Richard Denning

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An Affair To Remember Review

The good thing about being an international playboy who looks and sounds like Cary Grant (well, one of the good things) is that there isn't much you have to do to pay for your fabulous jet-set lifestyle, except marry the occasional filthy-rich heiress (who's hardly bad-looking herself, so that doesn't hurt). So we shouldn't feel too bad for scandal-sheet regular Nickie Ferrante (Grant) when we're introduced to him at the start of the glossy, late-studio-period romance An Affair to Remember, at which point he's leaving behind his French lover, and presumably many years of others like her, in the interest of future security. Nickie's on an ocean liner steaming back to the U.S. to marry the heiress whose financial largesse will keep him in tuxedos and pink champagne for a good many years to come, when he runs into the woman he's fated to fall in love with, Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr), also no slouch in the looks department. But even after the fateful meet cute -- a nicely-framed bit with a cigarette case and some snappy quips -- and all the emotional and moral confusion it causes, there's little reason to feel bad for the guy.

Whether or not one should feel concern for Nickie's state of mind is important here, because director and co-writer Leo McCarey seems to have much more on his mind here than a simple romantic soufflé. The first half of the film takes place almost entirely on the ocean liner, and it's here that the film is at its best. Although both Nickie and Terry have significant others waiting for them on the pier in New York, they can't stop from engaging in some sharp romantic badinage, setting the tongues wagging among their entertainment-starved shipmates. The first sign that the film is moving into different territory, though, is when Nickie goes ashore in France to visit his grandmother and brings Terry along. It's a lengthy and overplayed sequence at a sleepy villa in which Terry, who had previously felt impervious to Nickie's attempts at pitching woo, gets a window into his soul via the grandmother and so falls for him. McCarey also introduces an overtly religious theme here (having Terry and Nickie pray briefly in the chapel) that will come back later in an even more heavy-handed fashion.

Continue reading: An Affair To Remember Review

Twice-Told Tales Review

Very Good
In the tradition of Tales from the Darkside comes this trilogy of stories drawn from Nathaniel Hawthorne stories and each starring Vincent Price. Watch as he and Sebastian Cabot discover a youth serum dripping in the basement -- and use it to resurrect Cabot's dead fiancee! Other tales tell of a poisonous plant Vinny uses to ensure his daughter stays by his side, and a rendition of The House of Seven Gables. Well produced and solidly acted all around. And the stories fit perfectly into the 40-minute vignettes.

Creature From The Black Lagoon Review

Affectionate amphibians, river cruises down the Amazon, femme fatales in one-piece bathing suits: it must be the 50s B-flick. The 50s B-flick in question is Creature from the Black Lagoon, a movie that you probably know better from the pinball machine inspired by it. Said pinball machine is very popular as a novelty item, and can be found at about whatever place where you will find old pinball machines that the company doesn't have enough money to replace yet.

Creature from the Black Lagoon was one of many B-movies that found its way into cult status mainly through steamy-car sessions at the drive-ins and the beginning of popcorn projectile throwing as an art (I still think that should be an Olympic event).

Continue reading: Creature From The Black Lagoon Review

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