A Movie A Day #255: Her Alibi (1989, directed by Bruce Beresford)


Tom Selleck is Phil Blackwood, a best-selling mystery author who is suffering from writer’s block.  Paulina Porizkova in Nina, a beautiful Romanian who has been accused of murder.  When Phil sees Nina being arraigned in court, it is love at first sight.  He provides her with a false alibi and invites her to stay with him while he writes a book based on her case.  At first, Phil thinks that she is innocent but he soon has his doubts, especially after Nina shows off her skills as a knife thrower.

1989 was a strange year for Australian director Bruce Beresford.  On the one hand, he directed Driving Miss Daisy, which went on to win the Oscar for the best picture.  On the other hand, he also directed Her Alibi, a disjointed comedy that feels like an extended episode of Magnum P.I.  (Even Sellecks’ narration feels like a throwback to his star-making role.  But if Phil is a best-selling writer, why does his narration sound so clunky and clichéd?)  Her Alibi is a predictable film, not really bad but just very bland.  It tries to duplicate the style of a classic screwball comedy but it lacks the bite necessary to make much of an impression.  On the plus side, the great William Daniels was given a few good lines as Phil’s caustic agent and Paulina Porizkova was absolutely beautiful.  The scene where Nina gives Phil a haircut almost makes the movie worth it.

One final note: When watching Her Alibi, be sure to pay attention to the scene where Phil holds up his latest novel.  The book is so thin that it looks like it is only 20 pages long, at the most.

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Prophet Without Honor: Timothy Carey’s THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER (Timothy Carey 1962)


cracked rear viewer

Timothy Agoglia Carey (1929-1994) was an eccentric, oddball actor who played in everything from early Stanley Kubrick films (THE KILLING, PATHS OF GLORY) to AIP Beach Party romps (BIKINI BEACH, BEACH BLANKET BINGO ). He had the look of an overfed vampire, and was noted for his off-the-wall characterizations. Carey didn’t play the Hollywood game, considering himself an artist, and you’ve got to admire that. In 1962, he made a film called THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, which he produced, directed, wrote, starred in, and released himself. Top THAT, Orson Welles!.

This ultra-low-budget film is totally bizarre right off the rip. Insurance man Clarence Hilliard (Carey) gets himself fired from his job after telling people they don’t need insurance. He wants more out of life, believing man is a superbeing, and begins to set himself up as a God. After watching a rock’n’roll teen idol, Clarence becomes a charismatic, guitar-toting, fiery…

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Music Video of the Day: Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2003, dir. Charles Mehling)


Hi, club-owner Stanton!

Bye, club-owner Stanton!

What was the point of having him bookend this video? Was the band really big fans of Harry Dean Stanton? Was Stanton a fan?

In between the parts with Stanton, we just get a stylized road trip. There’s nothing particularly interesting about it other than the spin shots. I kind of liked those.

This is one of those videos where I can find quite a few credits.

Charles Mehling directed the video. He has a little over 25 credits as a director of music videos.

Cathy Pellow was the producer. She has a variety of credits spread over work as a video commissioner, executive producer, producer, and director.

Simon Coull was the one who shot it. He appears to have done a little over 10 music videos.

Jeff Seibenick has worked as a director, editor, and cinematographer. He has a bunch of different credits over on IMDb.

Finally, prolific 1st assistant director John Downer worked on this video along with the some 80-90 videos he has done.

Enjoy!

Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective:

  1. Those Memories Of You by Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris (1987, dir. White Copeman)
  2. Heart Of Stone by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  3. Sorry You Asked? by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  4. Nothing To Believe In by Cracker (1996, dir. Samuel Bayer)