1960’s

[6.0] Rory Calhoun, or proto-George Clooney as I like to call him, stars in this kinda silly but kinda fun sword-and-sandals flick that earned Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars, Once Upon a Time in America) his first major directing credit. Calhoun plays a visiting war hero on the island of Rhodes who gets tangled in a rebel uprising and a Phoenician conquest. He also …

[8.0] Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine co-star as women running their own private girls’ school in The Children’s Hour. Hepburn’s character is about to get married to James Garner and MacLaine’s character is pretty melancholy about it. But all their lives are turned upside down when one of their young students, a particularly nasty little girl played with villainous spite by Karen Balkin, accuses the …

[7.0] Malcolm McDowell stars in Lindsay Anderson’s tale of schoolyard rebellion. If…. caught the zeitgeist when it was released in 1968 and took home the Palme d’Or at Cannes for its allegorical look at the class system and social upheaval. It also received notoriety for its nudity and bloodshed. McDowell plays one of three outcast ‘troublemakers’ in a British private school. When the self-righteous student …

[7.0] John Wayne and Robert Mitchum headline this Howard Hawks western about a gunfighter-for-hire (Wayne) who teams up with a drunk sheriff (Mitchum) to help a family protect their land from a rival rancher. The plot to El Dorado was a little hard for me to follow. So many characters are introduced in the first half hour and the way allegiances are formed is a …

[6.0] Paranoiac is a¬†mystery thriller from Hammer Films that keeps the plot twists coming. Members of the Ashby estate await their inheritance as a mysterious figure shows up on their doorstep. He claims to be the youngest son, who left a suicide note eight years ago and was presumed dead. Everyone has their suspicions, but the truth isn’t fully revealed until the end of the …

[5.5] Hammer Film’s loose adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s story focuses on revenge and doesn’t really touch upon the subversive romantic potential between the Phantom (Herbert Lom) and Christine (Heather Sears). Since that’s kind of the whole point, the film largely misses the mark. But as usual with Hammer Films, I like the production design and general atmosphere — especially the Phantom’s underground lair. Herbert Lom …

[7.0] In the third Bond film, agent 007 (Sean Connery) is trying to stop a nefarious gold tycoon from breaking into Fort Knox. Goldfinger is still one of the most popular entries in the franchise because it has everything we’ve come to expect in a Bond flick. Goldfinger himself is the quintessential Bond villain. He knows it’s not enough just to have a wicked plan. …

[5.5] Poor Janet. When she was just a little girl, she watched her mommy stab her daddy to death, and she’s been haunted by nightmares ever since. She’s also terrified of inheriting her mother’s mental disorder. To make matters worse, someone is taking advantage of this fact for their own nefarious purpose. Nightmare is one of a handful of black & white psychological thrillers released …

[6.5] This Hammer production is, in the best way possible, like a live-action episode of Scooby-Doo, complete with pirates, marsh phantoms, scarecrows, and secret identities. The charismatic cast is headlined by Peter Cushing as the dubious town vicar and Patrick Allen as a British captain sent to investigate an alleged smuggling ring. The mystery is as transparent as anything the Scooby gang ever encountered, but …

[7.5] George Lazenby makes his one and only appearance as 007 in this underappreciated installment of the series. Lazenby¬†was a model with little-to-no acting experience trying to take over a role that Sean Connery made iconic. With that said, the amazing thing about On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is how good it is in spite of Lazenby’s contribution. The story this time centers around old …

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