It was an unusual partnership. Angelo had met the old man, Tumbleweed, on the trail after his mule had run off. Helping him get back to his home, the two arrived to find it had been ransacked. Six men rode up then, brothers Tom and Quincy Randall and their men.
That’s when Angelo began to learn the truth. The Randalls had found Tumbleweed’s map, a map of complex directions to a hidden trove of Confederate gold. They didn’t know where to begin. Tumbleweed did, but needed the directions on the map.
A partnership was formed, splitting the take fifty-fifty, half to Angelo and Tunbleweed, half to the Randalls. Of course, Angelo didn’t trust the two brothers.
Things went downhill fast when the Randalls double-crossed them and Angelo ends up pursuing them. Not alone though. He’s saddled with an obstinate Cavalry officer and his troop, not to mention the Colonel’s daughter who slips out after them.
The first hint of trouble came when they found one of the gang staked out and tortured. Apaches had left their mark and it soon became apparent what they wanted.
Outnumbered and with an officer in charge with his own agenda Angelo is determined to get out of this with as many alive as possible.
Or go down trying.
A fine western from Great Britain’s Black Horse western line. For those interested, there is a novella available as an ebook, Angelo and The Strongbox, which is a sort of prequel. I highly recommend both.
Joe Victor(George Raft) wanted to get back into the States and he’d found his ticket. He missed the limelight, the dames, the gambling. A former big time gangster, he’d been deported and lived in Lisbon these days. He gets his way back when he’s hired for a mission in Montreal. We don’t know what that mission is early on and pick up the pieces as the picture moves along. Joey wants to reassemble his old gang, scattered since his deportation, for the job.
One is Joyce Geary(Audrey Totter), now running a Talent agency in Havana. She wants to stay straight, but is forced back into the gang at her old job, being the attraction, distraction, for the target.
Inspector Raoul Leduc(Edward G. Robinson) has three murders in a month on his hands in Montreal. All three are tied together by one innocent bystander: Dr. Carl Macklin(George Dolenz), a nuclear physicist. The first murder is a police constable, bludgeoned to death. Macklin remembers seeing him shortly before his death early one morning. The only other person around then was an organ grinder. When a hair found on the constable comes from a small monkey, that ties in the organ grinder, who happens to turn up dead. The third body is that of Macklin’s secretary, a plain jane young woman who;d been seeing a man on the sly, slipping out on her older sister to meet him. She was found with two bullets in her back. The sister sees the car and the man and when the car, a rental, is found, the fingerprints lead them to a member of Joe Victor’s gang. He becomes the fourth murder, while in a card game.
It seems obvious to Leduc that Macklin is the target. He or something he’s working on. Geary had got something about testing out of him, meeting him at a driving range and pretending ineptitude. But she also begins to fall for the handsome professor and wants nothing of the plot. She’d been straight and was forced to come to Montreal. She plans to send a message to Leduc when she leaves.
They never specify what Macklin is working on. One surmises it’s likely an atomic bomb, but they simply call it the device. The headline on the secretary’s murder calls her “an atomic scientist’s secretary.”
The plan is to get the device and Macklin aboard a freighter headed behind the iron curtain. Leduc is along on the truck taking the device to the testing site, the vehicle is bugged, followed by a fleet of officers, and the real device is not aboard.
The truck is allowed to be taken because Leduc wants the ringleader as well. But they lose the truck anyway, ending up at the harbor, the whole truck, with Leduc and his driver, another cop, in the back, hoisted into the hold.
Where the title comes into place is the end. Joe Victor is a hood, but he’s also an American and a patriot, surprising himself as much as Leduc.
A decent little noir/thriller. Two of the names involved on this one are Daniel Mainwaring(as Geoffrey Holmes) of OUT OF THE PAST(1947) and A. I. Bezzerides who soon after contributed to a better film, KISS ME DEADLY(1955).
1: Six Ways of Dying – Cody Wells: from Black Horse Westerns, just out.
2: Drum Beat – Dominique – Stephen Marlowe: Barry Ergang reviewed this one on Kevin’s Corner recently. I’ve read a couple of the Chester Drums, as well as the Shell Cott/Chester Drum collaboration between Prather and Marlowe. This looked interesting.
I had had high hopes for this one. Jason Momoa has the right look an he is a much better actor than Arnold, able to show actual emotion in his face. In an interview on one of the talk shows, he talked well, said all the right things, and seemed like a bright hope for a franchise. He talked about future films going back to the source material which he’d read and respected.
