Moviedrome Mondays: Knightriders (1981)

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I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director/writer George A. Romero’s 1981 independent drama Knightriders. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 2, 1991 (read here). Along with There’s Always Vanilla and Season of the Witch (both from 1973), Knightriders is notable for being one of Romero’s few non-horror films. How can I briefly sum up this film? Well, think of jousting, but with motorcycles instead of horses. This makes up the surface of the plot, which deals with the trials and tribulations of a traveling renaissance fair troupe from Pittsburgh. As with all of Romero’s films, I love this one as well. Fascinating bit of trivia: Romero has reportedly cited the Society for Creative Anachronism as the inspiration regarding the occupation of the film’s protagonists. If you readers are interesting in reading a list of my favorite George A. Romero films, read here.

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

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Vamp (1986)

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I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Richard Wenk’s 1986 comedic horror film Vamp. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 26, 1991 (read here). Not unlike Night of the Comet and Trancers (two 1984 flicks that also aired on Moviedrome), Vamp is little more than an enjoyable 1980’s low-budget B-movie, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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


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

Moviedrome Mondays: The Beguiled (1971)

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Series 4 of Moviedrome opened with director Don Siegel’s 1971 Southern Gothic Civil War drama The Beguiled. I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of the aforementioned film. Readers can read his transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 19, 1991 (read here). The Beguiled was the third collaboration between director Don Siegel and his lead actor Clint Eastwood – the first two were 1968’s Coogan’s Bluff and 1970’s Two Mules for Sister Sara. Dirty Harry followed in December of 71 and 8 years later in 1979, their partnership concluded with Escape from Alcatraz. Unlike the roles he played in Siegel’s previous and future films, Clint Eastwood portrays his leading anti-hero as a vulnerable human being – even when he displays his macho persona, it comes off as terrifying as opposed to cool. I agree with everything Cox says about this film – especially when he implies that it is a blend of (in his words) Jacobean tragedy and Ambrose Bierce (read here). In case you readers missed it the first time, click here to read the list of my favorite Don Siegel films.

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


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

Moviedrome Mondays: Down by Law (1986)

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Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing indie director/writer Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 deadpan crime comedy Down by Law, readers will have to rely on a page in the book of an old Moviedrome guide (read here), since the link to that episode transcript is missing (read here). The episode’s original airdate was September 9, 1990 (read here). As with Jarmusch’s previous film Stranger than Paradise (released two years earlier in 1984), Down by Law is another delightfully deadpan comedy with a European flavor. Like Paradise before it, Down by Law is photographed in black-and-white – this time by the late great Robby Muller. Nevertheless, the b&w cinematography on both films lend a poetic touch to the result. Last, but not least, the always wonderful musician Tom Waits, John Lurie (from Paradise), and Italian comedian Roberto Benigni complete the film. On an unrelated note, here is an interesting piece of trivia: Down by Law was the last film shown on Series 3 of Moviedrome in 1990. Next week, I will begin with Series 4 from 1991. If you are interested in reading a list of my favorite Jim Jarmusch films, read here.

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

Moviedrome Mondays: A Bullet for the General (1966)

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I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Damiano Damiani’s 1966 political spaghetti western. masterpiece A Bullet for the General. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 2, 1990 (read here). I absolutely agree with everything Cox says about this film and as with The Great Silence (last week’s Moviedrome Monday entry), it ranks as one of (If not) the greatest spaghetti westerns ever made. If any of you have read Cox’s 2009 book on spaghetti westerns (10,000 Ways to Die: A Director’s Take on the Spaghetti Western), in his entry for A Bullet for the General, he mentions that it may have served as an influence for director Sam Peckinpah’s masterful western The Wild Bunch from three years later in 1969 (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to A Bullet for the General


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

Moviedrome Mondays: The Great Silence (a.k.a. The Big Silence) (1968)

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Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers to the film and If you have not seen it yet, I advise you to not read it any further.

Although I do have youtube video links and even a Vimeo one this week, I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing Italian director Sergio Corbucci’s 1968 bleak revisionist Spaghetti western masterpiece The Great Silence. Once again, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was August 26, 1990 (read here). I absolutely agree with everything Cox says about this brilliant film. Everything from legendary composer Ennio Morricone’s somber music score to it’s winter scenery sets the tone for what may be one of the darkest westerns ever made. Even the ending is a completely tragic one as Cox details in the links. For my money, it may even by my number one favorite spaghetti western of all-time – and I have tons of other favorites in that sub-genre. Btw, If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite westerns, read here. Also, If you are interested in reading a list of my favorite Sergio Corbucci films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s intro to The Great Silence from a special feature on the 2004 Fantoma DVD edition (read here)


Here is a Vimeo link to Cox’s intro to it for something called International Film Series

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer – though I do not think it ever got a theatrical release in America on it’s initial release in 1968.


Finally, here is a youtube video link to the 2018 Digitally Restored version of the film from the Film Movement Blu-ray/DVD company that released in on home video in that aforementioned year

 

Also, here is a link to Alex Cox’s book on spaghetti westerns If any of you readers are interested.

Moviedrome Mondays: Walk on the Wild Side (1962)

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Once again, I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Edward Dmytryk’s 1962 screen adaptation of writer Nelson Algren’s 1956 novel Walk on the Wild Side, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was August 19, 1990 (read here). Not much to add except that while the performances are great, everything else is hit-or-miss. Even though the subject matter revolves around women involved in prostitution and lesbianism, in execution, the film feels too tame by today’s standards and it unfortunately, does not have quality that can more than offset that reminder. Nevertheless, I do love the opening title sequence by the late legendary Saul Bass. P.S. I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer.

Anyway, here is a youtube video link to the aforementioned title sequence I was talking about

 

 

 

No New Post Today

Moviedrome Mondays will resume next Sunday – I was so busy with Easter that I just hadn’t had the time to prepare, but do not worry, I will be back with a new one next Sunday 🙂 I hope all of my dear readers had a Happy Easter as well 🙂

P.S. my Wednesday post might interest all of you – read the link here 🙂

An Alex Cox Intro Gem: The Long Goodbye (1973)

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One may not know this, but shortly prior to hosting Moviedrome from 1988 to 1994, filmmaker Alex Cox guest introduced two films for another BBC Two series entitled The Film Club (1986-1991) on March 5, 1988 (read here). The two films were 1967’s Point Blank (directed by John Boorman) and 1973’s The Long Goodbye (directed by Robert Altman). The latter cleverly updated novelist Raymond Chandler’s iconic Philip Marlowe detective character to a 1970’s setting. Anyway, I was able to find a youtube video link of Cox introducing The Long Goodbye, I unfortunately could not find the one for Point Blank. In case any of you missed it the first time, If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Robert Altman films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link of Alex Cox introducing The Long Goodbye on The Film Club.

 

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

Moviedrome Mondays: The Phenix City Story (1955)

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Once again, I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Phil Karlson’s 1955 expose film noir classic The Phenix City Story, so I will have to made do with Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was August 12, 1990 (read here). Fittingly shot in black-and-white and filmed on location (which gives it a documentary feel), this may be one of (If not) the grittiest film noirs to emerge from the American cinema during the 1950’s. The plot deals with attempts to clean up a seedy Alabama town and it was reportedly based on a true story (read here and here). If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Phil Karlson films, read here.

I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer either.