Category Archives: crime

Sometimes a Hero is Just a Sandwich: “Dick Barton, Special Agent” (1948)

“Dick Barton, Special Agent”  (1948)     This first of three film productions attempting to replicate the zing of the popular Light BBC radio serial is more a product of creative corporate accounting than a legitimate attempt at producing a … Continue reading

Posted in British films, comedy, crime, espionage, germ warfare, Hammer films, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Death by Indifference: “Mr. Wong, Detective” (1938)

    “Mr. Wong, Detective”  (1938)      The initial film incarnation of Hugh Wiley’s detective creation, first popularized in 1934 in Collier’s, “Mr. Wong Detective”, presents the stylish and erudite investigator in a mystery that is fairly unworthy of a … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boris Karloff, crime, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, short stories, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Conduct Unbecoming: “The Night of the Generals” (1967)

       “The Night of the Generals”   (1967)     The makers of any film based on Hans Hellmut Kirst’s 1962 novel The Night of the Generals face a formidable task in that the author indulges in an sizeable amount of strategically inserted … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, History, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Peter O'Toole, World War II, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Stars Behind Bars: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, May 2019 Edition, Vol. 10 – 20

Stars Behind Bars: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, May 2019 Edition, Vol. 10 – 20 With the recent collegiate scandal involving several prominent Hollywood actresses doing their thespian best to convince a disgusted populace that their attempts to inflict their … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, British films, comedy, crime, Drive-In Movies, education, History, Movies, Mystery, westerns, women, writing | 4 Comments

-30-: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2019 Edition, Vol. 1984

-30-: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2019 Edition, Vol. 1984     Now that the two year Mueller investigation has reached the obvious conclusion that indeed there has been blatant seditious collusion between Russian interests to undermine and interfere with … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, Boston, comedy, crime, History, Movies, politics, Television, westerns, women, writing | Tagged , | 9 Comments

“Across 110th Street” (1972)

               “Across 110 Street”  (1972)     Barry Shear’s “Across 110th Street” walks the precarious line between the gritty urban cop thriller for which the standard was set by the previous year’s “The French Connection” … Continue reading

Posted in black cinema, Blaxploitation, books, crime, Movies, racism, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Busted: “The Organization” (1971)

“The Organization” (1971)     In “The Organization”, the final film in the Virgil Tibbs  trilogy, there is a vivid demonstration of the law of diminishing returns. The film features a plot that is not only needlessly illogical, but commits … Continue reading

Posted in black cinema, crime, movie reviews, movie sequels, Movies, Mystery, Sidney Poitier, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Knock Offs: “Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw” (1976)

       “Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw”  (1976)     When bored carhop Bobbie Jo Baker (Lynda Carter) asks charmless drifter Lyle Wheeler (Marjoe Gortner) who his hero is, the answer should be the more accurate “Clyde Barrow” rather than … Continue reading

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67 Years and No Relief in Sight: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, March 2019 Edition, Vol. 1952

  67 Years and No Relief in Sight: Classic Film Photo Quiz, Mar. 2019 Edition, Vol. 1952     Some men are born to greatness. Some have greatness thrust upon them, And some just won’t go away. Which brings us … Continue reading

Posted in biography, black cinema, books, British films, comedy, crime, History, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, Romance, women, writing | 7 Comments

Again, Savages: “No moriré sola” (2008)

         “No moriré sola”  (2008)      There are times when a solitary movie makes you regret the invention of the cinema. “No moriré sola”, a.k.a. “I’ll Never Die Alone”, is made by people who evidently found … Continue reading

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Concession Stand Bites: “Murder Inc.” (1960)

“Murder Inc.” (1960) Starring Stuart Whitman, May Britt, Peter Falk, Henry Morgan, David J. Stewart, Simon Oakland, Morey Amsterdam, Joseph Bernard, Vincent Gardenia. Written by Irve Tunick & Mel Barr, based on the book by Burton Turkus and Sid Feder. … Continue reading

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Concession Stand Bites: “Shaft” (1971)

“Shaft” (1971) Starring Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi. Directed by Gordon Parks. Written by Ernest Tidyman, based on his novel. The blaxploitation hit that supposedly started the genre into short-lived high gear is neither blaxploitation nor the hit that … Continue reading

Posted in black cinema, Blaxploitation, books, crime, Drive-In Movies, Movies, music, New York City, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Concession Stand Bites: “Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961)

“Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961) Starring Spencer Tracy. Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift. Written by Abby Mann. Directed by Stanley Kramer. Lengthy, literate courtroom drama, still the most intelligent film to come from Hollywood … Continue reading

Posted in Burt Lancaster, crime, History, Judy Garland, Movies, politics, Richard Widmark, Spencer Tracy, Stanley Kramer, World War II, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Cut Ups: “The Switchblade Sisters” (1975)

“SWITCHBLADE SISTERS” (A.K.A. “THE JEZEBELS“) (1975)      Films that purport to be Exploitation cinema but follow the routine thematic formulas of this breed of cinema without encompassing genuine prerequisite exploitation elements is simply trash without a reason to exist. … Continue reading

Posted in crime, Drive-In Movies, grindhouse, movie reviews, Movies, women, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Hecklers Needed: “Dance Hall Racket” (1953)

            “Dance Hall Racket”  (1953)   Critics have been arguing for decades over the genius/mediocrity of the late comedian Lenny Bruce, but with scant direct filmed evidence to make a case either way (certainly the … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Four Dimensions of Greta” (1972)

“Four Dimensions of Greta” (1972) Never at a loss for a gimmick to lure unsuspecting patrons to  fill seats, the 3-D craze arrived on the shores of England about two decades late with “Four Dimensions of Greta”, a film that … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, erotica, London, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Romance, sex, women | 3 Comments

Vacancy: “Cancel My Reservation” (1972)

           “Cancel My Reservation”  (1972)     Bob Hope’s last starring film role is so wince inducing, audience members may be in danger of developing permanent facial tics. This would-be murder mystery, based on a novel … Continue reading

Posted in Bob Hope, comedy, crime, Culture, Drive-In Movies, Movies, Mystery, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Soft-Boiled: “The Price of Fear” (1956)

           “The Price of Fear”  (1956)        There’s enough nervous fidgeting going on in Abner Biberman’s “The Price of Fear” to replicate seismic tremors, yet such an abundance of consternation seems unmerited in this … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, crime, Drive-In Movies, film noir, Movies, Reviews, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Party Crashers: “The Penthouse” (1967)

           “The Penthouse”  (1967)     Two strangely loquacious thugs named Tom (Tony Beckley) and Dick (Norman Rodway) stage an early morning invasion of a penthouse apartment, occupied by Bruce (Terence Morgan), a real estate broker … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, theater, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Vacancies: “Common-Law Cabin” (1967)

                  “Common-Law Cabin”  (1967)     “Common-Law Cabin” is a white trash comedy concerning the denizens of a dilapidated ranch cum tourist attraction on the Colorado River. The film begins like an … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, crime, Drive-In Movies, erotica, grindhouse, movie reviews, Movies, Russ Meyer, sex, women, writing | Tagged | 5 Comments

Chandler’s Trailers: “Terror in the Wax Museum” (1973)

“Terror in the Wax Museum”  (1973) When the body of Chamber of Horrors wax museum proprietor Claude Dupree (John Carradine) is discovered stabbed with the scalpel of his waxworks Jack the Ripper, can an obligatory stacking of bodies be far … Continue reading

Posted in crime, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

City of Fallen Angels: “To Live and Die in L.A.” (1985)

        “To Live and Die in L.A.”          (1985)     Former Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich’s novel “To Live and Die in L.A.” might have seemed a natural for cinematic adaptation, given that the book is written in such a lean, … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, Los Angeles, Movies, Reviews, William Friedkin, writing | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Slab Happy: “El cadáver de Anna Fritz” (2015)

       Slab Happy: “El cadáver de Anna Fritz”  (2015)      One need only glance at the sorry offerings on the local multiplex marquee to see that the commercial cinema is in a state of crisis. It is … Continue reading

Posted in crime, horror, Movies, Reviews, sex, Spanish films, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Battle Fatigued: “Wicked Woman” (1953)

       Battle Fatigued:  “Wicked Woman”  (1953)      Belonging to that smaller, less critically regarded, yet potent 1950’s offshoot of film noir proper, the “bad girl” film, Russell Rouse’s “Wicked Woman” offers up a portrait of a young … Continue reading

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Revisit: The Good, The Bad and The Baddest: “The French Connection” (1971)

“The French Connection”  (1971) (Originally posted on April 9, 2012)     Being a narc is assuming the role of a soldier in a never-ending war with the urban streets as the battleground; the debris littered alleys and dark, smoky dive … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, gene hackman, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roy Scheider, writing | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Ups and Downs: Classic Film Photo Quiz, March 2018 Edition, Vol. B-10

