Thursday, October 11, 2012

They Died in September, Part II

Follow the link for They Died in September,Part I.

One day you, too, are going to die... but the following people, both known and unknown, have beaten you to it. (Darn.) Will you leave half as much behind, or have you a wasted life?
In any event, the list is hardly 100% complete, but may they all rest in peace.
And in their honor, a new version of a poem we learned as a child and presented in Part I; this version here is the one known by one "Brian Danford":
"Did you ever think when a hearse goes by
That you might be the next to die
They wrap you up in a bloody sheet
And throw you in about six feet
You're okay for about a week
Unless your casket springs a leak
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
The worms play pinochle on your snout
Your liver turns a lusty green
Your guts squirt out like shaving cream
You wrap it up in a piece of bread
And that's what you eat when you are dead."

Hiromichi Horikawa
28 November 1916 – 5 September 2012
Japanese film director Hiromichi Horikawa died of esophageal cancer in his hometown of Kyoto, Japan, on 5 September 2012. Horikawa began his film career in the early 40s as an assistant director for Akira Kurosawa before becoming a feature-film director himself with Asunaro monogatari (1955), a film written by Kurosawa. Horikawa directed his last film, Hana monogatari, in 1989.

Seven Samurai
(1954, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
Japanese title: Shichinin no samurai. Hiromichi Horikawa was assistant director on this classic, epic-length B&W samurai film that went on to spawn not only the classic US American western The Magnificent Seven (1960 / trailer) and all its sequels, but trash films like Kill a Dragon (1967 / trailer), Joe D'Amato's Rocco Siffredi film Outlaws (1998) and even ¡Three Amigos! (1986 / trailer). Plot: Poor village terrorized by bandits hire seven samurai to free them from the bad guys.

Throne of Blood
(1957, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
Japanese title: Kumonosu-jô. Hiromichi Horikawa was assistant director on this classic, epic-length B&W take on Shakespeare's Macbeth.

The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers

Aka The Beautiful Swindlers; original French title: Les plus belles escroqueries du monde. A film in four segments set in four different cities, with each segment directed by a different director – Claude Chabrol (Paris) Ugo Gregoretti (Naples), Roman Polanski (Amsterdam) and Hiromichi Horikawa (Tokyo). Pulp International, which gets the directors wrong in their blurb, explains: "[Les plus belles escroqueries du monde is] an anthology [...] about crimes committed by four larcenous women in various cities across the globe [...]. Les plus belles escroqueries du monde opened in France [...] in 1964, and Japan in 1965." Serge Gainsbourg sings the title track. The film has since had a fifth segmented reinstated: Jean-Luc Godard's segment, Le grand escroc, had been edited out by the distributors for the film's initial release. TV Guide has the plots of the four episodes: "In 'Amsterdam' [...] a young woman convinces a doddering old man to buy her an expensive necklace, promising sexual favors. Once she has the necklace, she runs away and trades it for a parrot, giving the necklace to an old salt who has no idea how expensive it is. In 'Paris,' a sucker buys the Eiffel Tower but is arrested when he attempts to charge visitors a toll. In 'Naples,' prostitutes, to avoid being sent out of the city, marry old men in retirement villages at the urging of their pimp, who believes this will give his girls immunity. The scheme backfires when the men refuse to let their wives work at night. In the most gruesome of this dubious quartet, 'Tokyo,' a Japanese barmaid serves her elderly escort noodles and then gleefully watches him choke to death on them, later trying to pawn his false teeth which she believes to be platinum. They are worthless, and she is arrested for murder. (In native languages; English subtitles.)"
Opening Credits:

Aka Bullet un proiettile per amare and Sun Above, Death Below. Over at, the plot to this seldom seen crime drama is explained: "Toru Matsushita (Yuzo Kayama), a hired killer, is commissioned to break up a gang of gold smugglers. Just as he thinks his job is completed, he hears of another killer, Katakura (Masayuki Mori), who has been given a contract on the lives of both Toru and his employer. Akiko (Ruriko Asaoka), a model who loves Toru, urges him to leave the country, but he realizes he cannot escape with Katakura still alive. Katakura kills Toru's boss and Akiko, but in the final showdown, Toru wins, only to realize he has lost everything."

