Movie Fan Man: Cinema Connoisseur

Traditional, Artsy, Genre-Within-Genre: A Little Something for Everyone

MY FANTASY (HOPING ONE DAY TO COME TRUE) WESTERN ALL’ITALIANA REPERTOIRE COMPANY

by Tony Nash

(All Opinions are of the Author Alone)

One of Spain’s Western Villages (from Pinterest)

Hello to My Followers, those I’m Following, and All Curious Visitors,

As an aspiring filmmaker and writer, I’m always thinking about who’d be great in a film I really wanna make. During the Golden Age of Hollywood and Golden Years of Italian and Spanish Genre Cinema, it was common to have a repertoire of players, in major, supporting, and minor roles. This is another dream of mine, to have a company of players to do my Italian Western ideas, and here’s a few I hope you’ll agree with being in the genre

KRISTEN STEWART

from Allure

You need at least one huge name in your repertoire, and for me that would be Kristen Stewart. The West had it share of strong women, and Stewart would fit into that role like a glove.

ROBERT BRONZI

from BZFilm

Famous for, and proud of, being Charles Bronson’s Doppelganger, Robert Bronzi has the right face and vibe for being in a Western, and not just because he looks like Bronson. ‘Nuff said. He’d work as both the Anti-Hero and the Main Villain.

RUBY ROSE

from Showbiz Cheat Sheet

The Aussie Androgynous Beauty is perfect for the underused Strong Female Lead in the Italian Western. Again, she’d fit everything for the Heroine, Standard and Anti, Villainess, and Redemption Seeking characters. I’d especially love to have her play a character who’s gender is a mystery to both the audience and other characters, never knowing whether the individual is man or woman. Granted we’d have to use CGI and Digital Wizardry to remove all of her tattoos as no one had them back in those days, unless they were in Traveling Circuses, but she definitely fits the Western mold.

BILL TANGRADI

(He’s on the right) from the IMDb

This Indie Actor is a a fellow Philadelphian and a friend of mine who I met through a friend of my Mom’s. He’s been on some of the top shows like the Law & Order franchise and was one of the Antagonists to Matthew McConoughey’s hero in Free State of Georgia. Another Anti Hero and Villain perfect type. He’d also be good as the hero’s buddy. He’s raising a family at the moment, but I hope he makes a return to the screen soon.

MARCO BOCCI

from Blitz Qoutidano

This up in coming Italian actor has already had his share of big and supporting roles on Italian TV and recently played the lead in the remake of the Italian Crime classic Milano Calibro 9. I envision him playing either American or Mexican characters (Anti-Hero, Villain) thanks to his Southern Italian looks.

MIGUEL MUNOZ BLANCO (MIGUEL ANGEL MUNOZ)

from Quien

A popular Spanish heartthrob and star, co-star of some solid films and TV, I feel this guy would mold right into the Old West Atmosphere, as either the well dressed villain or a friend of hero. He officially goes by Miguel Angel Munoz, but I feel Miguel Munoz Blanco is a solid Western name.

JOAQUIM DE ALMEIDA

from IMDb

There’s always a need for good villains, and Joaquim de Almeida would do any bad guy role justice. I would also cast him as the good guy mayor or the noble older citizen.

EDUARDO YANEZ

from Life & Style

I first saw Mexican actor Eduardo Yanez in the HBO film Knockout, playing the love interest and trainer to the lead actress. He became memorable to US audiences for his role as the hold-up man scrambling for a plan in the Jamie Foxx comedy Held Up. He would be good as either the Mexican bandit main villain or co-villain, the friend of the hero, or the love interest of the damsel in distress

MARIO CASAS

from Variety

Another Spanish heartthrob who would do well as either the lead or the villain.

SERGIO ASSISI

from Survived the Shows

An Italian character actor who has done both leads and supporting roles will be good at any role you give him.

LUCA ZINGARETTI

from Opentapes

Another stellar Italian actor who is skilled at both good guy and bad guy roles.

Honorable Mentions

James Blackburn, Sergio Friscia, Fausto Maria Sciarappa, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Lorenzo Crespi, Jose Manuel Poga, Francesco Siciliano

Let me know what you think of these choices, and who you think would be god in an Italian style Western.

All images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners.

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri

Cool News I Forgot to Mention: I’m in Print!!!!

by Tony Nash

To all my Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors,

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of the Italian Western genre, and I used to have a series on here called Western Wednesdays which many of you have noticed hasn’t been done in a long, long, time. That is because thanks to a very nice man named Mike Hauss, all my Italian Western write-ups are done for his fantastic self published Digest, called the Spaghetti Western Digest.

Cover Sample with Mike’s Logo (from Rubber Axe webzine)

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to participate in issue #1 as I didn’t get to speak with Mike until the issue was published, but I have been a proud collaborator on Mike’s work since issue #2. It’s a nice varied mix of film reviews, spotlights on specific actors, actresses, writers, directors, composters, etc, special topics, Issue 3’s one article on unmade films is very fascinating. Usually I’m not a self-promotor, but I really enjoy the efforts Mike puts in to make the Digest what it is and all the fabulous writers who contact Mike to make contributions. So many fans of the genre, including me, want to keep this going, so any help we can give Mike to keep the books selling is all worth it to bring the genre to new audiences. While its a book by fans for fans of the Italian Westerns, I believe non-aficionados will find something to enjoy with the Digests as well, so I hope any of the fine people who follow my blog will give them a read at some point. Mike is currently working on getting Issue #5 prepped for release.

