Showing posts with label noir. Show all posts
Showing posts with label noir. Show all posts

Friday, November 25, 2022

Noir Watch: City of Fear (1959)




Watched:  11/19/2022
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Director:  Irving Lerner

A low-budget crime thriller noir for the nuclear age!  Now this would be stretched into eight episodes of prestige TV, but this taught 81 minute film uses short-hand and focuses on the minute-by-minute crisis that unfolds when a pair of prisoners use a riot as cover to escape, believing they've smuggled out a canister of heroin that they think was being used to experiment on prisoners (there's your exciting B-plot as a brave journalist blows the lid off this story!  But not in this movie.).  

But that ain't heroin.  Vince Edwards - our POV character and an all-around-heel - has accidentally grabbed a sealed container of the highly radioactive Cobalt-60.  

Vince Edwards was a pusher before he got popped, and now he's looking to unload what he things is a fortune in horse and make good his escape, and maybe have his frankly foxy and loyal-to-a-fault girlfriend (Patricia Blair) catch up with him.  

Meanwhile, the cops, FBI and various other federal agencies are on the hunt as Edwards has no idea what he has, or that if he manages to open the sealed container, he's going to wipe out LA (see that title, City of Fear).  

In general, the movie is better than a lot of poverty row pictures, and while it feels cheap for a movie, if this were TV in 1959, it'd look and sound swell.  It has a soundtrack by a young Jerry Goldsmith, and it is definitely Jerry Goldsmith, so it feels oddly highbrow if you've been trained to enjoy his scores.  

I don't know if this is a recommended film, but it's a great curiosity of a picture.  Kiss Me Deadly does the nuclear bit perhaps better, but this one gets the threat in front of you minute one and stays focused, making you cringe every time Edwards tries to crack the canister.  And you fully get why the cops agonize over what to tell the public as a public alarm seems necessary, but may also f'-up their search and cause undue calamity if they can find that canister first.

Anyway - not all bad!  



Sunday, November 20, 2022

Noir Watch: This Gun For Hire (1942)




Watched:  11/18/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Frank Tuttle

It's probably the only Noir-vember watch party screening we were going to work in this year, but I'm glad we did this one for Veronica Lake on the week of her 100th birthday.  

Anyway, I'm positive we've written this one up before.  Go watch it.  It's ground zero for a lot of the "assassin who seems that way because he's detached from humanity" stuff you see in everything from Le Samurai to any number of American films where an assassin comes to grips with the fact they might be human.

Curiously, not many more movies where they decide "Gorton's Fisherman" is a hot look for a lady.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Friday Watch Party: This Gun For Hire (a Noirvember/ Veronica Lake 100th B-Day Celebration 2-fer)


POSTPONED TO Friday 11/18/2022

Noirvember is underway!  We'll have our first Noirvember screening by pairing it with a celebration of Veronica Lake, who would have turned 100 on November 14th of this year.  

This is sort of proto-noir, but plays with a lot of the ideas that would inform characters and movies after the war.  It also has so many great talents, from Lake to Ladd to Cregar.  Also, a cat.  You'll be glad, I tell you.  GLAD!

So join us for some WWII-era moralizing, bare witness to the first pairing of Lake and Ladd, and see what the fuss was about Lake.*  And what a hundred movies and pulp novels would borrow when it comes to loner hit-man types in the years to come.

Day:  Friday 11/18/2022
Time:  8:30 Central/ 6:30 PM Pacific
Service:  Amazon
Price:  $4

(link live 10 minutes before showtime)



*she is very, very, very good looking

Noir Watch: Tension (1949)




Watched:  11/15/2022
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  4th?
Director:  John Berry

I've already seen this and written it up a few times, including in 2021.  

So here's several pictures of Audrey Totter in the film.









Thursday, November 10, 2022

Noir Watch: Call Northside 777 (1948)




Watched:  11/08/2022
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  First
Director:  Henry Hathaway

Criterion Channel is currently featuring a load of films they're calling "Film Noir" from 20th Century Fox, and I wanted to finally give Call Northside 777 a whirl.  

