Murder By Television ~ 1935 -BW

QUICKIE: We've always suspected, but now we know.... Tv kills!

PLOT: The inventor of a new television transmission process refuses to sell his invention to any existing broadcast companies and plans on revealing his invention through a debut broadcast. Midway through the initial broadcast, the inventor is killed and when the police arrive to investigate the death, the inventor's assistant is found murdered. With plenty of suspects to choose from and all with a motive for the deaths, it falls on the Chief of Police and a Federal Agent to figure out who did the crimes

Bela in a non-vampire role! And not a mad scientist either! This movie is pretty good. I had no idea who did it, as everyone had a motive. It's a pretty standard mystery, but what is really great here is the ending. The professor was killed by two frequencies combining to produce a cosmic radiation known as The Death Ray! And no, that wasn't Bela who got killed, it was his twin brother! Those two bits came out of nowhere and sure surprised me. What a crazy surprise ending because of it too.
Mystery Collection: Disc 12 - side A
Watch for free:

Guest in the House ~ 1944 -BW

QUICKIE: PDMR rule: Some women are just bad.

PLOT: A young woman (Anne Baxter), who is emotionally unstable, stays at the home of her physician where she ends up meeting his brother (Ralph Bellamy). The woman becomes obsessed with the man, in spite of the fact that he is happily married (to Ann played by Ruth Warrick), and decides to do everything in her power to win him over and prove her love. The dangerous actions of the young woman leads to some tragic consequences for those involved. Aline MacMahon plays Aunt Martha, Marie McDonald as Miriam the model, and Margaret Hamilton has a small role as Hilda the Maid.

SUMMARY: Not having seen All About Eve I found this movie to be absolutely wonderful. Having read a review of All About Eve on I can understand why critics downplayed Ann Baxters' portrayal of Evelyn as "preparation for Eve" in All About Eve. Hence the futility of reading "critics". I am not a critical person, preferring to focus my time on good things, and skipping over the losers.

I found this movie to be completely engrossing. It sucked me in and carried me along and in the end made me thrilled with the whole ride. Ann Baxter was great, I didn't think she over acted at all. I especially enjoyed how the whole movie got darker and the lighting more dramatic as the emotions progressed. Some have said the characters' gullibility was too hard to believe, and I did agree with that a little, but pushed it away with the rational that times were indeed different then. Also, if one has never interacted with a sick individual, one has no way of knowing what they're capable of. So, their naivety was believable for me.
If I rated movies around here, I'd give this 10 out of 10 stars, I liked it that much. It is a really good film start to finish. And boy, what a finish!

Mystery Collection: Disc 14 -side A
I can't find it online yet.

Eegah ~ 1962 -colour

QUICKIE: Eh Gads! It's Eegah!

PLOT: A teenage girl driving through the desert is confronted by a huge Neanderthal-like man and she returns to the city to share her story with her father, an explorer, and her boyfriend. When her father doesn't return from searching for the creature, the girl and her boyfriend head out to the desert to find him and the girl is taken hostage along with her father. It's up to the efforts of the boyfriend to rescue the father and daughter before the caveman can make the girl his mate.

SUMMARY: I said to my mom that I watched this movie about a caveman that somehow survived until 1950 & lived outside LA and met a girl on the highway and fell in love with her. She said let me guess the plot: he kidnaps the girl and takes her back to his cave. Although he's a caveman she learns he's not such a brute, he's just "misunderstood" because he's different. Either her ex, or current boyfriend gathers a mob and comes to save her. She pleads for Eegah not to be killed and then everybody lives happily ever after. (I should shorten that to HEA.) I was amazed at how close she came to nailing the plot. Yes, it's predictable, but it's still kind of charming in a mildly entertaining way.

Just add in the Dad, who wants to write a book about Eegah, but gets captured by him instead, the boyfriend continually breaking out his guitar and boring us with some rotten music, and that the cops kill Eegah in the end (for crashing a pool party in LA) and there ya go! In almost every scene with Arch Hall Jr., all I can do is stare at his hair. WHAT is going on there?!!??? The top part sticks straight out, totally unruly. I don't know if it's intentional, but it looks dumb. Point, stare, laugh. Anyway, this is the same doorknob who was in Wild Guitar. A really boring film about Arch becoming a rock star.

