Category Archives: Mystery

“That’s Where the Money Is”: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct. 2019 Edition, Vol. 2%

“That’s Where the Money Is”:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct. 2019 Edition, Vol. 2% Consistent with our desire to occasionally present what might be leniently considered a public service in order to maintain a favorable tax status and to … Continue reading

Posted in art house cinema, books, Boston, British films, Canada, crime, film noir, Movies, Mystery, photography, westerns, writing | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Spy Who Confused Me: “Superseven chiama Cairo” (1965)

      “Superseven chiama Cairo”  (1965)     If imitation were genuinely the sincerest form of flattery, then Ian Fleming’s most popular creation would have merited the author the Nobel Prize for Literature. As it stands, what is entertaining … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, espionage, Eurospy movies, Italian cinema, Movies, Mystery, Romance, Rosalba Neri, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

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

25 Pictures in Search of a Theme: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2019 Edition, Vol. 133524.48

25 Pictures in Search of a  Theme: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2019 Edition, Vol. 133524.48s     Since the inception of Chandler Swain Reviews, we have engaged in the constant struggle between the search for Art and depth … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, Boston, Cecil B. DeMille, comedy, History, horror, Movies, Mystery, photography, Romance, women, writing | 1 Comment

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

Firearms For Fun and Profit: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Aug. 2019 Edition, Vol. .38 Caliber

Firearms for Fun and Profit:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Aug. 2019 Edition, Vol. .38 Caliber     Let us consider, for a moment,  the strained logic inherent in the Constitutional inalienable right to be contrary, hypocritical and downright stupid … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, Drive-In Movies, film noir, grindhouse, History, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, photography, westerns, women | 1 Comment

Reserved Seating: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2019 Edition, Vol. A7

Reserved Seating:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2019 Edition, Vol. A7     Movies are a funny business (Unless the studios are attempting a comedy, in which case Hollywood can be the most depressing place on Earth.) and the … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, comedy, Drive-In Movies, History, Movies, Mystery, photography, politics, silent movies, Television, theater, women, writing | 3 Comments

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

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

Chandler’s Trailers: “The Holcroft Covenant” (1985)

The resurgence of the Third Reich seems to be popular sport for thriller novelists seeking an easily identifiable scapegoat for global chicanery, and nowhere has this premise been given a more haphazard treatment than in John Frankenheimer’s film of the … Continue reading

Posted in books, espionage, History, John Frankenheimer, Michael Caine, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, World War II, writing | 2 Comments

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

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

A Not So Fine Madness: “A Reflection of Fear” (1972)

       “A Reflection of Fear”  (1972)   Cinematographers who assume the director’s mantle often produce movies which heavily favor the visual rather than the contextually comprehensible, with the fledgling filmmaker often failing to make allowances for the fact … Continue reading

Posted in books, Canada, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, women, writing | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Overcooked: “Coma” (1978)

                     “Coma”  (1978)      In his debut novel ‘Coma’, Robin Cook presented an unlikely set of circumstances concerning a vast criminal conspiracy within a fictitious Boston hospital, that stretched the very … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, medicine, Michael Crichton, Movies, Mystery, Richard Widmark, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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

Who’s That Sleeping in My Head?: “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud” (1975)

       “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud”  (1975)     What is it about extrasensory activity in movies that makes you want to run the other way? If a character is blessed with precognitive visions, it is an inevitable curse leading to … Continue reading

Posted in books, movie reviews, Movies, music, Mystery, new england, psychiatry, 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

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

Rainy Day Monday: Classic Film Photo Images Quiz, Oct. 2018 Edition, Vol. 23

Rainy Day Monday: Classic Film Photo Images Quiz, Oct. 2018 Edition, Vol. 23     Welcome again guys and chicklets to yet another in the long suffering series known as The Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as … Continue reading

Posted in books, comedy, erotica, History, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, photography, Romance, women, writing | 8 Comments

The Return of the Classic Film Clip Quiz

  The Return of the Classic Film Clip Quiz     Let us reintroduce this minor little visual quiz where we ask the musical question: Name the film clips shown. (Well, it’s not really a question, but it’s our discretion … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, comedy, dance, erotica, History, horror, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, Romance, silent films, westerns | 8 Comments