Filed under: Annoucements

The Undercover Sheriff

by Tony Nash

A Movie Fan Man Special for THE FOREIGN WESTERN BLOGATHON

(All Opinions are of the Author Alone)

(Spoilers Ahead)

(Write Up is of the Original Italian Language Version)

Italian Poster (from lifeatfarm)

Una Bara per lo Sceriffo (A Coffin for the Sheriff/Lone and Angry Man) (1965) **** PG-13

Anthony Steffen: Sheriff ‘Texas’ Joe Logan

Eduardo Fajardo: Russell Murdock

Armando Calvo: Lupe Rojo (Red Wolf)

Arturo Dominici: Jerry Krueger (as Arthur Kent)

Fulvia Franco: Lulu Belle

Luciana Gilli: Miss Jane Wilson

George Rigauld: Mr. Wilson (as George Rigault)

Maria Vico: Elsie, Rojo’s Woman

Lucio De Santis: Mulligan, Rojo Henchman (as Bob Johnson)

Frank Brana: David, Rojo Henchman (as Francisco Bragna)

Miguel del Castillo: Sheriff Gallagher (as Migule del Castillo)

Jesus Tordesillas: Old Man Sven

Written by: David Moreno & Guido Malatesta (as James Reed)

Directed by: Mario Caiano (as Mario Cajano)

Synopsis: ‘Texas’ Joe Logan comes to town to join up with the ruthless Mexican bandit Lupe Rojo (Red Wolf). After successfully completing an initiation that involved hunting down and killing a failing gang member, Logan slowly works his way through the ranks. Unbeknownst to his friends who think he’s gone bad, Logan is really a Sheriff working undercover to not only break-up Rojo’s ruthless band of cutthroats, but to take out a particular member who murdered Logan’s wife sometime earlier.

A Figure Stares at Lupe Rojo’s Wanted Poster (from Wikipedia)

The popular Western motif of a Lawman going undercover or seemingly gone rouge to either: bring down a dangerous and ruthless outlaw and his gang, get some personal revenge on one or many of the gang, or even a combination of all of the above gets a very interesting and entertaining spin by the Italians. The Spaghetti Western genre was in the early stages of its giant boom thanks to Sergio Leone’s Per un Pugno di Dollari (A Fistful of Dollars) in 1964 and by 1965 at least half of all genre films made and released in Italy were Westerns. Una Bara per lo Sceriffo is one of the bridges in mixing taking cues from the American Westerns and the hard hitting gritty style the Italian Western would come to specialize in. It’s not too gritty, but at the same time doesn’t feel like that much of an imitation of an American Western, giving it a unique voice all its own.

Logan Getting Grilled by Rojo and Kreuger (from AvaxHome)

Sheriff ‘Texas’ Joe Logan is quite different from the usual lawman going incognito to track down ruthless outlaws in that he’s not above or afraid of breaking a few rules to get the job done. Given that the quarry are the kind of bad guys who would kill someone at the first hint they were double-crossers or traitors, having to go outside the normal methods isn’t too out of the ordinary. This is the first of the differences as American audiences of the time would’ve been quite shocked to see a Sheriff using the tactics Logan does. The two other noticeable motifs fans will see is the big businessman or politician who uses his position to double-cross the town, revealing he’s in fact working with the bandits and of course an ex flame of the hero who’s shockingly found to be in a relationship with one of the gang members. How the screenwriters spice up these motifs is that the high-up man isn’t one of those types who came upon a get rich quick scheme that he couldn’t pass up, but was a trickster from the start, looking to fleece the town the moment he got there, a so well hidden two-faced agenda, even the head bandit is fooled. Not too much is different with the ex flame story arc, save that the woman knows the bad guy is a bad guy and seems to have lost her morality in telling what is dangerous from what is skittish and is honest, but somehow is still a good woman for the most part.

Logan Faces Off Against the Odds (from Wikipedia)
Murdock Realizes the Jig is Up (from IMDb)

The film marks the first pairing of Italian Western regulars Anthony Steffen and Eduardo Fajardo, which led to four more films together. While the Italian-Brazilian Steffen has often been criticized as a ‘Wooden Poor Man’s Clint Eastwood’, here, and in 4 films this reviewer can name straightaway, gives one of the better performances of his career. His emotions are few in the film, but there’s a stoic and hard edge about the character Joe Logan that makes him very interesting to follow him around on his quest for vengeance and justice. There’s also a solid loving and caring side to Logan as he does his best to protect his friend Wilson and the man’s daughter Jane and the concern he shows to old flame Lulu Belle when he realizes she’s gotten herself involved with a bad guy. Steffen’s screen presence is used to great effect in the film, and the lack of emotion makes him able to sneak into the gang with ease. Spanish acting legend Eduardo Fajardo, one of the top two villains of the SW genre, gives another of his solid performances here in his first time playing gunslinger Russell Murdock. Usually Fajardo was the fancy dressed aristocratic like villain or a corrupt military man, but here he’s the traditional black-clad gunman with a chip on his shoulder. The 2nd in command to Rojo, Murdock is a sadistic brute who has no problem getting his hands dirty when robbing or killing, even doing little side jobs on his own. It’s shown early on that its Murdock that Lulu Belle is courting, Logan only having a vague knowledge of it. Logan keeps a watchful eye on Murdock, more because Murdock was involved in Logan’s past, though only Logan remembers.

(Author’s Note: For some reason in the English dubbed version, the Steffen character is called Shenandoah, even though if you look clearly at the other characters’ mouths moving, they clearly refer to him as ‘Texas’ Joe Logan in one variant or another. I imagine this big change was due to the success of the James Stewart Frontier Drama Shenandoah that came out the same year.

