rape that is committed by Jake O'Connor bears all the signature trademarks of the infamous Infinity rapist. He's caught soon enough but he is clearly too young to be the real deal.

Infinity has not been active since 1994 and the late Ben Stone was part of the task force that hunted him unsuccessfully. Infinity knew that and kept his own file which unnerves Philip Winchester a bit.

Why did he stop in 1994? For the most prosaic of reasons. Watch and find out.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Choice
(2003)
Episode 7, Season 5

From every angle
If you are as I not happy that the women's right to choose is even an issue in our body politic than this episode is for you. The whole issue of right to life is explored from every angle by a battling pair of marrieds Josie Bissett and Ricky Aiello who own a franchised restaurant.

Which is where Bissett who is about 8 weeks pregnant is assaulted. Stemming from this case are a lot of criminal and civil procedures dealing with the crime and Bissett's right to choose. When the choices are fueled with alcohol it concerns everyone. Mariska Hargitay and Diane Neal take a special interest here.

The show has four prominent actresses, Shirley Jones, Marietta Hartley, Callie Thorne, and Beverly D'Angelo. In the legal profession women seem to have arrived on SVU.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Alternate
(1994)
Episode 12, Season 2

The origins of Odo
At first Rene Auberjonois is glad to see Dr. James Sloyan the Bajoran scientist who discovered and discovered that a lump of goop in a bucket was a sentient being. Odo asks Commander Sisko for a runabout to explore the Gamma quadrant to research Odo's origins.

They go there and Sloyan, Terry Farrell and Auberjonois are injured in some degree when they inhale some poisonous gas on a planet they land. And when they return it's possible that some matter from the planet came back with them and is making a home on the station.

We learn a bit more of Odo's origins and an insight on how he had to deal with being a one and only. Auberjonois dominates this DS9 story.

Rawhide: Hostage Child
(1962)
Episode 22, Season 4

Debra's peace plan
Young Jimmy Baird is found on the trail, he's a Tenkawa Indian busted out of the reservation looking for his sister. Clint Eastwood takes him to the nearest army post where she's supposed to be.

She's there all right married to the commanding officer. But James Coburn who nurses a burning hate for anything red doesn't know his wife is Tenkawa, he believes she's Mexican.

Debra Paget married Coburn and has just born him a child, all part of a rather unrealistic plan for Coburn to confront his own rabid racism which even his own men recognize.

Coburn steals this episode with a chilling portrayal of hate. Catch this Rawhide story by all means.

Murder in the Big House
(1942)

Early Execution
Louis B. Mayer lent Jack Warner one of his up and comers Van Johnson for this B film from Warner Brothers Murder In The Big House. Van is eager for a reporter's job and because the regular man gets himself sloshed before covering an execution Van and Faye Emerson fill in.

But before the big event occurs the condemned man is found electrocuted in his cell on death row. He had been quoted as threatening to name names in his final remarks from the chair so a rush execution was in somebody's interest.

Roland Drew the victim's partner was slated for the chair the next night and he and his wife Ruth Ford could be targets. Johnson and the inebriated guy he was filling in for George Meeker are also nearly killed.

The original story given out was that the Deity couldn't wait and the victim was struck by lightning in his cell. As if anyone would believe that.

Some obvious references here to His Girl Friday. Johnson is more Ralph Bellamy than Cary Grant.

The Bat
(1959)

No vampires
Agnes Moorehead a writer takes possession of an old mansion where a killer known as The Bat has been operating. There's also a real bat operating in that mansion they can't get rid'of and those creatures can be rabid. But no vampires in this story.

A whole of folks are looking for some reputed buried loot that the former owner a miserly banker was supposed to have embezzled, This "Bat" character has declared a proprietary interest in said loot.

Vincent Price plays a creepy doctor, John Sutton a creepy chauffeur and Gavin Gordon a creepy policeman and their others in varying degrees of creepdom. I think you'll figure out who the killer(s) are.

Good cast puts over a sluggish vehicle.

Sleeping With My Student
(2019)

In the deep past
Mother and daughter Gina Holden and Jessica Belkin are starting at a new school, but before that on a girls only vacation Holden has a fling with a young lifeguard at the resort they are at.

On the first day on the job Principal Holden spots young Mitchell Hoog and later finds out he's paying attention to Belkin.

I won't say more except that this is an elaborate campaign by Hoog to nail Holden romantically and get close to Belkin. His reasons for his actions are buried in the deep past. Hoog is a sexy package but a most disturbed young man.

Typical Lifetime trash sudser.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Haystack
(2007)
Episode 15, Season 8

Media frenzy
This SVU episode deals with what can happen when the media gets into feeding frenzy and sensationalizes a case. Kali Rocha who with too little information about an infant kidnapping case confronts mother Ashley Williams about it with tragic results. A tidbit of knowledge can be dangerous.

In their search for the child the squad gets a lesson in DNA typing. With some DNA from the missing kid. the search for the dad is done in the laboratories and a match is found. Mother and son Marian Seldes and Dana Ashbrook are a real pair of bottom feeders. Seldes you will remember.

Takes me back to high school biology.

The Purple Gang
(1959)

In the Roaring 20s purple was the color of Detroit
During this period of the late Eisenhower and Kennedy years many studios started making films of the notorious Prohibition and post Prohibition years. No coincidence that these were the years The Untouchables found a TV audience.

In 1959 Allied Artists put out the Purple Gang who were as rough a bunch in real life as any. When Al Capone tried to take over their Detroit territory the Purples sent Capone back limping to Chicago.

Allied Artists was the former Monogram Pictures so you knew it was going to be cheap. It certainly is a B product.

But it boasts an eletrifying performance by Robert Blake as the leader of the Purples. For that alone you should not miss this film.

But it ain't the real story of The Purple Gang.

Bonanza: Shadow of a Hero
(1971)
Episode 21, Season 12

A letdown
Sometimes in this life you do see things in people that you want to see and when they fail to live up to your expectations it's a letdown.

This is what happens to Ben Cartwright who is among others pushing General Dean Jagger for governor. A heroic statue is erected in his little Nevada town. But also coming to town is Laurence Luckinbill who is an investigative reporter and is sure the general and his statue have feet of clay.

Jagger comes off as a hero at first. But the Indian Wars have maimed him psychologically. He's not a pretty sight with his guard down.

This story had one very weird ending

Bonanza: The Reluctant American
(1971)
Episode 20, Season 12

Doesn't know beans
English couple Daniel Massey and Jill Haworth guest star on this Bonanza story. Massey and the pregnant Haworth have moved into a neighboring ranch which is now been taken over by British bankers and Massey represents said bank.

He also doesn't know beans about the cattle business. Even young Mitch Vogel knows more than Massey.

The place has also been systematically stripped of its livestock in the two years since the old owner died. I will say that the ones robbing the place blind had one sweet racket going.

Massey and Haworth were a fine pair of guest stars in this enjoyable episode.

See all reviews