Tag Archives: Literature

Westworld

Directed by Michael Crichton
Produced by Paul Lazarus III
Written by Michael Crichton
Starring Yul Brynner
Richard Benjamin
James Brolin
Music by Fred Karlin
Cinematography Gene Polito
Editing by David Bretherton
Distributed by MGM
Release date November 21, 1973
Running time 88 min. (theatrical)
Country US
Language English

Westworld was a film that scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. I had nightmares of an out of control robot Yul Brynner chasing me and he couldn’t be killed, which is basically the plot of this movie.The Simpsons parodied the film in the Itchy & Scratchy Land episode.

It’s an enjoyable film to watch but not as scary as I thought it was when I was a kid. It’s an interesting concept of having a theme park full of robots that run amok due to a computer virus. Of course the film (and book it was based on) was made before everyone had a home computer so the idea of computer viruses was virtually unknown. I like some of the little things that Yul does that remind us that he is not human but a robot, such as the way in which he walks while stalking the hero Richard Benjamin.

I notice that Westworld is set to be remade with Russell Crowe in the lead role. I don’t see the point of a remake of what is a great film but if that is the case hopefully it is better than the remake of Robin Hood. It seems that Hollywood has run out of original ideas as now there are so many mediocre remakes or sequals to earlier films. This may be a topic for another time but how many crappy remakes have their been in the last decade?

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Movies I Want To See

I am a sucker for horrible films, especially those from the 1950s. Here are a few that I want to see.

Teenage Frankenstein

This is from AIP and features Phyllis Coates, who played Lois Lane in the first season of the Adventures Of Superman.

MothraMothra is another of the Japanese giant monsters who on various occassions fought against and then teamed up with Godzilla.

Reform School Girl

Another AIP film.

The Hotrod Gang Meets The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow

The ultimate 1950s drive-in film featuring teenagers, hot-rods and ghosts. From AIP.


Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Produced by Rouben Mamoulian
Written by Novel: Robert Louis Stevenson
Screenplay: Samuel Hoffenstein & Percy Heath
Starring Fredric March
Miriam Hopkins
Rose Hobart
Music by Herman Hand
Cinematography Karl Struss
Editing by William Shea
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) December 31, 1931
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This is for the 1931 version of the film, which was hidden away for a number of years from the 1940s after it was bought by MGM and buried so as to not over-shadow the 1941 Spencer Tracy version.

It is a pretty good 1930s horror film that was on par with the A-grade monster movies that Universal was making. This was made before the movie code came in, so the film’s plot heavily focuses on S.E.X., whether it be Dr. Jekyll wanting to get married to his fiance so that they can finally do it, or the overt sexuality of prostitute Ivy Pearson. Then there is also Mr. Hyde, who is a sex craved pervert of the lowest order.

There are a couple of other things to mention in relation to the film too. The transformation scenes where Frederic March‘s Jekyll becomes Hyde are really great and I suspect may have inspired Universal when they created their werewolf films. The make-up too is quite iconic and effective, better than that used in the 1941 version where Hyde looks like Spencer Tracy with messed up hair.

The only thing that I find annoying is the pronunciation of the word Jekyll. They are constantly calling the good doctor Jay-kill which is completely different to the way the name has been pronounced since then. It is just a minor quibble but it is something that I thought that I needed to mention.