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Old 02-27-12, 10:23 AM   #11
Ash Ketchum
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Re: The 1st Annual DVDTalk Action/Adventure/Crime Challenge List Thread 3/1/12-3/31

Ash Ketchum’s 1st Action/Adventure Crime Challenge



Short reviews placed in [spoiler] tags to shorten loading time

Thurs. March 1, 2012
1. CRIME WAVE (1954/U.S., 74 min., b&w, crime thriller) Studio: Warner Bros. DVD
Dir.: Andre de Toth. Stars: Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson, Phyllis Kirk.
Spoiler:
Innocent ex-con embroiled in a crime caper by two prison buddy escapees, while a hardnosed cop watches him like a hawk. Location shooting in L.A., documentary-style natural lighting, and Charles Bronson (billed as Charles Buchinsky) as one of the escapees. Features three actors who would appear in Kubrick’s THE KILLING two years later: Sterling Hayden, Ted de Corsia, Timothy Carey. I gotta watch it again for the commentary by James Ellroy and Eddie Muller. Everyone raved about DRIVE last year yet Hollywood used to routinely make films like that--this is one of them--and the critics never paid them any notice.


2. CRIME WAVE DVD/Rescreened with audio commentary by novelist James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) and film noir historian Eddie Muller.
Spoiler:
I love how they compare this film to L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, insisting that Sterling Hayden is the ideal Bud White and that L.A. CONFIDENTIAL should have looked and sounded like this film and been shot in black-and-white. I couldn’t agree more. They also insist that Stanley Kubrick must have been inspired to do THE KILLING after seeing this.


3. DECOY (1946/U.S., 76 min., b&w, crime drama) Studio: Monogram. DVD
Dir.: Jack Bernhard. Stars: Jean Gillie, Edward Norris, Herbert Rudley, Robert Armstrong, Sheldon Leonard.
Spoiler:
This is on a double bill DVD with CRIME WAVE (see #1). It’s a very odd example of low-budget film noir, since it has a twist of science fiction in its key plot angle involving the revival of an executed-by-gas prisoner with some mysterious antidote provided by a doctor, lured in by the attentions of the prisoner’s moll, all with the goal of learning where the prisoner has stashed the dough from a bank job. It’s all pretty intriguing, but is kind of undone by the miscasting of English actress Jean Gillie, with her high clear upper-class British tones, as a femme fatale from the wrong side of the tracks. She’s actually quite an interesting screen presence, but the role is just wrong for her. Everyone else, though, is quite good.


Fri. March 2, 2012
4. DECOY DVD/Rescreened with audio commentary by film historian Glenn Erickson and screenwriter Stanley Rubin, author of the original story for DECOY.

Spoiler:
It’s pretty amazing that the author of the original story for this 1946 film is not only still alive, but still spry enough to sit for an audio commentary. He and Erickson converse mostly about Rubin’s career, with some attention to the film, but they never actually talk about scenes from the film as they’re unfolding. Rubin has high praise for the lead actress, sentiments that I don’t share.


5. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960/U.S., 128 min., color, western, United Artists) DVD.
Dir.: John Sturges. Cast: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn.
Audio commentary by Eli Wallach, James Coburn, Walter Mirisch (producer), Robert Relyea (assistant director).
Spoiler:
I watched this, an old favorite, with the audio commentary on, featuring two of the stars and two of the key personnel on it. Great stuff. I love listening to Wallach and Coburn. Too bad they didn't get Vaughn to join them. I once saw this at Lincoln Center, introduced by Vaughn.


6. Guns for Hire: The Making of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2001/U.S-England, 47 min., color, documentary) DVD.
Dir.: Louis Heaton. Special feature included on the DVD of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.
Spoiler:
Interviews with producers and cast members from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, as well as younger filmmakers like Lawrence Kasdan and John Carpenter, who are fans of the film. The four men who did the audio commentary tell some of the same stories here, on camera. There are slight variations in some of the retellings.


Sat. March 3, 2012
7. Flame of Recca (1997/Japan, 30-minute anime fantasy martial arts series) VHS fan-sub
Ep. 1: The Princess and Her Ninja! Power Awakens!
Spoiler:
A high school boy who’s training to be a ninja in contemporary Japan finds out that he’s the reincarnation of a warrior from the Hokage Clan from hundreds of years ago. He also learns he has the power to shoot out flames from his hands. Fun and games ensue.


8. Flame of Recca (1997/Japan, 30-minute anime fantasy martial arts series) VHS fan-sub
Ep. 2: Fire and Wind, the Fatal Temptation!

9. Police Story (1973-77/U.S. 60-minute TV crime drama/NBC) DVD (Season One box set)
Season 1 / #5 “The Ho Chi Minh Trail” (1973) Cast: George Maharis, Clifton Davis, Herb Edelman.
Spoiler:
A young black cadet is recruited from the academy to go undercover to make drug buys in the black ghetto. Bernie Hamilton and Antonio Fargas, both of whom would go on to be regulars on “Starsky and Hutch,” play underworld characters here. R&B great Rufus Thomas performs in one scene—a welcome surprise.


Sun. March 4, 2012
10. Police Story (1973-77/U.S. 60-minute TV crime drama/NBC) DVD (Season One box set)
Season 1 / #4: “The Violent Homecoming” (1973) Cast: Pedro Armendariz Jr., Stephen McNally, Pepe Serna.
Spoiler:
Chicanos are spotlit in this episode, with Armendariz as a cop from the barrio returning to investigate a gang shooting. The Chicanos are all played by actual Latino actors, which was a pretty bold move at the time. Lots of location filming in East L.A. Not much action, but deserves props for a serious approach to its subject.


11. Flame of Recca (1997/Japan, 30-minute anime fantasy martial arts series) VHS fan-sub
Ep. #3: The Soldier of Water! The Plane of Revenge!

12. Flame of Recca (1997/Japan, 30-minute anime fantasy martial arts series) VHS fan-sub
Ep. #4: The Maze of Mirrors and the Determined Flame

13. LAST ACTION HERO (1993/U.S., 130 min., color, action comedy/fantasy, Columbia) VHS.
Dir.: John McTiernan. Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O’Brien, Charles Dance.
Spoiler:
Wow, did I enjoy this! Why has it taken me so long to see it? I thought it was very clever and consistently funny throughout. What makes it work so well is the performance of the boy, who is clearly having the time of his life and reacts to everything with awe and eagerness, and, when appropriate, fear and apprehension. He makes you believe it.


