Friday, October 30, 2009

Bucket of Blood

(1959) - B&W - 67 min
Starring - Dick Miller as Walter Paisley, Barboura Morris as Carla, Anthony Carbone as Leonard DiSanso, Bert Convy as Lou Raby, Judy Bamber as Alice, Julian Burton as Maxwell, Ed Nelson as Art LaCroix Paul Horn as Beatnik Sax Player, John Brinkley as Will, a Hustler
Directed by - Roger Corman

A Bucket of Blood! This film, a cult classic horror satire by the great Roger Corman, the king of the low budget genre, made this gem in 1959. The film precedes Little Shop of Horrors but is similar in many ways. The hero, or anti-hero is Walter Paisley, a waiter in a Beatnik coffee shop with live Poetry readings, who wants to be an ARTIST, but unfortunately, he has no talent. Great dialogue, very funny, and awesome music with Paul Horn on sax. Cool movie - check it out.

Walter Paisley is just a waiter - but he wants to be a ARTIST - and when he kills a cat and covers it in clay, it appears he has found his muse (meows? - sorry, couldn't pass on the pun - please pronounce it like muse for full effect). Bert Convy also stars as an undercover narcotics officer - and Walter kills him too - with a frying pan, which brings to mind another great horror parody - Eating Raoul, with Paul Bartels, who actually starred in a re-make of this movie with Justine Bateman. WOW - small world, huh? This movie is a classic. You are just a nobody still you have experienced the ART, baby.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Angel On My Shoulder

(1946) - B&W - 104 min
Starring - Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, Claude Rains
Directed by - Archie Mayo

Eddie Kagel (Paul Muni) is a hardened criminal who agrees to work for the devil (Claude Rains), then has a change of heart.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Third Man

(1949) - B&W - 93 min
Starring - Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins Orson Welles as Harry Lime Valli as Anna Schmidt Trevor Howard as Major Calloway Erich Ponto as Dr. Winkel Paul Horbiger as Porter
Directed by - Carol Reed

The Third Man is wonderful film about post war Europe and the corruption that flourished as crooks made fortunes in the Black Market. Pulp fiction writer Holly Martins is looking for his friend, Harry Lime in Vienna. But it seems Harry is dead. He meets up with his girlfriend, Anna Schmidt - and is disturbed that the stories of Harry's demise don't add up. So he goes to the law -and learns from Major Calloway that Harry was a crook and a creep, who sold watered down penicillan in the Black Market.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mister Scarface

(1976) - Color - 94 min
Starring - Jack Palance as Scarface, Harry Baer as Tony, Al Cliver as Rick, Edmund Purdom as Luigi
Directed by - Fernando Di Leo

Mister Scarface is an entertaining Italian movie about a mobster named Scarface, played by Jack Palance, complete with the scar on his face. No, it's not about Al Capone, but this other scarface evil twin from Italy. Imagine a 70's spaghetti gangsta film (as opposed to spaghetti western genre) - and don't be afraid to laugh.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Lady Vanishes

(1938) - B&W - 94 min
Starring - Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood
Directed by - Alfred Hitchcock

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ozu's Floating Weeds

Floating Weeds - Ukigusa
(1959) - Color -
119 min
English subtitle

Starring - Ganjiro Nakamura as Master Komajuro Arashi, Hiroshi Kawaguchi as Kiyoshi Homma, Machiko Kyo as Sumiko, Ayako Wakao as Kayo, Hikaru Hoshi as Kimura, Haruko Sugimura as Oyoshi, Haruo Tanaka as Yatazo, Yosuke Irie as Sugiyama, Hitomi Nozoe as Aiko,
Directed by - Yasujiro Ozu

Floating Weeds or Ukigusa is one of acclaimed director Yasujiro Ozu's finest works.

Komajuro Arashi, an aging master of a travelling Kabuke troupe hits the skids in a small Japanese town. Master Komajuro wants to see his son, who has grown up since his last visit a decade ago and his aging mistress, Sumiko. Of course this angers his current flame, the top actress of the show. Like many a spurned women, she seeks vengeance and the results are disastrous.

