Category Archives: Watch List

Kickin’ Butts

During the late 60s and throughout the 70s and even until today, a continuing Martial Arts Craze has swept and continues to sweep through America’s Film Fans with imports from Japan, China and some home-grown Kung-Fu-ish cray fight scene movies. These early films have inspired many of the popular Grindhouse and Superhero movies of today – movies like “Dead Pool,” “Superman,” “Wonder Woman” and “Kill Bill” were richly inspired by these early films, and the fight scenes of almost every movie made since.

This week, MovieZoot.com features four of these early Martial Arts movies as each of the heroes do some serious butt kicking of the villains, including the iconic Bruce Lee in 1971’s Fists of Fury, the invincible Jackie Chan in 1977’s The 36 Crazy Fists, Jeanette Roxborough in 2010’s single-Mom badass Bare Knuckles, and Sonny Chiba in 1974’s epic Martial Arts classic The Street Fighter.

Sit back and watch our hand-to-hand combat heroes use their fists, feet, elbows and knees to put the bad guys in their rightful place, and keep our world safe from villainy!

Fists of Fury

Fists of Fury is the 1971 Wei Lo Martial Arts action/drama starring Bruce Lee, Maria Yi and James Tien telling the story of a young man that has left his homeland of China and relocated to stay with family in Thailand. This man, who swore to his mother that he would avoid violence in his new life and even wears a necklace to remind himself of this oath, is tested when he confronts trouble at his job. When he finds out the factory he works at is a cover for a drug ring, and his family members are murdered by members of the gang, he can avoid fighting no more and decides to confront his corrupt boss.

36 Crazy Fists

The 36 Crazy Fists is the 1977 Chi-Hwa Chen Martial Arts action/drama starring Jackie Chan, Siu-Hung Leung and Michelle Yim and tells the tale of a monastery novice who strives tirelessly to learn advanced kung-fu techniques from a sage monastic master in order to avenge his father’s death. He has to use every move he learned, and has to invent some new ones on the fly in his quest.

Bare Knuckles

Bare Knuckles is the 2010 Eric Etibari action/drama starring Jeanette Roxborough, Martin Kove and Eric Etebari telling the story of a struggling yet determined single Mom striving to win a boxing tournament to achieve a financially secure future for herself and her family. Will she go the distance, overcome the odds, and win what she wants without sacrificing her ethics? Her’s are the battles of every single Mom facing the world alone.

The Street Fighter

The Street Fighter is the 1974 Shigehiro Ozawa Martial Arts action/drama starring Shin’ichi (Sonny) Chiba, Goichi Yamada and Yutaka Nakajima where Chiba plays a tough mercenary master of the martial arts. When an important business magnate dies, leaving billions to his daughter, the Mafia and Yakuza try to hire Chiba’s character to kidnap the daughter. When they refuse to meet his exorbitant price and try to kill him to conceal their secret plans, he promptly offers his services to protect her. Much ultra-violent martial-arts fighting action, as expected, ensues. This also includes a subplot of a family’s blood-feud with our hero over a disputed debt.

Feuding Couples – “One of these days, Alice!”

A really great Hollywood script always has sexual tension between the characters in a film – it’s just part of the box office (and television) formula – because we are all experiencing the same feelings. Maybe not to the extent of some movies or programs, but nevertheless, we can all relate to the “battle of the sexes.”

This week, MovieZoot.com explores this tension by featuring four films from our archives that exhibit this tension to new levels as we present, Bette Davis and Gary Merrill in Another Man’s Poison, Richard Thomas and Tess Harper in Death in Small Doses, Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel, and Bette Davis and Leslie Howard in Of Human Bondage.

If you are single, these movies help remind you why you are!

Yours truly,

MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Another Man’s Poison

Another Man’s Poison is the 1951 Irving Rapper black & white drama/mystery starring then real-life couple Bette Davis and Gary Merrill where a mystery writer is confronted with the entangled and complex relationships of her past and her present sexually-charged preoccupations.

Death in Small Doses

Death In Small Doses is the 1995 Sondra Locke drama starring Richard Thomas and Tess Harper where a wife mysteriously falls ill and dies by apparent arsenic poisoning. As the police investigation heats up, the woman’s husband becomes the prime suspect, and exposes a terrible family secret that ultimately reveals the identity of the killer.