Lupe Rojo Shows He Doesn’t Play Around (from Trailers From Hell)

Puerto Rican actor Armando Calvo, an often overlooked figure in the Italian Western genre, is as excellent a villain as Eduardo Fajardo in the role of bandit leader Lupe Rojo. Although Fajardo gets 2nd billing after Steffen, it’s really Calvo’s Rojo who ‘s in charge of the gang. Rojo is quite a bit like the traditional Mexican Bandido in that he’s ruthless and has no pity for his victims. He also has a high amount of machismo as he treats his girlfriend more like something he owns rather than a romantic partner. Calvo plays Rojo with a devious intelligence, making him a really dangerous individual to tangle with, whether he’s the intended quarry or a bonus if the intended target is riding with him. While he has a partnership with the big shot Krueger, Rojo keeps just as close an eye on him as the rest of his gang, ending petty squabbles by threatening to kill anyone who disrupts the gang’s infrastructure. Rojo’s smarts are put to the test when Joe Logan looks to get payback on one of his goons for the death of Logan’s wife, while also putting an end to Rojo’s reign of terror.

Logan Joins in on a Rojo Bunch Card Game (from Wikipedia)

While the film deals in a fairly simple plotline with no twists or surprises, it’s executed in a very well done fashion. The suspense in wondering who Logan is after and how he’ll get out of a situation when his ruse is discovered by the gang is plenty to keep audiences intrigued and entertained. The shootouts aren’t at the standard the SW genre is known for, but the few that are are choreographed well. One dimensional characters are non existent in the film, each performer bringing in a nice amount of depth and complexity to his and her role, giving audiences enough reason to cheer and root for, boo at, and feel sympathy for. Some may rightly say it’s generic, but the director, screenwriters, and cast really make the simplicity shine bright.

Original Italian Opening (from SPACETREK66)

First off, I’d like to give a special shout out and thanks to Miss MOON GEMINI herself Debbi for starting up this interesting Blogathon and for letting me be a part of it and to share some of my love of the Italian Western. I highly recommend this one as a good starting point if any fans are looking for something a little different to fair by Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci as it offers up a classic storyline a lot of people know and is told in a different and exciting way. There used to be a US DVD release of the film from the company Wild East, but they sadly closed up shop at the start of this year, and the DVD has since gone out of print. There is a German DVD that has both the English dub and the original Italian audio track, but unfortunately only has German subtitles.

From My Personal Collection

The Italian version offers up the better narrative in my opinion, but fans can watch whichever version best suits them. If anyone is interested in the German disc, it is Region 2, so you’ll either need to get an All Region Blu Ray or DVD player, or you can play it on your laptop as they aren’t region locked. I highly recommend the German disc as it has a nice and crisp transfer with solid video and audio. Or you can check out the film here

All images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

for more info

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058942/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Bara_per_lo_sceriffo,_Una

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Coffin_for_the_Sheriff

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Una_bara_per_lo_sceriffo

For those interested in the German DVD

https://alive-ag.de/gesamtkatalog/9169/eine-bahre-fuer-den-sheriff?c=347

https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/movie/detail/-/art/eine-bahre-fuer-den-sheriff/hnum/4276699

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

Red Dead Redemption 2: The Missing Clue to Micah Being a Rat from the Start

by Tony Nash

(Spoilers Ahead)

(All Opinions are of the Author Alone)

RDR2 Fan Art (from Polygon)

Author’s Note: I knew of the RDR2 Story long before ever having actually played the game, so there will be some spoilers here. So for anyone who might be interested in playing the game, please don’t read this until you play through the game. For anyone who likes reading my thoughts on the many things I write about and not minding hearing spoilers, please continue on and enjoy.

RDR2 Promotion Art (from Fanatical)

For anyone who’s familiar with the Old West game Red Dead Redemption, it’s learned the dubious Micah Bell had betrayed the gang headed by Dutch van der Linde and Arthur Morgan. Arthur and much of the other gang, especially Sadie Adler and John Marston had their suspicions about Micah for a long while, but never had proof to prove their doubts true.

A popular theory among fans of the game is that Micah had intentions to implode the gang from the inside long before being caught by the Pinkertons after the gang escaped the Plantation Revolution in Guarma. Most of these theories are mainly guesses, going by Micah’s personality and background, how he would contradict himself in his recollections of past criminal actions, behaving totally different when with the gang, and of course his self distance from everyone and remaining a loner. How I came to my realization that Micah was plotting the gang’s demise long before being pressured by the Pinkertons is a key piece of dialogue in the game’s opening chapter that most players and theorists have seemed to overlook.

Dutch [on his rivalry with Colm O’Driscoll]: Some things I can forgive, others I can forget. What he did to Annabelle, I can’t do neither.

Arthur: You killed his brother, Dutch.

Dutch: Yes, I did.

(From Red Dead Redemption II – Chapter 1: Colter , part 3 Outlaws from the West)

Now taking into account his unusual romance with Irish spitfire Molly O’Shea, Dutch seems to have a thing for women of the upper echelons of society with a love of adventure, danger, and excitement. I believe this woman Annabelle was of a similar background to Molly, but unlike his relationship with Molly, Dutch seemed to have really loved Annabelle, and possibly even thought about asking her to be his wife.

Arthur & Micah Shooting it Out Against the Enemy (from Forbes)

My belief, and will even call it a theory to be fair as I’m basing it on what I know from the game, is that Annabelle’s friends and family from her life before Dutch got word of her murder at the hands of Colm O’Driscoll, but instead of going after O’Driscoll, someone in the brood decided Dutch was the one who got Annabelle killed, and very likely swore to make Dutch pay. This individual or group finally found their key to Dutch’s demise in the form of outlaw Micah Bell. Bell was already known as a brutal and efficient thief and killer, so naturally he seemed the perfect person to take Dutch down.

