• The Sixth Sense

    The Sixth Sense


    It's been 6 years since my last visit to M Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, and for a film that takes its own sweet time to bring genuine chills, this holds up remarkably well even if you've seen it before and know the premise. You end up looking for clues, mistakes that the director might just have made that could give away that terrific ending, but there aren't any, regardless of how hard you look. It would have been easy…

  • Wyoming Renegades

    Wyoming Renegades


    Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang have been given a cinematic outing before, but George Roy Hill's Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid from 1969 is a stone cold classic, and Fred F Sears's Wyoming Renegades is a Columbia Pictures oater from 1954 that has about as much star wattage as a candle, but it doesn't matter. Don't get me wrong, Sears's film has both Butch and Sundance, but anyone hoping to see Newman or Redford would be severely disappointed.…

  • The Paleface

    The Paleface


    Cinematic and television portrayals of Calamity Jane have been a mixed bag over the years. Of the films I've seen which have featured Martha Jane Cannary, we've had Yvonne De Carlo, Doris Day, and Ellen Barkin all play different incarnations of the historical figure, and then of course we had Robin Weigert in the superb Deadwood television series. That's four very attractive women, even given the more downright dirty and alcoholic version played by Weigert, Weigert was still a bit…

  • The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw

    The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw

    I'm going to need a ruling on this one, but does this film count as a Spaghetti Western? Filmed in Spain, directed by American Raoul Walsh (Spanish sounding name) and starring British actor Kenneth More in the leading role, surely this fits the criteria of a Spaghetti? I'm kidding of course, this is about as stuffy and about as boring a Western as there is, and I say that despite the appearance of one Jayne Mansfield, Playboy centrefold of February…

  • Money Shot: The Pornhub Story

    Money Shot: The Pornhub Story


    Pornography, one of those subjects that divides people into two distinct groups, those who watch it, and those who lie about watching it. In all seriousness, it can be a touchy subject for some, when I was young there was no internet and "scuddy mags" were the only place a curious young teenager could see a pair of tits or a lady's front bottom. Puberty was tough back then, not like now, where the internet offers everything you could possibly…

  • The Hallelujah Trail

    The Hallelujah Trail


    It would appear that there are certain subgenres of Westerns that I'm less keen on when compared to the others. This is described as a Western Mockumentary Spoof, and I had real issues with this one. Firstly, I've still never warmed to Burt Lancaster as an actor, and nothing he offered here thawed that opinion. Considering that this was also directed by John Sturges, one of my favourite Western directors, and the man who helmed the likes of The Magnificent…

  • Terror in a Texas Town

    Terror in a Texas Town


    Some films seem to garner a reputation for all the wrong reasons, and Joseph H. Lewis's Terror in a Texas Town is certainly one of them. The final film of the director's career, Lewis wasn't afraid of the ramifications of working with actors that had been tarnished by the investigations of the House Unamerican Activities Committee, or the Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo's involvement was initially attributed to Ben Perry, given Trumbo's status, but later recognised as the furore towards…

  • Salome



    Biblical epics can be hit or miss affairs when the director or the studio struggles to find the right mix of religion and drama. The 1950's was the pinnacle of the genre's mass appeal, epitomised by William Wyler's Oscar gobbling Ben-Hur in 1959, but at 222 minutes, that intermission they were so fond of back then, became a blessing to empty your bladder. And that's been why my enthusiasm to visit some of these epics has waned in recent years,…

  • Boston Strangler

    Boston Strangler


    Matt Ruskin isn't David Fincher, so the analogies of Ruskin trying his hand at emulating the Denver born director's stab at another unsolved series of murders is about as much as they have in common. Don't get me wrong, there are nods to Zodiac dotted throughout Ruskin's film, but once again, he didn't have the talents of screenwriter James Vanderbilt in his corner, or the Hollywood star wattage of Gyllenhaal, Ruffalo, or Robert Downey Jnr. What he did have was…

  • Dead for a Dollar

    Dead for a Dollar


    My 500th Western in a little over 3 years was one I'd been waiting a little while for. Walter Hill's Dead for a Dollar hit cinemas in September of 2022, but didn't seem to get a release here in the UK? It received poor reviews, didn't seem to find an audience, and was given an almost immediate Blu Ray and Dvd release Stateside. Over here, we had to wait until 27th February for it to land, and despite the lukewarm…

  • Wings of the Hawk

    Wings of the Hawk


    I've loved Budd Boetticher since I first saw 7 Men From Now starring my favourite actor, one Randolph Scott. Within a few weeks I'd bought the Ranown Cycle, followed by anything else I could get my hands on, either from Scott or Boetticher, and when I saw an obscure documentary on Boetticher from German filmmaker Eckhart Schmidt, I officially became an acolyte of the Chicago born director. Outside of the famous seven films with Big Randy, Boetticher's films have proved…

  • The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory

    The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory


    When it comes to heroic battles, the siege of the Alamo Mission near San Antonio De Bexar is the most prominent in the history of Texas, followed only by the Battle of San Jacinto, where Sam Houston and his Texian army gained revenge for the events at the Alamo just 46 days later. This television movie from 1987 must have been a labour of love for someone, because despite being directed by Burt Kennedy, using John Wayne's purpose built Alamo…