Saraba Mosukuwa gurentai
Aka Goodbye Moscow. Over at, the plot to this seldom seen film is explained: "A jazz pianist turned promoter is financially successful but has become cynical and bored with his life. About to quit his work, he decides to travel to Moscow with one of his bands. In Russia, he befriends a youthful dissident who is also a trumpet player. Despite the disapproval of the Japanese embassy and the boy's brother, a youth leader, the promoter encourages the young musician. The youth is jailed after a fight, and the promoter, whose enthusiasm for his work had been stirred, once again finds himself alone and restless." Dusty Groove is selling the re-released soundtrack (by Toshiro Mayuzumi), calling it "A great Japanese jazz soundtrack from the late 60s – as full of feeling and creative inspiration as some of the best French jazz scores of the New Wave! The tunes here mostly stand out as strong jazz numbers on their own – although there are a few shorter, more introspective or scene-setting passages – and although the players and notes are all in Japanese, we can tell you that the music's mostly in a small combo mode, with strong solos on tenor, trumpet, and piano throughout!

The Alaska Story
Original Japanese title: Arasuka monogatari. The plot, to use a computer translation of a French text: "A Japanese marine lands in the Arctic where he makes the acquaintance of a tribe of Eskimos. He spends some time with the tribe, finally yielding to the temptation to hit the road for Alaska where a gold rush is in full swing. After an arduous and dangerous journey of more than 800 kilometres, he finally reaches more hospitable lands of Canada..." Although released in the US, this movie seems not to have been seen by anybody who deemed it worthy of writing about on the web.
5 Minutes:

Jake Eberts
10 July 1941 – 6 September 2012
The Canadian film producer Jake Eberts died of cancer in Montreal at the age of 71 on September 6, 2012. Eberts is survived by his wife, Fiona; two sons; and a daughter. Born in Montreal, he graduated from McGill University (Bachelor of Chemical Engineering 1962) and Harvard Business School (MBA 1966) and entered a successful career in business, finally becoming managing director of the UK brokerage and investment company Oppenheimer & Co. in 1976. In 1977, he suddenly turned to film financing and production, joining David Puttnam to found the independent film production company Goldcrest Films. By 2005, Eberts had been associated with films garnering 66 Oscar nominations, including nine for Best Picture. Among the ones Eberts helped bring to the screen that we here at A Wasted Life enjoyed are the following: 

Absolute Beginners
(1986, dir. Julian Temple)
OK, the film is bubblegum in comparison to the book, but it was an entertaining night at the movies, even in 1986. Unjustly vilified when it was released, it's always good for a go now in the 21st century. Plot, according to Wikipedia: "The film takes place in 1958, a time in which pop culture is transforming from 1950s jazz and early rock to a new generation on the verge of the 1960s. London is post-World War II, but pre-Beatles/Stones/Monkees. [...] Young photographer Colin (Eddie O'Connell) falls in love with aspiring fashion designer Crepe Suzette (Patsy Kensit), but she's only interested in her career. Colin tries to win her affections by taking a crack at the big time himself; meanwhile racial tensions heat up in Colin's neighborhood of London."

