In Cold Blood (1967) Richard Brooks & Truman Capote’s Devastating Biographic Masterpiece

In Cold Blood (1967) poster art work peter blake scott wilson

In Cold Blood” is ridiculously dark, bleak and emitting a constant resonance of impending doom. Danger is etched upon the faces of the perpetrators, a hollow darkness crosses each of these two young men’s shadows, revealing an evil that can be spontaneously released at any given moment.  That fear keeps you glued to your seat, frighten to look and scared to look away. The realisation that this whole film is based on real events just makes the crime all that more heartbreaking when it comes.

In Cold Blood (1967) Robert Blake plays Perry Smith surreal dream las vegas

With all that gloom though, there is a majestic beauty to this film. The camera work and black and white print is absolute perfection. Every shot hits you with it’s style and every snap shot could fill an art gallery a hundred times over. The skies are vast, the landscapes and dust ridden roads are picturesque and imposing at the same time. Every scene grabs your full attention, every performance has you glued to the screen, every second that ticks away fills you with dread and awe.

In Cold Blood (1967) basement shadows dark light black and white

I believe this movie is a masterpiece from start to finish. Based on Truman Capote’s 1965 nonfiction book called “In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences” where he writes the story as if it’s a novel but all of the narrative are true factual accounts of the actual crime.

In Cold Blood (1967) Robert Blake plays Perry SmithIn Cold Blood (1967) Scott Wilson is Dick Hickock

The subject matter and accounts are truly horrific, getting pushed along by such incredible portrayals from both these young men, both in the performances of a lifetime. Robert Blake plays Perry Smith and Scott Wilson is Dick Hickock.

Psychotic Perry keeps daydreaming from nightmarish incidents in his past to surreal dreams of being happy, singing and playing his guitar. Horny and outspoken Dick uses his confidence to get whatever he wants and under that slim exterior is a devilish raw anger.

In Cold Blood (1967) Robert Blake Perry Smith Scott Wilson Dick Hickock walking

Hot on their tail is police detective Alvin Dewey (John Forsythe) whose voice you will instantly recognise as the boss of those sexy angelic private eyes, Charlie’s Angels and then later the face of Blake Carrington on Dynasty.

In Cold Blood (1967) detective Alvin Dewey (John Forsythe) In Cold Blood (1967) detective Alvin Dewey (John Forsythe) police

Directed and produced by Richard Brooks who also adapted the screenplay from Capote’s book. You get a gorgeous soundtrack from jazz legend and composer Quincy Jones going from somber pieces to firing on all cylinders, building the tension to a feverish frenzy. And all those beautiful cinematography shots are by Conrad L Hall with sublime fade outs and creative cut shot editing by Peter Zinner.

In Cold Blood (1967) Robert Blake Perry Smith Scott Wilson Dick Hickock desert roadIn Cold Blood (1967) landscape car road trip

The language of the time is pretty shocking too, could this be one of the first times in mainstream film that the words “bullshit” “pussy” and “jacking off” were used? Funny as you hear them and worse on a daily basis on just about everything in modern pop culture nowadays but when watching vintage film, it really sticks out.

In Cold Blood (1967) Robert Blake Perry Smith Scott Wilson Dick Hickock

I’m sure there are documents and essays dedicated to detailing the ins and outs of this incredible film. If it’s something that you haven’t seen and you fancy it, I really can’t recommend it enough. It’s tense, shocking and very controversial but damn it is fine film making of the highest order.

Keep discovering new films, thanks for popping on by and feel free to drop a comment on the film if you wish. All the best… Mikey.

PS Someone’s in my wolf den?!!

In Cold Blood (1967) the lone wolf lair den wolfman

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Midnight Lace (1960) Stay Out Of The Pea Soup Calamity Jane!

