Thursday, September 18, 2008


Ok, so Kimberly Lindbergs, in 12 Films I Must See says I'm tagged.

This meme apparently started at Another dirty dozen, which was in turn a riff on The 12 Movies Meme. There. I've done my linking duties. You can do your clicking duties as you see fit.

So, the idea is that I must "imagine that you can screen 12 hard-to-see movies that you've personally never viewed before." This sounds easier than it is.

  1. London After Midnight (1927 - Browning)

    I'm not sure why there are so many of these lists and almost none of them have this. It was literally the first thing that popped into my head. For what it's worth, Mark of the Vampire, Browning's own remake, is available in Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection. It's worth seeing, but hardly the same.

  2. Show Boat (1936 - Whale)

    What do you want from me? It's Show Boat by James Whale!

  3. Romulus and Remus (1961 - Corbucci)

    I actually watched the beginning of this recently, but it was in the midst of a lot of chaos and I didn't get a chance to finish it. Some writing credits from the various fellows credited with writing it: Divorce Italian Style, Black Sunday, Zabriskie Point, The Whip and the Body... and I haven't even gotten to the credits for Sergio Leone or director Corbucci. But the real reason to watch is to see Steve Reeves face off against Gordon Scott!

  4. Red Peony Gambler (1968 - Yamashita)

    Every book or significant article I've ever read on Yakuza movies mention this movie somewhere, for one reason or other, and yet I've been able to find it nowhere.

  5. Marlowe (1969 - Bogart)

    I think this is the only significant Chandler movie I've not seen. How can that be?

  6. Red Sun (1971 - Young)

    A western with Charles Bronson, Toshirô Mifune and Ursula Andress? Sure, it is available on a bunch of public domain disks, but it seems worth waiting for the real deal.

  7. The Seven Minutes (1971 - Meyer)

    Yeah, I'm sure, like everyone else, I won't like it, but I'd still like to have the experience of not liking it for myself.

  8. High Crime (1973 - Castellari)

    Castellari discusses this one quite a bit on the Street Law documentary. I kind of got the feeling that he probably liked it better himself, or was at least more excited by it.

  9. The Outfit (1973 - Flynn)

    Based on the third of Richard Stark's Parker novels, this one never stop eluding me. Scarecrow Video claims to have a copy that's always three months overdue, but I never did get my hands on it.

  10. White Fang (1973 - Fulci)

    A family movie by Fulci? Jack London adaptation? What don't I want to see about this? I've had the opportunity to see Challenge to White Fang before, but, dammit, I want to start at the beginning.

  11. Kozure satsujin ken (1976 - Yamaguchi)

    I'm going to take a stab and say this title translates as "Killer fist with child in tow". I confess I'm just pulling together the literal titles of Kozure Ōkami (aka Lone Wolf and Cub) and Gekitotsu! Satsujin Ken (aka The Street Fighter). Either way, it's the fourth movie in the Tsurugi saga, which was dubbed and released as wholly different movie, Karate Warriors, in the US. I'd like to see this whole series released in nicely mastered, subtitled editions, but I'd certainly be willing to give this one a chance even if it was poorly dubbed into its proper series.

  12. China 9, Liberty 37 (1978 - Hellman)

    Also available on dozens of public domain copies of this around, but I'm waiting for a good one. Thanks!

Anyway, here I'm supposed to tag more people, and I certainly would like to see more of these lists, but I hate tagging people. How about I send out an open invite to everyone not tagged? If you want to link my post, feel free. If you like I'll even go back and re-edit this to say I tagged you.


Kimberly said...

Great list Neil!

This is going to sound weird but for years I've been really confused about the mysterious London After Midnight. I could SWEAR that I watched it on TV one late night when I was just a kid but obviously that wouldn't have been impossible so I must have dreamed it.

Show Boat directed by Whale? Who knew! I'd love to see that as well.

Bootleg DVDs of Red Peony Gambler are floating around. If I come across one I'll try to let you know.

And last but not least, three cheers for Red Sun! You've got to see that. I love that film so much. When I was in Tokyo in 2005 I paid a nice sum for a beautiful original illustrated Japanese poster for the movie. Bronson and Delon are always fun to watch together (they were actually close in real life) but adding Mifune to the mix is magic. Delon and Ursula are also one of the hottest screen couples imaginable even though I think she ends up spending more time with Bronson in the movie.

I'm pretty sure I saw Fulci's White Fang too but my memory is fuzzy about it and I could be getting it mixed up with another movie.

Neil Sarver said...

Thank you very much.

I'd like to be able to have even a false memory of seeing London After Midnight. I certainly would have watched it as a kid, had the opportunity arisen. I think I made a better effort to see silent movies as a kid than I manage to now.

Show Boat by James Whale, I'm telling you! As a musical geek as well as a horror geek, it's just too much for me. This should be available.

Thanks. I'd love to get a bootleg of Red Peony Gambler! Please let me know.

And, yes, Red Sun! I've stared over any number of fullscreen public domain DVDs and thought about giving in - and for the Euromovie fans, I only noted the three most mainstream names, it also has, as Kimberly notes, Alain Delon, as well as Luc Merenda and Guido Lollobrigida (aka Lee Barton or Burton); quite a cast! - and if a good DVD doesn't come out someday, I may or, when I have money, put it into a region 2 edition.

I believe the story goes that Fulci's White Fang movies were well syndicated during the '70s, so I can't swear I didn't see it as a kid and just not have a clear enough memory. I certainly watched movies of that sort. Both were also released on VHS at one time or another, and are available at Amazon as used tapes, which, again with the me getting money...

It's a fun list to make. I agree with you, I could go back and start again, but I won't for the time being.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Well I did see London After Midnight on TCM last year. But it wasn't the real thing. They had the soundtrack, a few minutes of seriously blurred grainy footage and 7 or 8 stills they kept showing over and over and over. I stopped watching after about twenty minutes. I can appreciate wanting to put together a lost film but it was kind of ridiculous.

It wasn't like Lost Horizon or the 1954 A Star is Born where 90 percent of the movie is intact and a few minutes here and there have to be handled using stills. It was pretty much the whole damn thing and it was seriously distracting.

Neil Sarver said...

I've heard of, but not seen, that recreation. I'm interested enough anyway that I'd watch it if it were on, but I'm not sure I'm interested to seek it out. But it sounds, from your description, even more frustrating than I'd imagined.

Peter Nellhaus said...

I've seen four of your twelve. Paul Schrader presented Red Peony Gambler at the Museum of Modern Art, one of two yakuza films. Seven Minutes wasn't that bad, but what's the point of an M rated (before PG or PG-13) Russ Meyer? I'm not as big a fan of Red Sun, and London After Midnight is not my favorite from Browning or Chaney.

I can't remember whether I actually was able to get through watching all of China 9, Liberty 37. I did get to have lunch with Hellman when he was in Telluride, though.

Neil Sarver said...

Thanks for you thoughts.

I was probably too harsh on my anticipated feelings on The Seven Minutes, but indeed, while I think Russ Meyer was indeed very talented in terms of his cinematography and editing techniques, completely aside from the elements he's famous for, but as "The Rural Fellini", he's amazing.

And I wouldn't, as it were, be surprised to turn out not to like China 9, Liberty 37, but I'd like to see it under circumstances that give it a decent chance.

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