Archive for May, 2023

Fury at Gunsight Pass 1956 and Elvis

Well this is something I did not know – Can you imagine it – A Western and an Elvis Presley concert for 1.25 US Dollars – now that is value

For three nights in June of 1956, Elvis Presley (with Scotty and Bill) performed at Atlanta’s Paramount Theater, between showings of Fury At Gunsight Pass (1956).

Fury At Gunsight Pass is a terrific low-budget Western from Fred F. Sears — and Elvis came as the supporting at.

One very sad note – During the filming news came of the death of Suzan Ball at the early age of 21 – she was Richard Long’s wife. He was inconsolable on set.

We have done a previous article on Suzan Ball – one that is one of the most read


posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

The Blazing Caravan – Alexander Gauge

This story was part of the Scotland Yard series introduced each time by Edgar Lustgarten and in this case was based on a real life crime dating back before the War.

In the main role was Alexander Gauge, famous for playing Friar Tuck alongside Richard Green in the very successful series ‘The Adventure of Robin Hood’ – although he was someone who cropped up in films over many years and had a prominent career on stage – a lot of the time in the West End. He also played Shakespeare on Broadway

This film was made in 1954 and it was very shortly after this that he got the role of FriarTuck and that ran from 1955 to 1960 when he died.

He died of a drug overdose and it is reported that he was plagued with gambling debts but I have no idae how true this is. He was a married manHe married to Phyllis Anne Lilley in Penzance in1947

Alexander Gauge

ABOVE – Edgar Lustgarten narrates the story as he always did in the ‘Scotland Yard’ series

Alexander Gauge ABOVE is exposed in the Bank by the police

1938: A blazing caravan is discovered in Edgware with a burned and unrecognisable body inside. Scotland Yard, led by Superintendent Ellis (played by Alan Robinson), identify the man as a printer called George Buxton since the remains of his suitcase with his name printed on it was discovered among the wreckage.

In actual fact Buxton (played by Alexander Gauge) murdered an elderly taxidermist called Arthur Cox (played by Edgar Driver), one of his customers, for his £30,000 football pools winnings.

He then burned his body, stole his identification and successfully claimed his prize money. Buxton then fled to a seaside town on the south coast of England where he cashed the cheque and requested the money be converted into bearer bonds, thus making it easier to get away with it. However, Buxton made a serious mistake – he didn’t bank on the fact that Cox had not ticked the no publicity box on his football pools entry form .

Another error he made – he did not know that his victim had agreed to split the winnings with a friend – in writing and the friend turns up and goes to the police who, armed with this information, are able to track Buxton down and prove that he is the killer

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

The Good Die Young 1954

This film boasted an excellent cast Richard Basehart, Laurence Harvey, Stanley Baker, and John Ireland who all turn in terrific performances in this British film from 1954. The story is of three decent men who have hit on hard times, so much so that they are enticed into being involved in a robbery by the one bad seed among them (Laurence Harvey). Also interesting to view Joan Collins in an early role. The story is told in flashback, and the ending is both subtle and surprising. A good film.

These were certainly top actors as was the rest of the excellent cast including Margaret Leighton – soon to be married to Laurence Harvey, Gloria Grahame, Rene Ray, Robert Morley among them

On to the film that is the supporting one here ‘ Battles of Chief Pontiac’ which seems to get remarkably good reviews


A surprisingly accurate, low budget, historical drama. The story of a white scout(Barker)attempting to broker a peace agreement between English Colonials and Chief Pontiac and his Ottawa tribe. Kroeger is loathsome as German Hesian mercenary, and Chaney brings his best to the role of Pontiac. The “gifts” of small-pox infected blankets to the Indians is a reminder of the brutality of the times. A good cast performs well, and of course Barker, a former Tarzan, finds several chances to bare his chest! While this one was made on a small budget by the Jack Broder Company,it has held up well over the years. This is a hard one to find on video or TV but well worth watching.

1952’s “Battles of Chief Pontiac” was a low budget Western from Realart, a redistribution outfit that produced several titles of their own, but are best remembered for keeping Universal Horror in cinemas right up to the 1957 TV debut of Shock Theatre. This was their third and last from Lon Chaney, following successful turns in “Bride of the Gorilla” and “The Bushwhackers,”
here playing the title role of Chief Pontiac, third billed behind Lex Barker and Helen Westcott. Still the current Tarzan, the well cast Barker seeks peace between the Indians and the colonists in pre-Revolutionary War America, filmed on location in Rapid City, South Dakota. Usually cast as Western villains or thug henchmen, Lon Chaney Jr retains great dignity and compassion in this rare change of pace, which may have played a part in his later series HAWKEYE AND THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, where he portrayed Chingachgook. Those familiar with “Of Mice and Men” or even “The Wolf Man” remember how Lon Chaney Jr. could excel in sympathetic roles, and here he delivers the goods, though slightly, and understandably, overshadowed by Barker’s heroics. Berry Kroeger’s evil Hessian Von Weber deserves special mention, and his shocking fate in the fitting hands of Chief Pontiac is punishment well deserved.

This film was produced by a very small film studio and it is very hard to find. Lon Chaney Jr. had the leading role as Chief Pontiac in this exquisite movie. It was one of his best, most sensitive performances. Chief Pontiac was in real life an influential Native American chief who affected the course of history of the native people on the Canadian border and Lon Chaney Jr. did a great job staying close to the documented history of this Native American tribe.

Battles of Chief Pontiac 1952

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Dalgliesh 2023

Well I am moving well out of the Fifties now to this terrific new series starring Bertie Carval as Inspector Dalgliesh – I suppose at least there is the fact that this is set in the 1960sso we are, at least, in the next decade !

It is a real winner of a crime drama series from Channel five.

Bertie Carvel and takes on the role of Adam Dalgliesh, and he is outstanding in the role with an understated style which fits really well.

He portrays the depth. tormented soul of a poet while at the same time being very observant of human behaviour and detail surrounding each crime.

Beautifully made, very well acted, and very well written, working off some superb original material, which doesn’t seem to have been messed around with it too much.

Also – It looks good visually , the E Type Jaguar is a real show-stopper

The attention to detail makes this very watchable.

If you haven’t seen it on Channel 5 – then please do. You will not be disappointed


posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Paul Temple Returns / Bombay Waterfront 1952

This film was on Talking Pictures yesterday shown under the US title of ‘Bombay Waterfront’

BELOW – Under it’s AmericaN Title ‘Bombay Waterfront’

This is the fourth and final adaptation of the Paul Temple radio plays, PAUL TEMPLE RETURNS and here we find him living up the high life in New York, where he now makes a living from his work as a crime writer.

However, he is called back to England which has been rocked by the Marquis murders. A fiend is murdering people and signing the name to his handiwork.

Paul Temple has been warned by the Marquis not to get involved at the same time he is asked to gather information on one of the victims, a New York City police officer.

It’s a typical Edgar Wallace storyline. The main character and his associate Steve are mush as we remember them, but the supporting cast is also good here, and maybe the film has a little bigger budget. Certainly there are some strong moments in the murder scenes and an exciting rooftop climax.

Included in the cast, with a bigger role than I expected was Man in Black himself, Valentine Dyall. Also we had Christopher Lee appearing sinister as one of the main suspects, a professor with a collection of Egyptian artifacts – this was a few years before ‘The Mummy’ when he was by then a household name

Robert Urquhart is yet another suspect.

Patricia Dainton plays Steve and is very good – a leading role for her in what was to be quite a short film career. Nevertheless she is back on screen now on Talking Pictures, often introducing some of her films.

John Bentley played both Paul Temple and ‘The Toff’ in films made in the early fifties. He seemed to be much in demand at that time before fading from sight and re-emerging in the famous TV show ‘Crossroads’ where he was in around 350 episodes

Before that though in 1958 / 59 he had made ‘African Patrol’ a Television Series where he played Chief Inspector Paul Derek who investigates crime in and around Nairobi. An article on this later though

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

The Prisoner of Zenda – Another Coronation

There are two memorable versions of this story – Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks Jr in the 1937 one and then Stewart Granger and Janes Mason in the Technicolor 1952 film. Both very good and both virtually the same

I have to say, that I thought Ronald Colman was much better as Rudolph Rassendyll – he was a much better screen actor than Stewart Granger but in fairness Stewart Granger was pretty good and very athletic in the final sword fight.

In this film is another Coronation and that is the reason for this article at this particular time

Whilst nowhere near as impressive as the one we witnessed yesterday in England, this is very well filmed and on a pretty large scale with impressive sets – and Technicolor at it’s best – unrivalled !!

The Prisoner of Zenda 1952 – Rudolph Rassendyll takes a fishing holiday in a European Country, where his remarkable resemblance to The King of that same country forms the basis to this thrilling adventure story

The Prisoner of Zenda 1952 Below with the Princess Flavia

The Prisoner of Zenda 1952

The Prisoner of Zenda 1952 – The Coronation

The casting of Stewart Granger in the double role of Rudolph Rassendyll and his royal cousin, the Crown Prince Rudolph of Ruritania and James Mason as the villainous Rupert of Hentzau proves to be inspired casting. If Stewart Granger doesn’t have Ronald Colman’s flair for the spoken word – very few ever have had – he makes a fine hero. As for James Mason, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. took the Rupert part because he was advised it’s one of the best villains ever created in drama. James Mason obviously relishes the role and he is very much the equal of his predecessor

MGM decided in 1952 that it was time to do another remake of The Prisoner Of Zenda in time to coincide with the publicity of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation. Commercially they were right as this film did very well at the Box Office.

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

John and Julie 1955 – revisited at the 2023 Coronation

On Coronation Day 2023 I think it is very fitting to look back at the charming, heart-warming film that everyone who has seen it seems to love – as I do.

