Rapture at Two-Forty
Suspense Theatre

The very beautiful incipit of Roy Huggins’ Run for Your Life.

Paul Bryan’s days are numbered, he’s on the Riviera at a place called Actif with a rich young blonde whose chic is death-defying, men she shies from.

The title is one of her set’s games, diving to fatal depths, Bryan wants a match.

They part sadder but wiser, she speaks of Actif and gives the key to the whole series, “it’s sort of our town,” where l’amour c’est la mort.

Skydiving and road racing complete the picture.


Waterhole #3

The one with the gold in it, attended by her father the corruptible sheriff, and the gang, and the U.S. Cavalry.

Graham’s magnificent technique is already in full flower, a thing to behold. The intent is nothing less than to create the greatest ballad Western of them all, and all things being equal, that’s what it does.

This is where Roger Ebert wrote, “I think I’ve figured out why James Coburn is not funny.”

The New York Times reviewer didn’t get it either, and didn’t sign his name.


Submarine X-1

Submarine commander throws down the Gauntlet against the Lindendorff, is refitted for a return engagement.

Three midget submarines are to go through the nets of a fjord and sink the bastard.

One is blown up, the second goes topside to scuttle and surrender, the crew are aboard the Nazi battleship under torture when the third blows it up.

An excellent war film, the crew of the Gauntlet come ashore at the opening like Ulysses before the maidens.

Score by Ron Goodwin.


Birds of Prey

Helicopter pursuit after bank robbery, from Salt Lake City to Moab and beyond.

The stunt flying and filming and locations take up most of the work to give a special point to the image of a Flying Tiger turned traffic reporter sailing off after Marines from Vietnam and their hostage.

The unfortunate fact is that these two coincide fatally, though the hostage is saved.

Another Flying Tiger, who now sits in front of a police computer terminal, takes off after the transport plane to Mexico.


Get Christie Love!

Enzo Cortino (Paul Stevens), heroin merchant, sees the future in all things Japanese, “transistors, cars”. Amid his many legit businesses (a police map shows blue pins for City contracts, red for State) is a film distribution company, he’s crazy for samurai films, the dope comes wrapped around the reel.

The bullshit empire extends to a mistress, Helena Vargas (Louise Sorel), who vacations in Miami with her little nephew, supposedly her son. The real kid was fathered by a former employer when Helena was a maid in Los Angeles, he’s now John Kilday, Jr. of Rolling Hills, never seen by his mother and safe from the mob.

Helena has a photographic memory, she’s the ledger of Cortino’s dealings that Christie (Teresa Graves) is assigned to bring in.

Graham films this for what it is, The 39 Steps in reverse, North by Northwest with Philippa Marlowe on a tough case.

Christie’s bluff way of working leaves a mess in Miami, she’s sent to pickpocket detail but makes a bet with the captain of detectives (Harry Guardino), three days or he gets his wish.


21 Hours at Munich

Black September at the 1972 Olympics.

The absolute model is Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, of which this is a measurable variant.

Graham ablates drama and realism just so far as to place each move or utterance in relation to every other, so many pieces and players.

The story tells itself quite slowly and uncannily as a parallel of the war, appeasement and disaster. The terrorists want lebensraum, liberty from Israeli jails. They know that killing Jews nine miles from Dachau will look bad, therefore the plan is to fly them to Cairo.

Germany finds out what it is to be a weak Western democracy.


One in a Million
The Ron LeFlore Story

Graham has the basic understanding of television that’s required, namely the picture’s the thing. He has it all the way in every shot, swift, painstaking, accurately edited. In this a naturalistic style of acting is inevitable. It’s a great script, and it’s a work of genius.


The Untold Story

Graham and Silliphant start very slowly on the revealed basis of Coppola’s The Godfather, there are also hints of Bertolucci’s The Conformist and De Sica’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, etc.

The main effect is of a gang leader who empties the prisons of Italy in order to rule, yet manages to keep his simple family unaware of his doings. It’s a new job, the wife thinks.

George C. Scott has the fantastical personage in the palm of his hand. The cast all play to the conceit of Mussolini’s rule, the general tone is similar to the last scene of Pasolini’s Salò in which the two guards dance together out of boredom (Mussolini’s two young sons do this at their sister’s wedding).

There is a key pun on Fellini’s (“extra ecclesiam nulla salus”) in Il Duce’s announcement of a single party, Fascism. “Let there be an end to all dissent! Everything for the State! Nothing outside the State!”


Return to the Blue Lagoon

What the critics did not see was Winslow Homer as the opening gambit of a three-part evaluation of modern art (from an American perspective).

The shipboard opening scene and subsequent transit by open boat are profoundly treated as Homer in a major study, and generally show the realism of his technique, which is its foundation, tending toward the abstract, which also figures here in the sea-foam and the one resource not available to him, an underwater camera.

The large middle sequence is a series of suggestions by way of Arthur Dove and other painters indicating the actual practices of modern art, and this is grand in its scope, including primitivism (the island tribe addressed with a smile). It is brought to a pass in a two-shot of the lovers embracing in the sea as sun refractions prismatically defray the image.

The third part has a ship arrive, the Tradewind, with a seeming return to the first, but this is connoisseurship. A sailor covets a pearl on the girl, the captain’s daughter asserts her prerogatives.

The concluding image of the second part, the free abstractions of a Kandinsky, returns at the close, as the couple gambol in the sea with their infant.


the man who captured eichmann

“Sir. Permission to wipe?”

Ja. Bitte!

Thus Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” in a Buenos Aires safe house en route to Jerusalem.

“But—he was Jewish, wasn’t he?” The Eichmann defense. “It was the law.”

The ultimate rationale, “unser Gott, Adolf Hitler!

Variety, “a competent thriller... presented with subtlety...”