Dutch, Arthur, John, Micah, and the Gang (from Variety)

I believe this person or group offered Micah quite a hefty sum of money to tear down Dutch’s gang from the inside because Micah had always described himself in what little dialogue he engaged in with other gang members of his preference for being quick, quiet and efficient in a job with no loose ends to worry about. Micah’s shooting up of the town of Strawberry, the Blackwater Ferry Massacre and much of the other schemes he suggests to Dutch are clearly not his usual M.O., particularly in that Micah always professed an efficient outlaw tries to bring as little attention to himself as possible, all pointing to the idea part of his job for this unnamed individual or group close to the late Annabelle is to make as much noise as possible by whatever means he can at whatever cost.

Still of the Town of Valentine (from PCGamean)

Now of course Dutch’s out of control thought process thanks to the Blackwater Massacre makes Micah’s mission a little easier, but the question still is what exactly happened to seal everyone’s fate towards the end of the main story. Micah clearly at some point decided he was gonna double-cross whoever was paying him, though those reasons remain unclear and many, ranging from Micah starting to naturally like Dutch and wanting to make him see his true potential as a criminal to Micah seeing potential in members like Arthur Morgan, John Marston, and even Sadie Adler as effective and prosperous criminals themselves and to join Micah in a new gang, or Micah simply wanting to usurp a lead role from somebody in the gang for his own reasons. It’s most likely Micah’s having been nabbed by the Pinkertons began the decline of this original job. Micah may have had to tell the Pinkertons what he was doing to avoid going to jail, and possibly this caused a powerplay between Micah’s employer and the Pinkertons and their employer Leviticus Cornwall. Originally an uneasy alliance may have been made by all involved as Micah’s inside man status benefited his employer, the Pinkertons, and Cornwall, and something Micah said or did tipped off his boss of the planned double-cross Micah had in mind, and this party’s refusal to pay him a dime, and naturally Micah unintentionally screwing up whatever bargain he made with the Pinkertons and other law enforcement types, thus making him wanted everywhere by everybody, finally had Micah snap at having failed where he always succeeded, thus leading to what eventually unfolds.

Arthur Rides Toward the Setting Sun (from The Verge)

Now I’m claiming for a single instance that this is the definitive reason behind Micah’s actions in the story and game, but it is a reason I don’t think anyone else has touched upon, and there is some validity behind the reasons I gave. I didn’t want to go too in depth as I don’t want this to be super long, and there are plenty of game aficionados who’ve done far better analysis of this than myself, but I hope everyone who reads will find it entertaining, and maybe even check out the game cutscenes to see if my theory matches up a little.

All images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners.

Quotes are from Red Dead Redemption II gameplay

Here’s some YouTube videos that’ll help in understanding some of my theory

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Special Topics

The 5 Films On a Desert Island Tag

by Tony Nash

(all Opinions are of the Author Alone

The Classic Desert Isle (from iStock)
  • Nominate one or more people to review the film or films of your choice. Or you can request they review something from a certain year, genre, or star. Everyone can review the same thing, or you can request each person cover something different. As long as it’s something they haven’t written about yet, you’re good.
  • Nominees are allowed to request a different pick for whatever reason no more than five times. Stuff happens. We all know it.
  • Nominees must thank the person who nominated them and provide a link their blog.
  • Nominees may nominate others to keep the tag going. Picking the person who nominated them is allowed, or they can nominate someone else. Maybe both.
  • All participants need to include these rules in their post, whether they’re nominees or picking nominees.
  • All participants should use the “Pick My Movie” banner or something similar in their posts.
  • Have fun!

An ultra special and extra huge thanks to the Muse of https://theclassicmoviemuse.wordpress.com/ for this nomination to such an interesting style post/challenge, and thanks also goes to https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/ for starting the ball rolling on the Tag.

I think all film fans have at one point or another have been asked the question of what would they like to watch if they were to be stuck on a deserted island for an extended period of time or for the rest of their lives. One variant of the question I definitely know I’ve heard is one film someone could take on a desert island, and this I feel for sure is impossible to answer even though there’s few really good films that someone could get sick of, having just one I think would cause some insanity as there needs to be some variety as films will for sure be said modern Robinson Crusoe’s only form of entertainment, and change isn’t necessarily a bad thing here, so five is a fair choice. I used to think I could never answer that question if someone asked it of me but the Muse has given me the unique opportunity to give it my best shot and I shan’t let her down.

#1. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) – Steven Spielberg

Original Poster (from IMDb)

The film that started my love of the movies. Indiana Jones was my first childhood hero, and the adventures he had always thrilled my imagination. Spielberg and George Lucas’ recreation of the old 1930’s-1940’s serial adventure series hit all the bullseyes back when it came out in 1981 and even today it still thrills new and old audiences alike. It’s a simple story of man on a quest for the artifact of a lifetime told in a very thrilling and extraordinary way.

#2. Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) (1966) – Sergio Leone

Italian Poster (from Sotheby’s)

Steven Spielberg and the Indiana Jones films introduced me to my love of films, Sergio Leone and his Westerns solidified I was a film fan for life. Like with Raiders, GBU is a simple of story of two rogues and a villain looking for a fortune in stolen Confederate gold told in an extraordinary fashion. That the trio have to find this gold as The Civil War is waged all around them is very thrilling and leaves audiences wondering what’ll happen should it slip they’re looking for money meant for the Confederacy. Leone was nearing the peak of his prowess as a storyteller, mixing action and adventure with the occasional pathos of the futility that was “The War Between the States”. Leone had been advised by a few people, including Orson Welles, that Civil War pictures didn’t make loads of money, but thankfully Leone didn’t listen and ended up proving everybody wrong. In High School I had an obsession with this film, and while that obsession is practically gone, I still love the film and will remain my Western, Italian and American, of all time. I prefer the Italian language original of the film.

