The movies are piling up in March, probably my most productive movie-watching month ever. You can link to the other parts of this crazy month below, then check out my 10 latest movies.
And now, on with Part IV:
Directed by John Badham
Produced by Jim Kouf, Cathleen Summers
Written by Jim Kouf
Cinematography by John Seale
DVD (1:57) 2x
Another movie mentioned by the guys at Pure Cinema Podcast is also a movie I saw when it first appeared, not in theaters, but on VHS. Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez play two detectives on a nightshift stakeout of a woman named Maria McGuire (Madeleine Stowe) whose boyfriend Richard “Stick” Montgomery (Aidan Quinn) has escaped from prison. Hoping they can learn Montgomery’s whereabouts, Dreyfuss and Estevez create more havoc than they try to contain. Although most people remember Dreyfuss from his performances in blockbusters like Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), he made some pretty good films in the 80s including this one. If you haven’t seen it and enjoy action/adventure movies, buddy films, or comedy in general, check it out.
The Woman on Pier 13 (1949)
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Produced by Jack J. Gross
Screenplay by Robert Hardy Andrews, Charles Grayson
Story by George W. George, George F. Slavin
Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca
Before he met his wife Nan (Laraine Day), San Francisco shipping executive Brad Collins (Robert Ryan, left) was involved with the Communist party in New York. The leader of the Communist cell, a man named Vanning (Thomas Gomez, right), doesn’t recognize Collins’s resignation and expects him to keep working on behalf of the party. Originally titled I Married a Communist (The title was changed due to negative responses at preview screenings), the film’s strengths are Ryan, Gomez and the wonderful Nicholas Musuraca cinematography. On the negative side, it seems overly melodramatic and far from realistic, even for 1949, yet is still quite entertaining.
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Produced by Bryan For
Story and Screenplay by Earl Fenton, George Zuckerman
Cinematography by Guy Roe
Counterfeiter Tris Stewart (Lloyd Bridges, left) is released from prison with the understanding that he’ll help the feds capture a gang of counterfeiters. Of course Stewart is more interested in shenanigans than in helping the feds, especially where cigarette-girl Meg Dixon (Barbara Payton) is concerned. Trapped suffers from a pseudo-documentary voiceover and flag-waving patriotic music early on but turns out to be an okay crime thriller.
Directed by Park Chan-wook
Produced by Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Costigan
Written by Wentworth Miller
Cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung
DVD – library (1:39)
Previously discussed here
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
Directed by Robert Hamer
Produced by Michael Balcon, Michael Relph
Screenplay by Robert Hamer, John Dighton
Based on Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman
Cinematography by Douglas Slocombe
Alec Guiness 5-Film Collection DVD (1:46)
Wonderful Ealing Studios black comedy with Dennis Price (right) as Louis Mazzini, a man whose mother was shunned by her aristocratic family for running off with an Italian opera singer. Louis seeks revenge for his mother’s mistreatment by murdering each family member in line to become the Duke of Chalfont, leaving no one in his way. Alec Guinness (center) plays nine roles in the film, including several of the D’Ascoyne family who get knocked off. Guinness is amazing as always, but every aspect of the film is excellent.
The Thing (1982) (5x)
Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by David Foster, Lawrence Turman
Screenplay by Bill Lancaster, based on the story “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell
Cinematography by Dean Cundey
Shout! Factory Blu-ray (1:49)
I’m slowly working my way through all the commentaries and special features on this amazing Shout! Factory 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. If you’re a fan of this film – undoubtedly one of the finest horror films of all time – you should pick this up.
The Late Show (1977) (2x)
Written and directed by Robert Benton
Produced by Robert Altman, Scott Bushnell
Cinematography by Charles Rosher Jr.
Warner DVD – library (1:33)
Yes, that is Lily Tomlin with Art Carney, starring in a movie you’ve probably never heard of, but you will if you click here. Highly recommended.
Son of Rambow (2007)
Written and directed by Garth Jennings
Produced by Nick Goldsmith
Cinematography by Jess Hall
DVD – library (1:35)
Two vastly different British schoolboys meet accidentally in the hall of their school and strike up an unlikely friendship. Lee Carter (Will Poulter, left) is a 13-year-old who’s constantly in trouble for his classroom antics. Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner, right) is a shy 11-year-old whose religious mom is so strict he’s not allowed to watch movies or TV. But when Lee shows Will a pirated copy of the Rambo movie First Blood, it changes Will’s life. Lee and Will decide to make their own movie…
It’s certainly a cliché to say that you’ll laugh and cry with Son of Rambow, but you will. It’s a real treasure that many people have never heard of. I wouldn’t have if not for the guys at Pure Cinema Podcast. See it.
Directed by Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Produced by Benson, Moorhead, David Clarke Lawson, Jr.
Written by Justin Benson
Cinematography by Aaron Moorhead
DVD – interlibrary loan (1:49)
My friend Kristina over at Speakeasy mentioned that she thought this would be a good companion movie to Let the Right One In (covered briefly in Part III) and I think she’s right. Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) is a young man from America who decides to travel to Italy to forget about his mom, who recently lost her battle with cancer. While in a small Italian town, Evan meets a beautiful young woman named Louise (Nadia Hilker) who intrigues him. Evan knows there’s something different about her, so one night she shows him that her eyes have different colors. That’s true, but there’s way more strangeness to her than that.
Spring has some great moments and stands as a very good horror/romance, one that has a distinct Lovecraftian feel. I do have a few character-related issues that I can’t discuss without getting into spoilers, but I still liked the film. I hope you will as well.
Hang ‘Em High (1968) (2x)
Directed by Ted Post
Produced by Leonard Freeman
Written by Leonard Freeman, Mel Goldberg
Cinematography by Richard H. Kline, Leonard J. South
MGM/UA DVD (1:54)
Another movie that’s gone unseen since my youth, Hang ‘Em High stars Clint Eastwood as an innocent man charged by a lynch mob with stealing cattle. The lynch mob, led by Ed Begley and including a young Bruce Dern, don’t finish the job, so Clint is able to track these guys down and give ‘em what for. The love story with Inger Stevens is pretty routine but there are some nice moments with Clint arguing over the role and purpose of justice with the local judge Pat Hingle. Film noir fans will notice Charles McGraw in a couple of scenes.
After the enormous success of his appearances in the Sergio Leone “Man with No Name” trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars , For a Few Dollars More , The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ), Eastwood had enough money and clout to create his own production company, Malpaso Productions. Hang ‘Em High was the first film under the Malpaso banner, and at the time had the largest United Artists opening in history, which includes the James Bond films. Not bad…
Okay, there’s another 10 movies for you. Hope you’ll find at least one or two to track down. If you do, let me know what you think. More on the way…
Photos: Sky, The Scott Rollins Film and TV Trivia Blog, World News, Tyneside Cinema, Pop Horror, Queerty, Patheos, Opinion as a Movie-freak, Great Western Movies