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Where To Buy The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse VHS starring Edward G Robinson Humphrey Bogart Claire Trevor Allen Jenkins Donald Crisp At The Lowest Price?

The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse VHS starring Edward G Robinson Humphrey Bogart Claire Trevor Allen Jenkins Donald Crisp

Why Buy A The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse VHS starring Edward G Robinson Humphrey Bogart Claire Trevor Allen Jenkins Donald Crisp?
A stylish, often amusing crime drama, this 1938 feature revolves around a central, improbable plot twist that consciously serves its casting against type: as the eponymous doctor, Edward G. Robinson, who had helped define the Warner Bros. style for gritty gangster sagas, jettisons his signature snarl in favor of a plummy, vaguely English accent that underlines his urbane sophistication. Dr. Clitterhouse is a creature of privilege who embarks on a criminal life not out of desperation, but rather through intellectual curiosity; instead of slouch hats and suits, he has marcelled hair and first appears in white tie and tails. He begins pulling off perfect jewel thefts as research into the criminal mind, but his gradual immersion in New Yorks shadowy demimonde of thieves and fences eventually finds the good doctor between those two worlds.

Robinsons principal foils stick closer to their studio strong suits. Humphrey Bogart is Rocks Valentine, a sturdy if familiar variation on the hoods and have-nots that were his early stock in trade at the studio. Bogarts fence and former paramour is Jo Keller, played by Claire Trevor as glamorous, streetwise, and otherwise decent, apart from her knack for larceny. When the doctor asks her to fence his glittering contraband, shes intrigued, and Clitterhouse, known to the hoods only as the Professor, becomes their strategist. Jo is clearly falling for him, while Rocks is visibly jealous of the fastidious strangers rising influence and romantic rivalry.

In keeping with its ultimately goofy premise, the story navigates some eccentric plot turns with an aplomb that can be credited to the solid cast (including other studio stalwarts such as Allen Jenkins, Ward Bond, and Donald Crisp) and the three principals, who would work off each other to much more riveting effect a decade later in Key Largo. –Sam Sutherland

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City Come A-Walkin by John Shirley – Save 20% Today!

City Come A-Walkin by John Shirley

Why Buy A City Come A-Walkin by John Shirley?
Stu Cole is struggling to keep his nightclub, Club Anesthesia, afloat in the face of mob harassment when hes visited by a manifestation of the city of San Francisco, crystallized into a single enigmatic being. This amoral superhero leads him on a terrifying journey through the rock and roll demimonde as they struggle to save the city.

Over 8 Five Star Customer Reviews On Amazon!

There Goes the Neighborhood
Literally! What a book. In itself it’s not scary – but its implications are terrorizing. William Gibson wrote the Forward in the edition I read – acknowledging Shirley’s primary influence on cyberpunk. This is an early book of his, but while some of the writing is rough, the thoughts he puts to paper are powerful.

Other reviews will tell you about the book (the Amazon description is horrible). There are three main characters. The interaction and flow among them is very fascinating. I couldn’t wait for the book to end so I could know how Shirley tied up the loose ends; I didn’t want the book to end because I was having so much fun.

If you enjoy reflecting on a book after you have read it, then this is a very good catalyst. I heartily recommend it.

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Warner Brothers The Naked Civil Servant starring John Hurt Liz Gebhardt Patricia Hodge Stanley Lebor Katherine Schofield – Save 25% Today!

The Naked Civil Servant starring John Hurt Liz Gebhardt Patricia Hodge Stanley Lebor Katherine Schofield

Why Buy A The Naked Civil Servant starring John Hurt Liz Gebhardt Patricia Hodge Stanley Lebor Katherine Schofield?
Between Oscar Wilde and Boy George, Quentin Crisp was the most important gay icon in England. The TV movie The Naked Civil Servant, adapted from Crisps autobiography and broadcast in 1975, had a significant social impact in the cause of gay rights, and its easy to see why. Packed with witty aphorism but also unflinching in its portrayal of the verbal and physical abuse Crisp received for being an openly effeminate homosexual; throughout most of Crisps life, simply being flamboyant was a political statement, one not always appreciated by other gay men who sought to pass unsuspected. The film briskly moves from when he stumbled into Londons gay demimonde to his bohemian social world and career as an artists model to a particularly superb scene when he was put on trial for solicitation. The Naked Civil Servant also brought the brilliant John Hurt, who played Crisp with intelligence and humanity, to wide acclaim. Hurt has since appeared in movies as diverse as Alien, The Elephant Man, V for Vendetta, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, but Crisp remains a signature role for this unique actor. The fortuitous combination of Crisp and Hurt makes The Naked Civil Servant essential viewing. Extras on the dvd include a short television piece in which Crisp interviewed Tina Brown when she was editor of Vanity Fair and a sweet, reminiscing commentary by Hurt, director Jack Gold, and producer Verity Lambert. –Bret Fetzer

Features

  • The Naked Civil Servant created a furor in 1975 when it premiered on PBS in North America with viewers threatening to yank their support of their local stations. It was a film ahead of its time about a man even more ahead of his time. The Naked Civi Servant is based on the autobiography of Quentin Crisp, a man struggling to live an openly flamboyant, gay lifestyle during a time when homosexuality

Over 15 Five Star Customer Reviews On Amazon!

fine, intriguing biopic–with excellent acting, too
The Naked Civil Servant is a fascinating biopic by the BBC about the life and times of Quentin Crisp, although because it was filmed in 1975 it does not cover his life in the United States after he moved here from Great Britain. However, the movie is still quite good and very engaging; I was not bored in the least. The acting is impeccable: John Hurt turns out a superlative performance as Quentin Crisp; and the rest of the casting was very well done. We truly get the sense of what Quentin Crisp was about and what he experienced; and that’s the hallmark of a fine biopic. The quality of the print could have been a bit better in spots but overall it’s still quite good.

We see how Quentin’s preference for romance with men quickly caused discord between him and his parents from an early age. Mr. and Mrs. Crisp (Lloyd Lamble and Joan Ryan) call in a doctor (Frank Forsyth) to see if Quentin can be “cured” but the doctor disappoints his two parents; Quentin’s father was particularly nasty toward him. It’s no wonder Quentin left home for good as soon as he was able to! In addition, we see Quentin’s countless ups and downs as well as his coping strategies, most of which are the result of his insistence of dressing in a rather flamboyant way, dying his very long hair red and essentially simply being openly gay in a place and time when being gay was completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, Quentin gets beaten up quite a bit; but he also experiences some happiness at parties with friends who accept him for the human being that he is and that’s a plus.

We also see some of Quentin’s interpersonal relationships with other men. There’s the fellow who goes by the nickname “Thumbnails” (Colin Higgins); “Thumbnails” is Quentin’s roommate early on after Quentin leaves his childhood home. Some of the men Quentin meets are for brief encounters; one man whom Quentin refers to as “Barndoor” (John Rhys-Davies) stays in his life for almost three years.

Quentin eventually enters modeling; and this is the point at which he begins to refer to himself as a “Naked Civil Servant.” No, John Hurt who plays Quentin is not literally naked in these scenes; but John Hurt’s costume is scant to say the least.

The DVD comes with a few nice extras: we get a featurette with Quentin Crisp himself; an optional audio commentary and scene selection. There are optional English subtitles for those of us who need them.

I could tell you more of Quentin’s life and experiences that you’ll see on this DVD; but I don’t want to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that this is a very well done biopic; and the opening brief introduction by Quentin Crisp himself is done in good taste. I highly recommend this film for anyone who is interested in the life and times of Quentin Crisp; and people who are interested in gay life in England when being gay was still considered a mental illness would do well to get this film.

The Sublime John Hurt…
.
This made-for-television BBC film from the mid-’70s is worth viewing for John Hurt’s acting skill alone.

I saw this on PBS’ Masterpiece Theater over thirty years ago and was mesmerized.
Hurt was hot off the set of I, Claudius where his portrayal of Caius (“Caligula”) is a wonder of the art of acting wherein he combined hubris, langour, madness, and humour–what a confection!
I, Claudius/The Epic That Never Was

Hurt is of course a working actor, and unfortunately he has not always been given the excellent rĂ´les he richly deserves. But, for example, his realization of Montrose in Rob Roy is the purest gold worth any amount of dross.
Rob Roy

Cheers to John Hurt who was born to play Quentin Crisp–”one of the great queans of England!”
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See too:
Wilde (Special Edition) (Oscar Wilde)
Carrington (Lytton Strachey)
.

Revisiting Quentin Crisp
“The Naked Civil Servant”

Revisiting Quentin Crisp

Amos Lassen

Last night I figured it was time to drop in on Quentin Crisp again as I hadn’t seen “The Naked Civil Servant” in about 12 years. The film was first broadcast on Public Television in about 1975 and caused quite a sensation. Quentin Crisp was a British gay man who came out in the 1920′s and he, himself, introduces the film about his life but with John Hurt playing him. The film follows his life as he found his place in the gay community of the time as well as his quest for fame and fortune. There is no sugarcoating; we see Crisp as he was–flamboyant and arrogant. The movie is as powerful now as it was when it was first shown. We see a man’s determination to stand up for his right to be himself and this is what the film is about–an individual who would not give into the standards of society. He was ostracized by many but he did not stop being himself.
John Hurt gives an amazing performance and took the role to heart, Crisp, like Oscar Wilde, was the brunt of many jokes and nasty gossip, all because he wanted to be himself. Hurt gives us the spirit of the man who did not grovel to the conventions of society. In this way, Crisp gave the world a free spirited soul. Hurt’s Crisp is a bon vivant and a serious determined man, who beneath his camp trappings is certainly not frivolous. He uses his wit and his dress as weapons against society and the smugs and stabs of the mainstream British establishment and society. Hurt shows him as a crusader who is appealing because of his own moral force in the way he faces prejudice. He has a wonderful sense of humor and he never loses his belief in humanity and lives his life undaunted and surrounds himself with friends. His world is eccentric and he speaks with authority. He busted out of the closet long before it was the fashionable thing to do and he was, quite simply, the most remarkable man. The film too is quite remarkable.

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Pomona Queen by Kem Nunn – Save 10% Today!

Pomona Queen by Kem Nunn

Why Buy A Pomona Queen by Kem Nunn?
In seedy Pomona, Dan Browns brother has been killed. Dan plans his revenge, but it isnt only Buddy Brown whos died. Pomona Queen takes a black-comic look at the desolation of this sleazy demimonde, with its decaying orange groves and its violent, druggy denizens. Nunn is a swift, economical stylist with a gift for the absurd. – San Francisco Chronicle

Over 5 Five Star Customer Reviews On Amazon!

brilliant dark mystery mixed with knife-edged humor
Kem Nunn shows originality and genius in this portrait of the dark side of Southern California, seen through the eyes of a door-to-door salesman, who gets tangled up with renegade bikers in the midst of a violent feud. The almost surreal setting comes alive, and the characters are unforgettable, but you’ll be glad they don’t live next door. It’s about time Nunn came out with another masterpiece

Underrated Masterpiece about the Dream Journey
I was disappointed that the other reviewers weren’t connecting this novel to its spiritual cousins: Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meredian and David Lynch’s film Mulholland Dr. I mention Blood Meredian because Pomona Queen deals with the connection between violence and empire-building, specifically the blood that was shed during the creation of Pomona. Nunn’s novel deals with a lot of violence and bloodshed, specifically of Earl Dean’s forebears, that surrounds the history of Pomona’s making. In that context we go into the nightmare world of Earl Dean, a vacuum cleaner salesman who goes to one house too many to sell his wares. His final house is owned by a drug-soaked, violent Dan Brown who kidnaps Earl Dean to conduct an order of business so bizarre you feel like you’re entering a nightmare. Indeed, the nightmarish quality, punctuated by grotesque humor, evokes the dream journey, complete with perdition and the longing for redemption, which has similar components that we see in Mulholland Dr. In both the film and Pomona Queen, the dream journey is a sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy and in both the dream journey is never arbitrary or weird for weird’s sake. There is a psychological realism that makes the events seem necessary and logical.

Earl Dean, a down and out vacuum salesman who’s been duped by his stepfather and the world in general is looking for redemption, courage, and belonging. You’ll have to read this harrowing, often bleakly funny novel to see if he finds them.

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Sweet Smell of Success starring Burt Lancaster Tony Curtis Susan Harrison Martin Milner Jeff Donnell – Save 10% Today!

Sweet Smell of Success starring Burt Lancaster Tony Curtis Susan Harrison Martin Milner Jeff Donnell

Why Buy A Sweet Smell of Success starring Burt Lancaster Tony Curtis Susan Harrison Martin Milner Jeff Donnell?
A classic of the late 1950s, this film looks at the string-pulling behind-the-scenes action between desperate press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) and the ultimate power broker in that long-ago show-biz Manhattan: gossip columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster). Written by Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets (who based the Hunsecker character on the similarly brutal and power-mad Walter Winchell), the film follows Falcos attempts to promote a client through Hunseckers column–until he is forced to make a deal with the devil and help Hunsecker ruin a jazz musician who has the nerve to date Hunseckers sister. Director Alexander MacKendrick and cinematographer James Wong Howe, shooting on location mostly at night, capture this New York demimonde in silky black and white, in which neon and shadows share a scarily symbiotic relationship–a near-match for the poisonous give-and-take between the edgy Curtis and the dismissive Lancaster. –Marshall Fine

Over 70 Five Star Customer Reviews On Amazon!

smart, sharp, thrilling, and made me shiver
I watched this film several months ago, and still the characters stand out sharply in my mind. Tony Curtis plays Sid Falco marvelously, as a man whose mind is quick with an excuse, an accusation, a bit of flattery, whatever the occasion calls for; this is a small, slick man, swimming around the ankles of larger and more powerful men. He knows he’s an unscrupulous guy, but wants to work his way up the food chain. Sometimes you think he cares about going too far in his pursuit of fame and wealth – Curtis gives Falco moments of blank pause, expressions of troubled calculation – but he goes ahead anyway with every dirty plot he thinks will serve him well. As the cold colossus J.J. Hunsecker, Burt Lancaster seriously gave me chills; he delivers a brilliant and well-controlled performance. He’s sharp and clean, with his powerful stature, squared jaw, and steely glasses; his speech is quiet and precise, and even his little gestures seem to send ripples through the room. I also quite enjoyed Susan Harrison as his sister, Susan, who’s winsome and worn down, but still firm enough to try and get out from under her older brother’s thumb; I liked how even though she’s nineteen, she’s got old, tired eyes, an older spirit.

I loved the screaming bright lights and deep shadows of New York City, the energy that ran through the film in electric currents. I enjoyed peering into every bar and jazz club and seedy room that Sid Falco pops up in. I liked how Susan and her beau, a steady and honest jazz musician, seem to speak in clear, round tones while Falco’s and Hunsecker’s dialogue comes out in a sharp patter, full of quick sharp stabs and quiet turns of the knife. Amidst the poisonous words, the lies and slander, the jibes and jokes that lead to uneasy laughter, you wait and watch for someone with integrity to (hopefully) prevail. I loved how the film shows us the power of words (even just a few words) wielded effectively, whether for good or – in a lot of cases – for the purpose of destroying people.

