Friday, July 31, 2020
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
This week's Wildcat Wednesday feature from 1955 is titled "The Big Combo."
"The Big Combo" has an outstanding cast and is big fun to watch!
"The Big Combo" starts off with blonde bombshell Jean Wallace as Susan Lowell being pursued by these two thugs, Fante and Mingo!
Fante on the left is Lee Van Cleef, and Mingo on the right is Earl Holliman, two of my favourite character actors!
The lighting and cinematography are excellent throughout the whole film!
This looks like it could be a black and white version of an Edward Hopper painting!
Cornel Wilde is Police Detective Leonard Diamond, and his boss glaring at him is Robert Middleton as Captain Peterson. Diamond is spending too much time and money on one man, a Mr. Black, who is a slimy but slippery hoodlum they just can't get anything on, and the Captain is getting tired of trying to explain it to the people he has to answer to.
Richard (The Godfather) Conte is the notorious Mr. Brown. To show you what a ruthless bastard he is, there's this scene where he's chewing out a boxer who just lost a match. Mr. Brown slaps the kid, and when the kid doesn't hit him back, he calls him a loser, and tells him to get lost!
Richard Conte was also in "The Twilight Zone" episode titled "Perchance To Dream."
Susan is Mr. Brown's girl, but she's not happy in the role, so while out eating with Fante and Mingo, she becomes faint, and passes out while dancing!
It turns out she had taken some pills!
Now how hard would it be to have this role when nine years earlier Jean Wallace had tried to commit suicide in the same manner? When that didn't work, three years later, she tried stabbing herself in the abdomen. Despite all that unhappiness, Jean lived until 1990 when she died at the age of 66.
The third huge name in this production is Brian (Quatermass) Donlevy, there in the middle, as one of Mr. Black's stooges Joe McClure!
Diamond doesn't have a lot of extra time on his hands, but when he does, he likes to spend it with his showgirl girlfriend Rita, who was played by heavenly Helene (Jungle Moon Men, Beast From 10,000 Leagues) Stanton! The funny thing is that in real life Cornel Wilde was actually married to the other female in this story, Jean Wallace! Cornel Wilde spent a good deal of the rest of his life directing and promoting movies with Jean in them including a movie about an out of control virus in 1970 called "No Blade Of Grass."
Mr. Black and his boys rough Diamond up, and pour 47% alcohol hair tonic down his throat to make him seem drunk, and dump him off at the Captain's doorstep!
Dungeon hero John (Attack Of The Puppet People) Hoyt has a small role as an antiques dealer with a shady past, who only has what he has because he knows a secret about what happened to Mr. Black's ex-partner!
It doesn't pay to be a cutthroat henchman working for Mr. Black. He's got Fante and Mingo hiding out, and he brings them a big box that he says is money, but after he leaves, they open it, and it is sticks of dynamite instead!
Helen Walker is the missing Mrs. Brown. Her own story is more tragic than this movie. On New Year's Eve in 1946, she picked up three WWII veterans hitchhiking. She ended up in a horrible accident that flipped the car and killed one of the soldiers and injured the other two. She also broke her pelvis. The two survivors claimed she was drunk, and she had to go to trial, but even though acquitted, it seriously damaged her career. Now, this is just really weird, just like Jean Wallace, Helen was in a movie in 1949 called "Impact," and there was a scene of a fatal automobile accident that was caused by her character. In 1960, Helen's house burned down, and in 1968, she succumbed to cancer at the age of only 47.
Mr. Brown finally gets what's coming to him!
And Diamond and Susan, well, who knows where their life goes from here!
It seems like Cornel Wilde really was Sir Lancelot to Jean Wallace, so I thought that it was very fitting that after they made the Wilde directed movie "Lancelot And Guinevere" together, they came out with this Dell comic book in 1963!
Monday, July 27, 2020
So, what's going to happen next week? By the way, Penny was not in this episode!
I had to send my kitty cat home today, a sad time for Tabonga ~ R. I. P. my Bubby ~