Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

We have a really tricky screenshot this month. It is obviously a scene of a woman dismayed about something, but what could she have seen? You would have to be a keen-eyed movie fan to remember this scene....but many of you are! So give a guess below and you may just hit on the right film title. 

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules to the Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game or the prize, click here!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

British Pathé: Model Village ( 1955 )

It has been quite a while since we shared a British Pathé newsreel but today we have a gem: Model Village from 1955. This 4:33 minute newsreel has footage of a very impressive model village in The Hague, Netherlands...and what a great opening! You think you are looking at a real building until a head of a giant man suddenly appears from behind it! This is a model village of such proportions that the toddlers who walk the streets of the village appear as large as Godzilla did to Toyko citizens. 

The 1:25 scale village is called Madurodam and was served by a committee of 35 children including a mayor and a queen. The role of the queen was awarded to Princess Beatrix, daughter of the then-reigning Queen Juliana. 

Madurodam has a village section, a suburban area and also has a fully-functioning railway service, a seaport capable of receiving freighters and ocean-going vessels ( all in miniature size, of course ), and even an airport, where mini KLM planes operate from. 

The details that can be seen throughout this village are so impressive. If you missed seeing it in the 1950s ( as most of us probably have ) then you can still check it out today. Madurodam not only still exists but has grown and been updated throughout the years. Here is their website:

Ready to watch Model Village? Simply click on the link below: 

Model Village ( 1955 ) - 4:33 sec

Other similarly themed British Pathe shorts:

Miniature Railway ( 1959 ) - 3:02 sec

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Check it Out! - The Landing of the Pilgrims ( 1940 )

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers! 

We hope you are having a wonderful day and counting all of your blessings. There is so much we can all be grateful for!

If you have a few minutes and want to watch something Thanksgiving-related then check out this fabulous little cartoon from 1940 - The Landing of the Pilgrims. It's a bouncy light-hearted look at how the pilgrims from the Mayflower came to America and contended with the Native Americans. It is far from being historically accurate but that's what makes it so wonderfully fun! 

Have a wonderful holiday! 

- Constance & Diana 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Film Albums: The Screen Scene starring Peter Nero

If you like piano music and classic films then this is an album not to be missed! Peter Nero was a maestro when it came to tickling the ivories. He was a downright jazzy player and his unique New York arrangements of familiar songs made the oldest of tunes sound fresh and vibrant. He was like Elmer Bernstein and Horst Jankowski rolled into one....what more could one ask for?

This RCA-Victor album ( LSP-3496 ) had only the newest of new film hits at the time of its release - 1966 - which included The Silencers, Ship of FoolsMy Favorite Things, and the phenomenal Thunderball. There were so many versions of Thunderball released in the mid-1960s, but Peter Nero's is so aggressive and yet smooth and jazzy. After listening to it, you welcome the change of tempo to the soft and romantic strains of "The Shadow of Your Smile" ( from The Sandpipers ). This album is a real pleasure to listen to all around. Sit back, have a cocktail, and savor it!

Track Listing:

Side One: 

Theme from "The Silencers"

Theme from "Harlow" ( "Lonely Girl" )

What's New Pussycat?

Ship of Fools

The Flick

Chim Chim Cheree ( from "Mary Poppins" )

Side Two:


Love Theme from "The Sandpipers" ( "The Shadow of Your Smile" )

Forget Domani ( from "The Yellow Rolls Royce" )

Theme from "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold"

My Favorite Things ( from "The Sound of Music" )


Top Music Picks: Thunderball, Theme from Harlow, Chim Chim Cheree, The Shadow of Your Smile

Click here to listen to the full album. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

From the Archives: Moment to Moment ( 1966 )


Jean Seberg is looking lovely here as usual, and she is seated next to director Mervyn LeRoy in this candid shot taken on the set of Moment to Moment ( 1966 ), a wonderful - and terribly underrated - thriller shot in the south of France. 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store :

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Murder at the Gallop ( 1963 )

"Yes, old Enderby was frightened to death!"

