October 2014 Frankenstein Bumper

Frankenstein Stamp

Hear what’s coming in October from Classic Movie Reviews with Snark on the October 2014 Frankenstein Bumper. Spoiler – It’s four Frankenstein reviews.

October 2014 Frankenstein

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Young Frankenstein (1974) – Episode 8

Marty Feldmann as Igor in Young Frankenstein (1974)

Young Frankenstein 1974 a snarky movie review of this Mel Brooks classic.

Rough Script

Today I am continuing the October 2014 Frankenstein line with a real laugh out loud comedy. This movie that follows the Mary Shelly story in largely a parody of The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

Young Frankenstein (1974). Directed by Mel Brooks and the screenplay written by Brooks and Wilder. Should I stop here? Have you heard enough to know it’s funny? If not you might not be familiar with Brooks and Wilder.

I guess I start with Brooks but I will never be able to do him justice. Brooks came up the late 50s/60s television writers rooms. The contacts and collaborations he experienced during this time help lay the foundations for his later directorial success. In 1982 Brooks’ production company created My Favorite Year which was loosely based on a meeting between Brooks and an aging Errol Flynn. The movie is pretty funny and Peter O’Toole is quite good as a has-been alcoholic actor. My Favorite …

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Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – Episode 7

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

 

Today I am continuing with the second of the Franks which I believe to be the greatest of the three films made in the 1930s. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) introduced us to the lighting haired mate of the monster and many other elements that will be clear to any fan of Young Frankenstein (1974).

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) was directed by James Whale. Whale was born in England and began producing plays while he was in a German POW camp during WWI. Whale had 23 directing credits including The Man in the Iron Mask (1939), Show Boat (1936),  The Invisible Man (1933), Frankenstein (1931), Hell’s Angels (1930) (uncredited) working with Howard Hughes. A great quote of Whales is “A director must be pretty bad if he can’t get a thrill out of war, murder, robbery.”

Actors

The first actor that will discuss is Boris Karloff. Boris Karloff who was billed in this movie as just Karloff. I don’t think I will get much argument if …

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William Holden Died Drunk and Alone

William Holden - Stalag 17

William Holden began working in Hollywood as a piece of beefcake. But when he got the roll of Joe Gillis opposite Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd (1950) the world found out he not only looked good, he could act.

William Holden (1918 – 1981) won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1953 for his role in Stalag 17. Holden starred in some of Hollywood’s most popular and critically acclaimed films, including Sunset Blvd (1950)The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), Sabrina (1954), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Wild Bunch (1969), Picnic (1955), The Towering Inferno (1974), and Network (1976).

Living in Pasadena, Holden was spotted by a talent scout from Paramount Pictures in 1937 while playing the part of an 80-year-old man.  Holden’s birth name was William Franklin Beedle, Jr. His last name was changed to Holden by an agent that was still in love with his ex-wife. The ex-wife was Gloria Holden who starred in Dracula’s Daughter (1936).

Career

Holden had two uncredited roles before his first starring …

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Fay Wray – actress who drove the big ape crazy

Fay Wray

Fay Wray, was a Canadian born actress that played the love interest in westerns during the silent years but made the transition to talkies. Fay stated that director Cooper said he would cast her with the tallest dark haired leading man in Hollywood. Wray though he was talking about Clark Gable. Of course he was refereeing to the 25 foot tall ape (King Kong 1931).

Peter Jackson asked Wray to do a cameo in King Kong (2005). Wray said no as her Kong was the real one. Ms. Wray died before Jackson started shooting the new film. Actor Jack Black as Carl Denham paid tribute to Wray by saying he hired Ann Darrow because Wray was not available.

Selected Films

King Kong (1933)

Fay stated that director Cooper said he would cast her with the tallest dark haired leading man in…

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The Wolf Man (1941) – Episode 6

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

 

To get back to this classic horror flick I am creating a new line from Patric Knowles who was in Chisum (1970) to The Wolf Man (1941). There are a few biggies down this line that I want to get to.

Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane…

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This beautiful little poem recited several times in The Wolf Man (1941) is said to have Eastern European folk roots. However, Curt Siodmak wrote it for this film and has joined the werewolf lore along with many other elements from this movie. The poem, be it somewhat change was quoted in Van Helsing (2004) as well as in every Universal film Wolf Man appearances.

I’m going to Patric Knowles line …

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Burgess Meredith – From Rocky to Grumpy Old Man

Burgess Meredith in Rocky (1976)

Burgess Meredith was a character actor that had a great long and varied career. The older crowd knows him as the Penguin from the “Batman” television show. A slightly younger crowd will remember him as Mick in the Rocky series. However, I like to remember him from Of Mice and Men (1939) and a light little comedy Foul Play (1978) where he was cast with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase.

Meredith served in the Air Corp during WWII

Selected Films 

1995 Grumpier Old Men – Grandpa Gustafson

1993 Grumpy Old Men – Grandpa Gustafson

1990 Rocky V – Mickey Goldmill

1982 Rocky III – Mickey Goldmill

1981 Clash of the Titans – Ammon

1979 Rocky II – Mickey

1978 Foul Play – Mr. Hennessey

1976 Rocky – Mickey

In Harm’s Way (1965 ) – Commander Egan Powell

Of Mice and Men (1939)- George Milton

He’ll kill yuh to death inside of three rounds! Burgess Meredith as Mickey in …

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Yvonne De Carlo – Sepohora to Lily Munster

Yvonne De Carlo as Salome

Yvonne De Carlo was a Canadian actress that is best known for an unusual television role of Lily Munster in the 1964 runaway TV show “The Munsters.” In this role, she played a mother vampire married to a bumbling Frankenstein with a human niece and a werewolf son. Naturally, they had a live-in vampire grandpa for laughs.