The Blue Angel

The Blue Angel is the classic black & white Josef von Sternberg musical drama starring Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron and Emil Jannings telling the story of loneliness and obsession that doesn’t end well for a German prep-school teacher who falls for the love of his life at a cabaret theatre.

Of Human Bondage

Of Human Bondage is the 1934 black & white John Cromwell romance/drama starring Leslie Howard and Bette Davis telling the manipulative story of an impetuous woman who wreaks havoc on her life-long admirer, only to have karma come a-calling in the end.

The Kings of the Westerns

Many of us grew up with a romantic notion of the old west as we were bombarded with a seemingly endless supply of Western movies and Television shows. The movies released in the 40s, 50s and 60s on through till the mid 70s were peppered with Hollywood’s Western storytelling and the leading men of those Westerns were the heroes to many a young boy.

This week, MovieZoot looks at four of these iconic actors who could very well be considered The Kings of the Westerns, including John Wayne in Red River; Randolph Scott in Rage at Dawn; Lee Van Cleef in God’s Gun; and even a very young Roy Rogers in 1940’s The Carson City Kid.

So fire up that popcorn maker and re-live your childhood fantasies with these great movies and the dynamic actors that defined the concept in our minds of the Western Hero.

Red River

Red River is the 1948 Howard Hawks western drama starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru and Walter Brennan telling the story of a stubborn cattleman in Texas and his adopted son as they each try to make a success in cattle-farming in the depressed south.

Rage at Dawn

Rage at Dawn is the 1955 Tim Whelan western dram starring Randolph Scott, Forrest Tucker, Denver Pyle and J. Carrol Naish telling the Post-Civil War story of the siblings of an outlaw Indiana farming family and their struggles as bank-robbers and train robbers.

God’s Gun

God’s Gun is the 1976 Gianfranco Parolini spaghetti western drama staring Lee Van Cleef, Jack Palance, Richard Boon and Leif Garrett as a gang of outlaws headed by a priest iin the thick of it with murder, jail-breaks, gun-fights, illegitimacy, boarder-bouncing and politics. Sound familiar?

The Carson City Kid

The Carson City Kid is the 1940 Joseph Kane Western comedy action film starring Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes, Noah Beery, Jr. and Francis McDonald telling the story of murder, bounty hunting, saloons and a gold-mining codger seeking a cowboy’s quest for vengeance for the murder of his brother.

War Movies: Infamous Battle Stories in Film

The stories of great battles throughout history have been re-communicated this way through cinema and moviemaking for the last hundred plus years, because of the clarity of understanding and empathy good cinematic story telling brings to the public.

This week, MovieZoot.com is proud to feature four War films that tell specific stories of specific battles throughout the last 2000 years as we present 1964’s epic film Zulu and The Battle of Rorke’s Drift in Africa in 1879; 2010’s Centurion and the story of the Roman Crusades in 117 A.D; 1957’s The D.I. and the Ribbon Creek Incident on Parris Island in 1956; and 1985’s Hitler’s SS: Portrait of Evil telling of the rise of the Third Reich and Nazi Germany.

Load the fireplace, grab some beer and snacks, sit back and get caught up in some intriguing classic war stories – just like you used to do during the holidays with your Dad and Grandpa. And be amazed at the depth and breadth – and the lengths – of historical cultural clashes.

Zulu

Zulu is the epic 1964 Cy Endfield War/Drama starring Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Mangolsuthu Butherelezi and Michael Caine telling the story of the 1879 battle when over 3,000 Zulu warriors came very close to defeating the British forces in the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Future South African political leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi plays Zulu King Cetshwayo kaMpande, his own great grandfather in real life. Richard Burton narrated the opening and closing to the film.

Centurion

Centurion is the 2010 Neil Marshall action drama starring Michael Fassbender, Andreas Wisnewski, Dave Legeno and Exelle Carolyn telling the story of 1st century Roman crusades into the Scottish Highlands where over 3,000 men perished.

The D.I.

The D.I. is the 1957 Jack Webb war drama where Webb directed and starred in (along with Don Dubbins and Jackie Loughery) this retelling of the story of The Ribbon Creek incident on Parris Island the night of April 8, 1956 exploring brutality in bootcamp training and military exercises.

