Tuesday, May 22, 2007

REVIEWS: G-N

The Games (1969) "Dave Zinman and other jogging freaks can add a star." [Zinman was a fellow Newsday writer.]

Get Yourself a College Girl (1964) "Or a good book."

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) "[A] rare achievement: a children's picture even the children think is a stiff."

The Giant Behemoth (1959) "Redundant, like the title."

The Giant Claw (1957) "There is this colossal bird that is mistaking people for worms, which causes colossal problems, one of which is the script."

The Giant Gila Monster (1959) "The title says it all."

Giant From the Unknown (1958) "In the mountains of Spain, a village gets the idea that the ghost of a giant conquistador is haunting them. Call it indigestion."

Gift of Love (1958) "Flat remake of 'Sentimental Journey,' which was a 3-Kleenex sudser about a dying wife and an adopted little girl. Don't fret. Momma's going to heaven."

The Girl From Petrovka (1974) "It plays like caviar washed down with Pepsi."

Girl Happy (1964) "Everybody's very healthy."

Girl in Room 13 (1961) "A private detective goes to Brazil searching for a girl wanted for murder. It doesn't help any that it actually filmed in Brazil. Bad is bad."

Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) "Quick, name one movie with an exclamation point in the title that was any good."

Glamour Boy (1941) "Former child star, now a soda jerk, coaches boy genius. Syrupticious."

God's Little Acre (1958) "[with] Michael Landon doing an albino turn."

Godzilla (1956) "Raymond Burr is the reporter assigned to report on Mr. Zilla's present course, who continuously hops in and out of the sea causing devastation as he goes. Some funny spots."

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1976) "Godzilla saves us once again. What is it with Godzilla?"

Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1967) "Godzilla saves the lives of the people of Letchi who are enslaved by an evil people bent on world conquest. How does that grab you? Godzilla was more fun as a heavy. [With] Akira Takarada, Toru Watanabe, Godzilla, Mothra, Sea Monster."

Godzilla vs. the Thing (1974) "For kids who have nothing better to do."

The Golden Horde (1951) "In the 13th century, wide-eyed Ann Blyth saves the empire from wrack and ruin as David Farrar snaps his jaw muscles. That's about it."

Gorilla at Large (1954) "A good cast, a fair idea and a bad job as murder stalks the carnival midway. If you don't guess the killer about halfway through, give up."

Grave of the Vampire (1972) "Pish-tish and a pox upon this pale tale of a son's strange memories of dear old dad."

The Green Helmet (1961) "Will Bill Travers give up race car driving for the woman he loves? Will he win the big race? English and not bad, given the eternal questions."

Guerillas in Pink Lace (1964) Four women and a man try to escape the Japanese in WW II. Root for the Japanese. George Montgomery directed himself in this film, which makes him a double loser."

Gunfighters of Casa Grande (1965) "The cows out act the boys."

Guns of the Timberland (1960) "Greedy loggers vs. ecology-minded townspeople in a routine fight to make Arbor Day meaningful."

Gypsy Colt (1954) "A horse and a small girl. What more do you need to know?"

Half a Sixpence (1969) "Flamboyant, colorful and pointless. Shortened for television, which is a blessing. Notable for a rare screen appearance by Cyril Ritchard."

Hammerhead (1968) "Next to the Bonded stuff, this distillation of spies and intrigue is moonshine. Brutal stuff to swallow."

Hannie Caulder (1972) "American/English oats involving Raquel Welch, who has been done wrong. She gets mean about it and everything gets marginally ludicrous."

The Happening (1967) "A maddeningly confused story involving four dropouts and a successful, middle-aged hoodlum they kidnap. It gets heavy, then light, then philosophical, then dumb."

Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1972) "Strangeness from Kurt Vonnegut Jr. that may read better than it plays. The plot can't be capsulized. No Vonnegut plot can. It's weird enough to try but not classic weird. And so it goes."

Harry Black and the Tiger (1958) "Stewart Granger has lost his courage, which is not good for a big game hunter. So he goes out to regain his courage, which is not good for the viewer."

Harum Scarum (1965) "At the first twist of Elvis' hip, tune in to a midnight snack."

Head (1968) "Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, David Jones and Mickey Dolenz--alias The Monkees. That's about it. But catch those screenplay credits."

Hell on Devil's Island (1957) "It certainly is."

