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Category: Z-View

The Set-Up (1949)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

The Set-Up (1949)

Director: Robert Wise

Screenplay: Art Cohn based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March

Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter and George Tobias

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a boxing movie!”

Tagline: The Sensational Picture You’ve Been Hearing and Reading About!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Bill “Stoker” Thompson (Ryan) is an over-the-hill fighter on the club circuit.  Although he still packs a punch, his best days are gone.  Stoker’s manager sets up a fixed fight with an up-and-coming prospect backed by the mob.  His manager is so sure that Stoker is going to lose, he doesn’t tell Stoker about the set-up.

 

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The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Posted in Horror, Movies, and Z-View

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Director: Terence Fisher

Screenplay: Anthony Hinds (as John Elder) based on the novel by Guy Endore

Stars: Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed and Yvonne Romain

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a werewolf movie!”

Tagline: Even the innocent girl who loved him was not safe… once the full moon rose!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Leon (Reed), the son of a nobleman, is born with the curse of the werewolf.

 

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Too Late for Tears (1949)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Too Late for Tears (1949)

Director: Byron Haskin

Screenplay: Roy Huggins

Stars: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make movie about a woman corrupted by money!”

Tagline: That’s just to remind you… you’re in a tough racket now!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When Jane and Alan Palmer accidentally come into possession of a satchel full of money things quickly go south.  Although they know it’s mob money, they can’t agree what to do with it.  Jane wants to keep it.  Alan wants to turn it over to the police.

Soon enough a rough character shows up wanting the money.  Jane is willingly to do anything to keep at least part of the cash… even if it means murder.  And it does.

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Faster (2010)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Faster (2010)

Director: George Tillman Jr.

Screenplay: Tony Gayton & Joe Gayton

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Maggie Grace, Tom Berenger, Carla Gugino and Mike Epps.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a revenge flick with The Rock!”

Tagline: Justice is swift. Vengeance is faster.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Newly released, ex-con, Driver (Johnson) has one thing on his mind: to kill every one involved in the doublecross that left his brother murdered and him barely alive.  As the bodies pile up, a veteran cop and hired killer get closer and closer to finding Driver.  Will anyone get out of this alive?

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Scarlet Street (1945)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Scarlet Street (1945)

Director: Fritz Lang

Screenplay: Dudley Nichols

Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a really dark movie with Edward G. Robinson!”

Tagline: The things she does to men can end only one way – in murder!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Chris Cross (Robinson) on the night of his retirement is feeling melancholy when he stops in a bar for a night cap.  Leaving his job of 25 years where he was surrounded by people who cared about him, Cross now faces a life with a mean wife who belittles him at every chance.  In the bar Cross meets and becomes enamored with Kitty March.

Cross makes her think he’s a wealthy artist.  She makes him think she’s a young girl in need of help (despite the fact that she’s a con woman being encouraged by her “boyfriend” to take him for everything she can).  Before it is over their lies will lead to murder — but whose?

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Harper (1966)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Harper (1966)

Director: Jack Smight

Screenplay: William Goldman based on the novel by Ross MacDonald

Stars: Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris, Arthur Hill, Janet Leigh, Robert Wagner, Robert Webber, Shirley Winters and Strother Martin.

The Pitch: “Hey, get Paul Newman to play Ross MacDonald’s PI Harper!”

Tagline: This is a different kind of cat named Harper… and excitement clings to him like a dame!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Private Eye, Lew Harper (Newman) is hired by the very wealthy, Mrs. Sampson (Bacall) to find her missing husband who is probably shacked up with some broad.  Harper starts digging and things change from a missing persons investigation to a multiple murder case with Harper on the killer’s list.

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Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Director: Edward Dmytryk

Screenplay: John Paxton based on the novel by Raymond Chandler

Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger and Mike Mazurki

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s turn Farewell, My Lovely into a movie!”

Tagline: An Original Philip Marlowe Mystery

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Private Eye, Phillip Marlowe (Powell) is convinced by Moose Malloy (Mazurki), a hulking, dense, ex-con to find his girl Velma.  Trouble is Velma hasn’t been seen for six years.  Marlowe’s digging puts him in the middle of bribery, theft and murder.

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Nosferatu (1922)

Posted in Horror, Movies, and Z-View

Nosferatu (1922)

Director: F.W. Murnau

Screenplay: Henrik Galeen based on the novel by Bram Stoker

Stars: Max Schreck, Greta Schröder, Ruth Landshoff

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s turn Dracula into a movie!”

