The Night My Number Came Up (1955) Dreams, Omens & Final Destination

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Opening with that distinct, recognisable voice of Paddington BearCommander Lindsay (Michael Hordern) worriedly confronts an air traffic control officer with news that a Dakota airplane has crashed landed at a certain point over Japan.  The control room officer is convinced that no distress warnings have come in or the fact that the Dakota isn’t even on that flight path. “How do you know this?” he asks, “I can’t say but if I did you wouldn’t believe me but please believe me I know something has happened!” replies the Commander.

The Night My Number Came Up (1955) Commander Lindsay (Michael Hordern)

Tagline – The Screen’s Most Terrifying Flight Into Suspense!

The night before, Commander Lindsay had a prophetic dream, a dream so real he remembers every detail, every small part of this dream works its way to a terrifying and devastating climax. But lucky for Commander Lindsay he was just a voyeur and wasn’t on the plane itself but he does know a few of the crew. Compelled to tell his story he confides in young Fl. Lt. McKenzie (Denholm Elliott) an ex ace fighter pilot from WW2 and aide to the ice cool Air Marshal Hardie (Michael Redgrave).

The Night My Number Came Up (1955) fate unlucky numbers 13 opening titlesThe Night My Number Came Up (1955) Dakota airplane Douglas C-47 Skytrain

The Commanders dream had told him there were 8 passengers and 5 crew, 13 in total. For poor Owen Robertson (Alexander Knox) this was a story he didn’t need to hear, not with his petrified fear of flying. Luckily the dream had other facts, like there was one female member of the crew, also an important diplomat and an obnoxious loudmouth. Their passenger crew numbered five and didn’t featured any of these other mentioned people. The dream couldn’t possibly come true! Could it?

The Night My Number Came Up (1955) michael redgrave fate fear panic Nigel Stock pilotThe Night My Number Came Up (1955) Denholm Elliott Alexander Knox Sheila Sim

Tagline – 13 on a Plane – Destination…The Unknown…

Find out what happens on this flight path with doomed fate looming around every corner. Watch how paranoid thoughts give way to fear, panic and hysteria. Is it best to just sit back and ride the fate with the notion that your cards have already been dealt or do you try and change your fateful collision with the grim reaper?

The Night My Number Came Up (1955) Dakota airplane Douglas C-47 Skytrain flying

This is a wonderfully acted mystery thriller which keeps you right on the edge of your seat. It’s fascinating to watch how the dream gets passed around from passenger to passenger like a hot potato, slowly working itself into the fears and minds of each and everyone. Each dealing with it in their own way.

A few fun facts

  • Actually based on a true life events? Whaaaat!! I hear you say. Well give Air Marshal Sir Robert Victor Goddard a google after you seen the film.
  • A fun little appearance by Bill Kerr of Tony Hancock’s Half Hour fame and his soldier buddy Alfie Bass.
  • Director Leslie Norman has directed episodes of so many classic cult TV series from the likes of The Persuaders, Department S, The Avengers, The Saint, The Champions.
  • Also stars Richard Attenborough’s wife Sheila Sim in her final film before she retired. Richard would later work with Leslie on his 1958 film Dunkirk.
  • This film is from the Ealing Studio’s camp

End thought “If you didn’t know about it, would it still happen?”

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Branded to Kill (1967) Chipmunk, Butterflies, Steamy Japanese Sex & Boiled Rice!

Branded to Kill (1967) hitman gangster yakuza hot babes

Oh come on now, you really shouldn’t have made such incredible films Mr Seijun Suzuki. My constant buzzing and face of awe makes it hard to concentrate on normal life stuff. My mind wanders off, all day thinking about the pure wonder and excitement that greeted me on the screen. Tokyo Drifter had always been one of my favorite films, it’s just so damn bloody cool but then I got recommended Branded To Kill, well it couldn’t be as good as Tokyo Drifter, that would be impossible, wouldn’t it, surely? Continue reading “Branded to Kill (1967) Chipmunk, Butterflies, Steamy Japanese Sex & Boiled Rice!”

