Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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More Dead Than Alive (1969)

Director: Robert Sparr
Writer: George Schenck
Cast: Clint Walker, Vincent Price, Anne Francis, Paul Hampton
Genre: Western

"Released from prison after 18 years, notorious gunslinger 'Killer' Cain is a peaceful reformed man but the Old West has died and he cannot adapt to the modern West where some unpaid moral debts and old troubles resurface."

This is one of those little known late 1960s westerns that were popular at the time, but have now fallen by the wayside. Well maybe not totally by the wayside as this did get a Blu-Ray release a few years ago.

So what makes More Dead Than Alive special? It does what some of Clint Eastwood's later westerns did, and that is to deconstruct the myth of the old west as a place of heroes and great deeds. This film is really ahead of it's time and reminded me of Eastwood's Unforgiven, in that we learn from the lead, Clint Walker a man who has killed 12 people, that the old west wasn't all that it was cracked up to be...Gun fighters were not always honorable.

The film has a young gun target shooter (Paul Hampton) in a traveling show run by Vincent Price. The young man dreams of what the old west was as he's living in the late 19th century and the west has been tamed and has become the stuff of legends. He wants to experience what a real gun fight would be like and so tries to push the ex gun slinger into a show down.





Paul Hampton was a bit over the top as the young hot headed, hot shot kid. Clint Walker was his usual quiet self, and up to the task as a man with the past who just wants to settle down. Anne Francis is the love interest who tries to help the ex gunslinger back to a road of recovery...If only other people would just leave him alone

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do you like any horror from the 1960s?
I've seen some of Roger Corman's stuff and long, long ago when I was a kid, I use to watch Vincent Price horror films. Those were fun! Vincent is the man!



KjŠrlighet like meningsl°s som selve livet
Perhaps you might enjoy

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058983/

the main character is played by Mickey Hargitay, who was married to Jayne Mansfield and father to Mariska Hargitay of "Law and Order" fame.




6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (2017)

Director: Scott Waugh
Writers: Madison Turner (screen play), Eric LeMarque (book)
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Sarah Dumont
Genre: Survival-Adventure, Biography-Drama


An ex-pro hockey player gets strung out on drugs and goes snow boarding in an out of bounds zone in the High Sierra mountains. He's struck by a huge winter storm and is nearly frozen to death and lays trapped on the mountain. Oh and nobody knows he's even missing. Will he survive or freeze when it's 6 below. CR

A hit or miss movie, mostly a miss as it misses a lot of chances for creating a harrowing survival in the frigid cold. Our snow boarder seems to have a death wish and so risks it all by going out of bounds and off the trail. He's brought his drugs along with him, but not much water or food!....Later he falls through the ice into the dark depths of a frozen lake and instead of swimming for the surface, decides to dive even deeper to find the bag of drugs that's fallen out of his pocket. A pretty silly scene, and if it really happened the guy is a numbskull.



Then he encounters killer wolves and has to fight them off, despite the fact that wolves don't attack people. He does get so hungry that he eats a scab off his own leg...gross! Oddly enough that might be the highlight of this mis-stepped movie.



That's Mira Sorvino on the right. She plays Josh Hartnett's mom, despite the fact that there's only 11 years difference between them. But the red eye shadow really makes her look much older

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Gold of the Seven Saints (1961)

Director: Gordon Douglas
Writers: Leigh Brackett & Leonard Freeman (screenplay)
Cast: Clint Walker, Roger Moore, LetÝcia Romßn
Genre: Adventure, Western

Irishman Shaun Garrett (Roger Moore) sneaks into town to steal a horse and finds a rifle pointed at his back. To avoid being shot he buys the horse with a gold nugget. Big mistake, as his partner Jim Rainbolt (Clint Walker) tells him when he arrives with the horse. It seems the town is inhabited by an outlaw gang and soon a dozen men are hot on the tracks of Shaun and Jim and their stash of gold nuggets.
CR

An exciting, chase or be killed western, filmed in the mountain country of Utah. The scenery of steep cliffs and daunting rocky outcroppings is spectacular and adds much to the feel of the story. To bad this one wasn't filmed in color I would have loved to see the rich red hues of the high rock pinnacles.



Big man Clint Walker on left, and a young Roger Moore before his stint as 007 in his James Bond days.

I found the onscreen personalities of Walker and Moore to mesh well and they sure get themselves into a deep predicament. One feels like you're along for the ride, trying hard as hell to escape a gang of outlaws hot on your trail. Their predicament seemed real. Loved the shoot out on the steep mountain side and also loved the scenes in a hacienda owned by an old foe Gondora (Robert Middleton), who invites them to dinner but later aims to steal their gold.



