Skip to content

April 2020 In Review

The lock down continues and I hope and pray each and every one of my guests who drop by Mike’s Take On the Movies remain safe and sound laying as low as I am thanks to a job in the automotive sector that isn’t considered an essential service. Truth is my jobs not all that important during these troubling times. If you happen to be on the front lines and working in the medical field my deepest thanks go out to you and may God keep you safe. Anyone else considered an essential service I thank you as well and hope you’re doing everything yiou can to protect yourself and your loved ones from this terrible sickness that is playing out like a warped movie we’ve all seen on the late show.

My movie watching has gone through the roof so let’s get on to April’s extensive roll call.

Let’s start with finalizing a goal I had set at the start of the year. I finally completed the legendary Robert Mitchum’s mini series of 1983, The Winds of War. Now I’ll have to get to the follow up, War and Remembrance.

The Gorgon (1964) A Hammer favorite with Lee and Cushing.

A Night to Remember (1942) Screwball fun with Loretta Young and Brian Aherne looking to solve a murder mystery.

Thrill of a Romance – Esther Williams meets Van Johnson and love is in the air.

The Big Wedding (2013) – Solid cast in this decent comedy that treads familiar ground.

Twilight (1998) Far better than I recall with Newman leading an outstanding cast in this modern day Noir.

Border River – Joel McCrea heads south of the border and finds Yvonne De Carlo.

Footsteps in the Fog (1955) Granger, Simmons and murder.

The Verdict – Great murder mystery with Lorre and Greenstreet.

Panic In the Year Zero (1962) Ray Milland stars and directs this apocalyptic tale that comes off better than it should.

Gray Lady Down (1978) He-man Chuck Heston is trying to keep his crew alive while David Carradine organizes a search and rescue plan.

The Ex-Mrs. Bradford – Jean Arthur works her way back into William Powell’s life and comedy ensues.

Masterson of Kansas (1954) George Montgomery takes on the Bat Masterson role for William Castle’s B flick.

Uranium Boom (1956) Another B flick from William Castle with an aging Dennis Morgan starring.

Red Heat – Arnold comes over from the Kremlin to find a super criminal in Walter Hill’s action fest.

Confidence (2003) It’s a con game when Rachel Weisz and Edward Burns target a feisty Dustin Hoffman. I liked it.

King of Thieves (2018) Not a bad heist film based on true story and I liked the cast of old pros. Michael Caine, Ray Winstone, Jim Broadbent etc…

The Comedy of Terrors – Another revisit to a previously featured flick with a dream cast of Horror favorites.

Crypt of the Living Dead – Andrew Prine looks to take out Hannah, Queen of the Vampires.

House Of the Living Dead (1974) Horror movie filmed in Africa.

Flap (1970) Better than I recalled after 20 some years with Anthony Quinn leading what today would be termed a politically incorrect cast/film.

Someone Behind the Door (1971) Bronson and Anthony Perkins? Yes sir in a Hitchcockian like thriller.

A Trio of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde Movies – Naschy, Douglas and Caine are looking rather violent as Hyde.

Chosen Survivors – Vampire Bats are getting hungry in a bomb shelter.

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982) A Noir lover’s dream come true with Steve Martin appearing alongside Bogie, Ladd, Ava, Burt, Kirk and a host of other 1940’s stars.

Best Seller – A big favorite of mine with Brian Dennehy’s cop and James Woods’ hitman calling a cease fire to take down the heavy.

Gladiator (1992) I sat down to revisit this solid Brian Dennehy film following the news of his death.

Hired to Kill – Previously featured Oliver Reed flick but wanted to catch up to the new blu ray I picked up.

The Red Badge of Courage (1951) A lost classic? Maybe some day the missing 50 odd minutes might resurface of the John Huston film.

Jaws 3 (1983) Just killing time……

I’m Gonna Get You Sucka! (1988) A good one to sit back and enjoy with my two sons beside me. We had some good belly laughs.

The Rosary Murders (1987) Murder mystery with someone killing priests and nuns. Could Donald Sutherland be next?

Conflict – Vary rare John Wayne entry sees him in the boxing ring.

Revenge of the Ninja (1983) Probably the most foolish movie I watched this month if we discount Jaws 3.

Rhino! (1964) Harry Guardino isn’t to be trusted and has poaching on his mind.

The Cops Are Robbers (1990) Another heist film. This one a made for TV affair and a good one with Ed Asner looking to take down a gang of crooked cops. Based on a true story.

War Gods of the Deep (1965) One can never get enough of Vincent Price.

Murder 101 (1991) Enjoyable murder mystery with Pierce Brosnan caught up as the main suspect in a series of killings.

The Undertaker (1988) Slasher effort with cult favorite Joe Spinell I picked up in a restored blu ray special edition. A real hammy effort by one and all if you look past the blood and gore.

The Centerfold Girls – Previously featured I caught up with a recent blu ray edition.

