Snatched (1973, directed by Sutton Roley)

Three women have been kidnapped and are being held prisoner in a lighthouse.  Robin Wood (Tisha Sterling), Kim Sutter (Sheree North), and Barbara Maxvill (Barbara Parkins) are married to three wealthy men and the kidnappers (one of whom is played by the great Anthony Zerbe) assume that the husband will be willing to pay whatever is necessary to get back their wives.  Paul Maxvill (John Saxon) and Bill Sutter (Leslie Nielsen!) are willing to put up the money but Duncan Wood (Howard Duff) scoffs at the idea of paying a million dollars just to see his adulterous wife again!

It sounds like the set-up for a Ransom of Red Chief-type of comedy but Snatched is actually a very serious and intelligent thriller, one that will definitely keep you on your toes as you try to keep up with who is working for who.  Kim is diabetic and is growing weaker every minute that she’s being held in the lighthouse.  Paul, Bill, and police detective Frank McCloy (Robert Reed) try to get Duncan to pay his share of the ransom but Duncan is convinced that his wife has been cheating on him and he refuses to pay for her.  On top of that, it turns out that one of the wives might be in on the scheme.  When she tells the kidnappers that she’s actually the one who came up with the plan, is she just trying to protect the other wives or is she telling the truth?  It leads to betrayal and a surprisingly downbeat ending.

Snatched is a well-produced made-for-TV movie.  The mystery will keep you guessing and the cast is made up of a collection of old pros.  Leslie Nielsen, cast here long before he reinvented himself as a comedic actor, is especially good as Bill Sutter and John Saxon gives one of his better performances as Paul.  Even Robert Reed gives a good performance.  Snatched is a classic made-for-TV mystery.

Song of the Day: The Main Theme From A Fistful of Dollars by Ennio Morricone

Our tribute to Ennio Morricone will be coming to a close at the end of this week.  We’ve shared a lot of unforgettable music from Morricone and hopefully, we’ve encouraged you to track down a few of the films that he scored.  Obviously, there’s no way that we could do a tribute to Morricone without including the main theme from Sergio Leone’s first Spaghetti western, A Fistful of Dollars.

Though it may not be as well known as Morricone’s scores for The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and Once Upon A Time In The West, it’s just as epic.  The real old west may not have featured Morricone’s music playing in the background but it definitely should have.

Here is the main theme from A Fistful of Dollars!

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)
  10. The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  11. The Main Theme From The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  12. Regan’s Theme (The Exorcist II: The Heretic)
  13. Desolation (The Thing)
  14. The Legend of the Pianist (The Legend of 1900)
  15. Theme From Frantic (Frantic)
  16. La Lucertola (Lizard In A Woman’s Skin)
  17. Spasmodicamente (Spasmo)
  18. The Theme From The Stendhal Syndrome (The Stendhal Syndrome)
  19. My Name Is Nobody (My Name Is Nobody)
  20. Piume di Cristallo (The Bird With The Crystal Plumage)
  21. For Love One Can Die (D’amore si muore)
  22. Chi Mai (various)
  23. La Resa (The Big Gundown)
  24. Main Title Theme (Red Sonja)
  25. The Main Theme From The Cat O’Nine Tails (The Cat O’Nine Tails)
  26. Deep Down (Danger Diabolik!)
  27. Main Theme From Autopsy (Autopsy)
  28. Main Theme From Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion) 

Music Video of the Day: Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi (1987, directed by Wayne Isham)

Jon Bon Jovi has said that the inspiration for Wanted Dead or Alive came to him one morning while he struggling to sleep on a tour bus.  It occurred to him that being in a rock band was much like being an old west outlaw.  As Bon Jovi described it, a rock band was “a young band of thieves, riding into town, stealing the money, the girls, and the booze before the sun came up.”  I’m not sure that every rock band would agree with that description but, judging from the deathless success of this song, it worked for Bon Jovi.

(I’m also not sure how many old west outlaws came out of New Jersey.)

The video was directed by Wayne Isham and the black-and-white cinematography is courtesy of Derek M. Allen.  It was shot over the course of Bon Jovi’s 1987 world tour and it features scenes that were shot at venues all over the United States.  The theme of the video is that life on the road is hard and Bon Jovi works really hard.  Looking at other music videos that were released around the same time as this one, I’ve noticed that hard work is a recurring theme in many of them.  Bands, especially ones that were often dismissed as being “hair bands,” really wanted to make sure people knew that a tremendous amount of work into their performances.

You have to give Bon Jovi some credit.  Their music not only epitomized an era but, as a band and with the exception of Richie Sambora, they’re largely stuck together and continued to rock.  That’s more than you can say for Winger.