Tagline: A thrilling mystery masterpiece – a chilling psycho-drama of blood-lust.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Basically an unauthorized retelling of Dracula.  Considered a classic, your mileage may vary, as I find it to be good but not great.

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The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Director: Fritz Lang

Screenplay: Charles Hoffman

Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern, Raymond Burr, George Reeves and Nat “King” Cole

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a murder mystery with Anne Baxter!”

Tagline: There was nothing lily-white about her!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Norah Larkin (Baxter) is on the rebound having just learned (on her birthday of all days!) that her fiance is leaving her for another woman.  When a man she has just met offers to take her to dinner, she accepts.  The man proceeds to get her drunk at his apartment and attempta to take advantage of her.  When he continues despite her wanting to leave, she hits him with a poker and passes out.  She awakens to find him dead on the floor.  She quickly leaves believing she’s killed him.

Soon she is the subject of a police hunt… but what she really the murderess?

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Dracula (1931)

Posted in Celebs, Horror, Movies, and Z-View

Dracula (1931)

Director: Tod Browning

Screenplay: Hamilton Deane & John L. Balderston  from the play by Garrett Fort based on characters created by Bram Stoker

Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye and Edward Van Sloan.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s bring Dracula to the silver screen!”

Tagline: Carl Laemmle Presents The VAMPIRE THRILLER!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

THE classic!  Bela Lugosi is the evil vampire Count Dracula who has journeyed to England with plans to make the lovely Nina is bride!

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Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Director: John Sturges

Screenplay: Millard Kaufman

Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s send a one-armed Spencer Tracey into a remote town that wants him dead!”

Tagline: Suddenly you realize murder is at your elbow! – and there’s no way out!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

World War II veteran shows up in the remote town of Black Rock for unknown purposes.  The people of the town want him to move on and when he refuses, he puts his life at risk.  What are the town folk hiding?

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Train to Busan (2016)

Posted in Horror, Movies, Z-View, and Zombies

Train to Busan (2016)

Director: Sang-ho Yeon

Screenplay: Joo-Suk Park and Sang-ho Yeon

Stars: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung and Dong-seok Ma

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a zombie movie!”

Tagline: None

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Passengers on a train to Buscan (including a father and his young daughter, a husband with his very pregnant wife and others) have to come to grips that a zombie apocalypse has begun and there are infected on the train!

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Them! (1954)

Posted in Horror, Movies, and Z-View

Them! (1954)

Director: Gordon Douglas

Screenplay: Ted Sherdeman and Russell S. Hughes from a story by George Worthing Yates

Stars: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Fess Parker, Richard Deacon and Leonard Nimoy.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a movie about giant ants!”

Tagline: FANTASTIC MONSTERS ATTACK EARTH!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Nuclear testing in the desert has turned ants into gigantic killing machines.  Before the nests are discovered some of the ants make their way to the LA sewer system.  If they’re not all destroyed it could be the end of mankind.

What could have been another silly movie about giant bugs is actually one of my favorite horror movies of all time.  It’s played straight with an excellent cast.  Fans of my age will love that you get Matt Dillon, Davy Crockett and Spock in the same movie!

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Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Posted in Movies, and Z-View

Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Director: Brian G. Hutton

Screenplay: Alistair MacLean (from his novel)

Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s turn ‘Where Eagles Dare’ into a movie!”

Tagline: They dare to climb a terrifying new peak in suspense… all the way up to hell!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

During World War II an American General is held captive by the Nazis in a mountain top fortress.  An English Officer (Burton) and American Ranger (Eastwood) are dropped behind enemy lines to rescue the General.  Yet there may be more to this mission than either are aware…

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A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Posted in Celebs, Movies, and Z-View

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Director: Elia Kazan

Screenplay: Tennessee Williams (adapted from his play) and Oscar Saul

Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s turn ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ into a movie!”

Tagline: …When she got there she met the brute Stan, and the side of New Orleans she hardly knew existed.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When creditors take over the family estate Blanche Dubois (Leigh) is forced to move into her sister, Stella (Hunter) and Stanley (Brando) brother-in-law’s cramped New Orleans working class apartment.  Blanche considers herself a lady which doesn’t sit well with Stanley who believes that he and Stella are due money from the estate.  Stella and Stanley already have a antagonistic relationship which becomes even more strained with Stella there.  Things reach a brutal climax when…

I originally saw Streetcar Named Desire years ago and loved it.  Recently re-watching it, I still really liked it (especially Brando’s performance) but dropped the rating from an “A” to a “B”.

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