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The Sand Pebbles 12" Laserdisc
The Sand Pebbles 12" Laserdisc

5.0 out of 5 stars THE SAND PEBBLES is McQueen in His Best Role, September 3, 2015
THE SAND PEBBLES is a very effective historically based narrative focusing on China during the 1926 revolution as seen through and affecting the U.S.S. San Pablo assigned to patrol the Yangtze River. This richly textured Robert Wise film is full of many interesting performances especially from Richard Crenna, Mako, Richard Attenborough and Simon Oakland, and especially Steve McQueen. Crenna's character as the Captain of the San Pablo is truly enigmatic and somehow parallels that of Steve McQueen's seaman Jake Holman who is not restrained from doing the right thing when diplomacy dictates otherwise. Steve McQueen is ordered to the San Pablo for his transgressions and comes to terms with his own cynicism and outward lack of humanity, which has been beaten into his misunderstood past. His relationship with the Mako, whom he trains to maintain the ship's engine makes McQueen see the humanity in himself and those of a different race and culture and realizes the basic good in himself. Mako's tragic death seen is very moving and unforgettable if you have ever seen this film and McQueen's agony touches you like no other film I have ever seen. This film contains one of Jerry Goldsmith's best scores full of brooding bravado and sentiment. This is also one of the best films Robert Wise directed and he truly directed some great ones. THE SAND PEBBLES is a very soul searching and unforgettable film.


Movie - Thunderball [Japan BD] MGXJA-16228
Movie - Thunderball [Japan BD] MGXJA-16228
11 used & new from $27.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Thunderball, September 3, 2015
THUNDERBALL is a very Nostalgic and Endearing early Bond Film. This film somehow sums up a feeling of nostalgia and endearment for the way it engulfed audiences, myself included, into the wonderful world of James Bond. Sean Connery did it with such effortless and natural charm and aplomb like no other. He's a tough and resourceful blunt instrument with a level of intelligence sophistication still impressive to this day. The world of THUNDERBALL is elegant where the villains live an opulent style of life which is a veneer for their sinister plans. In a bit of irony James Bond lives in that same world and he is up to the challenge to foil whatever mayhem they concoct.

After a one-film hiatus SPECTRE returns. So has Sean Connery as he was finally groomed to perfection as the definitive screen incarnation of James Bond in GOLDFINGER. Terence Young is also back as director. However, he seems to have been influenced over the fine-tuning that Guy Hamilton brought to the main character and overall tone of GOLDFINGER. Due to that film's success Young seems to be floundering here being diverted from his vision of the character that he helped bring to the screen. Young is 180 degrees from being the auteur he envisioned himself to be. The film seems loosely constructed and leisurely acted. Adolfo Celi as Emilio Largo looks the part but he never seems a real threat to Bond. In fact he seems to lose every encounter with Bond whether it be at the gambling tables or engaging in idle banter on the merits of women vs. guns. Bond outdoes him in skeet shooting without even looking at the target.

What makes the film very memorable is John Barry's rich score and Lamar Boren's beautiful and colorful underwater photography. The two went hand in hand. I also thought the villains' plot to hijack a Vulcan jet was extremely well filmed and executed. This film has a very British feel to as it should have. Going back to John Barry's impressive and complex score for THUNDERBALL, it is here that he truly puts his inimitable stamp on the entire sound for the series during that period that were followed by his scores for YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE and the lighter sounding, yet lavish DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. The scores for these four James Bond films, are richly textured, meticulously scored for each required scene and are emotionally charged.


John Frankenheimer Collection / Ronin, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, The Young Savages
John Frankenheimer Collection / Ronin, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, The Young Savages
3 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Four of John Frankenheimer's Best, September 3, 2015
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE is director John Frankenheimer's definitive film. The mesmerizing story of a political and psychological subterfuge is devastating. This film is distinctly a John Frankenheimer film and I believe his best. One thing that strikes time and again when I think of this film is Laurence Harvey's performance as Raymond Shaw. Could a figure be more tragic, so torn apart and put back together? Could a character be so devastated and tossed away like a lump of flesh to be used for some inhumane political ambition? I think not. And what of Frank Sinatra's performance as Major Marco? He too is a pawn in the threatening dark forces whose political point of view is one that would subjugate all for the greater good of mankind. Major Marco's heartbreak is that he has uncovered part of their scheme and he knows that Raymond Shaw too is a pawn, but to what purpose? This is one of Frank Sinatra's finest performances (he has always been underrated as an actor in my opinion) as is Laurence Harvey's (also underrated and somewhat forgotten). These two strong performances make this film or the more real, all the more horrifying. Behind it all is David Amram's score that is so prophetically apt. There is such a tragedy at work here. What happens in the name of freedom, not only for American values, but the values of the free world is solemnly told here by John Frankenheimer.

RONIN is perhaps director John Frankenheimer's last great film. During the early and mid 1960s John Frankenheimer directed some of his best and most memorable films. They include THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, THE TRAIN, SECONDS and GRAND PRIX. All those are among my favorite films. RONIN is a very good spy film that is characterized by great location cinematography, car chases, sets and great performances from a very solid cast that includes Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, Michael Lonsdale, Jonathan Pryce and Katarina Witt. French cinematographer Robert Fraisse achieved a look of realism in color similar to what John Frankenheimer had envisioned similar to THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE shot in black and white. With the Production Design by Michael Z. Hanan, Art Direction by Gérard Viard and Jean-Claude Lagniez supervising over 100 stunt drivers with Frankenheimer's close direction and sense of realism is achieved much like seen in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE TRAIN and GRAND PRIX.

Director John Frankenheimer's THE TRAIN was released in 1965. Set in the final days of Nazi occupied Paris during the WWII it tells a tale of how the French Resistance attempted to stop a train carrying a cargo of paintings from entering into Germany. The paintings had been held in a museum in Paris throughout the German occupation. These were not works by the old masters but instead were works painted by the impressionist and post impressionist artists whose paintings had been labeled degenerate by Nazi Germany. Though labeled degenerate or depraved by the Nazis these paintings had not been destroyed. At the beginning of the film we are introduced to German Colonel von Waldheim played by Paul Scofield. At first he appears to be a sympathetic character who allowed the museum curator Miss Villard to remain in charge of these paintings. She thanks him for not removing her and expresses that she detects his appreciation for the paintings after he admits to her that as a German officer he should not have been moved by degenerate art. When German soldiers come into the museum and crate all the paintings for railway shipment to Germany it is evident that the paintings have a monetary value to the Nazis if not an aesthetic one. Colonel von Waldheim uses this point to procure a military train. Miss Villard seeks out the help of the French Resistance namely Labiche, a railway yardmaster, played by Burt Lancaster to stop the train. Labiche is at first disinterested because the efforts of the Resistance should be aimed at military targets. However, Villard pleads that the paintings are part of the French culture and part of France itself and should never leave the country. Labiche gives in and the story focuses on the determination of Labiche and German Colonel von Waldheim to thwart each other's attempts from accomplishing their tasks. This is one of Burt Lancaster's greatest performances demonstrating his athletic abilities and his intuitive sense of histrionics to create a visual screen presence of pure determination to stop an equally determined foe who represents a [badness] gone beyond the limits of an already [horrible] Nazi regime. Paul Scofield's performance is the complete opposite but equally determined played with a strange and enigmatic detachment. As the movie progresses we see that von Waldheim's [character] degenerates even though he remains oblivious to his own shortcomings as a human being. The more obstacles that Labiche puts in the way of the train we see von Waldheim respond with firing squads for all those that assist Labiche. Colonel von Waldheim has stolen and transports the paintings under the pretense that they a resource to the Reich. In fact von Waldheim has convinced himself that he alone or only a man like him is capable of appreciating such paintings. Air raids, derailments, staged locomotive crashes, diversions, detours and so on hamper the train ever mile on its way to Germany. Near the end of the movie von Waldheim puts French hostages along the walkways of the locomotive to stop Labiche from blowing up the tracks and engine. ... Composer Maurice Jarre's score ends the film on a melancholy note of reflection using the dynamic melody he created for the French Resistance now played on a muted harmonica in a bittersweet comment on the futility of war. ... Director John Frankenheimer created this epic with such precision that you just can not appreciate the labors of all the technicians and actors went into making this film. John Frankenheimer is one of my favorite directors. He's way up there on the list. This film is a cinematic achievement of storytelling, action and great ... soul searching.

1961's THE YOUNG SAVAGES is visually a very stark film. I love this film's resolute perseverance for truth and its enigmatic point of view. The acting is first-rate. I saw this film when it was first released and I have never forgotten it. John Frankenheimer's films have that effect on you. It is a good one and I liked it then and I still like it now. It has stood the test of time. Burt Lancaster's performance is brilliant and very focused. I also like David Amram's score. It fits the concrete landscape beautify as did Lionel Lindon's stark black & white cinematography. THE YOUNG SAVAGES is a gripping and austere tale dealing with street gang violence set in New York City in East Harlem. When assistant district attorney Hank Bell, played by Burt Lancaster, learns that one of three gang members accused of murdering a blind member of an opposing gang is the son of an an ex-girlfriend, it gets personal and very tangled. The film is a good drama that considers themes of poverty, ethnic bias, mental capacity, psychosis, morality and many other issues that make up society. David Amram once again composed a very good score and Lionel Lindon's stark photography sets the mood brilliantly. As the tale unfolds there is much more than meets the eye.


Bossa Nova U.S.A. (Remastered)
Bossa Nova U.S.A. (Remastered)
Offered by SONY Music Entertainment Downloads LLC.
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Once again The Dave Brubeck Quartet at their Best, September 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Once again we have The Dave Brubeck Quartet at their best.Bossa Nova U. S. A. is an amazing recording. I love it. It has great sound, nostalgic in every note and beat. I really love this stuff.


The Guns Of Navarone
The Guns Of Navarone
Offered by Short-form Videos
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The Legend of Navarone Lives On, September 2, 2015
This review is from: The Guns Of Navarone
THE GUNS OF NAVARONE have long been silent but the legend of this extraordinary and endearing film lingers on in our memory. They just don't make them like this any more. The script, the score (Dimitri Tiomkin), the cinematography, the actors and the characters they played are indelibly etched into the psyche. I often have fleeting thoughts of this film, happy ones, of the images, the words and the music from this WWII legend. The examination of camaraderie, the morality of killing and not killing, bravery, survival, betrayal, forgiveness and getting the job done are all integrated into a logical and emotional cohesive film that is both entertaining yet important in its representation of the extraordinary human qualities that can only be realized during war. THE GUNS OF NAVARONE is one of my favorite films and the less said the better. I just savor my memories of it and get a little warmth in my heart.


The Train 1965 Original USA One Sheet Movie Poster John Frankenheimer Burt Lancaster
The Train 1965 Original USA One Sheet Movie Poster John Frankenheimer Burt Lancaster
Offered by Posteritati Movie Posters
Price: $195.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Poster by FRANK McCARTHY, September 2, 2015
This is an outstanding movie poster by FRANK McCARTHY.

Director John Frankenheimer's THE TRAIN was released in 1965. Set in the final days of Nazi occupied Paris during the WWII it tells a tale of how the French Resistance attempted to stop a train carrying a cargo of paintings from entering into Germany. The paintings had been held in a museum in Paris throughout the German occupation. These were not works by the old masters but instead were works painted by the impressionist and post impressionist artists whose paintings had been labeled degenerate by Nazi Germany. Though labeled degenerate or depraved by the Nazis these paintings had not been destroyed. At the beginning of the film we are introduced to German Colonel von Waldheim played by Paul Scofield. At first he appears to be a sympathetic character who allowed the museum curator Miss Villard to remain in charge of these paintings. She thanks him for not removing her and expresses that she detects his appreciation for the paintings after he admits to her that as a German officer he should not have been moved by degenerate art. When German soldiers come into the museum and crate all the paintings for railway shipment to Germany it is evident that the paintings have a monetary value to the Nazis if not an aesthetic one. Colonel von Waldheim uses this point to procure a military train. Miss Villard seeks out the help of the French Resistance namely Labiche, a railway yardmaster, played by Burt Lancaster to stop the train. Labiche is at first disinterested because the efforts of the Resistance should be aimed at military targets. However, Villard pleads that the paintings are part of the French culture and part of France itself and should never leave the country. Labiche gives in and the story focuses on the determination of Labiche and German Colonel von Waldheim to thwart each other's attempts from accomplishing their tasks. This is one of Burt Lancaster's greatest performances demonstrating his athletic abilities and his intuitive sense of histrionics to create a visual screen presence of pure determination to stop an equally determined foe who represents a [badness] gone beyond the limits of an already [horrible] Nazi regime. Paul Scofield's performance is the complete opposite but equally determined played with a strange and enigmatic detachment. As the movie progresses we see that von Waldheim's [character] degenerates even though he remains oblivious to his own shortcomings as a human being. The more obstacles that Labiche puts in the way of the train we see von Waldheim respond with firing squads for all those that assist Labiche. Colonel von Waldheim has stolen and transports the paintings under the pretense that they a resource to the Reich. In fact von Waldheim has convinced himself that he alone or only a man like him is capable of appreciating such paintings. Air raids, derailments, staged locomotive crashes, diversions, detours and so on hamper the train ever mile on its way to Germany. Near the end of the movie von Waldheim puts French hostages along the walkways of the locomotive to stop Labiche from blowing up the tracks and engine. ... Composer Maurice Jarre's score ends the film on a melancholy note of reflection using the dynamic melody he created for the French Resistance now played on a muted harmonica in a bittersweet comment on the futility of war. ... Director John Frankenheimer created this epic with such precision that you just can not appreciate the labors of all the technicians and actors went into making this film. John Frankenheimer is one of my favorite directors. He's way up there on the list. This film is a cinematic achievement of storytelling, action and great ... soul searching.


