Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Punchy Cowpunchers (1950)
Some expendable troops
This 3 Stooges short subject has Moe, Larry, and Shemp joining the cavalry and
when men are needed to be spared for a dangerous mission that they might not
come back from then the sergeant knows exactly where to look.
The mission is to help track down the notorious Dillon gang which is headed by veteran character actor Kenneth MacDonald. In typical stooge manner they kinda sorta capture him.
This short also has Jock Mahoney just as he was getting out of being a stuntman and doing parts. He was never this funny in his later films. Here he burlesks his own image as a cowboy hero who just can't quite get it together.
One of their best from the Shemp years.
Fat Chance (2015)
Bunk'd out of Cyrano
Sarah LeJeune stars in this Christian film as an overweight young girl who works as a dental hygienist who's taken a lot of barbs for her weight. She also works at
a Christian kids camp run by her church where she's crushing out big time on a
hunk played by Judah Duncan who is in her church and is another camp counselor.
Duncan too has some issues he's dealt with. LeJeune gets to know him also from a dating profile on the internet. She has one too, but she uses a friend's picture on her's.
The plot is straight from the Disney Channel series Bunk'd out of Cyrano de Bergerac. I wish we could all get the people we crush out on, it would make life easier.
It's a nice story, but really does one have to be a born again to have some empathy for Ms. LeJeune?
Jayhawkers needing employment
This Rawhide episode concerns Gil Favor trying to get his herd across a river when
they are stopped by armed men and told they have one big fee for 3000 head of
cattle to cross.
These guys are led by Jock Mahoney and they are former Kansas Jayhawkers left from the Civil War. Mahoney is married to Kathie Browne and acting on behalf of his father-in-law Vaughn Taylor who is really one slimy sort.
An interesting, but rather unsatisfactory conclusion.
The Falcon in Danger (1943)
Aviation had not progressed enough for what happens in The Falcon In Danger to
have happened then. Not sure it could happen now.
A plane lands and there's no one on board. Everybody is baffled and even the police in the person of Cliff Clark turns to The Falcon for aid. Tom Conway might not be interested in helping the law, but when both Elaine Shepherd and Jean Brooks related to two missing men ask, what's a Falcon to do?
There's a third woman, Amelita Ward, a Texas heiress who wants to brand a Falcon. She is downright annoying with her presence in the film.
Interesting story about betrayal, blackmail, and murder. But kind of far fetched.
Beer and Pretzels (1933)
The Three Stooges got their name because in fact they were 3 stooges to comedian Ted Healy. The way Moe slapped the other two around was about the
way Healy treated all three. A perfect example is this short Beer And Pretzels.
The guys can't keep jobs because Healy can't keep his hands off the women. But they do get a job after the Stooges obey an offhand comment. But the usual chaos ensues.
The guys are a lot younger looking in these Healy shorts from MGM..
Radar Men from the Moon (1952)
Dead world has live villains
In 1952, 17 years before Armstrong and Aldrin confirmed it, the moon was known
as a dead world. Yet in this serial from Republic we see a moon civilization where
they've all learned English getting ready for the day they conquer earth.
The moon's atmosphere which is non-existence is just thin there. Still these folks have mastered atomic weaponry and are going to conquer earth for our air polluted as that is at times.
Fortunately earth has Commando Cody played here by George Wallace with his jet pack flying suit who's got his own rocket ship. He can't fly as fast as Superman, but fast enough to get around.
Perennial western villain Roy Barcroft is Retik, CEO of the moon who tells the Commando of their plans for earth. It was a change of pace for Barcroft from westerns. Looks ridiculous though.
In fact ridiculous is just the word for this claptrap of a film.
Billy Madison (1995)
Another rich idiot man child
Both Billy Madison and Tommy Boy came out in the same year and both concerned a rich idiot man child having to grow up in a hurry to save the family
business. I have to say that I liked Tommy Boy a lot better.
In fact the whole concept is ridiculous. If I were Darren McGavin I wouldn't hesitate leaving my hotel chain to my capable assistant Bradley Whitford instead of my idiot kid Adam Sandler. But McGavin offers him this proposition of if he finishes his education again instead of sliding through the public school system he gets the business.
