Moviedrome Mondays: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Robert Aldrich’s 1962 classic psychological horror/melodrama/thriller Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 25, 1991 (read here). Not much to add here except that Cox is absolutely spot on in his thoughts concerning Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. For me, it ranks as the quintessential film about sibling rivalry. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Robert Aldrich films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The Moviedrome aspects of the video begins at the 0:55 mark and ends at the 5:08 mark of the video.


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


BTW, a shout-out to frequent visitor Steve (his youtube channel is here) for reminding me about this International Film Series podcast hosted by Alex Cox and Pablo Kjoiseth (click here for the link). Four of the episodes on there talked about Cox’s Moviedrome days. If it was not for Steve, I would have never discovered it and each episode makes for fantastic listening ๐Ÿ™‚

An Apology to Steve

To Steve: I would like to sincerely apologize to you for hurting your feelings in regards to those two Moviedrome videos you uploaded. Though it was unintentional on my part, I truly feel sorry for any pain I may have caused you. Please do not delete your videos because I love watching any Moviedrome youtube video regardless of quality. When I used the word lousy to describe them, I assumed you felt the same. Nevertheless, your hard work in getting those videos together was far from it. In fact, you deserve high praise from me and everybody else for your hard work. You are also right in your implications that when that rare Moviedrome video is uploaded, it offsets any shortcomings. Please re-upload your videos because I do love watching them regardless of quality. I did not intend to use the word lousy in extreme terms (personally, I do not think any thing about it is lousy). Nevertheless, words can hurt and people can look at what I say in a different light. Please do not delete your two Moviedrome videos because I really do love them. I am glad that you enjoyed looking at my Moviedrome Monday blog entries, please continue to do so. If not, I will not hold it against you, but I do want to let you know that I am truly sorry for any hurt I may have caused you.

To My Readers: The above apology letter was in regards to the blog entry regarding the Moviedrome Monday double bill entry of Hell’s Angels on Wheels and Rumble Fish (read here). When I linked to the youtube videos of Alex Cox introducing both films, I used the word lousy to describe the audio and quality of it. The word lousy to describe both videos have since been removed by me, but I think it may have played a significant role in Steve’s (the uploader of the videos) deletion of them. At the time, I assumed that he probably felt the same way – in other words, I was with him in thinking better this than nothing. Sadly, Steve mistook it as a harsh criticism and I feel responsible for his removal of the videos. Personally, I could care less about the audio and quality of the videos and like him (and hopefully you dear readers), I love any Moviedrome video regardless of audio and quality. Steve’s efforts took a lot of hard work and I sold him short. Of course that was not intended, but he mistook it as such. Right now, Steve feels hurt and I partly need the help of all of you readers. First off, as with Steve, I owe all of you dear readers a huge sincere apology and second, I do not want to hurt my relationship with him or any of you. I do not know If this idea will work, but I want all of you readers to try and encourage Steve to re-upload his Moviedrome youtube videos by leaving this reply in my comment box below. The letters are in bold.

Steve, we truly appreciate all your hard work in uploading whatever Moviedrome videos you can put together on youtube. Please do not delete them, all of us could care less about audio and quality. Your hard work always pays off.

Moviedrome Mondays: Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967) and Rumble Fish (1983)

That’s right! This Moviedrome Monday entry happens to be another double bill ๐Ÿ™‚

Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s Moviedrome introduction to director Richard Rush’s 1967 biker flick Hell’s Angels on Wheels. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 18, 1991 (read here). Not much to really add here and while it is far from a classic, there is no denying that it is highly entertaining – I especially agree with Cox regarding the motorcycle sequences and it’s use of music. Along with Easy Rider from two years later, Hell’s Angels on Wheels is little more than a product of it’s time; nevertheless, both are still worth a watch. My only issue with Cox here is that he credits the late Laszlo Kovacs as cinematographer on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when it was actually photographed by the now also deceased Vilmos Zsigmond (read here and here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Hell’s Angels on Wheels and I would like to personally thank user giulio sacchi74 (a.k.a. Steve) for his valiant efforts in finding and uploading this link ๐Ÿ™‚


