It's always a small surprise to revisit this movie and realise what a subtly dark performance James Stewart gives as an alcoholic who claims he keeps company with a six-foot-tall, invisible rabbit. As Elwood P. Dowd, the actor emits a faint whiff of decay and spirits, yet Stewart also embraces Dowd's romanticism and grace with splendid ease. Based on a hit play and directed by Henry Koster, the film is terribly funny at times, especially whenever Elwood decides it is only polite to introduce Harvey to complete strangers. The supporting cast can't be beat. --Tom Keogh
The glowering brutality that is aikido head-banger Steven Seagal's substitute for a star persona at least gives us a rancid taste of authenticity in Marked for Death, a cookie-cutter action picture. This glum lug seems really to enjoy hurting people; he snaps limbs and shatters noses with visible relish. Pitted against a gang of Jamaican gangsters who invade his (white ethnic) Chicago neighbourhood and threaten his family, retired DEA agent John Hatcher sets out to solve the case with robotic efficiency, kicking butt in just about every scene. Not quite as pudgy in this 1990 outing as he became a few films later, Seagal looks like the genuine, lethal article in the fight sequences but like a hopeless amateur when he tries to act his way out of the waterlogged-paper-bag of a script. So what else is new? The one bright spot here is Basil Wallace, a mostly unsung actor who throws himself into the showy role of the Rasta gang-boss Screwface, a garishly scarred psycho with piercing ice-blue eyes. --David Chute, Amazon.com
Newspaper editor Nick Condon (James Cagney) is the crusading chief of the Tokyo Chronicle in 1920s Japan. He has his suspicions about Japanese plans for future expansion suspicions that are confirmed when he runs an article accusing Japanese Premier Tanaka (John Emery) and Colonel Tojo (Robert Armstrong) of planning world conquest and gets a visit from the Imperial Police. Then one of his reporters Ollie Miller (Wallace Ford) and his wife Edith (Rosemary DeCamp) are murdered shortly
John Garfield, Shelley Winters and Norman Lloyd star in this film noir classic. Nick (Garfield) and Al (Lloyd) are involved in a payroll heist that goes wrong, resulting in a policeman being shot. Al is caught while Nick gets away, hiding out at the local swimming pool. There, he meets and charms local girl Peg Dobbs (Winters) and she invites him back to her house, unaware of the crime he has just committed. Soon things start to unravel for Nick as he holds Peg's entire family hostage, knowing that the police are getting ever closer to finding him.
THE MUMMY'S HAND In this acclaimed follow-up to the popular original, an expedition of American archaeologists, headed by Steve Banning (Dick Foran) and Baby Jenson (Wallace Ford), travels to Egypt in search of the undiscovered tomb of the Princess Ananka. There they soon discover the clues that lead them to a 3000-year-old mummy, who is guarded by a sinister high priest (Eduardo Ciannelli). Reluctantly funded by a magician (Cecil Kellaway) and his beautiful daughter (Peggy Moran), the expedition has its hands full battling the mummy, who goes on a killing rampage during each full moon, in this frightening chiller masterpiece. THE MUMMY'S TOMB The ancient Egyptian Mummy, Kharis, is transported from his homeland with the high priest Mehemet (Turhan Bey) to wreak vengeance on the family who has defiled thE sacred bomb of his beloved Princess Ananka. Compassionately portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr., Kharis travels to the United States, with companion Mehemet, to seek archaeologist Stephen A. Banning (Dick Foran). Systematically, the last surviving members of the original expedition are killed while Mehemet falls in love with Isobel Evans (Elyse Knox), Banning's beautiful fiancee. He futilely tries to use the Mummy to ensnare Isobel to be his high priestess, but is prevented by a fiery mob which destroys him and the mummy in this classic chiller.
