Apocalypse Later Empire



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Also announcing the 2nd annual Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival!
Filmmakers, submissions for horror and sci-fi shorts are open through Film Freeway.

Tuesday, 25 April 2000

Humphrey Bogart

TCM's star of the month for Dec 2009 is Humphrey Bogart, to celebrate what would have been his 110th birthday on 25 Dec, at least according to Warner Brothers.

Humphrey Bogart is chiefly known for his immortal portrayal of Rick Blaine in Casablanca, and for his powerful performances as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon and Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep that defined the hardboiled detective on screen. While these are three of Hollywood's great iconic performances, I've learned that he did far more.

He also started out far before his time. His first few years in Hollywood saw him miscast horribly by a studio that didn't understand what he could do. Eventually he became a gangster in The Petrified Forest and stayed one for some years, mostly supporting James Cagney and Edward G Robinson. His best gangster roles can be found in Dead End, Angels with Dirty Faces and The Roaring Twenties.

After becoming a true Hollywood star with The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, Bogart made four films with his wife Lauren Bacall. All are memorable, especially The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not and Key Largo, the latter of which also reunited him with Robinson.

Bogart admirably chose to play the bad guy on occasion, something that few Hollywood stars would have done at the time. He was memorable as a killer in Conflict and The Two Mrs Carrolls, and especially as a greedy gold prospector in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

He was even successful in comedy in Sabrina and opposite Bette Davis in a number of early chick flicks leading up to Dark Victory. He was less believable as a cowboy in The Oklahoma Kid, which saw Cagney out of place too. Miscasting wasn't reserved exclusively for his earliest roles. It's hard to believe after Dead End that people couldn't see where his talents lay, but somehow he was cast in a bizarre role in The Return of Doctor X, as a Mexican bandit in Virginia City, and, of all things, the lead in the hillbilly wrestling musical comedy known as Swing Your Lady. These ones just have to be seen to be believed.

Here are links to what's already here at Apocalypse Later, with some older reviews from my far less substantial 2006 blog at Hal and Dee at the Movies and links to the IMDb pages for each film. Ratings are for films watched since 2004.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Reviews at Apocalypse Later
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Up the River 1930 5 5 John Ford IMDB
Love Affair 1932 4 4 Thornton Freeland IMDB
Big City Blues 1932 4 4 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
Two Against the World 1936 5 5 William C McGann IMDB
China Clipper 1936 4 4 Ray Enright IMDB
Isle of Fury 1936 3 4 Frank McDonald IMDB
Black Legion 1936 4 4 Archie Mayo IMDB
The Great O'Malley 1937 4 4 William Dieterle IMDB
Swing Your Lady 1938 4 5 Ray Enright IMDB
Crime School 1938 5 4 Lewis Seiler IMDB
You Can't Get Away with Murder 1939 4 4 Lewis Seiler IMDB
The Return of Doctor X 1939 3 3 Vincent Sherman IMDB
The Maltese Falcon 1941 7 7 John Huston IMDB
The Big Shot 1942 5 6 Lewis Seiler IMDB
Casablanca 1942 7 7 Michael Curtiz IMDB
The Big Sleep 1946 7 7 Howard Hawks IMDB
Dead Reckoning 1947 6 6 John Cromwell IMDB
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948 7 7 John Huston IMDB
Tokyo Joe 1949 4 4 Stuart Heisler IMDB
In a Lonely Place 1950 7 7 Nicholas Ray IMDB
Sirocco 1951 4 4 Curtis Bernhardt IMDB
The African Queen 1951 7 7 John Huston IMDB
Battle Circus 1953 6 6 Richard Brooks IMDB
The Desperate Hours 1955 6 6 William Wyler IMDB
The Harder They Fall 1956 6 6 Mark Robson IMDB

