Pedro Armendáriz - News Poster

News

Review: "The Wonderful Country" (1959) Starring Robert Mitchum; Kino Lorber Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Doug Oswald

Robert Mitchum is Martin Brady, an American hired gun living in exile in Mexico in “The Wonderful Country,” a Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber. While waiting on the Rio Grande for his contact for a gun smuggling job, Brady decides to escort the wagon north to Puerto, Texas, and pick up a cache of guns on behalf of his employers, the Castro brothers. Pancho Gil (Mike Kellin), another agent of the Castros, arrives to escort the guns they’re buying from a man named Sterner, but Brady insists on picking up the guns himself. When one of Brady’s associates reminds him that he’s a wanted man in America, Brady states, “I want to see the other side of the river.”

Arriving in Puerto, a tumble-weed startles Brady’s horse and he breaks a leg in the fall. He’s aided by Dr. Herbert J. Stovall
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Our Man in Havana

It’s Obi-Wan versus Fidel! Well, not really. The pre-Bond espionage genre lights up with cool intrigues and comic absurdities, as a Brit vacuum salesman in Havana is recruited to spy for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The filmmakers and stars are all top caliber, and the location is legendary: Castro’s Cuba, immediately after the revolution.

Our Man in Havana

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1959 / B&W / 2:35 widescreen / 107 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O’Hara, Ernie Kovacs, Noël Coward, Ralph Richardson, Jo Morrow, Gregoire Aslan.

Cinematography: Oswald Morris

Music Score: Frank and Laurence Deniz

Art Direction: John Box

Film Editor: Bert Bates

Written by Graham Greene from his novel

Produced and Directed by Carol Reed

One of the best pre-James Bond spy pictures is this brilliant, yet lumpy adventure with an historically unique setting — it was filmed in Castro’s Cuba,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Review: "The Conqueror" (1956) Starring John Wayne And Susan Hayward; Universal Vault DVD Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Doug Oswald

Released as a burn-to-order DVD from the Universal Vault Series, some may be quick to add that they should have kept “The Conqueror” in the vault. The movie is notorious for being one of the worst movies in Hollywood history. Much has been written about how terrible this movie is so I’m going to avoid jumping on that bandwagon. After all, calling this movie bad is like calling out water for being wet.

The movie is also a part of a conspiracy theory of sorts because many of the cast and crew died from cancer and some have connected those cancer deaths to the location filming in St. George Utah which was the stand-in for the Gobi Desert. St. George is downwind from where the above ground nuclear testing occurred in Nevada. Indeed, many involved with this movie did succumb to cancer including lifetime smoker John Wayne
See full article at CinemaRetro »

‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ – a challenging, invigorating and romantic piece of action filmmaking

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Written by Richard Maibaum

Directed by Peter Hunt

UK, 1969

To call On Her Majesty’s Secret Service underappreciated is to call the sky blue. Only in the years since the release of Daniel Craig’s introduction to the series, Casino Royale, has Ohmss begun to be reappraised as a realistic, character-driven approach to the Bond series. Its failure at the box office compared to the Connery entries that preceded it led to the producers, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Salzman, returning to the Goldfinger formula of larger than life villains, iconic henchmen, ludicrously elaborate take-over-the-world schemes, and a generally heightened sense to the proceedings, all of which are noticeably absent from Ohmss.

Sean Connery had a rough experience during filming of 1967’s You Only Live Twice. The media scrutiny, long filming periods, and promotional duties caused him to leave the role that had made his career.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘From Russia With Love’ remains sans pareil

From Russia With Love

Directed by Terrence Young

Written by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood

1963, UK

50 years later, and with twenty-three “official” entries, From Russia With Love represents the very best of the Bond franchise. Skyfall is the closest to be considered, at best – almost equal to what was achieved in ’64 – but From Russia With Love is still unparalleled. Although it is the second in the series, and although it feels like no Bond film that followed, it is the film that solidifies all the Bond elements into a formula – a template that carries on, even today.