Mon. March 5, 2012
14. WINCHESTER '73 (1950/U.S., 93 min., b&w, western, Universal) DVD.
Dir.; Anthony Mann. Cast: James Stewart, Stephen McNally, Dan Duryea, Shelley Winters. With audio commentary by James Stewart.
Spoiler:
One of the great westerns and it’s got an audio commentary track supplied by its star, the only commentary he ever did.


Tues. March 6, 2012
15. Police Story (1973-77/U.S. 60-minute TV crime drama/NBC) DVD (Season One box set)
Pilot film: “Stakeout” (aka “Slow Boy,” 1973, 96 min.) Cast: Vic Morrow, Chuck Connors, Ed Asner, Diane Baker.
Spoiler:
The opening credits say “The Police Story” and the title onscreen is “Stakeout,” although the DVD menu says “Slow Boy,” as does IMDB. I prefer to go by what’s onscreen. Vic Morrow ("Combat") plays a tough cop. Chuck Connors, the iconic cowboy hero of “The Rifleman,” plays a tough crook. The emphasis is on Morrow, as Joe LaFrieda, with scenes of his difficult personal life as well. He can be a bit of an A-hole off-duty and it makes his character more layered and more believable. Excellent performances all around and clearly an attempt to make something more than just a run-of-the-mill cop show. I first saw this on TV back in the ’70s during one of the series reruns.


Wed. March 7, 2012
16. BORN INVINCIBLE (1978/Hong Kong-Taiwan, 83 min., color, kung fu) DVD (English-dubbed)
Dir.: Joseph Kuo. Cast: Carter Wong, Lo Lieh, Jack Long, Mark Long. Fight choreographer: Yuen Wo Ping.
Spoiler:
One of the great kung fu movies. This was a big hit on 42nd Street back in the day. Carter Wong, usually a hero in these films, plays the invulnerable white-haired villain, a Tai Chi expert, and the good guys have to find his weak spot or die trying.


17. Dick Tracy (1937/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) VHS.
Directors: Ray Taylor, Alan James. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette.
Ep. 1: The Spider Strikes
Spoiler:
Square-jawed Byrd was perfect casting for the role of the famed comic strip detective and he played the part in three more serials, two feature films and a 33-episode TV series. In the serial, Tracy was a G-man and not a city cop. Gone was his iconic overcoat from the comic strip. (Apparently, the Feds don't wear overcoats.)


18. Fight, Dragon! (1974/Japan, 30-min. martial arts TV series) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.)
Star: Yasuaki Kurata.
Ep. 1: Dragon Flies to Hong Kong
Spoiler:
Kurata was a Japanese martial arts star who appeared primarily in Hong Kong films. This is a Japanese series but the first episode was filmed in Hong Kong and the villain, Red Tiger, is played by Hong Kong actor Bolo Yeung, best known as the massive fighter from ENTER THE DRAGON.


Thurs. March 8, 2012
19. COPS VS. THUGS (1975/Japan, 101 min., color, Yakuza crime thriller) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.)
Dir.: Kinji Fukasaku. Cast: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata.
Spoiler:
A corrupt cop in league with a yakuza gang is the hero here. When a young crusading detective with a college education and a background in judo takes over, determined to clean up the city, our hero is put in a bind. At one point, two cops beat up a suspect and it sure looks like the actor is taking punishment. From the director of THE YAKUZA PAPERS and BATTLE ROYALE.


20. HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948/U.S., 80 min., b&w, crime drama/film noir) DVD.
Dir. Alfred Werker (uncredited: Anthony Mann). Cast: Scott Brady, Richard Basehart, Roy Roberts, Jack Webb.
Spoiler:
Classic LAPD police procedural, infused with pure noir scenes of the killer in isolation as he’s hunted by the police. The real auteur here is cinematographer John Alton, who photographed a number of key noir films. The technical adviser is Sgt. Marty Wynn, who suggested to co-star Jack Webb that he do a radio show along the lines of this film—the end result was “Dragnet.”


21. Dick Tracy (1937/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) VHS.
Directors: Ray Taylor, Alan James. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette.
Ep. 2: Bridge to Terror
Spoiler:
In this episode, there’s a great chase scene and shootout filmed on location at an abandoned power plant, with superb stunt work. Byrd was quite an active serial hero.


Fri. March 9, 2012
22. Dick Tracy (1937/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) VHS.
Directors: Ray Taylor, Alan James. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette.
Ep. 3: The Fur Pirates
Spoiler:
There’s a motorboat chase filmed on location, probably around L.A. somewhere, but set in San Francisco Harbor.


23. HOLLOW TRIUMPH (aka THE SCAR, 1948/U.S., 83 min., b&w, crime drama/film noir) DVD.
Dir.: Steve Sekely. Cast: Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz.
Spoiler:
A criminal on the run takes over the identity of a lookalike psychiatrist, only to start slipping up in significant ways. Fascinating crime drama with great noir cinematography by John Alton. Jack Webb plays a bad guy named Bullseye in his film debut.


Sat. March 10, 2012
24. Dick Tracy (1937/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) VHS.
Directors: Ray Taylor, Alan James. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette.
Ep. 4: Death Rides the Sky
Spoiler:
Aviation action involving a zeppelin, a biplane, a robot plane and the villains’ massive “flying wing.” Lots of cool stuff in this episode.


25. Dick Tracy (1937/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) VHS.
Directors: Ray Taylor, Alan James. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette.
Ep. 5: Brother Against Brother

26. Dick Tracy (1937/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) VHS.
Directors: Ray Taylor, Alan James. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette.
Ep. 6: Dangerous Waters

27. Dick Tracy (1937/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) VHS.
Directors: Ray Taylor, Alan James. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette.
Ep. 7: The Ghost Town Mystery
Spoiler:
This is the last episode I have from the original serial. Now, onto my DVD of the follow-up serial, “Dick Tracy Returns.”


