‘Twice-Told Tales,’ directed by Sidney Salkow

Movie, 1963 Anthology of Nathaniel Hawthorne stories, all starring Vincent Price. As a collection, they hang together, or least sit together quite well – the best is the last, The House of the Seven Gables, while the silliest is Rappaccini’s Daughter. Lurid colour fits in well with the acting and a sense of daftness, intended or not, which is ramped up by a bizarre-looking killer … Continue reading ‘Twice-Told Tales,’ directed by Sidney Salkow

‘Diary of a Madman,’ directed by Reginald LeBorg

Movie, 1963 Vincent Price horror, in which possession by murderous spirits, the focus of the law and a scheming social climber all come together to reasonably good effect. This is a film where things are all fairly understated and the plotting are fairly simple, and while there’s nothing essential to see here, the plot zips along quite nicely and the various characters all play out … Continue reading ‘Diary of a Madman,’ directed by Reginald LeBorg

“8½,” directed by Federico Fellini

Movie, 1963 Surreal, dense and intense movie, with its share of memorable scenes, comedic moments and switches and sketches emanating from the main protagonist’s mind. While the pacing of some of the scenes may be a little slow for modern viewers, there’s no doubt that the qualities of this film more than compensate and deliver an immersive, rewarding experience. The film turns and is concerned … Continue reading “8½,” directed by Federico Fellini

“Charade,” directed by Stanley Donen

Movie, 1963 Lavish spy caper in part; in another part, the glimpses of a crueller brutality and corrupt world give what looks like an old-fashioned romantic thriller and uncomfortable and, at times, ill-fitting feel. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are their usual feel good, charming selves, although they feel a little lost and silly in a Paris which seems hemmed in and dangerous. The sumptuous … Continue reading “Charade,” directed by Stanley Donen

“Unearthly Stranger”, directed by John Krish

Movie, 1963 Largely effective sci-fi thriller, showing its British-ness in all its glory, with Ministry men, scientists and aliens all going about their respective business, with the main action involving a good deal or running about and the more pointed alien activity coming from the main female character, who sleeps with her eyes open and doesn’t use oven gloves. Still, a decent film with some … Continue reading “Unearthly Stranger”, directed by John Krish

"The Small World of Sammy Lee," directed by Ken Hughes

Movie, 1963 A film which looks slight and a little kitsch despite its strip joints, thugs and poker games, but which packs a punch all the same, through the tension built around the anti-hero and the cinematography which gives a wonderful black and white, light and shade, multi-faceted portrait of Soho. Anthony Newley’s down trodden sarcastic charm suits the title role and surroundings. Some strange … Continue reading "The Small World of Sammy Lee," directed by Ken Hughes

"Killer in Drag", by Edward D Wood Jr

Fiction (also known as Black Lace Drag), 1963 A fiction very reminiscent of Ed Wood’s films, in which things – stylistically – are going pretty well, but then the dialogue creaks just a little too protestingly or the plot takes one of those turns you’d never expect, not in a thrilling, but more in a perplexing way. Still, this is entertaining stuff which, for the … Continue reading "Killer in Drag", by Edward D Wood Jr