Which premise leads to a lot of comic situations involving Adam Sandler and a bunch of kids. Don't get me wrong there are some very funny moments.
But I found the overall effect more silly than funny.
Tender Comrade (1943)
20% of the Hollywood Ten
I think it was sad that Ginger Rogers spent so much time trashing this movie
Tender Comrade over politics. It contains one of her best performances.
Rogers was a member in good standing of Hollywood's right wing and Tender Comrade came under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee. With writer Dalton Trumbo and director Edward Dmytryk two of the Hollywood Ten involved it had a star place in the proceedings.
With the word 'comrade' in the title that's if you'll pardon the pun a red flag in front of these bulls. I mean isn't that what Communists call each other? And the plot concerning four Rosie the Riveteer types teaming up to buy a house and share expenses for the duration, clearly Communist and subverting the American ideal of rugged individualism. And dialog talking about a more unselfish world. This bares investigation.
Ginger, along with other marrieds Ruth Hussey, Patricia Collinge, and Kim Hunter all decide to live together and it seems like a practical decision. They make another one when since they're all doing factory work and come home bone tired they pool part of their salaries and hire a live-in housekeeper Mady Christians. This woman is a refugee from Germany and she provides some valuable insights into the foe their husbands are fighting.
Tender Comrade like so many films of the WW2 era talked a lot about building a better world and God knows what is wrong with that? It turned out to be a dream, but God help us if we ever have a world where no one dreams of making it better.
We also have some flashback scenes that are done well with Ginger and her husband Robert Ryan in the service. They show a typical Mr.&Mrs. Young America at the time and they had a universal identification.
Kim Hunter's husband comes home on leave and he's played by Richard Martin, one of the few times you will see him on film not playing Chit Jose Gonzalez Bustamante Rafferty. Treasure this film for that alone. And also for Ginger Rogers fine and eloquent soliliquy at the end.
It wasn't only Dmytryk and Trumbo who got blacklisted. So did Kim Hunter, Patricia Collinge, and Mady Christians. Lot of political casualties came out of this very fine film about the WW2 homefront.
Tommy Boy (1995)
It's hard to believe that Chris Farley would be dead in two years after making
Tommy Boy. This may very well be his comedy triumph and Farley gets some
great support from David Spade and good carefully selected ensemble.
Meet Tommy Callaghan, Jr. who is a decent hearted well intentioned klutz of a human being. But he's skated through life up to now because his dad is the biggest employer in the town with Callaghan's Auto Parts..
Brian Dennehy is Tom, Sr. and he's one of those employers who feels a responsibility to his workers. He hasn't relocated south of the border or to China to pay less than minimum wage. Dennehy and no pun intended is a larger than life figure who sadly really hasn't taken his kid in hand.
Dennehy also in his middle age has taken a nice trophy wife in Bo Derek with her son Rob Lowe. Wouldn't you know it on the wedding day Dennehy dies and if Callaghan Auto Parts doesn't get some leadership it will fold. And with a new stepmom in the picture, let's just say that Derek and Lowe have a different agenda.
This is Farley's moment to finally grow up and Spade kind of takes him in hand. But he needs a lot of tutoring.
There are a lot of great comedy moments. Two of my favorite are Farley and Spade on the road with some road kill that doesn't prove to be quite so dead. The other is Farley and Lowe getting acquainted as new stepbrothers and Farley introducing him to cow tipping, a favorite past time.
Lowe shows some great comic talent and I wonder why he didn't take any billing for the part. Kudos also go to Julie Warner playing the girl next door that Farley likes and to Dan Aykroyd as the business rival of Dennehy who wants to acquire the company. Aykroyd is a great believer in image management.
Tommy Boy is a great comedy of the 90s and Chris Farley is really spot on in this film.
The Virginian: The Hero (1964)
Working a con on the Judge
This Virginian episode has reporter Steve Forrest visiting Shiloh from the East to
do a story on Judge Garth who is being mentioned for political office. At the
same time lawyer Warren Stevens comes to town threatening to re-open a case
that Lee J. Cobb heard on the bench back in the day and said reopening would
bring questions to Cobb's integrity.
