When college professor Peter Proud begins to experience flashbacks from a previous incarnation, he is mysteriously drawn to a place he has never been before but which is troublingly familiar. As if drawn to her by cosmic force, he soon finds himself unwittingly in the company of his previous incarnation’s wife. This woman, Marcia Curtis, recognizes in Peter startling characteristics which he shares with her dead husband, Jeff. Even the sound of his voice seems at times to be that of the dead man. Peter becomes romantically drawn to Ann Curtis who is or was his daughter (Jeff and Marcia’s daughter). Recognizing the incestuous nature of their relationship, Mrs. Curtis tries to keep the two young people apart. But how? Must she reveal the terrible secret of the final minutes she shared with her husband in order to keep this man from her (their?) daughter? Read More »
J. Lee Thompson
The spectacular hordes of Cossack horsemen flying across the steppes to do battle with first one enemy and then another are the highlights of this otherwise thinly scripted costume drama set in the 16th century in the Ukraine. After the Cossack leader Taras Bulba (Yul Brynner) makes a pact with the Poles to join forces against the Turks and drive them from the European steppes, victory brings betrayal as the Poles then turn on their ally and force the Cossacks into the hills. From there, Taras Bulba decides that one of his sons, Andrei (Tony Curtis), will be sent to Polish schools to better learn the nature of their enemy. While away from home and hearth, the adult Andrei falls in love with a Polish noblewoman, Natalia (Christine Kaufmann, who would become the second Mrs. Curtis). As time progresses, the tensions between father and son, loyalty and love, ethnic identity and assimilation steadily increase until they end in tragedy. Taras Bulba was nominated for a 1963 Academy Award for “Best Music”, scored by Franz Waxman (By Eleanor Mannika, from Allmovie). Read More »
The Original Masterpiece of Revenge, Confrontation and Murder!
Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum star in Hollywood’s classic tale of revenge and murder. Robert Mitchum is unforgettable as Max Cady, an ex-con determined to exact a terrible revenge on Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) and his family.
Sam is a small-town lawyer whose worst nightmare comes true when the criminal he helped put away returns to stalk his beautiful young wife (Polly Bergen) and teenage daughter (Lori Martin). Despite help from the local police chief (Martin Balsam) and a private detective (Telly Savalas), Sam is legally powerless to keep Max from playing his sadistic game of cat and mouse. Finally, Sam must put his family’s lives at stake in a deadly trap that leads to one of the most suspenseful and heart-pounding confrontations ever committed to film.
Director J. Lee Thompson builds tension with each scene leading to a deadly showdown at Cape Fear. This is truly a masterpiece of shock and suspense. Read More »
The fourth Planet of the Apes film is set in 1991, 20 years since the assassination of talking, time-traveling apes Cornelius and Zira at the end of Escape From the Planet of the Apes. The couple’s infant son, Caesar (Roddy McDowall), has grown to adulthood in the care of kindly circus owner Armando (Ricardo Montalban). Meanwhile, a plague has wiped all dogs and cats from the face of the Earth; speechless primitive apes have therefore been domesticated and turned into first pets, then servants of humankind. Caesar becomes outraged at the treatment of these simian slaves and accidentally reveals his powers of speech in front of the militaristic authorities, who kill Armando when he tries to protect his friend’s identity. His cover blown, Caesar kick-starts a revolution that pits chimps against humans, paving the way for eventual ape ascendency. Caesar was the second of McDowall’s three Planet of the Apes characters; he also portrayed Cornelius in the first and third films and Galen in the short-lived 1974 television series. After taking over the franchise with this picture, Hollywood veteran J. Lee Thompson would become the only director to helm two Planet of the Apes films when he returned for the fifth and final installment. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide Read More »
The fifth and last of the original series of motion pictures based upon author Pierre Boulle’s imaginative novel Monkey Planet, this science fiction film was the least-liked by the series’ legion of fans. Roddy McDowall returns as Caesar, the rebellious intelligent chimp of the previous film, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972). Caesar led his brethren in a revolution against their human masters earlier, but humanity has since nearly destroyed itself in a nuclear apocalypse, and survivors are second-class citizens within ape society. Now a beneficent ruler of his people, Caesar encourages a fragile, peaceful coexistence with humans, despite the protests of militaristic gorilla leader General Aldo (Claude Akins). When Caesar learns that recordings of his murdered parents may exist in the Forbidden City, he journeys to the irradiated wasteland with the human MacDonald (Austin Stoker) and the wise orangutan Virgil (Paul Williams). Although Caesar finds what he’s looking for, he also attracts unwanted attention: mutant humans who still dwell underground in the devastated war zone follow the search party back home, leading to a climactic battle and Aldo’s tragic challenge of Caesar’s authority. Suffering greatly due to penny-pinching studio 20th Century Fox’s low budget, Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) is most notable for a cameo by director John Huston as an ape named “The Lawgiver,” who appears in a wraparound segment. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide Read More »