Then the movie came out.
Not likely to be any more films. It was a huge failure at the box office, pretty much insuring no future offerings. In Hollywood, the money boys look at the bottom line first, thus insuring the end.
Probably a good idea after watching the movie.
Standard revenge fare. A villain, Khalar Zym(Stephen Lang), that wants to be a God. A daughter(Rose McGowan) that’s a sorceress. He’s gathering the pieces of the Mask of Acheron. He intends to use it to bring his dead wife back to life and have her make him that God. he needs a pure blood descendant of the Sorcerers of Acheron for that. Naturally there is only one left, Tamara(Rachel Nichols), who’s been raised in a monastery.
The seventh, and last piece, happens to be guarded by Corin(Ron Pearlman, wasted in the role), Conan’s father, and the warlord’s forces leaves the village destroyed, most of the people dead. Except for the young Conan.
You can figure how the plot goes. Khalar Zym spends twenty years looking for the pure blood. Conan spends that same time looking for him.
The sword work was good, the film was appropriately bloody, the supernatural creatures decent.
It just wasn’t Robert E. Howard.
As little an expert as I am, I could recognize that. The only thing they took from Howard was his name, his character’s name, a few tropes established i the stories, and then made up their own story. They did make passing reference to a couple of the stories in passing. That’s about it.
One dimensional characters(Tamara shows good fighting ability in some scenes, but spends an inordinate amount of time screaming for Conan), crap dialogue, unnecessary 3D effects just to have them(I will be glad when this fascination ends; I’ve never watched a film in 3D, won’t wear those damn glasses).
And whoever put this one together did a piss poor job of it. And the one in charge of continuity missed the mark. There was a sequence early in the film where Conan attacked a wagon in which he thought the warlord he sought rode, but instead held Tamara, fleeing from the destruction of the monastery, and was also being assaulted by a band of Zym’s men. As he leaped aboard from his horse, it was obvious he wasn’t wearing a sword.. After a bit of fighting, killing the warlord’s men, he jumped back to hs horse. He suddenly had a sword in hand with which he dispatched more of the attackers. Next shot he’s bearing down on another group and we hear the hiss of him drawing his sword from it’s scabbard!
There’s a lot going on in this, the thirteenth 87th Precinct novel.
A hot, summer Sunday morning.
The police have Pepe Miranda, a thief and killer, pinned in a hotel room. He refuses to come out. The building is surrounded by both civilians and police. The roofs, hanging out of windows, all watching, the crowds alternately cheering the police and Miranda.
We have Zip, a would-be gang leader who’d formed The Latin Purples and idolized Miranda. He has four members and wants instant respect. He thinks murdering a sixteen year old who’d merely said hello to a young woman he fancied as his girl friend(she had other ideas) as the way to go. He’d blown it up from saying hello to feeling her up. The encounter with real gang members hadn’t helped his ego.
Andy Parker of the 87Th, once a good cop, who’d survived a savage beating and now wanted to kill Miranda to “fix” himself.
And Steve Carella, going in disguised as a priest, knowing he was going to be used as a hostage. Miranda had already shot one of the patrolman that went up to arrest him and a detective, Frankie Hernandez, climbing the fire escape after Zip shouts a warning.
As always, McBain paces everything nicely, drawing things out to the inevitable conclusion.
Annabelle Heath had a simple request of Ford Ramsey. Honor the promise he’d made to her late mother.
Marcus Pauly, her mother’s brother, had been his best friend during the war and they stuck together after the end, falling into the outlaw ways so many at the time did. At the bank robbery, they were ambushed by the townspeople and only three had made it out: Ramsey, Pauly, and the gang leader, Boss Larsen. Marcus was badly wounded and Larsen wanted to leave him. Ford didn’t and stayed with a promise to split the loot later. With a posse after them, there was no time
His friend died and Ramsey took the time to bury him before moving on. It was his undoing and the posse caught him. He went to prison, denying all the time the belief that he had killed Pauly and Larsen and hid the money.
That tale followed him after he got out of prison. Ramsey knew he was being watched, but ht found work and toiled away for three years. That his boss was a snot-nosed punk, son of the owner, he just had to take. Old and an ex-con, he needed the job to survive.
