Moviedrome Mondays: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) (Mark Cousins intro)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to late director Michael Cimino’s 1974 crime comedy Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was November 1, 1998 (read here). Not much to add here except that I concur with Cousins completely on this one. If any of you readers are interested, here is a list of my favorite Michael Cimino films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

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

Moviedrome Mondays: Caged Heat (1974) (Mark Cousins intro)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to late famed director Jonathan Demme’s 1974 exploitation pic Caged Heat. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was October 25, 1998 (read here). Not much to argue with here except that while far from a masterpiece, Caged Heat still ranks for me as one of the better entries within the women in prison subgenre.

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to Caged Heat

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

Moviedrome Mondays: The Conversation (1974) (Mark Cousins intro)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to celebrated filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 mystery-thriller classic The Conversation. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was February 22, 1998 (read here). Not much to add here except that I agree with every single thing that Cousins states about this truly great film. If any of you readers are interested, here is a list of my favorite Francis Ford Coppola films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to The Conversation

Here is another youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to The Conversation

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

John Charet’s Take On: Almost Human (1974)

Please note that the following may contain some spoilers so If you have not seen the film, I recommend not to continue reading from here.

Although some have implied that Almost Human ranks as the number one best poliziotteschi film ever, I am not too sure. Nevertheless, I do agree that it ranks as one of the many greatest ones. Almost Human (like many poliziotteschi entries made before and after it) may have been shot on a shoestring, but what it lacked in it’s budget, more than compensated with their truly gritty flavor.

In Milan, homicidal small-time thief Giulio Sacchi (Tomas Milian) aspires to get rich, so he hatches up a plan to kidnap the daughter (Laura Belli) of a wealthy businessman (Giudo Alberti). Using his girlfriend’s (Anita Strindberg) car as transportation, Sacchi then buys a bunch of guns from an old acquaintance (Pippa Starnazza). Simultaneously, Sacchi hires some hoods to execute the kidnapping. At first, Sacchi’s plan looks like a success, but as Inspector Walter Grandi (Henry Silva) and his team of cops begin to slowly put the pieces together, Sacchi loses his sanity and in the process, jeopardizes the lives of everyone around him.

I will not go any further with the plot from here, just watch for yourselves. As for Tomas Milian himself, he was robbed of an Oscar nomination for his electrifying performance here as the psychotic Giulio Sacchi. One minute he is quick-witted and then the next, suddenly incompetent. Speaking of the latter, check out the scenes featuring his mob boss Ugo Maione (Luciano Catenacci) beating the crap out of Sacchi for screwing up – can you really blame him? Perverted? Aside from the kidnapped girl, Sacchi rapes two women during that notorious home invasion sequence. Sadistic? Once again, read that last sentence. Murderous? He does not seem to mind killing his girlfriend, an old colleague or his own goons. Along with Malcolm McDowell’s Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange, Milian’s Giulio Sacchi is truly bad to the bone. While not the scene-stealer that Milian is, veteran tough-guy actor Henry Silva offers excellent support as detective Walter Grandi, who credibly dishes out Dirty Harry Callahan-like justice.

* * * * (Out of * * * *) stars

Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s American trailer (released under the title The Death Dealer)

P.S. I also want to give a huge shout out to Steve (a fellow reader of this blog) for introducing me to this excellent film 🙂 If any of you readers are interested in watching his videos (and I am one of them), click here to view his youtube channel – great stuff indeed 🙂

Moviedrome Mondays: Major Dundee (1965) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of two films by late great legendary director Bloody Sam (a.k.a. Sam Peckinpah). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Sam Peckinpah films (read here).

Major Dundee (1965)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Peckinpah’s 1965 cavalry western Major Dundee. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 4, 1994 (read here). Though I still love the film, I do agree with Cox that Columbia Pictures (the distributor) meddling of Major Dundee is too hard to shake off. Major Dundee originally ran 278 minutes long (though this has been highly debated), before being cut down to a reported 156, 136 and finally, 123 (read here). That last one served as the theatrical cut. In 2005, the restored 136-minute cut became available here in the US on DVD (read here). Whether it is the theatrical or restored cut, I do agree with Cox’s eloquent assertion that even an incomplete Major Dundee being better than no Major Dundee at all.

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

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

Also, here is a youtube video link to film distributor Michael Schlesinger’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Once again, I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Peckinpah’s vastly underrated 1974 Neo-Western gem Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 5, 1994 (read here). I am so glad that Cox reversed his opinion on Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia because like him, I too regard it as Peckinpah’s second greatest film after his 1969 magnum opus The Wild Bunch. Cox’s commentary is (as usual) articulate and insightful. Like him, I also think that Peckinpah may have seen Bennie (Warren Oates character) as a metaphor for himself.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

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

Also, here is a youtube video link to screenwriter Josh Olson’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it