""Gobble-gobble...we accept her...one of us "" goes the haunting chant of Freaks. Yet it would be decades before this widely banned morality play gained acceptance as a cult masterpiece. Tod Browning (1931's Dracula) directs this landmark movie in which the true freaks are not the story's sideshow performers but ""normals"" who mock and abuse them. Browning a former circus contortionist cast real-life sideshow professionals. A living torso who nimbly lights his own cigarette despite having no arms or legs microcepalics (whom the film calls ""pinheads"") - they and others play the big-top troupers who inflict a terrible revenge on a trapeze artist who treats them as subhumans. In 1994 Freaks was selected for the National Film Registry's archive of cinematic treasures.
Alfred Hitchcock takes on Sigmund Freud in this thriller in which psychologist Ingrid Bergman tries to solve a murder by unlocking the clues hidden in the mind of amnesiac suspect Gregory Peck. Among the highlights is a bizarre dream sequence seemingly designed by Salvador Dali--complete with huge eyeballs and pointy scissors. Although the film is in black and white, the original release contained one subliminal blood-red frame, appearing when a gun pointed directly at the camera goes off. Spellbound is one of Hitchcock's strangest and most atmospheric films, providing the director with plenty of opportunities to explore what he called "pure cinema"--i.e., the power of pure visual associations. Miklós Rózsa's haunting score (which features the creepy electronic instrument, the theremin) won an Oscar, and the movie was nominated for best picture, director, supporting actor (Michael Chekhov), cinematography and special visual effects. --Jim Emerson
The Man from Laramie is the last of five remarkable Westerns Anthony Mann made with James Stewart (starting with Winchester '73 and peaking with The Naked Spur). Only John Ford excelled Mann as a purveyor of eye-filling Western imagery, and Mann's best films are second to no one's when it comes to the fusion of dynamic action, rugged landscapes and fierce psychological intensity. This collaboration marked virtually a whole new career for Stewart, whose characters are all haunted by the past and driven by obsession--here, to find whoever set his cavalry-officer brother in the path of warlike Indians. The Man from Laramie aspires to an epic grandeur beyond its predecessors. It's the only one in CinemaScope, and Stewart's personal quest is subsumed in a larger drama--nothing less than a sagebrush version of King Lear, with a range baron on the verge of blindness (Donald Crisp), his weak and therefore vicious son (Alex Nicol) and another, apparently more solid "son", his Edmund-like foreman (Arthur Kennedy). There are a few too many subsidiary characters, and the reach for thematic complexity occasionally diminishes the impact. But no one will ever forget the scene on the salt flats between Nicol and Stewart--climaxing in the single most shocking act of violence in 50s cinema--or the final, mountain-top confrontation. For decades, the film has been seen only in washed-out, pan-and-scan videos, with the characters playing visual hopscotch from one panel of the original composition to another. It's great to have this glorious DVD--razor-sharp, fully saturated (or as saturated as 50s Eastmancolor could be) and breathtaking in its CinemaScope sweep. --Richard T Jameson, Amazon.com
Rip Murdock (Bogart) and Johnny Drake (Prince) are en route to Washington when Johnny disappears and then turns up dead. Rip learns that Johnny had been accused of murder and sets out to resolve the mystery surrounding his death...
