Sunday, 17 July 2011

Clint Eastwood is Bronco Billy (1980)

Bronco Billy was a 1980 American film starring Clint Eastwood and his then long term lover Sondra Locke. It was directed by Eastwood and written by Dennis Hackin.
The film revolves around "Bronco Billy's Wild West Show", a run-down traveling circus, the star of which is Bronco Billy McCoy (Clint Eastwood), the "fastest gun in the West." For the show's finale, a blindfolded Bronco Billy shoots balloons around a female assistant on a revolving wooden disc, and for the last balloon, he throws a knife. However, the assistant's leg is nicked, so she quits. The show is not making any money, and nobody has been paid for months.

The show moves on to a new town and Bronco Billy goes to City Hall to get a permit. While there, he bumps into Antoinette Lily (Sondra Locke) and John Arlington (Geoffrey Lewis), who are there to be married. Antoinette despises her future husband, but has to marry before she is thirty in order to inherit a large fortune. Afterwards, their car breaks down at the motel opposite the Wild West Show. The next morning, Arlington steals all her money and their repaired car. She is left to fend for herself.

Bronco Billy eventually talks Antoinette into becoming his new assistant, "Miss Lily", though she only agrees to do one show. The show of her first performance is unusually successful, although Miss Lily irritates Billy by not sticking to the script.

Leaving the show, Antoinette discovers that Arlington has been arrested for her murder (framed by Antoinette's stepmother and her scheming lawyer friend, who stand to gain her inheritance). Seizing the chance to get even with Arlington, Antoinette rejoins the Wild West Show.

She discovers that none of the performers are real Cowboys: they are mostly ex-convicts or alcoholics (or both). Bronco Billy was a shoe salesman who shot his wife for sleeping with his best friend. Nevertheless, Miss Lily begins to warm to the troupe.

Two of the show's performers announce that they are going to have a baby. The crew goes to a bar to celebrate. One of them gets himself arrested by police who discover that he is a deserter from the Army. Bronco Billy uses the show's meager savings to bribe the sheriff into letting the man go, swallowing his pride and enduring the sheriff's verbal humiliations for his friend's sake. Then the circus tent burns down. Everyone blames Miss Lily for their bad luck, but Bronco Billy defends her and proposes that they rob a train. They try to do this in the standard Western way (riding alongside and jumping on), but a modern train proves to be resistant to such an approach and they give up.

Next, the troupe travels to a mental institution at which they have previously performed pro bono. The head of the institution, who is obsessed with the Wild West, agrees to provide them with accommodation and to supply a new tent, and the inmates sew one out of American flags. Miss Lily and Bronco Billy spend the night together. By chance, one of the inmates turns out to be Arlington (he had been paid by the crooked lawyer to confess to being mentally disturbed when he "murdered" Antoinette). When he sees her, he raises a fuss and gets himself released. Bronco Billy and the show depart without Miss Lily.

Antoinette returns to a luxurious lifestyle, but she is bored and misses Billy, who drowns his loneliness with alcohol. The two reunite when Miss Lily returns to the circus.

Bronco Billy
Bronco Billy - 27 x 40 Movie Poster - Style H

Directed byClint Eastwood
Produced byDennis Hackin
Neil Dobrofsky
Written byDennis Hackin
StarringClint Eastwood
Sondra Locke
Geoffrey Lewis
Scatman Crothers
Bill McKinney
Dan Vadis
Sam Bottoms
Sierra Pecheur
Music bySnuff Garrett
CinematographyDavid Worth
Editing byJoel Cox
Ferris Webster
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date(s)June 11, 1980
Running time116 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6.5 million

Thank You Beatles (1986)

The Beatles,Thank You Beatles,Japan,Deleted,BOOK,540387
THE BEATLES Thank You Beatles published in 1986 was a Japanese 64-page softback Photobook jam-packed with snaps of the Fab Four on stage, during studio sessions, on the set of video shoots and generally 'avin' a laff! The book Includes Japanese charts and photo annotations, complete with belly band obi-strip).

