Recently Watched: Female (1933) and God’s Country and the Woman (1937)

And now, on to the show. There isn’t much I can say about “Female” (1933) that my beloved Mordaunt Hall hasn’t already said. I agree completely with Hall’s assessment that some of the scenes undermined the otherwise terrific characterization of Alison, and while watching the film I kept thinking that this would be great if it were only directed by William Wellman. Except it turns out he did direct most of it, minus the scenes with Johnny Mack Brown and a few other scenes William Dieterle had done at the beginning of the shoot. Hrm. My main complaint is that we all know the reformation of the evil fallen woman is coming, but I prefer movies where the comeuppance is basically a brief scene tacked onto the end of the film. It gives me the maximum enjoyment of juicy female characters, and movies are all about me, as you well know. I love “Baby Face”, for example, where it looks like they intended a much grittier ending but then quickly pasted on the ambulance scene (with Stanwyck in a hairdo that doesn’t quite match what she was wearing moments earlier). Or “Red Headed Woman” with the brief comedy ending that comes out of nowhere. Alison started to realize the error of her ways far too soon in “Female”, and that’s a shame. But there was some delicious art deco for our repeated consumption. So delicious. That big thing at the top center is an organ (heh). Alison occasionally hires an … Continue reading

Recently Watched: The Silencers (1966)

I have a sort of unofficial “Watch Everything D for Doom Watches” rule here at Casa de la Stacia, because he has the best and wackiest taste in movies ever. That’s how I ended up watching “The Silencers”, the 1966 spy spoof D wrote about last month. I’m a huge Dean Martin fan, I love 1960s spy films and spoofs, and I’d meant to watch this film for years. D says that “The Silencers” isn’t the best of the genre, and brother, he ain’t kiddin’. It was enjoyable, mainly thanks to the underrated Daliah Lavi and Stella Stevens. It’s also character actor heaven, so if you’re obsessed with character actors like I am, you’ll have to watch this film. It has Victor Buono, Roger C. Carmel, James Gregory, Arthur O’Connell, and Robert Webber. How could you not watch something with Buono and Carmel in it? It’s impossible to resist. Implied boobies! Hooray!   Matt Helm is a retired spy for the U.S. agency ICE. He’s called back in to help uncover the suspicious doin’s planned by international evil agency Big O. Helm refuses to return to ICE, but then someone from Big O is sent to kill him and he is saved in the nick of time by ICE agent Tina (Daliah Lavi). They join forces to get a computer tape that holds the information they need but, before they can get the tape from sexy dancer Sarita (Cyd Charisse), she’s killed. She hands the tape over to clueless Gail … Continue reading

Recently Watched: I Married a Monster From Outer Space (1958) and Leviathan (1989)

A long time ago I recorded three classic sci-fi films from TCM. For months I tried to get my husband to watch them with me, but noooooo, he was too busy with the Stick Ranger and the “Maniac Cop” and the X-Files. So I watched “I Married a Monster From Outer Space” (1958) myself, and I would like to take this moment to gloat heartily that I have seen this movie and my husband very foolishly has not. Ya had yer chance, bub. As always, SPOILERS for both movies abound! Read with caution! Hard hat area! Cuidado: Vomito de Gato! “I Married a Monster From Outer Space” is a charming example of how 1950s-era B movies could be quite good on a very thin budget. Bill, on his way home from his own bachelor party, gets waylaid by an alien who takes over his body. After a year of odd behavior, the inability to conceive, and some dead puppies (not kidding), Marge is certain her husband is not the man she fell in love with. Soon some of Bill’s bachelor friends become possessed, too, and begin to voice their concern about the “master plan”. One night, Marge follows Bill to the forest and discovers all: An alien ship where the alien leaves Bill’s body in some kind of stasis while he goes in to visit whoever is in the ship. Marge panics, runs into a bar and tells her story, but they don’t believe her; she goes to the police station … Continue reading

Recently Watched: The Trying to Free Up Disk Space Edition (part 1 in an infinite series)

Big thanks to Ivan at Thrilling Days for bestowing upon SBBN the “Your Going Places, Baby!” award, which has quite possibly the cutest icon I’ve seen in a long while. This award — like all awards — has morphed over the weeks. Originally stated, “This award means you’re really going places, Baby. You’ll still be blogging about your great adventures 10 years from now, and I’ll still be reading them.” At some point, two things were added: Recipients were required to state where they wanted to be in 10 years, and to also pass this along to 10 other blogs. As most of you know, sometimes I pass along these awards, sometimes I don’t. I won’t be sending the award along this time, simply because I have been unable to keep up with more than about 4 blogs recently. However, I will answer the question as to where I want to be in 10 years, as it’s a nice segue: I’d like to be somewhere where I don’t have 450 damn movies sitting around waiting to be watched. *** Warning: Spoilers! I wish I were exaggerating when I said I have 450 movies to watch, but that’s an accurate estimate. My goal as of late has been to cut down on this backlog and free up some DVDs so I can start recording more movies to watch OH GOD I HAVE A PROBLEM. Up first on today’s watch-it-and-get-it-the-hell-outta-here pile was “Johnny Guitar”, a movie I had been intending to view … Continue reading

The Venture Bros: The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (2008)

Selected images from “The Venture Bros” episode “The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together” from The Venture Bros: Season 3 DVD. This is ostensibly for the fabulously appointed art deco apartment series. Of course, this is not art deco; an exhaustive 3-minute search on the Internet informed me that these are fabulous examples of retro modernism. Stark angles of the Venture compound at night. The building is not only based on the 1960s-era cartoons that the show spoofs, but on common 1950s architectural themes. See also The Horizon Hotel in Palm Springs, The Waikikian Hotel, or one of Bucky Fuller’s geodesic domes. The 1000px versions of the screencaps included here were unfortunately lost to a server change. Delicious Danish Modern furniture. Those couches are fresh from cinema’s most notable 1960s bachelor pads; you can just imagine Jack Lemmon throwing his suit jacket on one just before showering and changing for a night on the town where he gropes so-called floozies and maybe slips something into their drink. When we were at a used furniture store back in the mid-1990s, I found a low-lying orange vinyl couch that looked just like these. It was gorgeous, but I knew our cats would destroy it, so I just sat on it for a while and sulked. The olive circled divider to the right looks just like the kind of interior decor I recall a couple my parents were friends with having in the mid-1970s. Next to their divider was the most fabulously tacky … Continue reading