The Name of the Rose
(1986, dir. Jean-Jacques Annaud)
Not quite the film debut of Christian Slater – he had already appeared in flop-cum-cult film The Legend of Billie Jean (1985 / trailer) and the horror flick Twisted (1986 / full film) – but, Man! Is he not ever an adorable twink in this thing! (Though we would also say the raven-haired beauty he bonks is even better looking.) Great, enthralling film with great acting, cinematography and art direction, and much easier to watch then the thick book it is based on is to read, though the happy ending of the film – girl survives, asshole dies – (unlike the book) reeks of commercial pandering and a lack of true artistic sincerity. Plot, according to imdb: "An intellectually nonconformist monk (James Bond #1) investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey." Takes place in the 14th century – and despite how the US poster presents it, not a light-hearted murder comedy.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
(1988, dir. Terry Gilliam)
Since no one likes their film being referred to as a remake of a Nazi movie, namely The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1943), lets claim like all others that Gilliam's film is a version of the tall tales about a once real person. (The first tales appeared in German, but the Englishman Rudolph Erich Raspe is credited to the first English-language version in 1785, which was then later translated into German by Gottfried August Bürger. The real Münchhausen, who was alive at the time, was said to be less than pleased by the tales; he died childless on 22 February 1797.) Like so many Gilliam films, this movie is a bit long at times and is laden with a vision executed in such detail that the viewer almost suffers overkill, but it is nevertheless an amazing film that deserves being seen on the large screen. It is perhaps not the screen debut of Uma Thurman, but she has never looked better than in this movie.

Last Exit to Brooklyn
(1989, dir. Uli Edel)
TV Guide says: "Red Hook, Brooklyn, 1952: Korea-bound conscripts, sadistic teenage gangs, and despondent strikers eke out their desolate existences amidst a frenzied mixture of prostitutes, psychos, winos, and junkies. Based on a collection of short stories by Hubert Selby Jr., which unleashed a storm of controversy upon their publication in 1964, German director Uli Edel's film is a relentlessly bleak account of life in the neighborhood during a brief period in the summer of '52. The stories of a cross-section of characters is recounted in episodic fashion."

Super Mario Bros.
(1993, dirs. Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel)
Based on the game, of course. Wikipedia says: "[The film] tells the story of the Mario brothers, Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo of Spawn [1997]), as they find a parallel universe, where King Koopa (Dennis Hopper of Red Rock West [1992]) is a dictator. They have to rescue Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis) and stop Koopa from attempting to merge the dimensions so that he could become a dictator of both worlds. Super Mario Bros. was released on May 28, 1993, and received mainly negative reviews. It was a box office bomb, recouping only $21 million of its $48 million budget." We here at A Wasted Life, as might be expected, sort of enjoyed this kiddy film – it was also the first time we really took note of Leguizamo as an actor. Why does everybody hate him so? The film killed the directorial career of Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel, who five years earlier in 1988 had wowed a few people with their MTV-style remake of D.O.A. (1988).

No Escape
(1994, dir. Martin Campbell)

Go here for our review of the film, which we saw under its AKA title, Escape from Absolom.

James and the Giant Peach
(1996, dir. Henry Selick)
Go here for our review of the film. (By the way: Henry Selick's early short film, Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions [1991], was selected as A Wasted Life's Short Film of the Month for August 2012.)

Chicken Run
(2000, dirs. Peter Lord & Nick Park)
As Culture Vulture says, Chicken Run is "smart and charming, a family film in the best sense – a multi-layered feast where all ages will find much to enjoy." From the makers of the Wallace & Gromet films. But as makes obvious, it is all a Christian plot to brainwash your kids: "With all the feathers, clucking and pecking you might have thought Chicken Run was about chickens. But replace Rocky the Rooster, who is (for lack of a better word) a chicken, with Moses (another coward), and swap the chickens for the enslaved Israelites in Egypt and you basically have the story of Exodus in the Bible." Damn Christians just wanna brainwash your kids!