28. Dick Tracy Returns (1938/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) DVD.
Directors: John English, William Witney. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Lynn Roberts, Charles Middleton.
Chapter 1: The Sky Wreckers
Spoiler:
This serial is a real crime drama as Tracy pursues a hardcore criminal, Pa Stark, played by Ming the Merciless himself, Charles Middleton, and his five criminal sons, one of whom is played by Ned Glass, more famous as “Doc” from WEST SIDE STORY.


Sun. March 11, 2012
29. Raven Tengu Kabuto (1992/Japan, 45 min., color, anime ninja adventure/OAV) VHS (in Japanese with English subs.)
Dir.: Buichi Terasawa.

Spoiler:
Straight-to-video anime release based on the director’s own “Kabuto” manga about a mystical ninja-style warrior who flies with his own raven wings. Here he fights possessed fighters and mechanical creatures as he rescues a princess held captive by a beautiful villainess who has a scientific genius working for her and they fly around in a wooden palace that has helicopter blades, even though this is set hundreds of years ago.


30. Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo (1998/Japan, 92 min., color, anime caper thriller/TV special) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.)
Dir.: Toshiya Shinohara.
Spoiler:
Not one of the best Lupin features. Has some good chases and action scenes, but I found the whole thing confusing. The plot has to do with attempts to steal some historical object that hides a map to locate the hidden Tokugawa fortune. Lupin & co. get involved, as does a Tokyo tycoon who’s about to open an aquatic amusement park. When genetic human engineering enters the story, I got lost.


Mon. March 12, 2012
31. IMPACT (1949/U.S., 111 min., b&w, crime drama/UA) DVD.
Dir.: Arthur Lubin. Cast: Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Helen Walker, Anna May Wong.
Spoiler:
A businessman survives an attempt on his life by his wife and her lover, a chain of events which leaves the lover dead, the wife charged with murder and the businessman in hiding and believed dead. When a good girl he meets urges him to go to the police and set the record straight, our hero is thrown into jail and charged with the lover’s murder. Well-written drama focused on a nice guy-who’s-been-done-wrong, a nice girl who tries to help him, and an evil woman who can lie herself off of death row.


32. Dick Tracy Returns (1938/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) DVD.
Directors: John English, William Witney. Cast: Ralph Byrd, Lynn Roberts, Charles Middleton.
Chapter 2: The Runway of Death

33. Dick Tracy Returns (1938/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) DVD.
Chapter 3: Handcuffed to Doom

Tues. March 13, 2012
34. Dick Tracy Returns (1938/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) DVD.
Chapter 4: Four Seconds to Live
Spoiler:
Location work in Griffith Park and Bronson Canyon.


35. Dick Tracy Returns (1938/U.S., 15-chapter serial, b&w, Republic Pictures) DVD.
Chapter 5: Death in the Air
Spoiler:
Lots of flying of experimental aircraft in this one.


36. D.O.A. (1950/U.S., 83 min., b&w, crime drama/film noir, UA) Beta SP
Dir.: Rudolph Maté. Cast: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler.
Spoiler:
Classic film noir of a man who finds out he's been fatally poisoned and spends his last hours finding out who did it and why. The facts of the case are less interesting than the fast pace, the location filming in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and O'Brien's fevered performance. Great camerawork.


Wed. March 14, 2012
37. WINNERS AND SINNERS (1983/Hong Kong, 108 min., color, action comedy, Golden Harvest) DVD
Dir.: Sammo Hung. Cast: Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Cherie Chung, Stanley Fung.
Spoiler:
First film in the “Lucky Stars” series. Jackie has only a supporting role, although he has a great segment featuring amazing roller skate stunts. The comedy overwhelms the action and the plot doesn’t really kick in until the last half-hour or so. For a film this long there should have been more action scenes.


38. THE KANSAN (1943/U.S., 79 min., b&w, western, UA) Beta SP
Dir.: George Archainbaud. Cast: Richard Dix, Jane Wyatt, Albert Dekker, Victor Jory.
Spoiler:
The producer and director of the low-budget Hopalong Cassidy westerns managed to provide a bigger budget to this western with Richard Dix as a fictionalized version of Wyatt Earp. The script isn't the best, with too many doses of romance and comedy that interfere with the plot, but the action scenes are extremely well-staged. There's a great saloon brawl that lasts several minutes and features most of the principal actors doing their own fighting in the thick of it. George (Superman) Reeves appears briefly as Jesse James.


39. GOLGO 13: KOWLOON ASSIGNMENT (1977/Japan, 93 min., color, martial arts crime drama, Toei) DVD (The Sonny Chiba Collection) Dubbed in English.
Dir.: Yukio Noda. Cast: Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shiomi, Lun Chia, Jerry Ito.
Spoiler:
Live-action film based on the famous manga, which was later made into two anime films and an anime TV series. Chiba is perfectly cast as the hard-boiled, stone cold killer-for-hire of the title. Too bad the film itself isn’t as hard-edged as the manga. There are two potentially good fight scenes shot, for some reason, in the dark. Set and shot mostly in Hong Kong, with side trips to Tokyo and Macao. Good location work, including a chase scene where the cops go after Golgo in HK. Most of the characters are non-Japanese. The Japanese dubbing is worse than the English dubbing, which was done by the usual kung fu movie dubbers, so I watched it with the English track.


Thurs. March 15, 2012
40. KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (1952/U.S., 98 min., b&w, crime drama, UA) Beta SP
Dir.: Phil Karlson. Cast: John Payne, Preston Foster, Coleen Gray, Lee Van Cleef.
Spoiler:
Starts out really well with an armored car robbery in Kansas City and the framing of an innocent delivery driver for the crime and the driver’s pursuit of the real criminals. But once it settles into a Mexican resort for the cat-and-mouse game between the driver and the real criminals and a contrived romance between the driver and a female law student, the action stops and the suspense diminishes. Still, there’s fun to be had watching such a great tough-guy cast, led by John Payne and three of the best ’50s heavies: Lee Van Cleef, Neville Brand and Jack Elam.


