What are you? I’m Batman: Batman (1989)

So it is time for our Tim Burton movie!

Batman: I’m not going to kill you. I want you to do me a favor. I want you to tell all your friends about me.

Nic: What are you?

Batman: I’m Batman.

So I was trying to decide which Tim Burton movie to do next, when I saw this at the library and realized this was perfect as it turns 30 this year.

Some of you might not think this counts, as it is a superhero film but I say it does.

Yes, first of all every year on abcFamily, now known as freeform, as part of their 13 Night of Halloween they would always show this. So I always associate this film with Halloween.

The second reason it counts is because the Joker is chemically changed into a monster, but even without that he is a total psycho-killer.

So I grew up watching this film and I just love it. When I think of Batman, to me it is always Michael Keaton or Kevin Conroy. There is no other Batman (although I do recognize Adam West, I just never watched his show until I was older) This is an absolutely amazing film and Keaton is an amazing Batman. So without further ado…

We have an amazing opening with fantastic music…oh yeah, Danny Elfman did the music, Tim Burton just loves him.

Gotham city-I have always loved how it looked as it was a blend of modern with art deco giving it feeling of being both times and not of the time.

So a guy is leaving the theater with his family at night trying to get a taxi. They are tourists and lost. As they walk around the bad side of town, they get mugged, the father getting knocked out. (Although to be honest, it was kind of his fault. Why didn’t he stay in front of the theater?)

That’s not good.

So one of the robbers look like Kevin Bacon but it is totally a discount Kevin Bacon.

So the best part is when Batman creeps up behind the two muggers as they are dividing up the spoils. His cape flying out, creepy and cool. Spooky!

Spooky…

He takes them down, so tough and awesome. I know the costume kept him from moving his head right, but it looks so cool. He looks otherworldly.

Wow!

He was supposed to say something else about being justice in the night or so. But Michael Keaton changed it to “I’m Batman”, and it was awesome!

He takes those muggers down and flies out.

Meanwhile, the mayor is having a news conference with him appointing a new district attorney, Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams)-although why isn’t he in the third film? Why did they replace him with first of all, a white guy, and secondly why Tommy Lee Jones?

I’m surprised

Meanwhile Jack (Jack Nicholson) is a thug watching the conference. I can’t stand Jack Nicholson, he just looks creepy in EVERYTHING. That voice, that smile, it creeps me out. And not in a good way like Vincent Price.

He’s talking to his moll, mobster’s gal, about his plans for keeping control of the city.

Meanwhile, on the conference they get questioned about “The Bat”, by reporter Knox. No one believes the reporter, and laugh it off.

I love how they all wear 1940s clothes! Oh, I just love this movie. They have that film noir, Dana Andrews in Laura vibe going on.

Laura

It turns out one of the detectives is dirty, on the payroll of Jack. He tells him that D.A. Dent is onto one of their deals, a property, and he needs it to be handled. The cop insults him, but Jack is not having that, he pulls a gun on him. Watch out you are dealing with a psycho.

Don’t mess with me!

This is why you don’t become involved with bad guys, they can easily kill you.

The mayor is trying to take done crime and wants Grissom to go on trial. He wants to bring business back and revitalize the town.

Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) meets with Knox, the pressman from earlier. She’s a photojournalist and is interested in this “Bat”. She knows that if they can prove it-it’s pulitzer prize worthy. She wants a piece by trying to get a picture of it. He thinks that he might show up to Bruce Wayne’ social, and she has an invite. Already they are a dynamic duo.

Sorry!

Meanwhile, Grissom and Jack are discussing what to do about this Dent. Grissom wants Jack to take care of him. Grissom’s moll comes, and its the dame that Jack was with. Oh it looks like Jack was a naughty boy.

I love how Jack wears a purple suit. I like when movies do things like that, setting the stage for what is to come. Plus that suit is sharp, I don’t find him attractive-just creepy-but I can see why she might be into him.

Grissom sends Jack out, but I can’t help but feel that there is more to this than mets the eye.

Oh yes, he calls up Lt. Eckhardt and it seems he found out about Jack dating his girl and he is on the way out.

That’s not good.

So the big Casino Night Gala has come. All the bigwigs are there and Knox. Vicki Vale has come too, working the room searching for Bruce Wayne. She taps a guy asking for his help and it is Michael Keaton.

Our first look at him. I think I love him as Batman because he is just a regular guy. He’s not ostentatious, he’s not super serious-he’s cool, composed, and just chill. I love it as you don’t realize who he is until later as he is just so normal. Perfect intro and contrast to when we see how awesome he is as Batman.

So like I said, it is the perfect intro, but it is weird that these reporters don’t know who he is. He’s a gazillionaire and leading philanthropist in the city. I mean Vale gets a somewhat pass as she has just arrived in the city, but Knox should know!

Knox and Vale notice Commissioner Gordon speaking to a police officer. Sensing a story, they try to track him down, but end up in an armory.

Bruce Wayne comes in as they eviscerating his collection. I love it. Who are you-Bruce Wayne.

He compliments them and I can’t get over it. He’s perfect! You would never ever think a guy like this would dress up as a giant bat and run around the city protecting it.

I’m surprised

He starts flirting with Vale but has to run off. The two just can’t get him as he seems so odd? But you know what they say, the rich aren’t odd they are “eccentric.”

Bruce enters his batcave where he goes over the film he shot of the Commissioner, getting the info on what was going on. I like this version because he actually does detective work, rather than in the Christian Bale version when Morgan Freeman solves everything.

Lt. Eckhardt is leading the people who are out to get Jack. Jack, Jack, Jack the first rule of being in a mob, never get with the boss’ gal. Should’ve know.

The police shoot them and gunfire starts between the two in a dangerous warehouse full of chemicals. Gordon shows up with his people as he doesn’t trust Eckhardt. He goes over Eckhardt refusing his order shoot to kill as he wants Jack alive to get the goods.

Jack destroys the warehouse, steam and bullets flying everywhere. But then Batman descends slowly from nowhere. SO COOOL!!!

He uses his batarang to catch one of the criminals. OMG every time I watch this I feel like I go back to the age I was when I first saw this on VHS. I was probably six or seven and after seeing this just thought Batman was SO COOOOL! Still feel this way 20-21 years later.

And that music.

So COOL!!!

Anyways Jack tried to make enough steam to confuse the cops and get out of there, but he didn’t count on the Batman.

I love how he flies in his cape flowing so cool!

WOW!

He catches Jack, using his utility belt to get the gun away, but Jack’s man gets Gordon. Jack picks up his gun to shoot Batman, but he’s gone. So COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!

Sorry, I can’t help it, 6-7 year old me just keeps popping out.

Jack shoots Eckhardt and tries to get Batman, but accidentally mars his own face, Then oops Barman accidentally knocks him into vat of chemicals, he tries to save him but oops, Jack falls in.

Batman throws a fogbomb and is gone! Sooooooooooooo cooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So COOL!!!

Vale and Knox are working on the story, but haven’t figured anything out yet. Knox tries to take Vale out, but Wayne asked her first.

Too slow

He invites her to his home for dinner. It always cracks me up- he’s in this ostentatious and gorgeous house, seated at a giant table that could fit 20 and acts like a regular joe. I love it. I love him. Michael Keaton is one of my favorites.

He takes her from the dining table to eating in the kitchen instead. There Alfred tells stories-good job Alfred. Doing what a parent would do.

Vale shares about herself and her family. Bruce tells her how he doesn’t have any family but Alfred. Vale says this house doesn’t seem him-and she’s right. He’s just too normal, not at all like those typical rich guys. And I love it.

So Jack survived his fall and went to the plastic surgeon. The nerves were messed up so the doctor did the best he could, but Jack isn’t happy with it.

Grissom is getting ready for bed when Jack walks in. He pretends he’s happy to see him, but Jack’s not buying it.

They start him off in the shadows so we don’t see what happened yet. But we know-it’s not going to be good!

Grissom reaches for his gun, but Jack has one on him already. He walks into the light and we see-The Joker. White face, green hair, and permanent grin. I think he looks as creepy as he always does.

Jack Nicholson is perfect. He always creeped me out when he looked his regular self and does it double as the joker.

Vale got drunk and stayed the night. She wakes up and sees Bruce doing upside down exercises? Sleeping like a bat? I’m not sure exactly what he was doing. She takes him to bed, but I personally think I would be weirded out by that.

Joker’s thrilled at the death of Grissom but mad that no one in the paper cares about him, even though he’s been the Joker for one night. But any-who, who cares about that logic, he wants fame, glory, and to enact his psychotic vengeance/reality/crime spree on Gotham.

The next morning Vale wakes up and invites Bruce out for lunch, but he’s too busy running “errands” We know what that means-Batman Business.

Meanwhile, Grissom’s gal gets home and finds Joker, fainting. Joker takes over the mafia. He covers his face with paint and tries to look normal-but still looks creepy. One guy challenges him, and Joker kills him, death by hand buzzer. Wow, love that he stays in theme.

Just noticed this boardroom has weird artwork. A lady naked but tied up, her nipples covered by the tie. Then it looks like a nude man’s chest on another wall. Weird art choices.

Weird

Oh Jack Nicholson is so creepy with that extra creepy laugh and creepiness on the side.

Knox is jealous that Vale was with Bruce, while she’s mad because she thinks Bruce just slept with her and then is going to ignore her. She finds nothing in the newspaper files as to who he is-weird as a gazillionaire there should be a gazillion clips- and then she decides to sneak over to his house and follow him.

He is walking down the street, bringing two roses outside an old hotel building. Aw. I know why he does it, but Vale is confused. Who is this guy? What is he doing? Why toss out expensive roses.

Meanwhile, the court trial of Grissom has stalled as no one can find him. Bruce goes to the courthouse when a guy announces he’ll be taking over his business. As he watches the exchange a mime shows up, then another one. Odd.  But are they just mimes?

Hmmm…

Never trust a mime. They are evil.

Then the Joker shows up and challenges the guy trying to take over Grissom’s business. He has a feather pen and uses it to stab and kill him He walks down the stairs in a top hat, spats, and shiny shoes. Man, I love that this joker has style. I like this better than today’s constant brooding , chaos, evil blah blah blah.

Blah, blah

I just love how he acts.

Meanwhile, Bruce spots Vale and storms off angry that she followed him.

The Joker’s angry that after his big show stopper number no one cares about him, they just care about the bat. I love it. I love him as the Joker. He is so evil and fun. They don’t make villains like that now. They are all so serious, brooding, and stiff.

OMG, Bruce has an amazing library! It’s going on my next library list!

Alfred tries to get Bruce to call Vale as she lifts his spirits, but Bruce is all business. He needs to take this joker down!

Vale calls Knox and gets him to check out the alley Bruce laid the roses on. She know it has to mean something but what?

Hmm…

Meanwhile, the Joker starts checking out the photos from the guy he had follow the reporters and falls for Vicki Vale. He wants her as his new gal.

Mh my goodness, I love his one liners.

Back at the Chemical factory, Joker starts working on his master evil plan.

We switch to the news, Action News, who bring up a story of models dying. They became allergic to something? But what? Three more mysterious deaths at a beauty parlor? Then the female news anchor starts going crazy laughing. She faints and is dead too.

Meanwhile, Joker cuts in to the broadcast. He reveals that he has poisoned all the makeup. and he doesn’t just reveal his plan on TV. He does his own infomercial.

THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He does an infomercial about his evil plan of poisoning makeup.

WOW!

Bruce looks into Jack Napier, the Joker. He has an interesting backstory, since 25 his rap sheet has started but he also has studied art, art history, and chemistry.

The next day we see the news anchors with no makeup. Its hilarious! They look tired and haggard a major difference from the day before.

The mayor still wants to celebrate the city’s bicentennial, even though there is a mad man and batman. Crazy mayor.

Ah, Bruce is wearing a cable knit sweater. I love men in sweaters.

So Vale goes to meet Bruce at the art museum, but it was actually a set up so the Joker could get to her. Bruce only found out when Vale called to let him know she would be running late.

She waits, and waits but no Bruce shows up. However, a package does saying urgent in child’s scrawl.

I know Jack probably wasn’t the best student but he really needs to work on an adult handwriting. It is a gas mask and she quickly puts it on as the museum is filled with noxious gas that knocks everyone out.

Joker shows up in a purple coat, purple chef hat, a posse, one dude with a boombox playing music as he robs the museum. I LOVE IT! This film. I can’t get over it!

This Joker is awesome and the kind of crazy, illogical, chaos that I love.

They don’t steal the art but destroy it.

He switches his dance music to “romance”. He looks at her portfolio and call it crap. Wow, you sure know how to romance a lady.

The only one he does like is of the dead body. He knows real art as he is:

“Joker: I am the world’s fully functional homicidal artist.”

Can you imagine if you had the Joker, Norman Bates as his mother, Jason, Michael Myers, and the other psychos all stuck together in a therapy group. Someone needs to make this into a film or short.

Joker’s former girlfriend comes wearing her mask, her face marred from the Joker as “a living piece of art”. Jack questions Vale about Batman.

I can’t get over his one liners!

“Vicki Vale: You’re crazy.

Joker: I thouht I was a pisces.”

He tries to get her to spill on batman and almost sprays acid on her face. Just when all hope seems lost, Batman comes crashing through and swings Vale to safety, crashing out the doors. SOO COOOL!

Wow!

OMG, that Batmobile! Sigh. SOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got to see it person at the Ca State fair once. It’s Amazing!

The Joker’s people drive a purple car with a green top. I just love how committed he is to his theme. I miss stuff like that in modern superhero films.

Vale and Batman ditch the car, shield coming up it as he can’t drive through the street. Vale tosses her shoes and they run for it.

Batman and Vale face an alley with no way out. He asks her how much she weighs, not cool batman.

Uh oh

He sends her up to safety and stays behind to fight the guys. They shoot him, and one guy says “Who’s this guy?” The one guy says to check his wallet. Like Batman is really going to by carrying a wallet or a credit card or something.

Flashes to Batman and Robin I know I made that joke on purpose.

Sorry!

Anyways, his body armor protects him and he take these goons out. AWESOME fight scene!!!!! Vale photographs the whole thing, although where was she carrying her camera. Her bag was tiny, but whatever.

Huh?

Batman calls his ride and Batman tells her she weighs more than 108 lbs, Haha. That makes me laugh.

They car picks them up and they drive out to the Nightmare Before Christmas wood Seriously with the Elfman soundtrack I expect to see the gate to Halloween land.

Batman drives off in silence, leaves flying as he races down the highway. SOO COOOOOL!!!!!!

I love how Vale is totally creeped out. Like adrenaline and fear kept her going, but now she’s like I don’t know this dude he could be taking me to his torture cave. She’s seriously freaked out.

Batman takes her to the batcave which is a dumb idea. You don’t take a reporter to your secret cave. In fact as a superhero you shouldn’t date a reporter! Especially one who is investigating both of you-superhero and secret identity. Batman’s Achilles heel.

Seriously dude!

He reveals what he knows as he wants her to print it. I love how he hides in the shadows. I love how Vicky is curious but uncertain.

The screen fades to black and bats and Vale wakes up passed out on her bed. Did he drug her?

Not cool bats.

She gives the newspaper what Batman gave her and its printed. Deodorants with baby powder, lipstick, and hairspray are all infected.

Joker is not so angry but hurt that Batman figured it out. I love it!

I love this movie. Sorry Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, Zach Synder, and others. This movie is better than yours.

Sorry, not sorry!

Bruce goes to see Vale who gives him a cool reception. She was saved by Batman and you didn’t call after your night. She’s kinda over you.

This sucks for superheroes they are always competing with themselves for a girl.

Bruce tries to tell Vale about his “secret life” but it sounds like he is a creep or bipolar or has a weird love/torture room thing.

This scene is so funny. He is speaking gibberish and just sounds crazy . I love it. You know Vale is really nice, I would just been like you’re crazy get your butt outta here.

But before he can make any sense, someone rings the doorbell.

The Joker shows up and is angry that she has a “boyfriend”.

He tells Joker off and insulting him, egging him on, distracts him and pulls the fireplace poker out.

The Joker: Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Bruce Wayne: What?

The Joker: I always ask that of all my prey. I just… like the sound of it. [shoots him]

And the Joker shoots him. Bruce is dead!

Joker says goodbye and Vale cries, she dressed appropriately in black. How did she know a death would come?

But when she turns around Bruce is gone, her silver tray on the ground. He put it under his shirt and used it as armor.

SOOOO COOOL! And definitely a nod to the 39 Steps.

Vale opens the box and there is a Jack in the box hand with dead flowers. She goes to the newspaper office and Knox reveals Bruce’s sad backstory to Vale.

Meanwhile, Bruce is in he batcave. That saying that the Joker told him rally shook him up. He starts looking through the file on his parents. Hmm…how does this connect? (I know how I just like asking rhetorical questions)

Joker cuts into the broadcast again. “You guys have said some really mean things, some of which are true.” He has the best one liners.

Wow!

He announces that a midnight he will dump $20 million on the city. He announces this in PBS Masterpiece Theater style in a fancy old fashioned armchair and sweater vest. This guy. He calls out Batman to meet him and basically challenges him to a duel.

We then see a flashback of Bruce and his parents coming home from the theater.  Why they are walking and don’t have a car waiting when they are uber rich I don’t know. That makes the least bit of sense actually in all of this. Why walk down an alley. Why not have a car waiting?

How does this make any sense?!!

They get approached by a thug who steals his mother’s pearls and another who shoots them dead. The shooter asks Bruce:

“The Joker: You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

It was him, it was Jack. That guy looks just like that guy.

Vale storms to the batcave. How she figured it out when she is like the worst reporter, I don’t know. And like I said THIS IS WHY YOU DO’T DATE REPORTERS INVESTIGATING YOU OR BRING THEM TO YOUR SECRET HIDEOUT!!!

This was always my least favorite part. I love you stop doing this blah, blah. Vale you hardly know him.

He dresses in epic fashion. Gets going in his batmoblie, and speeds down to the warehouse, shoot the door down SOOOO COOOOOOOOL!!!!

Batmobile drops a bomb, and all are taken out at the factory. Batmobile continues down the fire and smoke. The factoy is destroyed, but the Joker is in a helocopter.

The Joker holds his own parade with ’80s music blasting. He dances on his float, OMG I love how the Joker has style. I love this movie.

Like seriously, he is Ferris Buellering it up, while his minions toss money int the street. But it isn’t real money, it is bills with his face on them. Which means, he must have some kind of evil plan, but what?

Joker says he giving money but where is Batman, and boom here he comes, flying overhead. Everyone puts masks on releasing noxious fumes from one of his balloons.

Vicky gets good pics While everyone is going crazy. Luckily Knox has a mask in his trunk and a baseball bat as he goes after the minions. He puts Vicky in the car, but that can’t really help her as air gets in the car. She should be going crazy too. It’s not like a car is air proof.

Weird

She  realizes this and drives off, hitting Knox and knocking him onto the hood, and into trash cans. Knox gets a cut on the side of his face. Ouch. Dang Vale.

Batman goes flying into the parade taking the balloons with him. Joker is seriously hurt that he stole his balloons. This cracks me up. I love this movie.

He so upset after Batman shoots his “number one guy” he needs a minute or two alone. OMG he cracks me up.

Batman goes flying down, missiles launched taking out the float. He launches it into Joker then misses because he has honor.

Joker pulls a gun out and shoots Batman from the sky with his giant gun.

His plan crashes and Vale goes charging after him. The plane is destroyed and Joker takes his giant shotgun, and Vale up into the church.

But Batman is alive, it takes more than bullets, crashed plane, fire, and a possible concussion to stop him (just kidding about concussion, he wears a helmet.)

Batman goes after them and knocks all the pews down in the church. Like this does nothing to help Vicky and to be honest it is kinda a jerky thing to do as the ushers are going to have to pick them all up next church service.

The joker forces Vicky up the staircase, like out of Vertigo, Batman follows, the police behind him.

Joker has her in the belltower, and shoots acid at the bell causing it to crash down and destroy the stairs. The police won’t save her, but Batman isn’t going to let a thing like no stairs stop him.

He’s Batman!

The police shine their searchlights at the top of the old church. Now it is time for the final showdown between Joker and Batman.

One minion really gets the punches in there and throws him over, but he’s batman, he uses his utility belt to get up and knock that guy over.

Joker continues dancing while batman stalks by. Vale spots him and distracts the Joker by kissing him.

You’re so powrful and purple, I  love purple. She ducks down and is she…? But Batman comes storming in.

Joker says you made me, but Batman counters with you made me.

WOW!

He pits glasses on and says you wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses. He manages to push both Vale and batman over the edge. They are hanging on the side of the building.

Is this he end?

Joker steps on the church’s old bricks trying to get it come crashing down on the two. His helicopter comes and it looks like it is the end.

Batman has one more thing, he shoots a batarang that gets the joker caught on a gargoyle. They can’t pull him up and  when they pull the gargoyle out, ouch as it is pulling down on is leg.

Joker can’t hold the weight, slips, and goes crashing down. So does the church roof, but Batman and Vale are saved.

The police gather around Joker’s body and  that’s his end of the reign of terror.

At the next press conference, thy reveal Batman gave them the bat signal to call him if they were ever in need. Vale walks off and looks up to the sky, then sees her man’s butler in his fancy car. And that is the amazing Batman (1989)

And just cause:

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Batman, go to Man-Bat: On Leather Wings, Batman the Animated Series (1992)

For more Tim Burton films, go to Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more film-noir, go to This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

For more Nostalgia Critic, go to Ever Heard of the Tommyknockers?: The Tommyknockers (1993)

Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

It’s Time for an Animated Film!

Every year we review an animated film and this year it is:

I’ll always look back on that first with the most fondness; my introduction to Basil of Baker Street, the great mouse detective

So guess what guys! Bonus Disney film and bonus Vincent Price!

This was one of my upmost favorite films growing up. I don’t think I could ever fully explain how amazing this film is-it is just too good.

So the original story is a book Basil of Baker Street, which was awful-don’t read it. Instead, when Disney went into production they borrowed from The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and other of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works.

As my costume this year was Sherlock Jane Holmes Austen, I knew I had to review it.

Mystery, you say?

The main character Basil of Baker Street is a mousified version of Sherlock Holmes-a mix of Leslie Howard and Basil Rathbone (where his name comes from). This film not only has a great main character but the best Disney villain of all time, Ratigan.

Played by Vincent Price-this guy gives Professor Moriarty (Sherlock’s archnemsis) a real run for his money.

This film starts of with father and daughter-Hiram and Olivia Flaversham. Hiram is a toy inventor and is celebrating with the apple of his eye, Olivia. Unfortunately, her birthay is interrupted with intruders.

He quickly hides his daughter and then is kidnapped. 

Meanwhile, in London, Dr. David Q. Dawson has just arrived from Afghanistan, newly retired from the war. He’s looking for a place to stay and to begin his practice.

Dr. Dawson: Little did I know that my life was about to change forever.

He sees little Olivia trying to make her way down the street without being run over, and feels sorry for her. She tells him she is looking for the famous detective, and shows him a newspaper clipping. He agrees to help her, and off they go.

When they arrive at 221 1/2 Baker Street, Basil is not there. They decide to wait when they are interrupted by a strange looking mouse.

Yes, it is Basil of Baker Street, the Great Mouse Detective.

Put my crime-solving cap on.

Olivia tries to talk to him, but he ignores her…until she mentions a certain little fact:

Olivia Flaversham: I didn’t lose him. He was taken by a bat.

Basil: Did you say… bat?

Olivia Flaversham: Yes.

Basil: Did he have a crippled wing?

Olivia Flaversham: I don’t know, but he had a peg leg.

Basil: Ha!

Dr. Dawson: I say, do you know him?

Basil: Know him? That bat, one Fidget by name, is in the employ of the very fiend that was the target of my experiment! The horror of my every waking moment. The nefarious Professor Ratigan!

Dr. Dawson: Ratigan?

Basil: He’s a genius, Dawson. A genius twisted for evil. The Napoleon of crime!

Dr. Dawson: As bad as all that, eh?

Basil: Worse! For years I’ve tried to capture him, and I’ve come close, so very close, but each time he’s narrowly evaded my grasp! Not a corner of London is safe while Ratigan is at large. There’s no evil scheme he wouldn’t concoct. No depravity he wouldn’t commit. Who knows what dastardly scheme that villain may be plotting even as we speak.

From here we fade out to take a look at the villain-Ratigan (Vincent Price). His plan is to have Haversham create a toy mouse Queen, kidnap the real Queen, and use his toy/puppet to rule all mousedom. After his amazing reveal and we have THE BEST VILLAN SONG OUT OF ALL THE DISNEY VILLAN SONGS!!

So debonair, so evil, so classy, so demented, etc. He has it all. Fantastic!

Meanwhile, Fidget goes looking for the girl and to find out what Basil has unearthed. They spot him and the chase is on-after a quick stop to Sherlock Holmes’ flat (Sherlock Holmes speaks with the voice of Basil Rathbone. Since Rathbone was already deceased it was edited from his reading of the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for Caedmon Records in 1966).

In the flat they pick up Toby, a dog, and track Fidget down to a toy store:

Olivia is stolen, but luckily they found the list and Basil uses al his power of deduction to find Ratigan’s lair.

It is time to suit up and head out. The two disguise themselves as sailors and head down to a tavern on the waterfront.

Bar Maid: What’ll you have?

Dr. Dawson: I’ll have a dry sherry, with, oh, perhaps a twist of…

Basil: Two pints for me and my shipmate. Oh, by the way. We just got into port. We’re looking for an old friend of mine. Maybe you know him. Goes by the name… of Ratigan! [Everyone at the bar gasps and turn to Basil]

Bar Maid: I… never heard of him.

Basil is on high alert and notices that the drinks have been roofied. But it is too late for Dawson who causes a giant scene:

When I was a kid I never noticed how racy this was. It almost didn’t make it in the final cut. I just remember enjoying the song.

Oh, well

So they get out of there and follow Fidget, but it turns out to be a trap. Ratigan has outwitted Basil. He takes his robot Queen, the Flavershams, and his crew and set off to fulfill his evil plan.

Let’s stop and talk about how awesome this scene is:

  1. Ratigan’s enthusiasm and how he can’t settle on one so he does all his ideas.
  2. How Basil figures out this plan and incorporates it, calculating in like a minute.
  3. When he is free the first thing he does is change back into his “uniform”.
  4. Basil catches Olivia as she is thrown through the air just like that.
  5. And he stops to have his picture taken.

Meanwhile, Ratigan has fooled the queen, abducted her, and has established his Robot Queen who has given him all the power.

Ratigan: I have the power!

Robot Queen: Of course you do.

Ratigan: I am supreme!

Robot Queen: Only you.

Ratigan: This is my kingdom! [maniacal laugh] That is, of course, with your highness’ permission. [the robot is idle; Ratigan slaps it to start it again]

Robot Queen: Most assuredly… you insidious fiend.

Ratigan: What?

Robot Queen: You’re not my royal consort!

Ratigan: [to crowd] Such a sense of humor.

Robot Queen: You’re a cheap fraud & impostor!

Ratigan: [under his breath] Flaversham!

Basil: [operating the robot] A corrupt, vicious, demented, lowlife scoundrel. There’s no evil scheme you wouldn’t concoct. [the robot goes crazy and breaks apart]

Robot Queen: No depravity you wouldn’t commit. You, professor, are none other than a foul stenchus rodentus, commonly known as a…

Ratigan: Don’t say it!

Basil: …Sewer rat!

Yes Basil came in just the nick of time. Ratigan escapes with Olivia and Basil and Dawson are on the train again. Basil crashes into Ratigan and they wind up in Big Ben and we have one of the most amazing scenes in Big Ben-and one of the scariest.

Back at Baker Street Hiram and Olivia leave to go home and get back to their lives-

Olivia Flaversham: Goodbye, Basil. [sniffles] I… I’ll never forget you.

Basil: Nor I you, Miss… Miss Flangerhanger.

Dr. Dawson: [chuckles] Whatever.

Afterwards, Dawson is going to go about what he originally planed t do, but Basil likes having a best friend.

Dr. Dawson: Well, it’s time I was on my way too.

Basil: But… umm… but I thought…

Dr. Dawson: Well, the case is over, and perhaps… well perhaps it’s best I found my own living quarters.

Basil: But…[Knock on doorOh, now who could that be?

[Dawson opens door; a lady mouse is standing there]

Lady Mouse: Is this the home of the famous Basil of Baker Street?

Dr. Dawson: Indeed it is, miss. You look as if you’re in some kind of trouble.

Lady Mouse: Oh, I am. I am.

Dr. Dawson: Then you have come to precisely the right place.

Basil: Ah, allow me to introduce my trusted associate Dr. Dawson, with whom I do all of my cases. Isn’t that right, doctor?

Dr. Dawson: Oh? Why, yes. By all means.

Basil: As you can see, Dawson, this young lady is from the Hampstead district, and is troubled about the mysterious disappearance of an emerald ring in the third finger of her right hand. Now, tell me the story, and pray, be precise.

And that is just the beginning-many more adventures are to cme. Although sadly they didn’t make any more movies. I don’t know why not!

It is such an amazing film, and I watched it over and over and over again as a child.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

For more The Great Mouse Detective, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more private investigators, go to Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

For more Vincent Price, go to Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more Disney films, go to One Who Was Both Hero and Villain: Maleficent (2014)

Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

Those men are not going to stand for Nancy Drew poking her little nose into their affairs.

First saw this when I was staying in Wyoming. I was renting a room from a family and was happy to see they had cable as my family had gotten rid of it years ago. Finally I could watch TCM!

And what did they happen to be showing?  1930s Nancy Drew Marathon!

So Nancy Drew was published in 1930 and became extremely popular. The film rights were bought and movie contract for a few films starring Bonita Granville.

They do get one thing wrong instead of Ned, he is “Ted” Nickerson. Why? Don’t know.

This book is based on the Nancy Drew Mystery The Password to Larkspur Lane with a few changes here and there. That’s enough background:

Nancy Drew is the chairman of the committee presenting Miss Mary Eldridge an award.Mary Eldridge is donating to her old alma mater-$250,000 ($4.4 million in today’s cash). She plans to go and sign the papers at Carson Drew’s (Nancy’s dad) office after they finish this meeting. The money is to go to a swimming pool-the girls vote.

Great choices

The next day wait for Miss Elridge-planning on presenting her with a trophy. But she doesn’t come. She has ran away.

It all so odd.

Suspicious

The lawyer, Mr. Hollister, says that she is a hypochondriac and very eccentric. She does stuff like this all the time. Does she really?

Hmm…

All the ladies become angry that they won’t get their pool and turn on Nancy and Mrs. Eldridge. Nancy thinks something more serious is up and sets on to find her.

Nancy is out driving to Mrs. Elridge and spots something, in her rearview mirror: it is Dr. Spires being kidnapped! She follows the car and tries to get the license plate but it is so muddy all she sees os a “08”. She then gets a blowout and the chase is over.

Ugh

Dr. Spires calls Mr. Drew leaving him a cryptic message and that he needs him to come right away.

When they get there Dr. Spires tells them his story. He was kidnapped and brought to an old house, were he was blindfolded and only saw the inside. Inside was an injured elderly woman being held against her will and he treated her hurt shoulder. They let him go but he saw nothing and knows not how to find them. All he does know is when they came to the gate one of the guards said the word bluebell. They threatened his life if he told but he risks letting Carson know.

When the Drews leave Dr. Spires, two guys are watching them and decide to follow the duo.

The two don’t realize they are being followed and head to the police, the two men knowing that Dr. Spires let the truth out…

Captain Tweedy, (Frank Orth), the police chief, is no real help. Nancy is much smarter than him, and Tweedy feels there is nothing he can work off on.

Sorry, can’t help you. Good-bye.

I love how quick Nancy’s mind it, and how sarcastic she can be. She doesn’t like Captain Tweedy and neither do I.

Nancy and Mr. Drew discover a car is following them and Nancy does evasive measures and tries to follow them, but Mr. Drew essentially “grounds” her from investigating. But will Nancy listen?

Meanwhile, next-door neighbor Ted Nickerson (Frankie Thomas) is practicing for football and runs into Nancy’s yard. Ned Ted’s friend Spud Murphy comes over to speak to Ned as he found a carrier pigeon on his coop, but it isn’t his bird. He wants Ted to announce the pigeon over his radio. Nancy looks at the message and sees that it says “shoulder okay bluebells”

Nancy knows it is important evidence and leaves the bird with Ted for safekeeping while she goes to her father with the new evidence. But Dad doesn’t want her involved anymore-Dr. Spires was badly beaten, and he doesn’t want that to happen to his daughter.

Nancy returns to Ted and wants to take the pigeon to the police, but she isn’t allowed to go alone-per her father. Ted makes a coop in two seconds for the pigeon.

Now I didn’t care for the Ted character. I thought he was just mean and rude, and seemed to just be a big grump. Yuck.

They head out and drop the coop, the pigeon flying out. Ted tries to catch it, but Nancy wants it to fly away as she wants to follow it. She’s tricky. She did it all on purpose.

They follow a pigeon to a house that is described as Dr. Spires said except for watchman. She leaves Ted there to stand watch while she calls for backup. The police arrive, full force and rush the house. But all they find is Mrs. Eldridge business partner. Hmmm….

Hmm…

They all turn on Nancy saying she must have imagined everything. They all head to the coop in the back to find the proof-Nancy’s pigeon. But they can’t find it and just insult her instead.

Everyone leaves, but Mr. Hollister does have the pigeon. He is writing notes and he warns his cohort that the “Drew girl” is up to stuff.

It turns out that these men kidnapped Mrs. Eldridge and want her money to go to them not the school. Mrs. Eldridge tried to get away and they dislocated her shoulder.

Nancy is embarrassed, but goes after Dr. Spires to speak to him. He describes going ovr a bridge and a gravel driveway-he was blindfolded the whole time but knows this from the sounds he heard.

Hmmm….

Nancy realizes they went to the wrong house-Ned pointing out the pigeon was going to deliver a message. If they wanted to see where he came from they should have gone the opposite direction. They run the figures and discover the house should be by Silver Lake-right where Ted is heading the next day for a family trip.

Their musings are interrupted when they see a man trying to break into Nancy’s house-it’s just her father who forgot his key.

They try to open the door, but it won’t. It was barricaded. The look for the housekeeper and she tells them a man with a gun tried to get in earlier so she piled the furniture and hid.

The man is still in the house. He has a gun and holds them all at gunpoint and warns them to stay out of it. He then leaves.

Mr. Carson plans to leave town as they have news of Mrs. Eldridge in a sanitarium in St. Louis. Nancy is shocked as that doesn’t seem right, what about Silver Lake? Nancy invites herself on the Nickerson family trip as her gut is telling her the answer lies at Silver Lake.

Up at the lake three days they have searched and found nothing. Ted wants her to give it up, but Nancy doesn’t want but then gets a note from her father that he found Mrs. Elridge. It’s over.

Nancy spots Mr. Hollister at Silver Lake-even though he is supposed to be with her father in St. Louis. To make it even more intriguing, he jumps into the car that kidnapped Dr. Spires.

They rent a plane and search for the house.To get in Ned dresses up as a nurse and Nancy as an old lady. When they search the home they find Mrs. Elridge. It turns out hat the night before she was to make the donation she became sick. An they took her away in a plan to steal all her money.

They try to drive off to escape but are discovered. All are kidnapped and sent back to the sanitarium.

They stick the kids in the basement and they try to find a way out of their predicament. Ted finds an old X-Ray machine, and he hot-wires it to send out Morse Code.

Meanwhile, Carson Drew is bak and very suspicious of the lawyer as things do not match up with what he had said. He goes to Chief Tweedy when they get the message from Ted.They hurry out and go on their way to find them.

The crew is taking care of loose ends, when they are loading them into the car-Ned knocks into one who drops their gun. Nancy picks it up and shoots at all the guys scaring them off until the police arrive.

Wow. In the end all’s well that end’s well.

I recommend it, and the following films. It is extremely enjoyable.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

For more Nancy Drew, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more private detectives, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more kidnapping, go to What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)

The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

Dial M For Murder

Do you really believe in the perfect murder? Mmm, yes, absolutely.

So after years of his absence from my Horrorfest countdowns, I have finally included Alfred Hitchcock in not one, not two, but three posts.

Double double yay

Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite director. He was influential in creating new ways of filming psychological thrillers, he is often credited for creating the true horror genre/slasher film with Psycho (1960), and was just a pure cinematic genius. He is just amazing.

Awesome

Dial “M” For Murder is one of his highly known films (although not as known as Vertigo or Psycho). It has been referenced or parodied in countless films and TV shows. In the ’90s they even remade the film under the title A Perfect Murder. It starred Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortenson; but it wasn’t nearly as good.

MeanGirls I know right!

This film also started Hitchcock’s filming relationship with Grace Kelly. This film was crucial in her career as it made her stand out not only to Alfred Hitchcock but other directors as well, a huge step to becoming a permanent leading lady. After this film she starred in Hitchcock’s Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. Hitchcock was impressed with her ideas and thoughts on the script in how a woman would act (especially regarding clothing), that after this film he allowed her to make all her own wardrobe decisions. She, like Audrey Hepburn,  quickly became known for her style and class. But that wasn’t the only thing that Hitchcock found attractive, he really liked her and fell for her; but she wouldn’t give him the time of day, (romantically that is). (For more information on Hitchcock and his leading ladies, I strongly suggest the book Spellbound by Beauty by Donald Spoto. It’s an amazing read!) And sadly she had to retire from acting at an early age as she married the Prince of Monaco. However short a career, it was an amazing one.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

This film also reunited Hitchcock and Robert Cummings, who had starred in an earlier film, Saboteur (1942).  In this film Cummings plays an important role, but a smaller one than his earlier collaboration.

This film is also the only Hitchcock film to ever be shot in 3-D. In the 1950s, 3-D was super popular, so popular that some people came up with the idea of Smell-O-Vision to beat it (I’m serious!). Hitchcock didn’t want to shoot in 3-D, but until the late 1960s, studios had a lot more pull and Warner Bros. wanted it. Hitchcock obliged, although it did cause a few issues for him as he had to rework his known style to incorporate what 3-D was able to accomplish at the time.

So the film is based on the play of the same name Frederick Knott, and he also helped write the screenplay. It is set in England and as  you can guess from the poster, the phone plays a huge role in this film as well. That really seems to be a theme this month. I swear that wasn’t planned.

Oops!

Oops!

Well here we go!

DialM1954-WB-still

So before I start the film, let me give you the background on the characters. Now as you watch the film things are revealed to you, but it’s easier for me to give them at the start.

So we have a couple, Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) and his wife Margot (Grace Kelly). Tony was a huge tennis star and met Margot when he was competing. She comes from a very wealthy family. The two were married and Margot convinced him to give up competing as she didn’t like him being away. He complied and now sells sports equipment. However, as he no longer is the dashing tennis star, she lost interest in him and had an affair with Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings) an American Crime writer.

keanu Whoa

As the film starts out we have Margot and Mark in a very cozy embrace.

BMW Kiss

“Margot Mary Wendice: Let me get you another drink. Mark, before Tony comes I ought to explain something.

Mark Halliday: Yes, I’ve been waiting for that.

Margot Mary Wendice: I haven’t told him anything about us.”

Margot tells Mark that she burned all his letters, except one. That one was stolen by a blackmailer who demanded payment, but he never picked up the money or returned the letter. She is worried that her husband will find out.

Mark has a completely different reaction to the news.

whoCares

He wants them to tell Tony all about the affair so that Margot can get a divorce and the two can marry. Margot doesn’t want to as “she feels bad” about hurting “Tony’s feelings”.

dial-m-for-murder-1954

Now I’m no expert, but if the person doesn’t want to break up the relationship, it seems to me that they want, to quote an old cliché, “have their cake and eat it too.” I think Margot likes the respectability of her marriage and doesn’t want the divorce scandel, but at the same time is heavily intrigued by Mark. And who can blame her? Robert Cummings is a looker.

Saboteur

Photo from Saboteur

That night Tony is introduced to Mark, him being Margot’s “friend”. The two discuss Mark’s profession.

Tony Wendice: How do you go about writing a detective story?

Mark Halliday: Well, you forget detection and concentrate on crime. Crime’s the thing. And then you imagine you’re going to steal something or murder somebody.

Tony Wendice: Oh, is that how you do it? It’s interesting.

Mark Halliday: Yes, I usually put myself in the criminal’s shoes and then I keep asking myself, uh, what do I do next?

Margot Mary Wendice: Do you really believe in the perfect murder?

Mark Halliday: Mmm, yes, absolutely. On paper, that is. And I think I could, uh, plan one better than most people; but I doubt if I could carry it out.

Tony Wendice: Oh? Why not?

Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don’t… always.

Tony Wendice: Hmm.

Mark Halliday: No, I’m afraid my murders would be something like my bridge: I’d make some stupid mistake and never realize it until I found everybody was looking at me.”

Tony invites Mark to join him for a tennis party, and Mark agrees. Its all men, so Margot will be staying home. After a bit more pleasantries Margot and Mark leave to go out “as friends” to a theatre show that Tony didn’t want to see, while Tony stays home to “work” on some stuff.

dial m for murder

After they leave, he calls up an old friend. Swann (going by the name Captain Lesgate) from his old Cambridge days. He brings him there under false pretenses of wanting to purchase a vehicle from him. He then tells Swann that he wants him to murder his wife.

Say What

“Tony Wendice: One thousand pounds in cash.

C.A. Swann: For a murder?

Tony Wendice: For a few minutes work, that’s all it is. And no risk, I guarantee.”

Tony then goes on to tell Swann a story.

dial-m-for-murder-1954-alfred-hitchcock-cummings-milland-plan-murder

Tony only married Margot for her money, and it really injures his pride to see her cheating on him and tossing him over like an old shoe. He followed her one day and discovered the affair.

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

He wanted to kill Mark.

dialMforMurder Killer Hate

He then moved to the idea of murdering his wife. But things changed…

“Tony Wendice: It’s funny to think that just a year ago, I sat in that Knightsbridge Pub actually planning to murder her. And I might have done it, if I hadn’t seen something that changed my mind.

C.A. Swann: Well? What did you see?

Tony Wendice: I saw you.”

Back in the day, Swann was always getting into trouble for all kinds of stuff, and it struck Tony that he could commit the perfect murder. He then began extensive planning. He has been collecting £1000 over the year, under the guise of racetrack betting, etc.; compiling the money for such a purpose.

He even went to great lengths to get one of the letters from Mark and pretended to blackmail her. With Mark back in town he has set up the whole scenario on how to murder her even planning to use Mark as an alibi, as being the husband he will be the first suspect. All he needs is someone to do it for him. He has a lot of information on Swann’s background (as he has been tracking him) and uses it to blackmail him into completing his murderous plot. And he has to do it tomorrow.

He reveals his perfect plan.

“Tony Wendice: At exactly three minutes to eleven, you’ll enter the house through the street door. You’ll find the key to this door under the stair carpet here.

C.A. Swann: The fifth step?

Tony Wendice: That’s the one. Go straight to the window, and hide behind the curtains. At exactly eleven o’clock, I shall go to the telephone in the hotel to call my boss. I shall dial the wrong number. This number. That’s all I shall do.”

His wife will answer the phone, and then Swann can strangle her and leave through the french windows.

perfect plan

Swann agrees to the plot as he feels he has no other choice in the matter. Tony is estatic as everything seems to be going along perfectly.

thats-how-its-done

But then things start falling apart. Margot doesn’t want to stay home. She is thinking of going out to dinner and seeing a movie. Mark thinks it’s a great idea but Tony convinces her to stay home.

“Margot Mary Wendice: Don’t make me stay home. You know how I hate doing nothing.

Tony Wendice: Doing nothing? Why there are hundreds of things you can do. Have you written to Peggy, thanking her for the weekend? And what about those clippings? It’s an ideal opportunity.

Margot Mary Wendice: Well I like that. You two go gallivanting while I stay home and do those boring clippings.”

dial M for murder

Before Tony leaves, he stills Margot’s key from her bag and puts it in the marked hiding place. Keeping his key in his pocket, he and Mark leave for the party.

Back at the home, Margot has been working hard on her scrapbooking. She eventually goes to bed, putting everything away…at least almost everything. She actually forgets the scissors and leaves them by the phone.

That night everything starts being put into motion. Swann enters the place the same way that Tony planned it out. He leaves the key under the stair and hides behind the curtains waiting for the phone.

However, back at the party, things aren’t quite going as planned.

Stupid, stupid

Stupid, stupid

Tony’s watch stops and he has to ask for the time, finding out that it is actually past 11:00.

What!

He hurries to the pay phone and makes the call, hoping that everything else goes accordingly. Margot gets up to answer the phone. As she is talking, Swann reaches out to strangle her.

dial-m for murder strangle grace kelly

But instead of overpowering her like he’s supposed to, Margot ends up getting him. As the two are struggling, she reaches for something…anything to stop him. She ends up grabbing the scissors and stabbing him with them, completely killing him.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Margot is a mess and is freakin’ out. I can’t blame her, someone is trying to murder you and you kill them.

I don't know what to do

Tony tells her to touch nothing and wait for him. He’s on his way over.

As he heads over Tony freaks out. His plans have failed. But then something comes to him. A new plan, a way to fix things.

Its-so-crazy it just mightwork

He decides to make it look like Swann was blackmailing Margot and that she murdered him rather than self-defense. He calls the police and sends Margot to bed. He then plants Mark’s letter in Swann’s coat, takes the key and puts it back in Margot’s handbag, and burns the scarf that Swann was going to use, replacing it with Margot’s stocking. He then tells Margot to make sure she doesn’t tell the police that he told her not to call the police. He’s worried how it might make her look. However, Tony is plotting very well, and the police begin to strongly suspect her.

Everyone's a suspect!

Hmm…

The police figure out that Swann did not come through the French Windows. He must have come through the hall, as it rained the night before. If he had come through the garden there would be muddy footprints. Inspector Hubbard (John Williams) strongly suspects Margot and believes her to be the killer. We cut to a scene showing Margot on trial amd sentenced to be hanged.

perfect plan

Except thing are not quite perfect.  There are quite a few things Tony didn’t plan. One of which was getting rid of the money. As Tony mentioned, he’s been drawing a lot of money out of his bank every week, pretending to spend it on racehorses. He had planned to give it to Swann, but now is at a loss. He can’t put it back in the bank as there would be too many questions. He can’t keep it, if the police find it, it’s all over for him.

I don't know what to do

So he tries to spend it all. Unbeknowest to him, the police are watching him very carefully. And they notice this.

Months later, on the night before Margot’s execution,  Mark comes to speak to Tony. He tells him that instead of letting Margot die, he should say that he tried to murder her. That he hired Swann. This will give him some jail time but save Margot’s life. Tony does not want to do that.

Dial M for murder mark, tony, inspector hubble

Inspector Hubbard comes back to the flat to question Tony some more about the money he’s been spending. Mark hears this and starts searching, finding the briefcase full of money.

What!

Tony thinks of a lie quickly and says that this was the money Margot had to give to Swann, but then changed her mind and killed him. The Inspector listens and takes his comment as fact…or does he?

Everyone's a suspect!

Hmm…

Now, if Tony was really smart he would have made up a different lie. I would have said that I realized there was nothing between me and Margot and was planning on leaving her. However, I knew that I wouldn’t get much money in the divorce (he signed a prenup), so I’ve been taking some money out, bit by bit. When the murder happened, I knew it would come to light and was afraid that it might put me in a bad light or under suspicion. I mean its not the perfect excuse, but at least it shows he wasn’t going to kill her as why remove money when he was planning on getting it all. But he doesn’t think that way.

princess Bride Victim to classic blunder Vizzini

This makes the inspector highly suspicious of Tony and he steals the key from Margot’s purse, intent on sneaking in and investigating.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Hold on, that is illegal. He doesn’t have a search warrant or permission to be searching the house. Anything he finds will be immaterial and thrown out of court. I looked it up and  this is what it said:

By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass.No man can set his foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing; which is proved by every declaration in trespass, where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show by way of justification, that some positive law has empowered or excused him. The justification is submitted to the judges, who are to look into the books; and if such a justification can be maintained by the text of the statute law, or by the principles of common law. If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, and the plaintiff must have judgment.

So technically, anything he finds can not be used in a court of law. That’s it, Tony is allowed to go free.

TheEnd_Title_2

But of course this is a movie, and things go differently. Inspector Hubble discovers that the key in the purse does not work on the front door. He instead finds it under the stair carpet. This gives him the great idea of creating a little trick to discover if Tony is the true killer.

John Williams (Chief Inspector Hubbard) Dial M for Murder (1954)

The Inspector visits Tony and steals his raincoat, leaving his own, therefore taking Tony’s key. He calls the station and asks them to release Margot. She immediately returns home, but finds out that her key won’t work. Hubbard watches her and discovers that she does not know the key is under the stairs. The Inspector let’s her in and gets a policeman to take the bag back to the station. They then begin to wait for Tony.

perfect plan

Tony comes home from his errands and finds that he can’t get inside. His coat belongs to Inspector Hubble and he has the wrong key. When Tony discovers his key doesn’t fit, he goes down to the station to get Margot’s bag. When that key doesn’t fit, he looks under under the stairs and finds the key, giving himself away.

dun-dun-duuuun

Tony enters and figures out they caught him. Being the gentleman he is, he doesn’t fight them. He knows when he has been defeated.

Tony Wendice: [pouring a drink] As you said Mark, it might work out on paper, but congratulations, Inspector. Oh, by the way… How about you, Margot?

Margot Mary Wendice: Yes, I could do with something.

Tony Wendice: Mark?

Mark Halliday: So could I.

Tony Wendice: I suppose you’re still on duty, Inspector.

TheEnd_Title_2

It;s a great movie, despite the small legality issue, but otherwise an amazing film. I definitely recommend it.

1954dialmformurder

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?

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For more on Dial “M” for Murder, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Past of a Man

For more on blackmail, go to Secrets are Great, Unless You Get Caught

For more films based on a play, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime

Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Laura 1944

Murder is my favorite crime.

So I strongly contemplated whether or not I wanted to include this in my Horrorfest. It isn’t really a horror film but more of a mystery thriller, even better defined as a film-noir. I really wanted to include it but, since it wasn’t a real “horror film” I wasn’t sure if I should. But then I had a moment of clarity.

zenon zetus lupetos

This is my blog. I can do whatever I want!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So I decided I would.

thats-how-its-done

 

So this actually started out as a play and then was turned into a novel. Otto Preminger saw it as the perfect thing to turn into a film. It is known to be one of the best Film-Noir films along with one of the best mystery-thriller films of all time. AFI ranked it #4 on their list of the 10 greatest mystery films.

This film is also famous for Gene Tierney’s portrayal of Laura. This helped give her title of “Film-Noir Queen”.

So anyways, on to the film.

So it starts off with New York City police Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews).

Det. Lt. Mark McPherson laura

He is investigating the death of the beautiful, successful, advertising executive Laura Hunt. Laura was murdered by a shotgun blast to the face.

Det. McPherson starts investigating and finds himself with multiple murder suspects and motives.

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1) Waldo Lybecker

Waldo Lybecker Laura Innocent

Waldo (Clifton Webb) is a famous columnist and he was the one who actually discovered Laura. She tried to get him to advertise something for him, and faster than you could say Pygmalion, he takes her under his wing and tries to change her and “improve” her.

“Waldo Lydecker: She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker’s walking stick and his white carnation.”

But it goes a little more than that. Waldo becomes obsessed with Laura.

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

Yep. He is in love with her and wants to be the only man. Every time some other guy came around he would find a way to criticize them and demean them. The two broke it off, but Laura was very upset with him.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

Laura started dating another guy, Shelby Carpenter. No matter what Waldo said, Laura wouldn’t listen to him. In fact she decided to marry him.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yep he was angry. Extremely upset about losing Laura to someone he thought was so unworthy? Angry enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Hmm…

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2) Shelby Carpenter

laura_shelby

Shelby (played by Vincent Price) comes from great stock, has expensive tastes, and loves the high life. Only one problem, he has no money. None at all. Instead he has to use to his charms to court rich, older women and have them pay for his expenses. In fact he had found a real great giver in Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). That is until he met the very charismatic Laura. Not only is she the perfect cash cow to support him, but young and beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?

Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?

Laura Hunt: Yes.

Shelby Carpenter: No, it’s not that – it’s the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?

Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!

Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?

Laura Hunt: What about next year?

Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that’s all settled. What about breakfast?

Laura Hunt: What about dancing?

Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?”

The two starting dating and she gave him a job, one of which he didn’t have to do too much work. The two become engaged and all is well.

Sound suspicious

Or is it?

It turns out that Laura wasn’t the only person Shelby was seeing. He was going around with a lot of poor models. Rumor has it that Laura found out and was not happy…could he have killed her? If she was about to leave him high and dry, he might have become incensed and murdered her?

Laura Interviewing Shelby

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3) Ann Treadwell

Laura question

Ann Treadwell is the rich older aunt of Laura. She and Shelby had been in a relationship for a long time. She knew what he was, but that was what she wanted.

Laura what I want

When he left her for Laura, she was furious that her niece stole him away. Furious enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

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As Det. McPherson continues to delve into the clues and motives…he learns more and more about Laura. As he learns more and more he starts falling for Laura as well.

lauraportrait

One night Det. McPherson is at Laura’s apartment looking at her painting and trying to figure out the mystery, along with Laura. Why does she draw him to her?

When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.

annex-tierney-gene-laura_04

It’s Laura!!!

Laura Switch on you dames

But wait…

What!

But if that’s Laura? Who is…?

Who is the dead body?

They find out that the murdered girl is one of the models, Diane Redfern. The same model that Shelby was involved with.

Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura

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4) Laura Hunt

Laura New Hat trying it on mirror

So we’ve heard how Laura rose from nothing to being the top girl. She was beautiful, smart, classy, etc. All women envined her and all men wanted her.

Laura Smart Intelligent woman Dopes

But then the guy she loves and is supposed to marry is running around with a model!!! Cheating on her!!!!

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

She knew Diane was in love with Shelby, and she knew Shelby only cared about her money. She knew Shelby was taking models to her house and she could have gone after them and shot her for trying to mess with her man.

that girl is going after my man she is going to wish she was never born

Or she could be so angry at Shelby for cheating on him that she prepared a way to take care of him.

dialMforMurder Killer Hate

Instead of killing him, she could have killed Diane to make it look like Shelby and make him pay!

Does it seem too far-fetched? Well she wasn’t at the cabin when the cops looked that weekend. Her response “I was talking a walk.” She didn’t see the newspapers and come back saying she was alive? Or hear it on the radio? Her response: I don’t get a newspaper and my radio is broken.” Did anyone see you there? “Nobody”.

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

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What does this mean? Who is the killer?

You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Laura

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For to the previous post, go to Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!

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For more on Laura (1944), go to All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bets are Off

For more on Vincent Price, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more mysteries, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more films based on books, go to But the Book, It Will Never Close…

For more films based on a play, go to Some People Are Just Born Evil

But the Book, It Will Never Close…: Along Came a Spider (2001)

along came a spider

“They say that when I die, the case will die. They say it will be like a book I close. But the book, it will never close…”

So this is a film that I have been wanting to see for a really long time and finally was able to. It is on Amazon Instant Watch currently, so I would totally suggest checking it out if you have that.

Pay Attention

Check it out

So this film was an amazing thriller. I have to say that I thought I had everything figured out, but in the end I was really thrown by James Patterson.

keanu Whoa

So the film is based on the book of the same name, and is the first of the Alex Cross detective series.

So the film starts off with Alex Cross, played by the amazing Morgan Freeman, trying to take down a serial rapist and killer. His partner, Tracie, is currently undercover and trying to see if Jim Galloway, the guy they’ve been tailing, is their supposed guy. Everything is running smoothly, until Galloway discovers that Tracie is a cop. He then tries to hurt her, causing her to hit him, the car to spin out of control, and go over the Virginia Falls.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Alex is brokenhearted.

right in the feels broken heart

Fast forward a year. Here we have little Megan Rose, a senator’s daughter, who is going to school. It seems to be just an average until…but its not. It is very different as her Charles Lindbergh obsessed computer science teacher, Mr. Soneji, kidnaps her.

Along came a spider

The secret service who watches the kids of political parents discover the kidnapping and go looking for her, calling in the FBI.

Meanwhile, Alex Cross is watching news on TV when he receives a phone call. It is the killer!

when-a-stranger-calls

Yes, just like When a Stranger Calls, the killer is interested in a game of cat and mouse. Soneji wants Alex to get involved in the case so that he can have the fame of not only outsmarting the detective but be widely written about in all the papers. He leaves Megan’s shoe in Alex’s mailbox, prompting him to immediately join the case. There he teams up with Jezzie, Megan’s security detail, to try and track this kidnapper down.

Along came a spider

Now I won’t say anymore, because I really do not want to give away the ending, it was so awesome. But I will leave you with reasons why I truly enjoyed this film.

1. Morgan Freeman

Along came a spider morgan freeman running

Now you’re all probably think, no duh. (Am I right?) And sure it is a no brainer. Morgan Freeman is an absolutely wonderful actor and really connects to you in this role. You feel his pain when he loses his partner, the reluctance to take on a new one, and the drive he has to find this girl, no matter what the cost. He’s lovable, tough, no-nonsense, and the guy you pretty much wish you had backing you up.

I Will find you

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2. Megan Rose

Along came a spider

Megan is the little girl kidnapped and she’s no push over. This girl is pretty B.A. as she constantly comes up with ways to try and escape to get back to her parents. I love that she is not only super smart, but incredibly persistent stopping at nothing to gain her freedom.

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3. Twist Ending

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Now the ending is great, it was an amazing twist. It was one of those that when you each the end you see all the little hints that were headed your way and it all makes sense, vis a vis Perfect Stranger

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2001AlongCameASpider

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?

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For more twist endings, go to Happily Ever Aftermath

For more “cat and mouse” type films, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For more films based on a book, go to I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone.

For more on kidnapping, go to That Darn Cat!

Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

GrimmHEA

“Its two distinct states of existence simultaneous within one physical body. The duality of humanity. The yin and the yang. The Ike and Tina Turner of it all.”

So Grimm is a show that I have gotten really into. It’s modern day telling of the Grimm Fairy Tales but with a twist. Creatures from the fairy tales live among us, appearing as human to all but a select few. Instead of being the “brothers Grimm”, the Grimm are certain people who have the ability to see those monsters, or Wesen as they are called, from the tales. It is their job as Grimms to destroy all of them. Grimm is passed genetically, and sometimes it can miss a generation or skip a few, but all Grimms are related if you go back far enough on the family tree.

In the series the main character is a homicide detective named Nick Burkhardt, who is played by the very handsome David Giuntoli.

DavidGiuntoli

OMG I just find him so attractive. He has these really intense green eyes that just bore into you. He also has an amazingly adorable little boy/mischievous smile. Sometimes I’ll be watching the show and lose track of what has been happening because I’m too caught up in staring at him.

swoon dreamy

What can I say? He’s dreamy. Anyways let’s get back on track.