Prisoner of Paradise
(2002, dirs. Malcolm Clarke & Stuart Sender)
One-minute outtake:
City Farmer News explains: "This 2002 documentary presents a complete background to the making of the propaganda film [Der Fuehrer Schenkt den Juden eine Stadt ("The Fuehrer Gives the Jews a City"], by presenting a full history of the life of Kurt Gerron, who was ordered to make the film."
The Fuehrer Gives the Jews a City (full film):
"[...] Prisoner of Paradise is the startling true story of Kurt Gerron, a well-known and beloved German-Jewish actor, director and cabaret star in Berlin in the 1920s and '30s. Among his greatest accomplishments, he co-starred with the legendary Marlene Dietrich in the film classic The Blue Angel (1930 / a trailer). Gerron also sang Mack the Knife in the original production of Threepenny Opera. Ultimately, he was captured and sent to a concentration camp, where he was ordered to write and direct a pro-Nazi propaganda film. Prisoner of Paradise follows Kurt Gerron's career and remarkable odyssey, offering a unique prospective on this extraordinary period. Shot on location in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Prague [...]."
This X-rated 1980 film from Bob Chinn – the inspiration for Burt Reynolds' character "Jack Horner" in Boogie Nights (1997 / trailer) – and Gail Palmer (36-23-37) and starring Seka & John Holmes is also entitled Prisoner of Paradise, but Jake Eberts had nothing to do with it:

Open Range
(2003, dir. Kevin Costner)
We'll admit, we hate Dances with Wolves (1990), but this Western is another story indeed. OK, Costner drags the film out a scene or two too long – the last scene is basically a total and unnecessary repeat of an earlier one – and it is hard to believe that Diego Luna (of Nicotina [2003 / trailer]) could live in the West most of his life and still have such a cute, thick Mexican accent, but this Western is fine stuff – something for the man of the house as much as for the woman. Love that scene in which it is made clear: if you gonna do bad, do bad, don't brag.... a well-acted movie well worth watching.

(2006, dir. Christian Volckman)
An interesting if not fascinating technical experiment that works for the most part, even if the film noir story – despite its science fiction trappings – is a bit run of the mill and predictable (the ending is at least appropriately bleak). One-line plot description from Wikipedia: "The film centers on a policeman ordered to find a kidnapped scientist who holds the key to eternal life in a futuristic Paris." We had planned to (posative) review the film for A Wasted Life some months ago, but got distracted by an obituary we were working on, and now way too much time has passed to write about it...

The Illusionist
(2010, dir. Sylvain Chomet)
The most recent feature length film from the French director of Les triplettes de Belleville / The Triplets ofBelleville  (2003 / trailer), which we here at A Wasted Life considered one of the Best Films [we saw] in2010. Chomet adapted this animation movie from an unproduced 1956 script written by French comic director and actor Jacques Tati. Plot, from imdb: "A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever."

Bertil Norström
9 Sept 1923 – 6 Sept 2012
Swedish actor Bertil Norström missed his 89th birthday by three days by dying on September 6, 2012; he is survived by his wife of 65 years, actress Margreth Weivers. We know nothing about him, other than that he was an actor, but here are few projects that he participated in.

I Am Curious (Yellow)
(1967, dir. Vilgot Sjöman)
The infamous scandal film that ended up getting banned in Massachusetts 'cause of nudity, staged intercourse and scenes such as the one in which Lena, the main character, kisses the limp weenie of her lover. Norström appears uncredited as a "factory worker"; the real star of the film, Lena Nyman, who died 4 February 2011, went on to become one of Sweden's most successful actresses. The film is considered revolutionary for its day due to its structure and form. At imdb, Molly Malloy explains the plot: "Lena, aged twenty, wants to know all she can about life and reality. She collects information on everyone and everything, storing her findings in an enormous archive. She experiments with relationships, political activism, and meditation. Meanwhile, the actors, director and crew are shown in a humorous parallel plot about the making of the film and their reactions to the story and each other. Nudity, explicit sex, and controversial politics kept this film from being shown in the US while its seizure by Customs was appealed."

