Category Archives: Drama

Grand Slam (1967)

This may come as something as a shock to many of you, but sometimes even the most minutely planned diamond heist can go horribly wrong. Grand Slam follows the formula to the letter right down to the doublecross at the end of things that you pretty much had to see coming, if only as a way to explain one character’s sudden change in behavior during the middle of the movie. The only way the movie could have turned out that would have genuinely surprised me was if the big steal was pulled off without a hitch and everyone got their fair share of the booty. Continue reading

Hell Is for Heroes (1962)

There’s a scene in some little bar that Steve McQueen’s John Reese isn’t supposed to be at where he’s getting himself some firewater and the barmaid is saying that he’s going have problems when the MPs find him there. “Are you looking for trouble?” she asks. He pours himself another and says “the world’s full of trouble”. And there’s no way you could argue with that, I thought. Especially since some shell-shocked combat burn out who only goes crazy when he’s not in battle is saying it! Continue reading

Evelyn Prentice (1934)

Evelyn Prentice follows that time-honored tradition of having a comedy team appear in a dramatic vehicle where the most drama you get is in just how bad they are when they are trying to be deadly serious. This domestic/courtroom melodrama is certainly deadly in every aspect of its execution right down to the irritating little kid who gets trotted out whenever they want to make a point about how much the dad is neglecting his family or how mommy should own up to killing the guy she started running around with just because dad was neglecting the family. Continue reading

The Death of Ocean View Park (1979)

Welcome one and all to Ocean View Park, the gassiest place on Earth! You might think it’s called that because of the green cotton candy the awkwardly shy Jenny Flowers is spinning between bouts of self-loathing or because frazzled college student and popcorn machine expert Phil Brady, who is also saddled with a pregnant clairvoyant wife (this is a total 1970s TV movie, isn’t it?), is handing out boxes of popcorn to disgruntled customers angry at the machine being broken down.

And it very well could have been, but the film never indicated that star Mike Connors’ frequently pained facial expressions were caused by an inordinate amount of guest flatulence. The film does indicate, and this is very instructive for future theme park designers, that the gas main running through the park probably shouldn’t be right next to the old wooden roller coaster. Continue reading

Yesterday’s Child (1977)

Yesterday’s Child depicts a more innocent time in our history when a messed up rich family with a missing child didn’t have to worry about genetic testing uncovering the awful truth about what really happened all those years ago when mom supposedly lost poor little Ann at the park playing hide and seek. But even living in the dark ages where disgruntled heirs had to just take the word of a stranger who rolls in with just enough circumstantial evidence to convince a desperate and domineering grandmother that the hot little lady on the door step is her long last granddaughter, and more importantly the long lost granddaughter entitled to her dead daddy’s trust, there were other more low tech ways to make sure she really was part of your insane family. Continue reading

Superdome (1978)

“You have your team, your buddies, your football, your Super Bowl! Well hell, I went out and had sex! It felt good!” Over-the-hill cornerback Dave Walecki’s wife sure gives an offbeat pre game pep talk to her understandably confused husband in this understandably hilarious TV-movie that constantly talks about the Super Bowl but delivers the ultimate shock ending by finishing up right in the middle of the National Anthem before a single down of the Big Game can be played! Continue reading

Dangerous (1935)

Bette Davis is just fine in the role of Joyce Heath, the talented and self-destructive actress who is brought back from the brink by the creepily-obsessive adulation of architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone). The problem is the herky-jerky and sporadic treatment of the problems that Joyce suffers from, notably alcoholism. She seems to be a heavy drinker just so that she can say she’s a down and out has-been, like it was something to aspire to! Continue reading

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the real deal Santa Claus that for some reason has escaped an old folks home and decided to wreak his holiday brand of havoc on the capitalist pigs at Macy’s, as well as firing up a little girl’s imagination which has been stymied by her divorced workaholic and very sensible mother. He’s also got no use for drunken Santa imposters, pop psychiatry, and doesn’t mind going to trial to prove he is the one and only Santa! Continue reading