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Category Archives: classic movies

Aside

hotrods to hell

Hot Rods to Hellis a 1967 suspense film.[2] It was director John Brahm’s last film.[3]

Background and production

The film was originally intended for television release, and was in fact shot in the 4:3 “full-screen” aspect ratio that persisted on television for decades even after film had long since gone to wide-screen aspect ratios of 1.65:1, 1.85:1 and 2.35:1. When the project was finished, however, the producers deemed it too intense for television and released it to theaters (including drive-in theaters) instead, with a runtime of 92 minutes.[citation needed]

Based originally on a Saturday Evening Post story, the movie project originally had the title 52 Miles to Terror[4]

Eventually, ABC-TV bought the broadcast rights and exhibited the film on their ABC Sunday Night Movie series in 1968. Unaccountably, they used a print having a runtime of 100 minutes. When Turner Classic Movies bought the rights to MGM’s extensive film library, they acquired the 100-minute print.

Plot

Traveling salesman Tom Phillips (Dana Andrews) is driving home to Boston, Massachusetts for Christmas when he encounters a drunken driver on a rain-streaked road. He cannot avoid a collision, and is hospitalized with spinal damage. Since he cannot be a traveling salesman anymore, his brother arranges for Tom to buy a remote motel in the desert town of Mayville, California. Tom is reluctant, since he has never been an innkeeper before—but in the end he decides that he must travel in order to get as far away from the site of his accident as possible, as soon as possible.

So Tom sets out for California with his wife, teen-aged daughter, and son. But when they reach the desert they are accosted by a pair of drag racers and a “party girl” in a modified, high-performance 1958 Chevrolet Corvette who jokingly force them to swerve and avoid a collision.

This is only the first of a series of escalating encounters with the local youth. Teenaged children of relatively well-off local farmers, they are apparently given “everything they want” but are still bored and are locked in a never-ending desire for “kicks” in which they will never be satisfied. The adults, including the owner of a local filling station, are fed-up with them. One of these adults, however, turns out to own the very motel that Tom Phillips has bought—and he is selling out after having let the wayward youth use his motel as an illicit trysting place for years.

When Tom tells the filling-station owner that he has “just bought himself a motel,” one of the kids, named Ernie (Gene Kirkwood), overhears. Soon after, he tells his friend Duke (Paul Bertoya), who is the driver of the Corvette. Duke organizes a campaign of harassment against Tom and chases the hapless family all the way to the motel.

Matters come to a dangerous head when Tom’s daughter (Laurie Mock), fascinated by Duke, goes to see him in the motel bar and grill, called the “Arena.” Duke’s current girlfriend Gloria (Mimsy Farmer), in a jealous rage, informs Tom, who tries to strangle Duke—but his back goes out and he must desist. He then informs the former motel owner (George Ives) that he will not go through with the sale. This causes a confrontation between the former owner and the youths, which ends when the owner tells Duke and Ernie that Tom is going to the next town to “bring the police down on this place.”

Duke and Ernie resolve never to let Tom Phillips reach that town—and so, as the family tries to escape, they engage them in a deadly game of “chicken.” This game ends only when Tom outwits the teenagers by parking his car on a narrow bridge, with the headlights on, evacuating him and his family to a safe spot twenty yards off the road. Faced with an unmoving object, Duke turns “chicken” himself, running his car off the edge of the bridge—after which he and Ernie, bruised, battered, and with scraped knees, swear that they will never give Tom any trouble. Tom agrees not to turn them in to the police—but tells them that he will go back to his motel and run it properly from now on.

en.m.wikipedia.org

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji5t0SiyD8w

Hotrods To Hell (1967?)

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“THE LEECH WOMAN” trailer

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Directed by Edward Dein
Produced by John Greshenson
Written by Story:
Ben Pivar
Francis Rosenwald
Screenplay:
David Duncan
Starring Grant Williams
Coleen Gray
Phillip Terry
Gloria Talbott
John van Dreelen
Estelle Hemsley
Kim Hamilton
Arthur Batanides
Music by Irving Gertz
Uncredited:
Hans J. Salteri
Henry Vars
Cinematography Ellis W. Carter
Edited by Milton Carruth
Distributed by Universal-International
Release dates
May 1960
Running time
77 minutes
Country United States

“The Leech Woman” is a 1960 American film, directed by Edward Dein…. the birth of facelifts, makeovers to horror.

