Archive for July, 2014

Wonderful scene – from The Searchers of course !!

In a picture filled with so many spectacular outdoor shots — in VistaVision and Technicolor — this segment  on a studio set  from The Searchers seems rather out of place. However with its layers of trees and  snow it is one of the most striking scenes in the film – and what a film it was !!

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Marilyn Monroe – New Colour photographs

Collection: Pierre Vudrag, the founder of Los Angeles firm Limited Runs, began hunting down unseen images in 2012 after seeing photographs by Allan Snyder of Marilyn on the set of Niagara in upstate New York (pictured)

These are recently released photographs of Marilyn Monroe during the filming of River of No Return 1954.

River of No Return 2

The cast and crew on this film had left Hollywood  for Calgary in late June 1953. From there they travelled by special train to the Banff Springs Hotel, which would serve as their base during the Canadian filming.  The 1954 film features the landscape of Jasper National Park and Banff National Park with quite a bit of location and studio filming.

 

River of No Return

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Colorado Territory – Showing again !!

 

lafilledudesert4-1

A 35mm print of Colorado Territory (1949) will run at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Centre For The Arts on Sunday, July 27 2014

Raoul Walsh’s Colorado Territory is considered a great western film but it is not one that I know at all.

Joel McCrea and Virginia Mayo are said to be very good in this one.

 

conan17rs7

 

 

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The Hound of the Baskervilles 1959 – revisited

 
 
 
Hammer is known primarily for its horror output  so The Hound of the Baskervilles is something a little different. The action mainly takes place on Dartmoor, in the South West of England  — so it’s not as divergent from Hammer’s usual product as all that, but it lacks any supernatural elements.
The Hound of the Baskervilles has been filmed many times. but in this  film we have Peter Cushing and André Morell as Holmes and Dr.Watson.
 
Peter Cushing makes a really excellent Sherlock Holmes, and he went on to play the character many times afterwards on BBC Television where he did another VERY good version of this same story but this time with Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson.  André Morell acquits himself very well as Dr. Watson, something that’s absolutely essential in The Hound of the Baskervilles because Holmes is offscreen for virtually half of the picture.
Morell’s depiction of Watson dispenses with the lovable buffoonery that marks Nigel Bruce’s portrayals of the character and is more in line with Conan Doyles original. Watson  after all is a decorated war veteran and, while he may not be as gifted intellectually as Holmes, is a doctor of medicine and partner to the great detective.
 In this film version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, we get a prologue set well into the past, where Sir Hugo Baskerville holds a wild party in which murder and rape are on the menu. This actually I thought set the scene well for the telling of the story and in a way made it make sense.
Christopher Lee — looking tanned, handsome and very aristocratic — plays Sir Henry Baskerville, the latest heir to the Baskerville manor and fortune. While he’s unfailingly polite and gentlemanly, he finds himself romantically drawn to the  young Spanish girl who is the daughter of one of his neighbours.
The Hammer Film approach to the climax is very well staged and the Hound when we see it is quite scary.
 The Hound of the Baskervilles 1959 gives us a rare chance to see  Christopher Lee playing a good-guy role, wirh Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes. The stage-bound, colourful sets are an added treat.

 

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Andre Morell

I remember Andre Morell for THREE film roles mainly – in His Majesty O’Keefe, and before that Trio and a while after both as Doctor Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Looking at his filmography I am reminded that he was also so in So Long At The Fair and with Alan Ladd in The Black Knight- Below

These also get onto my favourite films list.

Andre Morell was a very good character actor who was able to gain acting work regularly both on Television and in Films – of which there were a great many – and most of them memorable.

Looking at all three performances above  the thing that impresses me is how he cleverly underplays his role and in a funny sort of way that almost boosts his importance in all of these parts. Particularly I would say  Trio, although in His Majesty O’Keefe he comes over much better than Burt Lancaster who seems just a bit ‘over the top’. With Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes was a different matter – two top actors together

Andre Morell  first appeared on screen on TV in the late 1938s, playing Mr Wickham in a version of Pride and Prejudice of all things.  He worked nearly exclusively for TV in those early years, an indication of where Morell would create some of  but some of the greatest performances seen on the small screen.