Hell's Angels on Wheels (1970) "Bikers and other balderdash on the road. Mean, pointless and dumb. [With] Jack Nicholson trying to keep a straight face."

Hell's Island (1955) "An ex-district attorney gets involved with a stolen gem and murder. This is Hollywood's version of an ex-district attorney. Real ex-district attorneys go into corporate law or politics, either of which must be more exciting than this."

Hercules and the Black Pirate (1960) "The title tells it all, and much quicker."

Hercules of the Desert (1964) "Sex, sand, well-oiled muscles and a hernia of a story. Forget it."

High-ballin' (1978) "Peter Fonda, Jerry Reed and Helen Shaver spinning their wheels and grinding their gears in a record run (two months) from theater to TV."

Higher and Higher (1943) "Notable as Frank Sinatra's first starring role... it requires no thinking at all."

High Hell (1958) "A French-made psychodrama set in a mountain mining camp where there is a lot of acting out concerning women, gold and other hangups. Heavy."

Hitler (1962) "A Freudian look at the Nazi dictator and his women. Martin Kosleck, the quintessential Nazi, is along for laughs."

Hold Back the Night (1956) "It's all about war and this unopened bottle of scotch and if you've got your own bottle, open it."

Hold That Hypnotist (1957) "The Bowery Boys are regressed to the 17th century, where, with any luck at all, they will stay."

Hong Kong (1951) "Stolen gems, murder and a great insight into why Ronald Reagan quit making movies. Rhonda Fleming is pretty."

The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock (1964) "A surgeon fiddles around with his wife and she disappears. So he gets another wife. Horrible is not quite the word, but it will do."

Horror of Party Beach (1964) "The seaweed is coming! You have been warned."

Hostile Guns (1967) "Aren't they all."

Hot Blood (1956) "Jane Russell and Cornel Wilde are a couple of young gypsies and Luther Adler is an old gypsy. Laugh along with them, but watch your wallet."

House of Black Death (1965) "A sinister old house, black magic, Lon Chaney Jr., and John Carradine. Not the best, not the worst."

House of Dracula (1945) "This was the end of the road for everybody--Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange), Dracula (John Carradine) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney). The mad Dr. Franz Edelman (Onslow Stevens) does them all in, including a long overdue lycanthropy cure for nice Larry Talbot. And so it goes."

House of Horrors (1946) "Fans of 'The Creeper' (Rondo Hatton) can add a star."

House of Seven Corpses (1972) "...John Ireland, Faith Domergue and John Carradine earning their money the hard way."

How To Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965) "The title makes no sense at all. Neither does the pelican."

Human Duplicators (1965) "Super beings create super robots in way-out earth takeover super plot. Superific."

Hunted Men (1938) "A gangster finds out about the nicer things in life, but it's too late. Now that you know, forget it."

I Aim at the Stars (1960) "If you can get by the fact that the film glosses over the Nazi years, then this fictionalized story of Wernher von Braun is interesting."

I Killed Rasputin (1967) "Being the personal story of Felix Youssoupoff, who, indeed, did in the Russian monk. So much for history."

I'll See You in My Dreams (1952) "Danny Thomas and Doris Day sing a lot more than your average couple."

I'll Take Sweden (1965) "Sweden takes a beating."

The Impossible Years (1968) "A tasteless, sophomoric Hollywood version of what has come to be known as the generation gap. Impossible is the word."

The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) "A fish story about a meek bookkeeper-turned-fish who has a swimming good time becoming a World War II hero by guiding submarine chasers against enemy U-boats. Wrapped in yesterday's newspaper."

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) "Some buffs consider this one a winner, others think it's funny. It's definitely funny."

In Search of Noah's Ark (1976) "The easily impressed might buy it."

Invaders From Mars (1953) "It's the army and a small boy against some 8 foot monsters. Bring back the little green men."

Invasion of the Animal People (1962) "The giants with the alien brains are coming. Hide your television set."

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) "Giant pea-pods arrive from somewhere and try to take over. In sci-fi circles one of the great ones. Sam Peckinpah has a bit as the girl's father."

Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) "Finally. The beings arrive from outer space and they are actually Little Green Men. That said, it's downhill. A spoof of science fiction films that is not as funny as some of the films it spoofs." (A later review: "Teenagers outwit little green men, which is disappointing because you'll be rooting for the aliens.")

