Sept. 2, 2008, 5:40 a.m. CST
is all i've got. Quint you've inspired me. AS of late i've been watching a hell of a lot of movies that i passed on the first time around. not as awe inspiring as yours but nonetheless movies that i had to see for the sake of watching. it helped tht they all had riffmaster voice overs on them, both plan 9 from outer space and battlefield earth, but my god they were terrible! i ask if you can mix it up a bit perhaps some more modern classics amongst your viewing once in a while ( try not to be a slave to continuity) amongst your golden ages viewings
Sept. 2, 2008, 5:58 a.m. CST
All I remember is a fight scene where they swing an anchor back and forth at each other for like 30 mins. The sound of the chain and anchor crashing is intense. Also Dix's bizarre sleepwalking/drunk/brilliant performance.
Sept. 2, 2008, 6:21 a.m. CST
Holy crap, you're right. That was Tierney. Awesome. The swinging anchor scene you're talking about actually happens early in the movie and it's not a fight scene, just our first indication that the captain ain't all right in the noggin, or at least has some serious judgment issues as he orders the anchor to hang free so the newly applied paint can dry, even when he's confronted with how dangerous that is.<BR><BR>The climactic fight scene is a knife fight... and a tense one it is, too.
Sept. 2, 2008, 6:25 a.m. CST
by Boba Fat
I've seen all the ones listed, as a card carrying, Italian horror geek, I love that stuff and think Lisa And The Devil could be his masterpiece. I'm really looking forward to the write ups though and the talk backs. Sorry to go off topic I got myself all excited and Bavafied.
Sept. 2, 2008, 6:51 a.m. CST
I remember now, all the crewmen running around the deck dodging and/or trying to stop the anchor. I can't remember the end fight at all. Hearing the mute guys inner thoughts was another weird touch in this odd little flick.
Sept. 2, 2008, 6:56 a.m. CST
I'm looking forward to it. Bava's always been a big hole in my film education. I've seen most of Argento's stuff, most of Fulci's well-known stuff... I've seen more Lamberto Bava than Mario, though. Can't wait to dive in a bit. I got two whole box sets to hit before I'm done with the column.
Sept. 2, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
Seems like Queeg's got nothing on this guy.
Sept. 2, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
Forbidden Planet. If you never have it's a must see. A young Leslie Nielsen in a serious role, and the first appearance of Robby the Robot. The effects were at the time state of the art. They aren't today of course, but they're still good.
Sept. 2, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST
I have and I've rewatched it recently, even. And the Moby Dick parallels in THE GHOST SHIP are actually pretty strong, actually.
Sept. 2, 2008, 8:29 a.m. CST
by Boba Fat
Argento is great and was my introduction to Italian horror. I really enjoy the excess of a lot of the Italian genre film-makers, music, make-up FX, acting camera you name it but when you watch the Bava films you totally see the huge debt they all owe him especially Argento. Not to take anything away from Dario but he stole from the best. Bava's range is just incredible, plus he did his own make-up and visual effects on a lot of the early flicks (Black Sabbath)and that's one of the things I love about them, that sense of setting out with a camera and small crew and telling your story with whatever is to hand that you can use cheaply and effectively, he loves creepy branch in front of the camera! That's why I said Lisa And The Devil could be his masterpiece because how can you choose between the masterful surreal creepiness of that film and the gothic beauty of Black Sunday or the pop art of something like Danger Diabolik? I can't anyway.<P> Looking forward to your take on them. Cheers!
Sept. 2, 2008, 8:43 a.m. CST
by Boba Fat
And I got my Black Sundays and Black Sabbath's mixed up so, I was banging on about the gothic, black and white beauty of Black Sunday in my earlier post. Black Sabbath in in color and the middle story "The Wurderlak" is a great mix of Argento purple and reds. I bet the young Dario was sat in a cinema in Rome with a notebook in 1964!
Sept. 2, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST
For anyone who complains that the title is misleading, people have to remember that they where usually thought of in advanced by Val Lewton's supervisors at RKO. He got pretty much creative freedom to do what he wanted, but he never came up with the names of the movies. I should also add that Val Lewton was sued for plagiarism by a couple of writers who claimed he stole this idea from them.
Sept. 2, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST
I'm dee-lighted that you liked "The Ghost Ship". To the extent that its overlooked, I think a lot of that can be blamed on the fact that it was apparently out of circulation for years, due to some kind of copyright issue. That and the fact that its probably the Lewton that has the least marketable names (no Simone Simon, no Tom Conway, no Boris Karloff). But its a pretty engaging picture, isn't it? I remember when I got the Lewton box set, I finished "The Leopard Man" late one night and decided just to take a peek at "The Ghost SHip" and literally could not stop watching it because I really wasn't sure where the story was going to go. Dix starts out so affably as the captain - part fatherly and part ... well, who knows - that you can't quite believe it as he goes further and further down the path of batshit crazy. I really did not know how it was gonna end, so I kept watching, finishing up at like 3 in the morning. A couple of trivia notes - some great Lewton players in this one: Sir Lancelot as a singing crewman, the first mate is the cult leader from yesterday's "The 7th Victim", the mute crewman turns up as a cockney in tomorrow's "Isle of the Dead" (my second favorite Lewton), and Dix's island squeeze is Vincent Price's first wife who also turns up in "I Walked with a Zombie". Add to that the fact that the island the ship visits in the flick is St. Sebastian - I assume the same island as San Sebastian, also from "I Walked with a Zombie" - and you get a lot of Lewtonian cross-referencing.
Sept. 2, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
Queeg was the Captain in The Caine Mutiny. Bogart was in that role in the big screen. It has had numerous stage runs over the decades. Charlton Heston played Queeg once. Wish I could have seen that.
Sept. 2, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST
When everyone is cut in half by the wires! That part was awesome!!<br><br> Oh wait, never mind.
Sept. 2, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST
It was one of the films my local UHF station would rotate as their 'one o'clock movie' before the days of Fox, UPN, and whatever else has taken over the old UHF independent guys.
Sept. 2, 2008, 12:50 p.m. CST
This film was such a pleasant surprise! Captain Stone’s ability to justify his nefarious behavior with twisted logic almost convinces you that what he’s doing makes a whole lot of sense. I love the ship setting and the idea of not really being able to hide anywhere because there’s only a finite amount of space. The fact that this film is in black and white only adds to the claustrophobic feel. This is a really fun film and one of Val Lewton's better films. Avoid Lewton's "I Walked With a Zombie". Despite the praise given by critics, the film is a 90-minute sleeping pill. The Leapord Man is a lot more fun.
Sept. 2, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE is the best of the lot.
Sept. 2, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST
This is still a great column. Keep up the good work Quint!
Sept. 2, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST
Here’s an effective gripping drama/thriller that considers its moral quandaries seriously. Surprisingly, considering its title and place in this box set, there are no supernatural elements. The villain is pliable vulnerable humanity. The captain, who loses his mind, has honorable intentions at the outset but has been too long at sea and too lonely to see his ideas have become unsound. Coming from 1943, it can perhaps be seen as a microcosm of how Hitler came to power. Many people will ignore anything to keep their jobs unless there’s concrete proof to back them up. The responsibility of authority also demands that citizens do not stand by idly. Every aspect of the production is excellent: direction, acting, atmospheric cinematography, a top-notch script. I agree with Quint that Russell Wade is heavy on being goody-two-shoes, but he plays the situations realistically and it works. This movie does more in 69 minutes than most do in two hours. If more of the films in this series are of this quality, then it’s easy to understand why Val Lewton deserved his own box set.