In The Bosom Of “Swamp Thing”

Cover of "Swamp Thing"

Cover of Swamp Thing

If there were any critics in 1982 who praised the movie Swamp Thing, I don’t want to know about it.  It is ludicrous and cheap and poorly acted.

As well, it is the most sensual movie apropos of a woman’s breasts I have seen.  Usually covered, the breasts are those of Adrienne Barbeau.  I don’t think I’ll be recommending the flick on that basis.

Caper With A “Man Bait”

The 1952 Man Bait is the first British film noir for Hammer (Brit)/Lippert (U.S.), and a tasteful, civilized film noir it is.  But most certainly there is heinous behavior:  killings and a near-killing most foul.

Actor George Brent, an American, is not very good, but Peter Reynolds is; and Diana Dors, in her first movie, is passable.  Brent plays Dors’s boss in a bookshop, whom Dors is talked into blackmailing by Reynolds, Dors’s new beau.  Dors is, or becomes, nearly as morally awful as Reynolds, and she soon alienates the cad.  A mistake.  Gradually a fellow bookshop employee (Marguerite Chapman) gets entangled in the dreadful affair.

Directed by Terence Fisher, Man Bait is a not-bad, not-boring caper movie.  Based on a story by James Hadley Chase, though low-budget, it was promising for the Hammer/Lippert association, especially with its likable cast.  I’m glad all British films are not like O Lucky Man! (a dismal dud).

Bogart The Lonely: “In a Lonely Place”

Cover of "In a Lonely Place"

Cover of In a Lonely Place

In a Lonely Place (1950), directed by Nicholas Ray, is a love story with dangerous neuroticism.

Screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart) loves one woman (Laurel, acted by Gloria Grahame) and is indifferent to the mysterious murder of another (a hat-check girl acquaintance).  This is where it all begins.  Steele, not an ordinary man, is often aggressive, and the police know it.  They suspect him of the murder.  Laurel knows darn well he didn’t do it, but she also grows deeply scared of the gent.  There is plenty of grit in the film, and, for once in an old American movie, a sad ending.  Maybe his wreck of a marriage to Grahame led Ray to insist on a sad ending.

In any case, the screenplay by Edmund H. North and Andrew Solt is compelling, and the film is nice to look at, with a good number of comely women.  As has been claimed, the film’s supporting cast is nothing to crow about, but Bogart is the absolute right fit.  Grahame, though limited, is interesting and winsome.  A beauty with a preteen voice.

A crime movie with a difference, this.


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