Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #152: Double Features

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is double features. I used Diabolique a couple of weeks ago, so there goes my dobule-bill of that and Psycho, but I've got some other perverted ideas rattling around in my brain:

One Foot in Heaven (1941) and One Foot in Hell (1960). These two movies share nothing in common other than the title. The earlier movie is a nostalgic biopic about a Methodist minister who received his calling at the beginning of the last century, and spent the next several decades serving the church, and dealing with parishioners who don't really want to engage in Christian charity. The latter is an enjoyable western about a man who wants to rob a bank to get back at the town that he feels negligently killed his wife.

Perhaps I should have paired One Foot in Hell with the latter of the movies in this double-bill: Thank God It's Friday (1978) and Violent Saturday (1955). You probably know Thank God It's Friday; Violent Saturday is about three men who come into a town in Arizona to rob the bank, not realizing that everybody in town has their own dirty secrets. It's not particularly good to be honest, but it's one of those movies that's a hell of a lot of fun. One of the really fun things is Ernest Borgnine playing the part of... an Amish farmer! And he might be able to be the hero if only he could be un-Amishly violent himself.

Finally, there's The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) and Soylent Green (1973). I don't think anything more needs to be said. Everybody was fed up with (or is that fed on) Sheridan Whiteside by the film's denouement.


Wendell Ottley said...

You got me, here. I haven't seen any of these. Soylent Green has been on my list for years, though. Thanks for the reminder.

Daniel said...

I for real LOL-ed at my desk at work when I got the end of this post. It was very difficult to explain.

Well done, Sir. Well done.

joel65913 said...

Very inventive pairings!

One Foot in Heaven though it was well acted was a bit staid even considering it's subject matter. I though I'd Climb the Highest Mountain handled a similar idea better.

Though neither One Foot in Hell nor Violent Saturday were masterpieces they were enjoyable films thanks mostly to their casts.

That last match is classic even if the first is far superior to the second!

I went a more conventional route doing two that interrelate though a shared element.

Filmmaker Double Feature
Bride of Frankenstein (1931) Scientist Victor Frankenstein having survived the assault of the original film is forced by the evil Dr. Pretorius to assemble a mate for his monster. Using an electrical storm to bring the creature to life (an iconic looking Elsa Lanchester) he starts a chain of events that lead to much tragedy when it turns out the bride isn’t having any of the monster. Quintessential horror film that with the first set a prototype for many years and started a trend that made its studio, Universal a mint churning out pale imitations of other creature features.

Paired with:
Gods and Monsters (1998)-James Whale (Ian McKellan), esteemed director of Frankenstein and many others, is living a wealthy genteel retirement in California tended to by his faithful housekeeper Hanna (Lynn Redgrave). Lonely and unbeknownst to most ill with a condition that causes a slow diminishment of his faculties he strikes up a friendship with his handsome gardener, ex-Marine Clay Boone (Brendan Fraser). As they share stories Whale recalls making The Bride of Frankenstein among other things as his thoughts scattered and re-form. Deliberately paced but with brilliant acting, both McKellan and Redgrave were Oscar nominated.

War Double Feature
So Proudly We Hail (1943)-In December 1941 a group of Army nurses lead by Lt. Janet “Davey” Davidson (Claudette Colbert) and including Lts. Joan O’Doul (Paulette Goddard) and Olivia D’Arcy (Veronica Lake) are headed to Hawaii for their tour of duty but plans change radically when Pearl Harbor is bombed and they are diverted to the battle sieged island of Bataan. Once there they are confronted almost hourly with bombardments, attacks and masses of wounded calling for enormous sacrifice and resolve. Strong drama headed by three great stars with Veronica being a standout as a bitter woman hell-bent on revenge.

Paired with:
Bataan (1943)-Looking at the male side of the same battle. The Japanese have just invaded the Philippines and the US Army in hopes of holding them back assigns a group of 13 under the direction of Sgt. Bill Dane (Robert Taylor) to destroy a key bridge and prevent its rebuilding. Tense and grim with an excellent cast including Thomas Mitchell, Robert Walker and Desi Arnaz.

Drive-In Double Feature
The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)-A group of scientists on an expedition for fossils in the Amazon stumble upon the previously unknown Creature from the Black Lagoon on their journey. Not having the sense to leave well enough alone they capture the mysterious gill man but he breaks free returning later to take the beautiful Kay (Julie Adams) for his own. The surprisingly hunky and scantily clad remaining scientists (Richards Denning & Richard Carlson) take off in pursuit. A mix of suspense and hilarity ensues.

Paired with:
The Thing from Another World (1951)-Stationed in the Arctic a team of scientists along with a crew from the US Air Force find a crashed spacecraft in the ice as well as the frozen body of the presumed pilot. Again not having the sense to leave well enough alone they extract the body from the ice and then pay a heavy price when it thaws out and becomes THE THING!! Though he’s unrecognizable under the makeup the Thing is played by James Arness before his decades long career on TV’s Gunsmoke.

Kevin said...

I have seen none of these movies but am familiar with Soylent Green, so I would imagine your final pairing is great.

Sonia Cerca said...

I haven't seen any of these.

Birgit said...

I haven't seen any of these even though I want to especially Earnest as an Amish farmer! I am always up to see films even when they are not that great:)