This film has Arch's Dad, Arch Hall Sr. in it. At least Dad can act better than Jr.. But every film that is a family affair is inevitably bad. Marilyn Manning is the girl Eegah falls for. Richard Kiel (Jaws from James Bond's Moonraker) plays Eegah the misunderstood caveman. He actually manages to be rather funny in playing up to his dead relatives who are seated in his cave. The scene where he gets a shave is also amusing. It's a fun movie to watch with a friend and crack jokes through it. You can't get mad at a film that fails on so many levels. It's a charming little mindless distraction. "Great film" it is not.

available on Google video

Destroy All Planets ~ 1968 -colour

QUICKIE: (sung like BOC's "Godzilla")
Well he spins through the air
with fire coming out his butt
Everyone points at the sky
and then they yell "what?"

Taaaa-DA! There goes Taki-ma.
Ha-HA Gamera!

(ok, I'm no poet)

PLOT: Gamera, the giant flying turtle returns to save humanity when an alien spacecraft approaches Earth intent on world domination. Gamera destroys the alien ship, but a second craft captures two boy scouts to shield them from Gamera. The aliens then place a control device on Gamera to make him attack Tokyo. The boys foul their plans when they manage to reverse the controls and Gamera confronts the squid-like beings in a climactic battle.

SUMMARY: Another great Gamera story where everybody's most beloved turtle saves the day by fighting a monster. These super sci-fi special effects are not to be missed! The alien ship is 5 painted beach balls on a hula-hoop. Our heroe Gamera is a special effect along the quality lines of Godzilla. It is also a Japanese film. With the typical "monster destroys the model town" scene. The begining has a recap of a few previous Gamera battles.

I love how the little boys shout fighting directions at the giant turtle like he wouldn't know how to fight if not for the guidance of an 8 year old boy. It's a cute movie although very typical and very predictable.

Svengali ~ 1931 -BW

QUICKIE: Look deep into my eyes..... now sing baby, SING! .....Uh, owie.

PLOT: Sinister music maestro Svengali (John Barrymore) can control the actions of women through hypnotism and his telepathic powers. When a pupil he has seduced announces she has left her husband for him, he uses his powers to cause her to commit suicide and then he promptly forgets her. He meets a beautiful model, Trilby (Marian Marsh), and becomes infatuated with her, but she, in turn, falls for a young artist called Billee (Bramwell Fletcher) who also loves her. One day Svengali hypnotizes Trilby to cure her headache, but also examines her upper palate and decides it is an ideal cavity for great singing. He hypnotizes her to fake her suicide, and marry him. Svengali uses his powers to make her sing wonderfully and Madame Svengali becomes a sensation throughout Europe. The constant hypnotism takes a toll on Svengali's health, yet he hides it well. At a performance Billee discovers the ruse and begins to follow the pair, upsetting Svengali enough to have him cancel performances too frequently, so they no longer can perform in Europe. They go to Egypt, but Billee relentlessly follows.

SUMMARY: This is a phenomenal movie. Great acting, great story, cool cinematography. Really worth the watch, and don't watch the 1983 remake with yucky Jodie Foster. Gag. She can't hold a candle to everything Marian Marsh brings to the character. Beauty, charm, grace, innocence and vulnerability. I can't believe Jodie could be hypnotized, and I can never "forget" the star, or she's always Clarice to me. John Barrymore is THE man. He's an amazingly good actor, and amusing to boot. That beard is so funny looking I can't take my eyes off it. He has the presence of a real star, yet we get lost in the character because he is such a GOOD actor. Unlike Jodie Foster. Have I mentioned I don't like her? And look at how HUGE the hallways are in those Paris studios. And the costumes! A definite classic. Watch it, you'll love it.

Family Collection: Disc 55 - side B

Watch for free here:

Read the novel for free here:

Becky Sharp ~ 1935 -colour

QUICKIE: It's "Gone With The Wind" in shorthand.