Bonnie’s Kids (1973) Exploitation fare and better than I anticipated but not what I expected at all as far as the plot is concerned. And yes Leo Gordon continues to prove to me that he was one of the screen’s greatest heavies.

Brutal Tales of Chivalry (1965) Japanese Yakuza flick with the legendary Ken Takakura.

The Incredible Two Headed Transplant (1971) The film Bruce Dern made to pay for a house if I recall correctly. Yeah it’s pretty lame and beneath his talents but I still had to have an original half sheet for the crazy exploitation artwork.

The Noose Hangs High (1948) Plenty of fun when Bud and Lou get tangled up with hoods and giant sized Mike Mazurki.

Stuber (2019) Had a hoot watching this one with the mismatched team of Dave Bautista and his Uber driver Kumail Nanjiani looking to take down a criminal organization.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes – Previously featured but wanted to review and set up a spotlight on …..

Dr. Phibes Rises Again – Vincent Price returns to find the River of Life and leave a sea of corpses on his journey.

Payback (1999) Finally watched the director’s cut and it’s a far different movie than the one that was released theatrically. I did a little comparing to the theater version afterwards and while I’ won’t swear to it I think I might like this version better. It’s tighter.

Welcome to Hard Times (1967) I’m still not sold on this Henry Fonda effort but there’s no disputing the cast involved. Oates, Chaney, Ray, Dano, Fix, Pyle, Buchanan etc…

Who’s Minding the Store? (1963) More Jerry Lewis shenanigans when he’s set loose in a department store.

Battle Creek Brawl (1980) More of a curio and just what went wrong with the first attempt at turning Jackie Chan into a North American star.

The Fuller Brush Man (1948) Hilarity ensues when Red Skelton takes to the screen.

It Happened to Jane (1959) Romcom with Doris Day and Jack Lemmon is always worth a revisit with wifey alongside me cozied up on the couch.

Flat Top – Sterling Hayden heroics during WW2.

The Incredible Melting Man (1977) Hey it came out when I was a kid so I’ve always had a soft spot for this throwback to the 50’s sci-fi films.

Annabelle (2014) Since I really enjoyed those Conjuring movies I thought I’d check into this prequel. Not bad of it’s type and had a few “jump scares.”

Hellfighters (1969) Something a bit different from John Wayne during the stretch run of his legendary career.

Sudden Death (1977) Enjoyable exploitation fare from the Philippines that casts Robert Conrad as a retired killer taking up the good fight against John Ashley and Don Stroud who are fronting for a shady organization.

I lost count of just how many movies I watched in April by the time I got to the tenth of the month. Would you believe the list above weren’t the only movies I sat in on for April? I finally cracked open a purchase I made two years ago and couldn’t be happier. The Zatoichi series of 25 films released in a superior box set from Criterion on blu ray.

Am I impressed with the first 9 films. A BIG yes. Shintaro Katsu plays the lead role with charm and wit as the blind swordsman who takes on a very David Janssen like existence as he roams the countryside aiding those who need his help from crooked Yakuza and opposing samurai. Seriously, I’m truly impressed with these films thus far. Proves to me that no matter how old I get or just how much I think I may know, there are always more films from the past to discover for myself.  See them if you can.

18 Comments »

  1. If I had to choose just one movie to watch from this sumptuous smorgasboard I reckon it would be the Bronson/Perkins pairing in SOMEONE BEHIND THE DOOR (1971). Second would be Jerry Lewis’s WHO’S MINDING THE STORE (1963) ’cause I’ve always been a big Lewis fan (of his films but not necessarily always the person).

    • Bang on about Lewis. I grew up on his films airing on TV all the time so to this day he makes me laugh even when I know he’s killing a joke stretching it to the max. And yes I’m not so sure he was someone I’d have gotten along with in real life. The Bronson film is very different from most of his output and worth a look for that alone. Cheers’

  2. This week I watched Stiff Upper Lips, Blended, Adventures of a Plumber’s Mate, Dead Heat, and I thought I’d consumed a strange collection of films, but Mike, you really are buring through the widest possible variety of movies! Props to you!

    • I kind of remember that Plumber’s Mate film from the VHS rental days. Picked up a book not long ago detailing the history of the British sex comedy genre and now just need to locate some of the many films it covers. I was never a fan of Dead Heat. Never struck me as all that funny as I think it was meant to. Cheers’

      • Let me caution you, Mike, you don’t ‘need’ to see any of these films. I’ve just finished Taxi Driver and working on Private Eye, but it’s a bleak and stony road I’m travelling…and yes, Dead Heat wasn’t anything to write home about either.

  3. Haha you know what Mike I was almost, almost, hehe dreading opening up this. Had to check I had food supplies and water to get me through. Even got a pillow for a half way nap to rest the eyes. LOL.

    Ones I need to look more into – Twilight (1998), Someone Behind the Door (1971), War Gods of the Deep (1965) Brutal Tales of Chivalry (1965)

    Ones I love – Panic In Year Zero (like you say it really shouldn’t work but it’s really ace), Gray Lady Down (good lock down movie) I’m Gonna Get You Sucka! (Haha yes great fun that one) Battle Creek Brawl (My childhood memory is I loved this so I might not watch it again LOL)

    I’d always thought Hellfighters (1969) was John Wayne playing Red Adair? Just had a nose and it doesn’t seem he was. Fancy revisiting this.

