Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Vic Morrow, Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Ansara, Cesar Romero, Stanley Holloway, Victor Buono, Charlotte Rampling
This thing’s been almost impossible to track down over the years — a Roger Corman-directed TV movie deemed too violent for TV and sent to theaters instead (similar to Don Siegel’s The Killers). And now Kino Lorber’s bringing it to Blu-Ray.
This is the only Corman picture I haven’t seen. It pairs Batman‘s Joker and King Tut. It was edited by Monte Hellman and scored by Les Baxter. I can’t wait.
(March 29, 1942 – October 6, 2018)
Scott Wilson, a criminally underrated actor, has passed away at 76.
He made his debut in In The Heat Of The Night, followed immediately by In Cold Blood (both 1967). Lots of good stuff followed, from The Gypsy Moths (1969) to The New Centurions (1972) to The Right Stuff (1983) and beyond.
Wilson was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for The Ninth Configuration (1980). He’s so good in that one, it’s scary. More recently, he appeared in a few seasons of The Walking Dead, which I hope sent folks looking for his earlier work. It’s certainly worth the effort.
Mr. Wilson was from my home town: Thomasville, Georgia.
Filed under 1967, 1969, 1972
Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo from my all-time favorite movie, Where Eagles Dare (1969), to mark Mr. Eastwood’s 87th birthday.
Broadsword calling Danny Boy!
Directed by Sidney Pollack
Starring Burt Lancaster, Peter Falk, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Patrick O’Neal, Scott Wilson, Tony Bill, Al Freeman, Jr., Bruce Dern, Michael Conrad
This is a weird movie, but I always liked it — thanks largely to Burt Lancaster and the terrific supporting cast (Peter Falk, Scott Wilson, Bruce Dern). Lancaster’s a one-eyed major whose company takes over a French castle toward the end of World War II.
The production had its woes, from unusually warm Yugoslavian temperatures that melted the snow and prompted the trees to sprout buds to trouble with pyrotechnics that meant sets had to be rebuilt. Hopefully some of that will be covered in the interviews and others supplements that are part of the upcoming Blu-Ray from Indicator/Powerhouse Films in the UK.
Directed by Jim O’Connolly
Starring James Franciscus, Richard Carlson, Gila Golan
The incredible stop-motion creature effects of Ray Harryhausen seem made for high-definition. So it’s always good news when some of his work is announced for Blu-Ray. The latest is The Valley Of Gwangi (1969) from Warner Archive.
The cowboys vs. dinosaurs storyline, with a good bit of King Kong (1933) worked in, came from Ray Harryhausen’s mentor Willis O’Brien. It had been brought to the screen as The Beast Of Hollow Mountain (1956). The effects in Gwangi are incredible, some of the master’s finest. And while the movie wasn’t a hit back in ’69, Harryhausen’s legion of fans have always dug it. Warner Archive haven’t put a date on it yet, but it’s coming.
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Christopher Lee, Richard Greene
The Blood Of Fu Manchu (1968, AKA Kiss And Kill) and The Castle Of Fu Manchu (1969) — the last two pictures in producer Harry Alan Towers’ series based on Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu, star Christopher Lee, Richard Greene and the Law Of Diminishing Returns.
Directed by the Spanish cult director Jess Franco, they have their fans — and they’ll be happy to know that Blue Underground is bringing them to Blu-Ray some time this year. The previous DVD release had a lot of extras, which will make their way to the Blu-Ray set.
The first and third Lee/Fu Manchu pictures, The Face Of Fu Manchu (1965, directed by Don Sharp) and The Vengeance Of Fu Manchu (1967) are available from Warner Archive. (I really like Face.) The second, The Brides Of Fu Manchu (1966), was released several years ago from Warners, paired with Chamber Of Horrors (also 1966). How deep you want to go in this series is a personal thing, but Lee makes a terrific Fu Manchu — and let’s not forget him as Chung King in Hammer’s Terror Of The Tongs (1961).
Spectre opens in the U.S. today, and the whole world seems to be a little James Bond crazy. This seems like a good time to name-drop my favorite 007 movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
I highly recommend this one and urge you to check out a terrific blog post on it from Jeff Flugel. Click on the title card and away you go.
One of these days, I’m gonna get around to writing about it myself. But Jeff’s coverage of it has me a little intimidated.