It is difficult to think how such a film could be done in the present day – there would be little of no impact because most people nowadays are able to nip up to London with ease, but at that time in the early fifties it was not so easy. Financially it would be almost impossible so this film did have an impact – still does – mainly because of the two youngsters who took their parts so well and in many ways, carried the film. There were no big name stars in this.

The story is quite well known – of two young children who run away to watch the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 – and the many adventures that they have in London.

ABOVE and BELOW – today’s Coronation

John and Julie 5
John and Julie 6
John and Julie 7
John and Julie 8

It is a joy to watch this lovely film as I have so many times over the years If you would like an enjoyable, satisfying and nostalgic look into the Fifties – a simpler world but a lovely one at that – then just see this film. It is  one of my own  favourite films even today after all those years.

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

The Saint – The Imprudent Politician

What a cast here to join Roger Moore in this 1964 episode of The Saint. We have Anthony Bate, Michael Gough, Justine Lord and Jean Marsh among others who were all first rate actors and who did this episode proud.

The Imprudent Politician’ is Christopher Waites (Anthony Bate) a minister for the treasury department.

He is facing demands for blackmail for the sum of £1 million. Not because he is a married man having an affair with a young woman. It is because he gave her a letter with market sensitive financial information. She made money on the stock exchange from it.

The blackmailers tell Waites that he will not need to pay the money over. They just want to catch sight of a letter he will receive in advance. That too contains market sensitive material. Enough for the blackmailers to make a killing in the markets.

The courier who brings the letter to Waites is killed while Waites held a party for some assorted guests. The Saint who was invited found the dead man.

Eventually Waites asks for the Saint’s help.

A pretty good adventure. and one in which Simon Templar gets involved in several fights.

Templar quickly figures out that Waites girlfriend was involved with the blackmailers. It was the reason why she never got rid off the letter. Templar is convinced that someone close to Waites is directing the blackmailers

One thing I latched onto here was that Anthony Bate and Justine Lord had been cast together in ‘Act of Murder’ one of the Edgar Wallace supporting films – and one of the very best. In that she was his wife but in this, she was his mistress. I am not sure which one was made first – I have an idea it was ‘Act of Murder’

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

A Queen is Crowned 1953

As we fast approach the Coronation, I thought it might be good to look back on the previous ones that are both within living memory. #

‘A Queen is Crowned’ 1953

Sir Laurence ends his narration in this Technicolor film of the Coronation with – “May the Queen live forever!!”. Well she did reign over us for more than 70 years. After her funeral in 2022 Channel 4 showed the film without ad breaks immediately after the two minute silence.

There had already been a film of George VI’s coronation in Dufaycolor in 1937 but 1953 proved a lucky moment as at about that time Technicolor was approaching the end of it’s long dominance – mind you, I for one would say that it has never been bettered

The Coronation was such a large and incredible event that was viewed Worldwide and Thanks to this film, we could see it in Colour.

We can go back to George V1 Coronation in 1937 and see this in Colour – in fact in Dufaycolor :-

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Boris Karloff as Colonel March

These half hour Colonel March episodes were made and shown in the mid fifties on ITV I am pretty sure.

Only 26 were ever made but the ones I have seen are pretty good considering the time they had and maybe, a limited budget.

Boris Karloff as Inspector March here with John Laurie in a scene from ‘Present Tense’ a quite absorbing drama about Col March’s niece played by Mary Parker whose husband perishes in a plane crash – or does he ? His Wife seems to sense his ghost in the house and hears the piano playing in the style of her husband. All is eventually revealed.

Her husband is played by Peter Reynolds who I had seen not that long ago in a film with Diana Dors called ‘The Last Page’ in which he played another quite unsavoury character. He certainly looked the part and was very good. He was in a lot of films and TV here

He moved to Australia in the late sixties and appeared in quite a lot of productions there. He died in Melbourne in 1975 in a fire in his flat which also saw the death of his pet dog.

Then in the leading role was Mary Parker, an actress I didn’t know but I could see that she was very capable and it did make me wonder why I had no knowledge of her.

Mary Parker in ‘Present Tense’ an episode in the Col. March series –
and A Very Good One !!

Looking further, it seems that she went to live in Australia – she had been brought up in Melbourne – and had a very successful career in Television right from it’s launch

“Everybody in England knew Mary Parker”, said her husband, Paul Fitzgerald. “In England she did several films with Sir Douglas Fairbanks Jr – I’ve seen her name in lights on Shaftesbury Avenue and then she worked on TV as an announcer. They also brought her out to Australia in 1956 to open the (television coverage of the) Olympic Games – she was the first woman on television in (Melbourne)

We all know Boris Karloff – he came to England in 1952 to make the ‘Colonel March’ films and in fact made the first three ‘Pilot’ episodes which were joined together and released as a feature film in cinemas – the film was entitled ‘Colonel March Investigates’

He then did the other 26 episodes which went out first in America and then here. They have been repeated again and again on both sides of the Atlantic

Boris Karloff as Colonel March
posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments