The Vikings (1958) – Episode 18

The Vikings (1958)

Welcome to Episode 18 – The Vikings (1958). We are currently working on the Janet Leigh line. Go to my website at snarkymoviereviews.com to find all of the twitter, Facebook, and other social media links. If you like what you hear pop on over to iTunes and give me a review.

This movie is a nice little period piece but it’s a little strange in the treatment of the women characters. The story is interesting and has enough twists and turns. The on-location shooting is visibly striking and the actors are some of the top in the business.

The role of Ragnor was played by Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine was the child of Italian immigrants. After graduating from high school in Connecticut Borgnine joined the Navy. He stayed in the service for 10 years leaving at the end of WWII. His mother suggested that he try acting and well, you should always listen to mamma. His first role was as a male nurse in Harvey (1950). He moved to …

Continue reading

NMM 3 – The Vikings

Viking Fest Helmet logo

Nantan Movie Minute 3 – The Vikings. A couple of classic Viking movies – The Long Ships (1964) and The Vikings (1959).

Vikings – A word that sets off a sense of wonderment in the imagination of any true American. They were possibly the first Europeans to visit North America. Vikings are resurging in popular culture with the success of the History Channel’s Vikings. This TV shows follows Ragner Lothbrook on his adventures.

However, there are a couple of classic movies that cover the same subject with interesting twists. The first of these is The Long Ships (1964). The Long Ships cast Richard Widmark as hard charging Viking Rolfe in an epic struggle with Sidney Poitier as a Moor. Both men want to obtain the Mother of All Voices, a solid golden bell that is located in the Pillars of Hercules, today known as the Straits of Gibraltar. They go on their quest with Russ Tamblyn along as Orm. Russ adds excitement with his acrobatic moves. You may remember Russ from Westside …

Continue reading

Jan-Michael Vincent Bio

Jan-Michael Vincent

Jan-Michael Vincent was born in Colorado near the end of World War II but he was raised in California. He was in the National Guard when he was discovered by a talent scout that was struck by his good looks. He first appeared on-screen in The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk (1967). This was followed by Journey to Shiloh (1968) and then on “Danger Island” a Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning TV show that was part of “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” 1968.

Vincent was a handsome young actor that was a force to be reckoned with from the 1970-1980s. However, his star power seemed to wane as quickly as it rose. He was often cast as a lone force fighting the system. He worked in movies such as The Undefeated (1969) with John Wayne and Rock Hudson. In Tribes (1970) where he played a young Marine recruit in conflict with his drill instructor. In White Line Fever (1975) he took on …

Continue reading

Hard Times (1975) – Episode 17

Charles Bronson in Hard Times (1975)

Hard Times (1975) features Charles Bronson as a bare-knuckle fighter in New Orleans during the Great Depression. This movie also features James Coburn and Strother Martin in what may be his strongest role.

Rough Script

Welcome to Episode 17. Continuing on the

Strother Martin line today’s subject is the 1975 movie Hard Times (1975).

Hard Times (1975) features Charles Bronson as Chaney a tuff as nails fighter with no background and very few words. In this entire movie, Bronson only speaks about 500 words. Bronson was around 53 when he took this role. The producers wanted a younger man and Jan-Michael Vincent was considered. However, Bronson was perfect for the role and was in great shape.

Bronson was born in Pennsylvania to Lithuanian parents. As a result of his upbringing he could speak several languages fluently. He also worked in the coal mines where he was in a tunnel collapse resulting in a lifelong fear of closed spaces. This fear and his languages were integrated into his …

Continue reading

Night of the Lepus (1972) – Episode 16

Night of the Lepus (1972)

Well, its spring time down south so I thought a little bunny fun might be appropriate. I am going to start a new line from Paul Fix in The Undefeated (1969). Today’s film is the wonderfully bad Night of the Lepus 1972. Lepus is the genus for hares and jackrabbits and includes rabbits. In this cautionary ecological tale, human actions lead to the growth of king sized mutant rabbits.

The original movie poster had giant glowing eyes rather than pictures of rabbits as the producers did not think people would take the movie seriously as a science-fiction movie if they saw bunnies too early. However, the studio still considered calling the movie Rabbits. That really invokes fear.
What is more amazing about this movie than the subject matter is the number of big stars that were cast.

Stuart Whitman … Roy Bennett
Whitman spent three years in the US Army Corp of Engineers during the post-World War II era. While in the Army he won 32 …

Continue reading

The Monuments Men (2014) vs The Train (1964)

The Monuments Men (2014) vs The Train (1964)

The Monuments Men (2014) vs The Train (1964) contrasts two movies with the same general subject but one is vastly superior to the other in almost every category.