Now I know that this is a movie podcast but there are a few connections that I have to make to close some loops. The werewolf son, Eddie, shows some signs of being part vampire such as sleeping in a drawer, having a widow’s peak, and hanging upside down. He was often seen with his werewolf doll named Woof-Woof, which looks an awful lot like Lon Chaney, Jr.’s character Larry Talbot from The Wolf Man (1941).

Until 1940, Yvonne appeared in three unbilled parts in short films. Finally, she got a part in a feature. Her big break came with Salome Where She Danced (1945). One of her small but important roles was …

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John Wayne – America’s Greatest Actor?

John Wayne Fest

John Wayne may be the best known of all of the American actors. For many, he typifies the concept of being an American. His bold swagger and take charge ways are valued held highly by many American. This is also the same values that cause many non-Americans to have contempt and hatred for our country.

John Wayne had 181 acting credits spanning 50 years from 1926 to 1976. In those early years of Wayne’s career, he met a real western lawman who had come to Hollywood to try and sell his story. That man, from whom John Wayne learned to act like a cowboy was none other than Wyatt Earp.

Wyatt Earp is such an icon of the western movie genre that a review of IMDB shows no less than 56 movies portrayed that characters spanning from the 1930’s all the way through the ought teens including the masterful Tombstone (1993). To sum up, John Wayne could not pick a better cowboy to learn from.

Career

Wayne went to USC …

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Of Mice and Men (1939) – Episode 5

Of Mice and Men Lon Chaney Jr. and Burgess Meredith

I am starting a new line today based on Burgess Meredith from In Harm’s Way (1965). Today’s movie is Of Mice and Men (1939).

The original story was written by John Steinbeck and was set during the Great Depression. One of the interesting things about this movie is that it is not carried by a major star. Many of the actors had fine and long careers but they were not the blockbuster leading types.

The title of the movie comes from a Robert Burns’ poem titled “To a Mouse” and states – “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (Or as translated “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.”

The Great Depression kicked off in the United States on October 29, 1929, when the stock market crashed and is now as Black Tuesday. I can’t remember the name of the play but one line states that paraphrase – “he was part of gentle rain of stock …

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Why at the Drive-In

Drive-in speakers

In case you’re wondering why Classic Movie Reviews with Snark loves the Drive-In I can let you in on that. Drvie-In’s were a place where you saw interesting movies, but not necessarily the best movies. On a long summer night you could take in a double or triple feature and they might not all be the best movies. However they are interesting and have a story to tell. So that is why Classic Movie Reviews with Snark loves the Drive-In.

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In Harm’s Way (1965) – Episode 4

In Harm's Way (1965)

For In Harm’s Way (1965) we are still continuing the Bruce Cabot line from King Kong (1933).

I love this movie. It’s all about redemption and second chances. It also shows how important getting breaks from friends are. The title of this film comes from a quote by Revolutionary War captain John Paul Jones: “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.”

This movie follows a group of people starting the night before the attack on Pearl Harbor and follows them through the turning tide where the American Navy starts winning the war. It is loosely based on the Battle of Guadalcanal during WWII.

As each character falls from grace they are given a reprieve often with the help of a friend. In the same way, the USA is given a second chance after they failed to prepare for the coming war. For clarification, I will use a system made famous by …

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McLintock! (1963) – Episode 3

McLintock! (1963)

 

 

Today’s movie McLintock! (1963) continues the Bruce Cabot line from King Kong (1933) with a review of the McLintock! (1963) which is a classic John Wayne cowboy flick. This review goes over the major characters and give a plot summary with SPOILERS. It also give a final summary of the movie.

I could switch to the John Wayne stream but I’m going to stick with Bruce Cabot for a while since he is in a number of Wayne movies that I want to cover anyway. I just didn’t think I would get here this soon. Eventually I will make it back to classic black and white horror films and other assorted genres.

Today I going to talk about the 1963 John Wayne movie that, on the surface, seems like just a simple western comedy. But the truth is a little stranger.

Marion Robert Morrison–known to most of us as John Wayne–AKA …

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Chisum (1970) – Episode 2

Chisum (1970) John Wayne and Ben Johnson

Chisum (1970) continues the Bruce Cabot line from King Kong (1933). Chisum (1970) is a classic John Wayne cowboy flick. Like all of the other reviews, this one gives my own special take on the movie, historical notes, and my world famous short summary. After reviewing the major characters this review goes over the plot point by point.

This movie generally covers the Lincoln County War and the rise of Billy the Kid.

John Simpson Chisum: [lighting the sergeant’s cigar] Sergeant, there’s one thing I oughtta tell you; if you lay a hand on White Buffalo again, I’ll kill ya’.

I am connecting from King Kong (1933) to Chisum (1970) because Bruce Cabot was in both movies.

What can I say about the star of this movie that hasn’t been said before? Marion Robert Morrison starred as John Chisum but of course, you know the actor as John Wayne. 181 acting credits spanning 50 years …

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