Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2017 - Cathie Horlick-Wilson ""

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Film Discoveries of 2017 - Cathie Horlick-Wilson

Cathie (Cahcat on Twitter) is a personal friend of mine and She is a dedicated movie watcher and a DARKMAN fantatic. Her love of movies knows no bounds. Do yourself a favor and go check out her lovely blog:
http://shempcat.com/

Also, check out a few of her previous discoveries lists:
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2017/01/film-discoveries-of-2016-cathie-horlick.html
http://rupertpupkinspeaks.blogspot.com/2013/02/favorite-film-discoveries-of-2012_20.html
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2014/02/favorite-film-discoveries-of-2013_13.html
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/2016/02/film-discoveries-of-2015-cathie-horlick.html
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ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO (1964)
I discovered this movie thanks to a friend who shared that it was coming up one night on TCM. So I recorded it and ended up watching it twice, the second time with my mom.

ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO is truly a wonderful little indie film on a heavy subject. Julie (Barbra Barrie) is a single mom, and she falls for Frank (Bernie Hamilton) who also works at the same factory. Their courtship is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

Frank is a Black man and soon social prejudice get in the way of their happy life, after she has another child. Julie’s ex husband Joe (Richard Mulligan) decided he wants custody of their daughter as racism rears its ugly head. The film still plays so relevant to our times and it’s not about happy endings.

A man doesn’t know about himself until something like this happens and what he finds out may stink like a sewer. He can’t help himself, he just can’t.” - JOE/Richard Mulligan


VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED (1976)
An all star cast in a movie about a very real event, set right before WORLD WAR II, the SS St. Louis carried over 900 Jewish German refugee passengers in 1939 to Havana, seeking asylum to escape Hitler’s Germany.

This movie was hard to watch, it made me angry that this happened, and it only fueled my anger for events happening at start of last year, when I first watched the film.

The cast includes; Max von Sydow, Faye Dunaway, Malcolm McDowell, Oskar Werner, Ben Gazarra, Orson Wells and Katharine Ross to name a few. Faye Dunaway is a beautiful and fierce presence as the wife of a doctor played by Oskar Werner who’s hated for having helped German Nazis. We see Jonathan Pryce in an introductory role for him as a jew who escaped the camps along with a friend. The Rosen Family, the father played by Sam Wanamaker who was tortured by the Nazis and his wife Lee Grant who have a young daughter and they all just want a chance at life and peace. My favorite though was Max von Sydow as Capt. Schroeder, a German officer who has sided with his passengers hopes of a place to go safely. It was also infuriating to see how politics and governments came into play, caring more about the impression of things over the greater good of human lives.
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THE MAIKU HAMA PRIVATE EYE COLLECTION: THE MOST TERRIBLE TIME IN MY LIFE (1933), THE STAIRWAY TO THE DISTANT PAST (1995) and THE TRAP (1996)
These three movies were hands down my most favorite discovery of 2017. It all starts with THE MOST TERRIBLE TIME IN MY LIFE, which is in black & white, as we are introduced to private eye Maiku Hama (that’s his real name) who houses his business atop a movie theater in Yokohama Japan and you have to buy a ticket to the movie if you want to see Maiku (Masatoshi Yokohama).

Maiku works hard so he can help get his younger sister into a good school and his current case involves helping a young Taiwanese guy find his missing brother. Of course one little case opens up a bigger can of worms of gang war and politics.

THE STAIRWAY TO THE DISTANT PAST splashes on the scene in color and delves into Maiku’s past, when his his mother shows up. The catch is Maiku has told his sister their mom was dead. Maiku is still delving deeper in the web of the Yakuza, and other gangsters while he’s more down on his luck than before.

THE TRAP finds Maiku with a booming business and in love, but there’s a serial killer out there. The reputation of all private eyes is at stake with a new case.

The three movies go well together and Maiku is charming, smart and quirky with style. I loved the world, time and place of this series and would love the chance to see these on a big screen someday.
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ROAD HOUSE (1948)
Road House is now one of my favorite noir films. It’s nothing splashy or fancy but it’s good and solid. Lily Stevens (Ida Lupino) is a lounge singer who is independent and strong and sure of herself. Lily has comes to a new club at the request of co-owner, Jefty (Richard Widmark) and being the big man on campus he thinks thinks he’s got dibs on Lily’s affections. When Lily falls for Jefty’s partner Pete (Cornel Wilde) we see what happens to a spurned man and the lengths he takes for revenge. Ida just oozes with strength and sexy in this film.
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GUMSHOE (1971)
Eddie Ginley (Albert Finney) is a comedian looking for a break and is a wannabe detective seeking out his own Dashiell Hammett mystery after placing a detective for hire ad in the newspaper. Filled with sharp one liner wit this was the feature debut of director Stephen Frears. I really dug watching Eddie plot together the pieces of a murder; “Me moments of glory all in me head.”
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BLACK EYE (1974)
I really do have a love of private detectives and this one tickled my fancy from beginning to end. To quote my own review from the beginning of the year: “Fred Williamson is private eye Shep Stone, he was once a cop and now does his own thing; solving cases and eating peanuts along the way.” I love Fred Williamson and he delivers his brand of charm as the tough guy who has a heart. Shep’s latest case involves old hollywood stars, dope and a religious cult.

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THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF (1970)
Harold Pelham (Roger Moore) is a well to do London businessman, he’s got a lovely wife and two sons. One day Harold is suddenly compelled to break his straightlaced tendency and recklessly drives himself into a terrible accident. In the emergency room Harold momentarily dies and two heartbeats return. Harold wants to quickly get back to thing as they were but he gets the feeling someone else is living his life. We’re in doppleganger territory and you can tell Roger Moore is having fun in this part.
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WOLF GUY (1975)
SONNY CHIBA is Wolf Guy! From a clan of werewolves Akira (Chiba) is the only survivor and living in the city working as a private detective. (See more private detective favorites!) Akira has found himself on a case after witnessing a man being torn apart by a tiger spirit. As more men are killed by the tiger spirit Akira has to figure out who is wielding the tiger spirit and why. It all builds up to big amazing fights and the bad ass that is Sonny Chiba wolfing out when the full moon rises!
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