Cast a Giant Shadow (1966) – 140

Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)

  Welcome to today’s show, Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review. Today’s movie is Cast a Giant Shadow (1966). I literally love this movie because it has the two things I want from all of the movies I watch: 1) The characters face overwhelming odds and 2) they don’t sit around crying and go to work. This is a super fictionalized version of the formation of the State of Israel. It is a lot of fun to watch and it has a lot of star power. Many show veterans are in this movie so let’s get going. So, let’ jump right into the actors, many of whom…

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WarGames (1983) – 139

WarGames (1983)

    Welcome to today’s show, WarGames (1983), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is WarGames (1983). I wanted to get to this movie early on in 2018, because it figures prominently in “Ready Player One” 2011 and the movie Ready Player One (2018) is coming out shortly. When I first saw WarGames, I was still in the Army. I went the next day and signed up for Computer Programming 101. I had never even seen a PC. I found out two things. 1) I’m a terrible coder and 2) it must be in the second class where they teach you to launch missiles Actors Returning James Tolkan was FBI agent Wigan. Tolkan was first covered in Episode 88 –…

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James Cagney – Tough Guy, Dancer

One, Two, Three (1961) - James Cagney

The word great is thrown around a lot, but with this guy, it’s true. James Cagney was a real tough guy and a song and dance man as well. James Cagney, of course, was born in New York City in 1899. After high school, he attended Columbia University but left school upon his father’s death in the 1918 flu pandemic. James Cagney had a variety of jobs bellhop and night doorman. He learned to tap dance, was a street brawler, and was a good amateur boxer. His mother encouraged his boxing but refused to let him turn pro. James Cagney, who began working behind the scenes in theater, was called one night to replace his sick brother and thus began his acting career. He began working on Broadway and in Vaudeville. In 1924, he and his wife moved to California. But they had no luck and headed back to New York. James Cagney was in a play title “Maggie the Magnificent” with actress Joan Blondell. Al Jolson brought the right…

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All Film Noir Movies

noirvember Film Noir - Bogey and Becall

I wanted to add a definition for Film noir, so I went to the great movie critic Roger Ebert.  I have shortened his definitions but included the link below so you can read the complete original. 1. A French term meaning “black film,” or film of the night. 2. Doesn’t mislead you into thinking there will be a happy ending. 3. Locations that reek of the night, of shadows, of alleys, of the back doors of fancy places. 4. Cigarettes. Everybody in film noir is always smoking. The best smoking movie of all time is Out of the Past, in which Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas smoke furiously at each other. 5. Women who would just as soon kill you as love you, and vice versa. This is priceless JEC.   RogerEbert.com Noir Fest All Film Noir Movies

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Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – 138

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

      Welcome to today’s show, Miracle on 34th Street (1947), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is Miracle on 34th Street (1947). This movie is for true believers and if you are a true believer, it will be hard to throw too much snark at this one. But, I will endeavor to preserve. iMDB.com rates this movie 7.9[1]. I thought it would be higher. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 96%[2]. It is not in the AFI top 100 films list. It is 9th[3] on the AFI’s 100 Most Inspiring Films of All Time. I thought it would be higher. This is Thelma Ritter’s film debut. She had a small role as a harried shopper but it launched her…

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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – 137

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

;nbsp; Welcome to today’s show, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989). This movie is so funny and accurate I almost can’t stand it. This movie was written by John Hughes but he turned the directing over Jeremiah S. Chechik. We only have a couple of show veterans and a lot of new actors. I am only going to cover about half the people in this film to keep it from being a hour long. Sorry about that. Actors Returning Brian Doyle-Murray played the uncaring boss Frank Shirley.  Brian was covered in Episode 96 – Scrooged (1988). E.G. Marshall played Art, Ellen’s father. Marshall was covered in Episode 68 –…

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) – 136

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

  Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). This movie is a beloved holiday classic that has been shown every year since it was released. I ain’t good at math but that like 54 years. There is some really interesting trivia associated with this movie. Robert L. May created the character of Rudolph for a Montgomery Ward marketing campaign in 1939. That same year, his brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, wrote the song. Marks took the reindeer names from a public domain poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” which is the stockings were and hung and not a creature was stirring poem. Not the first to record the song, country singer Gene Autry…

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The Prowler (1951) – 135

The Prowler (1951)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Prowler (1951), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Prowler (1951). This Film Noir crime drama starred Van Heflin and Evelyn Keyes. The role for Keyes was said to be a divorce present from her ex-husband Director John Huston.[1] This will be a great film to finish our #Noirvember fest with. An uncredited New York Times movie review upon release said the film was “Surreptitious amour, a rich legacy, and a murder have been pyramided into an impressive drama.”[2] iMDB.com rates this movie at 7.3 while Rotten Tomatoes has it at 100%.[3] This movie was directed by Joseph Losey. The screenplay was written by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo and came out under his working…