#3. 用心棒 (Yojinbo/Yojimbo/The Bodyguard) (1961) – Akira Kurosawa

Original Poster (from IMDb)

Kurosawa was my introduction to Foreign Language Cinema, and while 七人の侍 (Shichinin no Samurai/Seven Samurai) was the first Kurosawa film I ever saw, Yojimbo is my all time favorite of his work. Famously, or infamously depending on your viewpoint, remade scene for scene as Per un Pugno di Dollari (A Fistful of Dollars) by Sergio Leone, for which Kurosawa and Toho Studios rightfully sued and won – Leone’s film was still shown with Kurosawa and Toho receiving royalties, Kurosawa weaves the best version of a wandering rogue’s initial plan of playing two warring gangs against each other for his own profit taking a different turn when he decides to rescue and free the captive woman of one of the gangs. Toshiro Mifune’s performance as the world and battle weary Ronin (Samurai without a Lord) who has a heart is one of the best ever put to celluloid. This is Kurosawa at his most playful, but he still weaves in the dramatic moments that pull the viewers emotions from them to the surface (something I always admired in his work).

#4. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – Victor Fleming and King Vidor

Re-Release Poster (from Wikipedia)

A classic, and an important part of my childhood. Along with the Indiana Jones films, Oz is one I watched constantly growing up, always amazed by the sets, characters, and colors. Unlike most kids, I was never scared of Margaret Hamilton as The Wicked Witch of the West, I guess something in my juvenile mind told me that she would be getting her comeuppance and that I didn’t need to be afraid. The film became an important part of my life all over again when my god-daughter became old enough to watch it, and she too fell in love with it and the characters. I’m even sure she wasn’t scared of The Wicked Witch either.

#5. Clue (1985) – Jonathan Lynn

Poster (from Rotten Tomatoes)

I figured at least one Comedy needed to be in here and why not another from when I grew up. Clue ignited my love of Murder Mystery Who Dun-Its as well as being a fine Dark Humor Comedy and its setting primarily in the single location of the house gave it a uniqueness that has rightfully kept it a classic all these years later. The All Star Cast (well, All Star to many of us cause we saw it after many of them became stars) including many Comedy greats like Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, and Michael McKean is brilliant and effective. Tim Curry of course steals the show as the Butler who may or may not be who he says he is.

BONUS

Monty Python’s Flying Circus Seasons 1 & 2 (1969-1970)

UK DVD (from Monty Python)
UK DVD (from Monty Python)

I don’t know if this is cheating, but I had to include at least one TV series on my Desert Island sojourn. I picked the British classic sketch show because I never tire of the humor of Chapman, Cleese, Jones, Idle, & Palin. The first 2 seasons are my absolute favorites as that was their best material in my humble opinion. I own those seasons on DVD from the UK (and I plan to upgrade to the UK Blu Rays), and as an owner of a Region Free/Multi-Region Blu Ray player, I needed to include at least one of the imports in my collection.

OK, now on to pick others to Tag with this interesting topic, and I know quite a few who’d be interested

Make Mine Criterion! – MMC!

https://makeminecriterion.wordpress.com/

Mike’s Take on the Movies

https://mikestakeonthemovies.com/

Debbi – I Found It at the Movies

https://debbimacktoo.wordpress.com/

Eric Binford – Diary of a Movie Maniac

Master Mix Movies

https://mastermixmovies.wordpress.com/

Paul. Writer and Filmmaker – The Cinema Fix Presents

https://thecinemafix.com/

Reely Bernie

https://reelybernie.com/

Erica D. – Poppity Talks Classic Films

https://poppitytalksclassicfilm.wordpress.com/

dbmoviesblog

https://dbmoviesblog.com/

Silver Screenings

https://silverscreenings.org/

Jillian Atchley – The Classic Film Connection

https://classicfilmconnection.wordpress.com/

This was really fun to do, and once again I thank the Muse for the nomination

All images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their Respective Owners

Japanese writing courtesy of the IMDb

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Special Topics

LET”S GO SEE PETER COTTONTAIL!!!!!!

from Tony Nash

(From QuotesWishesMag)

To all My Followers, Those I’m Following, and All Curious Visitors,

Have a Very HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy the day, the chocolates, the eggs, and whoever you celebrate with.

Filed under: Annoucements

SUPPORT THIS NEW COMPANY (PLEASE)!!!!!!

by Tony Nash,

Hello to My Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors

There’s a new Film Restoration and Blu Ray Releasing company on the scene from the United Kingdom called Malombra Films, run the fan friendly Elia Ferroli, which will specialize in Italian genre cinema.

Malombra Films Logo (from Facebook)

They have three restoration projects to start with, and their first one is now live on Indiegogo, and it’s for the underseen 1968 Erotic Drama Il Sesso degli Angeli (The Sex of Angels) by Ugo Liberatore. Fans and curious supporters have the option of giving a strict donation, or they can go for one of two perks, which I will leave a link to the fundraiser page to.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sex-of-the-angels-restoration-campaign#/

So far they’ve gotten three backers, one of which is myself, and which I’m very pleased to be a part of. Even if anyone isn’t interested in the film, please give a small straight donation if you can, small Blu Ray outfits need all the help they can get these days, and I’d really be happy to see Malombra Films get that leg up to get going.

The other restoration projects they have planned next are:

La Strada per Forte Alamo (The Road to Fort Alamo) by Mario Bava

Il Mostro dell’Opera (The Monster of the Opera) by Renato Polselli

Check out the Malombra Films Facebook page

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Filed under: Annoucements, Film: Special Topics

Inspired by the Muse

by Tony Nash

(All opinions are of the author alone)

Hello to all my Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors,

I was going through my Feed of all the wonderful bloggers I follow, and I happened to come across an interesting Tag post from The Classic Movie Muse https://theclassicmoviemuse.wordpress.com/, on Five Swoon Worthy Golden Age of Hollywood actors and 5 Reasons Why. I found the idea very intriguing and would’ve loved to have taken part, but aside from the occasional man-crush here and there, it didn’t seem fair to do this exact post.

So I decided to do my own take and do Five Swoon Worthy Golden Age Hollywood Actresses and 5 Reasons Why

#1. MARILYN MONROE

From Biography

Reason 1: Her Beauty. I dare anyone to say they weren’t intrigued about this legendary icon when they first saw her wonderful face and look. While not the Poster Child for Movie Star Good Looks, there’s just something wonderfully mesmerizing about Marilyn.

Reason 2: The Talent and Wit That Lay Behind the Looks. We all know there’s more to someone besides what we see on the surface and Marilyn is no exception. Since her tragic death her vast intelligence and dedication to the craft of acting have been highlighted more and more. She had a vast library in her home in Beverly Hills that had everything from Classic Literature to books on Science, Philosophy, Religion, etc., she even wrote down her thoughts on the subjects at hand in the margins of several pages of these books. Marilyn was even a brief student of The Method Acting at The Actor’s Studio, and, along with the late Cuban-Italian American actor Tomas Milian, one of the few to use The Method in a genius way.

Reason 3: Rising Up From Humble Origins. We all know the classic ‘Rags to Riches’ storyline, and this does fit Marilyn to a certain extent. The reason her story can still be inspiring is that she came from Middle Class America, and was able to fulfill the dream of a lifetime that all so many of us still dream about. Yes, there were bumps like anything else along the way, but she did persevere and did all the work to get there.

Reason 4: Overcoming a Personal Obstacle. What Obstacle did Marilyn have to conquer you ask? Believe it or not, Miss Monroe had a speech impediment/stutter from way back. Part of the reason behind her famous ‘Breathless’ voice was that talking in that way allowed her to speak clearly and seamlessly without getting stuck on certain words and letters. As a stutterer myself I find Marilyn an inspiration and she still gives me hope to find ways to better my speech patterns.

Reason 5: The Woman Behind the Icon & Myth. Marilyn Monroe has entered into an almost Mythical status with all the stories and legends about her personal life, but for myself and a few others, she’s still the simple Girl from the Mid West who was able to achieve great success, and could’ve had a long lucrative career had it not been for the demons that plagued her thoughts and the politics of Hollywood at the time of that success.

#2. AUDREY HEPBURN

From Ciak Magazine

Reason 1: Quiet Dignity and Grace. Actors and Actresses since the inception of cinema tended to have very lively and fast personalities, not Audrey Hepburn though. What made her special was her down to Earth nature, her dedication to family and friends – especially to her sons, and of course her appreciation of the quieter aspects of life. She didn’t need flamboyancy and the fast pace to be interesting, her calm nature made her especially fun to have conversations with, and only naturally showed her to be approachable without the fear of entourage or varied press types being all around her wherever she went. She just wanted to act, and then be with her family friends, simple and charming,

Reason 2: A Survivor. Hepburn when a teen/young adult living with her family in the Netherlands when WWII broke out, and being in one of the first counties totally overrun by Axis Germany, Hepburn and many others had to brace for survival. She worked tirelessly as an aid nurse for the Allies, practically in the thick of all the blood and tears of war. That she came out sane is a testament to her spirit and power as a human being.

Reason 3: Her Eyes. A gaze for many an actor or actresses can often be a key to their mystic and ability to draw in viewers, and Audrey Hepburn is one of the ones who it worked best with. One the surface it may appear she gives off neutral expressions, but when the viewer focuses on her eyes, they tell the audience all they need to know. In her eyes she can express pain, joy, fear, happiness, sadness, you name it, it’s all there, even when it looks like she’s gazing into the distance.

Reason 4: Her Compassion. By the late 1960’s, Hepburn decided to take time away from the screen to be with and raise her sons. During that time she also became an ambassador to the charity organization UNICEF, known for its dedication and determination to give aid and advantages to underprivileged and disadvantaged children around the world. That she balanced giving time to her own children and the UNICEF goal to help many children all over the place is a testament to her caring nature, and her wanting to give back for all the success she achieved throughout her life.

Reason 5: Just Audrey. A modest woman with tons of talent and heart, ’nuff said.

#3. GRACE KELLY

From Vanity Fair

Reason 1: Hitchcock. Grace Kelly’s skyrocket to stardom came in the form of director Alfred Hitchcock. They made three films together, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, and To Catch a Thief, all in which Kelly played a strong willed woman navigating the tense filled situations she finds herself suddenly thrusted into, and remaining in some form of control all the way.

Reason 2: Superstar to Princess. Many a girl’s childhood wish is to be a Princess, and for Grace Kelly, that childhood wish became a reality when she met and fell in love with Prince Rainer of Monaco during the filming of To Catch a Thief. While rumors that the marriage was falling apart at the time of her death are seemingly looking more and more true, there was indeed a time where being a Princess was the most joyous time of her life.

Reason 3: Major Recognition After First Major Role. While Kelly had a decent sized supporting role in her debut in the 1950’s Noir Fourteen Hours, it was her co-star status as Gary Cooper’s stout Quaker wife in the Western High Noon a year later that really catapulted her career and made her a name to be on the watch for to do great things in films.

Reason 4: She Got to Romance the Top Stars. In addition to Gary Cooper, Grace had the pleasure to share on-screen romances with the likes of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Stewart Granger, Bing Crosby, and even Frank Sinatra

Reason 5. I can’t think of Five for Grace. Sorry ’bout that.

#4. JANE RUSSELL

From CBS News

Reason 1: ‘Hard John’. Favorite co-star Robert Mitchum gave Russell the nickname Hard John, citing her as a mix of beauty, sternness, and conviction. She was sultry and alluring, but she had a code of behavior she followed to the letter, never deviating.

Reason 2: A Man’s Woman. In addition to being lovely and beautiful, Russell was also tough as nails. She often spoke her mind and hardly ever acted the way a lady of the 1940’s and 50’s, and wasn’t afraid to get in the thick of something, looking as if ready to knock any jerk on his backside with a good right.

Reason 3: Her Voice. Yes, Russell had the voice to match her looks. Not only did she have a solid speaking voice, but also a good singing voice as well. Her singing gave her voice a lighter touch to her more alto tone to her speaking.

Reason 4: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Russell never looked better than alongside Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 comedy classic, flawlessly mixing both her tough woman and sweet woman personas.

Reason 5: The Paleface. Just like with GPB, Russell again shines mixing tough and sweet, but this time as the gunslinger Calamity Jane saving Bob Hope’s bumbling dentist in the Old West. The best of course is when she’s at the public baths and the baddies are trying to get her, she pops from behind a curtain, both guns drawn saying “Ya lookin’ for someone,” and promptly guns ’em down.

#5. MAE WEST

From Wikipedia

Reason 1: Boss Woman. I could’ve piggybacked and said Mae West is A Man’s Woman too, but that wouldn’t have been fair. West is a Boss through and through, proudly strumming to her own drum beat, larger than life and totally in charge. She was in control of her career even on the stage, doing the stuff she wanted to do with no interference.

Reason 2: The Queen & Founder of Erotic Innuendos: Mae West was a star in the Pre-Code era and gave the film world two of its most naughty catchphrases Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? and why don’t ya come up and see me sometime?, amazing and rocking the wholesomeness audiences in the States believed they reached. Part of her return to Broadway at the advent of the Hays Code was because she refused to compromise and tone down her material which, even by some standards even in the years since her death, were surprisingly heavy on sexual overtones and undertones. Today her material can be seen as soft, but at the time she was writing and starring in movies, they were a revelation.

Reason 3: The Original Sex Symbol. Even with stars like Barbara Stanwyck, Ginger Rogers, Kay Francis, etc, being the favs of many a man in the 1930s, it was Mae West who took the moniker of Sex Symbol of the era. While not drop dead gorgeous, West exuded a charisma, charm, and mystique that had people looking her way, even if they objected to the kind of act she put on, her aura just couldn’t be denied.

Reason 4: Cary Grant. Mae West helped to jump start the career of a then up-in-coming actor Cary Grant. Grant at the time was still something of a supporting player in films, and it was West who hired him as her love interest in both She Done Him Wrong and I’m No Angel, giving Grant his first taste of the romantic lead.

Reason 5: She Saved Paramount Pictures. West’s play Diamond Lil had been a hit on the stage, but most of Hollywood at the time wouldn’t touch it for a screen adaptation due to its for the period shocking subject matter, but Paramount, which had been having financial problems thanks in part to the Depression, took a chance. Part of this risk’s success is that West was involved in translating her Broadway script to screenplay form, now titled She Done Him Wrong, little of the play changed. It worked and Paramount was out of financial danger.

Well, there’s my take on the Classic Movie Muse’s Tag, and now I’ll I’ll nominate a couple of people and see if this takes off

MMC! (Make Mine Criterion!) aka Spine Numbered

Master Mix Movies

Mike’s Take on the Movies

Matt Brunson

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Special Topics

Sometimes the Changes Work: Carroll Baker or Irene Papas in An Ideal Place to Kill

by Tony Nash

(Heavy Spoilers Ahead)

(All opinions are of the author alone)

Reviews: Oasis of Fear - IMDb
Italian Poster (from IMDb)

A while back I was watching a fella on YouTube going through some Italian Giallo Thrillers he felt everybody should give a chance to watch, and it reminded of a Giallo I watched very recently I felt was very good, and learned in the director’s interview that he and the producers had whole different aspects to the film. That film is Umberto Lenzi’s Un Posto Ideale per Uccidere (An Ideal Place to Kill).

un posto ideale per uccidere | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir
Barbara Tries to Seduce Ingrid (from Tumgir)

The film tells the story of Hippie couple Dick Butler and Ingrid Sjoman who end up stumbling upon a murder while fleeing Italy after being busted by the police for selling porno magazines and photos on the streets. The murderess, Barbara Slesar, first attempts dual seduction of the couple, but soon things escalate into a frantic nightmare as Ingrid and Dick try to ensure Barbara can’t frame them for killing her husband, a military Colonel.

Oasis of Fear | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir
A Cool Hallucinatory Effect (from Tumgir)

Author’s Note: Major Spoilers are coming that reveal the ending and the twist within the film, as well as four other films (these I’ve reviewed already in the past), so if you’re interested in checking out the films that will be discussed, please look away, check them out, and come back read. If you’re not that curious about watching the films, and just like reading what I write about, please continue on and enjoy. Everybody’s been advised and warned.