So when Annabelle came calling, he hesitated. She wanted to honor her late mother’s quest to bring her uncle’s body home for burial in the family cemetery. But one nasty comment from his young boss got the boy a beating and Ramsey and Annabelle set out to find the body.
Ramsey’s instincts were a bit rusty, but he had the feeling someone was following them.
Quite enjoyed this story of honor and friendship and what one will go through to get it done.
O’Doul, an older man, worked at the ranch of Joe Reichert. The only other hand was young Leonard Fain. The two watched the boss disintegrate after his young son wandered into a paddock and was trampled to death by a wild mare. Reichert blamed his wife, Annie, who’d been hanging clothes out to dry when the child wandered off. The boss’s drinking and the treatment of his wife got worse until he ordered her off the ranch, never to return.
Young Leonard was already incensed at the way he treated her. The next day he rode into town where she was staying with the doctor and his wife.
O’Doul had his own problems. Known only to him and the Doctor, the old man was dying of cancer, with only a few months, tops, to live. Laudanum was the only thing that kept him going.
Word came that Leonard and Annie had been having dinner together and taking walks. Nothing improper, except to the interminable gossips in town.
Trouble was coming as Reichert’s drinking got even worse. When he found out what was going on in town, however innocent it really was, O’Doul knew what would come next.
The song in the first vidoe appeared, and was written by, Jake Holmes on his album THE ABOVE GROUND SOUND OF JAKE HOLMES in 1967. Interestingly, Holmes is best known for two jingles he wrote: the army’s Be All You Can Be and, here’s one for Bill, Be A Pepper for Dr Pepper.
The second video is a YARDBIRDS tune with Jimmy Page on guitar from 1968. The first album, Cumular Limit(2000), it appeared on credited Holmes with writing the song, arr. Yardbirds. A later release, Live Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page, left it, under the title I’m Dazed, the only song with no songwriting credits.
The third version appeared on Zeppelin’s first album in 1969. Songwriting credits made no mention of Jake Holmes. Holmes sent Page a letter about the songwriting credits and received no reply. He finally sued for copyright infringement in 2010.
GRAND CENTRAL MURDER is a 1942 film based on a 1939 novel by Sue MacVeigh. Van Heflin is private eye “Rocky” Custer, with Virginia Grey as his wife, and Patricia Dane is Mida King, the dead body.
Mida King(a stage name for King Midas, who had the golden touch) is an actress who’s a grasping, greedy, evil woman who specializes in taking men for all she can get, loving cash, furs, perfume, and expensive jewelry, which she sells immediately. Distrusting banks, she converts her money to thousand dollar bills and keeps it with her. She’s landed a big fish, millionaire David Henderson, and plans to marry him after the night’s running of her play, then heading west in a private rail car.
The framework of the film is that old stand-by of gathering all the suspects together, then the rest of the film is each telling their story about the events preceding the murder. The body is found in that private car. The bundle of thousands is missing.
And there’s a host of suspects. Her ex-husband(no one knows why she married him; he doesn’t have a dime) who works for the railroad where the car was parked. The stepfather, a “psychic,” who was always hitting her up for money(an ace of spades playing card, he carried a fistful of them, was slipped under her dressing room door). Her housekeeper, a woman who gave her her start when she was just another struggling young actress and now only gets room and board, no salary, for administering to her every need. The housekeeper’s daughter, Mida’s understudy. The producer, a hood type, another one of her “victims.” The new fiance, who overhears a conversation about a rich divorce in six months. Her fiance’s ex-fiancee, a rich girl who’d been engaged to him for years, only to be told that very night that he was marrying Mida. The ex-fiancee’s father, chairman of the board of the railroad, who had tried to buy Mida off with what she called coffee money. Turk(Stephen McNally in his first film role billed under his real name, Horace McNally), Rocky’s client, yet another male victim, and a man who’d been framed for a murder. He’d escaped from the detectives bringing him in and phoned in a death threat to Mida, causing her to run out on the play after the first act, fleeing to her private car.
Rocky himself is even considered a suspect, having been spotted lurking around the theater and the car by the other suspects.
Sam Levene plays Inspector Gunther, the police detective investigating the murder. Rocky and he seem to have the usual adversarial/friendly relationship these sort of tales require.
Not a great film, but enjoyable. A comedy/drama combination, the two investigators bounce off of each other until Rocky finally solves the murder. All’s well that ends well.