41. THE SILENCERS (1966/U.S., 102 min., color, secret agent comedy-thriller, Columbia) DVD (Matt Helm Lounge set)
Dir.: Phil Karlson. Cast: Dean Martin, Stella Stevens, Victor Buono, Daliah Lavi.
Spoiler:
The first and worst of the four movies starring Dino as swingin’ ’60s agent Matt Helm. It’s a pale, unfunny rehash of DR. NO, complete with a yellow-face “oriental” villain, here played by rotund Victor Buono. They even make the gorgeous Stella Stevens look bad. Hard to believe tough-guy director Phil Karlson directed this. This is the only one I didn’t see in theaters when it first came out. I might not have seen the others if I had. I’m a big fan of the second one, MURDERERS’ ROW, which comes up next on my viewing list.


Fri. March 16, 2012
42. Buffalo Bill Jr. (1955/U.S., b&w western TV series, syndicated) DVD (Ultimate Westerns Television Classics/Mill Creek box set)
Star: Dickie Jones.
“Red Hawk” (Season 1/#18, aired May 28, 1955)

43. THE LAW AND JAKE WADE (1958/U.S., 86 min., color, western/MGM) VHS (taped off Western Channel)
Dir.: John Sturges. Cast: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens, Henry Silva.
Spoiler:
Good, tough western with Widmark as outlaw leader forcing former partner-turned-lawman Taylor to take him and his men to a ghost town where Taylor had stashed the money from their last job. Location filming makes this look really rugged. DeForest Kelley (“Bones” on “Star Trek”) plays one of the gang.


Sat. March 17, 2012
44. MURDERERS’ ROW (1966/U.S., 105 min., color, secret agent spoof/Columbia) DVD (Matt Helm Lounge set)
Dir.: Henry Levin. Cast: Dean Martin, Ann-Margret, Karl Malden, Camilla Sparv.
Spoiler:
The best of the four Matt Helm movies, with lots of funny wisecracks supplied by Dino, a half-way decent plot, plenty of Bond-style action, plus a gorgeous Camilla Sparv and a very cute Ann-Margret. Martin’s son's group, Dino, Desi and Billy, perform at a disco.


45. SHOWDOWN (1963/U.S., 79 min., b&w, western/Universal) VHS (taped off Western Channel)
Dir.: R.G. Springsteen. Cast: Audie Murphy, Kathleen Crowley, Charles Drake, Harold J. Stone.
Spoiler:
Weak Audie Murphy western about outlaws holding ordinary dudes hostage in hopes of a big payoff. Murphy’s good, but the script is contrived. Great locations, but they’re not as interesting in black-and-white, which is how this was shot in order to save money.


Sun. March 18, 2012
46. DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS (1995/U.S., 102 min., color, crime drama/Tri-Star) VHS
Dir.: Carl Franklin. Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals, Don Cheadle.
Spoiler:
Novelist Walter Mosley had a great idea: do a 1940s-style private eye story with a black man as the private eye and include scenes of postwar black Los Angeles in the mix. Probably worked great as a novel, but it just didn’t work for me on screen. I needed a harder-edged lead actor than Denzel. Samuel L. Jackson played a private eye in LONG KISS GOODNIGHT and totally reinvented the character. He would have been awesome here. Denzel’s just too soft for film noir. Jennifer Beals, though, is freakin’ hot.


47. UNSTOPPABLE (2010/U.S., 98 min., color, thriller/20th Century Fox) VHS (taped off HBO)
Dir.: Tony Scott. Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Dunn.
Spoiler:
Easily one of the best films I’ve seen for this challenge. I’m a big fan of train movies, but they usually tend to be westerns. Who knew this was so good? I wish I’d seen it in a theater. It’s THAT good. And it’s NOT stupid! How often have we seen an action/adventure film from Hollywood in the last 20 years that wasn’t stupid?


Mon. March 19, 2012
48. I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (1955/U.S., 109 min., color, crime drama, Warner Bros.) VHS (taped off TCM)
Dir.: Stuart Heisler. Cast: Jack Palance, Shelley Winters, Lee Marvin, Lon Chaney Jr.
Spoiler:
Remake in color and widescreen of the classic black-and-white gangster drama, HIGH SIERRA (1941), with Palance crafting a more tightly wound character than Bogart’s portrayal. Palance is so tough he can kick Lee Marvin around! Dennis Hopper makes an auspicious screen debut as a hophead jitterbug in a party scene. “Temper, temper,” he tells Palance after being shoved around. Nick Adams has a bit part, too. Great climactic car chase up mountain roads in the Sierras.


49. DRESSED TO KILL (1946/U.S., 72 min., b&w, crime drama, Universal) DVD
Dir.: Roy William Neill. Cast: Basil Rathbone (as Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (as Dr. Watson), Patricia Morison.
Spoiler:
The last of Universal's Sherlock Holmes series with Basil Rathbone. Not really a mystery since we know who the villains are right from the start and the mystery is where the thing they're looking for is hidden and Holmes has to outguess them in time. As a side attraction, we get a tour of Samuel Johnson's house. Patricia Morison is a great femme fatale. The day I watched it happens to be her 98th birthday--and she's still with us!


50. THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 (2009/U.S., 106 min., color, thriller, Columbia) VHS (taped off HBO).
Dir.: Tony Scott. Cast: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, John Turturro.
Spoiler:
After seeing UNSTOPPABLE on Sunday, I decided to see another train movie directed by Tony Scott and starring Denzel Washington. Unlike that film, this one is brought down by its stupidity. It’s a pointless remake of the 1974 thriller, which was pretty silly in its own right, but at least generally entertaining. Travolta gives a hammy, blathering performance that’s way out of line with how a criminal mastermind directing a caper is supposed to behave. Give me the strong silent heist artists like Bogart used to play.


Tues. March 20, 2012
51. Fight, Dragon! (1974/Japan, 30-min. martial arts TV series) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.) Star: Yasuaki Kurata.
Ep. 2: Dragon’s Foe is Purple Snake!

52. Fight, Dragon! (1974/Japan, 30-min. martial arts TV series) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.) Star: Yasuaki Kurata.
Ep. 3: The Messenger of Evil is Red Scorpion
Spoiler:
The first three episodes of this series were shot in Hong Kong, with a side trip to Macao in ep. 2, and feature Hong Kong actors who were familiar from kung fu movies, including Bruce Leung (KUNG FU HUSTLE), who plays an Interpol agent in all three eps.