Who Needs That Ther’ Book Lernin’?: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2018 Edition, Vol. 451

  Who Needs That Ther’ Book Lernin’?:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2018 Edition, Vol. 451     Despite such contemporary wizards as Mark Zuckerberg asserting the notion that modern life requires little more wisdom than can be drawn … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books, Boston, children's books, History, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, short stories, women, writing | Tagged , | 3 Comments

When the Chase Is All There Is: “Ronin” (1998)

            “RONIN”  (1998)   Why is it that movies featuring people involved in Intelligence always seem in short supply of that very ingredient? If one were to admire a movie simply for its technical polish, … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, espionage, Ireland, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Paris, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Revisit: ORWELL LITE: “ALPHAVILLE, UNE ETRANGE AVENTURE DE LEMMY CAUTION” (1965)

ALPHAVILLE, UNE ÉTRANGE AVENTURE DE LEMMY CAUTION                                   (1965) (Originally posted on May 21, 2013)      One of the interesting characteristics of many of the young men associated with La Nouvelle Vague was their affinity toward what in higher literary … Continue reading

Posted in books, film noir, French cinema, Movies, Mystery, Paris, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Out of Touch: “Orlacs Hände” / “The Hands of Orlac” (1924)

   “Orlacs Hände” / “The Hands of Orlac”   (1924)  A Necessary Caveat: The following article contains analysis which reveals details of the subject film’s climactic events. Such details, if one wishes to approach the film with virgin eyes, should be approached with … Continue reading

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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

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

Unbalanced: “La bestia uccide a sangue freddo” (1971)

            “La bestia uccide a sangue freddo”   (1971)     “What else have you done? You moved the body and took away the weapon. Then you called the police, asking me to come immediately … Continue reading

Posted in Film, giallo, Italian cinema, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, sex, women, writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Over Troubled Waters: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Nov. 2017 Edition, Vol. 7384750069858

Over Troubled Waters: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Nov. 2017 Edition, Vol. 7384750069858      As the song goes, “what goes up, must come down”. That’s right, you may have been expecting a little slice of Paul Simon, but it … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books, History, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, silent movies, women, World War II, writing | 3 Comments

Damsels in Distress: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct. 2017 Edition, Vol. o – o

Damsels in Distress: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct, 2017 Edition, Vol. o – o      It may be politically incorrect to point out the obvious fact that holding a door open for a lady might well bring widespread … Continue reading

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Ghost of a Stance: “Sleuth” (2007)

      “Sleuth”   (2007)     In their peculiar and particularly unsatisfying production of  Anthony Shaffer’s play “Sleuth”, scenarist Harold Pinter and director Kenneth Branagh have fashioned not so much a reworking of the popular thriller, nor even merely a … Continue reading

Posted in British films, Film, Film Reviews, Kenneth Branagh, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, theater, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Case for Cautionary Galoshes: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; Sept. 2017 Edition; Vol. 40

A Case for Cautionary Galoshes: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; Sept. 2017 Edition; Vol. 40     Occasionally life mirrors popular art (like when the invented adventures of one Baron Munchausen have recently been updated in a “nonfiction” version entitled What … Continue reading

Posted in books, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Pre-Code Movies, religion, Reviews, science, science fiction, women, writing | Leave a comment

What a Dip: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2017 Edition, Vol. H2O

What a Dip: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2017 Edition, Vol. H2O     During the current climate in which it seems many who should know better, by all appearances, are all wet, allow us to present this month’s … Continue reading

Posted in animation, books, Film, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, sex, women, writing | Leave a comment

Build the Wall: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2017 Edition, Vol. 1812

Build the Wall: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2017 Edition, Vol. 1812 Walls are structural. Walls are decorative. It seems that, lately, talk of building walls has become in vogue, as the attractiveness of just thinking about constructing barriers … Continue reading

Posted in books, espionage, History, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, Reviews, women, writing | 6 Comments

