Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Five Greatest Films Never Seen

Ever heard someone exclaim "You must see that!", "Oh my god I  thought I was the only one to have heard of that" or "I think I remember it, but what happened to it?"
Well this week Retro LadyLand digs up 5 of these amazing movies, lost and forgotten... Time they got a good airing.

The Little girl who lives down the lane 

Directed by Nicholas Gessner, starring a 14 year-old Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen at his very creepiest. This film based on a novel by Laird Gessner centres around Rynn (Foster) who will do anything to protect her house and dark secret that it holds. Sheen plays the characeter Hallet, who has an unwholesome interest in Rynn. 
Jodie and the film Won acclaim with horror aficionados of the time, but, unlike the stars career, disappeared into almost urban legend.
I love this film and think it's not only one of Ms Fosters greatest performances, but after viewing you'll never look at Martin Sheen in the same way again... 

"How old do you have to be before people start treating you like a person" 


The Squeeze 

Directed my Michael Apted and starring Stacey Keach and Edward Fox.
The plot is quite a simple one, ex cop Keach's ex wife is kidnapped and he and the hostages new husband (David Hemmings) decide to take the kidnappers on themselves. 
Considered a forgotten master piece, The Squeeze sadly has been over shadowed by films of the same era and ilk, such as Get Carter.

"Teddy, I'm a Scotch drinker - you know that. I just have the occasional brandy when I'm not drinking" 

Nothing Lasts Forever  

Directed by Tom Schiller, featuring an all star cast of such high profile actors such as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Bellushi and a Gremlins arch nemesis, Zach Galligan and with all the characteristics and stylings of an early Melies 

film. This strangely surreal film centres on a young man, Adam (Galligan) who befriends a tramp after returning to Manhattan - after being exposed as a fraud pianist, and getting a job monitoring traffic for his no-nonsense boss, played by Dan Aykroyd. Adam is informed that the tramps are controlling the cities of the world, and instructs him to journey to the moon to spread peace and search for his true love (Played by Lauren Tom).
Adam boards a Lunar Cruiser heading for the moon - driven by Bill Murray - but does he get there? Well, you're going to have a hard time finding out as this film has never be formally released due to "legal reasons" [although has been hinted at that it was used as a 'tax dodge']. The film is interspersed with many clips from the 1930s that have still to be cleared for use. Warner claimed it was "on the middle burner -- not the front, but not the back." But if it does ever get released, both Aykroyd and Murray are on standby to add some special features to the DVD. 

"You will get everything you want in your lifetime, only you won't get in the way you expect"


Directed by Stanley Donan and starring Richard Burton and Rex Harrison, adapted from a two man stage play by Charles Dyer, this film centres around the two main characters (Burton and Harrison) who play an ageing gay couple, that own a barber shop in the east end of London. The action takes place over one night, while the couple discuss their lives, past and possible separation due to Burton's forthcoming trial for propositioning a policeman.
Film critic Armond White called the film "a rare Hollywood movie to depict gay experience with wisdom, humour and warmth", and "a lost treasure"

"We'll build a staircase up to the sky. We'll not be lonely, flying so high."

The Unknown 

Directed by the cult director Tod Browning, today this film is usually overshadowed by Browning's more famous film "Freaks", but is no less a classic. The story centres around protagonist, 'Alonzo the armless' (Lon Chaney), a knife thrower that uses his feet to toss his weapons. But, unlike his alias, Alonzo does actually have arms, but straps them by his sides, giving the illusion of having a disability, thus creating his character. 
Escaping from a life of crime, Alonzo has a distinguishing characteristic of having an extra thumb on his left hand. So an armless man is a perfect disguise... But, after more twists and turns, murders and discoveries, Alonzo, in love with Nanon, his beautiful assistant, who has a strange aversion to arms, has them amputated so he can be closer to her... And the rest? Well you'll have to see that for yourself.

Critics panned it but actors such as Joan Crawford praised the performances she said that she learned more about acting from working with Chaney in this movie than from everything else in her long career put together. A must see.

"You are a riddle, Nanon. You shrink from me... yet you kiss my flowers when I am gone"

Happy Viewing

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