Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Frances Farmer Presents (1958)
"Frances Farmer Presents" was on six days a week, with Farmer doing her inserts live. Because WFBM was the NBC affiliate, in the final couple of years, FFP was produced in color.
She showed only the newest available movies from major studios, and even though rival station WISH-TV tried several different formats and hosts, it was never able to unseat FFP in the ratings.
"Frances Farmer Presents" was the number one show in its time period from the day it premiered until the day it left the air.
After Frances left in September, 1964, the morning movie host took over and the show became known as "Bernie Herman Presents."
The Last Angry Man (1959)
Television drama masquerading as a feature film
This is the type of show that used to be produced weekly on Playhouse 90. Many of those dramas were later re-made as motion pictures. It even has a television drama feel. There seem to be commercial breaks built into it. The acting is strictly Ham-Ola. And for all the comments about Muni's performance - he is as bad as he ever was. Luther Adler plays his friend. Adler was the original "Golden Boy" in Clifford Odets Broadway play (opposite Frances Farmer) here he gives a surface performances.
A completely self-indulgent project that is saved only by the performances of a few of the supporting players including Billy Dee Williams and Betsy Palmer. David Wayne was never good in any role, this one included.
No, No, Nanette (1940)
Not worth the buck
Well I just paid a dollar for a DVD of this movie, and it wasn't even worth that. It seems to be from a poor print and is in the public domain, I am guessing.
Neagle - despite her glory, awards, and reputation - is a homely British gal who can't sing or dance or act.
Some of the fine old Hollywood character actors on display here must have thought they were doing a classic. Director Herbert Wilcox (Neagle's husband) always thought Anna was the most exciting and talented femme on the screen. He was mistaken. She was improbably popular in Britain before and after WWII. Her "serious" roles are even more ludicrous than her musical appearance here.
Only a couple of the famous songs are included and neither one is well presented. Skip this one and find the one that stars Doris Day. At least you get some real comedy and professional style dancing!
Man Against Crime (1949)
Man against crime in a dress and high heels!
I got a DVD of this series with the title "Man Against Crime", but the credits on the episodes are called "Follow That Man". The three episodes on the dollar DVD are Death Takes a Partner, The Day Man, The Doll Bandit.
A very young Martin Balsam shows up complete with a French accent in Death Takes a Partner. It's something about a 6-day bicycle race. The premise of the underhanded bets is confusing, The Doll Bandit features one of those 50's blondes who wanted to be Marilyn Monroe but didn't have the talent.
While there isn't anything outstanding about this series, and Bellamy certainly looks tired - it is the episode called The Day Man that is the most interesting. It features an actor named Kitt Russell in drag as a woman for several scenes, including the climax. Very bizarre! Worth a buck and a real time capsule of television production and techniques of the time.
The play is much better
I bought this video because I was working on a production of the play it is based on "I'll Be Back Before Midnight." The play and the screenplay for this movie are both by Peter Colley, who is also an associate producer of the film.
As has been noted, the director was working on an English-speaking production for the first time and was a Russian political refugee - who came to the US via Czechkoslavakia. Better for him if he had stayed there.
This is a terrible movie. The suspense of the screenplay doesn't hold a candle to the play. I can't believe that Colley made such a mess of what is basically a terrific comedy-thriller. Plot lines are muddled, characters are non-existent or inconsistent, and there is not a moment of REAL suspense in the whole movie.
The director must share some of the blame, too, of course. I imagine the editors had their work cut out for them when they were handed this mess. A narration (by Heather Locklear's character, but not done by Locklear) just confuses things more.
IF you are considering doing the play, don't judge it by this movie. This is one of the worst movies I have EVER seen. The acting, the lighting and camera-work, the costumes, the music, and physical production are all just terrible. Originally set in an old "haunted" farm house - the movie takes place in some Spanish-style castle.
The whole premise is muddled and there is no mystery or suspense. Even the "surprise" ending has only one mild shock-scare, and that one is here and gone before you know what has happened.
I would say that the illusion here is that anyone involved knew anything about making a movie - especially a thriller.
Count Three and Pray (1955)
Great Cast Rises to the Story
Herb Meadows wrote the original story "The Calico Pony" that this movie was based on, and this was its shooting title.
Van Heflin was great as Luke Fargo, Joanne Woodward in her film debut is okay, but a bit tiresome and "Methody" in her performance. She does a nice job but is not as appealing as a Debbie Reynolds-Tammy backwoods type.
The supporting cast including Raymond Burr, Jean Willes, and Kathryn Givney are terrific. Best of all is Allison Hayes as the rich girl gone bad. Her performance is amazing and seems slightly truncated so that she could get NO audience sympathy. Some of her dialog is delivered over closeups of Woodward. No other female character is allowed to be sympathetic at all, even Nancy Kulp as made shrewish and mean to Woodward's benefit.
This makes the story suffer - but Heflin, Burr, and Hayes make it a very interesting nearly-forgotten movie.