Hitler’s SS: Portrait of Evil

Hitler’s SS: Portrait of Evil is the 1985 Jim Goddard war drama starring John Shea, Bill Nighy, Lucy Gutteridge and Davit Warner along with Caroll Baker, Jose Ferrer and Tony Randall telling the story of the very different experiences of two German brothers witnessing the rise to power of the Third Reich and the Nazi Party.

Sultry Divas: The Hubba Hubba Girls

Movies are fantasies, and some of the women in movies are fantasy gals with their sultry looks, their seductive character portrayals and their amazing on-screen performances that drive men (and women) wild.

This week, MovieZoot.com pays homage to six of these beautiful ladies with four all-time classic blockbuster films including 1953’s How to Marry a Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall; 1936’s My Man Godfrey with Carole Lombard; 1956’s And God Created Woman with Brigitte Bardot; and 1963’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow starring Sophia Loren.

Beware, these ladies will steal your heart as well as your attention!

Yours Truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

How To Marry a Millionaire

The movie that is every man’s nightmare, How To Marry a Millionaire is a 1953 Jean Negulsesco Romance Comedy staring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall as three women on a mission: They all want to marry a millionaire. So they move into a elegant New York City apartment and begin dating the city’s elite gentlemen. They have no problem meeting rich men, but unfortunately most of them turn out to be creeps or cons. Eventually they must decide: Is a life of luxury more important to them than finding true love? States one of the ambitious girls, “I want to marry Rockefeller!”’ to which another asks, “Which one?” And the response from the first is, “I don’t care.”

My Man Godfrey

My Man Godfrey is the 1936 black & white Gregory La Cava romance comedy starring William Powell and Carole Lombard telling the story of sibling rivalry, interclass struggles and the power of love staged during the great depression – this is a rags to riches story in more ways than one!

And God Created Woman

And God Created Woman is the 1956 break-out Roger Vadim drama romance starring Brigitte Bardot, Curd Jurgens, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Jan Marken telling the story of an 18 year-old orphan with a high level of unrestrained sexual energy, discovering her power over men and using that power to get what she truly wants. Vadim discovered and later wed Bardot.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is a 1963 comedy anthology film by Italian director Vittorio de Sica, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni and consists of three hilarious short stories about couples in different parts of Italy. This film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1964 Academy Awards.

Early Star Vehicles

Every actor has to start at the bottom, taking every role they can just for the exposure, experience and education within their craft. This week on MovieZoot.com we feature four such movies that provided an early platform for future big-time movie stars including Jack Nicholson in 1960’s original The Little Shop of Horrors; Jane Russell in 1943’s The Outlaw; Alec Baldwin and rock’s Deborah Harry in 1987’s Crazy Streets also known as Forever LuLu; and Sandra Bullock – America’s Sweetheart – in 1987’s Hangmen.

So, sit back and watch some of today’s icons pay their dues in the movie-making business. These actors have come a long way, baby!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

The Little Shop of Horrors

The Little Shop of Horrors is the original 1960 black & white Roger Corman comedy/horror film starring Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Wells and Jack Nicholson telling the story of a magical – if deadly – flower shop, and the central character of the story – a plant named Audrey, Jr. that demands fresh human blood for food! Nicholson has a brief cameo role as a masochistic dental patient.

The Outlaw

The Outlaw is the 1943 black & white western produced and directed by Howard Hughes (along with uncredited director Howard Hawks) debuting Jane Russell in her break-out role as a horse thief that get raped by her victim – Billy the Kid. Of course there is more to the story, but this is the moment when all of the world is exposed to the curvaceous beauty of Jane Russell – Howard Hughes’ arm-candy of the moment!

Crazy Streets

Crazy Streets (also known as Forever LuLu) is the 1987 Amos Kollek comedy/mystery film starring Alec Baldwin, Deborah Harry Hanna Schygulla and Annie Golden where a beautiful novelist (Harry) gets involved with the violent crime underworld in New York and becomes a target. Baldwin’s cop character pursues her killers.

Hangmen

Hangmen is the 1987 Christian Invordsen action/adventure movie debuting Sandra Bullock and starring Rick Washburn, Dog Thomas and Keith Bogart in which the assassin of a U.S. Senator is responsible for responding to the incident accidentally kills several innocent bystanders with the team during the operation. Because of her later success, Sandra Bullocks roll – pretty much as an ‘extra’ is highlighted on the movie promotions as interest in her career grew with her later successes.