Plot
A mysterious old woman named Malla (Estelle Hemsley) who claims to have been brought to America 140 years ago by Arab slavers approaches endocrinologist Dr. Paul Talbot (Phillip Terry) and promises to reveal to him the secret of eternal youth.

Following her back to Africa, he and his aging, unhappy wife June (Coleen Gray) witness a secret ceremony of the Nando tribe that utilizes orchid pollen and a male victim’s pineal gland secretions extracted from the back of the neck via a special ring to temporarily transform Malla once more into a young and beautiful girl (Kim Hamilton).

After discovering her conniving husband only brought her along as a test subject, June has him killed as a sacrifice and becomes young herself, though she is warned that it will not last long. She steals the ring and escapes back to the United States after killing another man. Pretending to be her own ‘niece’ Terry Hart, she proceeds to keep herself young by killing men for their pineal extract.

She quickly becomes enamored with her lawyer Neil Foster (Grant Williams), a man half her actual age, and kills his jealous fiancee Sally (Gloria Talbott), both to maintain her youthful appearance and to eliminate the competition.

When the cops come to investigate the murders, June uses Sally’s pineal gland when alone but finds it does not work due to it being female, and before the cops find her, she throws herself out a window and dies, and when they view her body it is in more of a shriveled state than ever.

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Wuthering Heights – starring Lawrence Olivier

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Directed by William Wyler
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn
Written by Charles MacArthur
Ben Hecht
Based on Wuthering Heights 
by Emily Brontë
Starring Merle Oberon
Laurence Olivier
David Niven
Geraldine Fitzgerald
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Gregg Toland
Edited by Daniel Mandell
Production
company
Samuel Goldwyn Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
March 24, 1939
(Hollywood)[1]
April 13, 1939 (USA)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $624,643[2] (1989 re-issue)

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Wuthering Heights is a 1939 American film directed by William Wyler and produced by Samuel Goldwyn. It is based on the novel, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The film depicts only sixteen of the novel’s thirty-four chapters, eliminating the second generation of characters. The novel was adapted for the screen by Charles MacArthur, Ben Hecht and John Huston. The film won the 1939 New York Film Critics Award for Best Film. It earned nominations for eight Academy Awards,[3] including for Best Picture and Best Actor in what many consider Hollywood’s greatest single year. The 1940 Academy Award for Best Cinematography, black-and-white category, was awarded to Gregg Toland for his work. Nominated for original score (but losing to The Wizard of Oz) was the prolific film composer, Alfred Newman, whose poignant “Cathy’s Theme” does so much “to maintain its life as a masterpiece of romantic filmmaking.” [4]

In 2007, Wuthering Heights was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Plot

Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) and Cathy (Merle Oberon) meet on Peniston Crag in Wuthering Heights
A traveller named Lockwood (Miles Mander) is caught in the snow and stays at the estate of Wuthering Heights, despite the cold behaviour of his aged host, Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier). Late that night, after being shown into an upstairs room that was once a bridal chamber, Lockwood is awakened by a cold draft and finds the window shutter flapping back and forth. Just as he is about to close it, he feels an icy hand clutching his and sees a woman outside calling, “Heathcliff, let me in! I’m out on the moors. It’s Cathy!” Lockwood calls Heathcliff and tells him what he saw, whereupon the enraged Heathcliff throws him out of the room. As soon as Lockwood is gone, Heathcliff frantically calls out to Cathy, runs down the stairs and out of the house, into the snowstorm.

Ellen, the housekeeper (Flora Robson), tells the amazed Lockwood that he has seen the ghost of Cathy Earnshaw, Heathcliff’s great love, who died years before. When Lockwood says that he doesn’t believe in ghosts, Ellen tells him that he might if she told him the story of Cathy. And so the main plot begins as a long flashback.

