Michael Caine returns to the action film genre in the title role of Harry Brown. Caine plays an ex-Royal Marine who avenges his best friend's murder by acting as a vigilante. Sounds like an updated version of Caine's 1971 crime classic Get Carter - which is good enough to get our bums in theater seats. The film is being shot in Caine's boy hood neighborhoods of East London. The website First Showing has some exclusive photos. Click here.
One of our favorite westerns of the 1960s is Henry Hathaway's The Sons of Katie Elder starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Michael Anderson Jr and Earl Holliman as four estranged brothers reunited for their beloved mother's funeral. They soon learn that there was a scandal attached to her death and their efforts to uncover the mystery puts their lives in danger. A great supporting cast includes Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy, Paul Fix, Martha Hyer, Jeremy Slate and James Gregory. The film is so entertaining that you forget the absurdity of Wayne (who was in his fifties at the time) being cast as Michael Anderson Jr.'s brother! (Anderson was 22 when he shot the film). In addition to Hathaway's expert direction, the movie is enhanced tremendously by Elmer Bernstein's rousing score. Click here to view the trailer.
Click here to order The Sons of Katie Elder and The Shootist double feature DVD from Amazon for only $13.49!
Sideshow Collectibles have released a new, superbly detailed 12 inch collectible figure of Vincent Price in Roger Corman's horror classic Masque of the Red Death.
Here is the press release:
Sideshow Collectibles is proud to present the Vincent Price from The
Masque of the Red Death Collectors Figure by Amok Time! "Man creates
his own God, his own devil, his own heaven and his own hell. This is
your hell Prospero." From the 1964 Horror Classic "The Masque of the
Red Death" comes this deluxe 12-inch collectors action figure. The
Vincent Price from The Masque of the Red Death Collectors Figure
features blood red robes, belt, removeable mask and amazing likeness to
Vincent Price - "Horror has a face." To order click here
Paramount Home Video has released a DVD edition of the 1983 TV movie Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum reprising their legendary roles that they had last performed in 1968 when the original show was canceled after a four-season run. The release is most welcome, though it's bare bones treatment virtually cries out for some bonus extras. Paramount apparently didn't want to capitalize on the recent Warner Home Video mega set of the TV series by having Vaughn and McCallum contribute to this edition. However, they could have easily have obtained the services of the one of the many U.N.C.L.E. scholars to discuss the TV movie on a commentary track. Nonetheless, the film is as interesting as it is controversial. Casual fans of the show always enjoyed the reunion broadcast, but hardcore U.N.C.L.E. fans always viewed as second-rate and a missed opportunity (sort of the Never Say Never Again of the U.N.C.L.E. franchise.) I count myself among the few die hard aficionados of the series who genuinely likes Return -though it is not without flaws.
By April of 1983, when the reunion movie was broadcast on CBS, U.N.C.L.E. fans were quite impatient to see the end result. For years, there had been rumors of a reunion movie and at one point MGM had virtually committed to a big screen feature starring Vaughn and McCallum before a new regime at the studio got cold feet. The on-again, off-again nature of the project kept evolving and was complicated by McCallum's ambivalence about recreating a character that had made him a teenage idol in the 1960s - a mantle he neither wanted nor wore very comfortably. Ultimately, TV producer Michael Sloan obtained the rights to the sequel and managed to get McCallum on board. The movie was intended as a pilot for a revival of the series that, sadly, never materialized despite the fact the film got decent ratings. The best aspect, of course, is seeing Vaughn and McCallum together again, both looking remarkably unchanged over the ensuing fifteen years. The agents are called back into action, despite the fact they have long been retired from U.N.C.L.E. McCallum's Illya Kuryakin is now a noted fashion designer and Vaughn's Napoleon Solo is in the computer industry. (An unintended joke because Vaughn still refused to use a personal computer in real life).The evil THRUSH organization is now posing a nuclear threat and only Solo and Illya are deemed qualified to stop it. They reunite by literally bumping into each other during a fight with the bad guys in the Russian Tea Room!
