Saturday 23 August 2014
Shall we get a head-start on movies watched in August?
135. (672.) The Winning Team (1952)
Ronald Reagan in a bio-pic about a pitcher who overcame brain damage to make the big leagues, only to be run out of town because he disguised his seizures behind alcoholism. Naturally, the movie is a heavily-sanitized version of the truth. The hardest part to believe was 40-year-old Reagan playing a 20-year-old pitcher.
136. (673.) The Day of the Dolphin (1973)
Slow, pot-boiler about talking dolphins trained to murder the President. The plot was transparent all the way through, but I'm not going to lie: I really didn't want to see those dolphins get hurt by the end. Imagine, George C. Scott being shown up by Flipper!
137. (674.) Night Nurse (1931)
When film historians and critics talk about "pre-code" movies, they are talking about stuff like this. Lots of gratuitous shots of girls undressing and a plot about the murdering of children. It's good stuff.
138. (675.) The Prize (1963)
Also good stuff! I must be doing a good job picking movies this month. Paul Newman plays a washed-up writer of detective fiction who finds himself caught up in a Cold War scheme when he travels to Sweden to collect his Nobel Prize for Literature. Good suspense.
139. (676.) The Water Horse (2007)
If you speak about a winning streak, you kill it. I will not disclose the reason I chose to watch this dreck that turned the Scottish myth of murderous, horse-headed water nymphs called Kelpies into an obnoxiously cute boy-learns-to-deal-with-life-without-his-father story. Ugh.
140. (677.) Marlowe (1969)
TCM celebrated the life of James Garner by showing a bunch of his films, and I recorded several. The first I watched was this updating of Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe into "present day" Hollywood. It's a terrible mystery (seriously, the final twist comes untelegraphed and unexplained from left field only to tie up the loose ends, and I'm not even sure it does that) but the cast makes it an amusing experience despite its many flaws.
141. (678.) Secret Service of the Air (1939)
More Ronald Reagan, this time as a pilot that lets The Man ruin his life so that he can go undercover to expose a criminal organization that smuggles people across the U.S./Mexico border by airplane. Say what you will about his presidency, but Reagan makes a pretty charismatic action hero.
More to come.