Triumph of the Will

July 22nd, 2010

Triumph of the Will (German: Triumph des Willens) is a propaganda film made by Leni Riefenstahl. It chronicles the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. The film contains excerpts from speeches given by various Nazi leaders at the Congress, including portions of speeches by Adolf Hitler, interspersed with footage of massed party members. Hitler commissioned the film and served as an unofficial executive producer; his name appears in the opening titles. The overriding theme of the film is the return of Germany as a great power, with Hitler as the True German Leader who will bring glory to the nation.

Triumph of the Will was released in 1935 and rapidly became one of the best-known examples of propaganda in film history. Riefenstahl’s techniques, such as moving cameras, the use of telephoto lenses to create a distorted perspective, aerial photography, and revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography, have earned Triumph recognition as one of the greatest films in history. Riefenstahl won several awards, not only in Germany but also in the United States, France, Sweden, and other countries. The film was popular in the Third Reich and elsewhere, and has continued to influence movies, documentaries, and commercials to this day.

Torture Ship (1939)

July 22nd, 2010

Torture Ship is a 1939 American film directed by Victor Halperin.

A well known doctor is indicted for his experiments concerning the curing of the criminal mind. Needing to continue his work and hoping that success will clear him, he buys a boat, loads it with several high profile criminals hoping to escape the law and heads out to sea.

At least that’s the plan, but things start to go wrong and things are revealed to be not what they seemed at first…


Lyle Talbot as Lt. Bob Bennett

Irving Pichel as Dr. Herbert Stander

Julie Bishop as Joan Martel

Sheila Bromley as Poison Mary Slavish

Anthony Averill as Dirk – Stander’s Aide

Russell Hopton as Harry “The Carver” Bogard

Julian Madison as Paul – Stander’s Aide

Eddie Holden as Ole Olson

Wheeler Oakman as John Ritter

Stanley Blystone as Captain Mike Briggs

Leander De Cordova as Ezra Matthews

Demetrius Alexis as Steve Murano

Skelton Knaggs as Jesse Bixel

Son of Ingagi

June 24th, 2010

Son of Ingagi is an unusual film made in 1940 and directed by Richard Kahn about a mad doctor who keeps a monster in the basement. It’s unusual for two reasons, one being the mad doctor is a woman, which is strange for the time, and the other is the fact that the film has an all-black cast, especially for this kind of movie.

Eleanor and Bob Lindsay inherit the house of the doctor, Helen Jackson, who has been killed by the monster after drinking a potion provided by the doctor that turned him wild with anger!

Having inherited the house the Liinsay family soon notice strange goings on caused by the monster’s presence and it’s only a matter of time before he emerges from the basement.

Zack Williams as Ingina
Laura Bowman as Dr. Jackson
Alfred Grant as Robert Lindsay
Daisy Bufford as Eleanor Lindsay
Arthur Ray as Zeno Jackson
Spencer Williams as Nelson
Earl J. Morris as Bradshaw
Jesse Graves as Chief of Detectives
The Toppers as themselves

The Phantom Creeps (1939)

June 22nd, 2010

The Phantom Creeps FROM 1939 is everything an old classic B sci-fi is supposed to be.

It features Bela Lugosi (as Dr. Zorka,) a mad megalomaniac

scientist who attempts to rule the world by creating various elaborate inventions. However, foreign agents and G-Men try to seize the inventions for themselves.

It was adapted in DC’s Movie Comics #6, cover date September-October 1939, the final issue of that title.

Stock footage was used from The Invisible Ray (look closely and you’ll see Boris Karloff,) including scenes of Dr Zorka finding the meteorite in Africa. The music came from the Frankenstein films. The Phantom Creeps’ car chase was itself used as stock footage in later films. Newsreel shots of the Hindenburg disaster were used as part of Dr Zorka’s final spree of destruction after his robot, which is supposed to destroy the human race, is stopped by a single shot seconds after being unleashed.

Directors: Ford Beebe, Saul A. Goodkind

Béla Lugosi as Doctor Alex Zorka.

Robert Kent as Captain Bob West, G-Man

Dorothy Arnold as Jean Drew, reporter

Edwin Stanley as Doctor Fred Mallory, Doctor Zorka’s former partner

Regis Toomey as Lieutenant Jim Daley, G-Man

Jack C. Smith as Monk, Doctor Zorka’s assistant

Edward Van Sloan as Jarvis, foreign spy chief

Dora Clement as Ann Zorka

Anthony Averill as Rankin, a foreign spy

Hugh Huntley as Perkins, Doctor Mallory’s lab assistant

Ed Wolff as The Robot

Scarlet Street (1945)

June 22nd, 2010

“Scarlet Street” is an outstanding 1945 American Film directed by Fritz Lang, famous for the films “Metropolois” and “M,” made in Germany earlier in his career. It is based on the book “La Chienne” (The Bitch) by Georges de La Fouchardiere which Jean Renoir had previously filmed as “La Chienne” in 1931.

The main actors, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea had earlier appeared in “The Woman in the Window,” made in 1944 by Fritz Lang.

Dhrostopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson,” a mild banker and amateur painter is at a dinner honouring him for 25 years of service at his bank. On his way home he helps Kitty (Joan Bennett,) thing wife e femme fatale of the story, who is being attacked by a man. He becomes enamoured by her, his domestic life ruled by his bullying wife Adele (Rosalind Ivan,) who still idolises her dead first husband.

