Bad Movie Mothers We Love to Hate

TCM is celebrating Mother’s Day (Note: this was originally published in 2014) with a great program of classic films showcasing notable mothers. While looking over Sunday’s line-up I was surprised to spot NOW, VOYAGER (1942), which features Gladys Cooper as the incredibly cold and domineering mother of Bette Davis. Cooper won an Oscar nomination for her memorable performance and went on to play another overbearing mother … Continue reading Bad Movie Mothers We Love to Hate

What Ever Happened to Jennifer?

Jennifer’s gone missing. She was supposed to be looking after her uncle’s sprawling estate, which appears to have been abandoned since the Great Depression, but no one has seen her in weeks. Did she run off with an unknown lover? Did she swindle an undisclosed sum of money from her previous boss and head to Mexico on a cruise ship? Or was Jennifer murdered by … Continue reading What Ever Happened to Jennifer?

Pastoral Suspense: DEADLY STRANGERS (1975)

Today Sterling Hayden is best remembered by film lovers for his memorable roles in a number of classic noirs and westerns that air on TCM regularly as well as subsequent standout parts in Kubrick’s DR. STRANGELOVE: OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964), Coppola’s THE GODFATHER (1972) and Altman’s THE LONG GOODBYE (1973). Late in life tall and brawny actor also made a brief but notable appearance in an unusual … Continue reading Pastoral Suspense: DEADLY STRANGERS (1975)

Spiritualism & Spooks: The Amazing Mr. X (1948)

As a lifelong classic film fan who has seen more movies than she cares to remember, it’s easy to become a little jaded. But every year I manage to come across an old film that becomes a new favorite. In 2016 that film is the amazing, Amazing Mr. X (1948), a low-budget supernatural thriller also known as The Spiritualist in Britain. This moody little gem was based on a … Continue reading Spiritualism & Spooks: The Amazing Mr. X (1948)

“The Voices of Terror – Twisting Two Minds!”

On its fog-shrouded surface, Kevin Billington’s VOICES (1973) is an unusual supernatural thriller involving ghosts and a haunted house but if you take the time to look beyond its spooky exterior you might be surprised by what you find there. This fascinating horror film has a rich and winding history that first took shape in 1953 and its roots are coiled through many horror classics that have … Continue reading “The Voices of Terror – Twisting Two Minds!”

Authority Is the Child of Obedience: UNMAN, WITTERING AND ZIGO (1971)

Are human beings inherently cruel or do we learn cruelty by example? Does our genetic makeup dictate our personalities at birth or are we shaped by numerous circumstances including our environments and upbringing? To borrow the title of a current popular song, are we “born this way” or are we more complex creatures than our personal DNA map might suggest? The nature vs. nurture debate … Continue reading Authority Is the Child of Obedience: UNMAN, WITTERING AND ZIGO (1971)

Telefilm Time Machine: Daughter of the Mind (1969)

Ray Milland sees dead people. Or to be more precise, Ray Milland begins seeing the ghost of his dead daughter in the made-for-TV movie DAUGHTER OF THE MIND (1969) based on a novel by author Paul Gallico (THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES; 1942, BITTER VICTORY; 1957, THE SNOW GOOSE; 1971, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE; 1972) and directed by Walter Grauman. This is one of the first telefilms that premiered on ABC’s Movie of … Continue reading Telefilm Time Machine: Daughter of the Mind (1969)

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

The Spiral Staircase (1946) is a longtime favorite of mine and it has been hailed as a prototype for many of the best giallo films. With thoughts of murder and black-gloved killers running through my mind it seemed like a good time to revisit this classic thriller that features an Academy Award-nominated performance by Ethel Barrymore as the bedridden matriarch of a wealthy family that is concealing … Continue reading The Spiral Staircase (1946)

MATRIMONY, MADNESS AND MURDER: HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON (1970)

Modern weddings often bring out the worst in people. The attempt to satisfy family and social expectations while exchanging vows that occasionally read like a prison sentence can be a dangerous cocktail made worse by a deep focus on money matters. Instead of enjoying their “special day” couples and their accommodating families often end up obsessing over the high cost of gourmet cakes and designer … Continue reading MATRIMONY, MADNESS AND MURDER: HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON (1970)

DEATH WALKS TWICE: A GIALLO DOUBLE FEATURE

The fine folks at Arrow deserve applause for their diligent efforts to release a number of exceptional giallo films on Blu-ray in recent years. Some of the films you can currently purchase from them include the suggestively titled Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) and What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) as well as cornerstones of the genre such as … Continue reading DEATH WALKS TWICE: A GIALLO DOUBLE FEATURE