Happy 100th Birthday Glenn Ford: 3:10 TO YUMA (Columbia 1957)


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Actor Glenn Ford was born 100 years ago today in Sainte-Christine-d’Auergne, Quebec, Canada. Yes, the All-American star was actually Canadian, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1939. That same year, Ford signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and began a long, prosperous career with the studio. After getting noticed in films like HEAVEN WITH A BARBED WIRE FENCE, SO ENDS OUR NIGHT, and TEXAS (his first Western), Ford took a break from acting and joined the Marine Corps to serve in World War II.

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After the war, Glenn Ford was one of Hollywood’s top leading men. He hit it big with 1946’s GILDA, co-starring Rita Hayworth in what may very well be the first true film noir. Soon he found himself the hero in a string of successes: FRAMED, MAN FROM THE ALAMO, THE BIG HEAT , BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, JUBAL, and TEAHOUSE OF THE AUGUST MOON. But my favorite Ford role casts him…

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The Fabulous Forties #26: The Way Ahead (dir by Carol Reed)


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The 26th film in Mill Creek’s Fabulous Forties box set was the 1944 British film, The Way Ahead (or, as it was retitled when it was released in America, The Immortal Battalion).

Directed by Carol Reed (who was five years away from directing the great The Third Man), The Way Ahead is a British propaganda film that was made to boost the morale of both a weary British public and the army during the final days of World War II.  Usually, when we call something propaganda, it’s meant as a term of disparagement but The Way Ahead is propaganda in the best possible way.

The film follows a group of British soldiers, from the moment that they are conscripted through their training to their first battle.  (In many ways, it’s like a more refined — which is another way of saying “more British” — version of Gung Ho!)  As usually happens in films like this, the newly conscripted soldiers come from all sections of society.  Some of them are poor.  Some of them are rich.  Some of them are married.  Some of them are single.  In fact, when the film first begins, the only thing that they all have in common is that they don’t want to be in the army.

As they begin their training, they resent their tough sergeant, Fletcher (William Hartnell), and are upset that Lt. Jim Perry (David Niven, giving a very likable performance) always seems to take Fletcher’s side in any dispute.  However, as time passes by, the soldiers start to realize that Fletcher is looking out for them and molding them into a cohesive unit.  Under his training, they go from being a group of disorganized and somewhat resentful individuals to being a tough and well-organized battalion.

Though they’re originally skeptical that they’ll ever see combat, the battalion is eventually sent to North Africa.  However, their ship is torpedoed and, in a scene that remains genuinely impressive even when viewed today, the men are forced to abandon ship while explosions and flames light up the night sky.  By the time that they do finally reach North Africa, they are more than ready to fight…

The Way Ahead plays out in a semi-documentary fashion (it even features a narrator who, at the end of the film, exhorts the audience to stay firm in their commitment) and it’s a fairly predictable film.  If you’ve ever seen a war film, you’ll probably be able to predict everything that happens in The Way Ahead.  That said, The Way Ahead is a remarkable well-made and well-acted film.  The cast is well-selected (and features a lot of familiar British characters actors, some making their film debut) and David Niven is the perfect choice for the mild-mannered but firm Lt. Perry.  Even though I’m not a huge fan of war films in general, I was still impressed with The Way Ahead.

And you can watch it below!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #148: Seduced (dir by Jessica Janos)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime film premiere, Seduced!

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Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on Lifetime, of course!  Every Saturday night, I either watch or DVR the new movie on Lifetime.  I absolutely and unconditionally love these movies and I don’t care who knows it.  Plus, the title of the movie was Seduced and, as we all know, the best Lifetime movies often feature the word “seduce” in the title (i.e., Lethal Seduction, The Babysitter’s Seduction, etc).

What Was It About?

Someone is murdering redheads in California!  (Speaking as a redhead, allow me to just say, “Agck!” in regards to that.)

Meanwhile, via a missed connections app, Caroline (Elisabeth Rohm), a redhead who lives in California, meets the mysterious and charming Gavin (Jon Prescott).  Caroline is still haunted by the loss of her husband and spends most of her time trying to take care of her teenage daughter (Jessica Amlee) while keeping the company she works for — a place called Funderstorm — from going out of business.  However, Gavin takes her away from all that, introducing her to a world of sensual and erotic delight.

(You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for the chance to use “a world of sensual and erotic delight” in a review.)

Gavin seems to be perfect.  He’s handsome, he has a sexy accent, he lives in a nice house, he cooks, and he reads books!  However, since there is Lifetime, there are a few warning signs that Gavin may not be as great as he seems.  For one thing, despite living in an absolutely fabulous house, he always seems to need money.  For another, Caroline becomes so enraptured by him that she starts to neglect both work and her daughter.  And then there’s the mysterious Margo (Julie Mond), who appears to be involved with Gavin in some way as well.

