Cul-De-Sac (1966) Eggs, Mead and Pleasence in a Dress

Cul-De-Sac (1966)

Can you judge a film by it’s cover? Yeah course you can in this case! Flicking through a few movie titles on a search for something different I stumbled across the intriguing title of Cul-De-Sac. What grabbed me in was the minimalist artwork from the cover of The Criterion Collection release and then the hook, line and sinker, Donald Pleasence. Oh I do love a good Donald performance and this film highlights his quirky style to the fullest.

Cul-De-Sac (1966) Jan Lenica Roman Polanski film poster art

Then I saw the original poster artwork from Jan Lenica and that settled it, this film was going to be awesome no matter what and you know what dude, it’s absolutely fabulous. Two hours of just beautifully made tension, comedy, banter and wonder. All from three main characters and one real setting, a 15th century castle called Lindisfarne.

Cul-De-Sac (1966) causeway car intro start

A quick glance at the plot summary.

“Two wounded gangsters on the run find refuge in the secluded castle of a feeble man and his wife in search of help, however, under the point of a gun nothing is what it seems…”

What aspired was a thoroughly absorbing film which I just could not keep my peepers off. Not what I was expecting from the synopsis and all the more fun because of it.

Cul-De-Sac (1966) Donald Pleasence Francoise Dorleac in dress funCul-De-Sac (1966) beautiful Francoise Dorleac nude back smoking

Donald Pleasence plays George an eccentric middle aged gentleman who has sold his business and purchased a castle as a retreat for himself and his young beautiful, saucy flirtatious French wife Teresa played by Francoise Dorleac. This castle is situated out on a causeway which gets surrounded by the tides making it an ideal secluded hideaway. Life is spent painting and making mead wine and eating eggs, hundreds of eggs. Teresa makes atomic strength vodka, plays records and entertains a few friends if you know what I mean!

Cul-De-Sac (1966) Donald Pleasence Lionel Stander beach.Cul-De-Sac (1966) Donald Pleasence Francoise Dorleac Lionel Stander.

What comes to turn things upside down is the arrival of two men caught driving along the causeway by the incoming tides in a truly delightful filmed opening sequence. Injured and “driving” the car is Albie played by Jack MacGowran and looking out for him is his partner, the hulkish Richard played with such passion by Hart To Hart’s Max, the wonderful talent of Lionel Stander.

They are on the run from a job gone sour and stumble across this hideaway. Waiting to get picked up from their gangster employer they take over the castle until they get rescued. The beauty is Richard’s character, he catches you off guard as this brutish hulk with his gravelly voice and giant size but under that frame is an almost innocent sweet nature which he turns off and on, hot and cold.

Cul-De-Sac (1966) chickens Lionel Stander beach.

If you haven’t seen it before I thoroughly recommend you tracking it down as it’s a real joy, the situations  and character building with the unconventional way the story develops and plays out is masterful. Directed by Roman Polanski and co written by himself and Gerard Brach. If you have seen it, what did you think?

Cul-De-Sac (1966) beautiful Francoise Dorleac


Sad Fact – After enjoying the alluring beauty and fun performance by Françoise Dorléac it was so sad to read she died in a car chase at the young age of 25. Her sister Catherine Deneuve went on to be a big star and I notice that the two sisters starred in a 1967 film together called The Young Girls Of Rochefort. It sounds like a fun film and be nice to see more Françoise Dorléac. Any recommendations, please let me know.

Cul-De-Sac (1966) beautiful Francoise Dorleac record player vinyl jazz smoking

By the way that quirky jazz record Teresa puts on the turntable is by Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda who scores the soundtrack. Here is that record to play us out.

Love film, relax, eat, drink and be entertained by the art of film. Love Wolfie x

Nightfall (1956) and Aldo Ray Recommends?

Aldo Ray Men In War Nightfall
Sergeant Montana in Men In War

This is the second film I’ve seen with Aldo Ray in the last few months and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of him before. The first was Men In War (1957) with Robert Ryan.  He played a Sergeant called Montana who was looking after a battle worn, shell shocked officer known only as The Colonel. Aldo Ray’s performance really stood out in film, he came across as a strong willed maverick but also filled with passion and kindness as he cared for his Colonel. Intrigued to see more from Aldo I stumbled upon Nightfall.

