Directed by Jim O’Connolly
Produced by Charles H. Schneer & Ray Harryhausen
Starring James Franciscus
Music by Jerome Moross
Cinematography Erwin Hillier
Editing by Henry Richardson & Selwyn Petterson
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date September 3, 1969
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
You would think that any movie that combines cowboys with dinosaurs would be the best film ever made, but that is not the case with Valley Of Gwangi. This is not to say that it is a bad movie, it just doesn’t live up to the potential of the premise of the film. It takes 45 minutes until Gwangi, an Allosaurus (not a T-rex), appears.
Despite all this the film is still pretty good. It is impossible to dislike anything that features the stop-motion magic of Ray Harryhausen, although he is not at the top of his game here. Some of the animation is a bit jerky and not as smooth as it should be, for example with the flight of the Pteradactyl or in the scenes where Gwangi battles the elephant. Despite this the film is still enjoyable.
Directed by Mel Brooks
Produced by Mel Brooks
Written by Mel Brooks
Narrated by Orson Welles
Starring Mel Brooks
Music by John Morris
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date June 12, 1981
Running time 92 min.
Country United States
“It’s good to be the king”
Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part 1 is quite funny but it isn’t anywhere as good as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles or The Producers. It’s probably a little more hit and miss than those other films but it is I feel, a lot better than High Anxiety.
For some reason I used to love this movies as a kid. I watched it a few times and thought it was hilarious. Watching it as an adult I find that it’s not as great as I thought when I was a kid, but there are still a few chuckles to be had.
Directed by Tod Browning
Produced by Tod Browning
Written by Tod Robbins
Starring Wallace Ford
Cinematography Merritt B. Gerstad
Editing by Basil Wrangell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date February 20, 1932
Running time Original cut 90 min.
Released cut 64 min.
Country United States
“We accept her! We accept her! One of us! One of us! Gooble gobble, gooble gobble!”
Freaks is an interesting film that perhaps doesn’t deserve its notoriety. It’s not particularly scary or very well acted. The movie was banned in Britain (and Australia too I guess) for thirty years but it’s not that bad. There is a twist in the film in that the true monsters of the picture are not the Freaks themselves, but the supposedly normally looking aerialist and strongman who try to exploit one of the Freaks for their own profit. Perhaps the film works better as a satirical piece than as a horror film. It’s worth a look but I don’t think it deserves to be held as the 15th sacriest film of all-time. It is a film of its time though.
Directed by Fred M. Wilcox
Produced by Nicholas Nayfack
Written by Screenplay: Cyril Hume
Story: Irving Block & Allen Adler
Starring Walter Pidgeon
Music by Louis and Bebe Barron
Cinematography George J. Folsey
Editing by Ferris Webster
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Release date April 1, 1956
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Forbidden Planet is another 1950s classic science fiction film. It stars a very young Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon and marks the debut of Robby the Robot. It is quite interesting but very talky in comparison to some of its contemporaries. The film is perhaps more intellectual than the other sci-fi films of the era.
It’s very interesting to see Leslie Nielsen in a serious role, 20 years before he appeared in Airplane!/Flying High! It is also interesting to see Robby the Robot before he was in Lost In Space. His voice is different here and he’s a bit annoying, but I still expected him to say, “Danger Wil Robinson!” but he didn’t.
The alien enemy Krell is interesting too and I like the way in which it was animated. It was animated by Disney veteran Joshua Meador.
Overall Forbidden Planet is intereting (that word again) but very talky and not as exciting in my opinion that some of the other films of the era.
Directed by George Marshall
Edward F. Cline (uncredited)
Produced by Lester Cowan
Written by W. C. Fields (as “Charles Bogle”) (story)
Everett Freeman (screenplay)
Richard Mack (screenplay)
George Marion Jr. (screenplay)
Starring W. C. Fields
Cinematography Milton R. Krasner
Editing by Otto Ludwig
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date February 18, 1939
Running Time 76 min.
This was quite a good W. C Fields comedy film. It features a lot of classic lines from Fields, as well as some good slapstick pratfalls, but also features a continuation of his wonderful rivalry with a ventriloquists’ puppet.
It’s a bit hard to explain but for many years Fields had a radio rivalry with Charlie McCarthy, Edgar Bergen’s (Candice’s father) dummy. It’s strange indeed to think of someone doing a ventriloquist act on the radio, but that is where this funny rivalry was created. Both Fields and Bergen have some great moments to themselves in the brief moments when they are in a scene together there is some really good chemistry and funny jokes.
You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man is a part of the W.C. Fields Comedy Collection with The Bank Dick, My Little Chickadee, International House and It’s A Gift. This DVD box set is available from Amazon for $46.99. You can purchase it by clicking here…
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Produced by Phillip Adams
Written by Bruce Beresford & Barry Humphries
Starring Barry Crocker,
Music by Peter Best
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Editing by John Scott, William Anderson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Video Ltd.
Release date 1972
Running time 114 minutes
This was on Fox Classics last night and I must admit that I did enjoy it quite a bit. It is a million times better than its sequel because it sticks to the unsophisticated fish out of water story, and satirises the pretentious artsy fartsy types, of whom Humphries would have been (I’ve read his book and all the boring tedious stuff on Dadaism) and the poms, who I guess considered themselves culturally and intellectually superior to us.
Unlike the sequel there isn’t an overload of offensiveness used just for the sake of offending people. I think the only really offensive thing would be the overloaded use of the word abo, which as Mal Brown has recently taught us, wasn’t really considered to be offensive in the 1970s. How things have changed for the better.
There is some nudity and bouncing breasts are featured a bit. This was before we became such a prudish nation and boobs were considered bad.
It’s not all that funny and a bit cringe-worthy, but the film is watchable, although I must say that both Spike Milligan and Peter Cook are wasted in their roles.