August 16, 1988: The Presidio opens in UK cinemas

1988-The_PresidioThe Presidio is an American crime drama film starring Sean Connery and Mark Harmon.


When a landmark of historic tradition becomes the scene of a shocking murder, a military commander and a street-tough cop are forced into action…

against the killer, the mysterious past, and each other.

Jay Austin is now a civilian police detective. Colonel Caldwell was his commanding officer years before when he left the military police over a disagreement over the handling of a drunk driver. Now a series of murders that cross jurisdictions force them to work together again. That Austin is now dating Caldwell’s daughter is not helping the relationship at all. []


Sean Connery (1930-), “Lt. Col. Alan Caldwell”

Mark Harmon (1951-), “SFPD inspector Jay Austin”

Meg Ryan (1961-), “Donna Caldwell”

Jack Warden (1909-2006), “Max Corkle”

August 5: Eddie Murphy was Coming To America, in UK cinemas 30 years ago today

Coming to America (1988)

Coming to America is an American romantic comedy film directed by John Landis and based on a story originally created by Eddie Murphy, who also starred in the lead role. The film also co-stars Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, and John Amos. Murphy plays Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the fictional African nation of Zamunda, who comes to the United States in the hopes of finding a woman he can marry.

This summer, Prince Akeem discovers America.

July 7 in Cinema

60 years ago today, Hammer Films release The Snorkel into UK cinemas

The Snorkel (1958)

The Snorkel (1958) is a British thriller film from Hammer Films. It was directed by Guy Green and stars Peter van Eyck, Betta St. John and Mandy Miller (“Nellie the Elephant”). It was the first starring role for Miller.

Teen-age girl…vs. Killer-with-a-Gimmick!

Paul Decker (van Eyck) murders his wife in her Italian villa by drugging her milk and asphyxiating her by gas. He cleverly locks the bedroom from the inside and hides inside a trapdoor in the floor until after the body is discovered. He uses a scuba snorkel connected to tubes on the outside to breathe during the ordeal. Decker’s stepdaughter Candy (Miller) suspects him immediately, especially since no suicide note was found. The ruthless Decker even poisons the family spaniel when the pet takes too great an interest in the mask and realises he will ultimately have to get rid of Candy too. []

Watch The Snorkel (1958) on Talking Pictures TV on July 7 at 8pm or July 18 at 10pm.

July 5 in Cinema

40 years ago today, Walt Disney releases Hot Lead and Cold Feet into US cinemas

Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978)

Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978) is an American comedy-western film produced by Walt Disney Productions and starring Jim Dale, Karen Valentine, Don Knotts, Jack Elam and Darren McGavin.

It was released on a double bill with The Madcap Adventures of Mr. Toad, a retitled-reissue of the 1949 Disney animated featurette The Wind in the Willows (from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad).

This saga of the old west involves twin brothers who compete for possession of a rickety cow town founded by their father while a crooked Mayor tries to put an end to the competitors so he can inherit the town himself.

July 3 in Cinema

60 years ago today in UK cinemas, the Titanic goes down in A Night To Remember

A Night To Remember (1958)

A Night to Remember is a British drama film adaptation of Walter Lord’s 1955 book, which recounts the final night of the RMS Titanic. Directed by Roy Ward Baker, the film stars Kenneth More and features Michael Goodliffe, Laurence Naismith, Kenneth Griffith, and David McCallum. The film focuses on the story of the sinking, portraying the major incidents and players in a documentary-style fashion with considerable attention to detail. Its budget of £600,000 (£11,868,805 today) was exceptionally large for a British film and made it the most expensive film ever made in Britain up to that time.

The film received critical acclaim upon release, and is still widely regarded as “the definitive cinematic telling of the story.”.

Among the many films about the Titanic, A Night to Remember has long been regarded as the high point by Titanic historians and survivors alike for its accuracy, despite its modest production values when compared with the Oscar-winning 1997 film Titanic (1997).

July 1 in Cinema

60 years ago today, Trevor Howard gives William Holden The Key

The Key (1958) from Columbia Pictures

The Key is a British-American war film set in 1941 during the Battle of the Atlantic.

In wartime England, poorly-armed tugs are sent into “U-Boat Alley” to rescue damaged Allied ships. An American named David Ross (William Holden) arrives to captain one of these tugs. He’s given a key by a fellow tugboat-man (Trevor Howard) – a key to an apartment and its pretty female resident, Stella (Sophia Loren). Should something happen to the friend, Ross can use the key…

Trevor Howard won the BAFTA Best British Actor Award in 1958 for his performance.


30 years ago today, Sidney Poitier went in Deadly Pursuit of Clancy Brown

Shoot To Kill (US, aka Deadly Pursuit) from Touchstone Pictures

Shoot to Kill (aka Deadly Pursuit) is an American adventure crime thriller film in which man’s wife is being held hostage at their home by brutal extortionist, Steve, who demands the diamonds in exchange for the woman’s life. After Steve kills the family maid, FBI agent Warren Stantin hands over the diamonds, but Steve kills the jeweller’s wife anyway, and escapes. Stantin becomes obsessed and chases Steve into the forests of Washington state, where Steve plans to force forest guide, Sarah, to lead him to the Canada–United States border.

Stantin must team up with Sarah’s boyfriend Jonathan to pursue Steve, leading eventually to the streets of Vancouver.