From Christopher’s comments about art, Kitty mistakenly believes him to be a wealthy painter. It turns out that the attacker was Johnny, Kitty’s brutish boyfriend who convinces her to continue the relationship with Cross in order to extort money.

Cross starts to spend money on Kitty but has to steal from the bank in order to finance this new life. Johnny tries to sell some of Cross’s paintings but makes Kitty put her name on them. Cross’s wife sees the paintings in a gallery with Kitty’s name on them and then accuses him of copying her work!

Meanwhile, the supposedly dead husband of Cross’s wif suddenly reappears, the intrigue taking another on another dimension.

Scared to Death

June 22nd, 2010

Scared to Death (1947) is a horror film directed by Christy Cabanne and starring Béla Lugosi. It was filmed in Cinecolor, is one of only three color pictures Lugosi made and the only one he starred in. The film is

notable for its narration by a dead woman — she describes the events leading up to her death.

Scared to Death opens with the disclosure by morgue examiners that a beautiful woman has literally died of fright. The plot reveals how she reached the fatal stage of terror.

The woman is married to the son of a doctor, the proprietor of a private sanatorium, where she is under unwilling treatment. Both the son and the doctor indicate they want the marriage dissolved. Arriving at the scene is a mysterious personage identified as the doctor’s brother who formerly was a stage magician in Europe. He is accompanied by a threatening dwarf.

Fog Island (1945)

June 18th, 2010

Fog Island is a 1945 American film directed by Terry O. Morse.

Leo, a former convict, is living in seclusion on an island with his step-daughter, the daughter of his late wife.

Leo was framed by a group of former business associates and he also suspects that one of them killed his wife. He has invited the group to his island, tempting them by hinting about a hidden fortune, and he has installed a number of traps and secret passages in his home.

He is aided in his efforts by a former cell-mate who holds a grudge against the same persons. When everyone arrives, the atmosphere of mutual suspicion and the thick fog that covers the island promise a tense and hazardous weekend for everyone.

George Zucco as Leo Grainer
Lionel Atwill as Alec Ritchfield
Jerome Cowan as Kavanaugh
Sharon Douglas as Gail
Veda Ann Borg as Sylvia
John Whitney as Jeff
Jacqueline deWit as Emiline Bronson
Ian Keith as Dr. Lake
George Lloyd as Allerton – Butler

Zontar, the Thing from Venus

May 21st, 2010

Zontar, the Thing from Venus also known as Zontar: The Invader from Venus is a 1966 science fiction film, directed by Larry Buchanan and based on the teleplay by Hillman Taylor and Buchanan. It is a remake of Roger Corman’s It Conquered the World (1956.)

Dr. Curt Taylor (John Agar) meets an alien from Venus, who claims to have come to the earth to solve its problems. But Zontar has secret plans.

He begins causing worldwide blackouts and controlling people’s minds. Taylor now knows that Zontar is seeking world domination and things go from bad to worse when Zontar disables the power supply of the entire world!

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The Atomic Submarine

May 18th, 2010

The Atomic Submarine is a 1959 science fiction film starring Arthur Franz, Dick Foran and Brett Halsey, with John Hillard as the voice of the alien. The film was directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet, the script was adapted by Orville H. Hampton from a short story by Jack Rabin and Irving Block. The film is an alien invasion story that showcases the then new technology of nuclear submarines.

This film was made at a time when nuclear submarines were very new, shortly after the USS Nautilus made the first undersea crossing of the polar ice cap in 1958. Atomic submarines caught people’s imagination as the embodiment of the idea of harnessing the power of the atom.

The trailer and movie posters for the film suggested that it was a more traditional military action movie by playing down the science fiction elements and focusing primarily on the novelty of the nuclear submarine. The extraterrestrial spacecraft is alluded to only obliquely

as the unspecified dire threat to the world which the crew of the submarine must overcome, but it is not clearly seen or called a flying saucer or UFO in the trailer. The movie’s few futuristic elements include cargo-freighter nuclear submarines and a mini-sub within a submarine. The impression conveyed was that the events in the film take place in the very near future.

The 1950′s are often called the Atomic Age because people were very enthusiastic about the promise of atomic power. The word “atomic” meant ”high-tech and powerful”, even if it was used to describe breakfast cereal. People of the day imagined a bright future where nuclear reactors would allow for electric power to become extremely cheap and

plentiful. It must have been very topical at the time to imagine nuclear submarines that were inexpensive enough to be used to carry freight (and indeed, large numbers of civilian passengers) under the North Pole.

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Alice in Wonderland

May 14th, 2010

1915 version of the Lewis Carroll book. Directed by W.W. Young and starring Viola Savoy as Alice amongst the animals!

Famed for it’s bizarre and imaginative costume design this was the third film adaption of the book and is generally regarded as one of the best, if not the best versions.

The film is considered a faithful adaption of the book of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland,) an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll .

It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. The tale is filled with allusions to Dodgson’s friends. The tale plays with logic in ways that have given the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children.] It is considered to be one of the best examples of the “literary nonsense” genre, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, especially in the fantasy genre.

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