June 25, 1982 in US cinemas: Monty Python Live At The Hollywood Bowl

“Never before in the entire history of human civilization has there been a motion picture called…”

Monty_Python_Live_At_The_Hollywood_Bowl-1982Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl is a British concert comedy film directed by Terry Hughes (with the film segments by Ian MacNaughton) and starring the Monty Python comedy troupe (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) as they perform many of their greatest sketches at the Hollywood Bowl. The film also features Carol Cleveland in numerous supporting roles and Neil Innes performing songs. Also present for the shows and participating as an ‘extra’ was Python superfan Kim “Howard” Johnson.

The show also included filmed inserts which were mostly taken from two Monty Python specials, Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus, which had been broadcast on German television in 1972. The performance was recorded on videotape in September 1980 and transferred to film. In the wake of Life of Brian‘s worldwide success, the Pythons originally planned to release a film consisting of the two German shows redubbed and re-edited, but this proved impractical, and so Hollywood Bowl was released instead.

Although it mostly contains sketches from the television series, the scripts andCinema-US-06-25-1982performers are not identical to those seen on television. The line-up also includes some sketches that predated Monty Python’s Flying Circus, including the “Four Yorkshiremen sketch”, which dated from 1967’s At Last the 1948 Show.

Watch the trailer on the cinetobi YouTube Channel.

June 25, 1982 in US cinemas: Megaforce

“ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH FOR MEGAFORCE?”

Megaforce-1982Megaforce (or MegaForce) is an action film directed by former stuntman Hal Needham. The film starred Barry Bostwick, Persis Khambatta, Michael Beck, Edward Mulhare, George Furth, Evan C. Kim, Ralph Wilcox, Robert Fuller (who, years later, admitted to being less than fond of the picture) and Henry Silva. [Wikipedia]

Ace Hunter (Bostwick) is the leader of Megaforce, an elite group of American soldiers who travel the world to fight Evil. In this case, Evil is represented by a third rate dictator who they must blow to bits. [IMDB]

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Watch the trailer on the DigThatBoxHOLLYWOOD YouTube Channel.

June 25, 1962 in UK cinemas: The Phantom Of The Opera

“BENEATH HIS MASK…the Grotesque Face of Horror Unimaginable! INSIDE HIS HEART…the Desperate Desire for Beauty and Love!”

The_Phantom_Of_The_Opera-1962The Phantom of the Opera is a British horror film based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. The film was made by Hammer Film Productions.

It stars Herbert Lom as The Phantom/Professor Petrie, supported by Heather Sears as Christine and Michael Gough as Lord Ambrose D’Arcy.  The Rag Trade‘s Miriam Karlin and future Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton, also appear. [Wikipedia]

The corrupt Lord Ambrose D’Arcy steals the life’s work of the poor composer Professor LCinema-UK-06-25-1962. Petrie. In an attempt to stop the printing of music with D’Arcy’s name on it, Petrie breaks into the printing office and accidentally starts a fire, leaving him severely disfigured. Years later, Petrie returns to terrorize a London opera house that is about to perform one of his stolen operas. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the 100YearsMonsterMovie You Tube Channel.

June 24, 1977 in US cinemas: Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo

“The Love Bug falls ‘hood-over-wheels’ for a classy chassis!”

Herbie_Goes_To_Monte_Carlo-1977Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo is an American comedy adventure film and the third in a series of films made by Walt Disney Productions starring Herbie – the white 1963 Volkswagen racing Beetle with a mind of its own.

The film stars Dean Jones as returning champion race car driver Jim Douglas, joined by his somewhat cynical and eccentric riding mechanic Wheely Applegate (Don Knotts). Together with Herbie, the “Love Bug“, a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, they are participating in the fictional Trans-France Race, from Paris, France, to Monte Carlo, Monaco. According to dialogue, they hope to stage a racing comeback in the event. [Wikipedia]

Cinema-US-06-24-1977Watch the trailer on the permvw YouTube Channel.

June 23, 1989 in UK cinemas: They Live

“You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.”