Everybody likes Forrest with the exception of Trampas who smells a rat. Doug McClure's instincts are correct. But it's young Betsy who is in real trouble now because she's crushing out on Steve Forrest.
Let's say that Stevens develops an alternative plan.
The main dynamic of this episode is between Roberta Shore and Steve Forrest. She's a sensible girl, but Forrest is a glamorous figure.
This is a nicely told tale with emphasis on the guest cast and Roberta Shore.
My House (2016)
I didn't get this one at all
Watched My House yesterday and I'm still having trouble figuring out what I saw.
Young Alex Vaughn-Miller who's a well to do kid has a quarrel with the family and misuses a credit card and finds himself homeless. Stacey Bradshaw who's a Christian girl takes him in after he's beaten and robbed to her place where all kinds of human flotsam and jetsam crash and apparently learn their bible.
Andrew Potter who is the local gang leader and bully doesn't like this crowd for reasons never gone into.
Can't go any further. I didn't get this one at all.
Even the church audiences will scratch their heads.
Attack of the Puppet People (1958)
Parting is such sweet sorrow
You know we never do learn just how the machine that shrinks folks to doll like
size came to the possession of puppetmaker John Hoyt. He had no science or
electronic background we're told about.
This is one weird film about a man who for fun and pleasure shrinks people to miniature size and keeps them around. Among others he shrinks are his new secretary June Kenney and her salesman boyfriend John Agar. When he proposes marriage and she wants to leave, Hoyt can't bear to part with either.
Hoyt is the whole show here in this B film quickie. It's not enough for a film that can't quite decide how seriously it wants to be taken.
The Virginian: Dark Challenge (1964)
Hendricks family values
A family named Hendricks has taken over a spread near Shiloh. Father Victor
Jory and son Chris Robinson and daughter Katherine Ross. Robinson is a shiftless
ne'er do well and Ross has a club foot, noted by Doug McClure at a dance. Still
she sparks some interest in McClure as well as another Shiloh hand Larry Pennell.
Robinson gets himself into a couple of jackpots out of both greed and jealousy. Climax of the episode is a coroner's inquest and Deputy Clu Gulager gives a great bit of off the cuff testimony from the witness stand.
A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob (1941)
She loved her sailor, but he isn't always true
Harold Lloyd the fabled comedian of the silent screen produced this comedy for
RKO. Lloyd recognizing comic talent has Lucille Ball in the lead and her guy and
gob in that order are Edmond O'Brien and George Murphy.
The day before she's to start a new job as the secretary of a big shipping firm, Ball and her family which consists of parents George Cleveland and Kathleen Howard and nimble fingered Lloyd Corrigan as her brother decide to go to the opera. They get into a row with Edmond O'Brien and his fiance Marguerite Chapman when they sit at his box at the Met.
The next day Ball reports for work and discovers her new boss is O'Brien and that sets off a row. But soon he rather likes the blue color girl. The problem is she has a blue collar guy in sailor George Murphy on leave from Uncle Sam's Navy and deciding whether he wants another hitch.
The comedy belongs to Ball and Murphy. O'Brien who is a rich but shy business executive serves as a foil primarily. Lloyd puts in a few nice touches including a great car chase that could have come from one of his silent screen classics.
Franklin Pangborn has a couple of scenes as a nervous pet shop owner whom they all seem to run into and put upon. Henry Travers is also featured as O'Brien's uncle and quite the matchmaker.
Curiously enough with one of the protagonists a sailor and the film coming out in March of 1941 not a word about current unpleasantness in the world that the Navy would be getting into before the year was out.
Films like these were putting Lucille Ball on the road to being the queen of comedy.
This Hailey Dean mystery has our former prosecutor turned therapist investigating thefts on a nearby Marine base. When a Marine investigator is
murdered it becomes personal for Fincher who knew the woman and is a former
member of the corps.
It's quite a tangle of deception that Kellie Martin and Viv Leacock have to work through. And her friend Lauren Holly the DA isn't much help to her in a case that is the military's jurisdiction.
The last scene with Martin trying to soothe Leacock down from killing the perpetrator is well done. By Fincher's moral code marines aren't to behave that way.