The Monster Times (1972)

The Monster Times was a fan based magazine centered around Science Fiction. This particular edition dates back to February 1972 and features as its cover, Star Trek.

Hitchcock's Frenzy (1971)

Frenzy the 1972 thriller was film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and is the penultimate feature film of his extensive career. The film is based upon the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Arthur La Bern, and was adapted for the screen by Anthony Shaffer. La Bern later expressed his dissatisfaction with Shaffer's adaptation. The film starred Jon Finch, Alec McCowen and Barry Foster. The film also features Billie Whitelaw, Anna Massey, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Bernard Cribbins and Vivien Merchant. The original music score was composed by Ron Goodwin.

The film was screened at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition.

The film tells the story of a serial killer who rapes and kills several women in London, using his neck tie to strangle them to death. The film has become well known for a couple of grisly key scenes. The rape and murder of Brenda (Barbara Leigh Hunt) makes use of numerous short edits in a similar fashion to the Janet Leigh shower scene in Psycho, and this serves to heighten the images of violence and horror.
The murder of Brenda is the only murder depicted onscreen. Screenwriter Shaffer convinced Hitchcock that to show a second murder would be redundant. The murder of the barmaid Barbara Jane "Babs" Barbara Milligan occurs off-screen. The audience sees her entering the killer's apartment but the camera lingers in the hall for an extended period. The audience is left with a clear message that she will be murdered. The audience next sees the killer carrying a large sack and placing it onto the back of a lorry where it sits unobtrusively among a load of unsold potatoes ready to be transported back to Lincolnshire. He soon finds that his lapel pin is missing, and realizes that Babs must have torn it off as he was strangling her. He returns to the lorry and climbs into it to retrieve the pin from Babs' dead fingers, only to find the lorry starting off on its journey north. The killer desperately scrabbles through the sack of potatoes to find the dead woman's hand. As rigor mortis has set in, he is unable to prise the pin from her grasp until he has broken her fingers. This sequence is also composed of numerous edits to create tension and remains one of this film's most identifiable scenes.

As in several other previous Hitchcock films, the audience is fully aware of the identity of the killer (Bob Rusk, played by Barry Foster) very early in the proceedings, and is also shown how circumstantial guilt is rapidly built up around an innocent man (Richard Blaney, Babs' boyfriend and Brenda's ex-husband, played by Jon Finch). Blaney is duly apprehended by the police and jailed, all the while maintaining his innocence. The investigating detective reconsiders the previous events and begins to believe that he has arrested the wrong man. In several scenes showing the detective's domestic situation, comedy is used to heighten the grisly nature of the death scenes.

The detective and his wife discuss the case and the wife gently points the detective in the right direction with a series of simple but appropriate questions and comments. The innocent man escapes from prison, and the detective knows that he will head to Rusk's flat at Covent Garden to avenge himself for being framed by Rusk and avenge the deaths of his two close lovers who had fallen victim to Rusk, so immediately goes there. Blaney has already arrived to find that the door to Rusk's flat is unlocked. He silently creeps in and sees what he presumes to be the top of Rusk's head, asleep in bed; he strikes the body with a metal bar. Just then the audience is shown the truth: it is not Rusk in bed, but another woman whose hand slips out from under the covers. Blaney pulls the covers back and there both for him and the audience it is confirmed: the face of another victim.

Suddenly the detective bursts through the door while Blaney is still standing over the corpse in shock holding the metal bar. Blaney protests his innocence to the detective but the expression on the policeman's face is clearly one of doubt; just then they both hear Rusk carrying something large and heavy up the staircase. The detective then realises Blaney is innocent and the two men wait in the flat for the killer, the detective hiding behind the door, while Blaney simply stands by the bed. When Rusk arrives, he has a large trunk with him, to carry away the dead body, and with the body lying in the bed, his guilt is finally obvious. The film ends with Chief Inspector Oxford's line, "Mr. Rusk, you're not wearing your tie". The abrupt ending of the film leaves the audience to understand that Blaney will be released, Rusk will be arrested and eventually sent to prison for life.

