Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jane Fonda & Jeff Bridges in The Morning After (1986)

Alex Sternbergen (Fonda) drinks too much. This fact is made painfully obvious to her when she wakes up next to a bloody corpse and has no memory of how she got there. Did she kill him, or has she been set up? Her blind panic is mitigated by ex cop Turner Kendall (Bridges) who helps her organize her thoughts and get to the bottom the mess. Will she figure it out before it drags her under?

This is a great example of an 80's thriller and Fonda does a great job as the booze soaked actress. It's masterfully directed by Sidney Lumet and look for gay character actor James Haake as a drag queen friend of Sternbergen's who helps her out of a jam and Bruce Vilanch in a small role as a bartender.

This film is available on DVD though it's out of print and can be expensive. Luckily it's also available on Amazon Direct at considerably lower prices.

Obscurity factor: 4 (somewhat remembered, on DVD & VOD)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peter Lawford & Sammy Davis Jr. in Salt & Pepper (1967)

The sixties saw an explosion of spy themed filmes, all inspired by the success of the 007 franchise. From serious cold war dramas like The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1965) to ridiculous romps with sexy starlets like Modesty Blaise (1966), the intrigue was thick and heavy. This film is one of the latter type, with Lawford and Davis playing night club owners who are sucked into a seriously stick situation. A girl is found dead in their club and she just happens to be part of a terrorist group, bent on wrecking havoc on the British government. Will the inimitable Salt (Davis) and Pepper (Lawford) be able to intervene in time?
This silly film is more of an excuse for the stars to act cool and hip and for the producers to parade an endless collection of sexy sixties babes in front of the camera. The scenes of swinging London are fun to look back on and the film was successful enough to inspire a sequal - One More Time (1970) which has the distinction of having been directed by Jerry Lewis.

This film is available on DVD, as is its sequal. Above is the trailer, uploaded to YouTube by OurManInHavana.

Obscurity factor: 7 (on DVD, known to rat pack fans, dimly remembered otherwise)