Old Reviews at Hal and Dee at the Movies
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Bullets or Ballots 1936 6 6 William Keighley IMDB
Marked Woman 1937 6 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
San Quentin 1937 6 6 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Kid Galahad 1937 5 5 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Racket Busters 1938 4 4 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Invisible Stripes 1939 5 5 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Virginia City 1940 4 Michael Curtiz IMDB
It All Came True 1940 6 6 Lewis Seiler IMDB
High Sierra 1941 5 Raoul Walsh IMDB
They Drive By Night 1940 6 6 Raoul Walsh IMDB
The Wagons Roll at Night 1941 3 Ray Enright IMDB
All Through the Night 1942 7 7 Vincent Sherman IMDB
Across the Pacific 1942 5 5 John Huston IMDB
Action in the North Atlantic 1943 5 7 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Sahara 1943 7 7 Zoltan Korda IMDB
Passage to Marseille 1944 5 6 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Knock on Any Door 1949 5 6 Nicholas Ray IMDB
Chain Lightning 1950 4 4 Stuart Heisler IMDB
The Caine Mutiny 1954 7 7 Edward Dmytryk IMDB

Rated Not Reviewed
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Three on a Match 1932 5 6 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
The Petrified Forest 1936 5 Archie Mayo IMDB
Dead End 1937 7 6 William Wyler IMDB
Men are Such Fools 1938 4 4 Busby Berkeley IMDB
The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse 1938 7 7 Anatole Litvak IMDB
Angels with Dirty Faces 1938 7 7 Michael Curtiz IMDB
King of the Underworld 1939 5 Lewis Seiler IMDB
The Oklahoma Kid 1939 5 5 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Dark Victory 1939 6 6 Edmund Goulding IMDB
The Roaring Twenties 1939 7 6 Raoul Walsh IMDB
Brother Orchid 1940 6 6 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
To Have and Have Not 1944 7 7 Howard Hawks IMDB
Conflict 1945 7 7 Curtis Bernhardt IMDB
The Two Mrs Carrolls 1947 6 6 Peter Godfrey IMDB
Key Largo 1948 7 7 John Huston IMDB
Beat the Devil 1953 6 6 John Huston IMDB
Sabrina 1954 5 5 Billy Wilder IMDB
The Barefoot Contessa 1954 6 Joseph L Mankiewicz IMDB

Sunday, 16 April 2000

Boris Karloff

In honour of the Boris Karloff blogathon which will celebrate across the blogosphere what would have been Karloff the Uncanny's 122nd birthday.
Details of the project can be found at Frankensteinia: The Frankenstein Blog, run out of Quebec by Pierre Fournier.

Boris Karloff was the most versatile of the great stars of classic horror, always working and never disappointing even when the films he appeared in sometimes did. Fournier's project to recognise his life and work with a loud and widely heard voice is a fascinating one and as I have a stack of Karloff as yet unwatched I'll chime in with a few new Karloff reviews during the 23rd to 29th November period.

To whet your appetite here are links to what's already here at Apocalypse Later marked with a big ? for Uncanny, with some older reviews from my far less substantial blog at Hal and Dee at the Movies and links to the IMDb pages for each film.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Reviews at Apocalypse Later
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Criminal Code 1931 5 6 Howard Hawks IMDB
Dirigible 1931 6 6 Frank Capra IMDB
Cracked Nuts 1931 3 Edward Cline IMDB
The Guilty Generation 1931 6 Rowland V Lee IMDB
Frankenstein 1931 7 7 James Whale IMDB
Behind the Mask 1932 3 3 John Francis Dillon IMDB
The Old Dark House 1932 5 5 James Whale IMDB
Bride of Frankenstein 1935 7 7 James Whale IMDB
The Black Room 1935 5 5 R William Neill IMDB
Charlie Chan at the Opera 1936 5 5 H Bruce Humberstone IMDB
The Man They Could Not Hang 1939 5 5 Nick Grinde IMDB
The Man with Nine Lives 1940 6 6 Nick Grinde IMDB
The Ape 1940 4 4 Wiliam Nigh IMDB
The Devil Commands 1941 4 4 Edward Dmytryk IMDB
The Boogie Man Will Get You 1942 5 6 Lew Landers IMDB
Voodoo Island 1957 2 2 Reginald Le Borg IMDB
Bikini Beach 1964 3 William Asher IMDB
Die, Monster, Die! 1965 4 4 Daniel Haller IMDB
Targets 1968 5 5 Peter Bogdanovich IMDB