The Bridge on the River Kwai - Trailer 2
The Bridge on the River Kwai - Trailer 2
Offered by Short-form Videos
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The Madness of War, September 2, 2015
David Lean's BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI is yet another classic WWII foilm combining good stiff upper lip heroics and an overall cynicism of war and its futility as a means of expressing the humanity of all affected. This is a great film. It is interesting how William Holden's single handedness puts the entire essence of that statement to the test. William Holden and Alec Guinness are idealistically and diametrically opposed though not seen so visually in the same frame. Yet, Alec Guinness leaves an indelible image as the inimitable British Colonel Nicholson and Sessue Hayakawa as the powerfully weak Colonel Saito with William Holden, the American and cynic looking in on the entire madness. William Holden's character and predicament almost seem secondary to the central plot, but ultimately the American falls into the madness. The true substance of the story lies in the conflict and irony between Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa and the morality of British soldiers building a bridge for the enemy to the best of their abilities as Holden, the American sees the entire lot of them playing toy soldier with real men's lives. The bridge is central to the plot and it takes on symbolic meaning as both a monument to British ingenuity and the inept weakness of their Japanese captors.


The Sound of Music Part 1-2 CED
The Sound of Music Part 1-2 CED

5.0 out of 5 stars THE SOUND OF MUSIC Is So Endearing, September 2, 2015
This review is from: The Sound of Music Part 1-2 CED
So much comes to mind when I think of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. It is jubilant, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting to the spirit, this film demonstrates and is a tribute to all the goodness there is in the world and what life has to offer and what we can strive for. I saw this film when I was a little boy and well it was good I suppose but it has grown to mean much more to me with each passing year. There is goodness and love and tragedy in the world as I have now come to realize but when your spirits are low you can return to this film and remember and savor the lessons you have learned and reflect back and see parallels in the images that you once never truly saw. For a film that is greatness I suppose. Someone recently reintroduced me to this film and it has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Happiness is where you find it and make it. The one character that left an indelible image with me was Rolfe (Daniel Truhitte). Captain Von Trappe (Christopher Plummer) implores him to "Come with us." Rolfe had his chance to live life as a human being but he chose otherwise and in doing so gave up his chance for happiness. As a viewer, choose happiness and indulge yourself in this film. You will truly take away something of value each time you view it.