Tagline – THE BLACK BAG…with $350,000 in loot! THE BLACK DRESS…with a beautiful pick-up girl inside! THE BLACK NIGHT…made for lovers…and killers!

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir

Nightfall is an excellent suspenseful film noir drama which races along at a cracking pace, not adding any fluff to its short runtime of just under an hour and twenty minutes. Our star and hero Aldo plays James Vanning a graphic design artist who has a story to tell as he wanders around the city with a heavy heart.

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir Anne Bancroft

He’s been involved in a murder and accused of a bank robbery which resulted in the disappearance of the cash. He finds himself on the run as he is hunted not only by two psychotic gangsters, John (Brian Keith) and Red (Rudy Bond) but he’s also being tracked by an insurance investigator called Ben Fraser (James Gregory).

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir James GregoryNightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir Rudy Bond Brian Keith

Losing himself in the bars of the city he meets a young lady called Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft) who fills the film noir femme fatale role. Can James Vanning find a way out of all this mess? Can anyone be trusted? Can he escape from those dastardly thugs? It’s well worth seeking out for a watch or have you seen it? What did you think?

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir intro credit titles

What striked me again with Aldo Ray was with character’s portrayal, with his kind gentle nature even through his big stocky frame. Not sure how I had missed this actor before but its great to be catching up with his films now.

So what the hell happened?

Looking through his filmography I couldn’t help but notice things look like they just fell apart for him after the mid 60’s with a ton of dodgy B-movies. Have to say the titles are amazing and I’m intrigued to check some of these out, like The Dynamite Brothers (1974) Suicide Commandos (1968) Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) Psychic Killer (1975) The Man Who Would Not Die (1975) The Lucifer Complex (1978) and even a Western Adult film! called Sweet Savage (1979.

We're No Angels (1955) aldo ray

I’ve been recommended We’re No Angels (1955) with Peter Ustinov and Humphrey Bogart which sounds much fun but what else should I be looking out for?

Movies are ace, keep on viewing.  Mikey Wolfman.

The Lineup (1958) – Psychos & Innocent Drug Trafficking Noir

The Lineup (1958) - poster cover image dvd cinema vhs

Director Don Siegel is a legend who dropped incredible movies on us from all angles. With so many starring that man Clint Eastwood it’s no wonder they feature high on my teenage watch list.  From Coogan’s Bluff to the iconic Dirty Harry. Then there’s The Beguiled to the delightful Two Mules for Sister Sara and the awesome Charlie Varrick (what no Clint?) to name a few.

But apart from Invasion Of The Body Snatchers in 1956 I haven’t seen any of Don Siegel’s 40’s or 50’s output. Please fire in the recommendations to put me on the right path because if The Lineup from 1958 is anything to go by for more quality from this amazing talent then I need to see them.

The Lineup (1958) - Eli Wallach Dancer Robert Keith Julian hit men

A shadow kingpin gangster uses innocent overseas travelers to unknowingly transport heroin into country. Hiring two psychopathic killers to pick up the merchandise and drop the drugs at a busy public arena.

Right from the get-go the carnage begins to cover the streets as two seasoned cops take up the case to find out what the hell is going on and finding themselves always one step behind the bad guys.

The Lineup (1958) - cops Lieutenant Ben Guthrie Inspector Al Quine

The film is a real rollercoaster ride throughout the streets of San Francisco and features excellent action scenes which include an edge of your seat car chase which is handled with much pace and gusto.

Adding to the suspense is some truly wonderful banter between our two very different heroes and baddies. With top marks going to Dancer played by (Eli Wallach) who was like the father to Joe Pesci‘s Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, intelligent, unhinged and ready to blow at any given moment.