This is a great film from one of the best directors of all time.

Watch the full film. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

(1962) - B&W - 28 min
Starring - Roger Jacquet, Anne Cornaly, Anker Larsen
Directed by - Robert Enrico

This film by Robert Enrico is adapted from the story written by Ambrose Bierce. The short film does an excellent job of telling this great tale, about a man accused of trying to sabotage a bridge during the civil war. As the story begins, the man is about to be executed - by hanging from Owl Creek Bridge. We enter the man's mind, as he imagines that the rope breaks - and he narrowly escapes the onslaught of bullets from the Union soldiers. Then he runs through an arched forest canopy - trying to return to his wife and child, who are waiting for him at his home. Most of the story takes place, during that brief few seconds, as he falls from his gallows - to the moment when his neck snaps. An incredible journey of mind....

Friday, October 23, 2009

To Kill A Mockingbird

(1962) - B&W - 130 min
Starring - Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, Robert Duvall as Arthur Boo Radley, Mary Badham as Scout Finch (Jean Louise), Phillip Alford as Jem Finch (Jeremy Atticus), William Windom as prosecuting attorney, Horace Gilmer Brock Peters as Tom Robinson, Frank Overton as Sheriff Heck Tate, James Anderson as Bob Ewell, John Megna as Dill Harris,
Directed by - Robert Mulligan

To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic American film, based on Harper Lee's novel, Horton Foote's screenplay is amazing - and Gregory Peck's performance as Atticus Finch was nothing short of stunning. The story is told through the eyes of Jean Louise Finch, Scout to her friends, as she recalls this tumultuous period many years later. Mary Badham's performance as Scout is flawless. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role but lost to Patty Duke for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. Had she won, she would have been the youngest person to win this award. 1962 was one of the best years in the history of film.

This classic tale of a Depression era attorney trying to defend an innocent Black man was nominated for a whopping eight Academy Awards, and won three - Gregory Peck, Best Actor, Horton Foote, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and Alexander Golitzen, Henry Bumstead, and Oliver Emert for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, B&W. Also of note - Elmer Bernstein's fantastic musical score.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Boudu Saved From Drowning

(1932) - B&W - 81 min
Starring - Michel Simon as Priape Boudu, Charles Granval as Edouard Lestingois, Jean Daste as the student Marcelle Hainia as Emma Lestingois, Severine Lerczinska as Chloe Anne Marie, the upstairs maid Max Dalban as Godin, Jean Gehret as Vigour
Directed by - Jean Renoir

An enchanting 1932 Jean Renoir film, Boudu sauve des eaux, or in English - Boudu Saved from Drowning. A poor homeless man named Boudu tries to drown himself in the Seine River, but is saved by the wealthy book store owner, Edouard Lestingois who was watching Boudu from his window. Boudu moves in with the family and has quite an impact on each of their lives. Also of note, this film caused a major scandal when it was released. Not because of the kissing or extramarital affairs (hey, they're French)... but people took major exception to, of all things - the filthy side of being homeless. Boudu's table manners, especially eating the food with his fingers. Totally taboo! The Police came and shut down theaters. It was a very serious matter at the time. In addition, Boudu doesn't seem particularly grateful to Monsieur Lestingois' generosity. Folks were infuriated by this as well.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac
(1950) - B&W - 112 min
Starring - José Ferrer as Cyrano de Bergerac, Mala Powers as Roxane, William Prince as Christian de Neuvillette, Ralph Clanton as Antoine Comte de Guiche, Morris Carnovsky as Le Bret, Edgar Barrier as Cardinal Richelieu, Lloyd Corrigan as Ragueneau, Albert Cavens as Vicomte de Valvert, Virginia Farmer as Duenna,
Directed by - Michael Gordon