Sensuous Sorceress
(1970, dir. Torgny Wickman)
Original title: Skräcken har 1000 ögon, aka Fear Has 1000 Eyes. According to imdb, director Togny Wickman, the maker of such classics as Swedish Sex Games (1975), Anita: Swedish Nymphet (1973 / full film) and the white-coater More About the Language of Love (1970), "produced 1,600 short movies of different kinds in his lifetime." Sensuous Sorceress, however, is a horror film; Norström appears as "Vilgot," who does not appear on the poster and, according to Ninja Dixon "dies after being affected by a piece of genuine Voodoo bread!" Ninja Dixon also says that "Skräcken har 1000 ögon still is one of Sweden's most talked-about horror movies, or 'erotic horror' as some would say. It's still one of the most bashed horror movies made here, which today seems a bit weird – because it's actually not that bad and not better or worse than some of the more trashier Italian and Spanish counterparts. Just a little bit more snowy and stiff." The plot, as explained by ND: "The priest Sven (Hans Wahlgren) and his wife Anna (Anita Sanders) come home after being away for a while. Anna had psychiatric problems, probably connected to her pregnancy, and now it's time to start all over again. But something has changed at home.... something sinister and dark. Their maid Hedvig (Solveig Andersson) has started to dabble with black magic and she starts causing trouble with her spells. Soon people around them are starting to die and Anna isn't sure if she's going crazy again or if there's something otherworldly terrorizing them..."

Ture Sventon – Privatdetektiv
(1972, dir. Per Berglund)
Norström appears as "Manager Hjortron," and makes it onto the poster! He must be known in Sweden, after all. One assumes the film is a kiddy film, seeing that the character, Ture Sventon (Tam Sventon in the English version), is the main character of some nine children's books written between 1948 and 1973 by Åke Holmberg.
Theme song:

Sverige åt svenskarna
(1980, dir. Per Oscarsson)
According to imdb: "The biggest flop in Swedish motion picture history." Also at imdb, Ørnås explains the film: "This farce concerns Sweden's King Gustav (Per Oscarsson who plays all the lead roles). The royal monarchs of three major European countries are patiently or not-so-patiently hovering on the sidelines while watching the future King Gustav closely. No single king appears to possess the brains he was born with, so history seems to be made by default, as it were. Gustav does blunder around, but not enough to miss being crowned king. As a result, France, England, and Germany invade Sweden hoping to take by force what they could not gain by incompetence." Christina Lindberg is along in the background somewhere as a French mistress, while Norström is there as an English courtier. 

(2009, dirs. Johan Lundborg & Johan Storm)
A short thriller. Plot, according to YouTube: "A lovable grandmother is certain that her nursing home caretakers are murderous maniacs. She's right." The Red Rock Film Festival gives a bit more detail: "Rosemarie (Norström's wife in real life, Margreth Weivers) moves into Rosenhill, a residential home for the elderly. She is very uncomfortable in her new surroundings and finds the other residents unpleasantly confused or unsociable. It is not until she accidentally discovers what the staff are up to that the nightmare truly begin." Bertil Norström appears as "Bernard."
Part 1:

Part 2:

 César Fernández Ardavín
22 July 1923 – 7 September 2012
Spanish film director César Fernández Ardavín died Madrid at the age of 90. The son of a painter, Ardavín was also the nephew of Spanish director Eusebio Fernández Ardavín, who is credited by some as having directed the first sound film in Spain. Ardavín wrote and directed numerous films, documentaries and short films and even won a Golden Bear in Berlin in 1960 (for El Lazarillo de Tormes). Some of the projects he participated in include the following:

¿Crimen imposible?
Ardavín wrote and directed this crime film about which we could find no info – but we like the poster, in any event.

