Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '76 - Scott from Married With Clickers ""

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Underrated '76 - Scott from Married With Clickers

Scott and his wife Kat run the Married With Clickers podcast. It's a great show and you should listen. They basically watch movies together and then talk about them on the show. They have themed months and whatnot and always seem to choose interesting films to watch. Check them out:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/married-with-clickers/id418660623?mt=2

Here's Scott's Underrated '86 list:
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2016/05/underrated-86-scott-from-married-with.html
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Aces High
What a cast! Malcom McDowell is supported by the likes of Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard and even one of my personal favorites; Ray Milland. This film is a real treat for anyone with an interest in the impact of dogfights on the pilots of the First World War. As it is based on a play, the staginess can be felt at times, but the performances and the overall anti-war message help propel the film. The heroes are all flawed and the initial glamour and excitement of the lives of these British Aces soon fades as the reality of the psychological damage caused by their duties takes over. It is a very solid film.

Deadly Hero
Don Murray has a certain quality that has always gotten under my skin. I think it has to do with watching him countless times as the evil Governor Breck in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. He plays a more complex character in Deadly Hero as a NYC cop whose violent tactics have him flip flopping between hero and villain in the eyes of the media, the public and perhaps even the viewer. This leads to the unravelling of a very tightly wound individual. The entire cast is solid with James Earl Jones as a real standout. Mid-70s New York is beautifully captured here. Given the topical nature of the material covered, Deadly Hero is a hidden gem that likely still resonates in 2016.

Trial By Combat (aka A Dirty Knight's Work, aka A Choice of Weapons)
My local video store, which recently shuttered its doors, had what they called the 'Black Vault'. It was filled with obscure films never released on DVD, or even VHS. That's is how I found this oddity. In the film, a group of wealthy Englishmen with a passion for medieval times decide to take the law into their own hands. As such, cockney criminals finding themselves in the middle of jousting contests. Tonally, this could go one of two ways. It could be a grim and gritty look at vigilantism or a silly action-comedy. For better or for worse, the latter is chosen as the filmmakers are obviously looking to entertain more than preach. From what I've read on-line, the film is hated by many but if you're looking something different and enjoy gazing at a young Barbara Hershey (or an aging Peter Cushing), then this might be the film for you.

Illustrious Corpses
I sat down to watch this one thinking that I was in for some Euro-Crime action. What I ever wrong! This is a thoughtful thriller, directed by Francesco Rosi, which delves into the topics of political corruption and anti-fascism. Lino Ventura is excellent as the detective looking into the deaths of a couple of Supreme Court judges. The level of corruption and deception will slowly make your skin crawl, aided by the supporting cast which includes the likes of Fernando Rey and Max Von Sydow. It's a deliberately paced and though provoking political thriller which may be a nice change of pace if you need a break from car chases in Rome.

The Mysterious Monsters
As we now live in an age where there are countless television shows dedicated to myths and cryptozoology, it is hard to remember that there was a time when glimpses of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster were rare. This film presents the evidence in a very earnest manner, assisted greatly by its host Peter Graves, who seems to be auditioning for A&E'sBiography. It is a wonderful snapshot of a time where it seemed as though such creatures might be just around the next bend in the road. Looking back, it's all a bit silly but we took this film very seriously when it would pop up on TV in the early 80s.

The Great Houdini
There were some terrific movies produced for television in the mid-70s and I would put The Great Houdini up there among the very best. This biopic stars a very solid Paul Michael Glaser (yup – Starsky) and does a good job touching on many of the elements of his life, including his relationships with his mother (Ruth Gordon) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Peter Cushing). It is a fascinating film about a fascinating man. Far less glamorous that the Tony Curtis vehicle of the 50s, but arguably more effective.

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