Monday 12 October 2020
As I type this, news is breaking that the Atlanta Falcons have fired head coach Dan Quinn. Now he'll have some time to watch some movies. May I make a few suggestions?
157. (1811.) King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (1961)
Arnold Rothstein was a notorious gambler who is widely believed to have played a significant role in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. This loose biopic barely touches on that, focusing instead on Rothstein's betrayal of his friends. It could only have been improved by casting someone other than emotionless David "The Futgitive" Janssen in the lead role and a much-too-old-for-the-part Mickey Rooney as his whiney best friend.
158. (1812.) The Lost World (1960)
Another misfire of a movie in which dull 1950s-style adventure (and outdated cultural attitude) meets zero-budget special effects. I actually feel bad for Jill St. John for having to be in this as one of two obligatory damsels in need of saving. (I also feel bad for her toy poodle, Frosty, who exists only for comic relief.)
159. (1813.) Loan Shark (1952)
George Raft goes undercover at great personal risk to take down the loan shark operation that killed his sister's husband. That sounds a little cliche, doesn't it? It is. But revenge flicks never have or need the most original plots. Everyone wants to see justice served.
160. (1814.) Wuthering Heights (1939)
Speaking of cliches, this is just a terribly sappy melodrama about a pair of star-crossed lovers. That sort of story never works! Seriously though, Laurence Olivier spends the entire film being a true asshat to literally everyone else on screen, *especially* the girl he supposedly adores. That's not love; that's domestic abuse. I cannot believe that anyone ever really enjoys watching this.
161. (1815.) Skyjacked (1972)
Thrillers in the 1970s always had very little plot and expected the audience to be entertained by constant threats to the life of their ensemble cast. I'd say the biggest name in this film (which, as its name suggests, is all about James Brolin's determination to hijack an airliner and escape to Soviet Russia) is arguably Walter Pidgeon, but Charlton Heston has the big role and faces the most danger (including the wife he is cheating on with a stewardess). For fans of the genre only.
Hang in there, Danny boy. There's more to come.