The Lineup (1958) - bellboys on line up suspects police

He’s not alone in the psycho stakes, as Dancer is being coached by an elderly hitman guru called Julian (Robert Keith) a man who loves nothing more than to keep a note in his diary of the last dying words of his victims. They make a twisted dark dastardly duo.

The Lineup (1958) - the cop car chase is on

The two cops on the hunt are Lieutenant Ben Guthrie (Warner Anderson) and Inspector Al Quine (Emile Meyer). Seasoned professionals with a lot of respect for each other and drop some wonderful dialogue.

Lt. Ben Guthrie – “Jenkins certainly had a great spot here for a Halloween party.”
Insp. Al Quine – “Yeah, no self-respectin’ witch would bring a broom into this trap.”

The Lineup (1958) - Eli Wallach Dancer Robert Keith Julian hit men gangsters

Throw in a cocky wheels man Sandy McLain (Richard Jaeckel), a few crazy car chases, tense drama and with a frenzied end finale you get yourself a top movie which hits all the right notes.

So if like me and you hadn’t seen this spectacular piece of action film noir then jump the line-up and get to the front of the queue (Sorry that’s well cheesy). If you can recommend some Don Siegel films from the 40’s 50’s that would be most appreciated.  Cheers, Mikey Wolfman.

The Lineup (1958) - intro beginning title scene

Vigilante (1983) – Headhunter Smashers

Vigilante (1983) - Poster DVD cover artwork headhunters gang memeber

In good old depressing 80’s action revenge style you know what to expect from this here movie. Like Death Wish, you know what’s coming but unlike Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) having to go it alone on his one man bad guy mashing mission our Vigilante hero Eddie Marion (Robert Forster) gets a little help from the neighbourhood fixers.

Tagline – If the law won’t get them… we will!

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson & Robert Forster jail timeVigilante (1983) - Richard Bright Joseph Carberry

Cigar chomping Nick (Fred Williamson) and two of his work buddies Burke (Richard Bright) and Ramon (Joseph Carberry) like nothing more than rolling out their 1979 Ford Econoline and grabbing a few perpetrators off the streets and dish the law out to them via baseball bat and fists. Leaving an inept police force behind, this gang of street cleaners enlist the help of the neighbours to report any lawlessness.

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson talk motivation

Nick – “because you know the punks and scum are out there on the streets when the sun goes down, and our own government can’t protect its own people, then I say this, you got a moral obligation, the right of self-preservation. Now, you can run, you can hide, or you can start to live like human beings again. This is our Waterloo, baby! You want your city back? You gotta take it. Dig it? Take it!”

The main vicious gang on the block of this slum area of New York is the murderous Headhunters, lead by Frederico “Rico” Melendez (Willie Colon) and his second in command, the depraved Prago (Don Blakely).

Vigilante (1983) - headhunters car gang membersVigilante (1983) - headhunter leader rico willie colon

Can the friends clean up the streets and can Eddie somehow get some closure to his nightmare and seek the revenge he needs?

Tagline – If the law won’t get them… we will!

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson fighting kicking gang

All in all this is a well made movie and has all the right elements for a real classic but doesn’t quite pull it off, it’s ace though. Massive plus points go to the cameo of Woody Strode as the old prisoner Rake who keeps a helping fist or two out for Eddie during a classic prison fixture, the “don’t” drop the soap moment.

Vigilante (1983) - Woody Strode & Robert Forster jail time

The car chase through the city slums and streets might not be no French Connection but it’s frilling and amazing looking at New York in the early 80’s. A tasty selection of cars are used too, which include a Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu and a Datsun 280z 2+2.

Vigilante (1983) - car chase through slums new york city

The soundtrack score composed by Jay Chattaway goes from the mega cheesy melancholy to Nuyorican salsa to pure analogue synthesizer bass madness, especially awesome is when it hits at the beginning of when Nick drops down in a kung-fu move and starts to chase a gang member through a derelict outdoor swimming pool.

Vigilante (1983) - fred williamson kungfu fighting graff

Fun Fact – Bad Rico is played by Willie Colon a famous is a famous salsa latin jazz trombonist who played with the Fania All-Stars and still plays on many big named performing acts. His music features a few times through-out the background of the film. Pretty much whenever Rico turns up a Willie Colon tune gets played.

