Retro Daddy

The Past Isn't Over - It Isn't Even Past
Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 6:26PM

The Ending Roman Polanski's Chinatown Was Supposed to Have

chinatown poster


In 1975, film critic Pauline Kael wrote that the 1974 film noir Chinatown, written by Robert Towne and directed by Roman Polanski, was originally supposed to have a different ending.


In the script by Robert Towne (who also wrote the screenplays for The Last DetailRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 2, 2009 1:06AM

Karl Malden, 1912-2009

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Karl Malden and Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire


Karl Malden was the kind of actor whose whose voice would make me stop flipping the channels and watch whatever he was on. Especially if it was a movie from the fifties and sixties, before he made… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 9, 2009 11:01PM

Hitchcock's Saboteur

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Saboteur, starring Bob Cummings and Priscilla Lane, is Alfred Hitchcock's film about twenty-first century terrorism, even though it came out in 1942.


The evil terrorist mastermind is Charles Tobin, played by Otto Kruger, an actor you sort of remember from other roles in forti… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 29, 2009 6:47PM

Betty or Veronica? Archie Finally Decides

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The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Archie Andrews is getting married!

The self-absorbed red-headed teenager, until now unable to decide between smart blond Betty Cooper and intellectually lazy brunette Veronica Lodge, will propose to . . .

. . . VERONICA!!!… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 27, 2009 9:39PM

Christopher Lee and Scream of Fear

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Christopher Lee, Actor


Today is the eighty-seventh birthday of Christopher Lee. If you understand why this is worthy of commemoration, I don't have to go into a lot of biographical detail about Lee's life, or tell you how he and Peter Cushing (along with hundreds of other… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 18, 2009 8:07PM

What's Your Favorite Nun Movie?

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Do you have to have gone to Catholic school to appreciate nun movies?


First, let's get this one out of the way. I'm sure it's the first one you thought of. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that it's everywhere—on TV, on… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 2, 2009 7:07PM

60s German Cult TV: Space Patrol Orion

Thanks to Annalee Newitz and the science fiction website io9 for this crazy futuristic dance sensation.


Concentrate on the dancers between the two people talking at the table in the undersea restaurant. I dare you.


This famous German sci-fi series, Raumpatrouille

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 17, 2009 10:34PM

The Godfather: "I love America."

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Tomorrow my favorite movie will be a different film, but tonight it's The Godfather, for the following dialogue:



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I love America.”Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 31, 2009 7:19PM

The Story that Wouldn't Die: The Man from Earth

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“You don't waste time, do you?” John Oldman's friends ask him as he's loading his pickup truck, getting ready to leave his friends and his job teaching history.


The film The Man from Earth (written by Jerome Bixby) will seem familiar to connoisseurs of Rod/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 5, 2009 2:15PM

3-D Movies: Tired Gimmick or Wave of the Future?

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3-D in the 1960s: The education of a young film critic


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 3-D in the 2000s: Harry Potter's friend Luna Lovegood


3-D movies are getting a lot of attention lately, but they go back at least fifty years to the Warner Bros. horror film… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 25, 2008 7:59PM

Robert Mulligan and Natalie Wood: Inside Daisy Clover

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Inside Daisy Clover (1965): Directed by Robert Mulligan, Starring Natalie Wood



When I read that movie director Robert Mulligan had died, I checked the Internet Movie Database to see how many of his films I had seen. (I remembered that Mulligan directed To Kill a Mockingbird, an… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 20, 2008 11:44PM

Memo to Barack: Watch Old Movies

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The Compromiser or the Idealist: Claude Rains and Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


The story goes that someone came to movie producer Jack Warner with the idea for a movie where Ronald Reagan plays the president of the United States. “No, no,”… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 18, 2008 1:01AM

Retro Daddy's Movie Scene Quiz

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Who am I and what movie was I in?

