Movie Talk

Yeah, I'd heard of Leningrad Cowboys before. I'll check it out...


As I was coming of age in the late 80s I found myself hanging around the Kings Cross area of London which was notoriously seedy at the time. Most people went there to pick up hookers, I went there to play D&D on Friday nights. There was the greatest cinema ever there called The Scala, which showed all kinds of underground and classic movies, and they were famous for their Saturday night themed all-night movie shows. They had something different playing every night of the week, usually in a double bill - sometimes themed, sometimes just fun. I spent a few Friday nights catching movies I was too young to see in theaters when they first came out. It totally opened my eyes to alternative and low-budget cinema, back in the days when I could stomach wild horror movies and weird films with amazing soundtracks and no plot.

Then I went to college, then they showed A Clockwork Orange, got sued and had to close down.

Lordy, I miss that place.

Edit: Found a poster that's a little difficult to read, you get the gist. 

Here's a full size one from 1991.


ridski said:


Then I went to college, then they showed A Clockwork Orange, got sued and had to close down.


They were sued for showing A Clockwork Orange? Why? 


Im assuming you've given up on (or likely ignored) my earlier trivia question so here's the answer.  "Igor" in 1953's House of Wax was played by Charles Buchinsky, who would later change his name to Charles Bronson and kill many people on screen in subsequent decades.


bub said:

Im assuming you've given up on (or likely ignored) my earlier trivia question so here's the answer.  "Igor" in 1953's House of Wax was played by Charles Buchinsky, who would later change his name to Charles Bronson and kill many people on screen in subsequent decades.

Allow me to then mention the film, Bronson, in which Tom Hardy plays a different (VERY) person who also changed his name to Charles Bronson.


Train_of_Thought said:

bub said:

Im assuming you've given up on (or likely ignored) my earlier trivia question so here's the answer.  "Igor" in 1953's House of Wax was played by Charles Buchinsky, who would later change his name to Charles Bronson and kill many people on screen in subsequent decades.

Allow me to then mention the film, Bronson, in which Tom Hardy plays a different (VERY) person who also changed his name to Charles Bronson.

 I heard that was good.

 It seems that CB did not lack for work in his younger years but he doesn't hit my radar screen until The Dirty Dozen and doesn't begin his run as a lead action movie star until the early 70s (The Mechanic was the first one I think).  That's a long time to toil in Hollywood before hitting the big time.


bub said:

Im assuming you've given up on (or likely ignored) my earlier trivia question so here's the answer. 

 Neither. I cheated almost immediately.


DaveSchmidt said:

bub said:

Im assuming you've given up on (or likely ignored) my earlier trivia question so here's the answer. 

 Neither. I cheated almost immediately.

 me too. 


bub said:

It seems that CB did not lack for work in his younger years but he doesn't hit my radar screen until The Dirty Dozen and doesn't begin his run as a lead action movie star until the early 70s (The Mechanic was the first one I think).

He hit my radar in The Great Escape. (I knew in the ‘70s that he was a star, natch, but Great Escape, on TV, was the first movie of his I remember seeing.) The Magnificent Seven and Once Upon a Time in the West were next for me and Bronson.

I’ve seen him a couple of times in the last few months on episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on MeTV (once as a killer, once as a detective, with Claude Rains). Nice surprises, both times.


Yeah I forgot The Great Escape and Magnificent Seven. 

Speaking of The Great Escape and Steve McQueen, and early debuts, another trivia Q.  The actress who played the girlfriend of McQueen's character in The Blob went on to become a recurring character in a popular sitcom.  Who/what?


Just looked it up. I didn't recognize the name, but then I saw the face. I've been watching that sitcom a lot recently.


drummerboy said:

Just looked it up. I didn't recognize the name, but then I saw the face. I've been watching that sitcom a lot recently.

 Was and is a great show.  


It really is. For months I saw it come up on my guide, and I kind of laughed - who would watch that in the year 2019? Then I decided to watch an episode and was captivated. It's really well done and all the characters are great.


STANV said:

ridski said:

Then I went to college, then they showed A Clockwork Orange, got sued and had to close down.

They were sued for showing A Clockwork Orange? Why? 

 https://www.thevintagenews.com/2019/02/05/a-clockwork-orange/

Let me expand though. The programmer was sued personally for showing it, but apparently the lease was up on the building anyway. I guess it was an urban myth I heard. From an interview with the programmer who wrote a book about The Scala:

Starburst: The press often cites the famous A Clockwork Orange breach-of-copyright legal case as the reason the Scala closed down in 1993, but that wasn’t the real story was it?

Jane Giles: The Scala moved into the King’s Cross cinema in 1981 on a 12-year lease. So in June 1993, the lease ran out and the landlord wanted to triple the rent. But Palace Pictures had gone bankrupt in 1992 and with Steve Woolley and Nick Powell being directors of the Scala as well as Palace, we couldn’t raise the finance to re-develop the cinema in order to pay the landlord’s elevated rent. Plus, there was still a compulsory purchase order on the building relating to the high-speed rail link. So it was those factors that ultimately conspired to end it. The thing with A Clockwork Orange is the legend that gets printed, but if the lease hadn’t expired, the Scala wouldn’t have closed down in 1993.

https://www.starburstmagazine.com/features/jane-giles-scala-cinema-1978-1993

Worth a read, it was a fascinating place.


One should read Anthony Burgess' own essays about the book: " “what I was trying to say was that it is better to be bad of one’s own
free will than to be good through scientific brainwashing.”  


DaveSchmidt said:

May also co-wrote and directed it.

Lancaster had at least three three-film streaks:

The Rainmaker, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Sweet Smell of Success

The Leopard, Seven Days in May, The Train

The Devil’s Disciple, The Unforgiven, Elmer Gantry

Tremendous actor with impeccable standards.

 OOO some good ones in there.  Loved The Rainmaker, and you just gave me the name of the next kitten in my rescue. Melisande!

The Sweet Smell of Success, very good role in there for Tony Curtis. 

Elmer Gantry pure Lancaster.

Somehow this made me think of Robert Mitchum another actor who straddled leading man and character actor. Also played a great heavy.

For those who have never seen them try

Night of the Hunter

Cape Fear the original version, although I do think De Niro did that later role justice.


STANV said:

 And then later he topped them all in Judgement at Nuremberg

 Wow yes. Great film! Incredible cast. Loved Dietrich and I have to list a few of her films, I was entranced by her films and collected old stills of her.

Now I'm reminded of the series QB VII and I'd like to rewatch it to see if it was as powerful as I recall.


mrincredible said:

It had a bit of cult status even when it was new 35 years ago. I think like The Toxic Avenger and This Is Spinal Tap it's receding into a smaller and smaller segment of the collective pop culture consciousness. 

 Spinal Tap! Watched it many times.  Still love the amplifier that goes up to 11. And the Stonehenge set! A scream. They should rerun that film.


Morganna said:

 OOO some good ones in there. 

A special shout-out for The Devil’s Disciple, which I spent most of my life never even hearing about. Based on a play by Shaw and set during the Revolutionary War, it stars Lancaster as a principled minister, Kirk Douglas as an equally principled renegade and Laurence Olivier as an articulate General Burgoyne.

You put Lancaster and Douglas onscreen together (this, Corral, Seven Days) and you’ve got something.


A Lancaster note.  You may have seen the movie The Killers.  Most of the movie is flashbacks after a first rate incredibly tense noirish opening act.  The balance of the movie just doesn't hold up to the first act though it is, I think, a well regarded movie.  I later read the Hemingway short story the movie it is based and realized the story is the first act.  Worth seeing for the first act alone (the story = great too), which includes, believe it or not, a truly scary William "Cannon" Conrad.  


One of the greatest lines in B-movie history from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6Hq5jJDrAg


bub said:

Pre-fame or bit part debut appearance in a movie is a fun subject onto itself.  Who played the stereotypical madman's assistant "Igor" in Vincent Price's 3D 1953 horror movie "House of Wax"?

