Sunday, July 15, 2018

Nugget Reviews - 25

The Private Eyes ( 1980 )   14k 

Scotland Yard detectives, Inspector Winship and Dr. Tart, are hired to investigate the death of Lord and Lady Morley at their English mansion. One by one all of their suspects die off, leaving Winship and Tart to face the real killer. Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Trisha Noble, Bernard Fox. The Private Eye Partners. Directed by Lang Elliott.

Don Knotts and Tim Conway were teamed up for the first time in Disney's 1975 comedy The Apple Dumpling Gang and really "clicked" together. Knotts, who always played the sidekick to Andy on The Andy Griffith Show, did a wonderful job of switching to the straight man and allowing Conway to take the laughs. The Private Eyes is a bit on the wacky side but it has its moments of humor, especially in the running gags throughout the film. 


Blonde Fever ( 1944 ) 14k

A happily married couple who own a restaurant outside Reno finds their marriage on the rocks when a blonde bombshell who was hired as a waitress begins to split them apart. Mary Astor, Philip Dorn, Gloria Grahame, Marshall Thompson. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Directed by Richard Whorf.

Gloria Grahame was making her film debut - along with Marshall Thompson - in this light-hearted comedy from MGM. With their performances, both of them steal the show from the pros Mary Astor and Philip Dorn. The story, which was based on a play, was tight and the film had its moments, but overall, it is quite forgettable and not up to MGM's usual standards when it comes to comedies. However, the great character actor Felix Bressart is in the movie, and his presence alone makes it worth watching!


Five Little Peppers and How They Grew ( 1939 ) 14k

The wealthy Mr. King wishes to buy out the poor Pepper family's 50% share in a copper mine he owns but once he gets to know the family better and comes to love them, he changes his mind and invites them to live with him in his mansion. Edith Fellows, Charles Peck, Tommy Bond, Clarence Kolb. Columbia Pictures. Directed by Charles Barton. 

This first entry in what was to become a four-film series about Margaret Sidney's Pepper family, is very unassuming and quite entertaining. It packs in quite a bit of plot in its 58-minute runtime. There is some youthful romance between the rich Mr. King's grandson Jaspar and Polly Pepper, a good deal of drama during a family bout with measles, and innocent humor from the children's activities - especially from Dorothy Ann Seese who was quite a scene-stealer. 


The Golden Blade ( 1953 ) Elect.

The young Harun enters Baghdad seeking information about the group of men who ransacked his tribe and murdered his father. In a quaint bazaar he purchases a magic sword and discovers that Fate has led him to aid the princess Khairuzan in order to discover the group he is after. Rock Hudson, Piper Laurie, Steven Geray, George MacReady. Universal Pictures. Directed by Nathan Juran. 

"Out of Bagdad's mystic past thunders the adventure of all ages!" So proclaims the poster to The Golden Blade. The screenwriter was banking on audiences ignorance of "Bagdad's mystic past" and decided to mix medieval and Mongolian ( ?) elements into the screenplay, making the film a pastiche of styles. Nathan Juran, an art director who would later direct the Ray Harryhausen classics The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and First Men in the Moon was just learning the ropes at this time so the film is rather bland in spots but not bad for a Sunday afternoon's viewing. 


The Pink Jungle ( 1968 ) 14k

A photographer and his model get stranded in the South American jungle when their pilot takes off without them. There, they meet an adventurer who talks them into buying a treasure map and hunting for diamonds with him. James Garner, Eva Renzi, George Kennedy, Nigel Green. Universal Pictures. Directed by Delbert Mann.  

The Pink Jungle is one of many fun adventure films that were released in the mid-late 1960s and it plays out like an American version of That Man from Rio with non-stop action and comedy. Oddly enough, it is little known today despite its great cast and witty script. James Garner was ideal for parts like this and should have made more similarly themed films. Eva Renzi, a real fashion model, and George Kennedy were also perfect. 

No comments:

Post a Comment