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Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series – by Chuck Harter

Chuck Harter Mr. Novak

Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series 2017 by Chuck Harter The television series “Mr. Novak” 1963-1965 was a pivotal show in terms setting a template for later shows that features a core cast, with talented guest stars, and dealt with relevant social issues. “Mr. Novak” departed from the strict comedy format of shows like “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” 1959-1963 and set the stage for socially based drama like “Room 222” 1969-1974 and “The White Shadow” 1978-1981. Chuck Harter’s incredibly detailed book provides a complete history of “Mr. Novak” and its place in history. When I began reading this book, I was immediately struck by how the show was a training ground for a generation of actors such as Walter Koenig, Beau Bridges, Tony Dow, Mark Slade, Kim Darby, Shelley Fabares, and Don Grady. The show was anchored by veteran actors James Franciscus, Dean Jagger, and later Burgess Meredith. Many of the show’s cast contributed input into Mr. Harter’s book and give an in-depth background that is rarely seen.…

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The Harder They Fall (1956) – 134

The Harder They Fall (1956)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Harder They Fall (1956), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Harder They Fall (1956). This is a gritty boxing Film-Noir without a serious femme fatale. This movie was Humphrey Bogart last film. Rod Steiger led a vicious crew of gangsters. Real boxers rounded out the crew. Mark Robson directed this tale of corruption and betrayal in the sweet science. We have three veteran actors and several new ones. Actors Returning Humphrey Bogart played a sports writer that had fallen on hard times, Eddie Willis. The great Humphrey Bogart was covered in Episode 25 – Sahara (1943). Jan Sterling played the devoted and sweet wife of Eddie, Beth Willis. Sterling was covered in…

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The Garment Jungle (1957) – 133

The Garment Jungle (1957)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Garment Jungle (1957), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Garment Jungle (1957). This movie is a gritty Film-Noir crime story that is great for our #Noirvember celebration. The only reason I took a look at this movie because of Robert Loggia. But with Lee J. Cobb, Gia Scala, and Richard Boone, it turned out to be a pretty solid movie, with a decent plot. This movie is rated at 6.6 on iMDB.com.[1] The movie has a 64 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[2] I feel it’s a little better than the ratings. The movie was directed by Robert Aldrich but Vincent Sherman took over in the end. Aldrich is uncredited. Glenn Erickson[3] stated: Depending…

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Fallen Angel (1945) -132

Fallen Angel (1945)

  Welcome to today’s show, Fallen Angel (1945), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. This Film Noir is rated 7.2 by iMDB.com1 and 80 percent by Rotten Tomatoes2. This film was directed by Otto Preminger. I really liked it, as Dana Andrews is great as a tough guy. Linda Darnell is beautiful and elusive. The supporting players, Charles Bickford, John Carradine, Percy Kilbride, Anne Revere, Alice Faye, and to a lesser degree even Bruce Cabot were all great at weaving this whodunit. The critics of the era seemed to be looking for another Laura (1944), but how often can director Otto Preminger or any director pull one of those off. Bosley Crowther, of The New York Times, thought the acting and story was below par.3 Today’s movie is…

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Voodoo Man (1944) – 131

Voodoo Man (1944)

    Welcome to today’s show, Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is Voodoo Man (1944) and god is it bad. I mean it is really bad. I wasn’t prepared for how bad it was. Did I mention that it was bad? This movie has a 5.6 rating on iMDB.com and a 0 on Rotten Tomatoes, but to be fair, it has the year listed as 2009 and doesn’t have many reviews. If you look on the inter-webs, there is a lot of debate over whether this movie is a comedy or classic horror. I am going to treat it as comedy and I think we can all enjoy it a little more. Why do I…

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The Mummy’s Curse (1944) – 130

The Mummy’s Curse (1944)

  Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast AKA iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you’re finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Mummy’s Curse (1944). This is the third time that Long Chaney Jr. played the mummy. I wanted to pan this movie like the rest of this mummy series, but I found this one to be vastly superior to the other three. With limited star power, the acting was still very solid. I thought that moving mummy from a swamp in Massachusetts to Louisiana would be ridiculous but the folklore was woven into the story very well. With that said, any of you that have been listening for a while know that English is not my native language. Since I was raised in raise in a third world country known as…

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