Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Nugget Reviews - 2

The Satan Bug ( 1965 )  14k

With the help of the government, an ex-spy races to recover a stolen vile of virus that a madman intends to use to destroy the people of Los Angeles and then the world. George Maharis, Anne Francis, Richard Basehart, Dana Andrews. Directed by John Sturges. Mirisch Corporation. 

George Maharis is excellent here as a fast thinking ex-agent. He should of been the star of a spy series all his own. "The Satan Bug" is a taut thriller with nice desert locales, a helicopter chase, and a surprise villain ( I thought for sure Dana Andrews was our evil mastermind in disguise ). Oops, did I give something away?


Michael Shayne, Private Detective ( 1940 ) 14k

Michael Shayne tries to clear his name of a murder wrap when the boyfriend of the rich gal he is hired to protect is found dead...supposedly shot with Shayne's gun.  Lloyd Nolan, Marjorie Weaver, Joan Valerie, Walter Abel, Elizabeth Patterson. Directed by Eugene Forde. 20th Century Fox.

The quick witted Miami detective, Michael Shayne, is first introduced this fast-paced film about a switcheroo at the horse track. Elizabeth Patterson is a doll as the aunt who loves to solve Baffle Book mysteries and tags along with Shayne for thrills. It gets a bit confusing near the end, but all the actors are so entertaining to watch understanding the plot isn't really an issue. Or as Chief Painter put it, "You may understand but it's all Hungarian goulash to me!".


Crash Dive ( 1943 ) 14k 

A lieutenant and a submarine commander fall in love with the same girl but must work together to destroy a Nazi ammunition dump. Dana Andrews, Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, James Gleason. Directed by Archie Mayo. 20th Century Fox. 

Very entertaining as far as war films go. ( That wasn't a crack, we're big fans of action flicks ). This one was obviously catered to the feminine crowd as well for about half of the movie is about the blossoming romance between Anne Baxter and Tyrone Power. Stunning color, great special effects and an exciting commando raid make this an all-around 'A' picture. 


Francis in the Navy ( 1955 ) Elct.

Lt. Peter Stirling finds he has a doppelganger in the Navy. When Francis gets auctioned off for the Navy, Peter finds he can't escape back into the Army because of his missing twin. ( Sorry folks, that's the best I can do....the plot eluded me as well. Look how confused Hyer looks in that poster ). Donald O'Connor, Jim Backus, Martha Hyer, Richard Erdman. Directed by Arthur Lubin. Universal Pictures. 

Francis the mule entering the Navy seemed like a promising plot situation that could of taken many turns but what screenwriter Devery Freeman came up with was terribly disappointing. Francis doesn't even get much of a part. Most of the movie has Donald O'Connor running around in his underwear. A young Clint Eastwood and Martin Milner play fellow sailors. 


Boeing Boeing ( 1965 ) 14k 

A news correspondant in Paris has a man's dream schedule worked out - he has three different fiancees that he lives with, all airline stewardesses, whom he juggles in between their flights. When the new "super-thrust" engine gets installed on all the Boeings his schedule gets all mixed-up. Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis, Thelma Ritter, Dany Saval, Suzanna Leigh. Directed by John Rich. Hal Wallis Productions. 

Clearly a stage comedy, "Boeing Boeing" features that popular 1960s frantic-romantic theme with lots of characters going in and out of doors and hiding from each other. ( The tag line to the film was "The big comedy of Ninety-Sexty-Sex"...oh brother ) Thelma Ritter is great as Curtis' maid, uttering "it ain't easy" in between cooking knackwurst and saurkraut, but the film is too long and gets tedious near the end. Add to that Tony Curtis' overly-nervous acting and it becomes sub-par to the other comedies of the era. 

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