Old Reviews at Hal and Dee at the Movies
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Two Arabian Nights 1927 7 7 Lewis Milestone IMDB
The Unholy Night 1929 6 6 Lionel Barrymore IMDB
The Public Defender 1931 5 5 J Walter Ruben IMDB
Scarface: The Shame of a Nation 1932 6 5 Howard Hawks IMDB
The Lost Patrol 1934 5 5 John Ford IMDB
The Invisible Ray 1936 2 3 Lambert Hillyer IMDB
Tower of London 1939 5 6 Rowland V Lee IMDB
Doomed to Die 1940 5 William Nigh IMDB
You'll Find Out 1940 4 5 David Butler IMDB

Rated Not Reviewed
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Sea Bat 1930 3 Lionel Barrymore & Wesley Ruggles IMDB
Smart Money 1931 6 6 Alfred E Green IMDB
Five Star Final 1931 5 5 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
The Mask of Fu Manchu 1932 4 4 Charles Brabin IMDB
The Mummy 1932 7 7 Karl Freund IMDB
The Ghoul 1933 5 T Hayes Hunter IMDB
The Black Cat 1934 5 Edgar G Ulmer IMDB
The Walking Dead 1936 5 5 Michael Curtiz IMDB
West of Shanghai 1937 5 John Farrow IMDB
The Invisible Menace 1938 4 4 John Farrow IMDB
Mr Wong, Detective 1938 6 William Nigh IMDB
Devil's Island 1939 6 6 William Clemens IMDB
Son of Frankenstein 1939 5 5 Rowland V Lee IMDB
The Fatal Hour 1940 4 William Nigh IMDB
British Intelligence 1940 6 Terry Morse IMDB
The Body Snatcher 1945 6 6 Robert Wise IMDB
Isle of the Dead 1945 6 6 Mark Robson IMDB
Bedlam 1946 7 7 Mark Robson IMDB
Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome 1947 4 John Rawlins IMDB
The Raven 1963 6 7 Roger Corman IMDB
The Terror 1963 4 Roger Corman IMDB
The Comedy of Terrors 1964 7 7 Jacques Tourneur IMDB
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966 7 Chuck Jones & Ben Washam IMDB
The Venetian Affair 1967 4 Jerry Thorpe IMDB
Snake People 1971 3 Juan Ibanez & Jack Hill IMDB

Grace Kelly


TCM's Star of the Month program is usually a great opportunity to catch up with a substantial portion of someone's filmography and this one is even better than usual. Grace Kelly only made eleven films in her brief five year career so TCM showed every one of her films, plus a couple of TV plays that I sadly wasn't able to record. I was able to fill in every single gap and so Kelly has become the first filmography I've completed since Asta, the dog in the Thin Man movies.

Kelly had a remarkable career in film, even before retiring from the screen to become Princess Grace of Monaco. She landed a huge film on only her second time out, playing Will Kane's wife in High Noon, and she followed up with Mogambo, playing Mary Astor's role in this remake of Red Dust. Then in 1954 she became one of the most recognised faces in Hollywood. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Country Girl, playing believably beyond her age as the long suffering wife of an alcoholic Bing Crosby, in the same year that she epitomised the Hitchcock ideal as the elegant and beautiful young blonde in Dial M for Murder and Rear Window.

What's so outstanding about her filmography is that so many of these movies are commonly regarded as classics of American cinema, successful popular hits that were also critically acclaimed. They also span the genres, High Noon being one of the great westerns, Rear Window being one of the great thrillers and High Society apparently being one of the great musicals, though I was underwhelmed. There's adventure and war and drama in there too, all wrapped up within an eleven film career.