PLOT: Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp (Miriam Hopkins) is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia (Francis Dee) are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" family, or in other words, very low class. Becky manages to insinuate herself in Amelia's family and gets to know all their friends. In the movie we get to see the class distinctions in England at the time, and get a sense of what it was like for the English military at the time of the Napoleonic wars. We also get a clear look at how "orphans" are viewed and treated. Her mistreatment forms her character into a sardonic gold digging social climber. After using various men to raise her status within society, Becky's standing is dealt a serious blow and she is forced to work as a singing girl in a beer hall. Undaunted by her decline, Becky vows to once again gain her status within society and eventually resumes her climb.

SUMMARY: Miriam Hopkins was nominated for an Oscar for her role, but lost to Bette Davis for her film Dangerous. (IMDB) This film was nominated for two other categories at the Venice Film Festival and won Best Colour Film. This was the first feature-length three-color film, the very first film in "Technicolor". It is a remake of Vanity Fair, yet a different film in many respects. So, there is alot of talk about this film and how it compares to the novel, the Broadway play, it's various remakes, and all the hub-bub over the colour. While all of that is interesting, none of it mattered to me before I watched the film. I had just finished watching Myrna Loy as Becky Sharp in the 1932 Vanity Fair, so I was familiar with the story and eager to see this film.

This Becky Sharp is an amazing character. Where so much is implied and quieted down with the Myrna Loy version, Miriam Hopkins is brash, loud and daring. She openly insults people and royality call her "fascinating" for it. She rides higher and higher, with it all culminating one night at a Royal banquet. The battle of Waterloo breaks out and in that moment her world crashes as well.

Sometimes I really enjoy watching movies about people living by their wits and using people. At least Becky is beautiful and vivacious. She enlivens many mens' lives and she should be getting something in return for that. Besides scorn, which she got anyway from the ladies. Many people seem to forget how times were so different in the past and the only way a woman had to get ahead in the world was to play the game and "marry up". No one enjoys poverty, so it was natural for a woman to go after as much as she could. Keep in mind that the men encouraged this behavior in women as well. For if it didn't work, women wouldn't have behaved that way. This movie also hints at the hostility between the classes and just how difficult it is to rise above one's station. But Becky gets it very clearly, which is probabally why she can work the system so well. Society is shallow and built on appearances. Behind closed doors it's a different world.

I loved this user review on IMDB:
"This is "Gone With the Wind" for people who don't care too much about quality. Miriam Hopkins is cast in the Scarlett role - selfish, social-climbing, with no compunctions about using people at whim. The difference is that Scarlett eventually learns her lesson and we have hope, at the end of the story, that she'll live according to the knowledge she's acquired. At the end of THIS story - we're positive that Becky's going to eventually end up in hell, and good riddance. Becky's a manipulative brat who rises to the top, comes crashing down and is eager to start the cycle again."

Family Collection: Disc 54 - side A

Creature Double (triple) Feature: Watch Vanity Fair before this film, then after both, you can watch Reese Witherspoon in the 2004 remake. That's alot of Becky Sharp!

Watch for free Here:

Martin Luther ~ 1953 -BW

QUICKIE: One monk changed the world. Or (singing) "I gotta be me, I just gotta be meeeeeee...."

PLOT: This biographical account of Martin Luther's actions that eventually created the Protestant and Lutheran religions was filmed in conjunction with the Lutheran Church. Niall MacGinnis portrays the monk who's nailing of his list of 95 theses to the church door created a stir so large that it shook the very foundations of the Catholic Church. This film shows the struggle between Luther and the organized church and how the Catholic Church was not fully explaining things he questioned, which led him to be labeled a heretic.

SUMMARY: Imagine my embarassment to find this film nominated for two Academy Awards. Oh well. No accounting for taste and all that. (Mine that is.) I found this film interesting, yet dry and dull overall. However, it's a biography of a monk, so it's not going to have car chases and murders a plenty like most of these classic films do. So, as a biography of a monk, I guess it's pretty entertaining as he does get called a heretic and must renounce his writings to save himself.

Through his phenomenal fortitude and immense courage he stands his ground and refuses to go against his conscience. He "stands by scripture" and preaches of a loving God. He trys to bring religion to the people instead of milking them for money (called "indulgences"). These themes are the main thrust of his movement. He has unbelievable character and is very inspiring in how he faces down the Catholic church in Rome as well as many royal folk. Ok, I guess I'm liking this movie more and more.

Family Collection: Disc 54 - side A

Unavailable on the net to watch for free as far as I can tell.