You gotta check out this excellent bad ass trailer….. Keep it cool and watch movies.. Mikey Wolfman.

Vigilante (1983) IMDB

Mickey One (1965) – Free Jazz New Wave

Mickey One (1965) - Poster

Within five minutes of Mickey One, this experimental film levellies a barrage of outstanding cool black and white images at you. Everyone you could instantly freeze frame, print and stick straight up on your wall.

Mickey One (1965) - sauna steam room scene

This film is surreal, bizarre and super fantastique! Inspired by French New Wave Cinema of the time, Director Arthur Penn (Bonnie And Clyde, Night Moves) goes to town with Alan Surgal script. Twisting together an edgy free falling story into the world of paranoia and fear.

Mickey One (1965) - warren beatty stand up comedianMickey One (1965) - sexy swimming girl

Our handsome wise talking hero is played with passion by a young Warren Beatty. A stand-up comic working the club scene unfortunately run by the Mafia. After a extremely heavy night on the tiles, drinking, partying, gambling and probably flirting with mob bosses girls, or maybe worse, he wakes to realise he has got himself dug way too deep, owing thousands. Fearing for his life he makes a run for it, fleeing to Chicago to hide out. On the road he obtains a Social Security card and becomes Mickey One.

Mickey One (1965) - warren beatty stand up comedian dive club

Mickey One – I’m the king of the silent pictures. I’m hiding out till the talkies blow over. Will you leave me alone?

Mickey One (1965) - jazz dancing drummer girl

Mickey is a twitchy fellow with big anger issues but also buckets of charm and finesse as he tries to make ends meet. He starts to feel his calling back to the stand-up circuit, which brings unwanted attention to the fear laden guy and drives him a little nuts. Lucky he has an agent called George Berson (Teddy Hart) and the gawd darn sexy Jenny Drayton (Alexandra Stewart) to look out for him. Can our Mickey get his feet back on the ground and get this unfortunate mess sorted out?

Mickey One (1965) - fading editing fire slums warren beattyMickey One (1965) - trampoline scene

This film hits so many surreal moments. From trampolines, to saunas, to random people dressed in strange clothes and a massive brawl featuring a load of heavies in pantomime costumes. It’s all strange and fascinating.

Mickey One (1965) - random artist japanese guy

Random jump cuts, fading in and out images, stylised scenes to a few comical segues. None more so than the rag and bone japanese artist guy (Kamatari Fujiwara) who pops up throughout the film just waving at Mickey. He goes off to build one of the craziests art installations you did ever see, just called “Yes”. Does it represent our hero’s predicament? Self destruction…..

Mickey One (1965) - chicago seedy street scenes

And to finish you get the free jazz, spasmodic moods and improvisation from saxophone legend Stan Getz, literally freaking out on his horn giving the scenes an added edge of delirious madness. The Mickey One soundtrack LP is composed by Eddie Sauter and released on MGM Records.

Mickey One (1965) - Record cover LP

Definitely a recommended watch if you can track it down, it’s quite the original piece of filmmaking and carried well by Warren Beatty’s quirky performance. Have you seen it before? What did you think. Let the old Wolfman know. Have fun, enjoy cinema…

Further Reading Links

Mickey One (1965) IMDB

Enemy Territory (1987) – “Ghost” Busting

Enemy Territory (1987) Poster DVD VHS

Enemy Territory is another movie in a long tradition of tower blocks and council flats being turned into all out war zones, think of The Raid, Attack The BlockDredd. But add some elements of Walter Hill’s The Warriors, a dash of The Lost Boys and dollop of any black and white buddy movie from the 80’s, I’m gonna go for Running Scared.  Then you get a taste of what to expect in this really surprisingly brilliant low budget little gem.