Ups and Downs: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, March 2018 Edition, Vol. B-10     Life has its ups and downs. One day you’re assured to ascend to the throne of power armed with a sense of entitlement second only … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, comedy, crime, grindhouse, humor, Movies, Musicals, Puzzles, Romance, silent movies, women | 11 Comments

Dead End: “The Last Run” (1971)

          “The Last Run”  (1971)     Richard Fleischer’s “The Last Run” is composed, by Alan Sharp, in that spare style of writing that is meant to invest a greater chimerical meaning to every utterance, and … Continue reading

Posted in 1970's movies, crime, film noir, George C. Scott, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Panic Rooms: “Tread Softly Stranger” (1958)

          “Tread Softly Stranger”  (1958)     When gambler Johnny  Mansell (George Baker) overextends his bookie debts, he flees London, returning to his working class hometown of  Rawborough to visit with his steel mill accountant brother … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged | 2 Comments

Quicksand: “Jungle Street” (1960)

               “Jungle Street”  (1960)     Charles Saunders’ “Jungle Street” is one of those minor crime dramas which the British film industry made in plentiful numbers without the greater impact of  comparable American film … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Working Girl: “The Flesh is Weak” (1957)

           “The Flesh is Weak”  (1957)      As if the film’s suggestively salacious title weren’t clue enough, if there were any doubt as to the direction to be taken by Don Chaffey’s “The Flesh is … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, London, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, sex, women, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Shades of Gray: “Juste avant la nuit” (1971)

          “Juste avant la nuit”   (1971)      If Claude Chabrol is casually regarded as the Gaellic Hitchcock, the too easily accepted comparison betrays a basic misunderstanding of not only the French filmmaker but of … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, art house cinema, Claude Chabrol, crime, erotica, Film, Film Reviews, French movies, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, writing | 4 Comments

Mug Shots: “Take the Money and Run” (1969)

      “Take the Money and Run”  (1969)    “Take the Money and Run”, Woody Allen’s directorial debut, is a parody of the crime profile documentary, and as such is not a particularly challenging nor original vehicle for a fledgling … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, crime, Documentaries, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Woody Allen, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Cesspool: “Whirlpool” (1970)

              “WHIRLPOOL”       (1970)   “Protracted” isn’t often the first word that comes to mind when think of film thrillers, especially of the psycho-sexual variety, but a flexible vocabulary certainly comes in handy when talking about José Ramón Larraz’ directorial  debut … Continue reading

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Are Those Odor Eaters Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?; Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2017 Edition, Vol. 46%

Are Those Odor Eaters Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?; Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2017 Edition, Vol. 46%     Being that films are occasionally regarded as “motion” pictures, it seems reasonable that in bringing a … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, Film, horror, humor, Jim Brown, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, westerns, women | 3 Comments

Dangerous Dames: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2017, Vol. 36-24-36

Dangerous Dames: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2017 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36      “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble”: resounds the infamous witch’s incantation exemplified by the vomitable vaudeville warblings currently on display by the intellectually challenged trio of Beltway harridans … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, Film, film noir, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, politics, Reviews, women, writing | 1 Comment

The Girl With Something Extra: “Lucy” (2014)

   “Lucy”  (2014)      Sometimes you get the opinion that certain directors watch far too many films and that they just cannot restrain themselves from emulating what it is that has already excited them on the screen. If one is in … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “How to Make a Monster” (1958)

“How to Make a Monster”   (1958) This  not very mysterious murder mystery is a sort-of sequel to both “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and the subsequent “I Was a Teenage Frankenstein” in that it features the monsters of the … Continue reading

Posted in crime, Drive-In Movies, Film Reviews, fRANKENSTEIN, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Baby, You Can Drive My Car: Classic Movie Photo Quiz, Jan. 2016 Edition, Vol. 500

Baby, You Can Drive My Car: Classic Movie Photo Quiz, Jan. 2016 Edition, Vol. 500      Sometimes it simply seems a burden in being a film critic, but evidently  that is child’s play in comparison with the Sisyphean effort women … Continue reading

Posted in blogs, comedy, crime, Film, Film Reviews, Hitchcock, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Puzzles, Reviews, women, writing | 2 Comments

Blue Lives Matter: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, November 2015 Edition, Vol 10-4

BLUE LIVES MATTER:  CLASSIC FILM IMAGES PHOTO QUIZ, NOV. 2015 EDITION, VOL. 10-4      Consider for a moment the sad state of societal disorder in which divisive intolerance has become a favored substitution for erudite enlightenment and a ludicrous … Continue reading

