Archive 532

March 1, 2022

Veronica Carlson has died

Carlson is probably best known for the string of Hammer films made in the 1960s-1970s where she co-starred with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Born on September 18, 1944 in Yorkshire, England, Died on February 27, 2022 in South Carolina, USA.

Hammer actress Veronica Carlson has diedHollywood Reporter

British actress Veronica

An interesting sidebit in this obituary at the UK Darlington and Stockton Times expains something which, if you've ever seen the film in question, explains an obvious incongruity:

Carlson was immediately cast opposite Hammer's other big star, Peter Cushing, in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed.

Although considered one of the best of Hammer's outings for the Baron, the shooting was not without controversy due to the late addition of a rape scene which was bitterly opposed by Carlson, Cushing and even the film's director Terence Fisher.
Despite her voluble opposition to the scene - which, due to being filmed out of chronological order, rendered her character's subsequent dealings with Cushing's character nonsensical - Hammer cast Carlson in the next Frankenstein film, Horror of Frankenstein.

The IMDB page on Veronica Carlson.

Veronica Carlson

Fast Reviews:

Wages of Fear (1953) - This French film is sometimes called one of the greatest movies ever made, and though it has a rather un-Hollywood ending (though apropos), it does contain a huge dose of classic Hollywood tension as two pairs of desperate men attempt to cross rough terrain driving two trucks, each laden with nitroglycerin. As bizarre as that sounds (and it actually fits within the story rather perfectly and logically), there are a number of side-stories that correspond to each man (Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli) and the sheer fear of the trek is bracketed by what we know about the characters (there's a generous prelude to the trip), as we watch them try to tough out the task through sheer panic-driven bravery, but that becomes impossible to maintain for one man who progressively disintegrates beneath the pressure. Wages of Fear is simultaneously a very direct and straight froward "thriller," and also a character study at the same time, with an exotic location starting at a poverty-stricken village in Central America and then on through the imposing landscape of the jungle towards the goal, a mammoth oil derrick fire where the explosives are needed to snuff the fire out.

La Avventura (1960) A group of wealthy day-trippers travel to a barren island off of Italy only to have one of their party go inexplicably missing. As they search and we get to see the various clues examined, these traditional hints for solving a "case" soon evaporate as meaningless or false, turning La Avventura into a sort of perverse inversion of The Lady Vanishes, and the story becomes as uninterested in the whereabouts of the missing girl as is her best-friend and her husband (played by Gabriele Ferzetti and Monica Vitti), who quickly manifest an attraction for each other. As this turns into a full blown love affair it leaves no room for the more and more vague and missing "Anna," who the film has made so remote by the end it is as if she never existed. Beautifully photographed but certainly not a run-of-the-mill missing-persons movie, La Avventura requires a viewer to remain interested in the forgetful couple and indulge the attitude of the movie itself about whether one can be bothered if wealthy girls simply drop out of view.

Escape from New York (1981) - Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is a military deserter and bank robber about to be shipped onto the island of Manhattan which has been transformed into a penal colony, and once you're sentenced to go there you're on your own. But then the presidential plane, carrying the Commander and Chief (Donald Pleasence) to an important peace conference, is hijacked and goes down on the island. Now the prison warden (Lee Van Cleef) has got to get the President back out alive and in time for the all-important peace conference, and the only man he's got available who might be able to pull it off is the sneering, grumpy and eye-patch-wearing Snake. At first Escape from New York is more or less a good set-up for something like a sci-fi episode of Twilight Zone, but it soon turns into a very active action hunt-and-rescue adventure that is inventive and has a good amount of humor around the edges.

Sally Kellerman has died

Obituary at NY Times and at NPR

Sally Kellerman

"Asta Nielsen, the silent film star who taught Garbo everything" – UK Guardian/

Nielsen immediately set herself apart from her peers thanks to her acting technique, which she studied from the rushes: she summoned emotions, nuance by nuance, to her face and with the smallest movements could tell complex stories of passion and loss on camera. In her memoirs, she called it: "The absolute gift of thinking yourself into fragments organised beforehand in your mind, which requires authenticity of expression in front of the all-determining lens."

Hedy Lamarr

New Kino Blu Rays

Edgar G. Ulmer Damaged Goods 1933 Kino Page – Audio commentary for Damaged Lives by Eric Schaefer, author of Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!: A History of Exploitation Films 1919-1959

Village of the Giants 1965Kino Page – New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas

Where There's Life 1947Kino Page – Bob Hope, William Bendix and Signe Hasso

Special effects legend Douglas Trumbull has diedVulture – the guy who worked on 2001, Silent Running, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek, Blade Runner, and a lot more - credits list at IMDB

Kino is bringing out a 4K blu ray of Some Like it Hot on Feb 8thKino Page


MANFISH poster Lon Chaney and Victor Jory with Tessa Prendergast

Manfish – 1956

Scuba movies were popular in the 1950's (Creature from the Black Lagoon, Underwater, Beneath the 12 Mile Reef, Boy on A Dolphin, etc.,) and Manfish looks like a low budget competitor in this field, though with slight horror-movie overtones (both in the poster art claiming the film is an adaptation of two Edgar Allan Poe stories and in having Lon Chaney, Jr. in the cast), but the story itself, while true to Poe in it's own peculiar way, is really something like Greed moved onto a boat.

Review Manfish – 1956

To see more movie poster art

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Older Archive Pages

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Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon Hardcover

Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon - 512 Pages

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Amazon Link to pre-order Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon Hardcover

Audio Book version - Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon

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Original Page April 20, 2022