‘Glen or Glenda’ – Part One

Happy Saturday or whatever day you happen to see this! The latest movie feature was selected based in part on a poll, which drew all of two votes! Yay! Someone’s paying attention. Far out! 🙂

In any case, given the close race in the voting, I’ll do both movies in alphabetical order.

First up then is the Ed Wood, Jr. classic: Glen or Glenda. And this would be Part One of the film, of course.

And so on with the show! 🙂

PS: If you’d like a free copy of my film noir reviews, just click here and fill out the form! Thanks!

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My Review of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ (1969)

This is one of those movies that got an R-rating back when I was a young teenager. Which made it catnip to my (immature little) mind! When my cousin took me to see the film (in a double feature with M*A*S*H—yet another R-rated flick of great notoriety), I found it daring, funny, romantic, adventurous … it hit all the right notes.

Image via Nevada City Film Festival.

In retrospect, I can see that the film is less of a Western than a buddy film set in the West. Paul Newman plays Butch Cassidy, the outlaw with a vision who leads the Hole in the Wall Gang. Robert Redford plays his fast-drawing sidekick, the Sundance Kid. After a minor scuffle with a member of the gang, Butch embraces the man’s idea about robbing trains.

And while the first robbery goes well, the second goes awry. It also sets a team of lawmen on the trail of Butch and Sundance. A group of crack law enforcers, who’ll stop at nothing to capture them.

But before the second robbery, the duo stop in to visit Sundance’s lover, a gorgeous schoolteacher named Etta Place (played by Katherine Ross). A brief respite in the action that allows Paul Newman to perform bicycle acrobatics to Burt Bacharach tunes.

However, once the boys are chased by lawmen, things look bleak. Until Butch comes up with another bright idea—move to Bolivia. And take Etta with them. Natch!

Image from travels in my own country.

There are a number of interesting aspects to this movie. One is that it’s based on true historical events.

Image from The Best Picture Project.

Second, the tone starts off in action mode, then turns comedic, then suspenseful, and eventually, dark. It’s as if screenwriter William Goldman (who spent several years doing historical research before writing the story) wanted to write a noir Western, but couldn’t fully commit to it. So it ended up being an occasionally amusing buddy movie set in the West with a noir ending.

Third, one obvious theme of the film is the death of the Old West and the way of life led by outlaws like Butch and Sundance. I’d say it gives the movie a passing resemblance to films like The Wild Bunch—with more laughs and less violence.

Image from FilmGrab.

Except for, well, the end.

This one’s a sentimental favorite for me. It was also chosen for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry in 2003. I give it two thumbs up!


PS: To get a free copy of my film noir essays and reviews, just click here, fill out the info, and download away! 🙂

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Part Eight of ‘The Invisible Man Vs. The Human Fly’

It feels like years eons forever a long time since I started showing this one! 🙂 But I’m thrilled beyond words deliriously happy glad to say that we’ve reached the end of this particular saga!

After this, things can only go up, right? 🙂

Ahem … we shall see, shan’t we? 🙂

And with that said, on with the show!

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Original vs. Remake: ‘True Grit’

This is one of those movies that I didn’t see until the remake was made. In fact, it was the remake that inspired me to watch the original. And, to be honest, I’d never wanted to see this movie until I happened to catch the remake.

Since I started with the remake, I’ll address that one first.

The story in both versions is the same—with a few tweaks here and there. A young woman, Mattie Ross, whose father was murdered by Tom Chaney, wants to track down the killer and see justice done. To assist her in that task, she hires Deputy U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, because she’s been told he has “true grit.” Cogburn dismisses her at first, but Mattie persists and he eventually takes the job. A young Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf shows up, also in pursuit of Chaney for the murder of a Texas state senator. Despite Mattie’s objections, Cogburn and LaBoeuf join forces. The two attempt to ditch Mattie, but she exhibits her own form of true grit by refusing to be ditched. The rest of the story is about their adventures and eventual confrontation with Chaney and company, which I won’t spoil for you if you haven’t seen either film.

Image from RogerEbert.com.

From the start of the remake, I was completely taken by Hailee Steinfeld’s performance as Mattie Ross. A magnificently strong and tough female character, Steinfeld’s Mattie holds her own nicely against the not inconsiderable talents of Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn and Matt Damon as LaBoeuf.

Image from Newsweek.

Bridges, in particular, delivers a memorable performance. He seems to have aged well into the role, and his casting opposite Steinfeld almost—if not quite completely—relegates Matt Damon to third-wheel status.

Image from DVDizzy.com

The confrontation and climax are stunning and stuck with me long after the picture ended.

I wondered if the original would impress me as much. Could John Wayne really match the talents of Jeff Bridges?

Duke vs. Dude? 🙂

Would Mattie be as toughly portrayed by Kim Darby? In 1969?

As luck would have it, I caught a showing of the original on TCM. From the moment I started watching, I couldn’t tear myself away.

Image from Talkie Gazette.

I’m happy to say that Darby was terrific in the role of Mattie Ross. And like Steinfeld, she held her own completely when paired with the estimable John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn. In the original version, the Texas Ranger LaBoeuf is played (ably enough) by Glen Campbell.