Enemy Territory (1987) - opening titles

Tagline – In Enemy Territory they take no prisoners. You’ve got to kill your way out…

Insurance salesman Barry (Gary Frank) gets sent to pick up a policy sale from an elderly woman in a notoriously rough housing project called Lincoln Towers. Being naive and well pretty damn dumb he strolls into the tower block and gets himself “marked” right off the bat. What he didn’t realise was this high-rise building is run and terrorised by a tough gang called The Vampires, lead by their ferocious leader, The Count (Tony Todd).

Enemy Territory (1987) - Ray Parker JR and

It’s not till Barry gets to the top floor that he becomes aware that The Count wants his blood after he promises to kill this “Ghost”. Luckily Will (Ray Parker Jr) was funning a young lady as shots are fired outside and being the telephone repair man he is, comes racing to the rescue. Fortunately our handsome Will is an ex Vietnam veteran and ex Ghostbuster and takes control of the situation. But it’s not long before The Vampires turn up again and all hell breaks loose.

Baffled tower block guard to Barry – “And they sent a white man? This time of night? Are you from Neptune or Vulcan or some such!?”

Enemy Territory (1987) - Tony Todd The Vampires Psycho

With a solid bunch of very likable characters being met along the way as our heroes try their best to escape. From the sweet old lady Elva Briggs (Frances Foster) to her sexy niece, the wise and feisty Toni Briggs (Stacey Dash).  You get an outrageous bonkers performance from Tony Todd as he barks out orders to his men whilst spouting out silly, almost poetic vampire lines and keeps shouting for his trusty side kick “Psycho“.

Enemy Territory (1987) - stacey dash Toni vampires

There’s a small cameo, almost scene stealing part from messed up wheelchair bound war veteran Parker played with a crazed look in his eye by Jan-Michael Vincent. But grabbing the limelight from him was young baseball bat rolling rookie “cop” Chet played by Deon Richmond.

Enemy Territory (1987) - will and billy

Enemy Territory (1987) - opening titles intro

Seriously if you like 80’s films and like me this one had passed you by then I thoroughly recommend it. Unfortunately it’s not really had a proper DVD release and apart from VHS cassette this eighties movie has only seen a disc release in the Netherlands of all places, which sadly seems to be a reproduction of the VHS source. So if you want to see this like I did then you’ll be happy to know some kind fellow has uploaded it to Youtube here. It has Dutch subtitles but seriously it’s not a problem. If you want to see it then that it’s I’m afraid.

Grab some garlic and a wooden stake, a 4 pack of beers and sit back and roll the cameras. Enjoy….. Mikey Wolfman

Further Reading Links

Enemy Territory (1987) IMDB

Enemy Territory (1987) WIKI

Le Samouraï (1967) – Hitman, Jazz and Sexy Ladies

Le Samouraï (1967) poster gun

What can you say when you read it could be one of the most influential films to a monster amount of classic directors from the likes of Tarantino, Coppola, Jim Jarmusch, Coen Brothers, Scorsese, Nicolas Winding Refn to name but a few, and you realise you didn’t even know it existed. So after a punishing few hour session of flaying myself whilst slowly headbutting the wall to teach myself a well earned lesson I can now say I have seen it, and by god man, it’s a goody.

Le Samouraï (1967) Birdcage

Right from the opening scene within the dark living room we meet our hero laid out on a couch, smoking and contemplating. Through the curtains, the framed windows show the rain pouring and trickling down the glass outside. The rain noise is accompanied by the bleeping sound of a tweeting bullfinch sat inside a wire bird cage, taking up center stage of the room.

Le Samouraï (1967) Looking moody

On the screen the words to a fictional quote from The Book Of Bushido appear giving meaning to this thoughtful opening scene.

“There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai, unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle……perhaps…”

Silence is the key here, ten beautiful minutes of no dialogue. Watching patiently, transfixed by the movements through the dark and moody back streets of Paris. What is this guy up to?

Le Samouraï (1967) Alain Delon Jef Costello line up

Alain Delon plays an ultra cool hitman by the name of Jef Costello. A dark, brooding moody character, always looking, constantly thinking, calmly making this next move like a chess player. He has the perfect plan, the perfect alibi. What could possibly go wrong?

