Moviedrome Mondays: Shaft (1971) and Force of Evil (1948) (Mark Cousins intro)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday blog entry is a double-bill consisting of a neo-noir and a film noir – both shot on location in New York City.

Shaft (1971)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to African-American director Gordon Parks 1971 action crime thriller Shaft. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 27, 1998 (read here). Along with Melvin Van Peebles Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (also from 71), the more mainstream Shaft is reported to have birthed the blaxploitation subgenre, though Ossie Davis Cotton Comes to Harlem (from a year earlier) is sometimes credited as the earliest example. Either way, this is truly a fun film (as Parks himself states) galvanized by Soul singer Isaac Hayes iconic score and theme song – winning an Oscar for the latter.

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Shaft

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

Force of Evil (1948)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to blacklisted director/writer Abraham Polonsky’s 1948 crime drama Force of Evil. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 28, 1998 (read here). I agree with every single word of praise that Cousins showers on this film noir classic.

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Force of Evil

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Storyville (1992) and Ruthless (1948) (Mark Cousins intro)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry is a double-bill consisting of a political thriller and a drama.

Storyville (1992)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost’s 1992 directorial debut Storyville, readers will have to rely on Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was January 11, 1998 (read here). It has been a long time since I saw this film, so a rewatch is in order, but I am a huge fan of Frost, David Lynch and Twin Peaks all together.

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

Ruthless (1948)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to legendary cult director Edgar G. Ulmer’s 1948 drama Ruthless. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was January 11, 1998 (read here). I am in total agreement with Cousins thoughts here and yes, it really does come off feeling like Ulmer’s own Citizen Kane – albeit, with only half of the latter’s budget. If any of you readers are interested, here is a list of my favorite Edgar G. Ulmer films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Ruthless

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Rope (1948) and 84 Charlie MoPic (1989)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of two very different experimental films


Rope (1948)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to iconic filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock’s (a.k.a. The Master of Suspense) visually clever 1948 mystery thriller Rope. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here). The episode’s original airdate was August 7, 1994 (read here). Since I am a huge fan of every single film directed by Hitchcock, I will just talk about the film. Once again, Cox’s commentary on the film is as eloquent as always. As a pure technical exercise, Rope succeeds without a scratch – from start to finish, Hitchcock filmed the action in one continuous shot (a.k.a. a long take). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films (read here).

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

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


84 Charlie MoPic (1989)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Patrick Sheane Duncan’s 1989 independent Vietnam film 84 Charlie MoPic. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 8, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except that I am in complete agreement with Cox on this one. Flaws and all, the Found footage technique employed throughout does make for fascinating viewing.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to 84 Charlie MoPic

Though there is a fan-made trailer for this film on youtube, I could not find a link to it’s actual original theatrical trailer.