Alfred Hitchcock considered this 1943 thriller to be his personal favourite among his own films, and although it's not as popular as some of Hitchcock's later work, it's certainly worthy of the master's admiration. Scripted by playwright Thornton Wilder and inspired by the actual case of a 1920s serial killer known as "The Merry Widow Murderer," Shadow of a Doubt sets a tone of menace and fear by introducing a psychotic killer into the small-town comforts of Santa Rosa, California. That's where young Charlie (Teresa Wright) lives with her parents and two younger siblings, and where murder is little more than a topic of morbid conversation for their mystery-buff neighbour (Hume Cronyn). Charlie was named after her favourite uncle, who has just arrived for an extended visit, and at first Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) gets along famously with his admiring niece. But the film's chilling prologue has already revealed Uncle Charlie's true identity as the notorious Merry Widow Murderer, and the suspense grows almost unbearable when young Charlie's trust gives way to gradual dread and suspicion. Through narrow escapes and a climactic scene aboard a speeding train, this witty thriller strips away the fa ade of small-town tranquillity to reveal evil where it's least expected. And, of course, it's all done in pure Hitchcockian style. --Jeff Shannon
Carnival Of Souls: Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) apparently survives a serious car accident. Shortly after she heads for Utah and a new job as a church organist but is pursued by a cadaverous phantom figure... The Ape Man: Mad scientist Dr. Brewster long thought dead is working away in his basement laboratory on a serum derived from gorilla spinal fluid. Experimenting on himself Dr. Brewster is dismayed to discover that the injections have given him a bushy beard a
From the novel by John Irving comes this darkly comic tale of an eccentric New England family. As the father moves them from one place to the next setting up a new hotel each time the assortment of oddball characters seem to become involved in ever more bizarre situations. Frannie becomes obsessed with the boy who attacks her John becomes obsessed with Frannie his sister and both of them fall for a girl who is so insecure she hides in a bear outfit Frank is coming to terms with his homosexuality and the youngest Lilly is convinced she isn't growing. The family pet is a flatulent dog that ends up stuffed and causes more trouble than when it was alive...
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Dance hall gal Lil (Marie Windsor) is a very versatile woman - she can sing, she can ride, she plays cards and she knows how to forge - all of which make her attractive to several gentlemen, including secret service agent Tom Horn (George Montgomery). Horn's been sent West to round up a gang of counterfeiters. He starts by gaining the confidence of one of the ringleaders, Lil, and she leads him to Logan (Rod Cameron), the brains behind the operation. When Lil finds out that Horn is a Fed, she's tempted to fill him full of holes. The only problem is, he's taken her heart. ...Dakota Lil
James Cagney and Sylvia Sidney take on the menacing government of Tokyo in the fast-paced 1945 action thriller packed with intrigue and romance. Nick Condon (James Cagney) is the brash managing editor of Tokyo's English language newspaper when it breaks the startling news that Japan is planning to conquer China. After the double-murder of his ace reporter (Wallace Ford) and the reporter's wife (Rosemary De Camp) Condon realizes his own life is in danger. When the Japanese try to stop him from revealing an even deadlier plot he enlists the help of a beautiful secret agent (Sylvia Sidney) before the country's Premier and secret police can stop him... permanently.
Infested with criminals the town of Warlock is in serious need of a strong marshal. Enter Clay Blaisdell (Henry Fonda) a man with a reputation for some serious gun-slinging. Accompanied by his gambler friend Tom Morgan (Anthony Quinn) the two find themselves as the centre of many a controversy due to their brutal methods in dispatching with the criminal element. Eventually a reformed outlaw in town named Johnny (Richard Widmark) is elected sheriff and a showdown with Clay seems i
Rip Smith (Stewart) discovers a town statistically identical to the entire country so he and his assistants go there to run polls easily and cheaply. When he meets local civic cruader Mary Peterman (Wyman) romantic involvement follows and things start to change rapidly...
This is one of the first American martial arts movies and features some gripping action with James Cagney doing his own stunts for which he trained intensively with Ken Kuniyuki a fifth degree judo master before shooting. This is Cagney at his best.
Set Comprises: The Informer (1935) The Fugitive (1947) Mary Of Scotland (1936) Wagonmaster (1950)
John Ford's epic story of boiling passions amongst the burning sands in which twelve battered fighting men battle it out to the death. Set during the First World War a small British Army group is set out on a mission to the Mesopotamian desert but disaster strikes when their commanding officer is shot by an Arab sniper. Unaware of their intended destination their Sergeant (Victor McLagen) takes charge and decides to head north to meet up with their brigade. Sheltering at an oasis they wake up the next morning to discover their lookout dead and their camp surrounded by Arab tribesmen. Left at the mercy of the Arabs and being slowly picked off one-by-one the men begin to crack under the desert heat and life-or-death situation. As their supplies run low Sanders (Boris Karloff) begins to doubt his sanity but unbeknownst to the soldiers a rescue patrol is only days away...
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