Thursday, 20 September 2012

Peter Graves in Bayou

Bayou - otherwise known as Poor White Trash (1957), starring Peter Graves, Lita Milan, and Timothy Carey. This is a pretty good film in its own way - one of those arty black and white melodramas of the 50s that don't get much recognition any more. I wish I had a better copy of it than the one I have. Needless to say, Peter Graves is rather handsome in it, and even gets something of a sex scene at the end, if you can count views of naked arms and shoulders and lots of cut in scenes of a hurricane raging as a sex scene. Lita Milan is sultry and and Timothy Carey is downright insane.

Here are some lobby cards from the film.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Completely Gratuitous and Exploitative Whiplash Picspam

Whiplash. The Solid Gold Brigade.

Really, Peter Graves, I am sorry, but if you're going to appear in a Whiplash episode in very tight and very wet longjohns, what can a girl do?

These pictures really don't need captions to distract you from the beauty. Suffice to say, the longjohns are very form fitting. Also, can anyone explain the physics of television that allows a short, fat man to steal Chris Cobb's clothes and fit into them, and for Chris Cobb to borrow a short and very thin Scottish man's clothes and boots and also fit them perfectly?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mission: Impossible. Nicole, Part 2 - Lots of Hurty Jim

Well, most of the second part of this episode consists of Jim being hurt and being betrayed. It's probably an episode that appeals more to women than men. I could have done with a little less of the blurry-running-through-a-set-pretending-to-be-a-forest shots, but it's one of those rare episodes that gives you a hint of Jim as a vulnerable, feeling person rather than an efficient thinking machine. It must be hard when all the women you meet on the job are either on the wrong side or liable to always be in danger.

Poor bloody and bruised Jim wakes up in a cell, just in time to see Nicole coming down the stairs dressed quite hideously in a bob wig and a pink shirt.

Her clothes really are hideous, but Jim doesn’t care about that. He’s besotted with her and she’s rescuing him – all good from his point of view.

This is where he should say, ‘Bugger,’ as chin-strap man comes in and discovers the rescue. You can tell he’s wounded because he was standing up, but he sits down almost immediately once he realises they can’t escape.

Poor Jim…

Jim chest. Rarr.

Dirty, nasty, double-crossing bitch.  *ahem. Sorry.* She implicates Sparrow as a double agent, making Jim think he’s been betrayed by someone he trusts. If only he knew…

Meanwhile, Rollin is passing on the list, and insisting he has to get back to Jim. I like his suavity and his elbow patches here, but it seems a bit unprofessional that after all the code exchanges to be sure he’s meeting the right person, they go on to discuss the thing quite loudly with two people just a few yards away down the corridor.

Poor Jim. He feigns death to lure the guard in…

But as soon as the guard comes to check his pulse he punches him in the face, and then throws his jacket at him for good measure.

From now on there is a lot of hurty-Jim running through bushes, doubled over a little.

Sexy boots there, Jim.

This bit is hard to cap, because there’s a lot of this going on – blurry shots with foliage and shots of the moon overlaying them running. Seriously, this goes on for about a minute, which is a long time in the film world. It's all about obscuring the vision, not seeing things as they really are. It has been since Nicole entered the episode.

Rollin is watching from the bushes as the people in the house start to organise a search for the escaped prisoners.

Jim is exhausted and falls to his knees. By the looks of it the trees are exhausted too. They’re all limp and shiny.

He tries to persuade Nicole to leave him, because he’s slowing her down.

They take refuge for a while in a barn.

See the hard face of betrayal once she thinks that he’s unconscious.

We see her through evil-guy’s glass as she joins him in the car. There she is, distorted by the glass, a traitor through and through.

See the brandy-glass-distortion-of-evil.

While Jim is unconscious they send in a doctor to administer a stimulant.

But Rollin is watching, and knows the bitch is a traitor.

Jim comes round, and looks as pretty as ever.

He notices she looks distressed. And don’t his shoulders look broad in that jacket?

Distressed Nicole. Obviously she’s not all evil. She is also a woman.

Thanks to his 60-a-day habit he goes rummaging in her handbag.

And notices that her matches are shorter than the matchbox. Being a spy, he knows what this means.

This is the face of the betrayed.

If Jim came home from war, wounded, I’d be his nurse. (Although I know nothing about nursing. I’d give it a shot.)

Yay for Rollin!

There’s a bit more running through the Paramount studios when Jim collapses momentarily. Cleaning up after this must be a bitch. I mean, do they keep the substrate and only use that studio for simulating the outdoors? Or do that have to sweep it all up each time? Do they throw it away, or do they have big barrels marked ‘earth’?

Jim is getting desperate, knowing that Nicole is not on his side after all. He pushes himself so hard that he collapses again.

He tries to struggle on – and this is when Nicole confesses the whole plan, that the escape was arranged.

It slowly dawns on him that she doesn’t know that the match box was bugged.

Caught at last… (there was a lot more running through bushes before this, but this time they were being chased by dogs.)

Rollin to the rescue!!

Jim is back in control!

Unfortunately Rollin wasn’t watching hard enough and didn’t see that the evil guy didn’t drop his pistol…

And Nicole is shot. (Really this proves that the evil guy is an idiot, for shooting the unarmed woman instead of one of the men with guns. He dies for that piece of idiocy as Rollin shoots him.)

Nice little intimate scene as Jim lays her on the ground with his lips close to hers as if he wants to kiss her, but never quite touching.

(On an aside, why do they never make bullet holes in the costumes, or at least dab a bit of something black in the middle of the blood stain so it looks like a bullet hole?)

Rollin has the look of someone who feels his friend’s pain, but also wants to get the hell out of there.

Poor Jim. He doesn’t give trust easily, and look where it got him.

He takes a last look at her on the ground.

And off they go, with sad music, and a thunderstorm.

You get the feeling that he will never be quite the same again.