Brainstorm (1983) The Christopher Walken Virtual Reality Mind Experience

Brainstorm (1983) movie poster sci-fi 80's 2
Spanish poster for Brainstorm

Rented this on VHS cassette tape in my teens, though I didn’t realise until many years later this was the second and last movie to be directed by legendary special effects guru, Douglas Trumbull. His first, and always to be a favourite sci-fi movie for me, was the eco warrior Bruce Dern film, Silent Running. A film with a message to mankind and of course those three very cute robots called Huey, Dewey and Louie. Continue reading “Brainstorm (1983) The Christopher Walken Virtual Reality Mind Experience”

Ministry of Fear (1944) Nazis, Bombs & Spies, Fortune Tellers & Cake!

Ministry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland Fritz Lang movie poster mystery noir drama

Having sat in his room staring at the swinging pendulum of his ticking clock for two years straight, Stephen Neale (Ray Milland) has had time contemplating life and reflecting what the future will hold for him. After being on his own for those years, Stephen fancies the hustle and bustle of London, to be surrounded by people again. He’s probably picked a bad time to visit London, the city is being pounded by the Germans during The Blitz but he’s determined. With a spring in his step he takes off to the local train station. As he leaves his building of residence, the camera pans to show the engraved sign on the wall, Lembridge Asylum! Continue reading “Ministry of Fear (1944) Nazis, Bombs & Spies, Fortune Tellers & Cake!”

Cremator (1969) – Crazy Cremating Czechoslovakian Cinema!

Cremator (1969) Rudolf Hrusínský Juraj Herz Czechoslovakia movie poster burning

There’s no way I can talk about the film Cremator without spoilers, so please make haste if you don’t wish to know. This is more of a, what the fuck was that all about post! First up, how this gets labeled as a comedy, along with crime and drama, I have no idea. There are definitely extreme dark comedy moments but the by and large of it is utmost bleak and depressing. Continue reading “Cremator (1969) – Crazy Cremating Czechoslovakian Cinema!”

The Trial (1962) Awesome Welles, Incredible Sets, Surreal Story, Perkins and Eyes!

The Trial (1962) - green poster movie film cover artwork print

It’s been a few weeks since I watched this one. My brain keeps constantly flicking back, trying to work out WTF it was all about. The undercurrent meaning, the symbolism, the poetic nuances and trying to decipher what the hell did he do? I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what could of lead him to The Trial! Definitely some clues in there, and some rather dark ones too I think? Continue reading “The Trial (1962) Awesome Welles, Incredible Sets, Surreal Story, Perkins and Eyes!”

Tokyo Drifter (1966) Is Phoenix Tetsu The Coolest Gangster?

Tokyo Drifter (1966) blu-ray release critrion edition movie cover poster

Revisited one of my favourite gangster movies of all time yesterday, the beautiful stylish, surreal and avant garde 60’s masterpiece from director Seijun Suzuki. A bewitching serene different approach to the tried and tested Yakuza formula. From the editing, to the skillfully thought out creative photography used on the set pieces, your eyes are always in for a dazzling treat. Everything is oozing ultra cool style but then you get the understated, too damn cool for school, Tetsuya ‘Phoenix Tetsu’ Hondo. Continue reading “Tokyo Drifter (1966) Is Phoenix Tetsu The Coolest Gangster?”

Games (1967) Where the Normal is Not and the Bizarre Is….

Games (1967) James Caan Katherine Ross movie poster film Simone Signoret

Imagine if Hammer House Of Horror Studio’s somehow managed to have a baby with Andy Warhol. Then throw in some surrealism, abstract art, spooky imagines and some horror. What might emerge on the other side is something resembling the wackiness of this film called Games.

Taglines – Passion wears a mask of terror in this strangest of all games!

Continue reading “Games (1967) Where the Normal is Not and the Bizarre Is….”

The Black Hole (1979) Mad Scientist, Robots & Heaven & Hell In Space

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Revisited a childhood favourite of mine recently, a science fiction film that has embedded itself on me like some cosmic radiation. Whenever I see mention of it I feel a pull not unlike that of a black hole drawing me in for a viewing. This time it was courtesy of fellow film blogger Mr. Bobinsky who posted some beautiful inspired artwork. That was all I needed and off I went again on another journey.

Tagline – You can’t escape the most powerful force in the universe.