53. Fight, Dragon! (1974/Japan, 30-min. martial arts TV series) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.) Star: Yasuaki Kurata.
Ep. 4: Dragon vs. Black Jaguar
Spoiler:
Dragon (Yasuaki Kurata) is back in Japan and, despite the episode title, he fights Blue Cat—three times!--and not Black Jaguar at all. One fight is in a stadium.


54. TOO LATE FOR TEARS (aka “Killer Bait,” 1949/U.S., 99 min., b&w, film noir) VHS.
Dir.: Byron Haskin. Cast: Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy.
Spoiler:
Very dark film noir about a seemingly ordinary housewife (Scott) who gets hold of a stash of illicit cash and goes crazy with greed, showing a truly crafty, calculating amoral side in the process. The cash belongs to tough guy blackmailer Duryea and even he finds Scott scary—and this was not a guy who was easy to scare. I need to watch something light and fun next.


55. Angel Cop (1989/Japan, 30 min. per episode, color, anime police thriller, 6-part OAV) VHS (English-dubbed) Dir.: Ichiro Itano.
#1: Special Security Force
Spoiler:
An elite police force fights terrorism in 21st century Tokyo. Angel is the gorgeous brunette in a skin-tight black jumpsuit who leads the squad and shoots first—with gory results—and asks questions later. The premise is that terrorists want to derail the world economy, so they target Japan first. In real life, of course, Japan didn’t need terrorists to collapse its own economy.



Wed. March 21, 2012
56. TERROR BY NIGHT (1946/U.S., 60 min., b&w, mystery/Universal) DVD.
Dir.: Roy William Neill. Cast: Basil Rathbone (as Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (as Dr. Watson), Dennis Hoey, Alan Mowbray.
Spoiler:
Clever Universal Holmes entry, with the action set almost entirely in one train car and moving back and forth between the different compartments as a jewel gets stolen and people get murdered.


57. Angel Cop (1989/Japan, 30 min. per episode, anime police thriller, 6-part OAV) VHS (English-dubbed) Dir.: Ichiro Itano.
#2: The Disfigured City
Spoiler:
Supernatural elements enter the mix as some vigilantes with eerie powers take on the terrorists also—with grisly results.


Thurs. March 22, 2012
58. Fight, Dragon! (1974/Japan, 30-min. martial arts TV series) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.) Star: Yasuaki Kurata.
Ep. 5: The Frightening Silver Praying Mantis

59. ROPE (1948/U.S., 80 min., color, drama/Warner Bros.) VHS
Dir.: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: James Stewart, Farley Granger, John Dall.
Spoiler:
Dall is pure evil in this cat-and-mouse murder tale inspired by the famous Leopold and Loeb “thrill killing” case. Granger plays his more conscience-stricken accomplice. Stewart is their former teacher who sniffs out the crime. Filmed in a series of long takes to simulate a real-time play. The whole thing is pretty depraved, if you ask me. This is one of a handful of Hitchcock movies I hadn't previously seen.


60. THE WOMAN IN GREEN (1945/U.S., 68 min., b&w, mystery/Universal) DVD
Dir.: Roy William Neill. Cast: Basil Rathbone (as Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (as Dr. Watson), Henry Daniell, Hillary Brooke.
Spoiler:
A lot of murders in this one, plus an unexpected suicide, and some gruesome elements, too. And I didn't quite catch an explanation for the evil deeds. The Hollywood films I've been watching lately are pretty dark. I have to get back to watching some kung fu or anime to perk up my mood.


61. Angel Cop (1989/Japan, 30 min. per episode, anime police thriller, 6-part OAV) VHS (English-dubbed) Dir.: Ichiro Itano.
#3: The Death Warrant
Spoiler:
Some paranoid nationalist elements enter the mix as the heroes learn that America and other powers are out to undermine Japan and that Japan’s politicians have sold their country out. Normally that kind of thing bothers me, but this series offers such inspired lunacy throughout that I can’t take the politics seriously.


62. Angel Cop (1989/Japan, 30 min. per episode, anime police thriller, 6-part OAV) VHS (English-dubbed) Dir.: Ichiro Itano.
#4: Pain
Spoiler:
A sexy vigilante is self-righteous beyond belief and attacks our heroes for sheltering a captured terrorist who’ll be a valuable witness against the government. She’s also super-powered and causes massive death and destruction on a busy freeway. Fun-and-games as only '80s anime can deliver. Quite a relief from the darker Hollywood films I’ve been watching.


Fri. March 23, 2012
63. The Range Rider (1951-53/U.S., b&w, 30-minute TV western series) DVD
Stars: Jock Mahoney, Dick Jones.
“West of Cheyenne” (Season 3 / 1953)

64. The Range Rider (1951-53/U.S., b&w, 30-minute TV western series) DVD
“Bullets and Badmen” (Season 3 / 1953)
Spoiler:
Action-packed early TV western with tons of shootouts, chases and fistfights. Star Jock Mahoney had been a stuntman and he did all his own stunts here. Co-star Dick Jones was an expert rider and horseman.


65. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON (1943/U.S., 68 min., b&w, spy thriller/Universal) DVD
Dir.: Roy William Neill. Cast: Basil Rathbone (as Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (as Dr. Watson), Lionel Atwill (as Dr. Moriarity).
Spoiler:
Of the four Holmes entries I’ve seen for this challenge, this one is the first to be set in modern times—during WWII. The plot involves protecting an inventor and his new bomb sight from the efforts to take it by Nazi spies led by Dr. Moriarity. There’s a startling torture sequence in it.


66. TRAPPED (1949/U.S., 78 min., b&w, crime drama/Eagle-Lion) Beta SP
Dir.: Richard Fleischer. Cast: Lloyd Bridges, Barbara Payton, John Hoyt.
Spoiler:
Pretty good noir-tinged drama about an undercover Fed trying to get the goods on a counterfeiting ring. Hoyt usually played villains but is the hero. Bridges usually played heroes but is a bad guy here. Payton was a real-life party girl who had a brief Hollywood career before flaming out. She’s quite something. The rest of the cast is pretty dull. But the whole thing’s well shot on location in L.A.