    Stuber is one I do fancy. Dave Bautista is so funny in Guardians of the Galaxy. I can see it being a guilty pleasure that one.

    Good to hear you and the family are all well and smashing through the movies.
    And last but not least. The Incredible Two Headed Transplant poster. Oh man. respecto mucho

    • On the Duke, he really is playing Red unofficially. Adair was the consultant on the film. Stuber a good one for the family as it shoots for the Walter Hill buddy/buddy mixture. Twilight proved a welcome revisit, sadly Brawl did not. Have fun playing catch up.

      • I’ll try and keep my fond memories intact by not revisiting Brawl I think. I’d watched the Wayne film with my Dad as a nipper and I remember him telling me about Red Adair. It’s one of those names, like Evel Knievel that stick in your mind as a kid. When I looked at Wayne’s character name I was little shocked it wasn’t Red Adair. But now you cleared that up cheers dude.

  4. Well, well. well young man a doff of the cap to you. Your thoughts about this terrible time are well respected (I don’t believe in God but that’s a minor quibble!). What a mixed bag of films! Of the few iv’e seen I bought “Someone behind the door” on a big box UK VHS where it was called “Brainkill” I didnt like it much but I was 16 and just starting to get into Bronson after seeing “Rider on the rain”. I saw Ninja on VHS from the same store and even though I hated it, it got me into Cannon, and by default Bronson. “Rhino” tsk,tsk tusk! “Sucka” and “War gods” fantastic. Keep up the good work.

    On Fri, May 1, 2020 at 10:54 AM Mike’s Take On the Movies ………. Rediscovering Cinema’s Past wrote:

    > mikestakeonthemovies posted: “The lock down continues and I hope and pray > each and every one of my guests who drop by Mike’s Take On the Movies > remain safe and sound laying as low as I am thanks to a job in the > automotive sector that isn’t considered an essential service. Truth is my ” >

    • I never thought much of the Bronson film all those years ago either but as time passes it has grown on me though it still has a few issues. It’s pretty much a stage play and Bronson has more dialogue in this than three or four of other roles put together. Cheers and thanks for stopping in.

  5. Well, quite the handful of movies this month, and I’ve actually seen quite a few of them this time around. But first off, I must say this: there I am, scrolling down, film to film, and up pops ‘A Night to Remember’, and of course I think, “ah, he saw that excellent Titanic film.” Then you write ‘screwball fun’, and it stops me in my tracks…man, this guy has a morbid sense of humor! Oh, a DIFFERENT one!

    And I’m glad to see you watched ‘Twilight’…I really liked that movie when it came out, and then it disappeared…I can’t recall EVER seeing it mentioned until now! And “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid’…this wasn’t your first time with that one, was it? Another one I saw and loved when it came out, and I remember it was in a near-empty theater! I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen it, and it still cracks me up every time. And with ‘Payback’, I did the same comparison, and I think I liked the first one better…but I can’t remember why!

    And ‘The Incredible 2 Headed Transplant’, featuring the monster show host I loved as a kid, Seymour (Larry Vincent, playing the caretaker). Don’t miss ‘The Thing with Two Heads’, which I’m sure is also in your collection!

    • LOL. I was going to make mention of the Titanic on that. I picked up a second DVD of Twilight a while back as a Newman collector had to have it. Was way better than I recalled. He was such a natural in those later years on camera. Dead Men was a rewatch to show my sons now that they’ve become so familiar with the many “guest stars” I knew they’d appreciate it. I actually saw it at Grauman’s at the TCM Fest with Carl Reiner on stage to intro it. On Two Heads, I ave indeed seen it many times even though the last half or or so is boring as hell with Rosey and “Ray” on a motorbike. Just wish I had the poster for that one.

    • Yeah I’m enjoying these Zatoichi flicks as is my youngest son who has started into them as well. Just watched the 20th film last night of the 25 in the set. Can’t help but fall for the character and full marks to Katsu for keeping us all interested.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LOST IN SPACE FIRESIDE

A Galaxy of Rewind

Lazarus' Lair

NOT Just another WordPress.com weblog

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Feeding Soda Pop to the Thirsty Pigs since 2013

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking Deeper at The Best Classic Movies Together

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

film-authority.com

Talking movies...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

Alfred Hitchcock Master

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

Ruth's Old Movie Reviews

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

LOST IN SPACE FIRESIDE

A Galaxy of Rewind

Lazarus' Lair

NOT Just another WordPress.com weblog

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Feeding Soda Pop to the Thirsty Pigs since 2013

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking Deeper at The Best Classic Movies Together

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

film-authority.com

Talking movies...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

Alfred Hitchcock Master

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

Ruth's Old Movie Reviews

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

movies galore

%d bloggers like this: