Moviedrome Mondays: Coogan’s Bluff (1968) and The Narrow Margin (1952)

This Moviedrome Monday entry is a double bill consisting of two chase thrillers.

Coogan’s Bluff (1968)

Not only could I not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Don Siegel’s 1968 action thriller Coogan’s Bluff, but the transcript page for it could not be found (read here). The episode’s original airdate was June 5, 1994 (read here). Coogan’s Bluff is not only a highly entertaining chase film in it’s own right, but considering that it is directed by Siegel and starring Eastwood as a cop (the first of their five collaborations), it may also serve as something of a dress rehearsal (as others have implied) for Dirty Harry three years later in 1971 – arguably their most financially successful teaming. Given the cowboy hat that deputy sheriff Walt Coogan (Eastwood’s character) wears in the film, some others have also implied that it is an intriguing blend of the cop thriller with the western. 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

The Narrow Margin (1952)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Richard Fleischer’s 1952 film noir gem The Narrow Margin, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 5, 1994 (read here). Cox’s thoughts are always insightful, though I may be a bigger fan of the film than he is. Fleischer delivers a tightly paced low-budget thriller (set mostly on a train) that surprises viewers every step of the way. Equally inspired was the idea of casting unknowns in the roles. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Richard Fleischer films (read here).

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Carnal Knowledge (1971)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Mike Nichols sexually frank 1971 drama Carnal Knowledge, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 29, 1994 (read here). I am with Cox on this one in that it never really achieves it’s aims. Despite excellent performances from it’s cast, the emotional drama never really ignites or fascinates like it should.

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Talk Radio (1988)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to controversial film director Oliver Stone’s 1988 drama Talk Radio. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 22, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except to say that I agree with Cox’s opinion here overall. Lead actor Eric Bogosian is electrifying as always. According to wikipedia, he is not only an actor, but a playwright, monologuist, novelist and historian. In other words, a quintuple threat. The always dynamic Michael Wincott also electrifies as a stoned heavy metal fan.

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

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

Moviedrome Mondays: The Andromeda Strain (1971) and Fiend Without a Face (1958)

Series 7 of Moviedrome opens with a double bill consisting of two science-fiction films – one is a Hollywood product and the other was financed independently.

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

I would like to give a special shout-out to Steve (click here to view his youtube channel), a loyal visitor to this site. A month or two ago, he found/uploaded a version of Alex Cox’s Moviedrome introduction to director Robert Wise’s 1971 science-fiction thriller The Andromeda Strain, that I will be posting a link to below. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 15, 1994 (read here). with the exception of his thoughts on They Live (I love that film), I agree with everything else Cox states (eloquently as usual) about this film. As for myself, I would rank The Andromeda Strain alongside Westworld (both the movie and the cable-television series) and Jurassic Park as my three favorite film adaptations of a Michael Crichton property. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Robert Wise films (read here).

Here is a link to Steve’s youtube video of Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Andromeda Strain

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


Fiend Without a Face (1958)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Arthur Crabtree’s low-budget 1958 British cult B-monster movie Fiend Without a Face. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 16, 1994 (read here). Once again, I agree with Cox completely. When it comes to 1950’s horror/science-fiction films, Fiend Without a Face benefits largely from inventive special effects (stop-motion animation was reportedly used to create the brain creatures) and (shocking for it’s time) a fair share of blood and gore.

Here is a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to Fiend Without a Face

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Carrie (1976)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Brian De Palma’s 1976 horror classic Carrie. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 26, 1993 (read here). Series six ends on a high note as I am a huge fan of both Carrie and the work of it’s filmmaker (De Palma in this case). Along with Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Dead Zone and The Dark Half, Carrie ranks as one of my five personal favorite film adaptations of a Stephen King novel. As usual, Cox offers up another insightful commentary. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Brian De Palma films (read here).

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

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

Moviedrome Mondays: What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar’s 1984 black comedy-drama What Have I Done to Deserve This?. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 20, 1993 (read here). Not much I can add here except to say that Cox’s thoughts on Spanish cinema in general is truly fascinating. As for myself, I have always been a huge fan of director/writer Pedro Almodovar’s films and while I would not rank What Have I Done to Deserve This? as high as some of his later works (Pain and Glory, Talk to Her and All About My Mother), it is still a great film nonetheless. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Pedro Almodovar films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to What Have I Done to Deserve This?

Here is another youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to What Have I Done to Deserve This?

Since I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer, click here to see some youtube video links featuring one or two scenes of the film

Moviedrome Mondays: Requiescant (1967)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Carlo Lizzani’s 1967 spaghetti western Requiescant, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 6, 1993 (read here). Not much to add here except to say that I agree with every single word of praise that Cox lavishes on this genuine spaghetti western gem.

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

Here is a Spaghetti Western Database (SWDb) link to Alex Cox’s 20 favorite ones in the sub-genre (NOTE: Once again, I have seen most, but not all of these titles)

Here is a link to a 2009 Guardian Article in which Cox picks his 10 favorite on-screen exits from the sub-genre

Here is an Amazon link to learn more about Cox’s take on the spaghetti western in his 2009 book 10,000 Ways to Die: A Director’s Take on the Spaghetti Western

Moviedrome Mondays: Face to Face (1967)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Sergio Sollima’s 1967 spaghetti western Face to Face, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 29, 1993 (read here). While 1966’s The Big Gundown still ranks as my number one favorite of Sollima’s spaghetti westerns, Face to Face, not to mention Run, Man, Run! made the following year, prove to be every bit as electrifying. Speaking of which, it has been alleged that Sollima considered Face to Face to be his personal favorite of the bunch (read here). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Sergio Sollima films (read here).

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

Here is an Amazon link to learn more about Alex Cox’s take on the spaghetti western in his 2009 book 10,000 Ways to Die: A Director’s Take on the Spaghetti Western

Moviedrome Mondays: The Big Combo (1955)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing cult B-filmmaker Joseph H. Lewis 1955 film noir gem The Big Combo, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 23, 1993 (read here). I could not state any of Cox’s sentiments about this film any better. 1950’s Gun Crazy may be Lewis number one greatest film, but The Big Combo (also directed by him) proves to be every bit as (If not more) masterful as that earlier film. Now everything about The Big Combo is undeniably brilliant, but the true standout aspect of this film lies in John Alton’s dazzling cinematography, which is evident from it’s first frame to it’s iconic final shot. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Joseph H. Lewis films (read here).

Since I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer, readers will have to either watch the film on the aforementioned website (click here) or find it on Blu-Ray/DVD (click here). In addition, If you are a UK visitor to my site (some of my dear readers live there), click here for the link to what may be the Region 2 Blu-Ray/DVD of the film.

Moviedrome Mondays: The Long Riders (1980)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing action director Walter Hill’s 1980 western The Long Riders, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 15, 1993 (read here). While it may not be my number one favorite film dealing (whether on the surface or in the center) with infamous outlaw Jesse James and his gang (that honor goes to 2007’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), I nevertheless adore The Long Riders on a whole. The selling points here are the bloody shootouts (a homage to Sam Peckinpah), Ry Cooder’s music score and most fittingly, a cast of real-life actor brothers. The ones in this case would be The Keaches (James and Stacy), The Carradines (David, Keith and Robert), The Quaids (Dennis and Randy) and The Guests (Christopher and Nicolas). Along with his 2004 pilot episode of Deadwood, The Long Riders ranks as two of director Walter Hill’s great westerns. I also admire 1993’s Geronimo: An American Legend, 1995’s Wild Bill and his 2006 two-part television miniseries Broken Trail. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Walter Hill films (read here).


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