‘The Wild Women of Wongo’ — Part Five

Hello again! It’s time for Part Five of our B-movie of the week! Yes, it’s none other than The Wild Women of Wongo!

And, because it’s Caturday, here’s my short video, A Cat’s Life!

More to come about the interactive movie experience! 🙂

PS: Did you know that June 6 was National Drive-In Movie Day? 🙂

DriveIn

And they’ve opened an indoor drive-in in Nashville? 🙂

Posted in B-Movies, Parody, Public Domain Movies, Serial Shorts, Short Film | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bogart Vs. Cagney: The Oklahoma Kid

Interesting write-up! 🙂

I’ve never seen this match-up. Have you?

Source: Bogart Vs. Cagney: The Oklahoma Kid

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My Review of ‘The Prowler’ (1951)

I saw this film as part of TCM’s Noir Alley line-up. Movie critics have pegged it as a slight twist on the Double Indemnity concept—the twist being that it’s the man who’s the seducer. However, ironically, Eddie Muller offered it as a Mother’s Day movie. There’s a reason for this I’ll discuss later.

The story is not only a film noir, but a thriller. The movie is about Webb Garwood, a cop who hates his job (played creepily by Van Heflin). Garwood and his partner are called to investigate a peeping Tom spying on suburban housewife Susan Gilvray (played by John Huston’s ex-wife Evelyn Keyes). Garwood is smitten with Susan on first sight.

Prowler, The (1951) | Evelyn Keyes, Van Heflin | Dir: Joseph Losey | Photo Credit: [ The Kobal Collection / United Artists

This leads Garwood to keep hanging around the Gilvray household, because Susan spends her nights alone while her (incredibly possessive, for a guy who’s never home) husband works as an overnight radio deejay. In fact, the film’s title could easily refer as much to Garwood as to the voyeur who brought Garwood and Susan together. In any case, while snooping around the house during one nighttime visit, Garwood finds out the husband has a life insurance policy. That gives him even more reasons to hang around.

So Garwood comes on to Susan in a big way, and even though she rebuffs him and throws him out, apparently Van Heflin is so charming (and her husband is so absent) that Susan eventually does the nasty bumps uglies has an affair with him.

Eventually, this all leads to Garwood taking steps to whack terminate with extreme prejudice kill Mr. Gilvray. Garwood does so in a manner that gives yet another level of meaning to the movie’s title.

Saying more about the plot would risk revealing spoilers, but I will say that the acting in the film is top-notch. The concepts were tres risque for their time. The script is full of the requisite level of tension, which ratchets up considerably toward the end. The only thing is that Garwood’s ultimate fate seems a tad rushed, when one considers that he’s essentially sentenced to death without the benefit of a trial. As if the screenwriter thought, “I need to wrap things up quickly.” Then again maybe the ending makes sense, from the point of view of the blacklisted writer, Dalton Trumbo, who actually created the screenplay.

Dalton Trumbo refusing to name names.

Screen writer Dalton Trumbo, center, right, waves to part of the crowd of 500 people who showed up at Los Angeles Airport, June 8, 1950, in a farewell demonstration before Trumbo left for Washington, where he and John H. Lawson will begin jail terms for contempt of Congress. At right are Trumbo’s children, Nicola and Christopher, and his wife, Cleo. Trumbo refused to answer the House Un-American Activities Committee question of whether he is or ever was a communist. (AP Photo/Ed Widdis)

And why is this a Mother’s Day movie? Eddie Muller suggested that, for Susan’s sins, she was forced to give birth. And, I might add, in the middle of nowhere. So, you can add this to your Mother’s Day film noir collection, along with Mildred Pierce, which I’ve also reviewed.

Judged in the context of its time, this film was hot stuff and ground-breaking. But, I simply can’t overlook to way the ending seemed to skim right past murder suspect to convicted killer. So, I’ll give a solid thumbs up and recommend it for your viewing.

Posted in Film Noir, Movie Reviews, Thriller | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Part Four of ‘The Wild Women of Wongo’

Once again, it’s Saturday and with another weekend, we have another part of this week’s B-movie spectacular … The Wild Women of Wongo! 🙂

I’m still working out the details of making these films a more interactive experience.