Island of Living Horror (1968) "Atomic dust creates a mutation or two, one of whom apparently turned to scriptwriting."

It Came From Outer Space (1953) "Arriving on the 1:15 meteor, faceless things bug a scientist. Production good. Premise good. The rest, not so good."

It's a Gift (1934) "And who, pray tell, is Carl LaFong?"

It's in the Bag (1945) "Fred Allen fans can add a star."

I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1951) "Mad doctor and a confused teenager. Michael Landon is behind the fangs and hair. Larry Talbot should sue."

J.W. Coop (1972) "The best of the Ned Bronk stories."

Jack of Diamonds (1967) "George Hamilton plays a cat burglar and has trouble dimming his teeth while padding around in the dark. Maurice Evans adds some class, but not enough."

Jackson County Jail (1976) "Very commercial sleaze."

Jaguar (1955) "A Republic quickie about oil prospecting, murder and retribution. For those who will watch anything that moves. Sabu, Barton MacLaine, Chiquita, Touch (later Mike) Connors."

Jesse James (1939) "In this one, Jesse is a good kid who is driven to nasty things by the establishment. Frank just seems to tag along. The myth never lets facts stand in the way. Still, it's a rouser and the acting is good. Henry Hull is marvelous, always wanting to shoot somebody down like a dog. There is also the dirty little coward who..."

Jesus (1979) "Without being compelling, it touches all the basic points."

Johnny Cool (1963) "With added bits by Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and others. Why? Who knows?"

Journey to the Center of Time (1967) "A group of time travelers face insurmountable odds on earth past and future. Have another cup of coffee, you'l need it."

Jungle Jim in the Forbidden Land (1952) "Tarzan puts on clothes and says, 'Me, Jungle Jim.' And with his faithful chimpanzee renamed Timba, he cavorts around a backlot paper jungle."

Jungle Man Eaters (1954) "Jungle Jim thrashes around after diamond smugglers in an empty lot somewhere in Burbank."

Jungle Moon Men (1955) "Jungle Jim comes across some pygmies. Forget it."

Kansas City Bomber (1972) "That would be Raquel Welch and/or the film, which is about rollerderby, if you care, and you won't."

Key Largo (1948)












Kid Rodelo (1966) "The American West as viewed from Spain with hard types, good and bad, fighting for gold and Janet Leigh. Don Murray and Broderick Crawford are wasted, but they got paid for it. You won't."

Killer Ape (1953) "Him Jungle Jim. You change channel."

The Killer Shrews (1959) "Would you believe--oh, the hell with it."

Killers Three (1968) "Murder and other moonshine from the Dick Clark school of the quick buck. Robert Walker, Diane Varsi and a country boy named Merle Haggard."

King Kong (1933) "The classic monster film wherein a mixed affair doesn't work. Kong suffers, Fay Wray screams and Robert Armstrong becomes a philosopher. It's never been topped. Skull Island, the Third Avenue L, the Empire State Building and Bruce Cabot."

King of the Jungle (1933) "Only in America, as they say, captured jungle boy is exploited in circus animal act. All that swings is swung."

King Richard and the Crusaders (1954) "The historical and non-historical characters are so much cardboard, but it's mostly for fun and, besides, the Christians and Moslems really go at each other. Rex Harrison and George Sanders are properly animated, which makes Laurence Harvey appear all the more inanimate. Virginia Mayo is pretty."

The Kissing Bandit (1949) "If you can laugh at Frank Sinatra trying to replace his father as the hero of the title, you might find this moderately amusing. If you can't, you will suffer much."

Kiss Me Deadly (1955) "Did anyone ever take Mickey Spillane seriously?"

Kiss of Evil (1963) "A honeymooneing couple somehow lands in a Bavarian castle. That out of the way, it gets gruesome. Formerly titled 'Kiss of the Vampire,' which gives it away."

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948) "One of the all-time great bad titles. It is almost matched by what follows, which is about Burt Lancaster on the lam after he kills a man in a fight, and Joan Fontaine, who also kills somebody, and how they meet and love and wash each others' hands in public."

Lad--A Dog (1962) From that you don't get heavy drama, but the kids and dog freaks will love it as old Lad brings happiness and love to a crippled little girl."

Lady Liberty (1971) "A large Italian sausage that is not as funny as Carlo Ponti thought it was."
The Lady From Texas (1951) "Josephine Hull does her pixilated best to inject some life into this story of an eccentric old lady on the verge of being sent to a cookie farm."

