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Monday, May 21, 2018

COFFINS ON WHEELS 1941 (TCM VIEWING)

This is the first time I have ever reviewed a TCM short.

This is part of the MGM "Crime Does Not Pay" series. It runs 17 minutes and tells the story of crooked used car dealers who are selling dangerous automobiles to many unsuspecting customers.

A young man named Billy Phillips (Darryl Hickman) buys a used car and has a tragic accident that kills his younger brother. A detective, played by Allen Lane investigates.

This is a very well made and interesting little short film that really manages to hold your attention. I haven't seen many of these short films on TCM and I hope they are all like this.

If you come across this little gem, check it out. The rest of the cast includes Roy Gordon, Tom Baker and Cy Kendall.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Leo Sayer is 70.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

RIP PATRICIA MORISON 1915-2018

Very prolific actress who entertained my generation has died.

Morison was born on March 19th, 1915 and entered films in 1935. For bizarre movie buffs like myself Morison was a very welcome face and a very alluring woman.

I was first introduced to her in the 1946 Sherlock Holmes film "Dressed To Kill" and from her performance in that film alone, I never forget her. She also starred in such low budget fun as "Queen Of The Amazons" (a personal favorite), as well as "Tarzan & The Huntress".

She also had a classic role in the wonderful film noir gem "Kiss Of Death" but because her character kills herself by putting her head in an oven, the entire scene was cut from the film. Although she is niot in the movie, her name remains in the opening credits.

Her non "fantastic films" roles included such fare as "Kiss Me Kate", "Song Without Sound" and "Sofia" among many, many others. Morison lived a very long and wonderful life. She had a mezzo-soprano singing voice and believe it or not she never married. She died May 20th 2018 from natural causes at the age of 103.

She is gone now, but she has left us a great legacy of films and TV appearances that will live on much longer.

MASTERSON OF KANSAS 1954 (MILL CREEK)

Another fun western from William Castle.

George Montgomery stars as Bat Masterson, Bruce Cowling is Wyatt Earp and the wonderful James Griffith is Doc Holliday.

Masterson is called in to prove that a man named Amos Merrick (John Maxwell) has been framed for murder by a group of angry cattlemen. Why have they framed him, because he negotiated with the Kiowa Indians for some grassy lands the cattlemen want for themselves as grazing places for cattle.

Masterson finds he has his hands full, especially when Merrick's lovely daughter Amy (Nancy Gates) arrives in Dodge City to prove her fathers' innocence. The Indians are ready to go to war over the land so Masterson asks Doc Holliday for assistance. Both men work together, but cannot stand one another, and both actors play it off very well.

Masterson learns that a man saw who the real killer was and has gone into hiding.

There is a ton of action and tension packed into 73 minutes, and director Castle handles it all very well. All of the actors do very well and it's easy to get caught up in the action.

The rest of the cast includes David Bruce, Jean Willes, Donald Murphy and Gregg Martell. This to is part of the "Fastest Guns In The West" 8 movie collection from Mill Creek. Quality is excellent and I said it before...this set is a MUST for western fans and fans of William Castle.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

David Hedison is 91, Constance Towers is 85, and Joan Staley is 78.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

JESSE JAMES VS. THE DALTONS 1954 (MILL CREEK)

While I look at the films of Sherlock Holmes I figured I'd also look at 8 William Castle westerns that have been turned out by Mill Creek in an 8 film set entitled "Fastest Guns In The West".

This is a fun little western directed by Castle from a screenplay by Robert E. Kent. The title is very misleading because Jesse James is not against the Daltons at all, he's not even in the film.

A young man named Joe Branch (Brett King) thinks he might be the son of Jesse James and sets out to find the truth. He rides into Coffeyville, Kansas and saves a young woman, Kate Manning (Barbara Lawrence) from being hung.

His attempts to find out about his past include robbing a train that the Daltons were going to rob and making them come looking for him. The plot is a little bit convoluted but the movie moves very quickly and if you can throw history out the window, this is an easy film to enjoy.

The rest of the cast for this enjoyable film includes Richard Garland, James Griffith as Bob Dalton, Bill Phipps as Bill Dalton, John Cliff and Nelson Leigh.

The print quality is damn near perfect as are all of the Mill Creek sets involving their Columbia library. This is a no brainer for western fans.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Nancy Kwan is 79.

Friday, May 18, 2018

RIP YURIKO HOSHI 1943-2018

Prolific Japanese actress and star of well over 90 films since 1959.

Hoshi started her career in 1959 but made her mark in America with appearances in many Japanese monster movies that were shown over here on TV during the 60's and 70's.

She played in such wonderful kaiju eiga films as "Godzilla Vs. Mothra" and Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster" and many more. A beautiful and talented actress in everything she was in, she passed away on May 17th at the age of 74.

SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN 1951 (WARNER)

A fun little film.

This movie was edited into two parts and aired as the final two episodes of the original Superman TV series in season one.

Clark Kent (George Reeves) and Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates) arrive in a small town seeking a story about the worlds deepest oil well. It goes down more than 6 miles and has disturbed a race of people living under the surface.

The mole men come to the surface and the people are terrified enough to want to kill them. A local man named Luke Benson (Jeff Corey) is ready to take up arms and kill the innocent visitors.

Superman must fight to protect the little people and control the mob violence that Benson has stirred up. This is pretty much like the entire first year of the show, which was much different than the next five years.

What I mean by that is the first year was more drama and violence run. There are a lot of violent confrontations between Superman and Benson. Lois Lane even gets slapped around and roughed up by the angry townspeople.

Coates was always my favorite Lois Lane. She is beautiful, smart, sassy and not afraid to let her opinions be known. All of the characters in the show were made much more comic like in years 2 thru 6.

This is a very enjoyable entry and one that ever Superman fan should see.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Diane McBain is 77.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

AUTOPSY OF THE DEAD 2009 (ZERO DAY)

A documentary no fan of "Night Of The Living Dead" should be without.

I had not had the chance to see this until just a couple of weeks ago, and it's a winner.

One of the most in depth documentaries I have ever seen! It delves much deeper into this all time classic film by interviewing many people involved with the film that have never been interviewed before.

Almost everyone who played a ghoul in the film is interviewed along with people like Gary Streiner, Kyra Schon, Bill Cardille and more.

Their stories are fascinating especially for fans of the film and people who seem to need to know EVERYTHING about this movie, and that would include me.

This disc also includes tons of cool extras. I cannot recommend this enough. A 2 hour documentary and many extras in an extraordinary presentation.

After seeing this you want to watch Night Of The Living Dead for a night of total top grade entertainment.

RIP JOSEPH CAMPANELLA 1924-2018

Another prolific character actor has passed away.

It seems that no matter what TV show or movie you saw in the 60's and 70's Campanella's face was there. A very likable actor whose performances were always top of the line.

His acting career begab in 1952 with 2 episodes of the show "Suspense" and Campanella never looked back. He went on to appear in countless shows including "The Invaders", "The Doris Day Show", "The Untouchables", "Naked City", "Night Gallery" and hundreds more.

I remember him best for his portrayal of Albert Wienshank in the 1967 Roger Corman film "The St. Valentines Day Massacre". Campanella died on May 16, 2018 at the age of 93.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Joan Blackman is 80, Dawn Dunlap is 55, and William Grefe is 88.

REMEMBERING DONNA SUMMER.....

On this day in 2012 my favorite entertainer in the music business passed away from cancer.

Donna Summer became my Disco Queen during the late 70's and early 80's. As I was growing up in the 70's her music just became part of my life. I don't think she ever recorded a song I didn't like.

Her long list of hits include "Love To Love You", "Heaven Knows", "I Feel Love", "She Works Hard For The Money", "Dim All The Lights", "On The Radio", "MacArthur Park", "Hot Stuff", "Last Dance", "No More Tears", and so many more.

I listened to her music constantly and still do to this day. Donna died at the age of 63, but her music lives on forever. Donna Summer was a class act, fantastic lady and one of the best singers in the entire world.

People can have their rap, metal and everything else...I will always stick with Disco and the gorgeous Miss Donna Summer.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

This blog!!

Today marks the 8 year mark since I started this.

I never imagined it would grow into a daily thing with over 6700 posts to date including this one.

I am also hoping to get a blog started on You Tube, but I am taking my time to make sure it's done the right way. A huge thanks to everyone who follows me or just stops by once in a while.

I hope you enjoy what I do as it is strictly a labor of love for old movies and many bizarre things in general.