Jul 152014
 
(This post originally appeared on January 12, 2010.) I’ve been trying to catch up on some older movies, and the plot of this one from 1946 sounded intriguing: a GI comes back from combat in the South Pacific with amnesia, a fact that he conceals from his doctors. Everybody tells him his name is George Taylor. When he gets back to the States he sets out to discover who George Taylor is. His
Jul 082014
 
(This post originally appeared on August 27, 2009.) This is another one of those movies that’s been on TV many, many times, and somehow I never watched it until now. Based on a novel by James Jones, it’s the sort of small town melodrama/soap opera that Hollywood did so well during the Fifties. Frank Sinatra plays Dave Hirsch, a former GI returning to the town where he grew up. He’s also a
Jul 012014
 
(This post originally appeared on October 26, 2009.) I graduated from high school in 1971, which means I’m a little older than the characters in this movie that takes place on the last day of school in 1976. The emphasis is on that year’s juniors, who will be seniors the next year, and the eighth-graders who will be the incoming freshmen. To make the film resonate even more with me, it takes
Jun 242014
 
(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form on July 19, 2009.) I’ve never been much on “mockumentaries”, although I’ve seen some that were pretty entertaining, like A MIGHTY WIND. One of my daughters is a fan of Craig Ferguson, though, and she picked up a copy of THE BIG TEASE, a movie Ferguson co-wrote and starred in fifteen years ago. It’s supposed to be a documentary about
Jun 172014
 
(This post originally appeared in slightly different form on August 25, 2010.) When we started to watch this one, I commented that I’d never seen it before, and Livia asked, “How could you have missed it? It was on TV all the time when we were kids.” Well, that’s true enough, but when I was a kid, I watched Westerns, comedies, Tarzan movies, war movies, monster movies . . . You get the idea.
Jun 102014
 
(This post originally appeared on August 11, 2009. It sure doesn't seem like almost five years ago.) ZULU is a John Ford cavalry Western. Oh, I know John Ford didn’t direct it, and there’s not an Apache in sight, but scene after scene in ZULU plays as if the filmmakers had watched FORT APACHE, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, and RIO GRANDE a dozen times each before making ZULU. Take the opening
Jun 032014
 
I would have sworn I'd seen all the Randolph Scott movies directed by Budd Boetticher, but we recently watched SEVEN MEN FROM NOW in a newly released DVD edition and I don't really ever seeing it before. It was the first of the Scott/Boetticher collaborations, and like the others, it's a top-notch hardboiled Western. Scott plays a mysterious loner named Ben Stride, who early on establishes
May 272014
 
(This post appeared in somewhat different form on October 13, 2005.) ACE DRUMMOND was based on the comic strip of the same name that was "created" by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. My guess would be that Rickenbacker didn't contribute much to the strip other than his name, but I could be wrong about that. Ace Drummond is known as the "flying G-man of the air", and in this serial he's sent to
Apr 222014
 
(This post originally appeared June 21, 2009.) Crass, crude, silly, predictable teen sex comedy about a couple of football players going to cheerleader camp to chase girls. And I laughed all the way through it and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Big surprise there, eh?) Seriously, if you can say such a thing about a movie like this, the script is considerably smarter than you might expect. Worth