Moviedrome Mondays: …All the Marbles (1981) (a.k.a. The California Dolls)

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I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing Robert Aldrich’s 1981 sports comedy-drama …All the Marbles (a.k.a. The California Dolls); so my readers will have to make due with his transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was June 11, 1989 (read here). Not unlike what Cox implies here, If one looked beyond the film’s silly premise – a manager and his female wrestling team (The California Dolls) on the road – you will find a road movie with a lot on it’s mind. While maybe not as memorable as some of the best ones of the period – Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop or Wim Wenders Road Movie Trilogy – there is still plenty to admire here. Interesting bit of trivia: 1981’s …All the Marbles was the final film that Aldrich directed – he died two years later in 1983. If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Aldrich films, read here.

Here is a youtube link to the film’s original theatrical trailer below

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Moviedrome Mondays: The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

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Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing Jack Arnold’s 1957 science-fiction horror classic The Incredible Shrinking Man, my readers will have to make due with the episode’s transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was June 4, 1989 (read here). Interestingly enough, as Cox implies in his introduction, the only films that actually properly addressed the theme of nuclear war in the 1950’s (for the most part), were (ironically enough) campy science-fiction horror entries of that aforementioned decade. If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Jack Arnold films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


Here is another youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer – with Orson Welles providing voiceover duties

 

 

My Thoughts

I am very pleased that most (If not all) of my regular readers were able to comment on my two blog entries relating to actress Kim Cattrall’s Criterion title choices (read here and here) and how it related to my number one favorite Robert Altman film. Since I asked all of you for your opinions, I sincerely feel that it is only fair If I give my opinions on not only her Criterion picks, but also what she says as a whole in the video.  Nevertheless, allow me to divide my thoughts into two categories. The first will cover what films she picked from the Criterion closet and the second towards my extra thoughts.

-The Films-

1.) Heaven Can Wait (1943) (Dir: Ernest Lubitsch)
I too love Ernst Lubitsch like she does. One of these days when I update my blog entry of my favorite Lubitsch films, I will place Heaven Can Wait at number 2 or something. This was Lubitsch’s first Technicolor film and it is most certainly a marvel. A shame that Lubitsch could not have lived longer – it would have been interesting to see how often he would have shot in Technicolor. That Lady in Ermine would have been his second had he not died during production – director Otto Preminger ended up finishing it. Read here for my favorite Ernst Lubitsch films.
2.) Fanny & Alexander (1982) (Dir: Ingmar Bergman)
Though I still consider Persona (also a Criterion title) to be my number one favorite Ingmar Bergman film, I do love Fanny & Alexander as well and yes, it can be viewed as (among other things) an examination of the major changes that happens in a family when an immediate member of it dies. Cattrall sums it up better in that video than I do here 🙂 In case, anyone is interested in what I consider to be my favorite Bergman films, read here. Also, I highly recommend blogger Mitchell’s invaluable guide to the aforementioned director from five years back in 2014 (read here). Read here for my favorite Ingmar Bergman films.
3.) Cat People (1942) (Dir: Jacques Tourneur)
I would be interested in hearing what she loves about this masterful horror film since she did not really delve much into it here. In fact, I wrote a review of it last year on this site (read here). Read here for my favorite Jacques Tourneur films.
4.) Limelight (1952) (Dir: Charlie Chaplin)
I adore Charlie Chaplin’s sound films as much as his silent work and Limelight ranks high up there. I probably would have chosen 1931’s City Lights (another Chaplin title in The Criterion Collection), but all of Chaplin’s work is perfect. Read here for my favorite Charlie Chaplin films.
5.) The Complete Jacques Tati (1949-1974)
Considering that this box-set includes all of Jacques Tati’s work – and I think all of his short films – nobody could go wrong with this choice. Read here for my favorite Jacques Tati films.
6.) A Taste of Honey (1961) (Dir: Tony Richardson)
Admittedly, director Tony Richardson’s films have not aged well – though I still love The Border. Nevertheless, A Taste of Honey and Tom Jones are films that I greatly admire If no longer adore. Still, I do agree with Cattrall that actress Rita Tushingham was fantastic in the former.
7.) Tom Jones (1963) (Dir: Tony Richardson)
Read number 6.
8.) Nashville (1975) (Dir: Robert Altman)
I love this film for the exact reasons Cattrall states in the video link. Not since Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game, has an ensemble piece been this thought-provoking. By now, everybody is probably aware that I just love this film, so once again, read my review right here. Read here for my favorite Robert Altman films. Also, read here for me and fellow blogger Cindy Bruchman’s piece of Altman from a month ago.
9.) Jules and Jim (1962) (Dir: Francois Truffaut)
Anyone who read my blog entry regarding my favorite Francois Truffaut films (read here) is probably well aware that I rank this one very highly. With all that said, I laughed out loud when Cattrall cited Jules and Jim as her first three-way 🙂 What made it funnier is that she said it with a gentle voice 🙂
10.) Repulsion (1965) (Dir: Roman Polanski)
She chose my second favorite Polanski film (the first is Chinatown of course). Interesting bit of trivia: she actually has a supporting role in Polanski’s 2010 thriller The Ghost Writer. Read here for my favorite Roman Polanski films.
11.) Bicycle Thieves (1948) (Dir: Vittorio De Sica)
I would have loved to have heard her thoughts on Bicycle Thieves since it is an undisputed classic of world cinema. Read here for my favorite Vittorio De Sica films.
12.) Sullivan’s Travels (1941) (Dir: Preston Sturges)
I hope The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek gets the Criterion treatment one day, and while The Lady Eve and The Palm Beach Story rank higher for me (the last two are Criterion titles), I do love Sullivan’s Travels a lot. As with other fans of the film (including Cattrall herself), one’s love of it stems from it’s plot of someone who yearns for significance, but in the end, learns that humor has a way of impacting people as well. Read here for my favorite Preston Sturges films.
13.) Wanda (1970) (Dir: Barbara Loden)
I love Wanda every bit as much as Cattrall does. Nevertheless, I can’t do justice here in describing her insightful words on it – just watch the video link.

