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Weird and Forgotten Movies

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Senator Jack, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. I just watched "The Assassination Bureau" with Diana Rigg, Oliver Reed, and Telly Savalas. Not a great picture, but very enjoyable nonetheless. It takes places in 1914 and Reed and Savalas run the title company. Rigg hires Reed to have himself killed which is a challenge he accepts. For the rest of the picture the rest of the bureau tries to do away with Reed as he travels throughout Europe with Rigg in tow. A rather interesting period piece overall and there are a lot of great costumes to ogle over, such as Reed's killer DB (and Diana Rigg's towel:rolleyes: )

    I love discovering odd pictures like this, pictures that just seemed to have been forgotten. Not small pictures, or independent pictures, but pictures that were probably in general release and were then simply forgotten about.

    Some others I like are:

    Seconds - Based on a rather philosophical book of the same name, Rock Hudson is an aging banker who, through surgery, is reborn as a young artist. Bizarre and rather haunting.

    Arnold - A picture I haven't seen this since I was a kid at the matinee, but if anyone has a lead on a DVD I'd greatly appreciate it. Arnold is a rich man who marries his lover (Stella Stevens) despite his death, and has boobytrapped his mansion to take care of his ne'er-do-well relatives. Probably not as good as I remember it, but one of those weird pics I'd like to see again.

    What's So Bad About Feeling Good? - I saw this one about twenty-five years ago and not since. Something about a toucan that flies around and makes everyone fall in love. The government doesn't like that and wants to put a stop to it.

    An unknown 60s British picture I saw at 2a.m. - I actually tracked this down as 'Two a Penny' and it starred Cliff Richard as a young drug dealer who finds salvation at a Billy Graham revival. Maybe not as weird as I recall, but watching it at 2 a.m. I remember thinking it very weird.

    Anyone else care to share their favorite unkonwns? I'm particularly interested in weird 60s Brit films about mod/rock bands,(like 'Beat Girl' with Christopher Lee - Soundtrack by John Barry 7) so perhaps some of our UK members can list some of their favorites.


    Senator Jack
  2. Dammit, can't remember the name of the movie, but it's about a fashion photograher in swingin' London who gets mixed up in a murder mystery - lots of beat music. He's taking photographs of a girl he's stalking (hey, nothing wrong with that, this is 60s London!) and in the photos a murder is committed in the background. The ending is really really srewed up: A game of mime tennis. That's right, a whole bunch of mimes pretending to play tennis. he has to take part because they "hit" the "ball" across the fence and he has to mime "return" it to them. Scared me out of my wits. There was something incredibly sinister about that game of tennis.

    Maybe someone can provide the name. Perhaps it isn't even obscure.

  3. Everything about Cliff Richard is wierd. Ewww

    How about (not cliff richard): Gonks Go Beat. The Graham Bond ORGANisation features prominently. That is one crazy movie.

  4. Blow Up.
  5. That was Blow-Up with the photographer and the mimes. I saw that with another Antonioni picture, "The Passenger", and again that was probably a quarter-century ago. I remember little of both - I remember nothing much really happening in "The Passenger" - something about a passport? the African veldt? Having just watched L'Avventurra - an early Antonioni picture - I realize I'm not much a fan of his work (nothing really happens in this picture either) but now I'm curious to revisit Blow-Up after all these years.


    Senator Jack
  6. Yeh! Blowup- with The Yardbirds playing live,
    complete with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck!


  7. Speaking of Weird-

    "The Swimmer"- with Burt Lancaster.

    An odd film, which I like a lot.
    Kinda depressing but I still like it a lot.

    It often plays on TV, very late at night.


  8. "Doc" Devereux

    "Doc" Devereux One Too Many

    "F for Fake" (AKA "V?ɬ©rit?ɬ©s et mensonges")

    Orson Welles' penultimate film: a free-form documentary about fakery that focusses on the notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and Elmyr's biographer, Clifford Irving. Irving, of course, went on to write that famous fake autobiography of Howard Hughes (it's entirely possible he was writing it during the filming of this film, as Welles points out) and let's not forget that Welles himself knew more than a little about putting one over on people.

    Absolutely one of my favourite films, one that makes me smile and laugh and revel in the cleverness of the whole thing. I can't help but think that Welles was enjoying himself as well, playing with magic tricks and sharing a smile with the audience. The ending's a gem, but I wouldn't dare spoil it for you.
  9. one film that always seemed to be on english TV when i was a nipper (in the 70s-early 80s) was 'The Beguiled'. clint eastwood is a wounded civil war soldier who holes up in a boarding school for girls. well, you can imagine the sexual tensions that might ensue. i have vivid memories of watching this movie on my black and white portable TV in my room with the sound turned down low so my parents wouldn't hear.
  10. I'm just reading the plot of Gonks Go Beat. Looks like I'll have to track down a copy of this - thanks BK!

    I've added "F for Fake" to my queue - thanks Doc!

    Saw The Swimmer as a kid, BT. I didn't realize it was weird - I'll have to revisit that too.