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


Rumble Fish (1983)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 drama Rumble Fish. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was during the early midnight hours of August 19, 1991 (read here). Everything Cox says here about Rumble Fish is 100 percent spot-on and yes, it is far superior to The Outsiders – also directed by Coppola earlier in 83 (both came out the same year) and like this film, it too was adapted from an S.E. Hinton novel. In addition, Rumble Fish feels more personal to Coppola than The Outsiders. For example, it has been reported that the story’s central relationship between two brothers (Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke) reminded Coppola of the bonding he had with his older brother August, whom the film is dedicated to (read here and here). Along with composer/musician Stewart Copeland’s experimental score (read here and here), Rumble Fish is also notable for Stephen H. Burum’s unique black-and-white cinematography, which resembles what a b&w French New Wave film (read here and here) would look like lit with stylish touches relating to German Expressionism (read here, here and here) and Film Noir (read here). After one combines all of this together, Rumble Fish finishes up visually as an authentic piece of avant-garde cinematic art. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Francis Ford Coppola films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Rumble Fish. Once again, I would like to personally thank user giulio sacchi74 (a.k.a. Steve) for his valiant efforts in finding and uploading this link ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, here is a youtube video link to another version of the intro uploaded by Steve, in case any of you readers wanted a slightly higher quality version of it. Personally, I love the first version that Steve uploaded, but this one is every bit as great and is always welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mspYMzue9k

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kx_jtFN0H8

Moviedrome Mondays: Manhunter (1986)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Michael Mann’s 1986 Neo-Noir/psychological horror/mystery/thriller Manhunter. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 4, 1991 (read here). As much as I enjoy Cox’s commentaries (this one included), I must say that he is totally off the mark here. Granted, Jonathan Demme is the better director, The Silence of the Lambs does not rank among his finest work. As with that 1991 Oscar-winning hit, Manhunter was adapted from a Thomas Harris novel (Red Dragon) and also featured convicted serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lector (last name appears as “Lecktor” in this film) as one of it’s characters. Unlike Lambs though, there is actually more to Manhunter than meets the eye. On the surface, Manhunter plays out as little more than a standard police procedural, but at the center, it is director Mann’s visual style that intentionally powers the film. The highlights in this case would be cinematographer Dante Spinotti’s stylish use of color and an atmospheric rock soundtrack. Also, despite his limited screen time, I always felt that co-star Brian Cox’s turn as Dr. Hannibal Lector was superior to that of Anthony Hopkins. Whereas Hopkins portrayal bordered on camp, Cox’s Lector comes off as down-to-earth, which only makes his presence more unsettling.

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

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

Moviedrome Mondays: The Music Lovers (1971)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of late visionary flamboyant British filmmaker Ken Russell’s 1971 bio-picย The Music Lovers. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 28, 1991 (read here). I agree with everything Cox says here; not only about the film – it is indeed a biggish budget British film with balls as he so eloquently states – but also about director Russell himself. Nevertheless, unlike Cox, I love Altered States and Gothic every bit as much as his 70’s work. I have talked about Russell quite a few times before (read here, here, here and here) and along with the recently departed Nicolas Roeg (who died back in 2018), Russell stood out as one of the two greatest transgressive filmmakers to emerge within the British cinema during the second half of the 20th century. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Ken Russell films (read here).

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

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

Here is a youtube video link to director Bernard Rose’s (Candyman) Trailers From Hell commentary for it

Here is a youtube video link to British film critic Mark Kermode’s take on Ken Russell (he was a big fan). This was recorded in 2011 – shortly after Russell died.

Last, but not least, here is a link to Cox’s obituary for Russell (note you have to scroll all the way down to find it)

http://iainfisher.com/dis/index.php?topic=18817.0

Moviedrome Mondays: The Duellists (1977) and Cape Fear (1962)

Once again, it turns out that this Moviedrome Monday blog entry will be another double bill.

The Duellists (1977)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of Ridley Scott’s 1977 directorial debut The Duellists – a period piece based on writer Joseph Conrad’s 1908 short story entitled The Duel: A Military Story. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 21, 1991 (read here).ย The Duellists production values – music score, scenery and sword-fighting sequences – stand out as the film’s strongest aspect. Everything else pales in comparison. Once again, it is neither a great, nor very good film, but a good one nonetheless.

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

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

Cape Fear (1962)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of director J. Lee Thompson’s 1962 classic psychological thriller Cape Fear. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 21, 1991 (read here). Unlike Cox (whose praise for the film is more reserved), I love this film. Regarding the film’s audacity (lead actor Robert Mitchum’s villain is openly depicted here as a sex offender), Cape Fear debatably resembles what an early 1960’s psychological thriller would look like helmed by Alfred Hitchcock as a spiritual companion piece (albeit one in name only) to the then similarly daringย Psychoย (also directed by him) from two years earlier in 1960. While all of the performances are strong, Mitchum is undoubtedly the standout as the creepy Max Cady and legendary music composer Bernard Herrmann’s delivers a memorably menacing score to complete the package. P.S. I also love director Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake staring Robert De Niro in the Cady role.

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

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