The plot then flashes back 40 years. As a boy, Heathcliff is found on the streets by Mr. Earnshaw (Cecil Kellaway), who brings him home to live with his two children, Cathy and Hindley. At first reluctant, Cathy eventually welcomes Heathcliff and they become very close, but Hindley treats him as an outcast, especially after Mr. Earnshaw dies. About ten years later, the now-grown Heathcliff and Cathy (Merle Oberon) have fallen in love and are meeting secretly on Peniston Crag (because of censorship, their relationship in the film is kept strictly platonic in spite of the fact that they do kiss, while in the novel it is implied that their relationship was romantic). Hindley (Hugh Williams) has become dissolute and tyrannical and hates Heathcliff. One night, as Cathy and Heathcliff are out together, they hear music and realize that their neighbors, the Lintons, are giving a party. Cathy and Heathcliff sneak to the Lintons and climb over their garden wall, but the dogs are alerted and Cathy is injured. Heathcliff is forced to leave Cathy in their care. Enraged that Cathy would be so entranced by the Linton’s glamor and wealth, he blames them for her injury and curses them.

Months later, Cathy is fully recuperated but still living at the Lintons. Edgar Linton (David Niven) has fallen in love with Cathy and soon proposes, and after Edgar takes her back to Wuthering Heights, she tells Ellen what has happened. Ellen reminds her about Heathcliff, but Cathy flippantly remarks that it would degrade her to marry him. Heathcliff overhears and leaves. Cathy realizes that Heathcliff has overheard, is overcome by guilt and runs out after him into a raging storm. Edgar finds her and nurses her back to health once again, and soon he and Cathy marry.

Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) at the deathbed of Cathy (Merle Oberon) in Wuthering Heights
Heathcliff was thought to have disappeared forever but returns two years later, now wealthy and elegant. He has refined his appearance and manners in order to both impress and spite Cathy and secretly buys Wuthering Heights from Hindley, who has become an alcoholic. In order to further spite Cathy, Heathcliff begins courting Edgar’s naive sister, Isabella (Geraldine Fitzgerald), and eventually marries her. The brokenhearted Cathy soon falls gravely ill. Heathcliff rushes to her side against the wishes of the now disillusioned and bitter Isabella, and Cathy dies in Heathcliff’s arms.

The flashback ends and we return to Ellen finishing her story. The family doctor, Dr. Kenneth (Donald Crisp), bursts in, saying that he (Dr. Kenneth) must be mad, having seen Heathcliff in the snow walking with his arm around a woman. Ellen exclaims, “It was Cathy!” and Dr. Kenneth says, “No, I don’t know who it was”, and tells them that he was then thrown from his horse. As he drew closer, he found Heathcliff lying in the snow. The woman had disappeared and there was no sign of her, and only Heathcliff’s footprints appeared in the snow, not hers. Lockwood asks, “Is he dead?”, and Dr. Kenneth nods, but Ellen says, “No, not dead, Dr. Kenneth. And not alone. He’s with her. They’ve only just begun to live.”

The last thing seen in the film are the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy, walking in the snow, superimposed over a shot of Peniston Crag.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 
 

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“The Window” (1949) You’ve Had A Bad Dream!

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An extraordinary film about a little boy who fabricates his daily events (because he is imaginative). But when he later attempts to explain a murder, everyone believes he is once again imagining.

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The Window is a 1949 American black-and-white suspense film noir, based on the short story “The Boy Cried Murder” (reprinted as “Fire Escape”)[4] by Cornell Woolrich.[5] The film, which was a critical success, was produced by Frederic Ullman, Jr. for $210,000 but earned much more, making it a box office hit for RKO Pictures. The film was directed by Ted Tetzlaff, who worked as a cinematographer on over 100 films, including another successful suspense film, Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946).

Plot

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Set and filmed on location in the tenement section of New York’s Lower East Side, the film tells the story of a young boy, Tommy Woodry (Driscoll), who has a habit of crying wolf. Late one night, he climbs up the building fire escape and sees his two seemingly normal neighbors, Mr and Mrs Kellerson, murder a drunken sailor in their apartment. No one, neither the boy’s parents nor the police, believes young Tommy when he tells them what he has seen, since they all assume that this is just another of the boy’s tall tales.