...Y eligió el infierno
Aka Berlino L'Inferno dei vivi. Ardavín directed this drama about a German couple in Berlin, Elsa (Sabine Bethmann) and her husband (Gérard Tichy of The Blancheville Monster [1963]), which has to decide on which side of the divided city they are going to live. The husband decides to become a policeman for the GDR, but finds that his duties conflict with his morals... We couldn't find any video material online about Berlino L'Inferno dei vivi, but we did find Alberto De Martino's The Blancheville Monster!
The Blancheville Monster (1963) – complete film:

El lazarillo de Tormes
Ardavín wrote and directed this film based on an anonymous novel from the 16th century. In 1963, the New York Times wrote: "A small beggar boy's corrosive exposure to a gallery of rogues, bland charlatans and pious money-scroungers, as he wanders through 16th-century Spain, is the subject of a bitter, provocative and extremely well-made screen import from that country [...]. [...] All we can say after seeing it is that, compared to the victimized child hero of this engrossing movie, old Don Quixote had a picnic. Excellently photographed and fluently staged, against a striking background of Old World castles, villages and landscapes, the picture is a kind of Rabelaisian Oliver Twist. Realistically, slyly and often hilariously, the various vignettes enmesh the wandering child, Marco Paoletti, in adult corruption under the very shadow of the church. [...]" The poster above is to the film, the image below is to an earlier version.
First 15 minutes in Spanish:

La Celestina
Aka The Wanton of Spain. Written and directed by Ardavín, based on the novel by Fernando de Rojas. Allmovie says: "Long before Shakespeare was revolutionizing English theater, great Spanish playwrights like Fernando de Rojas were writing popular, fully-scripted plays like La Celestina (1499). This international production is based on that play and concerns the tribulations of two star-crossed lovers who must rely on the arch-conniver Celestina to even manage to see one another briefly. However, one after another of them is betrayed in this grandmother of all subsequent tragicomedies of the modern age."

Senza buccia
(1979, dir. Marcello Aliprandi)
Ardavín was slumming it when he did the screenplay to this typical Eurotrash sex comedy aka Ich liebe Dich, Du kleiner Schwede and Skin Deep, which was directed by Marcello Aliprandi, the man who brought you A Whisper in the Dark / Un sussurro nel buio (1976 / trailer). Among the nymphets that bounce through this flick is none other than Ilona Staller, better known by her porn name, Cicciolina. As lazarillo says at imdb: "Okay, the plot is stupid. The characters are annoying, and are made even more so by the bad English dubbing. Obviously though, the raison d'etre of this Italian time-waster is to get the drool-inducing [Lilli] Carati, Staller, and (to a much lesser extent) [Olga] Karlatos naked as early and often as possible." Rafatosman gives the plot as follows: "A young man, Daniel (Juan Carlos Naya), is resting with friends on the beach, but he was not lucky with women. The situation changes when they rescue a boat with a couple of nudists from Norway. Beautiful blonde brings confusion to the company. The remaining vacation all go naked, making love, jealous of each other."
The music to Senza buccia:

Louise LaPlanche
6 Sept 1919 to 7 September 2012
So, when did she die? Over at imdb, Louise LaPlanche is listed as having died in Newark, Delaware, on 10 June 2005 – but just announced the death of their local resident Louise LaPlanche as being Friday, 7 September 2012, one day after her 93rd birthday... Which in turn also casts doubts upon the birth date (24 February 1921) listed on imdb. So, take your choice: 24 February 1921 to 10 June 2005, or 6 Sept 1919 to 7 September 2012... We, for the sake of this blog entry, go with the latter dates from
The next question, of course, is who was Louise LaPlanche? Well, up until her death she was the only surviving member of the original cast of the silent film version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), in which she played Esmeralda as a baby. She, like her "look-alike sister" Rosemary La Planche (Miss America 1941; starlet of Devil Bat's Daughter [1946 / trailer] and Strangler of the Swamp [1946 / full film]; born 1923, died 1979), was a beauty queen – Louise was crowned Miss Catalina 1939 – who did uncredited extra work, both with and without dialogue, but decided to give up the glamour for the role of housewife. While still in California, she still did some modelling or TV commercials, but her family always came first; as a widow, she moved to Michigan to live with her daughter, which is where she passed way a day after her 93rd birthday.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
(1923, dir. Wallace Worsley)
Universal's most successful silent film, and a true masterpiece; even in the poor quality prints that now circulate, it remains a fabulous film – and in our opinion, the best film version of the tale. As mentioned above, up until her death Louise LaPlanche was the only surviving member of the original cast of the movie, in which she played Esmeralda as a baby. Director Worsley, who next to Tod Browning is considered one of Chaney's most successful artistic relationships, stopped making films with the advent of sound.
Full film:

Ziegfeld Girl
(1941, dirs. Robert Z. Leonard & Busby Berkeley)
We caught this film as a child and promptly fell in love with Hedy Lamarr, perhaps one of the most beautiful women of the Golden Age of Hollywood. This film isn't quite as wildly surreal as the best Berkeley films, but it’s a fun way to spend an evening. The Hollywood Review explains this movie's excuse for the musical numbers: "Ziegfeld Girl chronicles the lives of three different girls, Sandra Kolter (Hedy Lamarr), Susan Gallagher (Judy Garland), and Sheila Regan (Lana Turner), as they are each plucked from obscurity and become stars in the Ziegfeld Follies." Hedy gives it all up for her asshole violinist husband, Lana lets it all go to her head and spirals out of control, while Judy lives happily ever after. (Life does not always imitate art.) LaPlanche can be seen in the chorus and dancing alongside Judy in a scene or two.

The Forest Rangers
(1942, dir. George Marshall)
Trailer Bay says: "Ranger Don Stuart (Fred MacMurray) fights a forest fire with timber boss friend Tana 'Butch' Mason (Susan Hayward), and finds evidence of arson. He suspects Twig Dawson (Albert Dekker) but can't prove it. Butch loves Don but he, poor fool, won't notice her as a woman; instead he meets socialite Celia (Paulette Goddard) in town and elopes with her. The action plot (Don's pursuit of the fire starter) parallels Tana's comic efforts to scare tenderfoot Celia back to the city." God only knows where LaPlanche is in this one. Director Marshall made many a film, including the Alan Ladd & Veronica Lake film noir The Blue Dahlia (1946 / trailer).

This Gun for Hire
(1942, dir. Frank Tuttle)
Speaking of Alan Ladd & Veronica Lake, LaPlanche is an uncredited extra somewhere in this film noir propaganda film. Yes, propaganda film: even the psychopath Philip Raven (Ladd) is willing to die for the war effort and his country, though he never had any morals before. Still, a good film and Veronica Lake (nee "Constance Frances Marie Ockelman") is at her beautific highpoint, a far cry from how she looked in her last film, the infamously bad low budget horror Flesh Feast (1970 / trailer).

Road to Morocco
(1942, dir. David Butler)
In 1996, Road to Morocco was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." OK; whatever. David Butler also made You'll Find Out (1940 / trailer), the only "horror" film to feature Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff together. Plot of Road to Morocco, as per imdb: "Two carefree castaways (Bob Hope & Bing Crosby) on a desert shore find an Arabian Nights city, where they compete for the luscious Princess Shalmar (Dorothy Lamour)." LaPlanche – along with Yvonne De Carlo – is an uncredited exotic beauty in the background.

Lady of Burlesque
(1943, dir. William A. Wellman)
Hey – "Take it of the B string and put it on the G string!" We saw this flick as a pubescent kid and giggled ourselves silly at all the innuendo. Based on The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee." William A. Wellman's only "horror" film. Great film. Over at the Internet Archives, picfixer tells it like it is: "BOOM TA TA BOOM TA TA BOOM!! Murders in a burlesque house. The police are baffled. Can the strippers solve the crimes? Finding out is half the fun in this backstage murder mystery that's flavored with the underside of theatrical life. The story is fast-paced and suspenseful, with a subplot or two that add interesting complications. However, this movie is anything but a film noir. There is plenty of straight from the shoulder, wry humor as the tumultuous life of the burlesque house goes on, regardless of the body count. The title character is played by Barbara Stanwyck, whose mean-streets personal upbringing gave her extra acting chops in this hard-boiled role. She is ably supported by Michael O'Shea and a cast of professionals. This movie was a favorite of mine, going all the way back to when I was too young to understand half of it. Hope you enjoy too." Somewhere among the bump & grind babes is LaPlanche as "Chorine".
Full film:

Aleksandr Belyavskiy
6 May 1932 – 8 September 11
The Russian actor Aleksandr Borisovich Belyavskiy died on 8 September by defenestration – that's "suicide by jumping from a window" to most people. 80 years old at the time, he is survived by his second wife Lyudmila Belyavskaya and daughter Alexandra, born in 2004 when Belyavskiy was 72 and Lyudmila 52.