One afternoon, while collecting funds for charity, Miss Marple witnesses the death of Mr. Enderby, a death that the doctor claims was due to a heart attack. Miss Marple believes it was deliberate murder: a heart attack triggered by the sight of a cat. Mr. Enderby, a rich recluse, had "a weak heart and a pathological horror of cats. What easier than for some interested party to slip a cat into the house, a cat that the old man would come upon accidentally. Yes, old Enderby was frightened to death!"

She takes her suspicions to Inspector Craddock of the local police, whom she had worked with on a previous murder case. Craddock found her to be "of some small help" before but, upon hearing this new theory of hers, suggests she read fewer thrillers.

At the reading of the will, Mr. Enderby's family members are shocked to hear demure Aunt Cora also suggest that his death was deliberate. "He was murdered....wasn't he?" When Aunt Cora is dispatched with - by a hatpin of all weapons! - Miss Marple decides to don her Sherlock Holmes cap and solve the mystery herself. 

Murder at the Gallop was the second of four Miss Marple mysteries made in the 1960s starring the engaging English character actress Dame Margaret Rutherford. It was a follow-up to Murder, She Said ( 1961 ) and many of the elements used in Murder, She Said are repeated in this second outing, notably the family inheritance plot line, the eccentric male lead ( this time played by the perpetually baffled-faced Robert Morley ), the surly stablehand, and the multiple murders. Yes, when Miss Marple attempts to solve a case, murder is never a solitary occurrence. Even the finale of Miss Marple receiving a marriage proposal is repeated. 

The members of the Enderby family are not as interesting as the Ackenthorpes of Murder, She Said but they do make wonderful murder suspects. Each of them received a goodly inheritance from old Mr. Enderby, but one of them is obviously out for a larger share of the money. 

Hector Enderby ( Robert Morley ) leads the list of suspects as the head of the family and proprietor of the Gallop Hotel, where the Enderbys, Aunt Cora's companion Miss Milcrest, and Miss Marple are all staying. Hector loves to be in the saddle more than anything else and he sees "this whole murder business" and the police's presence as interference with running his business establishment. 

His niece Rosamund, portrayed by Katya Douglas, is a spoiled and demanding woman. She is not overly interested in the Enderby fortune because her mind is preoccupied with curiosity as to why her husband Michael ( James Villiers ) lied about what he was doing the afternoon Enderby died. Nephew George ( Robert Urquhart ) is certainly greedy enough to murder. He quickly becomes Miss Marple's prime suspect, but when he turns up dead, she - and the audience - are forced to re-examine the case. 

"Agatha Christie should be compulsory reading for the police force."

Murder at the Gallop is one of the best of MGM's Miss Marple mysteries. It was loosely based on Agatha Christie's 1953 Hercule Poirot novel "After the Funeral". Credit should be given to screenwriter James P. Cavanaugh ( a frequent writer of episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents ) for reworking the story into such an entertaining yet baffling mystery. Murder mysteries are often filmed as dramas or comedies but Murder at the Gallop straddles both of these genres. It is neither serious drama nor farce. It is simply an enjoyable - and highly amusing - tea and crumpet mystery. 

Ron Goodwin's sprightly harpsichord music greatly contributes to the entertainment and the overall production is top-notch. The cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson is properly atmospheric and the location filming around Buckinghamshire adds to the film's appeal. But make no doubt about it, the film's most charming asset is Dame Margaret Rutherford herself, the endearing star of these films.

Rutherford's characterization of the popular sleuthing spinster bears little resemblance to the Jane Marple you will find in Agatha Christie's novels. Plump and energetic, Rutherford completely transformed Miss Marple into a spunky, emancipated, lovable old gal with a taste for mystery and mayhem. With jowls jiggling and a tongue firmly jutted in her cheek, Jane swings her tweed cape about her, squares her shoulders, and is ready to face any danger that stands in the way of her amateur sleuthing. She has an indomitable spirit that will suffer no nonsense - not even from a murderer!