Check this one out.
Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)
A little lamb lost in the woods.
When you use as a title one of the Gershwin Brothers great ballads you have me
half sold on a film already. Some elements of the classic noir film Pitfall are
present in Someone To Watch Over Me.
Unlike Dick Powell who is an insurance investigator , Tom Berenger is a detective with the NYPD. He's a regular blue color guy with wife Lorraine Bracco and a young son. He draws the task of guarding society woman Mimi Rogers who was the witness to a brutal killing by psychotic mobster Andreas Katsulas. The roles that Rogers, Bracco, and Katsulas play were done in Pitfall by Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt, and Raymond Burr.
Like that line from the Gershwin song Berenger is lost and intrigued in the woods of Mimi's glamorous world. Berenger's head does more than turn as he gets into an affair with the woman he's supposed to be guarding.
Burr was a terrifying and brutal villain in Pitfall and Katsulas will scare the pants off you in this film. He's a bomb with a faulty timer. You never know when he's going off.
Film makers seem to love the Guggenheim Museum in New York to shoot glitzy gatherings in and no exception here. In fact the whole thing is shot on a budget to dwarf Pitfall.
All to good advantage as the leads give great performances. Look for a nice turn from Jerry Orbach as Berenger's superviser.
Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952)
One super duper H-bomb
This particular serial came out just about the time the H-bomb was in the theoretical stage. A year later it would and could not have been made. That's
because the USA and the USSR made them and while they were titanic in their
explosive power they did not do the damage they were said to in this Republic
First of all there ain't no zombies in Zombies Of The Stratosphere. There are Martians however who with collaboration of a defector earth scientist are building one super duper hydrogen bomb that is intended to blow up the earth out of its orbit. Then one of these big guys is going to be exploded on Mars sending that planet into earth's orbit.
I'll leave it to the physics majors to explain all that's wrong with this plan. Three intrepid agents Judd Holdren, Aline Towne, and Wilson Wood are sent to stop this dastardly plot though they're never until the very knowing what exactly they are fighting. Veteran western heavy Lane Bradford is the mission leader of the Martians on earth and Leonard Nimoy is a henchmartian.
Holdren has a power pack like Commando Cody whom he played in a previous serial which enables him to fly and chase Martian rocketships. He's not as fast as Superman, but he gets the job done.
Fortunately our tastes have matured since these serials used to come out. One can only speculate on how ridiculous this whole business is.
A cook and a pianist
The Ponderosa is in short supply of a cook with Hop Sing out of action. But rather
serendipitously Ross Martin over from Italy and his young son Michael Davis get
themselves rescued by Dan Blocker and the Ponderosa is getting some Italian
They are traveling east to New York where young Davis is slated to study music. But the kid wants to be a cowboy and kind of looks up to Hoss as most of the human race does.
Hoss takes a leaf from his father's book on guidance for young people. A nice story indeed.
An important list
This MSW episode brings Jessica Fletcher to Washington, DC where she meets up
with Representative Mitchell Ryan an old friend of some state that is not Maine
because she's regaling him wit tales of Cabot Cove. But it's a week for old friends
because also in Washington, DC is Len Cariou of MI6 who has another mission that
once again drags Angela Lansbury right in.
A list of some British agents in Libya is slipped into a copy of the newest JB Fletcher opus and Russian Theodore Bikel is killed trying to retrieve it.
This time law enforcement in the person DC homicide's Louis Giambalvo is one really thick guy and not at all impressed with Lansbury's celebrity or history of case solving. Takes a lot to convince him Cariou is not the guy.
The one who is is one real DC bottom feeder. Talk about draining the swamp.
Heinrich, Nathan, and Ricky
New server at a local coffee shop Stacey Bradshaw sort of adopts these three 90
something men who come in for breakfast every Wednesday morning. They and you are
conscious now that the sands are running low in the hourglass for all three and
they could take the big trip any minute.
So they do and The Wednesday Breakfast Club gets slimmer and slimmer. Young Ms. Bradshaw learns quite a bit from them, mostly that if you listen, really listen they have some remarkable stories to tell.
A heartfelt sentimental film, highly recommended.