Continue reading “The Black Hole (1979) Mad Scientist, Robots & Heaven & Hell In Space”

Alphaville (1965) Silence Logic Security Prudence in French New Wave Sci-Fi

 


Alphaville (1965) movie poster dvd bluray cover artwork

Gruff and super moody journalist Ivan Johnson (Eddie Constantine) arrives at Alphaville following his journey through the Galaxies. He’s there with his camera to report back to the Figaro-Pravda, his newspaper, the strange goings on in this futuristic city. Ivan Johnson isn’t who he pretends to be, he is in fact an American private-eye come secret agent called Lemmy Caution.

Lemmy Caution –“Fuck yourself with your logic.”

Alphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine cigarette light smokeAlphaville (1965) lemmy caution camera flash man

Lemmy Caution is a nonsense kind of guy who has absolute complete contempt for bellboys asking for tips and no time to relax with the pleasures of the Seductress Third Class lady drones, however insanely beautiful they maybe! But he’s happy to pull his gun out at any other moment. Maybe a poster of naked girl that he feels might need some extra nipples or if you’re too lazy to flick your zippo, then Lemmy’s your guy, he maybe old but he’s still a quick firing crack shot and can light that with a single bullet shot.

Alphaville (1965) sexy girl jukebox bra

Tagline – Suddenly the word is Alphaville… and a secret agent is in a breathless race against the Masters of the Future.

He arrived at Alphaville on a mission from the Outlands of Nueva York to track down missing agent Henry Dickson (Akim Tamiroff) and to repatriate Professor von Braun (Howard Vernon). To do this means investigating the city, luckily he meets the Professor’s daughter Natacha von Braun (Anna Karina) who just happens to be one of the most breathtaking ladies in this dystopian future world and let it be known, every lady in this city is bonkers beautiful.

Natacha Von Braun – “Got a light?”
Lemmy Caution – “I’ve traveled 9,000 kilometers to give it to you.”

Alphaville (1965) Anna Karina in room bed beautifulAlphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine Natacha von Braun Anna Karina

The problem with getting around this city is that you are watched over 24/7 by an artificial intelligence tyrannical ruler going by the name of Alpha 60. Imagine a Siri or Alexa unit speaking to you after a non-stop week long bender of booze, cigars and cigarettes by the box load and you might get a picture of this booming gravelly hoarse throaty loud voice commanding everything from the airways.

Alpha 60 – “The acts of men carried over from past centuries will gradually destroy them logically. I, Alpha 60, am merely the logical means of this destruction.”

Alphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine intergatationAlphaville (1965) scientists computer alpha 60 2

Alpha 60 has made this world inhuman, removed emotional thoughts and feelings, words like love, conscience and poetry and other passionate human freewill affections from the human mind.  Anyone resisting these ways will be rounded up and executed.

Alpha 60 – Time is like a circle which is endlessly described. The declining arc is the past. The inclining arc is the future.

Alphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine lift

Can Lemmy complete his mission plans and get out of this future city devoid of emotion and travel back to The Outlands? Can he do better than his counterpart detective Dick Tracy? And more importantly can he get the girl?

Lemmy Caution –Dick Tracy, is he dead?”

Alphaville (1965) black white negative

From the opening arrival at the hotel you know you are in for a fantastical ride. Director and writer Jean-Luc Godard brings together a half serious, half satire, futurist trip through 60’s Paris. Godard’s film brings with it a fully functioning keyword generator of genre category labels like French New Wave, Avant Garde, Neo Noir, Social Satire and Surrealism, yep it really hits every single one. You either going to think this film is a work of total genius or pretentious load of gobbledygook. I thought it was ridiculously fantastic and loved every single second of it.

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One surprising factoid

If you imagine Lemmy Caution is a Sam Spade, Mike Hammer private detective kind of noir guy you will know his character. What I didn’t know was Eddie Constantine is an American actor who moved to France and starred in a whole series of Lemmy Caution B-Movies way before Jean-Luc Godard gave us his crazy take on the character. He played Lemmy at least 10 times and even paired up with Godard one last time in 1991 for the film called Germany Year 90 Nine Zero. I had absolutely no idea of any of this until just now!

Alphaville (1965) Anna Karina black white

Anyhow I’m sure there’s some deep psychological studies and essays out there in blog land which will be worth reading to explain things but everybody will get different feelings and thoughts about the film and that’s what makes cinema such an important medium. Have fun on your journey through the galaxies.

Wolfie

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