Image from Britannica.com.

While the story told in each movie is essentially the same, there are minor differences between them. But both versions are high on adventure, character conflict, suspense, and action. Both of them ended in a way that made me want to read the book upon which the films were based.

It’s interesting to note that the remake was written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and that Wikipedia describes their take on the story as an “American Revisionist Western.” Apparently, Ethan Coen said it would be more faithful to the book. Someday, I’ll have to read it and judge for myself.

Each of these versions resonated with me in their own way. I highly recommend both to lovers of the Western film genre! 🙂

PS: You can buy both movies through Amazon: 2010 and 1969.

Barnes & Noble: 2010, 1969, and both.

And Apple: 2010 and 1969.

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The Time Travel Blogathon – Day 3

Time Traveling Films! 🙂

Silver Screenings

About Time (2013) Image: Giphy

We’ve had a magnificent time, going back and forth through the ages with the Time Travel Blogathon.

Thanks to all who participated. You exceeded our expectations and made it a whole lotta fun.

Also thanks to Rich of Wide Screen World for suggesting the idea and being a great co-host.

A complete list of entries is HERE. (Bloggers: If we’ve overlooked you, or you’re posting a bit later, please leave a link in the comments below and we’ll add you ASAP.)

And below are today’s fab offerings. Enjoy!

Thoughts All Sorts
About Time (2013)

Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Century Film Project
His Prehistoric Past (1914)

Moon in Gemini
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) and Arrival(2016)

Movie Rob
The Time Machine (2002)

DB Movies Blog
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Old Hollywood Films
Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks – Invasion…

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‘The Invisible Man Vs. The Human Fly’ — Part Seven


It’s time yet again for another part of this incomprehensible mess bizarre peculiar little film.

So hold onto your hats! Here comes Part Seven of The Invisible Man Vs. The Human Fly! 🙂

PS: Just as an aside, the cat featured at the beginning of all these serialized films died this morning. I hereby dedicate Poverty Row Productions to Moze the Cat!

And, yes, our cat was named for this character! 🙂

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My Review of ‘Time After Time’ (1979)

Time After Time is a very clever time travel movie. It’s also something of the genre-bender, in that it’s a science fiction/thriller/romantic suspense movie. And it’s a fictionalized account involving real people—one of whom wrote a novel about a time machine.

The story starts in 1893 London, where H. G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell) is holding a dinner party during which he intends to reveal his new invention—a time travel machine.

Image from Insomnia Notebook.

His announcement is delayed as one of his guests arrives late—Dr. John Leslie Stevenson (played to perfection by David Warner), head of surgery at a local hospital. During the festivities, the police show up. It seems that Jack the Ripper has struck again. Upon discovering bloody gloves in Stevenson’s medical bag, the coppers conclude that he seems to be “head of surgery in Whitechapel,” a.k.a., the elusive Ripper. A search of the premises fails to turn him up. Care to take a guess how he escaped? If your answer is that he nicked the time machine and set course for the future, you get a gold star.

Fortunately for Wells (and the story), he took the machine without its handy “non-return” key, so the machine will automatically return to 1893 after Stevenson reaches his destination. After the machine comes back, Wells jumps inside and races off after the Ripper with the intent to bring him back and see justice done.

Image from Tumblr.

One thinks that part of the reason Wells is so hot to chase the killer is that (based on his theories), in the future, humans will live in a socialist utopia. Well, we know how that turns out.

Wells follows Stevenson to 1979 San Francisco (how he ended up leaving London is anyone’s guess), where he eventually tracks Stevenson down with the help of the lovely Amy Robbins, a bank employee who handled a money exchange for the Ripper (a part played charmingly by Mary Steenburgen). When Wells eventually confronts Stevenson, Wells’ quarry mocks him for his delusional thoughts of a utopian future. In fact, he feels quite at home in the real and very violent future.

Image from Following the Nerd.

Then Stevenson delivers the following inadvertently funny line, “Ninety years ago, I was a freak. Now … I’m an amateur.” This is one of those things that tends to happen in stories about the future. Years later, usually the future that’s predicted is nowhere close to the actuality. In this case, Stevenson’s line had me thinking, “You think 1979 is violent? You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

In any case, is it really a spoiler to say that Wells and Amy develop a romantic relationship? And, because of that, Amy is targeted by the Ripper, who is hell-bent on getting that “non-return” key for the time machine that I mentioned. On top of which, a clever “ticking clock” plot device is thrown into the mix, which I won’t go into in detail for fear of spoiling the viewing experience.

Image from Seven Inches of Your Time.

One interesting thing to note about the movie is that it was based on an unfinished novel. It’s also one of the last films scored by veteran composer Miklós Rózsa. The music is fantastic, as are the various San Francisco landmarks seen throughout the film. There’s also a little homage to the chase scene in Bullitt that you might catch in this trailer!

And according to Wikipedia, the studio wanted Mick Jagger for the role of Stevenson. Thank God they picked David Warner.

Image from David Warner’s website.

This review is submitted as part of the Time Travel Blogathon co-hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Rich of Wide Screen World.

And how apt is that banner? 🙂

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