Sat. March 24, 2012
67. THE MAN FROM THE ALAMO (1953/U.S., 79 min., color, western/Universal) DVD (part of the Classic Western Round-Up Volume 2 set)
Dir.: Budd Boetticher. Cast: Glenn Ford, Julia Adams, Hugh O’Brian, Victor Jory.
Spoiler:
Tough, action-packed western that opens with a pretty good recreation of the battle at the Alamo, with cameos by Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett. Ford plays a man who leaves the Alamo on a mission and then gets accused of cowardice after he becomes the only survivor. He then has to track down the renegade Texans who slaughtered his family and, in the process, lead a wagon train of women and children fleeing the onslaught of Santa Anna. Pretty intense. One of the best Hollywood films I’ve seen for this challenge.


68. Angel Cop (1989/Japan, 30 min. per episode, anime police thriller, 6-part OAV) VHS (English-dubbed) Dir.: Ichiro Itano.
#5: Wrath of the Empire
Spoiler:
Has the memorable line: “You’ve underestimated the power of Japanese technology, you evil bitch.”


69. Angel Cop (1989/Japan, 30 min. per episode, anime police thriller, 6-part OAV) VHS (English-dubbed) Dir.: Ichiro Itano.
#6: Doomsday
Spoiler:
I’m a bit disturbed by the anti-American sentiments in this—blaming the U.S. for dumping nuclear waste in Hokkaido in collusion with corrupt Japanese politicians—as if Japan doesn’t have enough nuclear problems of its own. But it’s all a far-fetched anime fantasy with plenty of action, gore and violence, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.


70. ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN (1967/Hong Kong, 111 min., color, martial arts swordplay adventure/Shaw Bros.) DVD
Dir.: Chang Cheh. Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, Chiao Chiao, Tien Feng.
Spoiler:
A genuine Hong Kong classic. Even though it involves swordplay, not kung fu, it set the template for so many kung fu films to follow, including Jimmy Wang Yu’s own groundbreaking CHINESE BOXER (1970). Beautifully shot and staged.


71. The Master: Chang Cheh (2003/Hong Kong, 17 min., color, documentary/Celestial Pictures) DVD (extra on the ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN DVD)
Spoiler:
This tribute to Shaw Bros. director Chang Cheh was made a year after his death and included on various DVDs of Chang Cheh movies. Includes interviews with John Woo, Tsui Hark and such kung fu greats as Ti Lung, David Chiang, Lo Meng and Jimmy Wang Yu, who all got their starts in Chang movies. Plus, lots of clips.


Sun. March 25, 2012
72. AGAINST ALL FLAGS (1952/U.S., 83 min., color, swashbuckler-pirate adventure/Universal) DVD (part of the Pirates of the Golden Age Movie Collection)
Dir.: George Sherman. Cast: Errol Flynn, Maureen O’Hara, Anthony Quinn.
Spoiler:
Considering that Flynn and O’Hara were two of the best fencers among Hollywood stars, I was disappointed that neither does much in the way of swordfights until the end of the movie. Quinn does way more fighting. O’Hara’s pirate queen, “Spitfire,” is pretty hot throughout, though. Quinn made four movies in 1952 and won an Oscar for one of them, VIVA ZAPATA.


Mon. March 26, 2012
73. Fight, Dragon! (1974/Japan, 30-min. martial arts TV series) DVD (in Japanese with English subs.) Star: Yasuaki Kurata.
Ep. 6: Dragon vs. Female Dragon
Spoiler:
Non-stop action. Each episode ends with the warning: “Karate requires proper study. Do not attempt to imitate the karate you see on this program.”


74. AL CAPONE (1959/U.S., 105 min., b&w, gangster biopic/Allied Artists) VHS (taped off TCM)
Dir.: Richard Wilson. Cast: Rod Steiger, Fay Spain, Martin Balsam, James Gregory.
Spoiler:
Steiger always loved overacting and he gets to indulge his passion here with a larger-than-life historical figure who was over-the-top in real life, so it works perfectly. Includes a recreation of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and ends with Capone in Alcatraz. Arguably one of the best portrayals of Capone ever.


75. Zatoichi The Blind Swordsman (1974, Japanese live-action TV series, in Japanese with English subs.) DVD Vol. 2
Star: Shintaro Katsu.
Ep. 6: “Pouring Rain” (46 min., color, samurai series)
Spoiler:
Each episode of the TV series was like a mini-version of a Zatoichi movie.


Tues. March 27, 2012
76. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951/U.S., 103 min., b&w, drama/WB) DVD – Preview Version.
Dir.: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman.
Spoiler:
This is the one about a deranged rich boy who comes up with the idea of “swapping murders” and proposes it to a tennis star he meets on a train. He then goes ahead and commits “his” murder and then pressures the tennis star to fulfill his part of the imagined “bargain.” The DVD contains both the final release version and the preview version, which is two min. longer. I watched the preview version. Without watching the original again, I couldn’t really tell the difference, other than a brief tacked-on coda in the release version and one inconsequential bit of dialogue. I read Patricia Highsmith’s novel last year. It’s much darker than the movie and has a very different outcome.


77. I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE FBI (1951/U.S., 83 min., b&w, drama/WB) VHS
Dir.: Gordon Douglas. Cast: Frank Lovejoy, Dorothy Hart, James Millican, Paul Picerni.
Spoiler:
This was one of Frank Lovejoy’s only starring roles and I watched it in commemoration of his centennial tomorrow—March 28. It’s quite a sharp, fact-based tale of a man who went undercover for the FBI as a Communist Party organizer in Pittsburgh. It plays like a spy thriller at times and gets very suspenseful. Includes shootouts, fistfights, stabbings and chases. Interesting slice of history to balance out the benign view of American communists we get in so much revisionist history.


78. BEACHHEAD (1954/U.S., 90 min., color, WWII combat adventure/United Artists) VHS
Dir.: Stuart Heisler. Cast: Tony Curtis, Frank Lovejoy, Mary Murphy, Eduard Franz.
Spoiler:
Okay war movie about mission to soften up a Japanese-held island in the Pacific for the U.S. invasion. Curtis and Lovejoy go behind the lines to make contact with a plantation owner and his daughter. Shot entirely on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Good action, but too much talk at times.


