Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Devil at Your Heels

Directed by Robert Fortier Produced by Bill Brind, Robert Fortier, Barrie Howells and Adam Symansky Narrated by Gordon Pinsent Starring Ken Carter Distributed by Visionsmiths, Inc. Release date 1981 Running time 1 hr 43 minutes Language English
I think like most Australians I first saw this film in the early 1990s when it was presented by the D-Generation on the ABC. I taped it and watched this film several times but I think that someone eventually recorded over it, so I hadn’t seen this for a bout fifteen years.I have been looking for this ever since and finally acquired another copy of it.
The film is about Ken Carter, a stuntman who dreams of flying a rocket powered car across the St. Lawrence Seaway from Canada to the United States. For five years he tries to make his dream into reality but unfortunately for Ken, while he may have the ambition he does not have the money, resources or talent to do this, but that does not stop him from trying, although when it actually comes time for him to make the jump he loses his nerve.
Ken is a likeable sort of guy and unlike Evel Knievel is someone you’d actually like to have a beer with. Sure, he does seem to have a very high opinion of himself despite the fact that he never achieves even a fraction of what he sets out to do, but unlike the impression I got of Knievel in the Richard Hammond documentary Ken seems like a nice, eccentric guy. The documentary could have treated Ken as a fool but it at least gives him some dignity despite the fact that he does come off as a buffoon with some of what he says. Ken makes the film funny because he doesn’t know his limitations and despite the fact that even a blind man could see that he would not make the jump, Ken just cannot see it himself. Ken and everyone around him are too inept to make this a reality.Ken wasn’t even the one who attempted the jump as he lost his nerve and the backers got Ken’s friend Kenny Powers to do it with disastrous results.
It is a funny film about an awesomely eccentric but very inept guy.
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The Wrestler?

Ooops… Wrong movie. I wanted to make a post about the Mickey Rourke film but instead find myself with a picture of the 1973 movie starring Ed Asner and Verne Gagne. I haven’t seen this movie but am interested in seeing if only because it has early appearances of the Iron Shiek and Ric Flair.


The Prisoner Of Zenda

Directed by John Cromwell
W.S. Van Dyke (uncredited)
Produced by David O. Selznick
Written by Anthony Hope (novel)
Edward Rose
Wells Root
John L. Balderston (screenplay)
Donald Ogden Stewart (additional dialogue)
Ben Hecht (uncredited)
Sidney Howard (uncredited)
Starring Ronald Colman
Madeleine Carroll
C. Aubrey Smith
Raymond Massey
Mary Astor
David Niven
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Bert Glennon
Editing by James E. Newcom
Distributed by United Artists
Release date September 2, 1937
Running time 101 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This is a really great adventure film to watch. Probably almost as good as The Adventures Of Robin Hood which came out a year or so layer, although it’s action scenes don’t really come until the climax of the film.

Ronald Coleman stars in the dual role of Rudolf Rassendyll and King Rudolf. His performance from this film was memorably parodied by Don Adams in a couple of Get Smart episodes in the 60s, and I must say that Don was very accurate with his interpretation.

I think that the real stand out performance is that by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as the villainous Duke Rupert of Hentzau. He is very charming and likable but evil at the same time. David Niven is also in this film in an early role, but he really doesn’t do very much.

All in all this is a great film which they don’t make any more.


Movies I Plan To Watch

I have a list of movies that I plan to watch before the year is out. If you have been snooping around this blog and checking out some of my updates you may see some of the pictures that I plan to see, as I have started to build up the pages in anticipation of watching the film. Most of these films are either movies that I have watched in the past many years ago and would love to see again, films that I have always wanted to watch but have not had the opportunity to see as of yet, or films that are universally considered to be either so good or so awful that I just have to see them. Here is a brief list of some of the movies I hope to see, as long as I don’t get too lazy.