Such great talents are associated with this film. The prolific Robert Wise once again demonstrated his vast array of directorial talents (THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, EXECUTIVE SUITE, THE HAUNTING, WEST SIDE STORY, ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP) being able to produce yet another gem regardless of the genre. That is a rare thing and Wise certainly seemed like the man for that job on this film given his gentle demeanor and eye for good storytelling. Screenwriter Ernest Lehman is another prolific talent with screenplays for EXECUTIVE SUITE, SABRINA, NORTH BY NORTHWEST and THE KING AND I to his name. Production Designer Boris Leven also was another prolific fellow with production designs such as GIANT, JOHN PAUL JONES and WEST SIDE STORY to his name. The entire cast is excellent. Julie Andrew's naïve yet intuitive qualities as Maria matched against the outwardly stern and overtly proud Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trappe, who's personalities must eventually come together in order for them to become life loved partners is brilliantly performed by these two. Particular note should be made to Richard Hayden's performance as Max Detweiler Von Trappe's friend otherwise talent agent who acts as the liaison with the audience with his wry visual expressions.


The Dead Pool (Clint Eastwood Collection)
The Dead Pool (Clint Eastwood Collection)

5.0 out of 5 stars A Lethargic and Sentimental Look Back, August 29, 2015
THE DEAD POOL is a rather lethargic almost sentimental look back at Harry Callahan and the series. In this film it seems as though Harry has been assimilated by the very system he operated in and it looks as though that system no longer resembles any system at all. Yet, despite a disintegrating society where it seems anything goes, Harry still has some of that starch left in him to get things done his way.

The plot no longer seems that timely or the need for swift decisive action that urgent, but Harry showing his age, still gets the job done. And the plot just flows at a leisurely pace, still with some interesting elements on hand. The exciting remote-controlled toy car chase is a bit of a send up, but it works. Best of all is the scene in the penitentiary with Anthony Charnota as jailed mobster Lou Janero. This scene is a bit of a classic and truly one of the best scenes in the series and standout in this film. It was also good to see Michael Currie return as Capt. Donnelly from SUDDEN IMPACT adding continuity to this final Dirty Harry film along with Lalo Schifrin's score.

Watching this film my mind kept escaping back to the original DIRTY HARRY and I can still hear Reni Santoni asking, "Why do they call you Dirty Harry?" Well, that seemed like ages ago, but we still know the answer.


The Ten Commandments Part 1-2 CED
The Ten Commandments Part 1-2 CED
2 used & new from $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, August 29, 2015
This review is from: The Ten Commandments Part 1-2 CED
1956’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS was Cecil B. De Mille's last film as a director. De Mille's traditional style of filmmaking and story telling is elegant, larger-than-life and rather elegiac and exactly suited for the enormous task of bringing this spectacle to the screen. Charlton Heston gives an excellent and powerfully dramatic performance as Moses. Yul Brynner, who approaches his role with style and confidence, is the prince who outmaneuvers Moses to the Egyptian throne in one of the best performances of his career. Supporting Heston and Brynner is a diverse and powerful cast of actors and performers. John Derek is memorable as Joshua the stone cutter. Anne Baxter is Nefretiri who yearns for the love of Moses. Cedric Hardwicke is an agreeable and levelheaded Pharaoh Sethi. Edward G. Robinson is the traitor to his people memorable for constructing the false idol golden calf. Vincent Price is the villainous and diabolically likable Baka. The beautiful Debra Paget is Baka's slave girl Lilia. Yvonne De Carlo gives a very thoughtful performance as Sephora, Moses' earthly love. John Carradine is Aaron. Woody Strode can be seen as the King of Ethiopia. Laboriously produced, Cecil B. De Mille's THE TEN COMMANDMENTS looks as though it was filmed and acted in a style more suitable to the early days of Hollywood. But that is a very positive quality. The film takes biblical events and turns them into Hollywood's version of history quite effectively. This style of filmmaking brings the larger-than-life scope of the Old Testament to the screen preserving the mystery and awesome power of the concept of a monotheistic divinity. One very effective feature of this film that reinforces this concept are the unearthly looking special effects, which are so eerily disturbing and beyond our comprehension that they truly approach a successful vision of the universal power of God. These distinctively unique special effects by the innovative John P. Fulton are essential to the telling of this story. Elmer Bernstein's rousing and inspirational score is brilliantly moving as it reinforces the vision that De Mille has created. Interestingly, in the earlier parts of this film De Mille shows us the construction of an Egyptian empire. We are witness to and experience the ingenuity of man to engineer and create such mammoth structures. But De Mille through the use of these special effects wipes all this out and shows the futility of man's efforts to subjugate other men when divine intervention prevails. This is such a brilliantly visual film that it still evokes awe and wonder to this day.


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