Category Archives: 1965

Blu-Ray News #356: Village Of The Giants (1965).

Produced & Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Starring Tommy Kirk, Johnny Crawford, Beau Bridges, Joy Harmon, Robert Random, Tisha Sterling, Toni Basil, Ron Howard, The Beau Brummels

Another movie about big stuff from Bert I. Gordon. This one marries Gordon’s typical size-related theme to a Beach Party atmosphere. It’s coming to Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber later this year.

A group of teenager eats some stuff called Goo and “zoom to supersize.” The gang of 30-foot-tall juvenile delinquents then terrorize the small town of Hainesville. It’s mostly played for laughs, adding in cool elements like The Beau Brummels, music by Jack Nitzsche, Ed Roth’s Surfite and the worst fake giant legs you’ve ever seen. Some of Village Of The Giants was shot at Universal on the same town square set we know from It Came From Outer Space (1953), Gremlins (1984) and Back To The Future (1985).

The whole thing is a lot of dumb fun. Recommended.

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Filed under 1965, Avco Embassy, Bert I. Gordon, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber

Blu-Ray News #354: The Harry Palmer Collection (1965-1967).

Here in the States, the Harry Palmer films are available on Blu-Ray from two different companies (Kino Lorber has two, Warner Archive has one) — each film was originally released through a different studio. The folks at Imprint out of Australia have managed to scoop ’em all up and put them in a single package. But however you pack these things, they’re essential.

The Ipcress File (1965)
Directed by Sidney J. Furie
Starring Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson, Stanley Meadows

Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman gave us an anti-Bond with Harry Palmer, based on Len Deighton’s novels. Michael Caine was perfectly cast as the sarcastic spy — caught up in a scheme to kidnap and brainwash noted scientists.

I was 10 and had just gotten my first pair of eyeglasses when I came across The Ipcress File, and a smartass secret agent with glasses and a machine gun (and Sue Lloyd) gave me hope. Maybe it was going to be OK after all. I love this film. But don’t take it from me, the BFI named it one of the 100 best British films of the 20th century.

Funeral In Berlin (1966)
Directed by Guy Hamilton
Starring Michael Caine, Paul Hubschmid, Oskar Homolka, Eva Renzi, Guy Doleman

Palmer is sent to Germany to arrange the defection of a Russian intelligence officer. Things get weird. This one was directed by Guy Hamilton, who’d just done Goldfinger (1964). Given the different tones of the two films, you’d never know. 

Billion Dollar Brain (1967)
Directed by Ken Russell
Starring Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Ed Begley, Oskar Homolka, Françoise Dorléac, Guy Doleman 

A half-dozen eggs containing a deadly virus are stolen from a British research facility. Palmer, no longer part of MI5, is hired to bring them back. Before long, he’s back in MI5 and trying to bring down a supercomputer while recovering the eggs. The great Andre de Toth worked on this one as an executive producer; he’d later direct Caine in the underrated Play Dirty (1968).

Of course, Imprint is giving these their usual wealth of extras, from commentaries and interviews to trailers, stills and more. Even isolated tracks for the scores. Have all three together, and with all this extra stuff, is a really big deal. Coming in September. Can’t wait!

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Filed under 1965, 1966, 1967, Andre de Toth, DVD/Blu-ray News, Guy Hamilton, Harry Palmer, Imprint Films, Ken Russell, Michael Caine, Sidney J. Furie

Blu-Ray News #344: Masquerade (1965).

Directed by Basil Dearden
Starring Cliff Robertson, Jack Hawkins, Marisa Mell, Michel Piccoli, Bill Fraser, Charles Gray

Kino Lorber has announced that they’re bringing Basil Deardon’s spy comedy Masquerade (1965) to Blu-Ray in September.

Cliff Robertson replaced Rex Harrison in the lead, and the script was revised by William Goldman to add an American spin on Robertson’s dialogue. For fans of Bava’s Danger: Diabolik (1968) Maris Mell has a great part here. There were so many of these types of things playing theaters in the mid-60s as Bond-mania spread across the globe not unlike the coronavirus.

Shot in Spain by the great Otto Heller (The Ladykillers, Peeping Tom, The Ipcress File), this will be a real piece of eye candy in high definition. Recommended.

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Filed under 1965, DVD/Blu-ray News, Jack Hawkins, Kino Lorber, Marisa Mell, United Artists

Blu-Ray News #342: In Harm’s Way (1965).

Directed by Otto Preminger
Starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Paula Prentiss, Brandon De Wilde, Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda, Slim Pickens, George Kennedy, Bruce Cabot, Barbara Bouchet

Nothing makes me love the Blu-Ray format more than black and white ‘Scope movies. They look just wonderful. So I’m really stoked that Paramount is bringing Otto Preminger’s In Harm’s Way (1965) to Blu-Ray in June.

It’s a bit of a soap opera, but John Wayne’s in it, the model work is really cool, Loyal Griggs’s cinematography is beautiful and Jerry Goldsmith’s score is terrific. Highly recommended.

One gripe: back in ’65, this picture boasted a brilliant poster design from the great Saul Bass (above). Why would Paramount ditch that in favor something totally cheeseball?

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Filed under 1965, DVD/Blu-ray News, Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Paramount, Saul Bass, Slim Pickens

Blu-Ray News #308: Hammer Films – The Ultimate Collection (1958-1971).