Remember when Hollywood used to present lesbians as Rosa Klebb look-a-likes or "women in comfortable shoes"? Well, the pendulum has come full circle. Among the latest glamour girls to come out of the closet is sexy Kelly McGillis, who played Tom Cruise's main squeeze in Top Gun. McGillis says she is through with "the man thing" and after two marriages and divorces, who can blame her? She's now looking for a suitable lover and life partner and says it will "definitely " be a woman. McGillis says she resisted admitting to herself that she was gay, but in recent years has become perfectly comfortable with the truth. For more click here
(L to R) Cinema Retro contributing writer Todd Garbarini, editor-in-chief Lee Pfeiffer and Anthony Harvey at the Loews Jersey City.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Last Friday, I attended the special screening of The Lion in Winter at the Loews Theatre, the classic movie palace in Jersey City, New Jersey. Not only did I want to see the highly acclaimed film on the big screen for the first time, but the event also allowed me to meet with my old friend, Anthony Harvey who directed the 1968 classic. It had been a few years since I had seen Tony, who I first met when I was writing the Sony DVD documentary on the making of Dr. Strangelove. Tony had been Stanley Kubrick's editor on that film as well as Lolita and it was Kubrick himself who persuaded Tony to try his hand at directing. I was pleased to see Tony looking as fit as ever - though his modesty, in an industry dominated by towering egos, continues to amaze me. As the doors were opened, he said he suspected only a handful of people would turn up. He was shocked to find hundreds in attendance, and prior to the screening, Tony was accorded rock star treatment by classic movie buffs who asked him to autograph their programs. It should be noted that there are no longer any 35mm prints of this classic movie in good enough condition to make it through a projector. This one remaining archival print was made available to the Loews by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Prior to the film, Tony was interviewed at length by author and film historian Foster Hirsch, who is among the best when it comes to asking intelligent questions of his subject. Tony said that he had only one minor independent film to his credit (the little-seen Dutchman) when he was tapped to direct The Lion in Winter. He confessed that initially, it was a bit nerve-wracking to consider he would suddenly be in charge of such a big-budget movie, as well as directing acting royalty like Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn.However, he quickly realized that if he was to enjoy the respect of the cast and crew, he would have to be a decisive and strong figure on the set. His first challenge was to find suitable locations, a feat that would see the production filming in England, Ireland and France. Tony was resolved to accurately recreate the conditions of King Henry II's reign in the 12 century - and found the coldest, least hospitable castle imagineable. He improvised certain aspects of the filming by putting an abundance of animals in the midst of the set without forewarning the actors. Thus, cast members had to negotiate around running chickens and dogs. There was method to the madness as research showed this to be an accurate representation of the king's court of that era.
Cinema Retro columnist Gareth Owen (left) with Jimmy Perry.
By Dave Worrall
Last Friday (April 24th) saw scriptwriter Jimmy
Perry as the guest speaker at The Lunch Club, a monthly networking club for
people who work in the media industry. Perry, now a spritely 87, is the 'other
half' of writing team Jimmy Perry and David Croft, who have written some of the
most successful BBC comedy shows in the history of British television, including
Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mom and
Perry started his career as a bit-part actor before
turning to writing, and was awarded an OBE in 1978 for his services to the TV
industry. Many of the sitcoms Perry co-wrote with Croft drew heavily on his
personal experience: at 17 he joined the Watford Home Guard (Dad's
Army); two years later he was called up into the regular forces, and was
sent to Burma with the Royal Artillery, where he joined the Royal Artillery
Concert Party (It Ain't Half Hot, Mum). Demobbed and back in the UK, he
trained as an actor at RADA, spending his holidays working as a Redcoat in
Butlin's Holiday Camps (Hi-de-Hi). His grandfather had worked as a
butler, and Jimmy heard many anecdotes about life "below stairs", which served
as a basis for You Rang, M'Lord?
The club gathers at Hush, a restaurant in the
centre of London, for a networking lunch once a month,and members enjoy a drink
and chat during a 3-hour period, which always includes a speaker. Past guests
have included Sir Roger Moore, Ray Harryhausen, Ronald Neame, Ken Annakin,
Richard Keil, Guy Hamilton and Jack Cardiff, to name but a few. The
lunch club was established in 1994, by producer Martin Cahill, as a non-profit
making, and politically neutral, networking society and has grown to become the
film, tv and media industry's premiere café du commerce. The lunch club also hosts three or four
networking evenings each year, such as Question Time, The Film World Meets The
Book World, Quiz Night and An Evening With ... many of which are free or
subsidised to members. Membership is inexpensive and open to all in the media
business. The club can be contacted via their web site www.lunch-club.org.uk