As much as I enjoy a film noir from a poverty row studio, Tuesday we made the conscious decision to see something a bit more prestige, and which had been on my punchlist for a while - a noir that starred Jimmy Stewart, who I usually associate with noirish-thrillers later in his career when he shows up in Vertigo, etc... under Hitch.  

The thing, though, is that despite the fact that I've seen Call Northside 777 (1948) referred to as film noir for two decades, much like The Damned Don't Cry, I don't think this movie actually qualifies as film noir.   It certainly *looks* like noir.  Cinematographer Joseph MacDonald, who also shot one of the noir-iest noirs - Pickup on South Street - gives John Alton and James Wong Howe a run for their money (My Darling Clementine similarly has some noir-ish stuff for a western).  But...  there's no femme or homme fatale.  There's no one in over their head because they followed an ill-advised path/ chased a skirt.  There's no one who has crossed paths with the wrong person and is now in an existential crisis.  

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Noir Watch: Gilda (1946)



Watched:  09/24/2022
Format:  BluRay - Criterion
Viewing:  Unknown (3rd?)
Director:  Charles Vidor

I don't talk to many people about Gilda (1946), but I know it's considered one of the greats of the film noir movement.  And I knew that on previous viewings, but it's been a while and we finally cracked open my Criterion BluRay to give the film a spin.  

It's astounding how *modern* some films from almost 80 years ago can feel (see: Touch of Evil)  Specifically in the case of Gilda, I believe it's in part because Gilda has been so often imitated, borrowed and stolen from, and so infrequently matched and perhaps never surpassed.  So, we've all seen movies, television and whatnot that echoes Gilda, but because it holds its place as a very specific story and, with now practically archetypal characters, to see how well the movie works with intricacy of plot, it becomes a film that is both absolutely of 1946 and timeless.  

Credit to the behind-the-lens talent, starting with director Charles Vidor and the handful of talent listed as writers.  And cinematographer Rudolph Mate.  

There's endless ink spilled on Gilda but there's a reason it's Hayworth's most enduring film in a career of amazing pictures.  The movie is adult and sexy and noir-as-hell in all the best ways.  Hayworth and Ford are both bringing their top game, and both play stunningly nuanced characters for any era in cinema.  

Anyway - it was an absolute pleasure to watch.  I look forward to diving into the features on my Criterion disc.


Friday, September 16, 2022

Noir Watch: Hit and Run (1957)


Watched:  09/15/2022
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Director:  Hugo Haas

Eddie Muller may or may not have programmed this flick for Noir Alley, but he did host it.  I don't really know how Noir Alley selections work, to be honest.

But he seemed delighted to show a poverty row-adjacent film and talk about Hugo Haas, the producer, director and star of Hit and Run (1957), a self-made man in cinema who only made a handful of films, but did it on his own terms, including casting himself alongside Cleo Moore, one of the lesser known blonde bombshells of the mid-50's.  And there's probably a fascinating movie or prestige TV show about the shadow world of these films and their distribution in an era where the studios were still running the show and for everyone else, it was the collision of art and commerce and doing what you could afford to do.

Hit and Run plays mostly like a local theater production of The Postman Always Rings Twice, but like the local community theater producer had some ideas for revisions to juice it up a bit.  But, similarly, it features Cleo Moore as the blonde girl who, down on her luck, marries the most stable and financially sound guy in her world, even if he's older and they make a weird pair.  Rather than John Garfield wandering into the gas station, Vince Edwards (whom I like a lot, generally), is already employed there, so it's Moore who's the interloper breaking up a happy home.

This version leans (a) first into the idea that the blonde is not a willing participant in her romance with Edwards or his murderous scheme to take out her husband.  And (b) there's a previously unseen twin who appears to take the husband's place and stir things up.  Y'all, this is how you just keep plussing an idea.

Weirdly, both Moore and Edwards seem like they didn't get enough takes or just weren't that into it, and the energy level in this film, aside from Haas, is weirdly flat from beginning to end.  Which, in contrast to 1946's Postman, is weirdly odd.  But part of that is the ambiguity about what is really happening with Edwards and Moore - she seems to loathe him but melt in his arms when he forces himself on her - so what is she playing?  And Edwards is laconic and then suddenly is not.  It's weird.

There's some curious touches like a society for people to make fun of superstitions and the people who believe them, which seems mostly to be about drinking and shit-talking people you don't know, which may make me an honorary member.

And Chekhov's goldfish enter in the first act but don't really achieve any significance.  

It wasn't great, but I like all of the players - Cleo Moore has really grown on me - and was so weird as a parallax version of a well known film, I couldn't really look away.  But at film's end, I was probably more interested in the movie someone should make about Hugo Haas and Cleo Moore.




Friday, July 22, 2022

Ida Watch: While the City Sleeps (1956)




Watched:  07/20/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  4th?  5th?
Director:  Fritz Lang

I've written this movie up multiple times.  I really like it, and I like it more every time I watch it.  

It's a newsroom film from mid-Century America, with shades of noir - but the cast in this movie is unreal and worth checking out, and it's the last, great Fritz Lang film.  

Here's who you have in the film:

Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, George Sanders, Rhonda Fleming, Thomas Mitchell, John Drew Barrymore, Sally Forrest and...  Ida Lupino.

I mean, it's worth the price of admission just for the cast and director, but I dig the hell out of this movie. 

It's a workplace dramady, a hard-nosed newspaper/ media film, a suspense-thriller and absolutely an ensemble piece.  It moves at a newspaper movie clip, and you have to pay a bit of attention to keep up.  But if you do - the workplace drama is phenomenal, and while a fascinating look at "juvenile delinquency" as seen through the lens of the 1950's - complete with blaming *comic books* for driving a young man to murder.  

 If you're looking for how one keeps sex and shenanigans just off screen in a Hayes Code era movie, this one is a lulu.  And despite Rhonda Fleming performing calisthenics, Ida Lupino is the thing you'll keep your eyes on through the whole film. 

This was Jamie's first viewing, and she spoke up afterwards about how great Lupino's character and performance were as a nuanced character with her own agenda.  I'm in complete agreement.  Lupino takes what's on the page, which could have been words given to anyone, and absolutely elevates the role as smart, conniving, amoral and sexy as hell.

She also drinks champagne with a peach in it, and I need to look up what the actual hell is happening there.

Anyway - this is becoming one of my favorite films.  Just a good watch every time.




Saturday, June 25, 2022

Watch Party Watch: His Kind of Woman (1951)



Watched:  06/24/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Third?
Director:  John Farrow

In celebration of Jane Russel's 101st birthday and enduring foxiness, we watched His Kind of Woman (1951) for our Friday watch party.  

I was aware this movie was weird and goofy, coming out of the Howard Hughes-era RKO studio where things seemed more dictated by Hughes' whims and libido than proven formula,  But until you watch a movie with a bunch of other people and you're responsible for what you're all watching - that's when you go from "yeah, this is kind of wacky" to "wow, this movie is bonkers".  

I'm aware that classic film folks turn their nose up at this movie, but they are wrong.  This is a movie that has everything, and it makes me laugh consistently throughout.  If you want serious, dark film noir, keep walking, because this thing has songs, Mitchum just swinging his dick everywhere, Vincent Price showing the moxie he'd bring to his horror career, and Jane Russell just being as Jane Russell-y as all get out (that's decidedly a feature).  

I had forgotten Raymond Burr was our big bad, and that Charles McGraw had shown up as a heavy.  Anyway, I can't think of a lot against the movie except that the last ten minutes goes on for 25.  Like - there's just way too much climax in this movie and it doesn't include Russell, and that is math I can't get behind.

Anyway, here's to the birthday girl.  Here's hoping she's having a great time wherever she is out there.



Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Ida Watch: The Man I Love (1947)




Watched:  06/13/2022
Format:  Criterion
Viewing:  First
Director:  Raoul Walsh

Cubs were in weather delay, so I put on The Man I Love (1947) so that I might continue on my Ida journey.  

Ida Lupino had previously starred in High Sierra for director Raoul Walsh, and he must have known he had about four choices in Hollywood to pull off the part of Petey Brown (my new favorite character name in anything, ever), and by 1947, Crawford and Stanwyck were not going to sell the age Petey needed to be in relation to all the other members of her family.  

There's a lot of reasons to like this movie, but not least because Ida Lupino is in fabulous gowns and other outfits.  She's... well cared for on this movie in some ways (she also apparently suffered from legit exhaustion on the movie, which makes me think in other ways, she was run ragged), with gorgeous lighting, hair and make-up in every scene.  

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Noir Watch: The Killer is Loose (1956)




Watched:  06/10/2022
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  Second
Director:   Budd Boetticher

This movie is here to put the lie to the 1950's being a more innocent time.  It's dark and brutal and feels like a gritty novella of the era (which should also tell you that if you think the 1950's were what you saw on TV re-runs, you're a remarkable idiot).  This film mostly made it past censors as near as I can tell because the antagonist as the Hays Office would have seen it gets shot to hell in the final reel.  But that's missing the drifting shades of gray of *everyone* in the movie, including and especially out lead cop.

I watched this one about seven years ago, and it's interesting to return to films I haven't seen much now that I know the actors and noir a bit better.  I have a better feel for Joseph Cotten, Wendell Corey, Rhonda Fleming*, Alan Hale Jr., and even Virginia Christine.  

Anyway - it's a good ticking time bomb of a movie.  Wendell Corey plays a bank employee who seems to be trying to thwart a robbery, but the cops figure out he's involved.  When they come for him, Joseph Cotten accidentally kills his wife.  Seeing Cotten's wife, Rhonda Fleming, at his trial, he vows revenge in the form of murdering Fleming.  

He escapes (via murder) an honor farm and he begins his pursuit.  Fleming and Cotten battle over what it means to be a cop's wife and what she's going through worrying about him constantly and what he feels is his duty.  In a curious turn for the era, the movie refuses to give us an answer if either of them are right.  But as a potential target, it really brings the debate to a boil.

Give this one a shot some time.  It's a quick watch, but gets the job done.  And you'll never look at Wendell Corey the same again.



*I mean, let us be honest - I tend to say "okay" if a movie has Rhonda Fleming, and this one does.  



Sunday, June 5, 2022

Noir Watch: My Name is Julia Ross (1945)




Watched:  06/04/2022
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Joseph H. Lewis

I'd had this one burning a hole in my DVR and it seemed like a good way to kill the 90 minutes before I planned to go to bed.  It was actually a B movie in the traditional sense - only 65 minutes or something - so it really fit the bill.   

The plot is whackadoodle and I loved the set up.  Rich-ish jerks go about recruiting a young woman into a job as a secretary, then abscond with her and gaslight her, telling her "no, you're not Julia Ross.  You're Mrs. Hughes" (ie: the wife of the guy she thought was her employer) "and you're crazy.  Sometimes you get these kooky thoughts you're someone else."

Place spunky woman in gothic mansion on a seaside cliff, add paranoia, gaslighting and dickery, and you have a groovy movie.  And, man, is it a cast of FACES.  George Macready, May Whitty, Anita Sharp-Bolster, and even Joy Harington.  Our star is Nina Foch, with whom I'm not terribly well acquainted, but she's terrific.  

Anyway - I'm kinda shocked of the two movies I watched last night, this was the one that had me the most jazzed.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Joan Watch: Flamingo Road (1949)




Watched:  05/27/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  2nd?  3rd?
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Michael Curtiz

I remembered really liking this movie, but not many plot details.  What I really recall was that this was that age of post-Mildred Pierce Joan Crawford when she was having a second or third wind in Hollywood and back at the center of movies.  

This one would be a fabulous bit of film for a good old-fashioned "gender in cinema" student paper, with a tough-as-nails female lead who still has to navigate the mid-20th Century gender and sexual politics and the less-than-ideal male figures around her.  Not to mention the presentation of other women in the film who do not have the benefit of being Joan Crawford.

Monday, May 23, 2022

PodCast 200: "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984) - Signal Watch Canon Episode w/ SGHarms and Ryan




Watched:  05/21/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown/ First for Extended Version
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Sergio Leone




Steven returns to the podcast to talk one of Ryan's canon films, and one of Leone's last. It's an epic length podcast for an epic-length film, and certainly not everyone's cup of tea. Join us as we talk about what works, what doesn't, the challenges of the film, and what it all means.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Deborah's Theme - Ennio Morricone, Once Upon a Time in America OST
Once Upon a Time in America - Ennio Morricone, Once Upon a Time in America OST


Signal Watch Canon

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Western Noir Watch: Lust for Gold (1949)




Watched:  05/02/2022
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  S. Sylvan Simon and George Marshall


Well, Criterion Channel is currently highlighting a collection of films starring Ida Lupino, and that's good news for me, anyway.  Always on the hunt for more Lupino, I wanted to check out something I hadn't seen, and we mostly randomly landed on Lust for Gold (1949), what appeared to be a Western, but which really turned out to be Western Noir, which is absolutely a thing.

This is a supremely weird movie, and they needed to make one movie or the other movie in their movie, but instead they give you two partial movies, and I cannot begin to conceive of the "why".  A full 2/3rds of the film is flashback to events from the 1880's, and the rest takes place, which a much-less-talented team of actors, in the present day of 1949.  And I'm not sure the whole section in 1949 needs to exist at all, and I'm not sure that the events of 1880 shouldn't have been mentioned in about three sentences in a very different version of how the 1949 stuff spins out.

The end result is that you don't get any Ida Lupino until something like 35 minutes into a 90 minute movie, and... come on.  What are we even doing here?

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Neo-Noir Watch: Fargo (1996)




Watched:  02/28/2022
Format:  TCM
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Joel Coen

God damn, this movie.  

Like many, I loved (LOVED) Fargo when we saw it in the theater back in 1996, and I watched it several times in the years immediately following, but it's been a long stretch since I last watched it beginning to end.  I was watching the final 20 minutes or so of Blood Simple on TCM, and Jamie suggested we record Fargo and watch it in a day or so, and as Jamie is wise, I was on board.    

And, really, the two movies aren't a bad pairing.  

Blood Simple - the Coens' first - is a horror-like noir with trappings of unfaithful wives, murder of lovers, which might have been in drawing rooms in the 1940's and is transplanted to suburban Texas (the greater Austin area) where it all takes on a sheen of low-fi, red neckiness.  But it also is Texas mean - something we'd see repeated in their adaptation of No Country For Old Men.  

Famously, Fargo (1996) takes place between Fargo, North Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota, with stops in Brainerd, Minnesota - and all in the whiteout dead of winter.  The film exists in empty spaces, from the wide open plains of Brainerd to parking lots with a single car to lake fronts in winter.  Minneapolis, with people huddled inside, has its own sense of emptiness.  Even the spacious home of the Lundegaards has a kind of desolation.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Brit Noir Watch: Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)




Watched:  02/28/2022
Format:  Noir Alley TCM
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's
Director:  Lewis Gilbert

Apparently Cast a Dark Shadow (1955) received poor notices and didn't set the box office on fire upon its release, and I can see how in the mid-50's this thriller would disappear into the background of so much in the way of crime films, mystery, murder and mayhem.  

But I dug it.  

Starring Dirk Bogarde and Margaret Lockwood, it feels like it never shakes off its roots as a stageplay, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.   The limited number of sets and lack of spectacle keeps the focus on just story and character - which all of the players manage well with their performances and under Gilbert's direction.  

Bogarde plays a young man of the working classes who has found himself married to a much older woman whom he decides to bump off for the money.  It's a bit of an elaborate scheme, both what he plans to do to accomplish the lady's demise and what needs to happen after.  But, that accomplished, he sets out to find another older lady to help him get some cash.  

Here, he meets Lockwood, and she's worldly and wise in a way no other woman has been.  But she's also not that much older (and looks like Margaret Lockwood), and has her own mind about things.  

Bogarde settles in a bit until yet another older woman shows up and seems like easy enough pickings.  

Bogarde and Lockwood are individually fantastic in the film, and together it's a fascinating bit of chemistry.  Lockwood's working class girl who married well enough is a great role, and my guess is it's so different (and she's shockingly old at 39 here) from what was happening on screen elsewhere, audiences may have been thrown off.  But she's terrific.  Bogarde gets to go full raving nutter by film's end, and you get to see his range over the course of the film from glances and moments of pause to talking to empty chairs and banging on them with canes.  It's something else.

It's not a movie that will change your life, but it's a terrific, taught thriller.  Check it out.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Noir Watch: Side Street (1950)




Watched:  02/13/2022
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM
Viewing:  First
Decade: 1950's
Director:  Anthony Mann


For people familiar with New York or New Yorkers, I'd think this movie would be a kick.  It's filmed partially/ mostly on-location in NYC circa 1950, and they don't skimp on showing the city, including some nifty aerial photography I hear was done from a blimp.

Side Street (1950) is a dead on example of film noir.  Our central figure (Farley Granger!) is in a kind-of-bad-way to begin with, makes a decision to try something he knows is maybe a bad idea (bad risk/ reward calculation), and - indeed - things get out of control.  And there's a good looking woman in a great dress who is nothing but trouble thrown in for requisite contrast to the safe harbor of the idealized domestic situation.

I'm a big fan of They Live By Night, a different movie about our stars Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell as young lovers in a jam.  I'd suggest both films, but I'd watch this one second.  There's nothing wrong with it at all, it just didn't hit me as hard as They Live By Night, which is like a bowling ball and I'm a pin hanging out by my lonesome on the alley.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Noir Watch: Nightmare Alley (2021)




Watched:  02/11/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Director:  Guillermo Del Toro


I've seen the original Nightmare Alley from 1947 a number of times.  I'm sure you can dig through the archives of this here site and find mentions, but what I would say is that on repeated viewings, for a movie that was so... grim and off-kilter, I felt compelled to rewatch the story of Stanton Carlisle and the worlds between which he moved.  And I found myself increasingly blown away with each viewing.  Today, the 1947 version is included in the pile of movies I would request to have when stranded on an island with a bluray player and television.

It was with some trepidation that I heard that director Guillermo Del Toro had taken on the movie for a remake, and that with writer Kim "Sunset Gun" Morgan, he'd be adhering more closely to the novel.  I have flat out not liked some of Del Toro's films (Pacific Rim) and not understood the hoopla around others (The Shape of Water).  But had enjoyed some of what I'd seen, which wasn't a lot.  

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Sorta Noir Watch: Over-Exposed (1956)





Watched:  01/24/2022
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Director:  Lewis Seiler

Eddie sometimes plays fast and loose with what he'll bring to Noir Alley, and Over-Exposed (1956) is definitely on the outer limits of Noir Alley.  I mean, it basically follows a story that could appear in many-a-noir as a morality play, but driven by a woman instead of a man, and it doesn't end in a hail of bullets for our protagonist.  

This one starts with a clip joint getting knocked over, and Cleo Moore - desperate for work - meeting the aging photographer who took a picture of her as she headed to jail.  They hit it off and she decides to pick up the trade.  She makes her way to NYC where she struggles off camera for some amount of time before finding success, especially as one of the girls in a sparkly one-piece bathing suit who takes photos in nightclubs.  This leads to the fanciest club in town, while she ignores Richard Crenna, a newspaperman who seems like an honest joe.  But, man, does he want her to want to throw all of her dreams and security out the window so she can become his little woman.

Of course bad things happen and her meteoric rise as a person who points cameras at people falls apart.  Something something photo blackmail racket (don't blackmail people, kids).

This looks very good for what feels like a dopey B picture, mostly existing to show off Cleo Moore in bathing suits and clingy gowns.  But there's enough story there for it not to feel cheap.  And Cleo Moore is all right.  She's good in things I've seen her in, even if she's never exactly bowling me over.  

If you're like me and only know sun-beaten older Richard Crenna, the squeaky voiced kid on the screen is almost unrecognizable.  But he's all right!  

It's a cheesecake picture that's kinda short on cheesecake, but that's ok.  Cleo Moore is just fine doing her own acting thing.