In Robert Siodmak’s ‘The Killers’ (1946) two hitmen kill a man. The curious thing is that the man makes no attempt to escape. Why? An insurance investigator attempts to put the pieces together.

In Don Siegel’s ‘The Killers’ (1964) two hitmen kill a man. The curious thing is that the man makes no attempt to escape. Why? The two killers attempt to put the pieces together.

This change between the two films might seem trivial but the impact on the viewing experience is profound because it automatically makes us collude with Lee Marvin’s hitman as both he, and we, want…


The Tiger Motor Company is testing its new prototype sports car called the Pioneer. It will be the first sports car designed and manufactured in Japan. It is draped under a black covering to hide the vehicle’s design from any spies for the rival Yamamoto Company who might be observing. And observing they are because after the test car spins out of control and crashes in flames then the story, along with photographs of the accident, appear in the press, severely damaging Tiger’s reputation.

Not only that but there must be a Yamamoto spy working at the Tiger Company because…


Half an hour into ‘Warning from Space’ (1956) and the phrase I’d have used to describe it would’ve been “cute as a button” as star-shaped aliens that look like Maggie Simpson in her snow-suit arrive from Outer Space with a warning to Earth. Yet by the end I felt that would’ve been a slightly patronising disservice as, cute though this film is, it’s got quite a bit more going for it than simply that.

‘Warning from Space’ has all the requisite elements — flying saucers over Tokyo, a rotating space station, scientists and observatories, alien encounters and terrified fishermen so…


“Space suits versus animals versus subsidized living.”

The World candy company is in a bit of a pickle as they are losing ground to their competitors — the Apollo and Giant confectionary companies. A couple of young marketing recruits for World hit on the idea of an advertising campaign centered around space with space themed prizes to be won — ray guns, space ships, space suits etc.

They even pick a young girl off the streets, Kyoko, and (try to) carefully craft her to be the face for this new campaign. …


“This picture is an indictment of gang rule in America and of the callous indifference of the government to this constantly increasing menace to our safety and our liberty. Every incident in this picture is the reproduction of an actual occurrence, and the purpose of this picture is to demand the government: ‘What are you going to do about it?’ The government is your government. What are YOU going to do about it?”

I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show, thank you very much.

Did audiences laugh when this disclaimer appeared as the movie ‘Scarface’ (1932), or ‘Scarface…


(Warning — contains full plot description for the movie plus potentially distressing, upsetting, flippant language and imagery regarding babies and their well-being)

I’d heard of ‘Penny Serenade’ (1941) for years but had never seen it until last night. “What a delightful title!” I mused. “And it stars Irene Dunne, Cary Grand AND Beulah Bondi? This is going to be simply adorable.”

(Two emotionally grueling and punishing hours later) — Christ! Somebody pour me a fucking drink!

It all starts so innocuously with Julie Adams (Irene Dunne) listening to some vinyl records of songs that remind her of various points in…


Having heard ‘Mildred Pierce’ (1945) referred to as a “woman’s picture” I, in my ignorance, assumed it would be a melodramatic weepy. Turns out I was totally wrong as ‘Mildred Pierce’ is a much tougher experience than I had imagined; it’s so tough this film could bring a tear to your eye but would possibly go about doing so by kicking you in the balls.

The opening credits roll against a breaking surf that’s scrubbing the beach clean accompanied by another passionate score by Max Steiner. It’s all quite romantic, only for that romantic mood to be shattered by stark…


Things weren’t looking too good for Ken Russell’s ‘Crimes of Passion’ (1984) last night as after only half an hour I was finding it scuzzy, sleazy, lurid, messy, awkward and cheap. “This is like naff Brian De Palma!” I thought to myself as sex, violence and shock factor all jostled for position in a neon drenched 80’s erotic thriller. “I hope there’s more to it all than this.” Fortunately there is… and most of it is total freaks-ville. Fantastic!

Joanna Crane (Kathleen Turner) is a fashion designer by day but, come night, secretly transforms herself into China Blue, a prostitute…


The title had fascinated me since I was a kid: who, or what, is voyaging and why the urgency? I think it’s the perfect placing of that comma, possibly the most alluring punctuation mark any movie title has ever had.

Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is, as they might say, emotionally “contained”. This is why psychiatrist, Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains), has been called to the Vale household — to assess Charlotte and do something about the poor woman. Yet Dr. Jaquith has assessed the situation and correctly determined that Charlotte’s environment, specifically her overbearing and critical mother, could be the real…


“I’d like to suck his cock!”

Well, that’s one way to grab everybody’s attention I guess.

And ‘Shampoo’ (1975) did grab audience’s attentions in the mid-70’s, that time between Nixon and Reagan when married couples, living in their bungalows as they ate fondue and drank Mateus Rose whilst The Carpenters played, could go to the cinema and see films about the sex they only dreamed of. The Sixties had come and gone leaving those that enjoyed them with a sense of loss and those who didn’t with the unshakeable ennui of having missed out. …

Colin Edwards

Comedy writer, radio producer and director of large scale audio features.

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