On film  for David Lean, he played the Colonel in The Bridge on the River Kwai.  Back to the small screen he then impressed as Dr Sloper in a sadly lost TV version of The Heiress before becoming the best of three original Professor Quatermasses in the TV original of Quatermass and the Pitd turned it down for the first two series and would again turn down a chance to reprise the role in  the 1967 film)

  As Professor Quatermass – left

before reuniting with his 1984 co-star Peter Cushing in Hammer’s The Hound of the Baskervilles.  Not only is he a wonderfully discrete Watson – one of the best to play this role – and he brings the best out of Peter Cushing.   They brought out the best in each other.  Around the same time he had time to play the outgoing Tribune Sextus in Ben Hur, and not only gave the best performance in the entire film, he suggested a more intelligent look at the politics of Ancient Rome than Hollywood was then willing to consider.

Despite this, he remained stuck in minor parts.  After Cone of Silence and The Shadow of the Cat,  he was again paired with Peter Cushing in Cash on Demand,  cast as a Sheik in She  and then there was another memorable part for Hammer, in The Plague of the Zombies.  There was also a guest appearance in Doctor Who opposite the outgoing William Hartnell sandwiched between The Mummy’s Shroud and The Vengeance of She, before one final glorious small screen part as Tiberius in The Caesars.  While Freddie Jones’ memorable Claudius and Ralph Bates’ Caligula drew most of the acclaim, it was Morell’s Tiberius who was the backbone of the series, at once stoic, pragmatic and cruel and absolutely imperiously Roman.

There would be a few other parts, as Cicero in the 1970 Julius Caesar, in 10 Rillington Place and snubbing Kubrick’s upstart Barry Lyndon.  Then another role to treasure, Lord Palmerston in Edward the Seventh.  Illness was taking hold and his performances were becoming even more fleeting than his glorious wife Joan Greenwood. He died of a heart attack in 1978 at the age of 69.

 

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Dick Jones has died – from the television show The Range Rider

          



Any young kid growing up in England in the Fifties will remember The Range Riderwith Jack Mahoney as The Range Rider

and Dick Jones as Dick West – his sidekick in about 76 half hour  episodes.

Sad to report that Dick Jones has recently died.

 

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Lobethal Cinema South Australia

I know this cinema well as my daughter and family used to live in Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills area of South Australia and we have seen films there quite a number of times.  This has been featured before on this Blog – it is a lovely place – a throw back to cinemas of the fifties and yet showing modern up to date films on a large screen. In the programme they include advertisements from local companies quite slickly done as well.

 

I am sad to have to print this notice below which appears on the Lobethal web site. It seems to old style projectors may not now be of use for the newer films that are now released in a digital format.

01 Mar 2014 – 31 Dec 2014

Unfortunately there will be no movies shown at the Lobethal Cinema until further notice. Movies are now only being released in digital format and the cinema does not currently have the equipment needed to be able to show them.

Good News … a ‘Save the Cinema’ group has formed and will be going public with their plans very soon. We will provide more information as it becomes available.  Yeah!!!

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Lex Barker – Jurgen Klinsmann – How alike they are !!!

 

 Don’t these TWO look so alike !!!

Above:   Former Tarzan star – Lex Barker   and below footballer Jurgen Klinsman

Above: Jurgen Klinsmann – Footballer and USA World Cup Manager. Jürgen Klinsmann was born 30 July 1964 in Goppingen, Stuttgart, Germany. How strikingly alike these TWO look – I have noticed this for a number of years – every time I saw Klinsmann I was always aware of how much he looked like Lex Barker who played Tarzan in five films of the early fifties.

Interestingly Lex Barker, later in his career, found that he was unable to get the parts he wanted in Hollywood and so moved to Germany in 1957 where he stayed until late in the sixties – and this turned out to be his most successful time film-wise. Lex Barker - Bravo Magazine [Germany] (29 August 1964)    

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