 Don't know if anyone answered, but it was Charles Bronson.  I just watched it a few weeks ago on Svengoolies Saturday night show.


erins said:

bub said:

Pre-fame or bit part debut appearance in a movie is a fun subject onto itself.  Who played the stereotypical madman's assistant "Igor" in Vincent Price's 3D 1953 horror movie "House of Wax"?

 Don't know if anyone answered, but it was Charles Bronson.  I just watched it a few weeks ago on Svengoolies Saturday night show.

 He was using his real name at the time, Buchinsky."

Answer to the 2nd question re Steve McQueen's girlfriend in The Blob.  Aneta Corsaut went on to play Andy's girlfriend, Helen Crump, in the Andy Griffith Show.


bub said:

erins said:

bub said:

Pre-fame or bit part debut appearance in a movie is a fun subject onto itself.  Who played the stereotypical madman's assistant "Igor" in Vincent Price's 3D 1953 horror movie "House of Wax"?

 Don't know if anyone answered, but it was Charles Bronson.  I just watched it a few weeks ago on Svengoolies Saturday night show.

 He was using his real name at the time, Buchinsky."

Answer to the 2nd question re Steve McQueen's girlfriend in The Blob.  Aneta Corsaut went on to play Andy's girlfriend, Helen Crump, in the Andy Griffith Show.

Link:  http://old.post-gazette.com/localnews/20030907bronson0907p7.asp

Hometown not rushing to honor actor Charles Bronson
Sunday, September 07, 2003

The Associated Press

EHRENFELD, Pa. -- The tiny hometown of movie tough guy Charles Bronson might honor him with a historical marker and a renamed street.

Then again, it might not.

Many residents of the borough of 234 people say Bronson -- born Charles Buchinsky on Nov. 3, 1921 -- rarely visited or looked up childhood friends.

"Someone asked for permission to have a sign put up at the entrance of town about a year ago, and borough council voted against it," said council president Albert Keller. "They said Charlie didn't do a damn thing for this town."

Charles Vizzini, of nearby Ebensburg, wants to honor Bronson with a $1,500 marker, half of which would be paid for by the borough, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh, and the other half by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He also would like to have Bronson's name on the street where he was born.

"We all should be proud that he was from Cambria County," Vizzini said.

Bronson, who died Aug. 30, was one of 15 children of a coal miner and his wife. The family lived crowded in a shack. His father died when he was 10, and at 16 he followed his brothers into the mines, earning $1 per ton of coal.

He was drafted in World War II, serving in the Pacific, and after seeing the outside world he vowed not to return.



bub said:

A Lancaster note.  You may have seen the movie The Killers.  Most of the movie is flashbacks after a first rate incredibly tense noirish opening act.  The balance of the movie just doesn't hold up to the first act though it is, I think, a well regarded movie.  I later read the Hemingway short story the movie it is based and realized the story is the first act.  Worth seeing for the first act alone (the story = great too), which includes, believe it or not, a truly scary William "Cannon" Conrad.  

The Killers is one of my favorite noir films ever. It is also famous for being the first starring roles for both Lancaster and a very young Ava Gardner. Great supporting cast as well and a twist ending. 


DaveSchmidt said:

Army of Shadows.

ETA: For a lighter touch, Tales of Manhattan.

And two more, because why be stingy: Suddenly. Nothing but a Man.

 Nothing But a Man.. There is a city panorama that is supposed to be downtown Birmingham (?) at night.  It is definitely Newark, N.J. in the '60's. -- photographed from Military Park and showing, as I recall, 2 Guys, Kleins' "On The Square," Haines and EJ Korvetes.


So, how many days does Bill Murray re-live in Groundhog Day?

No fair cheating!


drummerboy said:

So, how many days does Bill Murray re-live in Groundhog Day?

No fair cheating!

 Purely a guess - 70.


Nah - much, much more.

At one day a piece, maybe an hour or two a day, how long does it take to become an excellent jazz pianist? Malcolm Gladwell says 10000 hours - which may or not be b.s., but it's someplace to start.


drummerboy said:

Nah - much, much more.

At one day a piece, maybe an hour or two a day, how long does it take to become an excellent jazz pianist? Malcolm Gladwell says 10000 hours - which may or not be b.s., but it's someplace to start.

 Harold Ramis said ten years.



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