After a pair of unsuccessful films depicting political intrigue and espionage, Hitchcock returned to the murder genre with this film. The narrative makes use of the familiar Hitchcock theme of an innocent man overwhelmed by circumstantial evidence and wrongly assumed to be guilty. Many critics consider Frenzy the last great Hitchcock film and a return to form after his two previous works, Topaz and Torn Curtain.

Hitchcock set and filmed Frenzy in London after many years making films in the United States. The film opens with a sweeping shot along the Thames to Tower Bridge, and while the interior scenes were filmed at Pinewood Studios, much of the location filming was done in and around Covent Garden and was a homage to the London of Hitchcock's childhood. The son of a Covent Garden merchant, Hitchcock filmed several key scenes showing the area as the working produce market that it was. Aware that the area's days as a market were numbered, Hitchcock wanted to record the area as he remembered it. According to the making-of feature on the DVD, an elderly man who remembered Hitchcock's father as a dealer in the vegetable market came to visit the set during the filming and was treated to lunch by the director. The area as seen in the film still exists, but the market no longer operates from there, having relocated in 1974. The buildings seen in the film are now occupied by banks and legal offices, restaurants and nightclubs, such as Henrietta Street, where Rusk lived (and Babs met her untimely demise). Oxford Street, which had the back alley (Dryden Chambers, now demolished) leading to Brenda Blaney's matrimonial agency, is the busiest shopping area in Britain. Nell of Old Drury which is the public house where the doctor and solicitor had their frank, plot-assisting discussion on sex killers, is still a thriving bar. The lanes where merchants and workers once carried their produce, as seen in the film, are now occupied by tourists and street performers. To many people of a younger age, the world depicted in Frenzy shows a London that has all but disappeared.

Fernando (1976)

"Fernando" was Swedish pop group ABBA's 1st non-album single, released in November 1975. Lead vocals were sung by Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The track appeared on the 1976 ABBA release Greatest Hits in some countries, although in Australia and New Zealand "Fernando" was included on the group's Arrival album. "Fernando" also features on the multi-million selling Abba Gold: Greatest compilation. This song was to become ABBA's biggest selling single of all time, selling 6,000,000 copies in 1976 alone. It is one of the fewer than thirty all-time singles to have sold 10 Million (or more) copies worldwide.
"Fernando" was not originally an ABBA song but was written for ABBA member Anni - Frid Lyngstad It appeared on her 1975 No1 Swedish solo album, Frida Ensam. The song was written by Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Stig Anderson and carried the working title of "Tango". Preparations for recording began in August 1975. Originally named "Hernandez", the writers made last-minute changes to the title before recording. The suggestion of the name 'Fernando' was given by their limousine driver Peter Forbes in Shepperton, England. Tony Fernando, a wealthy exports director for celebrities such as Princess Anne and Tom Selleck, was a friend of Peter Forbes. Forbes suggested the name 'Fernando' might fit better than the original, the title 'Fernando' was loved by all and became an instant hit.
The original Swedish language version's lyrics were written by ABBA's manager Stig Anderson and differ substantially from the English language version. In the original, the narrator tries to console the heartbroken Fernando, who has lost his great love. "The sorrow can be hard to bear, but the fact that friends let us down is something we all have to cope with". The bittersweet chorus goes: "Long live love, our best friend, Fernando. Raise your glass and propose a toast to it, to love, Fernando. Play the melody and sing a song of happiness. Long live love, Fernando"

The English version, with completely different lyrics by Ulvaeus, presents a vision of nostalgia for two veterans reminiscing in old age about a lost battle that they participated in during their younger days fighting under Emiliano Zapata in a battle of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. This was confirmed by Bjorn Ulvaeus in an ABBA special interview screened on December 31, 2008 in Australia.

The B-side to "Fernando" was the song "Hey, Hey, Helen", a track from the group's eponymous 1975 album, although in some countries "Tropical Loveland" (also from the Abba album) was used instead. Some copies of the single use "Rock Me" as a B-side.

