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Knife in the Water (1962)
Acclaimed by all! Roman Polanski's tense, ironic Drama!
Director: Roman Polanski
Drama
Thriller

On their way to an afternoon on the lake, husband and wife Andrzej and Krystyna nearly run over a young hitchhiker. Inviting the young man onto the boat with them, Andrzej begins to subtly torment him; the hitchhiker responds by making overtures toward Krystyna. When the hitchhiker is accidentally knocked overboard, the husband's panic results in unexpected consequences.

Lubricated Blade There is nothing more thrilling than discovering a natural filmmaker for the first time. There are only so many, and you can only have cinema menarche once. It is an introduction into another life. I first saw this in 1965 at the Orson Welles Cinema...


Published March 2, 2023
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Murder by the Book (1967)
Director: Mel Damski
Comedy
Crime
Mystery
Thriller
TV Movie

Mild-mannered mystery writer D. H. Mercer has become so immersed in his material that his creation, hard-boiled private eye Biff Deegan, constantly appears to him as a hallucination. Intent on getting rid of Biff, and replacing him with a more civilized detective, Mercer soon finds himself in a genuine mystery involving art fraud, murder, and a beautiful lady in peril.

Double Folds This isn’t worth watching for what it is, but I count it as a notable example, more so because it is a cheap TeeVee production with low aspirations. The overall story is about art forgery. The structure is adventuresome. The story we see is written...


Published February 24, 2023
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Murder Ahoy (1964)
New mischief amidst the mizzen-masts!
Director: George Pollock
Drama
Thriller
Crime
Mystery
Comedy

During an annual board of trustees meeting, one of the trustees dies. Miss Marple thinks he’s been poisoned after finding a chemical on him. She sets off to investigate at the ship where he had just come from. The fourth and final film from the Miss Marple series starring Margaret Rutherford as the quirky amateur detective.

Jerry Lewis’ Mutiny The good: well it has a jaunty theme song. At least it honors the original form in that the order we see things in is roughly the order of discovery by the detective. By this entry in the series, they had seriously lost their...


Published February 22, 2023
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Goldfinger (1964)
Everything he touches turns into excitement!
Director: Guy Hamilton
Adventure
Action
Thriller

Special agent 007 comes face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time, and now he must outwit and outgun the powerful tycoon to prevent him from cashing in on a devious scheme to raid Fort Knox -- and obliterate the world's economy.

Two Zeros This is the best of the Bonds, in part because the action/gizmo genre was so young. In those days — hard to believe — this was smart humour, was sexy and thrilled. Now it is merely of historical interest only. Worse, there are franchises that...


Published February 10, 2023
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Seven-Up! (1964)
Director: Paul Almond
Documentary
TV Movie

A group of British children aged 7 from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects. The filmmakers plan to re-interview them at 7 year intervals to track how their lives and attitudes change as they age.

This did not start as a folded adventure. It is a quite ordinary TV documentary. But it became so in later installments by Apted, where the interviews are largely about how the films affected their lives....


Published December 8, 2022
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Monitor: The Prince of Denmark (1963)

Astonishingly Internal This is a BBC interview show that has Orson Welles, Peter O'Toole and some other older fellow (Ernest Milton) talking about ‘Hamlet’. Orson was well into retirement from attempting film masterpieces, including two ambitious Shakespeare productions. His ‘Othello’ is really something. He’d been in...


Published December 7, 2022
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Alice in Acidland (1969)
This is NO fairytale!
Director: Donn Greer
Drama

Cute and perky college student Alice is invited to a "pool party" by Freida, a female teacher who is actually a lesbian and has designs on Alice. At the party Alice gets drunk, takes acid and immediately becomes a lesbian, taking a bath with Freida. Later Alice gets mixed up with LSD-addicted hippies, rape, more lesbians, more LSD, orgies, suicide, and having sex with guys in boxers.

Showing the Unshowable At the root, the filmmakers dilemma has two fangs. One challenge is to take things that people know and bend and filter them in ways that can be seen as “natural” when it gets to the other side, past the set, the film,...


Published November 30, 2022
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Murder She Said (1961)
See the strange case of the strangler-killer on the night express!
Director: George Pollock
Comedy
Crime
Drama
Mystery

Miss Marple believes she's seen a murder in a passing-by train, yet when the police find no evidence she decides to investigate it on her own.

Tumbling Down My history of introspection in film starts with clever mystery writers. Then when talkies fell on us there was a huge experimental breeding ground for techniques that worked. By the 40s that chapter was all over and noir was incubated. Agatha Christie played a central...


Published November 26, 2022
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Poirot: Dumb Witness (1966)

Script Mysteries Egad. Watching these Suchet versions of Poirot is a real adventure. Following the tradition set by the BBC, each episode has a different adapter and director. The idea is that it is supposed to keep things fresh. After all, the selling points are the...


Published November 25, 2022
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Duel at Diablo (1966)
Yesterday they fought each other – today they fight together in a dead end canyon called Diablo!
Director: Ralph Nelson
Western

While crossing the desert, a frontier scout, Jess Remsberg, rescues Ellen Grange from a pursuing band of Apaches, and returns her to her husband, Willard Grange. He is contracted to act as a scout for an Army cavalry unit. Willard, Ellen, and her infant son are along for the ride, as is horse trader Toller, a veteran of the 10th Cavalry. The party is trapped in a canyon by Chata, an Apache chief and grandfather of Ellen's baby. Willard is captured and tortured. Jess sneaks away and brings reinforcements just in time to save the day. Jess learns that the man he has been hunting is none other than Willard Grange.

Old Paint It is absolutely amazing to me how badly a movie can age. I saw this one in the theatres when new. I remember thinking it was acceptable at the time. There was an actress that I knew from Bergman. There was the surprise of...


Published November 22, 2022
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