The first Open Saloner to identify me will receive a guaranteed timeslip to travel back to my film's premier and live out his or her life in a time when giant ant nests mutated in the desert, and radiation from nuclear testsRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 10, 2008 1:02AM

Streets of Fire - Rock 'n' Roll Remake of The Searchers

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Imagine John Ford's The Searchers set in a neon collision of the 1950s with the 1980s, set to rockabilly music. That is Walter Hill's “rock and roll fable” from 1984, Streets of Fire.


As The Blasters sing, “If he wants your baby, you can kiss your baby goodbye.&Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 2, 2008 7:38PM

Candidate of Change - Looking at Robert Altman's Nashville

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Hal Phillip Walker: Maverick or Change We Can Believe In?

When Democrat Jimmy Carter began getting attention in the the 1976 presidential primaries, he was called “The Nashville Candidate.” Not because he was from Tennessee (he had been governor of Georgia), but because he r… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 1:31PM

Hawks vs. Carpenter - The Thing from Two Different Worlds

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John Carpenter's The Thing (1981) is rare - - a remake as good as the original. Unfortunately for Carpenter, his version of Howard Hawks's The Thing from Another World came out at the same time as Steven Spielberg's E.T., and people wanted cute, not horrifying.


Carpenter's image… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 21, 2008 7:28PM

Paranoid TV - The Invaders, IN COLOR!

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The invaders. Alien beings from a dying planet.

Their destination: the Earth.

Their purpose: to make it their world.




Unlike a lot of TV shows from the 1960s now out on DVD, the first season of The Invaders is as good as I remember it being. The… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 24, 2008 8:11PM

Hollywood's Camelot: Gore Vidal's The Best Man

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Henry Fonda as candidate: The Best Man

The movie based on Gore Vidal's play The Best Man (1964) is an old-fashioned film about an old-fashioned event - - the U. S. political party convention that decided who the party's nominee would be.

The party reforms after… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 18, 2008 10:39PM

Why I Like Woody Allen Movies

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Woody Allen comes across his doppelganger in Oviedo, Spain

The consensus of movie critics and fans is that Woody Allen's movies in the last few years haven't been as good as his earlier work. I can agree with that. The last Woody Allen film I saw was Scoop,Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 13, 2008 11:39PM

What's Your Favorite Non-Blockbuster Time Travel Movie?

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The Sticky Fingers of Time: Time travel is like eating pie.

 What's your favorite non-blockbuster time travel movie?


I don't mean big hits like Terminator, Back to the Future, or Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I waRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 8, 2008 7:17PM

Dustin Hoffman, Character Actor

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Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs 

Dustin Hoffman is older than I am but I feel like I've grown up with him.


He started out as The Young Man in The Graduate (1967), as The Young Punk in Midnight Cowboy (1969), and as The Young Failure in Straw DogsRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 26, 2008 10:37PM

Fritz Lang: Expressionist Genius or Hollywood Hack?

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Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin in The Big Heat. 

 Fritz Lang has been in the news lately. As The Guardian reports, a complete print of Lang's 1927 silent film Metropolis has been found in Argentina.


Metropolis may be the first dystopian masterpiece. It certain… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 17, 2008 5:11PM

The Scariest Movie Scene Ever


A few weeks ago Thomas Rogers complained he hadn't been truly scared by a movie in a long time. He asked for people to blog about what the scariest movie they'd seen in the last few years was, and recollections of some interesting films resulted.


A couple of days… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 6, 2008 7:28PM

The Day the Earth Stood Still


The movie website Twitchfilm has the trailer for the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Scott Derrickson.


In a way, the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still may not be the first Robert Wise movie that Derrickson has remade. Derrickson/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 27, 2008 1:18PM

Torture Porn: End of Civilization or Recycled Movie Trend

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To someone who's seen the Saw or Hostel movies, the image of Christopher Lee from almost fifty years ago, fangs dripping blood as Hammer Films' Dracula, might seem more humorous than terrifying.


But, as David Pirie tells in his new history of English GothicRead full post »