In the meantime, see what you think of this! 🙂

I’d also like to announce the upcoming release of my young adult novel, Invisible Me, as an audiobook, for all you audio fans!

Cover reveal! 🙂

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Original vs. Remake: ‘Stagecoach’

What can I say about the 1939 version of Stagecoach that hasn’t already been said? Stagecoach is the story of a motley diverse group of strangers who are in a hurry (for one reason or another) to beat feet get to Lordsburg. The setting is the old West. So they hustle out of town by—you got it—stagecoach.

And along the way, they run into an outlaw named Ringo (in the days well before The Beatles). Apparently, Ringo is without a ride and is forced to hitchhike across Arizona Territory (played spectacularly by Monument Valley). So Marshal Curly Wilcox, who’s riding shotgun, invites Ringo (kinda) to join their merry band.

The passengers make for an interesting mix of characters: a dance hall prostitute who’s been run out of town; a pregnant woman trying to meet up with her military husband; an alcoholic doctor; a gambler and “Southern gentleman”; a distinctly unheroic whiskey salesman; and a banker who has embezzled 50 grand from his employer. Plus Ringo, the stage driver, and the Marshall. You can just imagine the conflicts that ensue.

In both versions, they’re set upon by Indians. In both versions, there’s controversy about whether to turn back or keep going. And, without revealing spoilers (for those few of you who have not seen this magnificent movie), I’ll only say that, by the end, each of the characters has a better understanding of the other and there are moments where either justice is served or sins are forgiven.

You’ll notice I haven’t said much about the 1966 version. And not because it’s a completely unworthy movie. An unnecessary one maybe—but unworthy? No. Both versions have the same characters with the same qualities, except the remake is in color and with different actors. And with slight tweaks to the plot that reflect the sensibilities of the time about the acceptable level of violence in movies.

There’s something about the color in the remake that takes away from the stark imagery of the West as portrayed in the original. In fact, one could argue that Stagecoach is a metaphor for the isolation and vulnerability of the westward pioneers. Or you could just say it’s a great story and leave it at that.

But the 1939 version was directed by–*bow* *scrape*—John Ford. It is a truly classic film.

So if you’ve never seen this movie and you like Westerns, what the hell’s the holdup you simply must see the original.

And if you have nothing better to do and it happens to be on, the 1966 version is an inoffensive way to pass the time. And not nearly as horrible as its critics would have you think.

Try not to let the Wayne Newton or Norman Rockwell closing credits put you off! 🙂

Posted in Remake Reviews, Westerns | Tagged , | 15 Comments

The Memorial Day Edition of the Saturday Matinee

Yep, you’re reading that right. The Saturday Matinee was moved to Monday, May 29, i.e., the Memorial Day holiday!

Actually, I had planned to post this on Sunday, but had plow through millions thousands hundreds of emails, because I’ve been offline and on vacation. In the great state of Colorado. Here we are in Colorado! 🙂

Me and my husband, plus my brother in the background.

And here we are, lined up along a fence!

Anyway, it’s good to be back. And I’m still working on making these movies more interactive. In the meantime, here’s Part Three of The Wild Women of Wongo!

And since it’s Memorial Day, here’s the trailer for one of my favorite war movies!

Broad Sword calling Danny Boy! 🙂

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Day 3 Recap – Medicine in the Movies Blogathon!

Thrilled to be part of this! 🙂

Charlene's (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

We had another great day of fascinating, thought-provoking posts from the awesome bloggers partaking in the blogathon! Although this is technically the last day for the blogathon, I will write a wrap-up post tomorrow for any later entries. Enjoy perusing!

ALL THAT JAZZ

The Picture Show Girl – Good Night, Nurse! (1918)

Old School Evil – The Secret of NIMH (1982)

The Midnite Drive-In – Monk (2002 – 2009)

I Found it at the Movies – All That Jazz (1979)

Movierob – Awakenings (1990)MASH (1970), & Patch Adams (1998)

Moon in Gemini – Madame Bovary (1949)

dbmoviesblog – Spellbound (1945)

spellb45rev

I do not own the photos in this post.

Until tomorrow for the wrap-up!

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