They_Live-1989They Live is a 1988 American satirical science fiction horror film written and directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster. It follows an unnamed drifter (referred to as “John Nada” in the film’s credits) who discovers that the ruling class are in fact aliens concealing their appearance and manipulating people to spend money, breed, and accept the status quo with subliminal messages in mass media. They Live is based on the 1963 short story, “Eight O’Clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson.

At release it was number one in the box office, but sales soon suffered, though the film was nominated for two Saturn Awards. They Live has since become a cult film. The film has had a lasting impact on street art, particularly that of Shepard Fairey; its quotations have entered the popular culture, and it makes appearances on all-time lists for best fight scenes. [Wikipedia]

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John Nada (Piper) is a man without job who walks around a big American city trying to find something to do. He finally finds a job as a worker and a place to spend the nights, but one day something terrible happens to him. John discovers a pair of sun-glasses through which he can see the true face of people. Many persons in this city are in fact aliens (from the Andromeda) and most of them are important members of our society. They keep humans in ignorance and they rule our world as they like. Nada must find the rest of the men that know what’s happening (those who made the strange sun-glasses) and join them in the fight against the aliens. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the Forever Cinematic Trailers YouTube Channel.

June 23 in US cinemas: Murder By Death and The Cheap Detective

“By the time the world’s greatest detectives figure out whodunnit…you could die laughing!”

Murder_By_Death-1976Murder by Death is a 1976 American satirical mystery comedy film with a cast featuring Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, Nancy Walker, and Estelle Winwood, written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore.

The plot is a broad parody or spoof of the traditional country-house whodunit, familiar to mystery fiction fans of classics such as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. The cast is an ensemble of British and American actors playing send-ups of well-known fictional sleuths, including Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan, Nick and Nora Charles, and Sam Spade. It also features a rare acting performance by author Truman Capote.

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The film was presented at the Venice International Film Festival in 1976. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Sony Pictures At Home UK YouTube Channel.

~”The bogus Bogie who hasn’t got a clue!”

The_Cheap_Detective-1978The Cheap Detective is a 1978 American satirical comedy film written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore as a follow-up to their successful Murder by Death .

It stars Peter Falk as Lou Peckinpaugh, a detective in the Humphrey Bogart mould. The film is an affectionate parody of Bogart movies such as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.

The ensemble cast includes Madeline Kahn, Louise Fletcher, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Stockard Channing, Marsha Mason, Sid Caesar, John Houseman, Dom DeLuise, Abe Vigoda, James Coco, Phil Silvers, Fernando Lamas, Nicol Williamson, Scatman Crothers, Vic Tayback and Paul Williams.

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Lou Peckinpaugh (Falk), a bumbling San Francisco private detective, tries to prove himself innocent of his partner’s murder while helping a bizarre array of characters recover a lost treasure. The film spoofs Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Chinatown, and To Have and Have Not. The scene in the restaurant with Peckinpaugh and Pepe Damascus mocks the opening scene of The Big Sleep. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Sony Pictures At Home YouTube Channel.

June 23, 1977 in UK cinemas: A Bridge Too Far

“OUT OF THE SKY COMES THE SCREEN’S MOST INCREDIBLE SPECTACLE OF MEN AND WAR!”

A_Bridge_Too_Far-1977A Bridge Too Far is a British-American epic war film based on the 1974 book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan, adapted by William Goldman. It was produced by Joseph E. Levine and Richard P. Levine and directed by Richard Attenborough.

The film tells the story of the failure of Operation Market Garden during World War II. The operation was intended to allow the Allies to break through German lines and seize several bridges in the occupied Netherlands, including one at Arnhem, with the main objective of outflanking German defences in order to end the war by Christmas of 1944.

The name for the film comes from an unconfirmed comment attributed to British Lieutenant-General Frederick Browning, deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, who told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the operation’s architect, before the operation: “I think we may be going a bridge too far”, in reference to the intention of seizing the Arnhem bridgehead over the Rhine river.

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The ensemble cast includes Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Hardy Krüger, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell and Liv Ullmann. The music was scored by John Addison, who had served in the British XXX Corps during Market Garden. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel.

June 23, 1989 in UK cinemas: Married To The Mob

“Angela always wanted to give marriage a shot.”

Married_To_The_Mob-1989Married to the Mob is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Modine.