The Mysterious Monk
(1968, dir. Arkadi Koltsaty)
Russian title, Tainstvennyy monakh; German title, Der geheimnisvolle Monch – despite the sound of the title, it is not an Edgar Wallace film. Plot, according to Kinomusorka, where you can watch the film in Russian online, is as follows: "Ukraine, in 1920. Denikin's army is defeated and flees to Wrangel in the Crimea; in the famous monastery Matrenin, the remnants of the White Guards hide. Under the guise of Lieutenant Stronsky, the monastery gets an experienced security officer Vorontsov. He manages to find the enemy's plans and in time to prevent a new rebellion."

Test pilota Pirxa
(1979, dir. Marek Piestrak)
Aka Pilot Pirx's Inquest. A Russian science fiction film. The plot, according to Wikipedia: "This movie is about a rocket pilot named Pirx who is hired to go on a mission to evaluate some nonlinears (robots) for use as crewmembers on future space flights. Pirx and his crew, made up of nonlinears and humans, are sent out to launch two satellites into the rings of Saturn. There is a near disaster and the human crew are almost killed. Upon returning to Earth there is an inquest to determine if Pirx was responsible for the 'accident.' In the end, it is found that one of the robots caused the malfunction in an attempt to kill the human crewmembers and Pirx is cleared of all charges."
Full film in Polish:

Ochen sinyaya boroda
(1979, dir. Vladimir Samsonov)
Aka A Very, Very Blue Beard – your guess regarding what this groovy animated film is about is as good as any – pretty wild stuff... Aleksandr Belyavskiy is the voice of the author.
Part One, in Russian:

Part Two, in Russian:

Gerakl u admeta
(1986, dir. Anatoliy Petrov)
The plot, according to Daily Motion: "The film is put on the motives of ancient Greek myth. Admet was predicted to the untimely death from which he could be rescued if someone instead of him agrees to descend in the empire of Aid. Wife of Admet - Alkesta – offered herself for the sake of him. Hercules fights with the god of death and rescues Alkesta."
The full animated short in Russian:

Marquis de Sade
(1996, dir. Gwyneth Gibby)
The directorial debut of Gwyneth Gibby, who isn't making waves. Aleksandr Belyavskiy appears briefly as "Judge de Bory". Plot, according to the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review:"The writer and notorious libertine the Marquis de Sade is sentenced to the Bastille by a Parisian court for the murder of a girl, which happened just as de Sade described in one of his books. Justine tries to get to see de Sade but is refused by the police and the courts. However, she bribes the guards and is taken to see him. She is at first taken aback by de Sade's unrestrained wolfishness. She begs from him knowledge of her sister Juliette who wrote of knowing de Sade before she went missing. Instead de Sade holds off telling and asks her to bring quills and paper whereupon he starts dictating chapters of a book to her. He tells her his story, of how he had to marry Renee de Montreuil to escape bankruptcy only to find that her mother controlled all the finances. Under his wife's nose and then in front of her, de Sade let a life of wickedness, consorting with prostitutes. He then dictates the chapters that describe how Juliette came to Paris as an actress and he took her under his tutelage and determined to corrupt her. Through listening to this, Justine comes to realize that she is attracted to de Sade and moreover that he did not kill Juliette but that Juliette has been captured and used as a sadistic plaything by others."

Follow the link to They Died in September, Part III.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frightful waste, isn't it?