Nelson Gidding

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The Hindenburg Review


Weak
Before there was Titanic (the movie, not the ship), there was The Hindenburg, an equally epic look at one of mankind's most notorious disasters -- this one, of course, caught on film, unlike that famed sunken ship. Robert Wise (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) tried to turn the disaster into part love story, part spy tale, part thriller, and part musical (really: there's a ditty about Hitler), with George C. Scott as a sympathetic Nazi trying to foil a bombing plot on the zeppelin (the disaster has since been pegged on static electricity). Incredibly long and awfully bad in its plotting and pacing, the film succeeds only as a curiosity: It shows us the guts of the ship as they really appeared. Who knew it was so fancy?

The Haunting (1963) Review


Weak
Yeah, it's really rated G. Not particularly scary (anymore), this "bloodless" horror film is all in your head. Julie Harris disappoints as the nutty Eleanor, who screams and squeals a lot when she figures a haunted house is out to get her. Frankly, it put me to sleep -- and Harris's constant, nagging voice over makes you want to tape your ears shut.

I Want to Live! Review


OK
You know the end of The Player? When Julia Roberts sits in the gas chamber and Bruce Willis rushes in to save her? Altman is making fun of I Want to Live!, in part at least, a film in which Susan Hayward overacts so superbly en route to execution that they couldn't help but give her an Oscar. Hayward is, in reality, nothing short of a ridiculous ham in this movie, which makes it perfect for anyone who wants their TV to shrilly scream at them for two hours. Based on the grim true story of Barbara Graham, executed at San Quentin in 1953.
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