Wed. March 28, 2012
79. COLE YOUNGER, GUNFIGHTER (1958/U.S., 78 min., color, western/Allied Artists) VHS.
Dir.: R.G. Springsteen. Cast: Frank Lovejoy, James Best, Abby Dalton, Jan Merlin.
Spoiler:
Watched this on Frank Lovejoy’s centennial. This was his last movie. He closed out his career in TV. He plays Younger more as a weary saddle tramp and not as an aggressive bandit. No mention of his actual exploits or his more famous associates like Jesse James.


80. HE RAN ALL THE WAY (1951/U.S., 77 min., b&w, crime drama/UA) VHS
Dir.: John Berry. Cast: John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford.
Spoiler:
John Garfield plays a small-time crook who shoots a cop during a robbery and hides out with the family of a girl he’d picked up while on the lam. Despite the title, he’s in the family’s apartment for 90% of the film and never runs anywhere. He’s an unlikeable character and the attempt to humanize him by playing up the family issues doesn’t work. An odd choice of roles for a star of Garfield’s magnitude, this was his last film before his premature death the next year. The director was blacklisted in Hollywood after this film and the screenwriters not much later.


81. THE TREASURE OF PANCHO VILLA (1955/U.S., 92 min., color, western/RKO) VHS
Dir.: George Sherman. Cast: Rory Calhoun, Shelley Winters, Gilbert Roland, Joseph Calleia.
Spoiler:
Rousing adventure of the Mexican Revolution, with Rory as an American mercenary who comes armed with a portable machine gun with round ammo clips and uses it to kill dozens of Mexican soldiers during a bank robbery, a train robbery and in combat in the hills. Inspired, no doubt, by VERA CRUZ (1954), it looks forward to tons of other Americans-in-Mexico-for-the-revolution westerns (e.g. THE PROFESSIONALS, THE WILD BUNCH). Shot entirely on location in Mexico. I believe this was the first Hollywood film about the 1910-16 revolution to be filmed in color. The 4th Shelley Winters movie I've seen for this challenge and all from 1950-55. Who knew she was such an action star?


Thurs. March 29, 2012
82. THE YOUNG SAVAGES (1961/U.S., 103 min., b&w, crime drama/UA) VHS
Dir.: John Frankenheimer. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas.
Spoiler:
Interesting social drama about tensions between white and Puerto Rican gangs in East Harlem (EAST SIDE STORY?) which came out the same year as the similarly-themed WEST SIDE STORY. Burt Lancaster, who actually grew up in East Harlem, plays an Italian-American Asst. D.A. who grew up in the neighborhood also and has to prosecute three white boys who killed a blind Puerto Rican boy. The politics in it are very odd and the courtroom sequence is quite a fantasy, but it does have a lot of location filming in the area and it does show scenes of Puerto Rican life from that time. The Puerto Rican gang depicted, the Horsemen, was a real gang and I remember hearing about them when I was a kid.


83. QUICKSAND (1950/U.S., 79 min., b&w, crime drama/UA) DVD
Dir.: Irving Pichel. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Jeanne Cagney, Barbara Bates, Peter Lorre.
Spoiler:
A garage mechanic lifts a $20 bill from the cash register to pay for a date with some floozy and it snowballs into a whole succession of more serious crimes. Pretty realistic look at how a loser keeps making bad decisions which make his situation worse and worse. Rooney was pretty creepy at this stage of his career and the character’s a miserable little creep, which makes it perfect casting. Great location shooting in L.A. and Santa Monica. Jeanne Cagney, who was James’ sister, plays the bleached-blond floozy very well.


Fri. March 30, 2012
84. CAIRO (1942/U.S., 101 min., b&w, spy comedy with music/MGM) VHS
Dir.: W.S. Van Dyke. Cast: Jeanette MacDonald, Robert Young, Ethel Waters.
Spoiler:
Spy “thriller” with music and comedy as MacDonald and Young play Americans in Cairo who get caught up in a Nazi plot. MacDonald sings a lot and Waters, as her maid, gets to sing, too. Dooley Wilson, Sam from CASABLANCA, turns up as Waters’ romantic interest, a rare instance of the black maid getting a little lovin’ also. Pretty silly throughout, but there’s enough action in the out-of-control-airplane-filled-with-explosives climax to justify inclusion in this Challenge.


85. QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS (1947/U.S., 60 min., b&w, jungle adventure/Screen Guild) Beta SP
Dir.: Edward Finney. Cast: Patricia Morison, Robert Lowery, J. Edward Bromberg.
Spoiler:
Absurd low-budget safari adventure that takes its party of white people from India to deepest Africa where they find a white Amazon queen. A huge percentage of the running time is stock footage from documentaries or other movies. Morison is very pretty and charming and much too classy for a film like this, but she gives it her all.


86. RIPLEY’S GAME (2002/Italy-UK, 110 min., color, crime drama/New Line) VHS
Dir.: Liliana Cavani. Cast: John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Lena Headey.
Spoiler:
Last year I read the novel by Patricia Highsmith (it was a sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley). Too much has been changed from the book to suit me, although the basic outline is intact. And the direction is kind of slack. Everything’s very pretty to look at, but I needed a taut, lean, concise directorial hand at work. Malkovich is very good, although he’s a little more psychotic than the book’s Ripley (who’s a sociopath, not a psychopath). Dougray Scott is very good also.


Sat. March 31, 2012
87. THE WEB (1947/U.S., 87 min., b&w, crime drama/Universal) VHS
Dir.: Michael Gordon. Cast: Edmond O’Brien, Ella Raines, Vincent Price, William Bendix.
Spoiler:
O’Brien plays a struggling lawyer who gets hired as a bodyguard by industrialist Price, and is then set up as a patsy in the killing of one of Price’s enemies. Trying to get at the truth of the matter, O’Brien gets caught in an even stickier web. Starts out well, but gets wildly implausible as the plot develops. Nicely shot and acted, but incredibly contrived.


88. PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009/U.S., 140 min., color, crime drama/Universal) DVD
Dir.: Michael Mann. Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard.
Spoiler:
Nobody’s ever done John Dillinger right on film and this film doesn’t either, but it’s probably as close as we’re going to get. I have mixed feelings about it, but there’s so much good stuff in it that I’d still recommend it.