Cyrano de Bergerac, starring Jose Ferrer as Cyrano in the screen adaptation of Edmond Rostand's classic play, a gifted poet, wordsmith, swordsman, and a man with a beautiful and tender heart was also given a monster sized nose, that reminds one of the proboscis monkey - it is huge and hideous, a perfect foil for the lavish gifts he has been given. Cyrano loves a beautiful woman named Roxane, who happens to be a distant cousin, but he is afraid to tell her how he feels about her, because he is afraid of rejection.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kansas City Confidential

(1952) - B&W - 100 minutes
Starring - John Payne as Joe Rolfe, Preston Foster as Tim Foster the cop, Lee Van Cleef as Tony Romano, Neville Brand as Boyd Kane, Jack Elam as Peter Harris, Coleen Gray as Helen Foster, Mario Siletti as Tomaso, Dona Drake as Teresa, Don Orlando as Diaz, the Tijuana cab driver
Directed by - Phil Karlson

Kansas City Confidential is one of the greatest crime dramas ever made. The film stars Lee Van Cleef, Neville Brand, and Jack Elam as the sleezy crooks with Preston Foster as a Tim Foster, a cop who tries to pull off the perfect crime. John Payne plays the hero - an innocent guy accused of pulling the bank heist who tries to solve the case and clear his name. There are so many twists and turns that is sure to leave you glued to the edge of your seat. The film also stars Coleen Gray as Helen Foster, Tim Foster's daughter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rashomon - Akira Kurosawa Classic

(1950) - B&W - 88 min
With English Subtitle
Starring - Toshirô Mifune as Tanjomaru -the bandit, Machiko Kyô as Masako - the woman, Masayuki Mori as Takehiro, Takashi Shamura as the firewood dealer, Minoru Chiaki as the Priest, Kichijro Ueda as the Commoner, Fumiko Honma as the Spiritual Medium
Directed by - Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon is a tale about murder and rape - and a look at truth, justice and lies.

We witness four separate accounts of the crime, each different than the other. The film explores perception and reality. If you have read any Existential works by Jean Paul Satre, Soren Kierkegaard, or Martin Heidegger - this film will really get you thinking about man's search for TRUTH.

Rashomon is one his best films, and listed in most lists as one of the top 20 films ever made.

In case you are unfamiliar with Kurosawa's remarkable talent, he is the director of Seven Samurai - which is the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven, Yojimbo, which inspired Clint Eastwood's A Fistful of Dollars, and Hidden Fortress, which inspired George Lucas to make the Star Wars Trilogy.

So, here it goes. The full feature! So, happy viewing! (Sorry, not available for downloads)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life Hesitates at 40

(1935) - B&W - 21 min
Starring - Charley Chase, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Brooks Benedict, James Finlayson, Joyce Compton
Directed by - Charley Chase

Life Hesitates at 40 is a terrific short film where Charley Chase has a weird affliction - it seems time can just stop for him and he imagines things happening as if frozen in time. Lots of goofy situations - check out this early time warp relativity flick - made a long time before The Matrix.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Klansman

(1974) - Color - 111 min
Starring - Richard Burton as Breck Stancill, Lee Marvin as Sheriff Track Bascomb, Linda Evans as Nancy Poteat, O.J. Simpson as Garth, Lola Falana as Loretta Sykes, David Huddleston as Mayor Hardy Riddle, Ed Call as Shaneyfelt, Luciana Paluzzi as Trixie, Cameron Mitchell as Butt Cutt Cates,
Directed by - Terrence Young

Terrence Young's The Klansman tells the story of a small southern town where the KKK is not only active, they downright control the place, even the sheriff. Things heat up when a group of civil rights activists show up and raise the temperature.

Friday, October 16, 2009


(1953) - B&W - 94 min
(Japanese with English subtitle)

Starring - Masayuki Mori as Genjurô, the potter, Machiko Kyô as Lady Wakasa, Kinuyo Tanaka as Miyagi, Eitarô Ozawa as Tôbei (Saka Ozawa), Ikio Sawamura as Genichi, Kikue Môri as Ukon, Mitsuko Mito as Ohama, Sugisaku Aoyama as the Old Priest, Ryosuke Kagawa as the village leader,
Directed by - Kenji Mizoguchi

Ugetsu (a.k.a. Ugetsu Monogatari), a Kenji Mizoguchi's 1953 classic is a tale of greed and ambition .