Hitchcock! – The Director Honing His Craft

What movie-goer/movie-lover never heard of the iconic director Alfred Hitchcock? No one! This director is so iconic that he has been studied and copied for well over 90 years – and his style and craft of storytelling has influenced almost every horror, suspense, or dramatic movie released in the last 70 years. This week, MovieZoot.com features four movies that show Hitchcock’s refinement of his craft during his earlier years with Murder! from 1930, Number 17 from 1932, Secret Agent from 1936, and finally, The Man Who Knew Too Much from 1956 – one year after he became an American citizen.

Sit back and relax if you can as we present these mystery/dramas. We bet you will be on the edge of your seats!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Murder!

Murder! is a 1930 black & white British drama film co-written and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring and Edward Chapman. It was only Hitchcock’s third all-talkie film, after Blackmail and Juno and the Paycock. Murder! tells the story of a juror that happens to be an actor, who tries to prove that an actress who was found holding the murder weapon is innocent.

Number 17

Number 17 is a black & white 1932 thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring John Stuart, Anne Grey and Leon M. Lion telling the story of a group of criminals who committed a jewel robbery and put their money in an old house over a railway leading to the English Channel. An outsider stumbles onto this plot and intervenes with the help of a neighbor – a police officer’s daughter.

Secret Agent

Secret Agent is the black & white 1936 Alfred Hitchcock mystery thriller starring Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll, John Gielgud and Robert Young (with a brief uncredited appearance by Michael Redgrave) telling the story of three British agents who are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during WWI. Two of the agents become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Man Who Knew Too Much is the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie and Bernard Herrmann telling the tale of a doctor and his family on vacation in Morocco when a chance encounter with a stranger sets their trip and their lives on a drastically different course with the murder of the stranger and the abduction of their son to insure the couple’s silence of their knowledge of the murder. They must figure out a way to get their son back without the help of the Moroccan police.

Critically Acclaimed Award-Winning Movies

These classic award-winning movies are a delight to watch anytime, but to watch them all within a week is heaven. This week, Moviezoot.com features four classic blockbusters including the 1963 three-time Oscar-winning To Kill A Mockingbird, the 1952 two-time Oscar-winning The Snows of Kilimanjaro, the 1932 two-time Oscar-winner A Farewell to Arms, and the 1955 New York Film Critics Circle Award winner Diabolique.

Better get an extra few boxes of popcorn for this week!

Yours truly,

MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

 

To Kill A Mockingbird – Gregory Peck and Brock Peters

To Kill A Mockingbird is the 1963 three-time Oscar-winning blockbuster drama directed by Robert Mulligan based on Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel starring Gregory Peck, Mary Badham and a very young Robert Duvall. It tells the story of kids coming of age in the 1930s while bigotry in all forms is in the forefront and reaches its first denouement in a climactic courtroom scene, which all others – real and imagined – have ever since been measured against.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner

The Snows of Kilimanjaro is the 1952 two-time Oscar-winning epic drama directed by Henry King and starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner based on the Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name, in which adventure writer Harry Street reflects on his life, as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of nearby Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. Have your tissues and popcorn handy for this movie – you’ll need both!

A Farewell to Arms – Helen Hayes and Gary Cooper

A Farewell to Arms is the 1932 two-time Oscar-winning drama directed by Frank Borzage starring Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes and Adolphe Menjou based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name, telling the story of an American ambulance driver who falls in love with an English nurse in Italy during the horrors of World War I. “There may be no tomorrow.”

Diabolique – Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot

Diabolique is the 1955 Henri-Georges Clouzot thriller starring Paul Meurisse, Vera Clouzot and Simone Signoret where the cruel and abusive headmaster of a boarding school becomes the target of a murder plot hatched by the unlikely duo of his wife and his mistress. Diabolique won the Louis Delluc Prize and the award for best foreign film at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards in 1955, and remains in Time Magazine’s Top 25 Horror films.

Classic Comedic Actors

After a giant Thanksgiving feast and rooting for the home-team, there’s nothing like the classic sight-gags, clever dialogue, and situational comedy of old movies to shake down that full stomach with belly laughs.