So the “Grimm sight” didn’t come to Nick until he was in his 30s. He discovers that it’s up to him to destroy all the creatures, but Nick actually does things much different. Because he is a cop, he likes to ask questions first before shooting, maiming, beheading, etc. Because of this he actually befriends a lot of Wesen.  He meets up with a vegetarian Blutbad (Werewolf) named Monroe, who helps him figure out what the monsters are and how to take them down. Later on they recruits a Fuschbau (Fox) named Rosalee. It’s really cool as they bring to life all those fairy tale stories you used to love as a kid, but at the same time they also use a lot of German and the culture; promoting the same thing the Brothers’ Grimm did. There also is a lot of mystery and intrigue with a story that spans over the three seasons (can’t wait for season 4!!!)

Grimm

So season one is Nick trying to figure things out, as everything is completely new and a little hard to understand. Season two he has a better handle on it, but also faces issues of trying to conceal or reveal to his close friends. He also gets involved more in the political intrigues and history of the Grimm. In the third season we have a guy who really has it together but faces a lot of issues as an enemy from the past is trying to kill him, a new Grimm comes to town, and much, much more. I highly recommend it!

love it

So now that you all have a better handle on the background, lets move on to the episode. So this episode falls in the first season when Nick is still floundering, trying to figure out a lot. What is a Grimm? What are these creatures? How do I stop them? What really happened to my parents? What is this secret key that was given to him by his aunt? Etc. Now the episode I choose isn’t really a Halloween episode, but it was one that I thought was done very well. To be honest, the material that these episodes cover could be used for any Horrorfest post. Just like Supernatural, they cover a lot of “supernatural” things that are ripe for the Halloween countdown.

supernatural supernatural

Okay, I’m sorry. Back to the episode. So the reason I chose this was because I liked how they presented the material. So here we go.

GrimmHEA

So the film starts off with a Ponzi-scheme guy committing suicide. Arthur Jarvis, handsome, rich guy is listening to the radio when he hears about the Ponzi scheme and the suicide. He becomes extremely worried as he has invested all his money with him.  He doesn’t want to upset his new wife, Lucinda, and instead goes to her godfather Spencer Harrison to ask him what to do. He tells him that the only thing he can do is to go to Lucinda’s stepmother, Mavis,  and ask her for money. He doesn’t want to go there but has no other choice.

No no no no no

No no no no no

They go to see her but she refuses.

No thank you

Mavis has always hated her stepdaughter, and feels that Lucinda and Arthur will have to deal with it. That upsets the Arthur and Spencer. The two leave to try and figure things out.

I don;t know what to do

That night Mavis is going to bed when she hears a noise

hear that?

She looks under the bed and sees a Horned King-like creature!

black cauldron

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mavis runs out of the room, but the creature  follows giving off this loud screeching that destroys all the glass in the house; blows the her eardrums, eyeballs, and arteries. Mavis goes falling off the stairs and hits the floor. DEAD.

Victim #2

Victim #1

The next day her daughter, Tiffany, stops by and discovers the body. She calls the police, and Nick heads to the crime scene.

GrimmHEA

He and his partner start investigating and find it very strange in how she was killed. They then go on to question the two daughters, Tiffany and Taylor. Thats when they discover that there is a third sister (Lucinda). Apparently Lucinda received nothing from the estate as her father gave everything to the stepmother. The stepmother hates her so much that she promised she would never give her a cent.

How rude

Nick also discovers that Lucinda’s husband and godfather came asking for money, but were refused. The husband and godfather are the top suspects now.

suspicious

The Nick and his partner Hank Griffen go down to talk to them. As they are about to question the two, Lucinda (who knows nothing) walks in. Nick and Hank tell the three that Lucinda’s stepmother is dead. As they say this they discover that Harrison isn’t who they think he is. In fact he is a Wesen.

Grimm

Nick sees the change and knows that something is up. He decides to bring the three in for questioning to try to figure out what’s happened.

When they question Lucinda, they discover that Mavis never really cared for her. She hated her and always gave her daughters everything while Lucinda received nothing.  When her father died and left everything to the stepmother, her home life was awful. Luckily she met Arthur at a benefit and was able to get away.

Getting the picture?

Sound familiar?

Her alibi is that she was home all night with her husband.

suspicious

They then question Arthur. He tells them that he knew Tiffany and Taylor, Lucinda’s stepsisters before he met Lucinda. He met them at a benefit and danced with them, but when he danced with Lucinda he fell for her. She was “so beautiful” that he couldn’t help it. Sound familiar?

cinderella2

His albi, that he was also home all night.

suspicious

They then question Spencer, who tells them the backstory of Lucinda and her family. Her mother died when she was 6, and then her father remarried when she was 11. He died 7 months later. Mavis has always disliked Lucinda, and Spencer was worried about what might happen to Lucinda. He promised her father that he would watch over her and always tries to.

Getting the picture?

Getting the picture?

His alibi was that he stayed at the Jarvis house, as he and Arthur had gone late into the night working.

suspicious

There isn’t enough evidence to hold anyone so they have to release all three.

That night we see Arthur and Lucinda fighting. Lucinda wants to go see Tiffany and talk to her, but Arthur wants her to stay home. He’s afraid that one of the sisters killed their mother and will kill Lucinda.

Spencer goes to find Lucinda at the Jarvis’ home but he’s too late. Lucinda has gone out to see her sister. Spencer is mad that Arthur allowed her out as he is supposed to protect her.

grimmHEA Protect

Back at Tiffany’s place, Lucinda has come to talk to her sister. Tiff won’t have any of it as she hates Lucinda for how she has treated the family. Lucinda pleads with her, that the past is the past and that they should move on. Tiff just ignores her.

Lucinda tells her stop and woges out, revealing her true self and transforming into a monster. She uses her screeching powers to murder Tiffany.

black cauldron

Meanwhile Nick and Monroe meet up at his Aunt’s trailer that houses a collection of Grimm items. The look through one of the Grimm diaries to figure out what Spencer is. As they look through the book they discover that the cause of all this is a Murciélago Matraca, or a batlike creature.

Grimm HEA

After reading about how their screeching can destroy vital parts of you body, Nick becomes worried. How is he going to stop this thing? They discover a special weapon that also gives off a high screeching sound. The two test it out.

Grimm HEA

He goes looking for Spencer and heads over to the Jarvis’ home. Lucinda and Arthur tell him they haven’t seen Spencer since earlier that morning. Arthur tells him, how he was planning to head over to Tiffany’s. Nick rushes over to Tiffany’s home and finds Spencer, along with Tiff. Tiff is doing a wonderful recreation of  The Birds. 

Grimm HEA

Nick takes Spencer in as he is sure he is the one doing the killing. However, Nick has issues actually charging him as they can’t really pin the murders on him. They have no murder weapon, (the cops besides Nick have no clue how somone could have killed the girls) and Nick can’t tell anyone that Spencer is a wesen. However, they are saved when Spencer says he wants to confess. He tells the truth, and unfortunately it sounds crazy and unbelievable.

Like that's happen

He then tells Nick the whole story. Cinder-I mean Lucinda is the villain. She is the Murciélago Matraca and has no conscience whatsoever. She is a blend of the yin and yang, as she is pretty on the outside but pure evil on the inside. Spencer has been taking care of her all these years, giving in to every demand as, as long as she is happy things are fine. However, this financial crisis of the Jarvis family proved to be too much unhappiness for her. Nick freaks out and goes to his partner to talk it over. His partner tells him that if the rest of her family dies, then she gets everything.

perfect plan

Just as they are discussing it, Spencer breaks out and heads over to the Jarvis house. There he finds Arthur drunk and upset. Lucinda told him that she never loved him and she took off.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Spencer hunts her down at Taylor’s as does Nick. Lucinda goes running into a barn to hide from the two. Monroe meets Nick there and they set up the device to create the screeching sound to take down Lucinda. As they do that, Lucinda goes running out of the barn and right into Spencer. He attacks her as he knows that is the only way to end her. As he is apologizing for killing her, she “awakes” and kills him.

Gale-Randy-Billy-and-Sidney-scream-23148646-499-198

Nick finds their bodies.

Grimm

Monroe asks Nick how he is going to explain everything. And Nick just gives that smile and tells him he has a plan.

Grimm Phone call

Back at the police station, Nick shows his boss the device he used to stop Lucinda and tells him they found it at the crime scene. “Apparently” it was what they used to create the sound that killed everybody. Another case and monster destroyed. Also leaving us with that old adage:

CharmDecievedFake

And:

HeartBetterThanLooks

I know its a little unusual, but be expecting to see more Grimm in the future!!

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to Only a Woman

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For more on Cinderella, go to Episode VI: Return of the My Favorite Movie Lines List

For more modern twists on classical literature, go to A Hunky Helping of Manwich

For more on fairy tales, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

For more on monsters, go to What Is This Thing?

For more TV shows based on books, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more of my fav quotes, go to In Their Proper Place

For more bible verses, go to Unbound

For more on Supernatural, go to You Can’t Have Just One