This is the story of a black man (Jim Brown) who has been elected sheriff in a U.S. southern county, due to the vote of blacks. He receives a huge amount of hostility from the non-tolerant white establishment, making his job very hard. The white former sheriff (George Kennedy) has his own struggle, as he balances his devotion to the law with his family and community relations. Things come to a head when the black sheriff puts a white man, the son of a wealthy land-owner of a neighboring county, in jail, and his daddy comes after him. Everyone around has to decide where their values really lie. Continue reading
This charming film, made when Oliver Reed and Diana Rigg were at the height of their appeal, is what they used to call a “romp”, when it wasn’t considered to be a putdown. Reed, as Ivan, born and bred to lead an international group of highly-placed assassins, is hired by would-be reporter Sonia (Rigg) to have his group kill him, and realizing that his house badly needs some cleaning out, Ivan accepts the commission. The rest is a whirlwind tour of Europe, taking out substantial portions of the terrain as they go, avoiding bungled attempts on his life as he tries to track down the traitors who would turn the Bureau into a political machine. The dialogue is refreshingly devoid of political correctness, but maintains a firm respect between the unlikely couple as they go from bickering rivalry to bickering fondness. Guest villains include Clive Revill as a gluttonous Italian, and sad stories include the accidental demise of Roger Delgado (Dr. Who, the first Master) while on location. Much worth the time and effort Continue reading
The British Secret Service sends agent 606 (Alberto Lupo) to Cairo, to collaborate with an American colleague in searching for a stolen anti-radar device. Arriving in Egypt, he finds that agent A008 is actually an attractive female (played by Ingrid Schoeller). But they soon find out that the assignment won’t be a picnic, as a criminal mastermind named Kemp has sent his henchmen out to destroy them. Fast-paced espionage/spy thriller from director Umberto Lenzi.
Plot: The Governor sends Roy to help bring in a gang of saboteurs. Roy joins a traveling show and soon learns the saboteurs communicate during Maurice’s mind reading act that uses a hidden receiver. But Maurice is on to Roy. Roy narrowly escapes when Maurice leaves him tied up in a warehouse they are blowing up. But Maurice then kills a man and blames Roy who now finds himself in jail.
Sabateurs are blowing up government warehouses (during World War II). Roy and his pals work undercover to put an end to their operations. Songs include A Gay Ranchero, Ride ‘Em Cowboy, Ride, Ranger, Ride, Red River Valley, and I’m an Old Cowhand.
Plot: Johnny runs away from Father O’Hara’s orphanage and becomes a roller skating star with the help of Mary Reeves. He becomes involved with women, including Polly, who only love him because he is a champion, not, as with Mary, out of love for him. Then he gets polio. Written by Ed Stephan Continue reading
In 1789, when the Revolution went on, a bandit named “Black Tulip” held the
surroundings of village Roussillon in fear. The poor people respected him as Robin Hood,
who declare himself a revolutioner but Count Guillaume de Saint Preux “plays” this
benefactor. When he fought with Mouche, the policeman he was wounded … Continue reading
Youth of the Beast marked a turning point in director Seijun Suzuki’s career. No longer content to just crank out production-line gangster films, here Suzuki starts to assert his own voice. The plot is fairly typical for the genre: chipmunk-cheeked Jo Shishido stars as ex-cop Jo Mizuno, who muscles his way into the shadowy world of the yakuza. He gets hired by the clan that killed his former partner while double-dealing with the clan’s rival. Yet the plot contains some particularly Suzuki-like details. Why is Jo’s partner more interested in guns than in women? Why does Hide, the notorious gay gangster, always slash the face of anyone who mentions his mother? What does this all have to do with the Takeshita School of Knitting? Suzuki’s audacious style heightens the absurdity and artifice of both the genre and the medium with pop-art colors, loopy camera placements, and bizarre, dream-like images: A feather-clad dancer silently struts behind sound-proofed two-way mirrors, a pink dust storm serendipitously occurs while a pimp whips a junkie prostitute. The film is a dizzying visual feast whose tone Seijun Suzuki would amplify to the most absurd heights in his later films, Tokyo Drifter (1966) and Branded to Kill (1967). — Jonathan Crow Continue reading