Spectre’s Persian-stroking nemesis/mastermind Ernest Blofeld makes his first appearance and so does Desmond Llewelyn’s gadget-friendly Q (starting a run that continued until his death in 1999). Screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood return, as does director and editor Terence Young and Peter Hunt. John Barry supplies the fine score by utilizing Monte Norman’s theme,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Countdown to Spectre – From Russia with Love Review

Ricky Church counts down to the release of Spectre with a retro review of From Russia with Love

In From Russia with Love, James Bond’s adventures continue as he’s sent to help Tatiana, a young Russian clerk, defect with Russia’s new cryptograph machine, though in actuality she’s being sent undercover. Unbeknownst to either the British or Russian government though, they are being manipulated by the terrorist organization known as Spectre to raise the tension between the two countries, gain their cryptograph machine, humiliate the British government and kill James Bond in revenge for Dr. No’s defeat.

This is one of the few Bond films of the entire franchise that actually builds off events from the previous film, even if it is mentioned briefly. Spectre becomes a very prominent enemy to Bond with this film, also notable for its brief introduction to Blofeld, Spectre’s leader,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Wonderful Country

Let's hear it for the great westerns -- not the Ford and Hawks classics, but the fascinating marginal gems that see The West in a different way. Do you like Sam Peckinpah? Robert Parrish's evocation of Texas and Mexico in the 1880s will be pleasantly familiar -- a testing ground of personal codes and shifting loyalties in a treacherous land. The Wonderful Country Savant Blu-ray Review Kl Studio Classics 1959 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 98 min. / Street Date September 29, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95  Starring Robert Mitchum, Julie London, Pedro Armendariz, Gary Merrill, Jack Oakie, Albert Dekker, Charles McGraw, Leroy "Satchel" Paige. Cinematography Floyd Crosby Film Editor Michael Luciano Production Design Harry Horner Original Music Alex North Written by Robert Ardrey from the book by Tom Lea Produced by Chester Erskine Directed by Robert Parrish

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

This gem is as individual a western as any made in the 1950s, and a
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Fiery Red-Head Hayward Is TCM's Star of the Month

Susan Hayward. Susan Hayward movies: TCM Star of the Month Fiery redhead Susan Hayward it Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in Sept. 2015. The five-time Best Actress Oscar nominee – like Ida Lupino, a would-be Bette Davis that only sporadically landed roles to match the verve of her thespian prowess – was initially a minor Warner Bros. contract player who went on to become a Paramount second lead in the early '40s, a Universal leading lady in the late '40s, and a 20th Century Fox star in the early '50s. TCM will be presenting only three Susan Hayward premieres, all from her Fox era. Unfortunately, her Paramount and Universal work – e.g., Among the Living, Sis Hopkins, And Now Tomorrow, The Saxon Charm – which remains mostly unavailable (in quality prints), will remain unavailable this month. Highlights of the evening include: Adam Had Four Sons (1941), a sentimental but surprisingly
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

James Bond 007: revisiting From Russia With Love

In the second of our James Bond retrospectives, we look at From Russia With Love, starring Sean Connery...

Two films in and the James Bond franchise reaches its artistic highpoint. Downhill from here? Certainly for some; others won’t see what the hype is. Yet critically, From Russia with Love remains the darling: a gritty, almost-plausible tale of gypsies, Spectre and sex tapes. It boasts a whole array of brilliant characters and a fight scene to make Daniel Craig crap his paints. Anyone who claims the film is slightly dull has my opposition and my sneaking respect.

The Villain (s): Spectre. A real team effort here. Until the release of Bond 24 (which it seems fair to bet will feature the organisation pretty heavily) From Russia With Love remains the definitive exploration of the creatively acronymed gang. (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.) Chief of Operations Rosa Klebb is calculating,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Which is the greatest British film in history? No one seems to be in agreement

Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Conqueror: Hollywood gives Genghis Khan a kicking he won't forget

As if the film's dodgy dialogue and Dr Seuss suits weren't insult enough – casting John Wayne in the lead role really put the cowboy boot in the Mongol warrior's legacy

The Conqueror (1956)

Director: Dick Powell

Entertainment grade: D–

History grade: D+

Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire in the 12th century.

