Journey Into Fear (1942) / Z-View

Journey Into Fear (1942)

Director: Norman Foster, Orson Welles (uncredited)

Screenplay: Joseph Cotten from the novel by Eric Ambler

Stars:  Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio and Agnes Moorehead

The Pitch: “Let’s bring back Welles and Cotten and try for another ‘The Third Man!’’”

Tagline: Welles and Del Rio together! as Terror Man vs. Leopard Woman–for possession of a mysterious stranger in the powder-keg Middle East…a man with a military secret worth more than his love and his life!…It’s menace melodrama thrilled with mighty mystery and suspense…SEE IT!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Howard Graham (Cotten) finds himself pursued by Nazi agents out to kill him.  In an effort to shake them, Graham ends up on an old frieghter heading out to sea… and discovers that the Nazis are also on board.

Welles has a small but important role. Cotten is more than capable of carrying the film.  The cat and mouse chase on the high ledge during a torrential downpour is classic.


Across the Pacific (1942) / Z-View

Across the Pacific (1942)

Director: John Huston, Vincent Sherman (uncredited)

Screenplay: Richard Macaulay

Stars:  Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet

The Pitch: “Bogart, Astor and Greenstreet with Huston directing.’”

Tagline: None

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

After a dishonorable discharge, Rick Leland (Bogart) finds himself on a Japanese ship headed to the Orient.  On board Leland meets Dr. H.F.G. Lorenz (Greenstreet), a man with a shady past and
Alberta Marlow (Astor), a woman with a possible shared future.  As in many Bogart movies, all is not what it seems on the surface.



Saboteur (1942) / Z-View

Saboteur (1942)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: Peter Viertel & Joan Harrison & Dorothy Parker

Stars:  Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings and Otto Kruger

The Pitch: “Hitchcock want to make ‘Saboteur’”

Tagline: You’d like to say – IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE!… but every jolting scene is TRUE!!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

After an aircraft manufacturing plant is destroyed by sabotage, an innocent worker, Barry Kane (Cummings) finds himself on the run from authorities who believe he was saboteur.  Kane’s efforts to clear himself lead him to a bigger plan of sabotage.  Can he prove his innocence and convince authorities of the next planned attack before it is too late?

Priscilla Lane and Robert Cummings make a great couple!


Tarantula (1955) / Z-View

Tarantula (1955)

Director: Jack Arnold

Screenplay: Robert M. Fresco and Martin Berkeley from a story by Jack Arnold and Robert M. Fresco.

Stars:  John Agar, Mara Corday, Leo G. Carroll and Clint Eastwood

The Pitch: “Let’s make a giant spider movie!”

Tagline: Bullets Can’t Stop It! Dynamite Can’t Kill It!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Scientists working with experimental growth formulas accidently create and release on the world a giant spider!

Look for Clint Eastwood in one of his first roles.


Crime of Passion (1957) / Z-View

Crime of Passion (1957)

Director: Gerd Oswald

Screenplay: Jo Eisinger (original story and screenplay)

Stars:  Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr and Faye Wray

The Pitch: “Let’s make a film about a couple where one’s ambitions and lack of morals destroy them, but we’ll flip it so the female lead is the bad ‘guy’!”

Tagline: The stripped-of-shame story of a cop’s wife who committed one sin too many!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Kathy (Stanwyck) is an ambitious newspaper columnist who falls for LA detective, Bill Doyle (Hayden), in a whirlwind romance that leads to marriage.  Soon enough Kathy realizes her husband is content with his rank and has no desire to rise to the top.  Kathy becomes jealous and envious of others and begins to plot a way to change the status quo.  That it involves infidelity and murder matters little to her.


Cabin Fever (2002) / Z-View

Cabin Fever (2002)

Director: Eli Roth

Screenplay: Eli Roth & Randy Pearlstein from a story by Eli Roth

Stars:  Jordan Ladd, Rider Strong and James DeBello

The Pitch: “Let’s make a horror movie about college kids and a flesh-eating virus!”

Tagline: Terror… In the flesh.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Five college kids head to a remote cabin where they encounter a strange flesh-eating virus.


Frailty (2001) / Z-View

Frailty (2001)

Director: Bill Paxton

Screenplay: Brent Hanley

Stars:  Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe

The Pitch: “Bill Paxton wants to direct ‘Frailty’ – let’s do it!”

Tagline: There are demons among us

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Adam and Fenton are young brothers, being raised by their single parent dad. Dad is a hard-working loving parent and all is well with the family… until one night when their father wakes them up to reveal that he had been visited by an Angel.  The Angel told dad that demons live among them and they have been chosen to slay them.

Fenton realizes his father had gone crazy, while Adam is convinced their dad was visited by an Angel.  Fenton hopes this will pass, but when dad brings home a normal looking man who dad claims to be a demon and kills him, Fenton knows this is just the start…

Frailty is a classic that gets better with repeated viewings.  Paxton’s acting and direction (the only film he directed!) is point on.  Powers Boothe is, as always, excellent.  This may be Matthew McConaughey’s best performance.  Love the twists and turns.


Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) / Z-View

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Director: Frank Lloyd

Screenplay: Talbot Jennings & Jules Furthman and Carey Wilson based on the book by Charles Nordhoff        and James Norman Hall

Stars:  Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone

The Pitch: “Let’s turn Robert C. O’Brien’s novel into a movie!”

Tagline: Clark Gable as the daring mutineer in the screen’s most exciting adventure story!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The classic tale of Fletcher Christian’s mutiny against the sadistic Captain Bligh!


Z for Zachariah (2015) / Z-View

Z for Zachariah (2015)

Director: Craig Zobel

Screenplay: Nissar Modi based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien

Stars:  Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine and Margot Robbie

The Pitch: “Let’s turn Robert C. O’Brien’s novel into a movie!”

Tagline: After the end of the world she thought she was alone. She was wrong.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

After an apocalyptic event that has wiped out humans, a woman who thought herself alone, finds a dying man.  She nurses him back to health and they begin to make a life together on her family’s farmland.  All is well until a young, handsome man shows up looking for refuge.


Gargoyles (1972) / Z-View

Gargoyles (1972)

Director: Bill Norton (as B.W.L. Norton)

Screenplay: Steven Karpf (as Stephen Karpf) and Elinor Karpf

Stars:  Cornel Wilde, Jennifer Salt, Grayson Hall, Bernie Casey and Scott Glenn.

The Pitch: “Let’s make a monster movie!”

Tagline: Watch Out! The Gargoyles Are Here.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When a best-selling anthropologist/paleontologist (Wilde) gets word of a mysterious skeleton found in the desert, he decides to drive out for a look.  He takes his photographer daughter with him even though he believes the skeleton will turn out to be a hoax.  Shortly after arriving he and the small town find themselves under attack by Gargoyles!

Scott Glenn and Bernie Casey in early roles plus a young Stan Winston provides the Gargoyles!


Small Crimes (2017) / Z-View

Small Crimes (2017)

Director: Evan Katz

Screenplay: Macon Blair and Evan Katz based on a novel by David Zeltserman

Stars:  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Robert Forster, Jacki Weaver and Gary Cole.

The Pitch: “Let’s turn David Zeltserman’s novel into a movie!”

Tagline: None.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When ex-cop, ex-con, Joe Denton is released from prison he finds himself still entangled with the crooks and crooked cop who got him sent up.  Each step Joes makes takes him deeper into a life of crime where his chances of survival are knife-blade thin.


Tarzan and His Mate (1934) / Z-View

Tarzan and His Mate (1934)

Director: Cedric Gibbons and Jack Conway (uncredited) and James C. McKay (uncredited)

Screenplay: James Kevin McGuinness based on the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Stars:  Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Sullivan and Neil Hamilton

The Pitch: “Let’s make a sequel to ‘Tarzan the Ape Man’!”

Tagline: Johnny Weismuller is back again!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Hunters from England come to Africa in order to bring Jane back to civilization along with a fortune in elephant tusks.  This doesn’t sit well with Tarzan.


Shield for Murder (1954) / Z-View

Shield for Murder (1954)

Director: Howard W. Koch and Edmond O’Brien

Screenplay: Richard Alan Simmons and John C. Higgins from a novel by William P. McGivern

Stars:  Edmond O’Brien, John Agar, Marla English, John Agar, Caroline Jones and Claude Akins.

The Pitch: “Let’s turn William McGivern’s best-seller into a movie!”

Tagline: The Story Of A Killer-Cop Who Used His “SHIELD FOR MURDER”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When tough cop Detective Nolan (O’Brien) kills a bookie for the 25 grand the bookie is carrying, he thinks there are no witness.  Nolan then learns a deaf/mute man saw the murder.  This leads Nolan down a path of no-return full of murder and mayhem.


Kill Me Again (1989) / Z-View

Kill Me Again (1989)

Director: John Dahl

Screenplay: John Dahl and David W. Warfield

Stars:  Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Michael Madsen and Bibi Besch.

The Pitch: “Let’s throwback detective story about a pretty woman, stolen money, a psycho boyfriend and down-on-his-luck private eye.”

Tagline: Her last request was his first mistake.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When an attractive woman (Whalley) offers Jack Andrews (Kilmer) enough money to get him out from under with his bookies, Andrews agrees to help her disappear.  What Andrews doesn’t know is that she’s on the run from her psycho boyfriend (Madsen) with the cash that they stole and killed to keep.


Kansas City Confidential (1952) / Z-View

Kansas City Confidential (1952)

Director: Phil Karlson

Screenplay: George Bruce and Harry Essex from a story by Harold R. Greene and Rowland Brown

Stars: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam and Donna Drake.

The Pitch: “Let’s make a crime movie with an ex-con trying to go straight framed for a heist by crooks and crooked cops!”

Tagline: Exploding! Like a gun in your face!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Joe Rolfe (Payne) is an ex-con trying to go straight who finds himself set-up to take the fall of a million dollar heist.  When the cops can’t beat a confession out of Rolfe, they release him.  This allows Rolfe to begin a real investigation. The trail takes him to Mexico where he finds himself up against the crooks and a crooked cop.