The title and rhythm of the song made it an obvious choice for inclusion in their Spanish album. It was composed by Buddy and Mary McCluskey and recorded on January 3, 1980, in the Polar Music studios. The song is part of the Gracias Por La Musica album and is listed as track No5, in the "ABBA Oro" album as track No1 and as a Bonus Track on the Arrival album. The song was released as a promotional single in Spain. The lyrics, while adapted for rhythm and rhyme, carry the same meaning as the English version. "There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando. They were shining there for you and me, for liberty, Fernando." becomes "Algo había alrededor quizá de claridad Fernando, que brillaba por nosotros dos en protección, Fernando" (Something was around us perhaps of clarity Fernando, that shone for us two in protection, Fernando.)
After the huge success Frida had scored in Sweden with the Swedish version of "Fernando", the group decided to record it in English. This was a wise step, as "Fernando" became one of ABBA's best-selling singles ever, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and topping the charts in at least 13 countries: Australia, Austraia, Belgium, France, West Germany, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and Switzerland. In Australia "Fernando" stayed No1 for 14 weeks and spent 40 weeks in the charts, making "Fernando" one of the best selling singles of all time in Australia. In fact, it still holds the record for the single spending most weeks at No1 (along with The Beatles' "Hey Jude"). "Fernando" also reached the Top 3 in Canada, Finland, Norway, Spain, Sweden & Rhodesia. If Frida's No1 position in Sweden is included, (her version stayed No1 in the Swedish charts for 10 weeks) "Fernando" was actually a chart-topper in 14 countries, which probably makes this song ABBA's 2nd most sold single, after "Dancing Queen".
Abba,Fernando - Yellow Labels,UK,Deleted,7

Elvis: Las Vegas Collectors Edition Boxed Set (1970)

Elvis Presley Las Vegas Collectors Edition Boxed Set - as the undisputed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley was a record-breaking artist throughout the length of his career. In 1969, he opened at the International Hotel in Las Vegas and performed a 57-show engagement that broke all attendance records in Las Vegas history. This Elvis figure commemorates his 1970 return to the Vegas circuit, when he broke his previous attendance record. Included with this figure is a replica of the concert announcement of Elvis’ 3am performance in 1970.
McFarlane Toys' third Elvis action figure features the King of Rock 'n' Roll based on reference from a live concert in Las Vegas in 1970. Completely capturing Elvis' essence, this impeccably detailed figure includes a custom marquee base and microphone.

Fawlty Towers - Series One, Episode Two - The Builders (1975)

"The Builders" was the second episode in the first series of the classic BBC TV SItcom, Fawlty Towers and was broadcast on, 26th September 1975.
Basil tells his resident guests Major Gowen, Miss Tibbs, and Miss Gatsby that they will have to have dinner at the Gleneagles hotel, as workmen are coming to do work on the hotel. The Fawltys themselves are going away on a rare holiday with friends. Polly and Manuel are left to deal with the workmen, whose instructions are to block off the drawing room door and build a door leading into the kitchen. Basil tells Polly that the workmen will be O'Reilly's, an Irish cowboy builder with very little understanding of the building trade, as opposed to Sybil's preferred builder Stubbs, who is reliable and competent and who, Sybil believes, is actually booked to carry out the alterations. The high price for Stubbs' work has prompted Basil surreptitiously to hire O'Reilly for the project. According to Sybil, because he is cheap. Basil retorts with rather cheapish.
After the Fawltys depart, Polly goes to her room for a short nap, telling Manuel to wake her as soon as the builders arrive. Manuel enjoys his temporary power, imagining the hotel is his own. During this time, a delivery man arrives to deliver a garden gnome Sybil has ordered, but confuses Manuel into thinking that he wants a room for it. Manuel places the gnome under the desk. The builders enter, but Manuel cannot bring himself to wake the peacefully sleeping Polly. After presenting the workmen with the plans, Manuel receives a call at the front desk from someone he believes to be asking for Basil. After hanging up repeatedly, Manuel realizes it is in fact Basil himself on the line and drops the phone in shock. He then receives instructions from Basil and calls over the "man with beard," (Murphy, the only bearded builder) and then, on Basil's instructions but clearly not understanding what he is saying, tells the builder "You are a hideous orangutan." Murphy then punches Manuel's lights out as Basil, who was obviously aware of the man's short fuse, had hoped.