Two of these films, High Noon and Rear Window are IMDb Top 250 mainstays, so I'll post reviews to those in 2010 when I mount my run through the entire list at a five film a week pace. Here are reviews for the rest, along with ratings from my wife and I and links to each film's page at IMDb.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Fourteen Hours 1951 5 5 Henry Hathaway IMDB
High Noon 1952 7 7 Fred Zinnemann IMDB
Mogambo 1953 5 5 John Ford IMDB
Dial M for Murder 1954 7 7 Alfred Hitchcock IMDB
Rear Window 1954 7 7 Alfred Hitchcock IMDB
The Country Girl 1954 7 7 George Seaton IMDB
Green Fire 1954 4 4 Andrew Marton IMDB
The Bridges at Toko-Ri 1954 6 6 Mark Robson IMDB
To Catch a Thief 1955 5 5 Alfred Hitchcock IMDB
The Swan 1956 5 5 Charles Vidor IMDB
High Society 1956 4 Charles Walters IMDB

Sunday, 9 April 2000

Claude Rains

Claude Rains was the quintessential supporting actor, so much so that people often see him as the star of a film even when he was really there to support someone else. He was the favourite actor of no less a name than Bette Davis. He taught the art of acting to Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. He appeared in some of the best loved movies of all time and his face is instantly recognisable to most filmgoers. Yet he never won an Academy Award.

He made his mark on Hollywood from moment one, as the title character in the original Universal version of The Invisible Man. He appeared in a few more horror movies but he quickly diversified into all genres, his strong and versatile voice able to meet any requirements. His best known roles are probably as Prince John in The Adventures of Robin Hood, Capt Renault in Casablanca and the sinister Alexander Sebastian in Hitchcock's Notorious, but he was memorable in every film he made.

Here are links to reviews here at Apocalypse Later, with some older reviews from my far less substantial 2006 blog at Hal and Dee at the Movies and links to the IMDb pages for each film. Ratings are for films watched since 2004, reviews since 2006. H is me, D is my better half.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Reviews at Apocalypse Later
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Hearts Divided 1936 3 3 Frank Borzage IMDB
Stolen Holiday 1937 4 4 Michael Curtiz IMDB
The Prince and the Pauper 1937 5 5 William Keighley IMDB
They Won't Forget 1937 5 5 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
Gold is Where You Find It 1938 5 5 Michael Curtiz IMDB
The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 6 7 Michael Curtiz & William Keighley IMDB
Daughters Courageous 1939 5 5 Michael Curtiz IMDB
The Sea Hawk 1940 5 5 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Lady with Red Hair 1940 4 4 Curtis Bernhardt IMDB
Four Mothers 1941 5 William Keighley IMDB
Casablanca 1942 7 7 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Mr Skeffington 1944 6 6 Vincent Sherman IMDB
Notorious 1946 7 6 Alfred Hitchcock IMDB
Deception 1946 5 5 Irving Rapper IMDB
The Unsuspected 1947 5 5 Michael Curtiz IMDB
The Passionate Friends 1949 7 6 David Lean IMDB
The White Tower 1950 5 5 Ted Tetzlaff IMDB
Where Danger Lives 1950 5 4 John Farrow IMDB
Sealed Cargo 1951 4 5 Alfred Werker IMDB
Twilight of Honor 1963 5 5 Boris Sagal IMDB

Old Reviews at Hal and Dee at the Movies
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Clairvoyant 1934 5 6 Maurice Elvey IMDB
They Made Me a Criminal 1939 5 5 Busby Berkeley IMDB
Juarez 1939 6 William Dieterle IMDB
Passage to Marseille 1944 5 6 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Angel on My Shoulder 1946 6 6 Archie Mayo IMDB

Rated Not Reviewed
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Invisible Man 1933 7 7 James Whale IMDB
Four Daughters 1938 7 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Mr Smith Goes to Washington 1939 7 7 Frank Capra IMDB
Four Wives 1939 6 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Here Comes Mr Jordan 1941 7 Alexander Hall IMDB
The Wolf Man 1941 6 7 George Waggner IMDB
Now, Voyager 1942 7 Irving Rapper IMDB

Tuesday, 4 April 2000

Warren William

Warren William is one of the most joyous discoveries any filmgoer is likely to have, because his moment to shine was in the precode era from 1929-1934 and everything that came after that crippled his talents no end. His name is hardly remembered today, except to those who have made that discovery and to them he's a bright star, unique in the history of film. Unfortunately an early death in 1948 at 53 left us with only 65 films to work through.

