"Well, most people like it and I like it, and I'm working hard and trying to keep the cost down"

J. Russell Finch CEO & President
The Pacific Edible Seaweed Company
Fresno, CA.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Honor Blackman

         


    Born of this day 90 years ago and still going strong is Bond girl extraordinaire Honor Blackman.  Although it probably seems more accurate to call her a "Bond woman" as she was 38 years old at the time of GOLDFINGER and most likely was one of  the only Bond female counterparts that was older then the actor portraying 007.
    Before GOLDFINGER she was known to British audiences as Cathy Gale in THE AVENGERS and I think she's wonderful in Roy Ward Baker's Titanic drama A NIGHT TO REMEMBER from 1958. She also made for a beautiful goddess Hera in Ray Harryhausen's CLASH OF THE TITANS. A drive-in re-release of GOLDFINGER at some point in the 60's is one of my earliest childhood movie memories and Honor will always be my favorite Bond girl of any age.



Thursday, August 20, 2015

EMPEROR OF THE NORTH 1973

    



    Coming Sept. 8 on blu-ray from Twilight Time is Robert Aldrich's 1973 depression era action/drama EMPEROR ON THE NORTH. Upon the surface this would seem to have box office bonanza written all it - the director of such classics as THE DIRTY DOZEN reuniting with two of that films stars in the presence of Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin. Based upon a couple of short stories by Jack London, it was marketed as an "action" film in the vein of THE DIRTY DOZEN and as a result struggled at the box office and for years was MIA on home video until a DVD release in 2006.
    The sparse plot concerns a hobo named A-No.1 (Marvin) who takes up the challenge to hitch a ride upon a freight train guarded by a sadistic guard named Shack (Borgnine) who takes great pleasure in killing any unwelcome riders with Carradine being a cocky (and none too bright) youngster attempting to make a name for himself. The film was originally title EMPEROR OF THE NORTH POLE which was a slang term for the best hobo in the world, which in hobo parlance equates being king to the same as ruling over a frozen wasteland.  It was  quickly retitled with the shorter EMPEROR OF THE NORTH.
    Filmed in the Pacific Northwest and set in almost entirely in dirty train yards and strangely empty trains that travel back and forth between two points with everything seemingly just set up as props to let Marvin and Borgnine face off like gladiators. Excellent work by the two leads (with Borgnine in probably the most sadistic role of his career) and a strangely off key movie that is well worth seeking out.






Friday, August 14, 2015

Warren Oates Day On TCM

    

    Coming up on Aug. 24 is as part of their Summer Under the Stars Series its a full day of the great Warren Oates on Turner Classic Movies. The days programming contains the usual suspects such as the classics THE WILD BUNCH and RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, however there's some hard to see gems buried in there - including the still not on DVD western THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN from 1970 and the 1973 comedy THIEF WHO CAME TO DINNER.
    Also of interest is the excellent 1968 caper film THE SPLIT and in what is one of Warren's finest performances in Sam Peckinpah's grungy & sweaty neo noir road trip from hell BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA (where you get to see Peckinpah directing Oates who is playing Peckinpah). Sounds like a good day to find an excuse to stay home.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

FAT CITY Coming on Blu

  

    Twilight Time has announced a Sept. 8 for this excellent John Huston directed 1972 drama. Starring Stacy Keach as a washed up prizefighter attempting a comeback it also stars Jeff Bridges as a young boxer, Candy Clark and best of all a heartbreakingly beautiful performance by Susan Tyrrell as Keach's barfly girlfriend.
   The critical success of this film led to a late career renaissance for Huston, who was coming off a string of not well received projects and the acclaim for FAT CITY would allow him to direct his long time dream project of THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING in 1975. Previously available on DVDr from Amazon it will be nice to have this vital piece of 1970's American cinema on blu-ray.