    Speaking of rock bands in movies, I just watched 'Bunny Lake is Missing' last week. In the middle of the picture Lawrence Olivier is in a pub and watching TV. We're then treated to The Zombies performing three numbers as Olivier drinks his ale and watches them on the screen. Was Premminger under contract to include the group or was he a fan?


    Senator Jack
  11. Ho, Ho.

    Good luck!

    Scarce is not descriptive enough. There used to be a guy selling bootlegged copies on the internet. It was released on VHS about 15 years ago. The Graham Bond ORGANisation is wonderful. Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce (both soon to be of Cream w/ Clapton), Dick Heckstall-Smith, and Graham Bond (also known in this country as Grahame Bond). A true lunatic, an excellent Hammond organ player, and perhaps the most original and best alto saxophone player that britain produced.


    p.s. Many thanks for the film name. I'll be getting a copy. Ithink it's great.

  12. I like those swingin' 60s flicks like 'Modesty Blaise,' Peter Sellers in 'The Party,' James Coburn in 'The President's Analyst,' and the Monkees' 'Head.'
  13. "The Swimmer" is indeed a great movie which started as a John Cheever story. A great performance by Burt Lancaster too. And John Frankenhiemier's "Seconds" is a great flick also - incredibly paranoid and disturbing, and gorgeously shot by James Wong Howe. The oft-discussed-here "The Night of the Hunter" is a another film in this category.

    Here are some others that come to mind...

    "The Werewolf of Washington" - a bizarre, low-budg horror flick made in the immediate post-Watergate years, featuring werewolves in the White House and a mad-scientist dwarf presidential adviser named Dr. Kiss!

    "Gabriel Over the White House" - made by William Randolph Hearst's film arm before Roosevelt's election in 1933, this astoundingly odd film has newly elected president Walter Huston being manipulated by heavenly forces to end the Depression in some scarily fascist ways.

    "Wild In the Streets" - an incredible Roger Corman document of the late 60s in which the voting age is lowered to 16, a shallow rock star becomes president, and everyone over thirty is sent to concentration camps and forced to take LSD! (Along these lines, "The Trip" is worth seeing too.)

    Hey, these are all about the president - I didn't intend that!

    I'll post more when I think of them...
  14. Unfortunately, Modesty Blaise plays better as a memory than as a movie. I watched that last year, for the first time as an adult, and it was rough. No plot whatsoever, but the Johnny Dankworth soundtrack is great.

    'The Party' - I could always imagine Blake Edwards, being the sophisticate that he was, once attended a disasterous Hollywood party and thought to make a film about it. Again, no plot, but at least it was a showcase for Sellers (Birdie num-num and the bathroom scene are the highlights)

    Thanks for reminding me about Analyst - one of those pics I keep remembering and forgetting to put on my list. I have to watch Head again at some point too. (I'm currently working through the Monkees TV series.)

    Head was from a Terry Southern script, wasn't it? The same man who gave us 'Candy'. (Now that's a crazy picture)

    Another 60s pic to see is 'The 10th Victim'. Marcello Mastrioni and Ursula Andress picture are contestants in a state-run assassination game.


    Senator Jack
  15. "Doc" Devereux

    "Doc" Devereux One Too Many

    But have you seen "My Name Is Modesty"? Much more like it, and with input from Peter O'Donnell as creative consultant. A splendid piece of work.
  16. [QUOTE="Doc" Devereux]Orson Welles' penultimate film: a free-form documentary about fakery that focusses on the notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and Elmyr's biographer, Clifford Irving.[/QUOTE]

    F is for Fake! Yes! One of my favorite films!

    I would also rec Grey Gardens. It is perhaps one of the strangest films I have ever seen (I love it to pieces). Little Edie Beale was really something else.


  17. I recall the impact Blow-up had on many of us of college age in the mid-late-60's. We were the generation that grew up seeing the Zapruder films of the JFK assassination, not to mention the killings of Dr. King and RFK and all the conspiracy theories that followed. In Blow-up, the protagonist's attempt to prove that someone was murdered, but he is unable to prove anything and evidence disappears, weighed heavily on many of us.

    Am I the only one who sat in the theatre through as the credits ran and watched that mime tennis match take place -- and, in the end, everything disappears?

    Two films, possibly not forgotten, that I saw on TV were The Naked Prey. Cornell Wilde played a man captured by a hostile African tribe and then set loose naked while they pursued him with spears and weapons, to hunt him down and kill him.

    Another film, probably Kirk Douglas' best film (and I believe he said it was his favorite) was Lonely Are the Brave, about a cowboy who does not fit in to modern times.

    Diana Rigg -- that reminds me of a favorite film she was in: Theatre of Blood, she plays the deranged daughter of Vincent Price. They do Shakepeare plays and, when critics pan them, the critics get knocked off in a Shakespearian manner. If you are a Shakespeare and a horror buff, this one is fun to watch.

    Can't think of any others at the moment, I've forgotten the forgotten...

  18. I thought that starred Big Head Ted Kennedy? BAHAHAHAHAHAHA :icon_smil :p
  19. Another of Antonioni's films: Zabriskie Point. They just won't release that on DVD.
  20. Why not..? what's the big deal about that film?


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