Le Samouraï (1967) Nathalie & Alain Delon

Other players involved in the story are two very beautiful women, both ladies of the night. One working from home, Jane Lagrange (actually Alain’s wife Nathalie Delon) and the other a jazz pianist at a nightclub, Valerie played by Cathy Rosier.

Le Samouraï (1967) jazz band trio

Not making things easy for our hitman is Le Commissaire police chief François Périer. An aging experienced detective who knows how to use all his talents to try and nab Jef Costello. Undercover chases, surveillance, bugging, plus throw in some gangsters and car stealing.

Le Samouraï (1967) Jef Costello & Le Commissaire

This is a breathtaking gorgeous film, every scene is exquisitely framed, the slow pace is perfect, the leading man nails the moody calculating hitman and the old 60’s Paris backdrop is wonderful. If like me and you haven’t seen this, I can’t recommend enough. Get on it.

Le Samouraï (1967) Lineup police

Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, who I see is a master of this genre, I am in the lucky position of having a whole heap of amazing films to watch. One very happy Wolfman.

Fun Fact – Cathy Rosier had recorded a single called Cathy Banana in 1976 on the Barclay record label. Discogs link

PS Keep those ears pinned back for the stunning beautiful soundtrack by composer François de Roubaix and was original released as a 7 inch single EP but it looks like a recent CD release on Rambling Records in 2015 has been put together. Discogs link here

Further Reading Links

Roger Ebert Le Samurai Review

Le Samourai (1967) IMDB

The Criterion Collection Le Samourai

Villain (1971)

villain-1971-poster-richard-burton

First up I have to say I was rather disappointed waiting for Ian McShane to metamorphosis into a werewolf! What a charlatan, calling himself Wolf. I was duped. Anyhoo on to the film.

Big love for the old British gangster movie with the likes of Michael Caine leading the way with the sublime Get Carter and Bob Hoskins The Long Good Friday not far away. Then there’s Mona Lisa where both the actors are together shouting out fantastic performances alongside the sexy Cathy Tyson. I’m not much of a fan of the new gangster film but anything from the 70’s & 80’s I’m pretty much all over it.

villain-1971-vic-rage
One of Vic’s rage outs. Run for it.

Villain from 1971 and directed by Michael Tuchner was one that had totally passed me by though. Starring Richard Burton who tries to hide that superb Welsh War Of The World’s voice behind a rather dodgy cockney accent. Mr Burton plays Vic Dakin a hard gangster running his own firm but still living at home with his beloved Mother. A closeted homosexual who is obsessed with Wolf and lashes out on him with macho violence for his kicks. Anyone stupidly wrong doing him gets a swift bout of cockney fisted rage. Apparently his character was based on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray.

Tagline – Meet Vic Dakin. Then wish you hadn’t!

villain-1971-vic-and-wolfe

Ian McShane plays Wolfe Lissner, a wide boy hustler, wheeler and dealer. Setting up deals, sorting out problems for his boss, bit of pimping here and there and ducking and a diving the po-po as they tail him and harass him whenever they can.

The other players in this gangster flick are Nigel Davenport and Colin Welland playing Bob Matthews and Tom Binney, two cops trying to outsmart Vic’s plan. Other gangsters on Vic’s payroll are Duncan, a kind of PR man who also helps out with Vic’s Mum, and Terry the muscle and driver who likes to eye up the “birds”. Plus there’s a burping ulcer man secondhand car dealer gangster from another firm called Edgar Lowis played by Joss “diplomatic immunity” Ackland.

Bob Matthews: I don’t know what you’re hoping to achieve, except perhaps an orgasm.

villain-1971-cops-and-wolfe
Who’s a naughty boy then.

Tagline – By the time he’s ready to kill you, it’s an act of mercy.

Vic Dakin is after money, a big job with a big hit of cash. The plan is sorted, three cars to box in the “money” car. Easy job, everything is planned to the T, easy lemon squeezy. Nothing could possibly go wrong? What does go well is an awesome car chase and fight in all the chaos. One of the best bits of the film.