He was unique in the precode era because you could never tell whether he was really the hero or the villain. In fact he was both, combining both halves of the coin neatly together in such a way as to strip bare the truth behind whatever issue was being addressed in these films. He could and would do the most bare faced things, utterly uncaring of the consequences for anyone else, and yet we can't help loving him for it. No other villain has been so heroic and no other hero has been so villainous as one played by Warren William during the precode era.

After enforcement of the code began he was relegated to detective series and roles that seriously restricted his range. Nonetheless he was still watchable, even though he was inherently a shadow of his former self. He was the first screen Perry Mason, playing the role four times; he was also Philo Vance twice and Michael Lanyard, the Lone Wolf, in no less than nine films. Yet he also played opposite May Robson in Frank Capra's Lady for a Day, Claudette Colbert in Imitation of Life and Cleopatra and Bette Davis in the second film version of The Maltese Falcon, Satan Met a Lady.

Here are links to reviews here at Apocalypse Later, with some older reviews from my far less substantial 2006 blog at Hal and Dee at the Movies and links to the IMDb pages for each film. Ratings are for films watched since 2004, reviews since 2006. H is me, D is my better half.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Reviews at Apocalypse Later
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Match King 1932 6 6 Howard Bretherton & William Keighley IMDB
Employees' Entrance 1933 6 6 Roy Del Ruth IMDB
The Mind Reader 1933 5 5 Roy Del Ruth IMDB
Gold Diggers of 1933 1933 6 6 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
Smarty 1934 4 4 Robert Florey IMDB
Dr Monica 1934 4 4 William Keighley IMDB
The Secret Bride 1934 4 4 William Dieterle IMDB
Living on Velvet 1935 4 4 Frank Borzage IMDB
The Firefly 1937 4 4 Robert Z Leonard IMDB
Madame X 1937 6 6 Sam Wood IMDB
Arsène Lupin Returns 1938 6 5 George Fitzmaurice IMDB
The First Hundred Years 1938 3 3 Richard Thorpe IMDB
The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt 1939 5 5 Peter Godfrey IMDB
The Man in the Iron Mask 1939 5 5 James Whale IMDB
The Lone Wolf Strikes 1940 4 5 Sidney Salkow IMDB
Lillian Russell 1940 4 4 Irving Cummings IMDB
The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady 1940 5 5 Sidney Salkow IMDB
Arizona 1940 4 4 Wesley Ruggles IMDB
The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date 1941 3 3 Sidney Salkow IMDB
The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance 1941 5 5 Sidney Salkow IMDB
Passport to Suez 1943 4 4 André De Toth IMDB

Old Reviews at Hal and Dee at the Movies
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Under Eighteen 1932 6 6 Archie Mayo IMDB
Beauty and the Boss 1932 6 Roy Del Ruth IMDB
The Dark Horse 1932 5 Alfred E Green IMDB
Skyscraper Souls 1932 6 6 Edgar Selwyn IMDB
Bedside 1934 5 Robert Florey IMDB
Times Square Playboy 1936 4 4 William McGann IMDB
Satan Met a Lady 1936 5 6 William Dieterle IMDB

Rated Not Reviewed
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Mouthpiece 1932 6 James Flood & Elliott Nugent IMDB
Three on a Match 1932 5 6 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
Lady for a Day 1933 7 Frank Capra IMDB
Upperworld 1934 5 Roy Del Ruth IMDB
The Dragon Murder Case 1934 6 6 H Bruce Humberstone IMDB
The Case of the Howling Dog 1934 6 6 Alan Crosland IMDB
Cleopatra 1934 4 Cecil B De Mille IMDB
Imitation of Life 1934 6 John M Stahl IMDB
The Case of the Curious Bride 1935 6 6 Michael Curtiz IMDB
The Case of the Lucky Legs 1935 6 6 Archie L Mayo IMDB
The Case of the Velvet Claws 1936 5 5 William Clemens IMDB
Day-Time Wife 1939 4 4 Gregory Ratoff IMDB
The Wolf Man 1941 6 7 George Waggner IMDB