At a time when streaming video is the dominant format for home video its awesome to see companies like Shout Factory, Kino, Criterion, Arrow and more putting out older awesome movies in high definition on Blu-ray.
If the big studios have zero interest in maintaining their library of films at least these companies will pick up the slack.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: The Leopard Man”
Dennis O’Keefe is Joe Sullivan,a crook who is serving time for a robbery. He meets with Ann Martin (Marsha Hunt) in prison. Ann is Joe’s legal case worker and she wants him to reform. Joe has another visitor, Pat Regan (Claire Trevor), Joe’s girlfriend. She tells Joe that he’s being broken of prison that night.
Joe is prison because he’s taken the fall for his boss Rick Coyle (Raymond Burr). Rick though doesn’t want to share the $50,000 from the robbery and has now orchestrated the jail break hopping that Joe gets killed.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Raw Deal”
Anthony Mann directed this film noir about two undercover treasury agents trying bust up a counterfeiting ring.
Dennis O’Keefe and Alfred Ryder star as two treasury agents who are assigned to go undercover and try and infiltrate a counterfeiting gang. They start in Detroit where they join local crime boss Carlo Vantucci’s gang. From there they get wind of big player named The Schemer who works out of Los Angeles. O’Keefe goes to L.A. while Ryder stays in Detroit.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: T-Men”
Ida Lupino started her career in 1930s as an actress but by the 1950s she changed gears and became a director. She became the first woman to direct a film noir with 1953 The Hitch-Hiker.
Loosely based on the true story of convicted serial killer Billy Cook, this tense thriller follows two men on a fishing trip who make the mistake of picking up a hitchhiker.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: The Hitch-Hiker”
Robert Ryan is brutal cop who beats his suspects and finds himself in trouble with his superiors.
After ignoring a warning from his boss Ryan beats another suspect for information. The suspect threatens to sue the department and Ryan’s boss has had enough. He sends Ryan up North to help in the investigation of a murdered girl.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: On Dangerous Ground”
There have been many adaptations of Jules Verne’s classic novel L’Île mystérieuse aka The Mysterious Island. The novel was originally a kind of sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaways.
The original story had to do with five Americans fleeing the American Civil War and crashing on a mysterious island. They survive thanks to a mysterious benefactor and along the why meet one of the characters from In Search of the Castaways and fight off pirates before meeting their benefactor who turns out to be Captain Nemo who survived the end of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and has spent his old age on the island.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: The Mysterious Island”
Nat Harbin (Dan Duryea) sees a newsreel that tells how a spiritualist named Sister Sarah (Phoebe Mackay) has inherited a priceless necklace. Nat sends Gladden (Jayne Mansfield) to case the joint and pose as an admirer.
Gladden tells the gang where the necklace is and Sister Sarah’s evening habits. They plan a heist to steal the necklace.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: The Burglar”
Richard Quine was an actor who starred in variety of movies from the 1930s and 40s. He moved into directing movies in the 1950s. His first films were musicals and he collaborated with screenwriter Blake Edwards with a couple of them.
In 1954 the two shifted gears and made a gritty film noir film Drive A Crooked Road.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Drive A Crooked Road”
In the 1970s, producer John Dark and director Kevin Connor made a series of lower budget fantasy films. Most of the films were in the lost world category with the first three being adaptions of Edgar Rice Burroughs works.
The last two were original stories, Warlords of Atlantis in 1978 and the last was this 1979 adventure film, Arabian Adventure.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Arabian Adventure”
Detective Henri Cassin (Steven Geray) takes a much needed vacation. The inn that he stays in is owned by Pierre Michaud (Eugene Borden) whose daughter, Nanette (Micheline Cheirel) Henri falls in love with.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: So Dark The Night”
At a bus stop a man named Jim (Aldo Ray) gives a light to a man named Ben (James Gregory). Ben leaves on a bus and Jim goes to a bar where he meets Marie (Anne Bancroft), a model who borrows five dollars from Jim.
They make a date and Marie gives Jim her name and address. Jim runs into two men John (Brian Keith) and Red (Rudy Bond). They want their money – $350,000 and Jim claims he doesn’t know where it is.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Nightfall”
The Criterion Channel debuted this week and it’s an amazing streaming service. It’s everything that I want from a streaming service. Classic cinema, behind the scenes features and so much more. My watch list has enough to keep me busy for the next three years.
While the service is home to Criterion’s stable of cinema they also have special films available for limited time. This month’s is Columbia’s film noir collection. 11 dark and gritty film noirs to watch. I’ve watched the first on the list My Name Is Julia Ross.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: My Name Is Julia Ross”
Before we get into this week’s Sunday Matinee, Shazam opened this weekend and from the sounds of it has done pretty good for itself. It’s been quite a while since the original Captain Marvel has graced the big screen and here’s my old post about his first adventures.
