Category Archives: Movie score 7

The Day of the Triffids

I read the book by John Wyndham a very long time ago, but I remember enjoying it thoroughly. So when I saw this film on YouTube I just had to give it a watch.

I actually don’t remember the story well, and as it turns out the film adaption is very different to the book, almost to the point of being a whole new story.

As a film though it was reasonably entertaining and very 1960’s horror. The Triffids were well done although they are quite different to the book version. The acting was fine I suppose, also very 60’s, and one actress had an excellent scream of terror.

The ending was a bit of a cop-out though. Like War of the Worlds a simple way to kill the Triffids was found, they melt when sprayed with seawater (the book does not find a way of killing the Triffids).

I must read the book again actually.

Date watched: November 24th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 128

The Card

This is a 1954 film starring Alec Guinness, and follows his character “Denry” as he goes from rags to riches.

The story is rather simple, and just follows Denry from one situation to the next, as he figures out how to make money and woo the ladies. It is a light comedy, which Alec does very well, he was quite a good comic actor it seems.

Petula Clark plays one of his love interests. Another actress, Glynis Johns, was great as dance instructor who loves to spend rich men’s money.

This is not essential watching, but at the very least it is interesting to see a young Alec Guinness do comedy.

Date watched: October 26th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 121

The Promoter must be an alternative title.

Please Murder Me!

This is a 1956 film noir starring Raymond Burr and Angela Landsbury.

The story is a series of flashbacks about the events leading up to the murder of Raymond Burr’s character, who as it turns out was orchestrating his own death to exact revenge on the despicable character played by Angela Landsbury.

The story was easy to follow and even though the ending was obvious it was still entertaining and suspenseful. Raymond and Angela were aces in their roles, and it was well directed and filmed, although it did not have a big budget feel to it.

Denver Pyle played a police lieutenant, you will remember him from Dukes of Hazzard as Jesse Duke.

Not a bad way to spend 78 minutes.

Date watched: September 29th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 110

The Thomas Crown Affair

Apparently this was Steve McQueen’s favourite film, and I must say it is the best film I have seen him in so far.

The story involves McQueen’s character who is a very rich businessman who orchestrates the perfect bank robbery just for kicks. On his tail is an insurance investigator played by Faye Dunaway. They fall in love of course, but she is still determined to bust his ass as she knows he was the mastermind.

It is not an overly exciting film, but the chemistry between Steve and Faye was brillo, and there were some good (but not geat) scenes here and there. Still, it is better than Bullitt which really only had that fantastic car-chase going for it, whereas this had a better story and acting, plus Steve actually smiled a few times which was charming to see.

Sean Connery was originally offered the main role in this film, but turned it down.

On the subject of missed roles, Steve was offered the lead role alongside Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but couldn’t accept it:

Wikipedia: McQueen was offered the lead male role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but was unable to accept due to his Wanted: Dead or Alive contract (the role went to George Peppard). He turned down parts in Ocean’s 11, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (his attorneys and agents could not agree with Paul Newman’s attorneys and agents on top billing), The Driver, Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, A Bridge Too Far, The French Connection (he did not want to do another cop film), and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

In the film Faye Dunaway drove a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder which today is one of the most valuable Ferrari’s in the world. Steve did his own stunts of course which involved playing polo (impressive he was too), and driving a dune buggy on a beach like a nutter. He was quite a chap, so it was a real loss when he died of cancer in 1989 aged only 50. In fact, I must put him on the MBMS Page Of Fame, he deserves it.

Fezza 275

Not an essential film, but it was not bad.

Date watched: September 15th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 104

The Upturned Glass

I watched this primarily because it starred James Mason, who is on the MBMS Page of Fame for good reason. He also co-produced this film, which when it came out in 1947 was a success, so he would have done very well for himself.

It is the story of a surgeon who falls in love with a married woman even though he too was married. She dies though in what seemed to be suicide, but he is convinced she was murdered and sets out to get revenge on the killer. The story is quite routine for the most part, but James’ acting is what makes the whole thing worth watching, he was most splendid. The ending was pretty good though, his character realises that he is a nutjob psycho, so he throws himself off the White Cliffs of Dover, which I must go and see some day.

Even though this film is seventy years old now the picture and sound were both very good, even on YouTube.

Reading up about James Mason I found some interesting facts:
– He was a conscientious objector in World War Two.
– He never had any formal acting classes.
– He was a mentor to Sam Neill in the 1970’s.
– He loved cats and had quite a few of them.
– In 1952 he bought a house that had previously been owned by Buster Keaton. In the house he found lots of old nitrate films which he had transferred to safety stock. One of these films was “The Boat”. Yay James Mason!
– He had a son named Morgan Mason who would go on to be “Special Assistant to the President of the United States” (Ronald Reagan), and is married to Belinda Carlyle (she was the drummer in The Germs as “Dottie Danger” for a short time don’t you know?).
– He and his wife allowed their daughter to smoke cigarettes at age three, and their son to drink beer at age five.

From Wikipedia: She (daughter) enjoyed a luxurious upbringing in her parent’s Hollywood mansion, being allowed to wear makeup, stiletto heels and owning her own Mink coat and diamonds by the age of nine. Her highly publicized life began with her father becoming violent towards a photographer at the little girl’s christening. When she attended high-school, Mason was dropped off every morning by a Rolls-Royce and picked up every evening by a white Cadillac. Reportedly, her father introduced her to smoking at the age of three in hope it would put her off it in later life.

He died in 1984 at the age of 75.

I wouldn’t say this is an essential watch as far as the story goes, but it is worth it for James alone.

Date watched: August 23rd
Score: 7/10
James-O-Mason score: 9/10
Film count 2017: 94

T2 Trainspotting

Nostalgia central here, coming 20 years after the excellent Trainspotting, and set 20 years later, Trainspotting 2 is more of the same but not really. And nowhere near as good. I’d say it should have left alone in fact. Anyway, it wasn’t so here we are, with Rent Boy, Sick Boy, Spud and the ever-menacing Begbie all meeting up again to bash each other, take drugs together (not many though), shout at each other, laugh together, run through Edinburgh (again), reminisce together (a lot) and bash each other some more. It is entertaining as its a Danny Boyle film of course, I just thought it was nowhere near as great as the original, but it seems like the filmmakers knew this too so its more of a love-letter to the original. Begbie’s character ands what he goes through is pretty affecting though.

Date watched: 5th August
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 39

Here is the bar scene from the first film, everyone is looking very young:

Colour Me Kubrick

This is a British/French comedy about an actual dude who impersonated Stanley Kubrick right up until his death just three months before Stanley’s death in 1999.

John Malkovich plays Alan Conway, and he was as fantastic as you would expect. The rest of the cast were excellent too, and had a lot of familiar faces from British TV and film, including Richard E. Grant, Peter Sallis, and Peter Bowles.

Unfortunately the story did very little. About 20 minutes in I was wondering where the film was going as it was just following Alan as he impersonated Stanley and conned various people. That is basically 90% of the film, with the last act wrapping up the story with one last big con and the fallout from that.

What saved it from doom though was John Malkovich who was superb and very funny, as usual. There were very few scenes without him.

It was well made and shot, but the story really needed more work, but true stories must be hard to do, especially if you have to make it a comedy. The Wikipedia page about Conway is very brief.

Still, this is worth a watch just for Malkovich alone.

Date watched: August 4th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 86

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