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When Mrs. Woodry takes Tommy to apologize to the Kellersons, he refuses and they become suspicious of him. When Mrs. Woodry leaves to care for a sick relative and Mr. Woodry is away at his night job, the murderous neighbors plan to kill Tommy who has been locked in his room by his father to prevent further escapades. Under the pretense of going to the police, the Kellersons take Tommy to a dark alley, where they try to kill him. Tommy escapes, but the pair recapture him, taking him back to their apartment in a taxi. Tommy screams at a policeman for help, but the officer remembers Tommy as the boy who came to the station earlier and failed to convince the police. The Kellersons fool the cab driver by posing as Tommy’s parents. Mr. Woodry returns to find Tommy missing. Mr. Woodry asks a police officer for help.

Meanwhile, the Kellersons have Tommy secured in their apartment. Tommy escapes and climbs on the roof pursued by Mr. Kellerson, but Mrs. Kellerson has a change of heart about killing Tommy. The police officer suggests Tommy went to see his mother, and he and Mr. Woodry leave the tenement. Tommy sees his father leave in his car and yells for him, which causes Mr. Kellerson to locate Tommy. The chase resumes with Tommy finding the body of the dead sailor. The upper building starts to collapse. As Mr. Kellerson is about to grab Tommy, a rafter collapses and Kellerson falls to his death. Tommy screams loud enough for neighbors to hear and call the police. The boy is rescued and his parents are proud of him.

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“The Palm Beach Story” 

This screwball comedy finds married couple Tom (Joel McCrea) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) in a strained relationship, largely due to financial difficulties. Gerry decides to leave Tom, a struggling architect, and head to Palm Beach in order to marry a wealthy man who could fund Tom’s projects. When Tom follows Gerry, they cross paths with the quirky millionaire John D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee) and his chatty, husband-seeking sister, Princess Centimillia (Mary Astor).

Director: Preston Sturges

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“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Official Trailer #1 – Andy Devine Movie (1944) HD” 

“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Official Trailer #1 – Andy Devine Movie (1944) HD” 

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is a 1944 adventure film starring Maria Montez and Jon Hall, and directed by Arthur Lubin. The film is derived from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights but its story departs greatly from the tale of the same name and includes an actual historic event. The film is one of series of “exotic” tales released by Universal during the war years; others include Cobra Woman, Arabian Nights and White Savage.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
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The story begins in the immediate aftermath of the successful Mongolian conquest of Bagdad by Hulagu Khan(Kurt Katch). The caliph Hassan (Moroni Olsen) has escaped captivity, together with his young son Ali (Scotty Beckett), and prepares to regroup the renmants of his troops. While staying at the mansion of Prince Cassim (Frank Puglia), Ali and Cassim’s daughter Amara (Yvette Duguay), fearing that they will not see each other again, betroth themselves via blood-bond.

As the caliph prepares to leave, Cassim stops him at the last moment. This, however, is the initiation for an ambush by the Mongols, to whom the cowardly prince has sworn allegiance; the caliph and his retinue are massacred, and only Ali escapes. Alone and lost in the desert, he comes across a mountainside where he sees a group of riders exiting a hidden cave. Deducing its opening phrase, he enters the cave and finds it filled with treasure. When the 40 thieves return, they find the boy asleep in their hideout. Upon learning that he is the son of the caliph, and impressed by his courage and determination, the thieves allow him to stay, and their leader, Old Baba (Fortunio Bonanova), adopts him as his son, Ali Baba.

Ten years later, the band of thieves have become a group of Robin Hood-style resistance fighters, raiding the Mongols and giving to their poor and downtrodden people. One day, they learn of a caravan bearing the new bride for the Khan to Bagdad, which seems to be rich pickings because it is apparently only loosely guarded. However, Ali Baba, now a grown man (Jon Hall), is suspicious and decides to scout the caravan first, along with his ‘nanny’ Abdullah (Andy Devine). The bride turns out to be Amara (Maria Montez), Cassim’s daughter, who is to be wed to the Khan in order to solidify Cassim’s somewhat shaky standing with the Mongols.

