HELL'S HINGES with MAKING OF BRONCHO BILLY and NAKED HANDS
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(Dec 16, 2014)
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HELL'S HINGES starring William S. Hart, Clara Williams, Jack Standing and Alfred Hollingsworth. Directed by Charles Swickard. Recently ordained, the Reverend Robert Hensley is a weak and selfish young man, utterly unfit for the calling that his devout mother has persuaded him to follow. The church leaders decide to send him west to establish a church, where the people live simply and close to God. His sister, Faith, decides to join him to see that he is comfortably settled.
The reverend's destination turns out to be Placer Center, also known as Hell's Hinges. The town is ruled by Silk Miller, owner of the local saloon, and the outlaw, Blaze Tracy, who agree that neither law nor religion should ever come to the town. After meeting Faith, Blaze falls in love and turns to religion while Silk, with the help of the dance hall girls and liquor, corrupts the young reverend and sets the town on a path to destruction!
Produced on a grand scale, this is the quintessential W.S. Hart western with plenty of action, breathtaking photography and splendid scenery. It also marks one of the very first screen appearances of John Gilbert who can be seen as an extra.
MAKING OF BRONCHO BILLY starring G.M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson, Harry Todd and Brinsley Shaw. Directed by G.M. Anderson. Newly arrived in a rough western town, Billy, a milk-drinking tenderfoot, soon becomes the target of the local cowboys who bully him at every turn. In frustration, Billy buys a cowboy outfit and teaches himself to use a gun. It isn't long before he's ready to seek his revenge.
NAKED HANDS starring G.M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson, Ruth Saville and Rodney Hildebrand. Directed by G.M. Anderson. Gold miner, Billy Adair, is a hard-working man who worships his young wife, Edith. She, unfortunately, is bored and disappointed with life out west and soon falls for the charms of an old flame, Arthur Stanton, who is visiting on business from New York. The two decide to run away together and return east. Billy, though crushed, decides not to pursue the couple. But he vows that if Edith should come to any harm, he would finish Stanton with his "naked hands".
Original music scores composed and performed by Bernie Anderson!
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Even to this day, I cannot help but think of Leslie Nelson's butchering of the national anthem while I watch major league baseball games. "The Naked Gun" is one of those movies which has dozens of memorable lines and scenes which you can recall easily with your friends. It is also one of those movies that if you could read the script, you can visualize the bumbling police lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielson) acting, and you laugh just as hard reading the script as you would watching the movie.
How can anyone forget Frank Drebin's comment about Queen Elizabeth visiting Los Angeles:
Lt Drebin: "Thank you your honor. Protecting the safety of the Queen is a task that is gladly accepted by Police Squad. For no matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us, as Americans we must be gracious and considerate hosts. (The crowd applauds, camara pans to Mayor's a gasped expression as she takes over the podium from Lt. Drebin.)
Of course this is followed by the sounds of Lt Drebin's "long pee" scene audio drowning out the Mayor's continued speech when he forgets to remove his wireless microphone while relieving himself in the men's room. Of course, it only gets worse for the Mayor as Lt Drebin completes his potty break soliloquy with a cascading audio of a few short squirts, and lyrical humming. Lt Drebin completes his audible peeing soliloquy finale by breaking wind and a self satisfying "Aaaaaaah" broadcast to the entire press conference.
What is funny about the film is not that it is spoofing popular culture, instead the script is actually damned funny and the actors all go above and beyond to make the comedy work.
Yes it has thousands of jokes, and yes some of them won't hit the mark for every viewer, but you can be sure that a high percentage of them will tickle your funny bone. Two timeless
quotes from the film: Leslie Neilsen, "Nice beaver", to which Priscilla Presley replies "Thank you I've just had it stuffed" while carrying down an actual life sized stuffed real Canadian beaver.
Secondly, Leslie Neilsen's character Frank Drebin commenting at a press conference about Queen Elizabeth the Second's impending visit to L.A., "...protecting the safety of the Queen is a
task that is gladly accepted by Police Squad, for no matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us.... as Americans we must be gracious and considerate hosts." It gets me
every time. If you have never seen this film, do yourself a favor and watch it...soon. I dare you not to laugh at the numerous hijinks that Frank Drebin and Police Squad get up to.