Posted in art house cinema, books, crime, Culture, Film, Movies, photography, politics, racism, Reviews, Steve McQueen, vermont, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Kitty Litter: “Confessions of a Psycho Cat” (1968)

           “Confessions of a Psycho Cat”  (1968)     While the variety of adaptations of Richard Connell’s seminal short story The Most Dangerous Game is impressively eclectic-  with the tale attracting cinematic interest from filmmakers on both ends … Continue reading

Posted in acting, crime, erotica, Film, Film Reviews, grindhouse, horror, movie reviews, Movies, New York City, psychiatry, Reviews, sex | Leave a comment

Revelations: “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” (1977)

“Twilight’s Last Gleaming”  (1977) Starring Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Paul Winfield, Charles Durning, Burt Young, Gerald S. O’Laughlin, Melvyn Douglas, Joseph Cotten, Richard Jaeckel, William Marshall. Screenplay by Ronald M. Cohen & Edward Huebsch, based on the novel ‘Viper Three’ … Continue reading

Posted in books, Burt Lancaster, Cold War, crime, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, politics, Reviews, Richard Widmark, Vietnam, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “The Replacement Killers” (1998)

The Replacement Killers”   (1998)  While, in theory,  imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, in the world of cinema it is more often a sign of the slavish pursuit of capitalizing on what has been proven lucrative by … Continue reading

Posted in Chow Yun-fat, crime, Film Reviews, Hong Kong cinema, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Chandler’s Trailers: “Magnum Force” (1973)

   The adventures of San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan continue in Ted Post’s “Magnum Force”; a film in which the enthusiasm for gratuitous bloodshed and mayhem actually rises appreciably from the standard set by Don Siegel’s 1971 “Dirty Harry”, along … Continue reading

Posted in 1970's movies, clint eastwood, crime, Film Reviews, movie reviews, movie sequels, Movies | Tagged | 1 Comment

Chilled, Not Stirred: “The House Across the Lake” (1954)

      American “hack novelist” Mark Kendrick  (Alex Nicol) sits at a yacht club bar and relates what amounts to a confessional to an unseen stranger (though the intended effect is that he is breaking the fourth wall and speaking … Continue reading

Posted in crime, Film, film noir, Film Reviews, Hammer films, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Playing Cop: “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!” (1970)

      “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” is an entirely inconsequential follow-up to the excellent 1967 Norman Jewison crime drama “In the Heat of the Night”, retaining only the title character (the title itself is a direct lift of … Continue reading

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The Great White Dope: “The Cotton Club” (1984)

       It’s a gangster epic, it’s a musical: it’s two failures in one. Francis Coppola’s “The Cotton Club” is another example of Hollywood’s continued tradition of minimizing the history and legacy of black culture in America and the … Continue reading

Posted in crime, dance, Film Reviews, Francis Ford Coppola, History, movie reviews, Movies, music, Reviews | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Heart Theft: “How to Steal a Million” (1966)

     Though William Wyler’s “How to Steal a Million” makes the pretense of being about a million dollar art heist, what it’s really about is Audrey Hepburn looking chic in Givenchy and Peter O’Toole mouthing the derivative bon mots of … Continue reading

Posted in Audrey Hepburn, comedy, crime, Eli Wallach, Film Reviews, Hitchcock, movie reviews, Movies, Paris, Reviews, Romance, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Two-Minute Warning” (1976)

       Larry Peerce’s “Two-Minute Warning” is a textbook demonstration of the thriller done wrong and a vivid example of the type of creatively milquetoast filmmaking which infected Universal during the 1970’s under the tutelage of the Lew Wasserman talent-agent-as-creative-artist … Continue reading

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Gallows Humor: “The Bat” (1926)

      “The Bat” is a rather creaky manor house murder mystery play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, substantially derived from Rinehart’s 1908 novel The Circular Staircase with the embellishment of a costumed super-criminal, all of which has been … Continue reading

Posted in acting, books, comedy, crime, Edgar Allan Poe, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, silent movies, theater, writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

In the Shadows of Good and Evil: “13 West Street” (1962)

          “13 West Street”      (1962)      “13 West Street” is an example of the juvenile delinquency movie of the later 50’s and early 60’s, which purports to caution against the roving teen and his natural inclination to violent antisocial behavior, … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Ladd, books, cinema, crime, Film, Film Reviews, juvenile delinquency, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Rod Steiger, writing | Leave a comment