  • Notorious
  • Under Capricorn – Considered one of Hitchcock’s worst films but the French love it.
  • The Devil At Your Heels – The Ken Carter Story -Have been looking for this for ages, ever since the D-Gen screened it on the ABC in the early 90s.
  • Fantasia
  • Frankenstein
  • Dracula
  • Nosferatu
  • The Wrestler – I’m trying to find the 1973 version of The Wrestler starring Ed Asner, which features a blink and you’ll miss him appearance from a young Ric Flair pre-‘Nature Boy’ .
  • The One And Only – This is a wrestling movie starring Henry ‘Fonz’ Winkler that I saw many years ago. It was very strange.
  • Requim For A Heavyweight
  • The Greatest – Muhammad Ali stars in a film about himself that is pure BS but still entertaining.
  • Beyond The Mat – Haven’t seen this for a decade.
  • Piccadilly – Silent British film from 1929.
  • Stagecoach
  • Shane
  • High Noon
  • The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre – One of my favourite movies.
  • Reefer Madness – Haven’t seen this yet but hear that it is very hilarious.
  • Glen Or Glenda – ‘Bevare puppy dog tails and snails. Bevare.’
  • Plan 9 From Outer Space
  • Superfly
  • Foxy Brown
  • Network
  • The Producers – Not the remake.
  • The Public Enemy – Watched Scorsese rave about this so I really must watch it.
  • Scarface – Both versions.
  • Little Caesar
  • Black Caesar – The blaxploitation remake of the above.
  • Blacula
  • Hoppity Goes To Town – I have to track this down. I have seen it available on a cheap ‘public domainDVD, even though the film is not in the public domain. It ain’t available online as a torrent but I have heard that Disney may be releasing this onto DVD even though it was made by Disney’s main competitor back in the early 1940s.

This is probably enough for now.


Updates

I have updated some of the pages at the top of the blog. Currently the Complete List Of Movies list is complete (as well as previewing what I will watch next), as is the list of Duds and list of Silent Films. The list of Alfred Hitchcock films is complete too, with links, as is the list of Foreign Language Films.

Keep watching as more changes and updates will be happening for the next couple of weeks.


We Want Our Mummy

Directed by Del Lord
Produced by Jules White
Written by Searle Kramer & Elwood Ullman
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Dick Curtis
Bud Jamison
James C. Morton
Eddie Laughton
Ted Lorch
Robert Williams
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date February 24, 1939
Running time 16′ 27″
Country USA
Language English

This is just the usual Three Stooges hijinks, this time set in Egypt. I guess if you’re a fan of the Stooges you’d like this and if you’re not you won’t.


M

Directed by Fritz Lang
Produced by Seymour Nebenzal
Written by Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou, Paul Falkenberg & Adolf Jansen
Starring Peter Lorre
Otto Wernicke
Gustaf Gründgens
Ellen Widmann
Inge Landgut
Theodor Loos
Friedrich Gnass
Music by Edvard Grieg
Cinematography Fritz Arno Wagner
Editing by Paul Falkenberg
Distributed by Vereinigte Star-Film GmbH
Paramount Pictures (US)
Release date Germany: 11 May 1931
United States: 3 May 1933
Running time 117 minutes
99 minutes (US)
Country Germany
Language German

Fritz Lang’s M is an interesting 1931 German film. For much part it seems almost like a silent movie. It wasn’t uncommon for film makers in the late 1920s and early 1930s to add sound elements to what started out as silent movies, Hitchcock did this with Blackmail as did Howard Hughes with Hell’s Angels, as they tried to catch up with the boom in talkies in the aftermath of The Jazz Singer.That said, M has long stretches of silent scenes but as sound, or a particular tune, plays an important part in the picture it must have originally been conceived as a talkie.

The plot concerns the hunt for a serial killer who has been murdering young children. The police have hit a dead-end and have started targeting the criminal underworld in the hope that this will help them find the killer. What it really does is cause the criminals to take matters into their own hands so that they can get the police off their own backs and get back to business.

Peter Lorre is quite impressive as the serial killer even though he really doesn’t do much until near the end of the film when he is on the run from, and subsequently captured by, the underworld. It’s interesting to hear the emotion in his voice when he is pleading for his life and stating that none of his accusers know what it is like to be him.It is worth watching this film for his performance alone.