Casting

The Conqueror was written for Marlon Brando, but he dodged it thanks to his contract with another studio. Meanwhile, John Wayne was at the peak of his career – he made The Searchers soon afterwards – and producer Howard Hughes was inclined to give him whatever he wanted. What he wanted, apparently, was to be a 12th-century Mongolian warlord. Well, who doesn't? This is how one of the worst casting decisions of all time was made, and John Wayne became Genghis Khan.

Dialogue

The film opens with Temujin, as Genghis was originally known, intercepting a wedding procession of Merkits. No,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘The Conqueror’ is a romanticized Shakespearean effort presented by John Wayne

The Conqueror

Written by Oscar Millard

Directed by Dick Powell

USA, 1956

How bad a film is Howard Hughes notorious disaster, well it only managed to kill John Wayne is all. No not Wayne’s career, Wayne himself. The film was shot on location near St. George, Utah (obviously for its uncanny resemblance to that of northeast Asia), 137 miles from above-ground nuclear weapons testing. The filmmakers knew about the testing but were assured by the federal government that they caused no hazard. 91 out of the 220 cast and crew were diagnosed with some form of cancer within 15 years of filming and the death toll included the film’s director Dick Powell as well as the leads Pedro Armendáriz, Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead and of course The Duke himself. Producer Hughes so regretted his decision to film near a hazard site that he bought every copy of the film for $12 million and locked
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘Fort Apache’ mixes action with an unflattering look at the military’s ranking system

Fort Apache

Written by Frank S. Nugent, based on the story by James Warner Bellah

Directed by John Ford

U.S.A., 1948

It has been recognized that one of the greatest natural symbols of the United States that helped popularize the western genre is Monument Valley, located on the Utah-Arizona state line. Its rocky walls and pillars are instantly recognizable for their iconic, curious shapes and arresting beauty. John Ford, who is most known for his classic westerns films, made terrific use of the wondrous sight a number of times in his career, starting with Stagecoach in 1939. In 1948, he would return to Monument Valley yet again for another John Wayne collaboration, Fort Apache. Each of his films had distinct personalities and stories, though he always manged to enrich the experience with the famed vista.

In Fort Apache, Lt. Col. Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda) is commissioned with the task of
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘From Russia With Love’ remains sans pareil

From Russia With Love

Directed by Terrence Stamp

Written by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood

1963, UK

50 years later, and with twenty three “official” entries, From Russia With Love represents the very best of the Bond franchise. Skyfall is the closest to be considered, at best – almost equal to what was achieved in ’64 – but From Russia With Love is still unparalleled. Although it is the second in the series, and although it feels like no Bond film that followed, it is the film that solidifies all the Bond elements into a formula – a template that carries on, even today.

Spectre’s Persian-stroking nemesis/mastermind Ernest Blofeld makes his first appearance (even if he’s not referred to by that name), and so does Desmond Llewelyn’s gadget-friendly Q (starting a run that continued until his death in 1999). Screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood return as does director and editor Terence Young and Peter Hunt.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

50 Years of Bond: ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ – a challenging, invigorating and romantic piece of action filmmaking

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Written by Richard Maibaum

Directed by Peter Hunt

UK, 1969

To call On Her Majesty’s Secret Service underappreciated is to call the sky blue. Only in the years since the release of Daniel Craig’s introduction to the series, Casino Royale, has Ohmss begun to be reappraised as a realistic, character-driven approach to the Bond series. Its failure at the box office compared to the Connery entries that preceded it led to the producers, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Salzman, returning to the Goldfinger formula of larger than life villains, iconic henchmen, ludicrously elaborate take-over-the-world schemes, and a generally heightened sense to the proceedings, all of which are noticeably absent from Ohmss.

Sean Connery had a rough experience during filming of 1967′s You Only Live Twice. The media scrutiny, long filming periods, and promotional duties caused him to leave the role that had made his career.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

007 Favorite 007 Films

Deborah Lipp, the Ultimate James Bond Fan, is listing 007 of her favorite things as we count down to Skyfall

I spent a couple of years compiling lists made by James Bond fans; primarily favorite movies, least-favorites, and ranked lists of the whole series. The fun thing to discover is, when it comes to James Bond, everyone's an outlier. Every single movie appeared on someone's favorites and someone's least-favorites. Plus, everyone's list had a unique feature, an eyebrow-raiser. I bet if we did a poll here -- should we do a poll here? -- the same thing would happen.