89. Bugsy: The Dark Passion of an American Dreamer (1991/U.S., 22 min., color & b&w, documentary) VHS (taped off Showtime)
Spoiler:
“Making of” featurette designed to promote BUGSY (1991), which starred Warren Beatty as famed gangster Bugsy Siegel. Includes footage of Virginia Hill, Siegel’s longtime mistress, and archival material on Siegel.


90. BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956/U.S., 80 min., b&w, drama/RKO) VHS
Dir.: Fritz Lang. Cast: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer.
Spoiler:
Ludicrous melodrama about a reporter who agrees with his publisher to plant fake evidence to implicate himself in a murder and then see if it’s enough to get him convicted and sentenced to death. What idiot would do something like that? There’s a twist ending that’s even more ridiculous. This was Fritz Lang’s last American film and it harks back to his first, FURY (1936), which was about the attempted lynching of a murder suspect.


91. THE HOODLUM (1951/U.S., 62 min., b&w, crime drama/Eagle-Lion) DVD
Dir.: Max Nosseck. Cast: Lawrence Tierney, Allene Roberts, Edward Tierney.
Spoiler:
Tierney as a hard-boiled career criminal who gets paroled and tries to go straight for all of five minutes before he’s planning an armored car robbery. The kind of role Tierney did best. From the director of DILLINGER (1945), the film which made Tierney a star. Tierney’s brother Edward plays his straight-arrow brother in the film. Pretty frank subject matter including Tierney’s rape of his brother’s girlfriend and the fact that she gets pregnant as a result. This also kicks off the Drive-in/Exploitation/B-movie Challenge for me.


CHECKLIST:
Spoiler:
Official Checklist (possible tweaks based on feedback until 3/4/12)

Watch items from at least 7 of the 13 decades of film history.
--- 1880 - (insert item title here)
--- 1890 -
--- 1900 -
--- 1910 -
--- 1920 -
--- 1930 – Dick Tracy (1937 serial)
--- 1940 – THE KANSAN (1943 western)
--- 1950 – CRIME WAVE (1954 crime thriller)
--- 1960 - THE SILENCERS (1966 secret agent spoof)
--- 1970 – COPS VS. THUGS (1975 yakuza movie)
--- 1980 – WINNERS AND SINNERS (1983 action comedy)
--- 1990 - DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS (1995 crime drama)
--- 2000 – THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 (2009 crime thriller)
--- 2010 – UNSTOPPABLE (2010 thriller)

Watch items on at least 3 different formats.
--- Format 1 – STRANGERS ON A TRAIN - DVD
--- Format 2 - Angel Cop - VHS
--- Format 3 - D.O.A. – Beta SP

Watch items originating from at least 3 different countries.
--- Country 1 – THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – U.S.
--- Country 2 - GOLGO 13: KOWLOON ASSIGNMENT - Japan
--- Country 3 - ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN – Hong Kong

Watch items with at least 6 different ratings.
--- Pre Codes - (insert item title here)
--- Hayes approved -
--- G -
--- GP -
--- PG -
--- PG-13 - UNSTOPPABLE
--- M -
--- R – DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS
--- X -
--- NC-17 -
--- Unrated Post-codes -
--- TV Y -
--- TV Y7 -
--- TV G -
--- TV PG -
--- TV 14 -
--- TV MA -

Watch a film from at least 7 of the following subgenres.
--- Film Noir – HOLLOW TRIUMPH
--- Mystery – TERROR BY NIGHT
--- Urban cop thriller – HE WALKED BY NIGHT
--- Modern Caper/heist – I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES
--- Depression-era crime (Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, etc.) – PUBLIC ENEMIES
--- Globe-trotting adventure (Americans overseas)
--- Treasure hunt adventure
--- Swashbuckler – AGAINST ALL FLAGS
--- Jungle movie (including Tarzan) QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS
--- Hong Kong crime
--- Japanese Yakuza – COPS VS. THUGS
--- Italian Crime
--- Conspiracy thriller – I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE FBI
--- Spy/Espionage – SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON
--- Serial Killer
--- Space
--- War - BEACHHEAD
--- Robots
--- Vigilante

Watch a film by at least five of these directors.
--- Raoul Walsh - (insert item title here)
--- Howard Hawks
--- John Ford
--- Anthony Mann – WINCHESTER ’73
--- Don Siegel
--- Robert Aldrich
--- Sam Fuller
--- John Sturges – THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
--- Jean-Pierre Melville
--- Akira Kurosawa
--- Kinji Fukasaku – COPS VS. THUGS
--- Chang Cheh – ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN
--- Sammo Hung – WINNERS AND SINNERS
--- Takeshi Kitano
--- John Woo
--- Walter Hill
--- Quentin Tarantino
--- John McTiernan – LAST ACTION HERO
--- James Cameron
--- John Frankenheimer – THE YOUNG SAVAGES
--- Sergio Leone
--- Sam Peckinpah
--- Robert Rodriguez

Watch a film from at least five of these stars.
--- Errol Flynn – AGAINST ALL FLAGS
--- John Wayne
--- Humphrey Bogart
--- Burt Lancaster – THE YOUNG SAVAGES
--- Kirk Douglas
--- Steve McQueen – THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
--- Charles Bronson – CRIME WAVE
--- James Coburn – THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
--- Toshiro Mifune
--- Clint Eastwood
--- Chuck Norris
--- Bruce Lee
--- Jackie Chan – WINNERS AND SINNERS
--- Sammo Hung – WINNERS AND SINNERS
--- Steven Seagal
--- Jean-Claude Van Damme 
--- Jason Statham
--- Bruce Willis
--- Arnold Schwarzenegger – LAST ACTION HERO
--- Sylvester Stallone
--- Milla Jovovich
--- Harrison Ford
--- Denzel Washington - UNSTOPPABLE
--- Jet Li
--- Michelle Rodriguez
--- Pam Grier
--- Jimmy Wang Yu – ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN


--- a Bond film or spoof – MURDERERS’ ROW
--- won an Academy Award -- any category -
--- silent film -
--- a crime or mystery item CRIME WAVE
--- a film and it's sequel – THE SILENCERS / MURDERERS’ ROW
--- an item with a commentary or riff – THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
--- a special feature – The Master: Chang Cheh
--- something animated – Angel Cop
--- something with a major holiday theme -

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 04-01-12 at 07:01 PM.
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