Pfeiffer, in something of a departure from her previous roles, gave an acclaimed lead performance as a gangster’s widow from Brooklyn, opposite Modine as the undercover FBI agent assigned the task of investigating her mafia connections.

As a slippery mob boss romantically pursuing Angela, Dean Stockwell was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Angela de Marco (Pfeiffer) is the wife of mafia up-and-comer Frank “The Cucumber” deMCDMATO EC012 Marco (Alec Baldwin), who gets violently dispatched by Mob boss Tony “The Tiger” Russo (Stockwell) when he is discovered in a compromising situation with the latter’s mistress Karen (Nancy Travis). Angela wants to escape the mafia scene with her son, but is harassed by Tony who puts the moves on her at Frank’s funeral. This clinch earns her the suspicion of FBI agents Mike Downey (Modine) and Ed Benitez (Oliver Platt), and also of Tony’s wife Connie (Mercedes Ruehl), who repeatedly confronts Angela with accusations of stealing her husband. To further complicate things, Mike Downey is assigned to monitor all of Angela’s movements as part of an undercover surveillance operation, but cannot resist becoming romantically involved with Angela himself. Angela’s attempts to break away from the Mob result in comic mayhem and a climactic showdown in a honeymoon suite in Miami. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel.

June 23, 1974 in UK cinemas: Blazing Saddles

BLAZING SADDLES or never give a saga an even break!”

Blazing_Saddles-1974Blazing Saddles is an American satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Bergman’s story and draft. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences, was nominated for three Academy Awards, and is ranked No. 6 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.

Brooks appears in two supporting roles, Governor William J. Le Petomane and a Yiddish-speaking Indian chief; he also dubs lines for one of Lili von Shtupp’s backing troupe. The supporting cast includes Slim Pickens, Alex Karras, and David Huddleston, as well as Brooks regulars Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, and Harvey Korman. Bandleader Count Basie has a cameo as himself.

The film satirizes the racism obscured by myth-making Hollywood accounts of the American West, with the hero being a black sheriff in an all-white town. The film is full of deliberate anachronisms, from the Count Basie Orchestra playing “April in Paris” in the Wild West, to Slim Pickens referring to the Wide World of Sports, to the German army of World War II. [Wikipedia]

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In this raucous parody of the Western film genre, greedy land developer, Hedley Lamarr (Korman) greases palms of insane Earl Long/Blaze-type governor (Brooks) to induce his help to snatch land to build Hedley’s railroad. A key piece of land, Rock Ridge, is inhabited by a flock of Johnsons, all deeply entrenched in the town. The governor tries to help Hedley rid himself of the townspeople; first, he appoints black sheriff Bart (Little) for Rock Ridge. Next, Hedley sics Lili von Shtupp (Kahn), “Teutonic Twit” on Bart. With the help of his sidekick, The Waco Kid (Wilder), Bart fights for his new town. But, the politicos (and the WB studio) fight back. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel.

June 22, 1942 in UK cinemas: The Falcon Takes Over

“MYSTERY that you’ll laugh at…when — The Falcon TAKES OVER”

The_Falcon_Takes_Over-1942The Falcon Takes Over (also known as The Falcon Steps Out), is a black-and-white mystery film directed by Irving Reis. The B film was the third, following The Gay Falcon and A Date with the Falcon (1941), to star George Sanders as the character Gay Lawrence, a gentleman detective known by the sobriquet the Falcon.

Although the film featured the Falcon and other characters created by Michael Arlen, its plot was taken from the Raymond Chandler novel Farewell, My Lovely, with the Falcon substituted for Chandler’s archetypal private eye Philip Marlowe and the setting of New York City replacing Marlowe’s Los Angeles beat. The film was the second adaptation of a Marlowe story, after Time to Kill, released earlier in the same year. That film, also, did not use Marlowe as the main character, changing the name to Michael Shayne. [Wikipedia]

One night in New York, beefy escaped convict Moose Malloy goes hunting for his ex-Cinema-UK-06-22-1942girlfriend Velma, leaving a trail of mayhem behind him. Velma seems to be well-hidden, and adventurer The Falcon, intrigued, investigates on his own, approaching the heart of the mystery via a varied sequence of shady characters and attractive women. [IMDB]