Moviedrome Mondays: The Hill (1965)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Sidney Lumet’s 1965 WWII prison drama The Hill. Readers can also read Cox intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 20, 1993 (read here). Though I agree with Cox regarding The Hill’s opening shot (he compares it to Touch of Evil), Oswald Morris cinematography, the cast and the execution of it’s drama, his problem with the film’s stage play origins (it became apparent for him near the end) was an obvious one for myself from the very start. In other words, The Hill feels too theatrical and not cinematic enough. Nevertheless, The Hill’s aforementioned virtues are so strong that it really does come off as a good (in my opinion), If not excellent (in Cox’s view) film.

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

Here is another youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Hill

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Escape from Alcatraz (1979) and A Man Escaped (1956)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry is a double bill consisting of two cinematic prison escape classics.

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Don Siegel’s 1979 prison escape thriller Escape from Alcatraz, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 13, 1993 (read here). Despite not talking much about the film (though I am assuming that he loves it like I do), I really appreciated his in-depth discussion on the cult British television classic The Prisoner (1967-68) – I too am a huge fan of the aforementioned series. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Don Siegel films (read here).

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

A Man Escaped (1956)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to French filmmaker Robert Bresson’s masterful 1956 POW (prisoner of war) drama A Man Escaped. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 14, 1993 (read here). Not much to add here except that I agree with all of Cox’s sentiments on this undisputed masterpiece of French cinema. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Robert Bresson films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to A Man Escaped

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

Moviedrome Mondays: House of Games (1987)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to famed playwright David Mamet’s 1987 directorial debut House of Games, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 6, 1993 (read here). While I personally believe that David Mamet is a much better writer than director, I will happily admit that House of Games is an exception to this rule. Though it does come off looking stagy on occasions (after all, Mamet’s career is rooted in the theatre), his direction is (rather surprisingly) tightly executed here. Aside from the intriguing twists and turns that fuel this Neo-noir, we get great acting (especially from Lindsay Crouse and Joe Mantegna) and last, but not least, electrifying dialogue courtesy of screenwriter Mamet (from a story he concocted with Jonathan Katz).

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Darkman (1990)

First off, Happy 2021 to all of my dear readers and let us hope it is a much better year than 2020 was. This new year begins with a new Moviedrome Monday entry covering the first episode of Moviedrome series 6. I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Sam Raimi’s 1990 superhero film Darkman. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 30, 1993 (read here). While Cox’s statement about racism in American films is far from false, I personally believe that he is blowing it out of proportion here regarding not only this film, but David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (from that same year) and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (from two years later). Darkman may not be a great film, but it is a ferociously entertaining one. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Sam Raimi films (read here).

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

Here is another youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Darkman

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

Here is a youtube video link to another theatrical trailer for the film