Major Actors

George Clooney
Cate Blanchett
Bill Murphy
Bob Balaban
John Goodman
Matt Damon
Burt Lancaster
Paul Scofield

Rough Script

The Monument Men (2014) came to the screen last year and it’s not a bad movie. It has an all-star cast and it’s based on a true story. All through World War II, the Nazis were busy looting and destroying the treasures of Europe. Many Nazis wanted to take these treasures back for their personal collections but others were simply destroyed for spite or for so-called “Aryan purity.” The Allied governments deployed teams of historians and art experts to track down and save these irreplaceable treasures.

The Monument Men (2014) is a good movie and I would recommend that everyone watch the movie. I mean George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murphy, Bob Balaban, John …

Continue reading

The Undefeated (1969) – Episode 15

The Undefeated (1969)

Well, this is a manly-manly movie with lots of horses and good ole fashion American justice. Following the original Bruce Cabot line from King Kong (1933) we now arrive at The Undefeated 1969. This movie was originally billed as having the most horses ever used in a movie with 2500. According to thehorse.com the movie was filmed in Durango, Mexico, and the horses were rented from local villagers so an accurate count is not possible. The hooves were branded to identify ownership.

This movie had a lot of star power including most of the traditional John Wayne posse.

Of course, the biggest star in this movie was John Wayne. Wayne who never served in the military was cast in the role of Union cavalry officer Col.

John Henry Thomas. Like the other 1969 movie, Wayne was a little old and a lot heavy for this part. The name John Henry Thomas seems to be based on George Henry Thomas who was known as the Rock of Chickamauga where …

Continue reading

Paul Fix Is An Actor You Should Know

Paul Fix Is An Actor You Should Know

Paul Fix is an actor you should know. With well over 300 movie and television credits, he may be best-known for his role as Marshal Micah Torrance on the “Rifleman” 1958-1963 television series. However, he was much more. A quality actor that was never overstated and adapted to the roles as they changed over time. Fix was born in New York to German immigrants. His father was a brew-mister but he as well as Fix’s mother died before World War II. At the age of 17, he was sent to live with him married sisters.

At the age of 17 he joined the US Navy and was active in World War I. Fix was an able-bodied seaman (untrained but could be used for any job on the ship) on the troopship U.S.S. Mount Vernon. His ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the French coast. Fortunately, the ship ran aground and did not sink. Following the war, Fix married his girlfriend who was known as Taddy. The couple moved to …

Continue reading

Band of Angels (1957) – Episode 14

Band of Angels (1957)

Band of Angels 1957 is a quite enjoyable Civil War yarn with Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier.

Band of Angels (1957) Rough Script

I’m continuing on the Patric Knowles lines that I first picked-up in Episode 2 –Chisum (1970). I was a little surprised when I dived into the credits and found our old friend Bob Steele first noted in the Burgess Meredith line from Of Mice and Men 1939.

I usually don’t spend a lot of time on directors but icons like Raoul Walsh deserve a little extra. Walsh was born in New York and started on the stage there. He quickly moved into film work. In 1914, he was an assistant to D.W. Griffith while they made The Life of General Villa. The film was shot in Mexico and starred the real revolutionary Poncho Villa in the lead. The film which is lost contained actual battle scenes. A 2003 movie title And Starring Poncho Villa as Himself recreates the filming process and …

Continue reading

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) – Episode 13

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Ho ho Ho Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kicking Kwanza, and Festivus for the rest of us. As a special Christmas treat, I have put together a podcast about the fantastically bad Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964). I hope everyone of all faiths and denominations as well as those that lack either will enjoy.

Before I get into this too deeply I need to make a couple of notes. First, this movie is in the public domain so you get slightly different versions each time you view it. So don’t be too put off if the summary does not match scene for scene. Secondly, it is pretty hard to review that the actors in the film when about 80 percent of their bios state in the first line that they are best known for this stinker of a movie. But I will Endeavor to Preserver. Movie line. Did you get it?

It seems that scavenged whomever they could get that was working on Broadway and hustled them over to an …

Continue reading

Billy the Kidd Versus Dracula (1966) – Episode 12

Billy the Kidd Versus Dracula (1966)

Remember that I mention stuntman Chuck Courtney in The Green Berets (1968), well here’s why. Today’s film is one of those film titles that just make you say wow. Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966). Unfortunately this episode may be a little short due to the limited star power in this film. Other than John Carradine, who I could talk about for days, Mrs. Folgers, and a few cameos there is not much to say.

John Carradine played the role of Count Dracula / posing as James Underhill. Carradine was the partiarch of the Carradine clan – you know David from Kung Fu and the Kill Bill films and Robert from The Big Red One (1980) and the Nerd films, and Keith from Southern Comfort (1981) and Cowboys & Aliens (2011).

John was born in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village in 1906. For a time he worked as painter and sketch artist. He eventually ended up in New Orleans in 1925. Remember Lugosi showed up there in late 1920. I believe …

Continue reading