Tag Archives: Reviews

A Chump at Oxford

Directed by Alfred J. Goulding
Produced by Hal Roach Jr. & Hal Roach
Written by Charley Rogers, Felix Adler & Harry Langdon
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Wilfred Lucas
Jimmy Finlayson
Anita Garvin
Forrester Harvey
Peter Cushing
Charlie Hall
Music by Marvin Hatley
Cinematography Art Lloyd
Editing by Bert Jordan
Distributed by United Artists
Release date February 16, 1940
Running time 63 minutes
Language English

Like most Laurel & Hardy movies this is just a series of sketches stuck together to form a feature film. It’s perhaps not the strongest of their films but it is amusing. It does take a long time before they make it to Oxford, and sometimes it is hard to believe that Stand & Ollie are so stupid, even though they haven’t got an education, but it is OK.

The film also features an early appearance by Peter Cushing who would go onto more fame a decade later in the Hammer horror films of the 1950s.

An amusing and watchable film with a few chuckles but no really laugh out loud moments.

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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.


Mystery Of The Wax Museum

Directed by Michael Curtiz
Produced by Henry Blanke
Written by Story: Charles S. Belden
Screenplay: Carl Erickson & Don Mullaly
Starring Lionel Atwill
Fay Wray
Glenda Farrell
Frank McHugh
Music by Cliff Hess
Cinematography Ray Rennahan
Editing by George J. Amy
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures & Vitaphone Pictures
Release date February 17, 1933 (USA)
Running time 77 minutes
Country United States
Language English

In the last few months I have gone on quite a classic horror/sci-fi movie phase thanks to JB Hifi. I have already started with reviewing The Wolfman a couple of weeks ago, but I will not solely concentrate on the Universal monsters. It may be surprising to know but Universal did not have a monopoly on horror in the 1930s and 40s.

Mystery Of The Wax Museum is a 1933 Warner Bros. horror movie starring Lionel Atwill, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh and scream queen Fay (King Kong) Wray. The film was made in two-strip Technicolor, which makes it unique from other horror movies of the period. I do love the way the colours look with the two-strip system, perhaps even more so with the superior three-strip process. The film was also made before the Hays code was imposed onto movie makers, so it a little bit sexy, especially with the dialogue, which I suppose was a hallmark of Warner’s gangster films of the time.

Anyone who has seen House Of Wax will know the plot of this film. A museum owner uses real life bodies to make his wax sculptures more lifelike. The best friend of the heroine is wanted by the mad owner for his next masterpiece. House Of Wax was a remake of this film by Michael Curtiz, the famed director of some of Hollywood’s greatest films such as The Adventures Of Robin Hood and Casablanca. This film was made before the Hays code was introduced so some of the dialogue in particular is quite risqué and sexy.

I do like Farrell’s performance as the reporter who uncovers the mystery. Her character could be considered as being a pre-Women’s Liberation feminist, as she portrays a strong willed, brave and intelligent (if quirky) woman, while most of the men come of not so good. She was a veteran of Warner’s gangster films and her character here is very streetwise. Wray on the other hand is just required to look very pretty and give her trademark scream when it’s required. She really offers not much to the film at all.

Atwill is rightly menacing as the supposedly disabled sculptor Igor, who in the end turns out to be a murderous monster that has been using dipping the bodies of his victims into the hot wax to make his creations.

Mystery Of The Wax Museum was considered lost in a fire for a long time until a complete print turned up from Jack Warner’s private vault. It was the last of three two strip Technicolor films that Warner’s made in the early 30s. It is included as a special feature on the DVD of the 1953 version of House Of Wax. I really recommend that you buy House Of Wax on DVD because at the moment it is for sale really cheap. House Of Wax is a great movie and as it includes Mystery Of The Wax Museum as a bonus it is a must but for any fan of classic horror.


Two Weeks Down Fifty More To Go

The first two weeks of this experiment are up and I’ve still got a way to go. The last three films that I have seen have been quite horrible so I have to make sure that the next movie I watch is better. So far the worst movie that I have watched would be either Winning or Sherlock Holmes while the best would probably be 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Ed Wood or The Princess And The Frog. The biggest disappointment would be Winning as I really looked forward to seeing that film.