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Showing posts from September 13, 2020

Review: The Boys

Four delinquent ‘Teddy Boys’ (Dudley Sutton, Jess Conrad, Ronald Lacey, and Tony Garnett) are standing trial for robbery and the murder of an elderly garage nightwatchman. Defending them in an uphill battle is Robert Morley’s defence counsel, who tries to use every legal trick he can think of. He also tries to get the snotty little tearaways to realise that the hangman’s noose potentially awaits them and this is serious bloody business they’re facing here. Opposing counsel is played by Richard Todd, who takes his task equally seriously. Among the witnesses are a dapper Allan Cuthbertson, elderly janitor Wilfrid Brambell, and a very nervous bus driver played by Roy Kinnear. Felix Aylmer presides over the matter as the authoritative judge, Kenneth J. Warren is the rather na├»ve garage owner, whilst Charles Morgan plays a pool hall owner who knows the boys are trouble. A top-shelf British character actor cast is the whole show in this 1962 mixture of courtroom flick and juvenile delinquen…

Review: The Third Man

***** SPOILER-HEAVY REVIEW. PROCEED WITH CAUTION *****Joseph Cotten plays Holly Martins, an American writer who comes to post-war Vienna for a job offered to him by his old buddy Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Unfortunately, when he arrives he’s informed that Harry has suddenly died in an accident. Military policeman Maj. Calloway (Trevor Howard) immediately takes a disapproval to Martins’ arrival in Vienna, and suggests he vamoose back home swiftly. However, two things keep Holly sticking around; 1) A beautiful local woman who knew Harry (Alida Valli) whom Holly is romantically fascinated with, and 2) The nagging suspicion that there’s more to Harry’s death than meets the eye. The longer he stays in Vienna, the more Holly’s nagging suspicion grows. Bernard Lee plays a Sergeant, Wilfrid Hyde-White plays the head of a literary society keen to get Holly to make an appearance, and Ernst Deutsch plays a suspicious-looking Austrian acquaintance of Harry’s named Baron Kurtz. I’ve had a couple o…

Review: Death Line

A young couple (David Ladd and Sharon Gurney) discover the dead body of a government minister (James Cossins) at a tube station in London. Unfortunately, once the bobbies show up, the body has mysteriously vanished. Odd, seemingly aloof Scotland Yard Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasence) investigates, though his strong suit seems to be pissing off ex-pat American Ladd with his disarmingly disinterested interview technique. The investigation eventually leads all the way back to an 1890s London Underground tunnel collapse disaster. Norman Rossington plays Pleasence’s #2, with Clive Swift appearing briefly as another Inspector, whilst Christopher Lee guest stars in one scene as a smug MI5 operative named Stratton-Villiers. Uneven, sometimes dull, but completely barmy 1972 film from American director Gary Sherman (“Vice Squad”, “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, “Poltergeist III”) and co-writer Ceri Jones (an ad exec by trade), which is also sometimes listed as “Raw Meat”. I personally think the oth…

Review: Heartbreak Ridge

Clint Eastwood is Gunnery Sgt. Highway, a brawling hard-arse with an insubordinate streak a mile long and an extreme lack of tolerance for fools and pencil-pushing bureaucrats. He’s also a bit too long in the tooth, but the Marine brass just can’t seem to convince ‘Gunny’ Highway to retire. Sent back to his old stomping grounds, he’s given a dressing down by – you guessed it – a gruff, but stuffed shirt Major named Powers (Mean-faced, mean-voiced Everett McGill), and a dick-measuring contest between the two ensues. Highway gets put in charge of a platoon of the lowest of the lowly Gomer Pyle recruits, including an idiot wannabe ‘rap-rock’ musician named ‘Stitch’ Jones (Mario Van Peebles), and they are the constant bane of each other’s existence. Meanwhile, Highway tries to worm his way back into the heart of old flame and cocktail waitress Aggie (the charming Marsha Mason), who has taken up with antagonising bully boy Roy (Bo Svenson). Arlen Dean Snyder plays Highway’s one friend in t…