-Extra Thoughts-

What I really found interesting about the video was Kim Cattrall’s background concerning her love of films. As anybody who watched the video is aware, Cattrall’s mother was an usherette at a movie theater and she may have influenced Kim in a significant way. Once again, here is that Criterion Collection video link below.

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/6556-kim-cattrall-s-closet-picks

 

 

Moviedrome Mondays: The Thing from Another World (1951)

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Once again, I could not find a youtube video of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing the 1951 science-fiction horror classic The Thing from Another World directed by Christian Nyby and co-produced by the legendary Howard Hawks. The episode’s original airdate was May 28, 1989 (read here). Not much to say here except as with all classic 1950’s monster movies, it is one that is every bit as thrilling as it is subtly intelligent.

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

 

Extra Credit

I wanted to follow-up on my blog entry from yesterday (read here) with something that involves a little more creative participation on the part of my readers. Nevertheless, participation on the part of the reader is optional here and you do not have to participate If you do not want to. After all, just look at the title of this blog entry 🙂 Now some of my readers (that is If you decide to take part in this) may not have seen any of the Criterion titles that actress Kim Cattrall picks out here, but If you have seen them, let me know in the comment section below what your favorite choices of hers are. Also, what aspects of the video came off as the most interesting to you? Once again, here is that Criterion video link I showed you all yesterday.

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/6556-kim-cattrall-s-closet-picks

What a Coincidence

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Though I have never really made it known on here, I am a regular visitor to The Criterion Collection website. I mostly visit there to see what interesting new release will await me for that month and whether or not it is a film I love so much that I will buy. And yes, I own a lot of Criterion Blu-Rays/DVD’s 🙂 But that is beside the point. Any frequent visitor to that site is probably aware by now of their Closet Picks series, which consists of both high and low-profile celebrities being honored the luxury of choosing whatever Criterion title they want to take home with them. Of course, their is probably a limit to the number of Blu-Rays/DVD’s that they can take 🙂 As to whether or not they are supposed to keep them, I am not sure. Well, in one of the most recent entries, actress Kim Cattrall (yes that Kim Cattrall) was given access to the closet to choose a limited number of Criterion titles (that she loves) to take home with her either permanently or temporarily. Again, I am not sure If it is the former or the latter. Although I loved all of her choices, the one that made me the most happy was her pick of director Robert Altman’s Nashville. As many of my loyal readers know, two weeks back, I collaborated with blogger Cindy Bruchman on a blog entry regarding our top 3 favorite Altman films (read here) and Nashville was my number one favorite Altman film. In the link to the video below, she starts talking about it at the 1:39 point. And If you saw the film, here is a link to my review for it.

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/6556-kim-cattrall-s-closet-picks

 

 

Moviedrome Mondays: D.O.A. (1949)

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Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introducing former cinematographer-turned-director Rudolph Mate’s 1949 film noir D.O.A., readers will have to rely on the episode’s transcript by clicking here. The episode’s original airdate was May 21, 1989 (read here). I enjoyed hearing Cox talk about the background history regarding the characteristics of the film noir genre and yes, be on the lookout for that whistle sound every time an attractive woman enters the scene in the film 🙂 As much as I love D.O.A., I must admit that the previously mentioned running gag does get old fast during one’s viewing of the film.

In case you are interested in watching the entire film, here is a youtube link below:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=D.O.A.+1949

As for the film’s original theatrical trailer, I strangely could not find one from it’s initial release, so you will just have to depend on your viewing of the film based on that link above.

Moviedrome Mondays: Jabberwocky (1977)

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I will post a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to former Monty Python animator/member Terry Gilliam’s first solo outing as a director in 1977 entitled Jabberwocky at the end of this blog entry. Terry Gilliam’s first film as a director was with Terry Jones two years earlier with 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You can read his transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 14, 1989 (read here). I can’t really tell what Cox thinks of the film since his intro consists only of his recitation of legendary British children’s author Lewis Carroll’s (1832-1898) nonsensical poem of the same name that first appeared in his 1871 novel Through the Looking Glass (read here, here and here). As for myself, compared to Holy Grail, Jabberwocky is only half as funny as it should be. Nevertheless, as a whole, it is very creative for a fantasy comedy shot on a tiny budget and as with Holy Grail, Jabberwocky contains a fair share of gory sequences welcomely played for comedic effect. If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Terry Gilliam films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Jabberwocky


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)

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At the end of this blog entry, I will post a youtube video link to both Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to legendary cult filmmaker and producer Roger Corman’s 1963 science-fiction horror thriller X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes and another for the obligatory theatrical trailer. As usual, you can also read Cox’s transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 7, 1989 (read here). As with a lot of Corman’s work in the science-fiction genre, this one is entertaining and subtly intelligent as well. I also appreciate that Cox mentioned that surreal opening shot (read here). Interesting piece of trivia for my readers: X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes served as the first episode in season 2 of Moviedrome (read here). If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Roger Corman films (in which he served as director), read here.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer