Film Review – CARRY ON HENRY (1971)

Carry On Henry (1971) | Ian FarringtonCARRY ON HENRY (1971, UK) ***½
Comedy
dist. J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors; pr co. The Rank Organisation / Peter Rogers Productions; d. Gerald Thomas; w. Talbot Rothwell; pr. Peter Rogers; ph. Alan Hume (Colour. 35mm. Spherical. 1.85:1); m. Eric Rogers; ed. Alfred Roome; ad. Lionel Couch; cos. Courtenay Elliott; m/up. Geoffrey Rodway, Stella Rivers; sd. Ken Barker, Danny Daniel (Mono); rel. 3 June 1971 (UK), 17 March 1972 (USA); cert: PG; r/t. 89m.

cast: Sidney James (King Henry VIII), Kenneth Williams (Thomas Cromwell), Charles Hawtrey (Sir Roger de Lodgerley), Joan Sims (Queen Marie), Terry Scott (Cardinal Wolsey), Barbara Windsor (Bettina), Kenneth Connor (Lord Hampton of Wick), Julian Holloway (Sir Thomas), Peter Gilmore (King Francis of France), Julian Orchard (Duc de Poncenay), Gertan Klauber (Bidet), David Davenport (Major Domo), Margaret Nolan (Buxom Lass), William Mervyn (Physician), Norman Chappell (First Plotter), Derek Francis (Farmer), Bill Maynard (Guy Fawkes), Douglas Ridley (Second Plotter), David Prowse (Bearded Torturer), Monika Dietrich (Katherine Howard), Marjie Lawrence (Serving Maid), Patsy Rowlands (Queen), Billy Cornelius (Guard), Alan Curtis (Conte di Pisa), Leon Greene (Torturer), Peter Butterworth (Charles, Earl of Bristol (uncredited)).

Henry VIII (James) has just married Marie of Normandy (Sims) and is eager to consummate their marriage. Unfortunately for Henry, she is always eating garlic, and refuses to stop. Deciding to get rid of her in his usual manner, Henry has to find some way of doing it without provoking war with Marie’s cousin, the King of France (Gilmore). The perfect casting of James as Henry VIII and a script that has some genuinely funny one-liners alongside the usual double-entendres makes this historical farce is one of the best of the series. Sims, as Henry’s the garlic eating French wife, and Williams, as Cromwell, offer excellent support. Hawtrey also gives one of his most memorable turns as the king’s taster. Good production values through use of wardrobe from ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS.

Film Review – CARRY ON ABROAD (1972)

Carry On Abroad (movie poster).jpgCARRY ON ABROAD (1972, UK) **½
Comedy
dist. J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors; pr co. The Rank Organisation / Peter Rogers Productions; d. Gerald Thomas; w. Talbot Rothwell; pr. Peter Rogers; ph. Alan Hume (Colour. 35mm. Spherical. 1.85:1); m. Eric Rogers; ed. Alfred Roome; ad. Lionel Couch; cos. Courtenay Elliott; m/up. Geoffrey Rodway, Stella Rivers; sd. Ken Barker, Taffy Haines (Mono); rel. 15 December 1972 (UK), 8 December 1973 (USA); cert: PG; r/t. 88m.

cast: Sidney James (Vic Flange), Kenneth Williams (Stuart Farquhar), Charles Hawtrey (Eustace Tuttle), Joan Sims (Cora Flange), Bernard Bresslaw (Brother Bernard), Barbara Windsor (Sadie Tomkins), Kenneth Connor (Stanley Blunt), Peter Butterworth (Pepe), Jimmy Logan (Bert Conway), June Whitfield (Evelyn Blunt), Hattie Jacques (Floella), Derek Francis (Brother Martin), Sally Geeson (Lily), Ray Brooks (Georgio), Carol Hawkins (Marge), John Clive (Robin), Jack Douglas (Harry), Patsy Rowlands (Miss Dobbs), Gail Grainger (Moira Plunkett), David Kernan (Nicholas), Amelia Bayntun (Mrs. Tuttle), Alan Curtis (Police Chief), Gertan Klauber (Postcard Seller), Brian Osborne (Stall-Holder), Hugh Futcher (Jailer), Olga Lowe (Madame Fifi).

A group of holiday-makers head for the Spanish resort of Elsbels for a 4-day visit. When they get there, they find the Hotel still hasn’t been finished being built, and the weather is awful. And there is something strange about the staff. They all look very similar. To top it all off, the weather seems to be having an adverse affect on the Hotel’s foundations. The usual array of smutty jokes and slapstick humour is trotted out as the crew embark on a disastrous packaged holiday. Strong points are James’ permanent cheerfulness and Jacques’ temperamental Spanish hotel chef. Entertaining if it catches you in the right mood, but not up with the series’ best. The last film in the series to feature regular Hawtrey.

Film Review – CARRY ON CAMPING (1969)

Carry On Camping - WikipediaCARRY ON CAMPING (1969, UK) ***
Comedy
dist. J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors; pr co. The Rank Organisation / Peter Rogers Productions; d. Gerald Thomas; w. Talbot Rothwell; pr. Peter Rogers; ph. Ernest Steward (Eastmancolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.85:1); m. Eric Rogers; ed. Alfred Roome; ad. Lionel Couch; cos. Yvonne Caffin; m/up. Geoffrey Rodway, Stella Rivers; sd. Ken Barker, Bill Daniels (Mono); rel. 29 May 1969 (UK), 20 June 1969 (USA); cert: PG; r/t. 88m.

cast: Sidney James (Sid Boggle), Charles Hawtrey (Charlie Muggins), Joan Sims (Joan Fussey), Kenneth Williams (Doctor Kenneth Soaper), Terry Scott (Peter Potter), Barbara Windsor (Babs), Hattie Jacques (Miss Haggard), Bernard Bresslaw (Bernie Lugg), Julian Holloway (Jim Tanner), Dilys Laye (Anthea Meeks), Peter Butterworth (Josh Fiddler), Betty Marsden (Harriet Potter), Trisha Noble (Sally), Brian Oulton (Mr. Short), Derek Francis (Farmer), Elizabeth Knight (Jane), Sandra Caron (Fanny), Georgina Moon (Joy), Jennifer Pyle (Hilda), Jackie Poole (Betty), Sally Kemp (Girl with Cow), Amelia Bayntun (Mrs. Fussey), Patricia Franklin (Farmer’s Daughter), Michael Nightingale (Man in Cinema), George Moon (Scrawny Man), Valerie Shute (Pat), Vivien Lloyd (Verna), Lesley Duff (Norma), Anna Karen (Hefty Girl), Valerie Leon (Miss Dobbin).

Sid (James) and Bernie (Bresslaw) keep having their amorous intentions snubbed by their girlfriends Joan (Sims) and Anthea (Laye). The boys suggest a camping holiday, secretly intending to take them to a nudist camp. Of course, they end up in the wrong place. Packed with the usual jokes, mostly double entendre, this series entry benefits from the enthusiastic performances of its cast, which still manages to shine through, despite the late Autumn shoot and modest budget. All the regulars adopt their familiar personas and the film is great fun alternating laughs and groans. Memorable for Windsor losing her top through the morning stretch exercises and Jacques’ pursuit of Williams. Last series appearance of Laye.

Film Review – DECK THE HALLS (2006)

Deck The Halls Review | Movie - EmpireDECK THE HALLS (2006, USA) **
Comedy, Family
dist. Twentieth Century Fox; pr co. New Regency Productions (/ Corduroy Films / All Lit Up Productions; d. John Whitesell; w. Matt Corman, Chris Ord, Don Rhymer; exec pr. Jeremiah Samuels; pr. Michael Costigan, Arnon Milchan, John Whitesell; ph. Mark Irwin (DeLuxe. 35mm. Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (3-perf) (source format). 1.85:1); m. George S. Clinton; m sup. Patrick Houlihan; ed. Paul Hirsch, James Start; pd. Bill Brzeski; ad. Dan Hermansen; set d. Tedd Kuchera; cos. Carol Ramsey; m/up. Lisa Love, Anji Bemben; sd. Jon Johnson (Dolby Digital | DTS); sfx. Chris Sturges; vfx. Thomas F. Ford IV, Matthew Gratzner, Bob Hurrie, Michael Joyce, Ray McIntyre Jr., David Sanger; st. Charles Croughwell, Danny Virtue; rel. 22 November 2006 (USA), 1 December 2006 (UK); cert: PG; r/t. 93m.

cast: Danny DeVito (Buddy Hall), Matthew Broderick (Steve Finch), Kristin Davis (Kelly Finch), Kristin Chenoweth (Tia Hall), Alia Shawkat (Madison Finch), Dylan Blue (Carter Finch), Kelly Aldridge (Ashley Hall), Sabrina Aldridge (Emily Hall), Jorge Garcia (Wallace), Fred Armisen (Gustave), Gillian Vigman (Gerta), Ryan Devlin (Bob Murray), Sean O’Bryan (Mayor Young), SuChin Pak (Self), Jackie Burroughs (Mrs. Ryor), Garry Chalk (Sheriff Dave), Nicola Peltz (Mackenzie), Zak Santiago (Fireworks Guy), David Lewis (Ted), Daniel Bacon (Ed).

DeVito and Broderick have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space. This is an often painfully unfunny and mean-spirited movie that falls flat with most of its intended gags. A threadbare script, unsubtle direction and unlikeable character performances from both male leads drag this seasonal film down. Occasional glimpses of a better movie do emerge from time to time, notably in Chenoweth’s nicely judged performance as DeVito’s wife, but these moments are dwarfed by the unsubtle and heavily manufactured tit-for-tat comedy that can look no further than trying to generate big laughs through increasingly exaggerated scenarios.

Book Review – DR. NO (1958) by Ian Fleming

DR. NO (1958) ****
by Ian Fleming
This paperback edition published by Vintage, 2012, 329pp
First published by Jonathan Cape in 1958
© Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., 1958
Introduction by Sam Bourne a.k.a Jonathan Freedland (10pp)
ISBN: 978-0-099-57692-1

Blurb: Dr Julius No is a man with a mysterious past. Nobody knows what secrets are hidden on his Caribbean island, and all those who have attempted to investigate further have disappeared. When two British agents go missing in Jamaica, Bond is sent to investigate. Battling the Doctor’s twin obsessions with power and pain, he uncovers the true nature of his opponent’s covert operation – but he must undergo a deadly assault course before he can destroy the Doctor’s plans once and for all.

Comment: This sixth novel in Fleming’s James Bond series brings the spy back from a seemingly terminal finale at the end of From Russia With Love. He is chastised by M for his choice of firearm and dispatched on a routine mission to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of two members of the Jamaica station staff – who it is believed have taken a romantic triste. Bond soon discovers there is more to the couple’s disappearance leading him to the island of Crab Key and the sinister Doctor Julius No. It is easy to see why this book was chosen to kick off the film series. It is the most fantastical novel in the series to date and also the most thrilling in terms of set pieces – notably the extended finale where Bond is subjected to an assault course designed to test human endurance of pain. Honey Rider is a Bond girl with a backstory that makes her fiercely independent and very interesting. It is understandable that Bond falls for her. Dr, No is the archetypal Bond villain, handicapped through the loss of his hands and having to use metal pincers, and his verbal jousts with Bond over dinner set a template for future Fleming novels and the film series. The book’s exotic setting, fluent writing and slick pace make this one of the strongest in the series, despite its outlandish plot.

Film Review – BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955)

52 Before 62 – # 2 Bad Day At Black Rock (1955) | The Last Blog Name On  EarthBAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955, USA) ****½
Crime, Drama, Western
dist. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); pr co. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); d. John Sturges; w. Millard Kaufman, Don McGuire (based on a story “Bad Time at Hondo” by Howard Breslin); pr. Dore Schary; assoc pr. Herman Hoffman; ph. William C. Mellor (Eastmancolor. 35mm. CinemaScope. 2.55:1); m. André Previn; ed. Newell P. Kimlin; ad. Malcolm Brown, Cedric Gibbons; set d. Fred M. MacLean, Edwin B. Willis; m/up. John Truwe; sd. Wesley C. Miller (Mono (35mm optical prints) (Western Electric Sound System) | 4-Track Stereo (35mm magnetic prints)); rel. 13 January 1955 (USA), 17 March 1955 (UK); cert: PG; r/t. 81m.

cast: Spencer Tracy (John J. Macreedy), Robert Ryan (Reno Smith), Anne Francis (Liz Wirth), Dean Jagger (Tim Horn), Walter Brennan (Doc Velie), John Ericson (Pete Wirth), Ernest Borgnine (Coley Trimble), Lee Marvin (Hector David), Russell Collins (Mr. Hastings), Walter Sande (Sam).

John J. MacReedy (Tracy), is a one-armed stranger who comes to the tiny town of Black Rock one hot summer day in 1945, the first time the train has stopped there in years. He looks for both a hotel room and a local Japanese farmer named Komoko, but his inquiries are greeted at first with open hostility, then with blunt threats and harassment, and finally with escalating violence. MacReedy soon realizes that he will not be allowed to leave Black Rock; town boss Reno Smith (Ryan), who had Komoko killed because of his hatred of the Japanese, has also marked MacReedy for death. MacReedy must battle town thugs, a treacherous local woman (Francis), and finally Smith himself to stay alive. The film has an excellent script that creates an air of mystery and intimidation, which Sturges maximises through his economic shooting. Tracy is superb as the mysterious visitor and is supported by an excellent cast that includes Ryan as the influential rancher; Borgnine and Marvin as Ryan’s muscle; Francis as the only girl in town whose brother played by Ericson proves to be their weak link; and Brennan and Jagger as the town doctor and drunken sheriff ashamed of their past. The confrontation between Tracy and the townsfolk grows as the story plays out to its inevitable and ironic conclusion. Whilst the ending may seem a little hurried and convenient, taken as a whole, the film is a textbook example of building suspense through character and dialogue.

AAN: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Spencer Tracy); Best Director (John Sturges); Best Writing, Screenplay (Millard Kaufman).

Film Review – SMALL TIME CROOKS (2000)

Small Time Crooks (2000) - Photo Gallery - IMDbSMALL TIME CROOKS (2000, USA) ***½
Comedy, Crime
dist. DreamWorks Distribution (USA), FilmFour (UK); pr co. Dreamworks Pictures / Sweetland Films / Magnolia Productions; d. Woody Allen; w. Woody Allen; exec pr. J.E. Beaucaire; pr. Jean Doumanian, Helen Robin; ph. Fei Zhao (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.85:1); ed. Alisa Lepselter; pd. Santo Loquasto; ad. Tom Warren; set d. Jessica Lanier; cos. Suzanne McCabe; m/up. Rosemary Zurlo, Werner Sherer; sd. Robert Hein, Gary Alper (DTS (Mono) | Dolby Digital (Mono)); sfx. John Ottesen, Ron Ottesen; rel. 19 May 2000 (USA), 1 December 2000 (UK); cert: PG; r/t. 94m.

cast: Woody Allen (Ray), Tracey Ullman (Frenchy), Hugh Grant (David), Elaine May (May), Tony Darrow (Tommy), George Grizzard (George Blint), Jon Lovitz (Benny), Michael Rapaport (Denny), Elaine Stritch (Chi Chi Potter), Steve Kroft (Steve Kroft), Brian McConnachie (Paul Milton), Kristine Nielsen (Emily Bailey), Larry Pine (Charles Bailey), Julie Lund (Linda Rhinelander), Maurice Sonnenberg (Garth Steinway), Richard Mawe (Anthony Gwynne), Frank Wood (Oliver), Howard Erskine (Langston Potter), Marvin Chatinover (Dr. Henske), Dana Tyler (TV News Reporter), Carolyn Saxon (Candy Salesperson), Sam Josepher (Real Estate Agent), Lawrence Howard Levy (Dynamite Dealer), Diane Bradley (Cookie Store Customer), Crystal Field (Cookie Store Customer), Cindy Carver (Cookie Store Customer), Ray Garvey (Cookie Store Customer), Bill Gerber (Cookie Store Customer), Olivia Hayman (Cookie Store Customer), Laurine Towler (Cookie Store Customer), Fanda Nikic (Cookie Store Customer), Brian Markinson (Cop), Riccardo Bertoni (Winklers’ Butler), Isaac Mizrahi (Winklers’ Chef), Teri Black (Winkler Party Guest), John Doumanian (Winkler Party Guest), Phyllis Burdoe (Winkler Party Guest), Karla Wolfangle (Modern Dance Performer), Rob Besserer (Modern Dance Performer), Ruth Laredo (Concert Pianist), Julie Halston (Concert Party Guest), Anthony Sinopoli (Frenchy’s Chauffeur), Jesse Levy (Church Cellist), Josephine Calabrese (Churchgoer), Cindy Wilks (Churchgoer), Trevor Moran (Churchgoer), Peter McRobbie (Frenchy’s Lawyer), Douglas McGrath (Frenchy’s Lawyer), Christine Pipgras (Potter Party Guest), Nick Garfinkle (Potter Party Guest), Kenneth Edelson (Potter Party Guest), Ira Wheeler (Potter Party Guest), William Hill (Potter Party Guest), Ramsey Faragallah (Potter’s Waiter), Scotty Bloch (Edgar’s Wife).

Dishwasher and small-fry criminal Ray (Allen) hits on a plan with his partners in crime to re-open a local pizza place and dig through to the bank down the street. As his wife (Ullman) can’t cook pizza but does great cookies, that’s what they sell. While the no-hope tunnellers get lost underground, the cookie operation really takes off and the team find themselves rich business people. But the other local money isn’t quite ready to accept them.  The first half of this movie sees Allen in top form interacting with his bumbling team of bank robbers and sparring amusingly with the excellent Ullman as his cookie baking wife. Then there is a shift in gear and theme as Allen’s tale becomes more concerned in its message that class cannot be bought or stolen. Here, Grant is brought in as an art dealer seizing on the opportunity to educate Ullman and Allen in return for them funding his business plans. May is also on hand as Ullman’s dim-witted hired help and produces a very funny performance. Whilst disjointed, with some of the characters from the first two acts disappearing in the final act, there are great comedic moments, and it is nice to see Allen looking for a change of pace with a broader approach in this film. For the most part it pays off.

Film Review – ANNIE HALL (1977)

Pulling Focus: Annie Hall (1977) | Taste Of Cinema - Movie Reviews and  Classic Movie ListsANNIE HALL (1977, USA) *****
Comedy, Drama, Romance
dist. United Artists; pr co. Rollins-Joffe Productions; d. Woody Allen; w. Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman; exec pr. Fred T. Gallo, Robert Greenhut; pr. Jack Rollins, Charles H. Joffe; assoc pr. Fred T. Gallo; ph. Gordon Willis (DeLuxe. 35mm. Spherical. 1.85:1); ed. Wendy Greene Bricmont, Ralph Rosenblum; ad. Mel Bourne; set d. Robert Drumheller, Justin Scoppa Jr.; cos. Ruth Morley; m/up. Fern Buchner, John Inzerella, Romaine Greene, Vivienne Walker; sd. Dan Sable, Jack Higgins, James Pilcher, James Sabat (Mono); anim seq. Chris K. Ishii; rel. 27 March 1977 (USA), 21 August 1977 (UK); cert: 15; r/t. 93m.

cast: Woody Allen (Alvy Singer), Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), Tony Roberts (Rob), Carol Kane (Allison), Paul Simon (Tony Lacey), Shelley Duvall (Pam), Janet Margolin (Robin), Colleen Dewhurst (Mom Hall), Christopher Walken (Duane Hall), Donald Symington (Dad Hall), Helen Ludlam (Grammy Hall), Mordecai Lawner (Alvy’s Dad), Joan Neuman (Alvy’s Mom), Jonathan Munk (Alvy – Age 9), Ruth Volner (Alvy’s Aunt), Martin Rosenblatt (Alvy’s Uncle), Hy Anzell (Joey Nichols), Rashel Novikoff (Aunt Tessie), Russell Horton (Man in Theatre Line), Marshall McLuhan (Marshall McLuhan), Christine Jones (Dorrie), Mary Boylan (Miss Reed), Wendy Girard (Janet), John Doumanian (Coke Fiend), Bob Maroff (Man #1 Outside Theatre), Rick Petrucelli (Man #2 Outside Theatre), Lee Callahan (Ticket Seller at Theatre), Chris Gampel (Doctor).

Jewish comedy writer Alvy Singer (Allen) ponders the modern quest for love and his past romance with tightly-wound WASP singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton, née Diane Hall). Allen is at the top of his game with this painfully accurate and funny look at the break-up of a relationship. The movie caught everyone by surprise on release, following a string of hilarious joke fests, but the seeds had been sown with his acting role in Martin Ritt’s THE FRONT and his willingness to explore bigger themes in LOVE AND DEATH. Keaton as Annie is exceptional and exudes charm and personality as well as a neurosis equalling that of Allen. It is the couple’s inner-most insecurities that doom their relationship to failure. This is eloquently expressed through the non-linear narrative, frequent breaking of the fourth wall and the use of flashback to childhood influences. The move also has some very touching moments amongst the brilliant one-liners. Of note are Keaton’s rendition of “Seems Like Old Times” in  a nightclub and the Allen’s use of montage to frame the rose-tinted nostalgia for his lost love. One of the greatest films of the 1970s and a huge inspiration to other filmmakers. Watch out for brief early appearances from Jeff Goldblum, Shelley Hack, Beverly D’Angelo and Sigourney Weaver. Truman Capote cameos as the Truman Capote Look-Alike.

AA: Best Picture; Best Actress in a Leading Role (Diane Keaton); Best Director (Woody Allen); Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman)
AAN: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Woody Allen)

TV Movie Review – SHAFT: THE KIDNAPPING (1973)

Life Between Frames: Worth Mentioning - The Cat That Won't Cop OutSHAFT: THE KIDNAPPING (TV) (1973, USA) ***
Action, Crime, Drama
net. Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS); pr co. MGM Television; d. Alexander Singer; w. Allan Balter. William Read Woodfield ; exec pr. Allan Balter; pr. William Read Woodfield; ass pr. Dann Cahn; ph. Michael Hugo (Metrocolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Johnny Pate, theme m. Isaac Hayes; m sup. Harry V Lojewski; ed. George Folsey Jr.; ad. Bill Ross; set d. Richard Friedman; cos. Norman A. Burza, Sylvia Liggett; m/up. Jack Wilson, Billie Jordan; sd. Robert J. Miller, Hal Watkins (Mono); b/cast. 11 December 1973 (USA); BBFC cert: PG; r/t. 74m.

cast: Richard Roundtree (John Shaft), Eddie Barth (Lt. Al Rossi), Paul Burke (Elliot Williamson), Karen Carlson (Nancy Williamson), Nicolas Beauvy (Matthew Potter), Greg Mullavey (Beck), Timothy Scott (Hayden), Victor Brandt (Leo), Frank Marth (Sheriff Bradley), Philip Kenneally (Deputy Walter), Erik Holland (Deputy Daley), Frank Whiteman (Deputy Milton), Stephen Coit (Mr. Tolliver), Jayne Kennedy (Debbie), Richard Stahl (Potter), Joe Petrullo (Cab Driver), Robert Casper (Bank customer), Rudy Doucette (Police Officer (uncredited)).