This week, MovieZoot.com features four classic comedic actors doing what they do best, with the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers from 1930; Will Rogers’s unforgettable Life Begins at 40 from 1935; Danny Kaye’s insanely silly The Inspector General from 1949; and Bob Hope’s sarcastic asides in The Lemon Drop Kid from 1951.

So, enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday and have a few laughs on us!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Animal Crackers

Animal Crackers is a black & white 1930 Pre-Code Marx Brothers comedy film, in which mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding. The film stars the four brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo Marx, with Lillian Roth and Margaret Dumont. It was directed by Victor Heerman and adapted from a successful 1928 Broadway musical of the same title by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, also starring the Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont. As a Pre-Code film, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, subject matter often included sexual innuendo, miscegenation, profanity, illegal drug use, promiscuity, prostitution, infidelity, abortion, intense violence, and homosexuality – many of which can be observed in this bawdy production.

Life Begins at 40

Life Begins at 40 is a 1935 black & white George Marshall comedy starring Will Rogers, Rochelle Hudson, Richard Cromwell and Jane Darwell where a newsman bests a hard-nosed banker and clears a youth framed for bank robbery. This movie, along with other Will Rogers vehicles were generally set in small-town America, where residents all know each other, and picnics, hog-callings, and hayrides are the order of the day. The bucolic settings evoke nostalgia for an idealized time or place that never really existed. Kinda’ like the falsely sentimental olden days when America used to be great!

The Inspector General

The Inspector General is a 1949 Henry Koster musical comedy starring Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak, Gene Lockhart and Barbara Bates. In this farce, a snake-oil salesman that is too honest for his own good gets fired and wanders into a strange town where he is mistaken for a diplomat and must keep up the charade of refinement through numerous attempts to assassinate him by the town’s people – until the real Inspector General arrives! Assuming a false identity always has its perils but one’s true colors always reveal themselves!

The Lemon Drop Kid

The Lemon Drop Kid is a 1951 black & white Rom/Com Musical directed by Sidney Lanfield starring Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Darwell and Andrea King telling the Christmas Season story of the trials and tribulations of a racetrack tout (Bob Hope) who has a month to pay back his gambling debts to a gangster (Lloyd Nolan) lost on a bad tip. Hilarious fun as a con man cons a con man in the indelible style of Bob Hope – and of course there’s a dame!

Classic War Hero Movies

In today’s confusion about who is a War Hero and who is not, let’s go back to some classic Hollywood definitions of War Heroes and the movies that portrayed them. This week, MovieZoot.com features four such movies including 1989’s Casablanca Express with Glenn Ford, 1987’s Escape from Sobibor with Rutger Hauer, 1943’s Gung Ho! with Randolph Scott, and 1986’s The Last Days of Patton with George C. Scott.

Allow these historical and classic movies to again define the term “War Hero” in today’s context.

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Casablanca Express

Casablanca Express is the 1989 Sergio Martino War Drama starring Glenn Ford, Jason Connery and Donald Pleasence telling the story of Sir Winston Churchill’s infamous train trip to Casablanca in 1942 during the height of WWII, to meet with FDR and Joseph Stalin when the German’s knew the details of his travel plans and were planning an assassination, and America’s effort to thwart the Germans.

Escape from Sobibor

Escape from Sobibor is the 1987 Jack Gold historical War Drama starring Rutger Hauer and Alan Arkin telling the story of the infamous 1943 escape of 600 men from the German Death Camp of Sobibor with the most successful uprising by Jewish prisoners during WWII.

Gung Ho!

Gung Ho! is the 1943 black & white Ray Enright War Drama starring Randolph Scott based on the real-life story of the Makin Island raid led by Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson’s 2nd Marine Raider Battalion. The film uses stock footage of the time with Chet Huntley narrating the events leading up to the raid.

The Last Days of Patton

The Last Days of Patton is the 1986 Delbert Mann War-Hero sequel to the 1970 blockbuster Patton which stars George C. Scott and Eva Marie Saint as General George S. Patton and his wife during the last days of his life, where Patton was writing the official history of WWII, and despite monumental efforts by President Harry S. Truman to have him not die on German soil, the General dies of an embolism on December 21st, 1945.