“AN APPLE MADE OF ARSENIC.”
One of the problems with studying in film school, being a movie buff and getting older is that at some point in ones’ life a man ventures into the video store, peruses the shelves and reaches the conclusion that he has seen every movie worth seeing.
I thought I was getting there until a few years ago when I heard about and checked out “The Sweet Smell of Success”. It was like that with “Chinatown”, which I never saw until the 1990s and now consider one of the best films ever.
“Sweet Smell of Success” holds up totally even though it is black-white, set in 1957. Burt Lancaster is J.J., based on Walter Winchell, who was a leading accuser of Communists in the media.
Tony Curtis is a lackey publicist who lives on the whim of those who pay him to place items in various columns, which means he must grovel at the feet of clients and columnists. J.J. plays him like a fiddle. This has lines so vitriolic and perfect, Frank Manciewics in “All About Eve” is no more biting, and Bette Davis in “Eve” bites with the best of ‘em.
Lancaster just fills the screen with irony and sardonic, hurtful wit. Curtis fends it off with skill, it is like a fencing match. Anybody who has any desire to study dialogue must watch and memorize this. Everything is tremendous; the acting, the directing, the score, the noir shadows of New York at night. The music is unreal, lots of horns, filling the room with its wailing sobs of a corrupt, naked city.
A love story between J.J.’s little sis and a musician (Martin Milner I think, who was in “Adam 12″), is the heart of the story. It is the one true, good thing, but J.J. is a monster. Perhaps Bob Towne had this in mind when he cast John Huston to be an incestuos father in “Chinatown”. The inference, being the ’50s, is much more subtle but it seems J.J. has the hots for sis and wants nobody to have her. He brands the musician a Commie, using sycophant secondary journalists to keep his own hands clean.
Any chance for this dark one to have a happy ending goes down the tubes when sis, as much to torment her bro, kills herself. Curtis is utterly ammoral. His picture appears in Webster’s next to the word ammoral.
Many films have played off this theme. “Swimming With Sharks” (1996, Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley) comes to mind. If this could be 20 stars I’d give it 20.

Holy Crap!!
I always sort of put off seeing this even though I’ve heard good things about it. I think it was because Tony Curtis is in it and the only thing I’ve ever seen him do were really bad introductions to some Alfred Hitchcock DVDs. In those introductions, Curtis fumbled his lines (which were often filled with errors) and so I assumed he was the worst actor in the world. I should kick myself.

This movie is not only one of the best “noir” films I’ve seen but one of the best movies I’ve ever seen PERIOD.

It’s included in the noir category despite it not being a crime drama at all. The reason for this is it’s shadow-filled cinematography and its theme of corruption. According to this movie, human beings are bleak, cold-hearted creatures.

It’s about a Broadway columnist (played by Burt Lancaster in one of his best roles) who manipulates everyone he comes in contact with. He is one of the vilest, cold-hearted bastards I’ve ever seen in a movie because he’s just so real. This isn’t a noir hit-man in a fedora hat. This guy could be real and I’m sure some of us have met or will meet someone like him. Tony Curtis plays a bastard publicity agent though you sort of feel bad for him even despite his faults. He’s the “protagonist” and we are told the story through his eyes. There are a couple of characters who have integrity and are not so corrupted but they only count as victims of the manipulation.

The acting is top-notch. Both Lancaster and Curtis had me in awe throughout the whole movie. Usually movies about “show business” don’t interest me all that much but this movie was fascinating. This is dark look at NYC life in the 1950s. I recommend it with every noir-loving bone in my body.

3.5 stars out of 4
The Bottom Line:

I’m not sure the ending strikes the right note, but even with a little hiccup Sweet Smell of Success is a fascinating study of human greed and cruelty that is extraordinarily frank and biting for a movie from the 1950s (or any era really); add in a pair of terrific performances by Curtis and Lancaster and it’s a heckuva film.

A truly great, no nonsense movie!
The very first movies, relied upon exaggerated acting and the actors’ good looks. Then, along came the ‘talkies’ – and voices assumed great importance. With the advent of ‘talkies’ came the necessity to tell a good story – cinematically. Today, the emphasis is all on ‘special effects’, ‘shock value’, ‘sex, and foul language.

For a relatively brief period between the coming of talkies and the modern cinematographic masterpieces, there was a halcyon period where excellently acted and expertly directed films were made of exceptionally good stories – often based on first rate novels.

‘The Sweet Smell of Success’ is one such movie. The actors are highly competent, the acting is superb, the story is great and the direction is first rate. ‘The Sweet Smell of Success’ comes together exceptionally well and is a first rate movie in all respects.

I would recommend it to anyone who wishes first rate entertainment.

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