I’ve been really impressed with Mill Creek’s Hammer releases. They don’t have the extras we get from someone like Scream Factory, but they look good, they’re often in double bills or sets (with us DVD/Blu-Ray collectors, shelf space is always a concern), and the price is certainly right. 

Mill Creek’s newest Hammer project is the 20-picture Hammer Films – The Ultimate Collection. It’s got some great stuff — some are repeats from previous MC releases, some not. It focuses on Hammer films that were distributed by Columbia in the States. Here’s the lineup:

The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958)
The Snorkel (1958)
The Camp On Blood Island (1958)
Yesterday’s Enemy (1959)
The Two Faces Of Dr. Jekyll (1960)
Never Take Candy From A Stranger (1960)

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The Stranglers Of Bombay (1960)
Cash On Demand (1961)
Scream Of Fear (1961)
Stop Me Before I Kill! (1961)

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The Terror Of The Tongs (1961)
The Pirates Of Blood River (1962)
These Are The Damned (1962)
The Old Dark House (1963)
The Curse Of The Mummy’s Tomb (1963)
Maniac (1963)
The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)

The Gorgon (1964)
Die! Die! My Darling (1965)
Creatures The World Forgot (1971)

I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing. These films are essential stuff. A few of these I haven’t seen in quite a while — and never on Blu-Ray. It’s coming in November.

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Filed under 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1971, Arthur Grant, Christopher Lee, Columbia, Don Sharp, DVD/Blu-ray News, Freddie Francis, Hammer Films, John Gilling, Kerwin Matthews, Mill Creek, Oliver Reed, Peter Cushing, Stanley Baker, Terence Fisher, Val Guest, William Castle

Blu-Ray News #292: The Ipcress File (1965).

Ipcress File US LC 1

Directed by Sidney J. Furie
Starring Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson, Stanley Meadows

Kino Lorber’s Blu-Ray of the third, and last, Harry Palmer film, Billion Dollar Brain(1967), was very nice. And I’m so glad to hear they’re coming through with the first one, The Ipcress File (1965). I love this film.

I was 10 and had just gotten my first pair of eyeglasses when I came across The Ipcress File, and a smartass secret agent with glasses and a machine gun (and Sue Lloyd) gave me hope. Maybe it was going to be OK after all.

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Filed under 1965, DVD/Blu-ray News, Harry Palmer, Kino Lorber, Michael Caine, Sidney J. Furie, Universal (-International)

Blu-Ray News #274: The Pirates Of Blood River (1962).

Directed by John Gilling
Starring Kerwin Mathews, Christopher Lee, Glenn Corbett, Marla Landi

Our friends at Indicator/Powerhouse have dug up some real treasure with their latest Hammer set — Passport To China (1961), The Pirates Of Blood River (1962), The Crimson Blade (1963) and The Brigand Of Kandahar (1965).

John Gilling’s Blood River is absolutely essential. Christopher Lee is terrific in it.

Called Hammer Volume Five: Death & Deceit, the set is limited to 6,000 units. Coming ashore in March.

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Filed under 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, Christopher Lee, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Hammer Films, Indicator/Powerhouse, John Gilling, Kerwin Matthews

Happy Thanksgiving.

Not sure what you’re doing this Thanksgiving, but I hope it’s fun and delicious and safe.

I’m enjoying Warner Archive’s terrific Blu-Ray of Operation Crossbow (1965) — and I have to say, I’m quite thankful for it.

Will have a review up soon. In the meantime, here’s a maze that promoted the picture in newspapers and theatre handouts back in’65. Enjoy!

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Filed under 1965, DVD/Blu-ray News, George Peppard, MGM, Warner Archive

Blu-Ray News #261: Operation Crossbow (1965).

Directed by Michael Anderson
Starring Sophia Loren, George Peppard, Trevor Howard, John Mills, Richard Johnson, Tom Courtenay

Warner Archive has announced a November Blu-Ray release for Michael Anderson’s Operation Crossbow (1965), a really terrific World War II secret mission movie.

It’s funny, as I was getting ready this morning, I came across George Peppard in an episode of The A-Team on TV and thought to myself, it’d be great to get Operation Crossbow on Blu-Ray. Looking forward to seeing this one again, and it’ll really be something in high definition. Highly recommended.

I’m sure this news made my good friend Dick Vincent very happy.

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Filed under 1965, DVD/Blu-ray News, MGM, Warner Archive

Bob Dylan In In Harm’s Way?

From an interview posted on BobDylan.com —

Bill Flanagan: You met John Wayne in 1966. How did you two hit it off?

Bob Dylan: Pretty good, actually. The Duke, I met him on a battleship in Hawaii where he was filming a movie, he and Burgess Meredith. One of my former girlfriends was in the movie, too, and she told me to come over there. She introduced me to him and he asked me to play some folk songs. I played him “Buffalo Skinners,” “Raggle Taggle Gypsy,” and I think “I’m a Rambler, I’m a Gambler.” He told me if I wanted to, I could stick around and be in the movie. He was friendly to me.

Love that poster art by Saul Bass!

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Filed under 1965, Bob Dylan, Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Paramount, Saul Bass, Slim Pickens