So, eyebrow-raiser and all, here's my top 007 Bond films...

001 From Russia With Love (1963)

To me, the second Bond movie is the greatest of them all. It's the perfect blend of Bond ingredients: Action, adventure, exotic locations, sex, mystery, espionage, music, humor, visual impact, and an outstanding cast. Beyond Sean Connery and the
See full article at FilmExperience »

My favourite Bond film: From Russia With Love

Sean Connery's 1963 outing to Istanbul may look grainy now, but his exchanges with Robert Shaw have lost none of their edge

From Russia With Love is my favourite James Bond movie, simply because it is the first Bond I ever saw at the cinema. This was at the old Classic in Hendon Central in London, some time in the early 1970s, in an era before Bond films were shown on television, and going to see them at the cinema was a special school-holiday treat. Quite long-in-the-tooth Bond films would be revived on the big screen like this: this was a double bill of From Russia With Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).

What a thrill to hear that incredible theme tune played live (as it were) for the first time, echoing around the cavernous old cinema and seeing those opening titles: the mysterious circle shunting across the dark screen, Bond walking in profile,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Blu-ray Review: John Ford's "Fort Apache" (1948) Starring John Wayne And Henry Fonda

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

While most film historians consider She Wore a Yellow Ribbon to be the best of John Ford's fabled "Cavalry Trilogy", for my money Fort Apache was far and away the strongest of the films. Ribbon and Rio Grande are certainly excellent films but they are primarily compromised by Ford's penchant for overt sentimentality. Fort Apache, however, is a far more sinister look at the West, one that was decades ahead of its time in terms of presenting the case of the Native Americans in a sympathetic fashion. It's ironic that people like Marlon Brando, who extolled the cause of Native American rights, would cite Ford's films as having been detrimental to the Indian cause. In fact, Ford was so highly regarded by the Navajo that he was made an honorary member of the tribe, primarily because of his consistent efforts to improve their lives. Ford became
See full article at CinemaRetro »

James Bond Retrospective: From Russia With Love (1963)

As James Bond prepares for his 23rd official outing in Skyfall and to mark next year’s 50th Anniversary of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time I have been tasked to take a retrospective look at the films that turned author Ian Fleming’s creation into one of the most recognised and iconic characters in film history.

Following the huge success of the first James Bond film Dr. No, producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were keen to start production on a follow-up. With United Artists offering the pair $2 million, double the budget of Dr. No, to quickly get a sequel in the works Broccoli and Saltzman were left to decide which of Fleming’s novels to adapt next.

In an interview with Life magazine the then Us President John F. Kennedy had mentioned the Bond novel From Russia With Love in a list of his top ten favourite books.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

John Garfield Movie Schedule: Pride Of The Marines, The Postman Always Rings Twice

John Garfield on TCM: Humoresque, Four Daughters, We Were Strangers Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Four Daughters (1938) A small-town family's peaceful life is shattered when one daughter falls for a rebellious musician. Dir: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Priscilla Lane, Claude Rains, Jeffrey Lynn, John Garfield. Bw-90 mins. 7:45 Am Blackwell's Island (1939) A reporter gets himself sent to prison to expose a mobster. Dir: William McGann. Cast: John Garfield, Rosemary Lane, Dick Purcell. Bw-71 mins. 9:00 Am They Made Me A Criminal (1939) A young boxer flees to farming country when he thinks he's killed an opponent in the ring. Dir: Busby Berkeley. Cast: John Garfield, Claude Rains, Gloria Dickson. Bw-92 mins. 10:45 Am Dangerously They Live (1942) A doctor tries to rescue a young innocent from Nazi agents. Dir: Robert Florey. Cast: John Garfield, Nancy Coleman, Raymond Massey. Bw-77 mins. 12:15 Pm Pride Of The Marines (1945) A blinded
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With | External Sites