In the meantime, Amara decides to take a bath in the oasis, where Ali encounters her (they do not recognize each other, however). Taking her for a mere servant girl and passing himself off as a traveller, he asks her about the caravan, then more about herself. But then it turns out that the caravan is in fact heavily guarded; Ali is ambushed and captured, while Abdullah narrowly escapes. Upon learning that the ‘servant girl’ is the bride of the Khan (her name is not mentioned), Ali curses her for her supposed treachery. Hurt by his words and in growing admiration for him and his cause, she asks her servant and bodyguard, Jamiel (Turhan Bey), who hero-worships the 40 thieves, to give Ali some water for the trip.

In Bagdad, Ali is presented to the Khan, though he is not recognized as the leader of the 40 Thieves, and bound to a pillory in the palace square for public execution the next day. Cassim visits him in private and discovers Ali’s true identity, but keeps the knowledge to himself. Soon afterwards, the thieves mount a rescue, but Old Baba is mortally wounded; Amara, who went to see Ali to clear the misunderstanding between them, is kidnapped, and Jamiel personally cuts Ali loose from his bonds. The thieves retreat into Mount Sesame.

The next day, the thieves capture Jamiel, who was tracking them. Ali recognizes him as a friend, and Jamiel, who swears allegiance to Ali Baba, is assigned as a spy in the palace. His first task is to deliver a ransom note to the Khan: in exchange for his bride, Hulagu Khan is to surrender the traitor Cassim. The thieves proceed to Cassim’s mansion to await the traitor’s arrival. When Amara walks into the garden, Ali recognizes her as his lost love, and with his re-awakened feelings for her he decides to release her without waiting for her father. This initially arouses the anger of his band, but they still remain loyal to him.

When Amara returns to Bagdad, her father confesses Ali’s true identity to her and the Khan. Hulagu Khan decides to hold the wedding immediately; Amara refuses, but the sight of her father being tortured (actually, a ruse) forces her to give in. Jamiel brings the news to Ali, who decides to free his love. In order to reach the palace unnoticed, he devises the plan to pose as a merchant from Basra who brings forty huge jars of oil as a wedding gift. Jamiel returns to the palace to relay the plan to Amara, but they catch one of her servants eavesdropping. The girl then relays the news to Cassim and the Khan, who decide to welcome Ali in a fitting manner.

At the wedding day, Ali does appear as the merchant and is admitted as a guest. During an interlude, sword dancers appear, who first perform their routine and then suddenly plunge their weapons through the jar covers – but the jars contain only sand. Upon discovering the exposure of the original plan, Ali had decided to make a few changes: most of the thieves came disguised in the crowd; some others were hidden in jars which were not brought before the Khan.

Hulagu Khan kills Cassim for his failure and announces Ali’s execution, but then Jamiel opens the revolt by dispatching Ali’s guards with his throwing knives. While the thieves attack the palace guards, he and Amara open the gates for the mob, which storms in and overpowers the Mongols. Hulagu Khan is killed by Abdullah while preparing to finish Ali, and as a sign of victory Jamiel hoists the Arabian flag atop the palace’s highest tower.

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“New Orleans – Film 1947” 

“New Orleans – Film 1947” 

New Orleans is a 1947 American musical romance film featuring Billie Holiday as a singing maid and Louis Armstrong as a bandleader; supporting players Holiday and Armstrong perform together and portray a couple becoming romantically involved. During one song, Armstrong’s character introduces the members of his band, a virtual Who’s Who of classic jazz greats, including trombonist Kid Ory, drummer Zutty Singleton, clarinetist Barney Bigard, guitar player Bud Scott, bassist George “Red” Callender, pianist Charlie Beal, and pianist Meade Lux Lewis. Also performing in the film is cornetist Mutt Carey and bandleader Woody Herman. The music, however, takes a back seat to a rather conventional plot. The movie stars Arturo de Cordova and Dorothy Patrick, features Marjorie Lord, and was directed by Arthur Lubin.
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