Now first things first, Umberto Lenzi is one of my favorite filmmakers of genre cinema and I respect his general honesty and down to Earth nature in regards to his films and what he would preferred for the film over what the product came out as, so this critic isn’t in anyway disrespecting his viewpoint, only to say how the film isn’t the poorer for the changes that happened, which even he admitted to before his passing in 2017.

An Ideal Place To Kill [Edizione: Stati Uniti]: Amazon.it: Ornella Muti,  Irene Papas, Umberto Lenzi, Ornella Muti, Irene Papas: Film e TV
Irene Papas Played Barbara (from Amazon Italy)
Watch A Quiet Place to Kill (1970) - Free Movies | Tubi
Carroll Baker, the Original Producer Choice (from YouTube)

Lenzi himself in his interview admits he wasn’t sure of who he’d cast in the role of Barbara Slesar, but he did admit producer Carlo Ponti wanted American actress Carroll Baker for the role. Now Lenzi and Baker had a good friendship going, and they’d already made for successful films together, so it seemed only a natural choice for the two to collaborate again as they trusted each other, but Lenzi admitted at the time he didn’t want to get pigeon-toed as only being able to work with Baker on Giallo type material. Had Lenzi’s original script, which involved Dick and Ingrid being busted by the Italian police for selling drugs, and not pornography, and few other deeper character inreractions, Baker would have successfully pulled off the role, but given how the script was changed to fit with the current period of the time, here’s why Baker’s version of the character wouldn’t have worked.

Deadly Trap / Un posto ideale per uccidere / The Oasis of Fear / An Ideal  Place to Kill - Nischenkino.de
Ingrid Being Questioned by a Military Man (from Nischenkino)

In the three out of four films Lenzi and Baker did together, Orgasmo (Paranoia), Cosi Dolce… Cosi Perversa (So Sweet… So Perverse), and, Il Cotello di Ghiaccio (Knife of Ice), Baker’s characters were revealed to either have an evil sinister side, looking to profit from the crimes committed, or a mix of jealousy and greed, and other powers she hadn’t counted on coming into play to ruin the scheme. Orgasmo is a little like Un Posto Ideale per Uccidere in that a ménage-a trois is at play between the three leads, but instead of the Hippie/Counter Culture couple being involved in a plot to kill the rich woman who’s later revealed to have killed her husband to inherit his fortune, the Hippies in Posto came upon the incident totally by accident and are only trying to keep from being framed. Baker’s character in Cosi Dolce… in particular proves to be very cunning and deceptive, something not very present in Irene Papas, who comes of as far more fumbling and very amateurish in covering herself.

Cory Doctorow on Twitter: "An Ideal Place to Kill, 1971, Umberto Lenzi  https://t.co/7QpY5EjWq1 https://t.co/k1zcIbBUUM" / Twitter
Barbara Puts Her Plan into Action (from Twitter)

Given how the film eventually worked out, Irene Papas’ performance actually serves the ending really well. The audience learns that Dick and Ingrid’s plans to ensure Barbara couldn’t make them the patsies for her crime ended up making them look more guilty, from burning a telegram sent from her partner in crime, to trying to hid their fingerprints, to even outright burying the dead man’s body in the backyard all made Barbara the innocent survivor of a home invasion turned murder, and allowed her to get away with it. Had Carroll Baker been the lead with the story that did play out, the ending would’ve been an insult to the kind of characters she played previously for Lenzi, who would’ve done a much better job at playing the naïve couple, and mislead them into thinking they had the upper hand on her. Papas’ fumbling throughout the whole process makes us the audience have no sympathy at all for the Dick and Ingrid characters, who essentially did everything they feared Barbara would do to them for her. Had they not destroyed or cleaned certain items, and especially not buried the dead man, they’d have ensured Barbara would’ve been arrested for not only killing her husband, but for trying to make it look like it was them.

An Ideal Place to Kill (1971) YIFY - Download Movie TORRENT - YTS
Dick and Ingrid Enjoying the Sights in London (from YTS)

While other issues like the two lead actresses not doing the nude scenes: Irene Papas outright refusing to do so and Ornella Muti not being able to because she was only 16 – (yes, a good chunk of European filmmakers back then wouldn’t do stuff like that) existed, the main issue Lenzi had was having to turn Dick and Ingrid into porno pushers and not the drug dealers he intended, which he felt made what would eventually go down at the Slesar mansion all the more unrealistic. The film as it is works quite well in my opinion, and all three leads, especially Papas and Muti, give solid performances that outweigh the flaws, including the body doubles for the nude scenes. I highly recommend giving this film, as well as the Lenzi/Baker collaborations and see if you agree with my write-up or not.

all images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

for more information

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067602/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oasis_of_Fear

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Un_posto_ideale_per_uccidere

buying options

https://mondomacabro.bigcartel.com/product/an-ideal-place-to-kill-retail-edition

https://www.moviesunlimited.com/the-complete-lenzibaker-giallo-collection/663390003695

https://www.moviesunlimited.com/an-ideal-place-to-kill/843276020590

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Special Topics

Snow Interruption

From Tony Nash

Hello to my Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors,

Yesterday some kooky thing happened with my family’s TV and Internet and for 24 hours I couldn’t access WordPress on either my iPhone or laptop. My iPhone’s quite a few years old and I need to update it. I still could’ve used it for WordPress via the family’s data, but I’ve found writing detailed responses to folks on the iPhone’s keyboard causes a lot of spelling errors and rewriting, and I do enjoy giving good responses to what people post.

Just wanted to let everyone know why I was MIA yesterday, and will be going through everything posted yesterday and today on my feed.

Take care.

Filed under: Annoucements