The Lady Vanishes (1938) "An elderly lady seems to disappear aboard a train in what is one of the best things Alfred Hitchcock has ever done. Just perfect. And that nun, isn't she wearing...?

Lafayette Escadrille (1958) "A group of American volunteers fly for France in World War I. William Wellman has made some great films on this general theme, but this is not one of them, probably because of Tab Hunter, who is a non-fattening actor."

The Land Unknown (1957) "A U.S. Navy expedition is struck by a storm and forced several thousand feet below sea level where it's hot as hell. But it isn't. Then again, it might be. Hell, that is."

The Last Rebel (1965) "The leader of a Mexican gang ends his life in a gunfight with a Texas Ranger. The End."

Legend of the Lost (1957) "Everybody and everything is lost. You get lost."

Let's Dance (1950) "Too much plot, not enough music. Fred Astaire is Fred Astaire. Betty Hutton overacts, even for her."

Lisa and the Devil (1973) "For those who wonder what Telly Savalas was doing while waiting for 'Kojak' to come along."

List of Adrian Messenger (1963) "There is the added game of trying to spot the stars behind the heavy makeup in several bit parts. You'll spot Robert Mitchum right away, but not Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra and Burt Lancaster."

The Lively Set (1964) "From campus to pit stop at the big sports car race. Healthy young persons and nothing to write home about."

Look in Any Window (1961) "Or in any ash can."

Looking for Danger (1957) "And a script."

The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1980) "Add a star if you can't get enough of Bugs, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and the rest of the gang, or if you're under eight, or smoke funny cigarettes."

Lord Love a Duck (1966) "George Axelrod, a funny writer, is not a funny director."

Los Tarantos (1964) "Romeo and Juliet done Barcelona/Gypsy style, with much heel stomping. Passable, but noisy."

Lost World of Sinbad (1965) "A shipwrecked pirate and the neighborhood wizard join forces to prove not every Toshiro Mifune movie is a winner."

Love Happy (1950) "The Marx Brothers are here, playing private eyes (at least two of them are), but it's not really a Marx Brothers movie. It looks as though it was pasted together. Marilyn Monroe walks through. Strange movie."

Love Has Many Faces (1965) "Can Lana Turner find happiness despite her millions and the grubby men she meets? Probably. Filmed in Acapulco and featuring about 173 dress changes for la belle Turner."

The Loves of Salambo (1962) "Mercenaries ride on Carthage. Ever feel plain lousy?"

Loving You (1957) "Catch Lizabeth Scott's speech near the end. You won't believe it."

Machine Gun Kelly (1958) "Anyway, it's loud."

Madison Avenue (1962) "A no-good ruthless rat makes it in the dog-eat-dog world of advertising. So what else is new?"

The Magnificent Cuckold (1965) "For those who find marital infidelity amusing even if it's done with questionable taste. Claudia Cardinale is a healthy woman."

The Maltese Falcon (1941) "...a staggering bit by somebody's father."

The Man From Cairo (1954) "By way of hunger. Everybody's after a cache of hidden gold, including George Raft, who wears pointy shoes."

The Man I Love (1947) "Ida Lupino as a throaty singer who carries on through death and love with a stiff upper tonsil. What used to be called a woman's picture."

Man Made Monster (1941) "Tremendous power charges turn a simple carnival worker into a raging mindless monster who feeds on electricity. Pays "ohmage" to the power shortage and why kids are taught to stay away from outlets, if nothing else."

The Man Who Turned to Stone (1957) "Some 18th century genetic claptrap to snooze by."

Man With the X-ray Eyes (1963) "No, not Superman. It's Ray milland with eyeballs that light up in the dark. Unfortunately, you can see everything coming."

Marco Polo (1962) "Tongue-in-cheek history as Marco (Rory Calhoun) romps off to Cathy to discover spaghetti. The sauce is bad."

Marines, Let's Go (1961) "Let's not. Four Marines on leave from the Korean War on a romp around Tokyo isn't worth it."

The Mark (1961) "Given the premise (the reclamation of a child molester), this film had to be very good or very bad. Thanks to director Guy Green and three excellent actors (Stuart Whitman, Rod Steiger and Maria Schell) it is very good. Don't miss it."

Marked For Murder (1945) "Lots of bullets and horses."