And, of course, there’s those news reports about the murdered redheads….

What Worked?

I really enjoyed this one.  This movie featured everything that we love about Lifetime movies — melodrama, sex, several nice houses, clothes to die for, and even a little bit of empowerment at the end.  The entire film was well-cast with Elisabeth Rohm doing a great job as Caroline and Jon Prescott epitomizing dangerous charm as Gavin.  And, of course, I also have to praise Julie Mond, who didn’t appear in many scenes but definitely made an impression.

I also really liked the relationship between Caroline and her daughter.  Rohm and Jessica Amlee were totally believable as mother and daughter and every detail of their relationship rang true.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.  If you’re into Lifetime movies, this film is for you.  If you’re not into Lifetime movies — well, then you probably stopped reading this review a few paragraphs back.  And that’s okay, I still love you!  Lifetime films are not for everyone but if you enjoy them, you should enjoy Seduced.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Oh my God, so many of the characters had red hair just like me!  It’s just too bad that so many of them ended up getting killed.

Lessons Learned

Some connections are best missed.

6 Trailers For Law Day


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Believe it or not, today is not just Loyalty Day in America!  It’s also Law Day!  President Dwight D. Eisenhower first proclaimed May 1st to be Law Day in 1958 and apparently, it’s been celebrated every year since.  On Law Day, Americans are meant to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the nation and also consider its importance to the social order.

I have to admit that, as a part of my day job, I interact with attorneys on a daily basis and I have never once heard any of them mention Law Day.  But, if it’s on Wikipedia, it has to be true!

In honor of Law Day, I thought I would send out the Trailer Kitties and have them come back with 6 trailer for a new edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers!

(I know it’s been a while since I did one of these but, for a while, my favorite grindhouse trailers was one of the mainstays of this site.  In these posts, with the help of the Trailer Kitties, I highlight 6 of my favorite old school exploitation film trailers.)

Here are 6 trailers for Law Day!

(Some of these trailers are potentially NSFW so use your own best judgment before watching.)

1) Welcome Home, Brother Charles (1975)

In Welcome Home, Brother Charles, Charles is wrongly convicted and sent to prison.  When he’s released, he uses his penis to strangle his enemies.  Yes, he does.  This, incidentally, was the first film that I ever reviewed for this site.

2) Seven Hours to Judgment (1988)

It’s not easy being a judge, especially when you’re one of those judges who lets criminals out on a technicality.  I assume that’s what Seven Hours To Judgment is about.

3) Rolling Vengeance (1987)

When the law doesn’t do its job, citizens and trucks have no choice but to dispense their own brand of justice.

4) Night of the Blood Monster (a.k.a. The Bloody Judge) (1970)

This one features Christopher Lee as an evil judge and, perhaps not surprisingly, it was directed by Jess Franco.

5) Vigilante (1983)

“The police are powerless.  The law is corrupt…”  Joe Spinell is in this trailer.

6) Gordon’s War (1973)

Things may look tough out there!  But don’t worry — Gordon has a plan!

What do you think, Trailer Kitty?

Lawyer Cat

Happy Loyalty Day From The Shattered Lens!


Oh my God, did you know that it’s Loyalty Day!?

Well, actually, that’s only true for some of our readers.  I’m very proud to say that we have readers spread across the world.  We even have a bureau in Brazil, which is headed up by Alexandre Rothier.

So, it’s not Loyalty Day for everyone.  In fact, a lot of the world’s citizens are celebrating May Day today.  However, here in the United States, it’s Loyalty Day.  Even if you are an American, it’s possible that you’ve never heard of Loyalty Day.  It was first celebrated in 1921 and it was intended to provide a non-Communist alternative to International Workers Day.  It wasn’t until 1955 that Loyalty Day was officially recognized by Congress.

From Wikipedia:

Loyalty Day is defined as follows in 36 U.S.C. § 115:

  • (a) Designation.— May 1 is Loyalty Day.
  • (b) Purpose.— Loyalty Day is a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.
  • (c) Proclamation.— The President is requested to issue a proclamation—
    • (1) calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Loyalty Day; and
    • (2) inviting the people of the United States to observe Loyalty Day with appropriate ceremonies in schools and other suitable places.

In honor of this day, my sister and I woke up this morning and the first thing we did was sing the most pro-American song that we could think of.

Which song was that?

This one!

America — FUCK YEAH!  Happy Loyalty Day, American readers!