Midnight Lace (1960) poster old sheet movie art work doris day

No denying this has a very inspired by Alfred Hitchcock thriller feel to it, especially even having the same actor, John Williams, playing the cop like he did in Dial M For Murder. Even the poster artwork has that Hitchcock look but it’s no bad thing at all as you will find this is an excellent movie filled with mystery. Continue reading “Midnight Lace (1960) Stay Out Of The Pea Soup Calamity Jane!”

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….”

Le Doulos (1963) Snitches Stitches Safe-crackers and Sombreros!

Le Doulos (1963) movie poster hat informer noir french new wave

Well maybe not Sombreros but I couldn’t think of a hat that began with S other than a Stetson and Sombreros are way more sillier. Especially if you can imagine they all did wear sombreros, it would really cut through the fog thick tension in this excellent thriller. Le Doulos is a rough old time French translation for “hat” and the hat of choice for these Parisian gangsters is the Fedora. Another translation for this is also “informer” and maybe that snitch also wears a hat! And considering most these gangsters wear a hat, who could be the finger man, the informer?

Le Doulos (1963) Jean-Pierre Melville noir french opening credit title screen shot Continue reading “Le Doulos (1963) Snitches Stitches Safe-crackers and Sombreros!”

The Slender Thread (1965) Keeping Mrs Robinson Sleepless In Seattle

The Slender Thread (1965) poster movie sidney poitier anne bancroft

Right from the beginning panning camera shot over the Space Needle Tower and just before it flies from one side of the Seattle city to the other, pin pointing the positions of our two stars in this film, you know you’re in for something really special. During this scene both stars are introduced to you with their very own jazz score from the soundtrack composer and jazz legend Quincy Jones.

The Slender Thread (1965) opening credit title screen shot sidney poitier anne bancroft Continue reading “The Slender Thread (1965) Keeping Mrs Robinson Sleepless In Seattle”

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.

Alphaville (1965) paris lights street city

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

Alphaville (1965) movie poster dvd bluray cover artwork 2

Victim (1961) Basil Dearden Directs More Social Controversy & The Alan Turing Law

Victim (1961) poster movie dirk bogarde sylvia sims 2

Director Basil Dearden and writer Janet Green team up together for another bash on British social prejudices. Two years before they had hit on the racial tensions on the streets of London in the late 1950’s in the excellent drama Sapphire. This time they hit the controversial bar high again, for at the time, this film gave the British Board of Film Censors kittens and proved to be way too risque for the US Motion Picture Production Code.

Tagline – A Daring Picture About the World’s Most Un-talked About Subject.

Continue reading “Victim (1961) Basil Dearden Directs More Social Controversy & The Alan Turing Law”

Pretty Poison (1968) CIA Super Spy Double-O Perkins

Pretty Poison (1968) movie film poster advert Anthony Perkins tuesday weld 2

Lanky bean pole Dennis Pitt (Anthony Perkins) loves nothing better than hop, skipping and jumping around the place. A few quick few words with someone, then that’s enough, conversation over, turn around and bounds off with a spring in his step. Run Dennis Run. Continue reading “Pretty Poison (1968) CIA Super Spy Double-O Perkins”

Mirage (1965) Gregory Peck, The Major Wants To See You!

Mirage (1965) film movie poster gregory peck diane baker mystery

David Stillwell (Gregory Peck) emerges from a darken doorway of a 27th floor New York apartment block into a bustling crowd of slightly crazy people. A blackout has occurred through-out the building, bizarrely making everyone a bit feisty. To his surprise he is offered the chance to attend an orgy, twice! “I’ve already passed on one orgy. I have to go.” Continue reading “Mirage (1965) Gregory Peck, The Major Wants To See You!”

The Thin Red Line (1964) The Sane and Mad VS First Sgt Jack Warden

The Thin Red Line (1964) poster movie film dvd cover soldier cross

This is the first adaption of the 1962 novel The Thin Red Line by James Jones. The story follows a band of American soldiers as they are thrown into tough terrain fighting during the Battle of Guadalcanal during the Second World War in the Pacific. Continue reading “The Thin Red Line (1964) The Sane and Mad VS First Sgt Jack Warden”