Yikes! those bad guys will stop at nothing to get the gold!

Gold of the Seven Saints is a rip roaring western adventure.


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Queen of the Desert (2015)

Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: Werner Herzog (screenplay)
Cast: Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama


Famed renegade director Werner Herzog who's known for his exotic shooting locations and deeply troubled protagonist....gives us a different kind of Herzog film. Queen of the Desert, has plenty of exotic locations, with filming being done in the deserts of Morocco and Jordan. The protagonist isn't troubled or conflicted in this film, but faces much adversarial conditions as she's a woman, who's ahead of her time in a place where women were treated as second class. Call her a bold traveler and a writer and an archaeologist, call her Gertrude Bell.



Gertrude Bell was a real person, hence this is a biography. She was a political attachÚ to the Britain in the early 1900s. She was bold, daring, even reckless. She took big chances and made big changes. Gertrude was a contemporary of Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence better known as Lawrence of Arabia who was a fellow Brit working in the middle east at that same time. Indeed we see Lawrence and Gertrude briefly interacting at an archeological dig at Petra, Jordan.

The movie itself has been criticized for being too polished, too big of a budget, and using a big star...Nicole Kidman. Some say this is Herzog gone Hollywood. I say this is Herzog mastering a different style of film making while still honoring his roots.

I'm not always the biggest fan of Nicole Kidman, but here scrubbed of make up (when she's traveling) she looks the part in desert garb. I quickly forget it was Nicole and became engrossed in the film. I enjoyed the story and the film looked great.


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The Stray (2017)

Director: Mitch Davis
Writers: Parker Davis, Mitch Davis
Cast: Michael Cassidy, Sarah Lancaster, Connor Corum
Genre: Drama, Family

I watched this one as it was called a family movie with a cute dog as the star. Boy was I wrong! This is a PG Christian based film and that's OK with me, I've actually seen a couple good Christian themed films, but this one is false advertising and in a big way!

It's based on a true story of a stray dog that a troubled family adopts. Dad is a Hollywood screenwriter who's never home and that pisses off his wife and his 9 year old son. So dad decides to make the wife and son happy by quitting his dream career and moving to Colorado Springs out in the country.



Dad is bored but staying home for the wife and son, as he tries to write a novel. BUT, the wife is now pissed that he's in the house to much and the kid isn't happy either. Gees, leave the poor guy alone already!

So dad decides to take the son and a few of his friends camping in the deep woods, so that they can bound. Pluto the miracle dog comes along.

So far the movie acting has been lame to average, mostly lame. With a script that doesn't make sense but throws in scenes like the neighbor who says 'he'll kill the dog if it comes onto his property.' That's how the film creates tension, which is suppose to equal drama, only it seems contrived.



And when they get to the campsite it's a big storm and lighting strikes the tent, killing the dog. Which prompts dad when he comes too from the lighting strike to make poo jokes as the dog lays there dead. That's the kind of scene that can really trouble a little kid. It's not family entertainment, it's not even entertainment. It's a cheap ploy to sell the dog and the family theme to make money on the DVD.

Oh...I didn't spoil the movie as the opening scene is the lighting strike.


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Naked Alibi (1954)

Director: Jerry Hopper
Writers: Lawrence Roman (screenplay), J. Robert Bren (short story)
Cast: Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry
Genre: Crime Drama, Film Noir


"A chief of police detectives fired for brutality, tries to get evidence on a man suspected of killing 3 of his officers."



Straight up action-thriller-melodrama from the 1950s. Not quite a film noir by my book, but still a damn good watch! First off whenever you get Sterling Hayden a big plus, then when the film includes Gloria Grahame, double plus! I especially liked the hunt for the bad guy by a cop played by stone jaw Sterling Hayden. Sterling is a staple of film noir's and he doesn't disappoint.

What makes this one unique is, the cop is blamed for police brutality by the bad guy which causes the cop to get fired and let's the bad guy go free. Of course he then takes it upon himself to travel to a Mexican-Californian border town, to track down the bad guy and get some evidence on him. The town is called Border Town, go figure!

Gloria Grahame is a bar singer in the border town and sings a song. Well lip syncs it more like it, as it's not really her voice, but she does shimmy around the bar some. Gloria often played self serving, greedy women, but here she's a girl with a heart of gold who unknown to her has become involved with a cop killer. She's real good.

The film held my attention, and I liked the interplay between Gloria and the stern ex cop Sterling Hayden. This turned out to be one of my favorites of Gloria Grahame's movies, though it's not my favorite noir...still it's a good watch.