Mark of the Phoenix (1957) "A jewel thief, a few commies and an atomic secret. British and bad."

Massacre at Fort Perdition (1960) "The lone survivor of an Indian massacre is suspected of all sorts of things. Perdition is the word. Starring those old favorites, Jerry Cobb, Martha May and Hugh Pepper."

McHale's Navy (1964) "A feature-length version of the half-hour television series, which makes it about four times as long as it should have been."

Melody of Hate (1962) "Two sisters, talented pianists, fall in love with a conductor, which ruins a few lives and five reels of film."

Message From Space (1978) "Go back. Go back."

The Millionairess (1961) "Give it a try if nothing else is on."

Million Dollar Legs (1939) "No, not those holding up Betty Grable. These belong to a horse."

The Miracle of the Bells (1948) "For those who believe in miracles, including Frank Sinatra as a priest."

Mister Buddwing (1966) "A victim of amnesia borrows a name from a billboard and sets out to find his own. The script may have been borrowed from a series of billboards."

Modesty Blaise (1966) "It is rich in everything but sense."

Mohawk (1956) "The only difference between this western and any others is Rita Gam."

The Mole People (1956) "Archaeologists, without whom sleeping creatures would lie, are digging around in Asia and they find an underground race that can't stand the light of day. Neither can the film."

Monster From the Ocean Floor (1954) "A small submarine mucks about in deep water and stirs up trouble that should be avoided at all costs."

Monster on Campus (1958) "A professor juices up on some ancient fish blood and goes completely guppy. So do a dog and a dragonfly. Honest."

Monster Zero (1966) "Godzilla, Rodan and Nick Adams do the Japanese monster bit on Planet X. The title makes no sense at all. Neither does the film."

The Moon is Blue (1953) "Interesting now as an example of what was considered saucy in those days. It is to laugh."

Morituri (1965)


Most Dangerous Man Alive (1961) "A cobalt explosion is turning a man's body to steel. It has a hollow ring."

Move (1970) "One of several movies that helped send Elliot Gould into eclipse. Herein he's a failed writer gone to porn and dog walking. Has he ever."

Mr. Majestyk (1974) "Watermelons even get shot in this one."

Murder by Proxy (1965) "Fear stalks a small midwestern town as murder strikes twice without cause. If possible, view by proxy."

Mutiny (1952) "Comic book characters fight the war of 1812. It's a wonder we won."

Mutiny at Fort Sharp (1965) The Indians attack a Confederate fort and a colonel goes skippyville. A bummer."

The Mysterians (1958) "[With] Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Momoko Kochi and other old favorites."

Mystery of Thug Island (1966) "The Thuggies are acting up, what with kidnaping and all, and here comes Guy Madison to the rescue. Where is Abner Biberman now that we need him?"

The Naked Edge (1961) "This was Gary Cooper's last film."

The Naked Runner (1967) "A dull potboiler based on a preposterous premise that involves an overly complicated murder of a defector. More easily grasped is Frank Sinatra and other cast members being slowly beaten to death by the script."

The Navy vs. the Night Monsters (1966) "A laugher."

Never Say Goodbye (1946) "A film to meditate by."

Nightmare Alley (1947) "If you don't know what a geek is, watch this one."

Night of the Living Dead (1968) "An underground cult flick about strange happenings that turn human persons into flesh-eating zombies. It's not as good as the cultists claim, but it is not bad for Pittsburgh. The ending is heavy, but what does it mean? Stay with it."

Nightmare Castle (1966) "Maybe it made more sense in Italian."

No Diamonds For Ursula (1967) "No anything for viewers."

North by Northwest (1959) "A gem from Alfred Hitchcock that stars Cary Grant, James Mason, Eva Marie Saint, Mount Rushmore, the United Nations building and a novel way to knock somebody off if you can get him on flat, open farmland."

Northern Pursuit (1943) "Helmut Dantine does his patented Nazi officer."

No Survivors Please (1964) "This tale of creatures from another planet was never released in American theaters. Tune in and find out why."

Nothing Personal (1980) "Nothing period."

No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) "Rod Steiger has a field day as a weirdo murderer who uses disguises and telephone calls to twit detective George Segal. Both of them, it turns out, have problems with their mothers. It's Steiger's show and he's marvelous. He gets to act seven roles, which leaves him one short of Alec Guinness."

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