Monday, August 30, 2010

THE BAT WHISPERS / Roland West - 1930

Welcome everbloody to another Moldie Oldie Monday here at the Dungeon. Well, let's add one more flick to the string of comedies we've posted lately, that being... THE BAT WHISPERS!!

This is a very nice production with great special effects, miniature sets and dark, atmospheric photography. It is basically THE BAT (1926) with sound! Get it?.. Whispers! Rowland West was writer/director of both and also produced THE BAT. The original story is from a very popular Broadway play.

There's no freakin' music until the ending fanfare! Weird!!

So, time for Tabonga to bring in lil' Dungeon helper, Rufus The Gnat, to push that big red 'GO' button and start our Eariffic Earclip for your listening enjoyment! Here's lots of over the top dialogue... Hit it, Rufus!!.. THE BAT WHISPERS!

Again, the miniature sets and effects are great, it's one wild ride inside the police cruiser with this rear screen projection!!

Here's a shot that starts over rooftops, goes into an open window all the way to the note Mr. Bell is reading, and it looks like it was done in one take!!

...The cops wuz too late!!

More great miniature work!

Two hens cackling in the henhouse!

Chester Morris plays Detective Anderson, here, he shows up to the henhouse, unannounced. Chester was in A-movies until 1935, and was best remembered as Boston Blackie from the forties. He easily made the transition to talkies because of his stage experience and billed himself as 'the youngest leading man in movies!'

Weird things are happening around here, and I want to know what's going on!! In the second pic, you can see the two small spots they used for the composite image alignment!

Fun cast of characters! Bottom pics shows this guy just before he conks Detective Anderson on the bean with a big heavy object...

More great sets and shadows...

Who is... THE BAT??

Shades of THE SHE CREATURE!.. Man, Chester hams it up good!! Chet was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor that same year!!

Okay, if you still don't know who THE BAT is, you can take a big gander fer yerself!! Sorry, we don't do spoiler alerts, here at The Dungeon!!

Alright then... Ghoulnight Everbloody!!

**As an extra note of interest, here's part of Roland West's biography... "He directed his last film, Corsair (1931), after which he retired and went into business with actresses Jewel Carmen (his ex-wife) and Thelma Todd (his current girlfriend) in a restaurant and bar on the Santa Monica beach called Thelma Todd's Sidwalk Cafe. The popular establishment also gained a reputation as a hangout for various shady underworld characters and there were rumors of Todd and West being pressured by mob figures to use the place as a front to enable them to get the couple's wealthy Hollywood friends drunk and in compromising positions so they could be blackmailed. In 1935, Todd was found slumped over the steering wheel of her car, with the engine still running, in the adjacent apartment building's garage, the victim of "accidental carbon monoxide poisoning," although many in her circle believed she was murdered by gangsters because she wouldn't let them use her restaurant for their activities. Others believed she was killed by West himself, who was known to have a violent temper and to have fought with Todd on numerous occasions. Her murder is still listed as unsolved."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY, & GIRLY - Bernard Ebbinghouse - "Mind Your Own Business" (1970)

Let's finish off this no holds barred two weeks of rollicking humour with a movie I like a lot! It was hard to find by it's original title, but if you abbreviate it, you probably won't have much of a problem! Here she comes now, "Girly!"

The original title was "Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly," but the stripped down version of this Freddie Francis classic was released as strictly "Girly." Either way, the results are the same, non-stop madness, the way only the Brits can seem to do, and get away with it!! The swingin' music for "Girly" was composed, arranged, and conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse, who was also the musical director for "The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre" from 1961-1964. Say no more!!

Vanessa Howard as "Girly" herself, is riveting, and one of THE loveliest women you will ever see on any size screen! Her list of credits stops at 12, because she has said that "Girly" and "What Became Of Jack And Jill?" made her really lose interest in acting! It's understandable!! Here she is with Howard Trevor as her brother Sonny! They have a very close relationship!! This was Trevor's only role ever on film!

Girly and Sonny are a little wacky, but they're good, clean wholesome kids just out to have a good time with some good old-fashioned pranks! Not!!! Michael Ripper as the Zoo Attendant has the distinction of being in 35 different Hammer movies out of the 215 movies he's been in, just in case you think you've seen him somewhere before!

These two would be the very cartoony Mumsy and Nanny! Chief Wack job Mumsy on the right was portrayed by Ursula Howells, who unlike the youngsters, had a long and varied career that included many repeated roles on Brit TV, and the same thing goes for Pat Heywood as Nanny!

"She walks like an Angel, she talks like an Angel, but.........

...........She's the Devil in disguise!!" ....and a psychopathic axe murderer!

Ala "The Creep," Sonny and Girly get into the backseat of some swinger's car in a club parking lot, in an attempt to make some more new friends!

When you're drunk as a skunk, and you're trying to pick up on some young nymph, there's nothing like a game of Leap Frog to get the blood boiling!!!

New friend was played by Michael Bryant, and his girlfriend was "The Countess of Cleavage," Imogen Hassall, who was known much more for her looks than her acting skills. Frustrated by this situation, she sadly took her own life in 1980!

The swinger's girlfriend meets an early demise when she falls? off the top of the playground slide, so Girly and Sonny bring him and her back to their happy home!

New friend finds out the hard way, that in this demented fairy tale household, you have to play by the rules, and "Rule No. 1: Play The Game."

New Friend really doesn't know what's going on, or what to think.....

......All he really knows is, he wants to get laid! Despite how young she looks, Vanessa Howard was really 22 when "Girly" was filmed!!

Mumsy and Nanny have their own peculiar living situation! It's a good thing this movie is a comedy or it would be really sick!!

During a rousing round of "Cowboys and Indians" Girly finds out that she likes to play with New Friend more than she does with her brother Sonny!!

Hugh Armstrong as the old New Friend in # 5 isn't needed anymore, so he is released, but is nowhere near as lucky as the newest New Friend!! Here's an interesting fact, there were only nine actors in this whole movie!

Always the budding cinematographer, Sonny likes to admire his own work!!

Because their world is a fairy tale, the kids are more prone to reciting rhyme than they are to reason, and in this scene Girly introduces Sonny to the new boy down the street, Tony Chestnut!!! Toe-Knee-Chest-Nut!!!

Now this comedy is getting serious, and it's time to make some hard decisions!!

"Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, & Girly" is another awesome Freddie Francis romp that deserves to be seen by everyone, and don't you really want to know what's cooking??

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??