Talking of lemon squeezy, what a great way to use a JIF squeezy lemon bottle, biodegradable, nontoxic and easy to purchase, just don’t get it in your eyes! New edition to my night time wolfman vigilante toolkit maybe?

villain-1971-robbery-car-chase
Yippie it’s panyhoes on head time!

By the way WTF was that/is that anti-robbery suitcase money bag. With the tripod legs that fire out? I’ve never seen anything like it before and can’t find any information at all on it. Let me know if you’ve seen that before as I’m very intrigued to how that works or if it’s real. Definitely makes things difficult.

villain-1971-tripod-anti-robbery-money-bag
Crazy anti-theft device.

Filled with great British swear words, awesome vintage cars like Wolfe’s Mark 1 Ford Capri, grasses and snitches, car chases, cups of tea and sandwiches and a few boobies thrown in. This is a relatively little known gangster film which is well worth tracking down if you ever get a chance.

Fun Fact – Composer Jonathan Hodge does the film score for Villain and it’s really darn funky. With all the right paces getting hit through chase scenes and fights. There’s a great jazz tune as well but unfortunately it seems that it has never seen the light of day. Any info please feel free to hit me up.

villain-1971-poster-black-and-white
Love this image. Like a film noir poster

Vic Dakin: “Bleedin pigeons!”

Further Reading Links

Soundtrack Collector Villain 1971 OST 

Villain 1971 IMDB

BFI Screen online

The Hit (1984) RIP John Hurt

john-hurt
What a tremendous portrait picture

Such sad news to hear the passing of the wonderfully talented actor, the irreplaceable John Hurt. Just like anyone of my age, he just seemed to be there throughout my teenage years and beyond. Whether it was Max in Midnight Express, the voice of Hazel on Watership Down, the iconic scene in Alien as Kane with his chest bursting open, or his beautifully pained and sad performance as John Merrick in The Elephant Man. Add to that he showed us the bleak totalitarian future in George Orwell’s 1984. All these films have always been there, part of my growing up. Mr Hurt has done so many more incredible films but those are the ones closest to me.

the-hit-1984

There is another though, one that is very underrated and maybe not so well known. One I have rewatched today as a little homage to the great man. The film is The Hit from 1984 and stars Terence Stamp as ex-gangster and grass Willie Parker who becomes “The Hit” of the title. Turning his back on England he hides out in a quiet little village in Spain.

Tagline – Willie Parker grassed… ten years later they came for their revenge

the-hit-1984-terrace-stamp-john-hurt

In enters two hitmen, who are ordered to kidnap Willie and escort him to Paris to stand trial with the gangsters who put the hit out. This is where our John Hurt appears as one of the hitmen, the cool Mr Braddock with his shades and pale suited demeanor. Looking mean, thoughtful and with his moments of silence you never know where you stand with him. His partner, is the angry and unprofessional Myron, a guy who really can’t keep his mouth shut. Myron is played by a very young Tim Roth, in I believe his debut major film role but he did star as the terrifying skinhead Trevor in the TV movie by Alan Clarke called Made In Britain in 1982.

the-hit-1984-tim-roth-john-hurt-terrace-stamp

What unravels is a road trip across the country as Willie Parker realises his number is up and makes things as difficult and as fun as he can with little quips and comments to play and put the guys off their game.

Coming along for the journey is the gorgeously beautiful Spanish honey Laura Del Sol as Maggie. She adds a few more problems for our two hitmen.

Tagline – Even Bad Guys Have Bad Days

the-hit-1984-laura-del-sol

It’s an exceptional movie written by Peter Prince and directed by Stephen Frears who has a superb list of films to his name, The Grifters, High Fidelity, Dangerous Liaisons and a couple of UK classics which were big at the time, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and My Beautiful Laundrette.

If you haven’t seen it I really recommend you get on it and give it a go,  I know you won’t be disappointed.

Rest in peace John Hurt, thanks for all the amazing films.

john-hurt-1

Further Reading Links

The Hit 1984 WIKI

The Hit 1984 IMDB

The Criterion Collection