Often aiding Miss Marple in her detective work is her loyal friend, Mr. Stringer, custodian of the local library in Milchester. This character was newly created for the series to give Margaret Rutherford's husband, Stringer Davis, a co-starring role in the series. Mr. Stringer, or "dear Jim" as Miss Marple affectionately calls him, is an invaluable source of support and the perfect partner to Jane. In Murder at the Gallop, he does the "leg work" in town for Miss Marple while she remains at the Gallop Hotel keeping a close eye on the suspects. At the exciting climax, they also get to perform the twist together!

The remaining cast, which includes Finlay Currie, the talented Flora Robson, Charles Tingwell as the kindly Inspector Craddock, and Duncan Lamont, add to making this an overall delightfully entertaining that even a loyal Agatha Christie fan would enjoy. 

This post is our contribution to the Movies are Murder! Blogathon being hosted by the Classic Movie Blog Association. Click here to read more reviews of murder-themed classic films and click here to view the original trailer for Murder at the Gallop

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Take a Girl Like You ( 1970 )

If you were to look for a summary of Take a Girl Like You, you would probably find a plot description labeling it as a sex comedy because it is....well...about sex. But oddly enough, it does not fit into that genre at all. There are hardly any bedroom scenes ( certainly nothing graphic ) and not much comedy either. It is more of a drama that talks about sex and virginity. Not my usual cup of tea.... and yet, I found it quite appealing. 

Hayley Mills is one of the main reasons this film came off as enjoyable. Another actress may not have been able to convincingly play a virgin with morals. That is what Take a Girl Like You is really about: morals regarding pre-marital sex. 

Hayley Mills stars as Jenny Bunn, a new schoolteacher in town. She meets Patrick, an art teacher ( Oliver Reed ), whom she is attracted to even though she knows that he likes to "play the field". When he invites her to his apartment one evening ( and not to look at his sketches ), she surprises him by telling him she is a virgin and intends to stay that way until she marries. Patrick wants to bed her and so he goes on with a lot of debates about how "nobody cares about that" anymore and such. Jenny obviously cares and - if Patrick cared for her - would respect her views, but this isn't a film about respect. It is just about Patrick trying to have "it" with Jenny.

There is not much in the plot worth building a script around. Even the fluff surrounding this basic plot ( which includes her landlord trying to run for a labor party ) does not have much substance...and yet, the film was still entertaining. 

Perhaps it was the location scenery. Take a Girl Like You was shot in and around Middlesex in southeast England and we get a glimpse of an average working town of the late 1960s. 

Or perhaps it was the music. The peppy opening theme was sung by The Foundations who were one of the biggest British soul bands of the era. The music for the picture was scored by Stanley Myers who, in spite of the unfamiliarity of his name to most people, penned quite a bit of film and television music from the 1950s-1980s. 

It certainly had nothing to do with Oliver Reed being in the film. He was never my idea of a leading man and a more handsome and engaging fellow, such as Michael Caine, would have made this story much more entertaining. Noel Harrison's presence in the film helps quite a bit. The rest of the supporting cast was made up of familiar British character actors: John Bird, Sheila Hancock, Penelope Keith, and Aimi MacDonald. 

Take a Girl Like You was based on the 1960 Kingsley Amis novel of the same name. Director Jonathan Miller thought that "it was probably one of Amis' best novels but there were a lot of things to be said against filming it." Indeed, Miller felt like he had lost control of the filming as it progressed and it ultimately turned into a critical and commercial flop. 

That is not surprising. It is not the kind of film you would watch with your family or even your spouse. In fact, I cannot picture dating couples attending the film in 1970 and walking out of the theater with smiles on their faces...and yet, if you watch it by yourself, it keeps you entertained. In fact, I may just watch the film again this week. 

Take a Girl Like You is available for streaming on Tubi or, if you want to hear some insightful commentaries, on Blu-ray DVD.