This film features many of the same actors in Kurosawa's epic, Rashomon from 1950 - and also offers a story line that reminds one of the first tale from Kwaidan called Black Hair.

In the midst of War and unrest caused by opportunistic bandits who ransack towns, two men follow their dreams of wealth, amibition and power. While they are successful in attaining a portion of their dreams - it is at the expnse of their familes.

So, enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

(1920) - B&W - 65 min
Starring - John Barrymore as Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Martha Mansfield as Millicent Carew, Brandon Hurst as Sir George Carew, George Stevens as Dr. Jekyll's butler Poole, Charles Lane as Dr. Richard Lanyon, J. Malcom Dunn as John Utterson, Nita Naldi as Miss Gina the nightclub dancer, Cecil Clovelly as Edward Ensfield, Louis Wolheim as the music hall proprietor
Directed by - John S. Robertson

In this earliest film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's literary classic, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the 1920 silent film stars the legendary John Barrymore (Drew Barrymore's grandfather) in the duel role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Simply put - his performance is amazing.

Unlike many other movie versions of this classic tale about man's duel nature and his inclinations toward both good and evil, this film does not go overboard in making Dr. Jekyll a complete physically horrible monster. Yes, he becomes very ugly and he is upsetting to look at, however his disfigurement appears more a result of bad choices in life, rather than a product of the potion he drinks to go in and out of his other self. The film has many wonderful quirky moments especially the scene with the juggler followed by the text plate about marriage.

Visit Classic Movies Digest for reviews and discussions.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Kid

(1921) - B&W - 68 min
Starring - Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp, Jackie Coogan as The Kid, Edna Purviance as the Mother, Carl Miller as the Artist, Henry Bergman as the night shelter keeper, Granville Redmond his friend, Charles Reisner as the Bully, Tom Wilson as the Policeman, May White as Edna's Maid,
Directed by - Charlie Chaplin

The Kid starring Jackie Coogan as the kid and Charlie Chaplin as the nice guy who takes care of him. Made in 1921 - this film made a star of young Coogan, who would grow up to play Uncle Fester on the Adams Family. Very entertaining - Chaplin's genius is timeless.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse

1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
(1960) - B&W - 104 min
German with English subtitle

Starring - Peter Van Eyck as business mogul Henry B. Travers, Dawn Adams as Marion Menil, Gert Frobe as Kommissar Kras, Wolfgang Preiss as Peter Cornelius and Professor Dr. S. Jordan, Werner Peters as Hieronymus B. Mistelzweig, Reinhard Kolldehoff as Robert Menil, the club foot, Andrea Checchi as Berg, Nico Pepe as the Hotel Concierge, Howard Vernon as Number 12,
Directed by - Fritz Lang

A terrific 1960 film directed by Fritz Lang, one of the greatest directors in the history of film.

Gert Frobe, best known for his role as the notorious Goldfinger in the debut movie of the James Bond series, plays inspector Kras - the quintessential cop seeking to solve this complex case, delivering a terrific performance. Also excellent is Dawn Adams as Marion Menil, the troubled battered wife to the mysterious club footed man.

It was Lang's last film. If you like Alfred Hitchcock psycho thrillers like Vertigo and Rear Window, you'll love this movie.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Laurel and Hardy - The Stolen Jools

Laurel and Hardy - Stolen Jools
Starring - Joan Crawford, Douglas Fairbanks, Fay Wray, Gary Cooper, Many, many more!
Directed by - Chesterfield Cigarettes

The Stolen Jools - a short film created by Chesterfield cigarettes and the N.V.A. - Norma Shearer's jewels have been stolen at the annual ball. A huge cast of stars have cameos in this short including: Joan Crawford, Douglas Fairbanks, Fay Wray, Edward G. Robinson, Gary Cooper, Gabby Hayes, Little Billy, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Barbara Stanwyck, Maurice Chevalier and the Our Gang kids - just to name a few!

Here it is!

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