Summer Beach Books: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2017 Edition, Vol. 925

Summer Beach Books:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2017 Edition, Vol. 925 At the dawn of the upcoming summer vacation season, it can never be too early to begin the selection process in making seasonal selections of those printed … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books, Boston, comic books, History, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

мать, Mayday I?: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; May 2017 Edition; Vol. 80 proof

мать, Mayday I?:  Classic Film Images Photo       Quiz; May 2017 Edition; Vol. 80 proof      Greetinks Komrades. Admittedly it was a difficult task to conceive of, compile and complete this month’s edition of Amerika’s favorite non-nuclear … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, Cold War, comedy, dance, Film, History, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, politics, Reviews, Romance, women, writing | Leave a comment

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

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

March Madness: Classic Film Photo Quiz, March 2016 Edition, Vol. 33

MARCH MADNESS: Classic Film Photo Quiz, March 2016 Edition, Vol. 33        Welcome to the headquarters of cynical, uncaring, insubordinate, insensitive, boorish, childish behavior-  OK, outside of the current carnival sideshow masquerading as a job interview for the nation’s … Continue reading

Posted in blogs, books, Film, Film Reviews, History, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, politics, psychiatry, Reviews, theater, women | Leave a comment

La beauté du monde: Classic Film Images Quiz, August 2015 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36

La beauté du monde: Film Images Quiz, August 2015 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36      Welcome all purveyors of cinematic curiosity to yet another edition of America’s most pointless monthly game, and a source of possible future litigation by the National Organization … Continue reading

Posted in cinema, comedy, Culture, Film, French cinema, German cinema, horror, humor, Italian cinema, Movies, Mystery, Puzzles, sex, theater, women | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Breakheart Pass” (1975)

    This aberration in the Alistair MacLean canon moves the author’s signatory plot twists, secret identities and hidden motives to the Old West in “Breakheart Pass”, a film plagued with the very fact that it does feature what is, by … Continue reading

Posted in Alistair MacLean, books, Charles Bronson, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, westerns, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Deconstructing Norman: “Psycho” (1998)

     To look upon Gus Van Sant’s supposed shot-by-shot  (it’s not) remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” as a grand experiment is to excuse meaningless directorial hubris as a substitution for genuine artistic evolution. It is difficult to fathom what … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, books, Film, Film Reviews, horror, movie remakes, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews | Tagged | 3 Comments

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

Posted in cinema, crime, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, parenting, Reviews, Sidney Poitier | Leave a comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Last Embrace” (1979)

     Such is the continuous flow of discontented comment expressed about what constitutes a “bad” film (nobly assisted by a film industry which strains to give a new voice to every emergent theory on a weekly basis) that when … Continue reading

Posted in 1970's movies, espionage, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Roy Scheider | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

SEPTEMBER 2014 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ, Vol. 999

METAMORPHOSIS EDITION:  SEPT. 2014 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ, Vol. 999 Greetings cinephiles, or Fellowship of Those With Far Too Much Free Time, and welcome to this month’s edition of America’s most persistent irritant not treatable with a topical ointment: the … 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

Blinded by Hindsight: “Executive Action” (1973)

       “EXECUTIVE ACTION”    (1973)        After the brief but colorful period of wishful societal breakdown known as the 1960’s (a period of self-aggrandizing radicalism shamelessly extended for the convenience of nostalgic longings for the heyday of hippies, communal roach … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Film Reviews, History, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, politics, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chandler’s Trailers: “The Third Secret” (1964)

     Charles Crichton’s polished direction, with a particularly fine use of widescreen composition to emphasize the chess-like movement and positioning of characters within the frame, is featured in a complexly structured film in which the conventions of a murder … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Film Reviews, London, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, psychiatry, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In a Maze: “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (2011)

     Vintage le Carré, a restrained, almost meditative spy drama, the antithesis of the Bondian formula, with myriad shades of indistinguishable grays separating the intelligence enemies, as opposed to the more formulaic black and white morality of the blockbuster spy … Continue reading

Posted in books, British films, espionage, Film Reviews, John le Carre, London, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews | Tagged | 1 Comment