A banker’s wife is kidnapped, and the kidnappers insist that Shaft deliver the ransom. But complications arise when, on the way to the drop point, Shaft is stopped by an overzealous deputy who won’t listen to a word he says. This was the first shot episode (broadcast fourth) of the Shaft TV Movie series and it is little more than standard TV fare. However, its individual  elements lift it above other more modest entries in the TV series and it is a pretty good introduction for TV audiences to a more family friendly John Shaft. TV at the time was not ready for the Shaft seen on the big screen, so compromises were made with the character’s abrasiveness, salty language, violent approach to detection and his wooing of the opposite sex. These elements were dialled down. To compensate the producers extracted footage from the chase finale in SHAFT’S BIG SCORE! and repurposed it here to introduce Shaft to a TV audience. This provides a dynamic opening , which a TV budget could not match for the rest of the story. Shaft’s shootout with the bad guys at the story’s conclusion is low-scale compared to the imported opening. Nevertheless, Roundtree shows glimpses of his big screen persona and has an athletic presence throughout.

TV Movie Review – McCLOUD: ENCOUNTER WITH ARIES (1971)

McCloud : Encounter with Aries (1971) - Russ Mayberry | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovieMcCLOUD: ENCOUNTER WITH ARIES (TV) (1971, USA) ***½
Crime, Drama, Mystery
Network: NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY (NBC) (USA); production company: UNIVERSAL TELEVISION; director: RUSS MAYBERRY; writer: PETER ALLAN FIELDS; producer: DEAN HARGROVE; associate producer: PETER ALLAN FIELDS; director of photography: WILLIAM MARGULIES (Technicolor | 35mm | Spherical | 1.37:1); music: DICK DEBENEDICTIS; film editor: BYRON ‘BUZZ’ BRANDT; art director: WILLIAM H. TUNTKE; set decorator: JOSEPH J. STONE; costumes: GRADY HUNT; sound: EDWIN S. HALL (Mono); broadcast date: 22 SEPTEMBER 1971 (USA); BBFC cert: PG; running time: 76 MINS.
Cast: DENNIS WEAVER (Sam McCloud), J.D. CANNON (Peter B. Clifford), SEBASTIAN CABOT (Sidney Cantrell), PETER HASKELL (Richard Stevens), SUSAN STRASBERG (Lorraine), LOUISE LATHAM (Emily Cantrell), ALAN OPPENHEIMER (Mervin Simmons), TERRY CARTER (Det. Joe Broadhurst), ROBERT HOGAN (Detective Finnegan), JILL JARESS (Gloria), BOOTH COLMAN (Hines), WOODROW PARFREY (Elmer), ELISHA COOK JR. (Mr. Rafer), FORREST LEWIS (Old Man), FRED HOLLIDAY (Intern), ELIZABETH LANE (Nurse), ATHENA LORDE (Floor Nurse), NANCY JERIS (Marie), JAMES GAVIN (Policeman).
The kidnapping of a woman (Latham) who is married to a wealthy astrologer (Cabot) — and the appearance of her kidnapper (Haskell), who claims she is being held in a room with a ticking time bomb — spur the woman’s husband to bash in the kidnapper’s head with a vase. This leaves McCloud (Weaver) with a limited time to determine where the woman is and who is really behind the kidnapping. This was the first episode following the transition of McCloud from its one-hour slot as part of the Four-in-One wheel to a regular rotation as part of the NBC Mystery Movie series. The story is a strong one with elements of mystery and humour. By now the role of McCloud fits the charming Weaver as well as his cowboy boots and his sparring with Cannon is always a joy to watch. A good script by Fields, tight direction from Mayberry and the casting of Cabot as the astrologer also help make this an above average mystery movie.