The next morning, Basil arrives to check on the hotel to see if everything is sound. However, he finds that, due to a misunderstanding of the plans, the builders have blocked up the dining room rather than the drawing room, much to his dismay. Moreover, there is now a door in front of the stairs rather than leading into the kitchen. In a combination of rage at the shoddy work and fear over his wife's anticipated reaction, Basil, after tripping over Sybil's gnome, furiously threatens first Polly and then Manuel, before phoning O'Reilly and threatening that if he is not at the hotel in twenty minutes to fix the problem, he will "come over there and insert a large garden gnome in you."

O'Reilly arrives, and while Basil is imploring him to get to work, Sybil - having forgotten her golf shoes - arrives back earlier than expected, spots O'Reilly's van and immediately becomes suspicious. Basil blames the chaos on Stubbs's men. Sybil (dangerously calm) responds to this by telling Basil that she saw O'Reilly's van outside. Basil explains this by saying O'Reilly has come in to fix up Stubbs's mess. Sybil, to Basil's surprise, actually agrees with him, but thinks that, since Stubbs made the mess, he should set it right as there would be no point in paying O'Reilly when Stubbs would have to do it for free. At that moment, Polly calls the front desk from another room impersonating Stubbs's secretary, but is caught by Sybil almost immediately and the game is up, as is Sybil's dander.

Sybil angrily confronts Basil for hiring O'Reilly and vows that she will make him regret it for the rest of his life. Basil continues his attempts to convince her it was "at least partly" Stubbs's fault, but Sybil orders him to halt his lies. Berating herself for letting Basil oversee the arrangements, Sybil assaults Basil, hurls the cash box across the room at him and goes into a furious tirade about all the times he'd hired O'Reilly to do jobs with shoddy, disastrous results. O'Reilly merrily appears and, upon admitting his mistakes, tries to joke about it. He even smiles at her when she's ranting, which terrifies Basil. This really sets Sybil off, as she has no capacity for a man smiling at her when she's angry unfortunately, and gives O'Reilly - and her husband - a harsh beating with an umbrella, and tells him to leave and never return. Sybil calls Stubbs to get him to do the work the next morning. She then storms off, not to return until that time. Unwilling to concede defeat, Basil convinces O'Reilly to stay and do the work anyway.

Sybil arrives in the morning to find the renovations have been completed by O'Reilly, apparently with no problems. As Stubbs arrives, Sybil finds herself in an embarrassing situation at having called on him, seemingly now for nothing. Stubbs looks over the renovations and admits at first that whoever did them did a very good job. Then, in further questioning Basil about the work, Stubbs finds out he was not called in for nought after all; while making a doorway leading into the kitchen, which was on a load-bearing wall , O'Reilly had used a wooden lintel for the support frame rather than a concrete one or Rolled Steel Joist. The supporting wall could give way at any moment, and he will need to repair it immediately, before the building collapses. As Stubbs almost frantically telephones his men to come over and help with this job, Basil leaves and marches down the driveway with Sybil's garden gnome; he calls back to Sybil, in a vengeful tone, "I'm going to see Mr. O'Reilly, dear." Presumably, he is about to make good on his threat to insert said gnome into the builder. "...Then I think I might go to Canada," he adds, under his breath.

David Stubbs has rated The Builders as the weakest Fawlty Towers episode due to its reliance on stereotypes such as the battleaxe wife (indeed, this is the only episode to depict Sybil as a physically abusive and domineering wife), the feckless Irish labourer and the dimwitted Spaniard.

John Cleese himself named "The Builders" as "the least good" of the Fawlty Towers episodes that were filmed, owing to a general lack of laughter in the studio on recording day. He recalls that members of the Icelandic Broadcasting Corporation were visiting the studio that day and many of them were in the front row seats, apparently not entirely amused.