THE CLUE OF THE NEW PIN (1923) by Edgar Wallace

Wallace_TheClueOfTheNewPin_hodderIn 1961 Clue of the New Pin became one of the first of the Edgar Wallace Mysteries series made at Merton Park studios to sit on the lower birth of a cinema double bill. Originally released in Britain at a rate of roughly one-a-month between 1960 and 1965, they proved hugely popular (for a complete list of the films, with links to my reviews to be added as I go along, visit my dedicated page here). Based on the 1923 book of the same name, it offers a locked room mystery with an oriental flavour …

The following is offered for Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason at his fab Sweet Freedom blog and Bev’s Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt.

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Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Edgar Wallace, Locked Room Mystery, London, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 40 Comments

NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH (1939) and TWELVE CHINAMEN AND A WOMAN (1940) by James Hadley Chase

Chase_Orchid-Chinamen_shpNo Orchids for Miss Blandish is a famous book that for years only aficionados have been able to read in its original, unexpurgated version, and the same goes for its less well-known follow-up, Twelve Chinks and a Woman (as it was first known in the UK). Those very nice people at Stark House Press have remedied this by publishing the original uncut versions of both texts in this essential double-bill that comes with a fascinating essay by John Fraser that looks at the publishing history and reception of Blandish.

I submit this review for Bev’s Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Patinase blog, devoted today to debut books.

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Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Florida, James Hadley Chase, Kansas City, New York, Stark House Press | 32 Comments

Asylum (1972) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Movie

Asylum_(1972_film)Robert Bloch (1917-1994) is best-known as the author of the suspense classic Psycho and his tale of eternal horror, Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper. At the height of his success he was also an exceptionally prolific screen-writer, writing original screen plays for film and TV and also adapting many of his own short stories. Some of the best of these were included in the anthology films he wrote for Amicus, the company that competed most successfully with Hammer for horror supremacy at the box office. Asylum may be the best of them.

I submit this review for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Movie meme at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Amicus, England, Robert Bloch, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 71 Comments

DEAD MEN DON’T SKI (1959) by Patricia Moyes

Moyes_Dead-Men-Dont-Ski_henryholtApparently written to pass the time while the author was recovering from a skiing accident, this ended up being the first of nineteen novels featuring Inspector Henry Tibbett. Having really enjoyed the intricately plotted Who Is Simon Warwick?, one of the later books in the series, I decided to go back to the beginning, which opens with our protagonist heading off on holiday in the company of his clever wife Emmy. The Italian setting was another draw for me, though I steeled myself for some seemingly inevitable caricatures …

I submit this review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Friday's Forgotten Book, Italy, Patricia Moyes | 34 Comments

The Scarlet Claw (1944)

poster-Scarlet-ClawFor many this is the best of the Holmes and Watson films made by Universal. It is certainly the most successful as a whodunit and possibly the darkest too. It was originally titled Sherlock Holmes in Canada and it is the only entry to be set entirely overseas, mostly taking place in the spooky little Quebec town of ‘La Mort Rouge’ (a reference of course to Poe rather than Doyle). Holmes and Watson are at a conference when they receive a telegram from Lady Penrose asking for help, but it arrives too late, so they set out to solve her grisly murder, the first of many.

The following is offered for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.
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Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, Canada, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 23 Comments

And your favourite Hitchcock movies are …

918b9bc25cdf82a32b6d287aa4df8ceeDrum roll please … Having gone through a week of voting for the favourite films directed by Alfred Hitchcock on a decade by decade basis, this was meant to lead to a top 10, though we ended up with a tie for the 1950s and so I decided to turn it into a top 11 instead!

And these are how those results got ranked – so in reverse order (to maintain, you know, some suspense, the results are …), and adding the original votes with the ones for the ranking (meaning that the film with the highest number of votes, Psycho, didn’t come at the top due to the final rankings), is as follows, beginning on the cusp of the switch from silent to sound cinema:

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Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New York, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies, World War II | 51 Comments

Results for the Hitchcock poll

HitchWell, the polls are now closed and the results are in. First things first though – the response to this celebration of the 53 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock was really gratifying, so special thanks to everyone who joined in.

Ultimately nearly 650 votes were cast and nearly every one of his films got at least one vote – if you want to see which didn’t, and which came out on top, then keep on reading, where you will also find a poll of polls – we have now a top 10 based on the results and we have the opportunity to rank these 10 – but beware, you only get one vote, so make it count!

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Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Arizona, Boileau-Narcejac, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New England, New York, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies | 44 Comments