Invisible Invaders

Invisible Invaders. Premium Pictures 1959.

Before watching the movie:

Here is a sci-fi B-movie. B-movies can be fun. Very few B-movies are legendary enough to be well-known. This is not one of them.

Apparently John Agar is a big name of B-movies, but I don’t recognize him. Mainly because I’m not steeped in B-movies. But they are fun.

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Compulsion

Compulsion. 20th Century Fox 1959.

Before watching the movie:

I have no idea what to expect. This was an algorithmically generated recommendation I’ve never heard of, and all I have to go on is that it’s a courtroom drama about some amoral law students who believe they’re above the law. And Orson Welles is in it.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

holmes

The Hound of the Baskervilles. Hammer Film Productions 1959.
The Hound of the Baskervilles. Hammer Film Productions 1959.

Before watching the movie:

After the obvious Rathbone and Brett (at least, I think Brett is obvious), the historical Gilette,  and the modern Cumberbatch and Downey, two of the biggest names I see discussed as great Holmes performances are Peter Cushing and Christopher Plummer, and I was hoping to get to include both in this farewell series. However, in my preparation, I found that Plummer’s most notable outing in the role was Murder by Decree, which I’ve already covered. I don’t want to reprise Holmses, so I’m afraid I won’t be covering Plummer again. However, Cushing is quite acceptable.

I admit my reference is limited, but all I know of Cushing’s career is Moff Tarkin in Star Wars, the forgotten Doctor Who (no, not that one, the other one. The really forgotten one. No, not that forgotten) from the two cinematic films, and that he was in quite a lot of Hammer films, a production company most known for highly regarded 60s and 70s B-horror films (don’t quote me on that summary). This is in fact a Hammer film, and probably considered a horror. So now I’ll have seen a Hammer Horror, probably.

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Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1959.
Ben-Hur. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1959.

Before watching the movie:

The Ten Commandments is an Easter tradition for many people. The connection seems tenuous to me, but there’s a thread there. I’ve already seen “Commandments”, so I won’t be reviewing it here, but it has me following another connection, that you can already guess at due to the title and the picture to the right.

In my mind, that film is much more strongly linked to Ben-Hur than to Easter, but on examination, it seems circumstantial. They’re epics, set in Middle-Eastern antiquity, informed by religious legend, starring Charlton Heston. It seems accidental, though possibly the success of one got the other made. While I don’t know of it being an Easter tradition like its cousin, if anything, this one should be more Easter-related, since it actually has a few scenes with Jesus.

On the other hand, its overall reputation is more like CHARIOTS CHARIOTS CHARIOTS.

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth. 20th Century Fox 1959.
Journey to the Center of the Earth. 20th Century Fox 1959.

Before watching the movie:

It seems like this is Jules Verne’s most-adapted story, and it’s widely different from version to version. That’s probably because from what I remember of the book, there isn’t so much plot as an excuse to go on a low-tech sci-fi adventure. Exotic locations, exciting science, and fights with dinosaurs. If anyone else had been doing what Verne was doing at the time, we might consider him a pulp author.

So coming into this, I’m mainly expecting some high-budget, relatively innocent excitement. The blockbuster movie of the 1950s. I’m also interested in seeing how much of the parts of Verne’s book that aren’t “dinosaurs underground” still remains.

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House on Haunted Hill

House on Haunted Hill. William Castle Productions 1959.
House on Haunted Hill. William Castle Productions 1959.

Before watching the movie:

What’s more Halloween than a haunted house? A haunted house owned by Vincent Price. Well, it’s probably not so much haunted as the scene of seven deaths and soon more, but “haunted” is in the name. Suspense, horror, death, probably jump scares, but I doubt much gore.

I hadn’t known the more recent movie of the name was a remake until I came across this in the collection of classic movies loaned to me by my grandparents. I haven’t seen the remake either.

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