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 I say he was the greatest Frank…

Continue reading

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 role in Golden Boy…

Continue reading

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… Click To Tweet

Continue reading

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… Click To Tweet 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 from Chisum (1970) to get to this movie.…

Continue reading

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 Rocky III Click To Tweet Burgess Meredith

Continue reading

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 as…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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 brokers that fell to…

Continue reading

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. See more

Continue reading

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 American anthropologist Marshall Sahlins. He…

Continue reading

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 The Duke–starred as George Washington ‘G.W.’ McLintock. Over the span of 50 years, The Duke has 181 acting credits from…

Continue reading

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 from 1926 to 1976. In those early years of Wayne’s career, he met a real…

Continue reading

King Kong (1933) – 1

King Kong (1933)

  For my first movie review, I am taking on the king of them all – King Kong (1933). This is the king, see what I did there, of all monster movies and set the bar for what was to come. This movie used innovative techniques such as glass paintings, miniature sets, rear projection, traveling mattes, full-scale articulated creatures, and stop-motion photography to layer the action.[1] [2] [3] When this movie was shown in 1933, the audiences had never seen anything like it. This movie has been remade many times, 1976, 2005, 2017, and many variations of the story. Although some are visually striking, none has matched the original. If I say King Kong and you think of the 1976 or the 2005 version, or even the 2017 version, you clearly have never seen a good copy of the 1933 version. I’m talking about the 1933 real King Kong, the one with bi-planes and Fay Wray. This is an American-made film in the monster/adventure genre. It was never nominated for…

Continue reading

Intro to Classic Movie Reviews with Snark – Episode 0

Classic Movie Reviews Logo

Welcome. I wanted to take a minute to let you know what Classic Movie Reviews with Snark podcast is all about. I give very general, snarky reviews of classic movies that all contain SPOILERS. So if that matters to you please don’t listen. I have my own unique slant on movies, remember it’s snarky, and I will add in some history and other interesting facts. But since I love puzzles I’m going to make it a little harder. I will begin my movie reviews with the King Kong (1933). Following that review, I will not be able to produce the next review unless I can reference one of the people mentioned in the previous movie reviews. Note – After about 10 movies this got a lot easier. For example in the King Kong (1933) review I mention Ray Harryhausen which allows me to jump to Jason and the Argonauts (1963). I also mentioned John Wayne in the King Kong review so if I wanted to review Big Wednesday (1978) which stars…

Continue reading