Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the 70s

Here is my review of this outstanding documentary that I posted on Amazon.
5.0 out of 5 stars
I had the pleasure of seeing this great and amazingly well done documentary in a special showing at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. I don't say this lightly, but this is probably the best documentary I have ever seen on a particular genre and "Eurocrime" was and is one hell of a genre. A lot of love, as well as time and extensive research, went into the making of this movie and you can tell by what you see and hear on the screen. And to top it off you get to hear from the horse's mouth, so to speak, anecdote after anecdote about the trials and tribulations and fun....oh what fun these actors must have had.....while making these classic films. Well worth the price of admission and more. A must have for fans of all genres and especially fans of all those "Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the 70's). Hats off to writer/director Mike Malloy for archiving this period of movie making history. What a monumental achievement! PS: After seeing this doc you want to go out and find copies of every film mentioned so you can see, first hand, how terrific and exciting most of them are. (Would love for someone to make a comprehensive doc like this one on spaghetti westerns.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Really enjoyed seeing and hearing Robert Wagner at Vroman's last night. He truly might be the last link to the old Hollywood....and that's why he wrote his new book You MUST REMEMBER THIS...to reminisce about the "good old" days and to talk about places and people who aren't around anymore. Kind of a bitter sweet journey for him. He looked great.

He talked a bit about the book but mostly fielded questions from the audience. One surprise member of the audience was actor Bill Wellman (William Wellman Jr, Director "Wild" Bill Wellman's son) Bill Sr directed some of Hollywood's greatest movies....PUBLIC ENEMY, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, YELLOW SKY, BATTLEGROUND, THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, and TRACK OF THE CAT to name just a few.

I asked RJ why he never made any westerns after 1957's THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES (his 4th) and he said he never stopped making them....they stopped coming to him. I told him about how I was amazed at how he was able to jump onto a bareback horse with one hand while holding a rifle in the other (something I've seen no other person do). He said the trick was taught to him by a stuntman. Speaking of stuntmen... Jack Young! I told him that Black Jack Young said to say hello and he said..."Be sure to say hello to him for me."

He was asked if there were any roles that he regretted turning down and he said none that he could think of.....and that the only movie he would have liked to have been a part of and didn't make it was BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Grindhouse Releasing's THE BIG GUNDOWN Blue-ray 3 disc set


Just finished watching the 95 minute "Expanded US Cut" Blu-ray version of THE BIG GUNDOWN with commentary by C. Courtney Joyner and Henry C. Parke. I enjoyed their commentary, and even though I personally didn't hear or find out anything new, I thought they kept it interesting and informative all the way through and that they worked well with each other. However, for the uninitiated and novice spaghetti fan or someone not familiar with this Lee Van Cleef classic their commentary was spot on. Highly recommended.

As for the longer version in Italian with English subtitles, I still prefer the Franco Cleef fan based reconstruction version. Missing scenes were added to the version originally released in the US and where scenes in English were unavailable they were subtitled. I know, I know...the newly released extended version is a pristine Blu-ray copy and has never looked better on tv while the Franco Cleef version is only available on regular dvd......but.....I, personally, like having most of the movie in English instead of having the whole thing in Italian and subtitled. You just gotta hear Lee's voice. Everybody else can be dubbed, but not Lee.
(See GOD'S GUN.) It's not right.

Lottsa interesting bonus stuff, too!

All in all cheers to Grindhouse Releasing for giving us this 3 disc set that belongs in everyone's collection.