The Last Straight Man (2014)
Another Jack and Ennis
The Last Straight Man concerns a pair of friends who after a bachelor party for
one of them, the groom and the gay best friend kick back and start confessing
some frank sexual stories. Turns out Scott Sell has always wanted to experiment
with the other side and Mark Cirillo looks forward to being experimented with.
This story is a kind of urban Brokeback Mountain where the two cowboys who are married after one summer of passion agree once a year to return to the Wyoming wilderness for what they tell the spouses and the world are hunting and fishing trips.
These two agree that on the same night once a year they would go back for a night of the same passion. For Sell it's to satisfy that gay side of his nature and for Cirillo who is a writer of romance novels it's to have an otherwise unattainable romance.
Four of these encounters are shown over a dozen years and we see the changes in the dynamic of the relationship.
This is a great two character gay study and Cirillo and Sell have some great chemistry between them.
Does it work out better for them than for Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger? You won't regret checking into The Last Straight Man to find out.
It's a desperate Gil Favor and Rowdy Yates who go looking for a passage through
a valley held sacred by the Indians. But there's no water for a big stretch on the
plains trail leading to Sedalia.
What Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood find is that they can't get in, but Cecil Kellaway has a mysterious in with the tribe. There's also supposed to be lots of gold there so there are folks looking for that.
Besides Fleming and Eastwood looking there's a couple of gunmen and also a woman played by Fay Spain who says she's Kellaway's daughter.
It all works out nice for the Gil Favor trail drive. And Kellaway and the Indians have a most sensible policy about their riches and outsiders.
Some big city methods
Virginia City is growing and freighter Carroll O'Connor decides some big city type
methods are needed. He has visions of being a big city boss and controlling Virginia City's supplies will gain him the recognition. But when one of his gunmen
shoots Michael Landon when he was hauling supplies for the Ponderosa that puts
him at war with the Cartwrights.
Carroll O'Connor does a fine job as the would be boss of Virginia City. Ironically today Virginia City survives with a nominal population on the tourist trade. Who knows what might have happened had they a town boss. In real life the town was built high in the Sierras for access to the fabled Comstock Lode. When it dried up so did Virginia City.
Straw Dogs (1971)
One has to wonder after seeing Straw Dogs as to how popular it is in the United
Kingdom particularly in Cornwall. After seeing it it's no wonder that the remake
transferred so well to redneck Mississippi in the USA. And one has to remember
that it is American Sam Peckinpah making the characterization.
Introspective mathematician Dustin Hoffman and his wife Susan George a rather frisky young thing have moved back to her native England because Hoffman a sixties liberal finds America too violent a place. But do they move to cosmopolitan London, no they move to remote Cornwall to the seacoast village from where George hails and where she has some sexual history.
Some of the village lads from Cornwall make the ones from Deliverance look like the Carlton Club. Especially Del Venney with whom George has history.
Modest she's not and neither is the current local tease Shirley Thomsett. In fact it's the actions of both especially Thomsett coming on to the local Lennie Small played by David Warner that starts a horrifically violent climax.
Sam Peckinpah's message in Straw Dogs is despite some of our civilized poses, scratch one deep enough and they'll turn violent enough to protect home and hearth. Even if certain things might not be worth protecting. Hoffman the ultimate in civilized man proves quite ingenious at violence. It's a masterful performance that Hoffman gives in Straw Dogs.
Straw Dogs was nominated for an Oscar for its music scoring. It remains a classic today.
I do wonder what they think of it in Cornwall.
A security job
The firm of Bailey&Spencer is hired by no less than the Federal government to guard playboy/diplomat Ray Danton. Danton is an internationally known party
animal who is rather obviously based on Porfirio Rubirosa.
The thing is that regular security won't due because Danton shoos them away. The trick is to make sure he doesn't know you're security and to keep up parting with him. And like the real life Rubirosa, Danton likes to party.
There are people out to get him although we never really know why. The last half of the episode has Efrem Zimbalist, Roger Smith, and Edd Byrnes all on a yacht at a blow out keeping an eye out for assassins.
Danton does an outstanding job in his role, though the real Rubirosa wasn't that silly in life.