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Human Desire(1954)

Director: Fritz Lang
Writers: Alfred Hayes (screenplay), ╔mile Zola (novel)
Cast: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Genre: Drama, Film Noir



"A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in an affair with a co-worker's wife following a murder on a train where they meet."

Fritz Lang's journey into film noir...via trains and railroads, is a vehicle on the tracks with much promise but with plot holes big enough to drive an engine through.


Broderick Crawford on the left is a troubled man in trouble, Glenn Ford is a good natured, returning war vet who steps into a heap of trouble.

The strength of this film is it's very unusual setting at the railroad depot and on a real train. We see the engine up close and inside, we see scenes from the engine's windows as it speeds down the tracks. All which add a uniqueness to this otherwise by the numbers movie.

Glenn Ford is back from the war and has taken up his old job as a railroad engineer. An old friend, Broderick Crawford has married a mysterious woman and is now the railroad assistant supervisor....On a train run Glenn Ford has hoped a free ride and bumps into a rather nervous woman who comes onto him. She wants a drink but that part of the train is closed for the evening so Ford invites her into an empty cabin for a smoke.

All would be well, except unknown to Glenn Ford there's a dead body in the cabin that the mysterious woman was just in. Later after he gets involved with her, he finds out that Gloria Grahame is the wife of Brodrick Crawford, and he's one jealous man.


Glen Ford on the left, and trouble in the form of Gloria Grahame.

The setting and the plot is all pretty good as are the actors, but the suspense part is lacking and the film seems if Fritz Lang made it in his sleep. Still worth watching, especially if you're a train aficionado as there's a lot of neat train stuff in this film.




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Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017)

Director: Paul McGuigan
Writers: Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay), Peter Turner (based on memoir)
Cast: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Kenneth Cranham
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance


In the late 1970s an Hollywood movie star Gloria Grahame who's career has winded down meets a young actor while in London doing a play. The actor is nearly 30 years younger than the aging star. They fall in love and start a tumultuous romance...Then in another time frame set in the early 1980's we see Gloria very sick, returning to her former lover's families flat in Liverpool for care. CR

I didn't care for this film all that much. The duel timeline took away from what should have been a very dramatic film about a dying stars last days. There's just something about the pacing and direction that doesn't flow well.



Sure Annette Bening looks like Gloria Grahame, at least enough to pass for her in the film. But she didn't capture that special quality that Gloria Grahame had. The real Gloria combined sexiness with mischievousness
with the way she would squint her eyes while raising one eyebrow...not to mention Gloria had a very unique voice. In the movie Bening played her more like a Marilyn Monroe type with a breathy, dumb but bitchy blonde attitude. I've watched a lot of Gloria Grahame's movies and I didn't see Gloria here in this film. But even if Annette Bening had nailed the performance, the overall movie is weak and lacking the emotional punch that it should have had. I suggest watching one of Gloria Grahame's many fine movies instead.


The real Gloria Grahame, one hell of an actress!


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Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

Director: Dalton Trumbo
Writers: Dalton Trumbo (novel), Dalton Trumbo (screenplay)
Cast: Timothy Bottoms,
Donald Sutherland, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt
Genre: Drama, Surrealism

Written and directed by Oscar winning and black listed writer Dalton Trumbo. This is Trumbo's one and only directing credit. He wrote the anti war satire novel, then made this movie in 1971 with newcomer Timothy Bottoms as the WWI vet who is mutilated by an artillery shell and is left with no limbs, no eyes, no ears, no face! As a result his only sense is through his skin. He finds himself in the dark, unable to speak in a strange place. We see he's in a hospital and due to the seriousness of his wounds, the doctors believe he's in a vegetative state...but the young soldier knows he's very much alive.



With all of his sensory input cut off his mind begins hallucinating and he envisions talking to Jesus, played by Donald Sutherland who makes a surprisingly good Christ.

I like how the visuals change from the POV. When we see the soldier in the hospital it's bleak, black and white and static. The camera work becomes more lively and creative in the color flashbacks of his life before the war and is at it's most unusual when he's dreaming or hallucinating talking to Jesus.



When the film starts I found myself laughing at what seemed to be outlandish satire....but by the end of the film I was cringing from the reality of the horrors this young solider faced by being traped in a lump of flesh. One helluva a different type of film.



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Clueless (1995)

Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Cast
: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy
Genre: Comedy, Romance

'A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil's popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.'

Whiffed, with sporadic outburst of joviality. I was really out of the demographics here. Not much I could connect to in this ode to ritzy teen girls living a rather affluent & pointless life in Southern C.