The Criterion Channel will soon be here, actually tomorrow April 8th and this was their last week of their free movie of the week to charter subscribers. This week’s movies were the 1979 John Woo kung fu film Last Hurrah for Chivalry and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Today’s Sunday Matinee is the early John Woo.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Last Hurrah For Chivalry”
As Criterion counts down to it’s April 8 launch of their new streaming service this week’s movie of the week happens to be an old Sunday Matinee, The Fabulous Baron Munchausen so I’m going back a week to last week’s movie of the week the excellent 1945 film noir Detour.
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer the follows poor piano player Al Roberts (Tom Neal) is a disheveled burned out looking person. He gets dropped off at a diner where he hears a particular song. He flashes back to how he got to where he is.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Detour”
Writer/director Larry Cohen passed away this weekend at the age of 77. Cohen started his career writing for television in the 1960s before moving on to directing movies in the 1970s.
He directed such blaxploitation films as Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem in the early 1970s before moving on to b-horror movies. In 1974 he made the excellent but cheesy It’s Alive. He would make two sequels to the series. He also directed the very entertaining Q.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: God Told Me To”
This week’s movie of the week on The Criterion Channel is the 1989 documentary For All Mankind.
Directed by Al Reinert this doc looks at the Apollo progam and uses actually archival footage that NASA shot during the time and interviews with the astronauts and crew who participated in the program.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: For All Mankind”
This week’s Criterion Collection streaming film is the 1970 film from writer/director/star Barbara Loden, Wanda.
Loden was an actress who worked in TV and film in the 1950s and 1960s. She was a cast regular on The Ernie Kovacs Show in 1956 and she starred in director Elia Kazan’s 1960 film Wild River and 1961’s Splendor in the Grass. She married Kazan in 1967 and while on vacation a mutual friend, Harry Schuster, offered Loden $100,000 to make her own movie. She wrote the script and couldn’t find a director including her own husband so she directed the film herself as well as starring in it. She made the film for $115,000 and while the movie did receive praise and it won Best Foreign Film at the Venice Film Festival in 1970, it was never given a wide theatrical release in North America.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Wanda”
The Criterion Collection is going to launch their own streaming service in April to take the place of FilmStruck. Charter members who signed up early have been treated to a free movie every week since the start of February. The first week it was Elaine May’s Mickey and Nicky. Week two saw Chungking Express. Week three was Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Tom Jones. This week’s movie is Andrei Tarkovsky’s brilliant masterpiece Stalker.
Loosely based on the novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky this 1979 Soviet film is set in a future where something called the Zone has been created. The military have forbidden travel into the Zone but there are specialists called Stalkers who lead people into the Zone. They also collect special artifacts from the Zone and sell them on the black market.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Stalker”
In the final film of the series our “hero” Haruo finds himself on trial from the remaining Bilusaludo for killing MechaGodzilla city and thus killing all the Bilusaludo who merged with the nanometal in the last film. This act also essentially killed Haruo’s girlfriend Yuko who was partially merrged with the nanometal and has now been left brain dead. The remaining humans disagree with the trial saying that Haruo’s actions exposed the Bilusaludo’s intent to assimilate the Earth.
Meanwhile Haruo starts a relationship with Maina. He also discovers that the Exif, Methphies wants to bring the Exifs god to Earth to defeat Godzilla. Methphies starts converting the surviving humans into a cult worshiping his god. The Exif on the Aratrum (the spaceship carrying the last remaining humans) also begin gathering followers.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Godzilla: The Planet Eater”
The second film in the Godzilla anime movie trilogy, City on the Edge of Battle picks up right where Planet of Monsters left off. Quick recap. Godzilla has taken over Earth and the remaining members of the human race have fled the planet along with two alien races, the Exif and the Bilusaludo, on a spaceship called the Aratrum. Now they have returned and find that thousands of years have passed and the Earth has evolved because of Godzilla. A small group lead by Haruo Sakaki tried to kill Godzilla. Having believed to have killed Godzilla the group discovers that all they did was kill a baby Godzilla, the real Godzilla has grown much much bigger and is even harder to kill.
Haruo was injured in the attack against the real Godzilla and he wakes up in a hut. Humans have survived on Earth and become more primitive. A young woman named Miana saved Haruo. Miana’s twin sister Maina doesn’t like Haruo much but the two sisters use telepathy to talk to the survivors to find out what’s going on.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Godzilla: City On The Edge Of Battle”