I did a ripping belly laugh...but only once, and it was at something that turned out to be unintentionally funny, the opening title credits. The film starts off with the 1980s mega hit song, Kids In America, only it's sung so badly that when the jeep with the girls first appears, I was totally sure the very next thing I would see was the hapless girls caterwauling and ruining a great song...which to me was damn funny!...Ha, the joke was on me, as that was no joke song at all, but a cover by a Southern C. band The Muffs.

Holy Crap Citizen! Get to the point all ready! OK, OK, I will...I liked Alicia Silvestone. I thought she was pretty good too, she was likable and personable. Her two girlfriends were lively as well. But the script had nothing for the soul, nothing for the heart, and certainly nothing for the mind. It was full of funny little stuffy fluff, but it felt unrewarding to me. Oh well, at least I can say I seen it.




I remember liking Clueless more than a 2.5... but, keep in mind the last & only time I saw it was probably in 1995 / 96!

I thought this was the one that had Larry Miller as the dad (but it was Dan Hedaya in Clueless).
Now, when I looked on IMDB, I see that the movie where Larry Miller played the father was 10 Things I Hate About You (1999).

I always thought Larry Miller was an underrated second-string character actor, and I always loved when he would pop up in a film - he's so good at playing sarcastic type characters. I especially liked his appearances in the Christopher Guest movies (and his brief spot as the inappropriate husband & father in Best In Show was classic!)

As usual,
off-topic and on a tangent, Cap.



I won't dance. Don't ask me...
I remember how popular was Clueless in 1996. The same with Alicia Silverstone. I didn't like this movie as much as it was advertised, but Alicja (after watching by me song movie Crazy of Aerosmith) was a symbol of rebel Nowadays I don't see her in many movies.



I won't dance. Don't ask me...
Capitan, I adore 10 thing I hate about you. I wasn't aware it was made only couple years after Clueless.



...I see that the movie where Larry Miller played the father was 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)...
I've not seen that one, though I do remember hearing about it. So many movies and not enough time.

I remember how popular was Clueless in 1996. The same with Alicia Silverstone. I didn't like this movie as much as it was advertised, but Alicja (after watching by me song movie Crazy of Aerosmith) was a symbol of rebel Nowadays I don't see her in many movies.
I liked Alicia, I really liked her in Blast From the Past.



I won't dance. Don't ask me...
...I see that the movie where Larry Miller played the father was 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)...
I've not seen that one, though I do remember hearing about it. So many movies and not enough time.

I remember how popular was Clueless in 1996. The same with Alicia Silverstone. I didn't like this movie as much as it was advertised, but Alicja (after watching by me song movie Crazy of Aerosmith) was a symbol of rebel Nowadays I don't see her in many movies.
I liked Alicia, I really liked her in Blast From the Past.
I forget she played in Blast...
I agree with you about lack of propotion between time and movies





The Big Heat (1953)
Director: Fritz Lang
Writers: Sydney Boehm (screenplay), William McGivern (short story)
Cast: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Lee Marvin
Genre: Crime Thriller Drama, Film-Noir

Director Fritz Lang pulled out all the film making stops and gave us one finely honed film noir, with richly defined characters and an interwoven plot that makes The Big Heat one of the must see film noirs.



The film starts with an introduction to Glenn Ford, a honest hard working cop and his loving wife played by Jocelyn Brando (Marlon Brando's older sister). The happy couple live in suburbia with the children. At this point everything is rosy, until a cop is found dead from an apparent suicide.

The police chief doesn't want the suicide investigated, but Glen Ford thinks the facts don't all add up. It seems the cop's widow is hiding something. She makes a call to a corrupt businessman who runs the city and the police department through bribes and threats of violence.

When Glenn Ford gets to close to the truth, a bomb is set for him in his car. Needing to run some errands his wife borrows the car and is killed in the blast. This sets the family man on a path of vengeance against the killers in the mob.



Across town and unknown to the cop is the mobster's henchman, played to utter perfection by growling Lee Marvin. The henchman likes to beat women for kicks...After a B girl is found dead and tortured, the path leads back to the swanky apartment shared by Lee Marvin and his bored girlfriend played by Gloria Grahame. Grahame is real good as someone so reckless and so bored that she taunts her brooding hulk of a boyfriend, just to get her jabs in. He in return roughs her up. By the end of the film he's done her real physical harm.



The Big Heat is chalked full of big scenes, with big actors who deliver the goods. It has one of the most powerful endings for a noir and an ending that is quite fitting too.




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