Tag Archives: 1960s

Deux fois / Twice Upon a Time (1968) Jackie Raynal, Francisco Viader, Oscar, Drama, Experimental

Deux fois (Jackie Raynal, 1968)
Deux fois is a 1968 experimental film by Jackie Raynal. Raynal stars in the film, her first as a director; she had previously worked for several years as a film editor, most notably for films in Éric Rohmer’s “Six Moral Tales” series (she was, reportedly, the youngest professional editor in France at the time). The film’s title, which literally translates as Twice and is sometimes translated into English as Twice Upon a Time, refers to the occasional repetition of scenes or actions.

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Gamperaliya / Changes in the Village (1963) Lester James Peries, Punya Hiendeniya, Henry Jayasena, Wickrema Bogoda, Drama

Gamperaliya (Lester James Peries, 1963)
Piyal (Henry Jayasena) is a handsome young teacher who is hired to teach English to Nanda (Punya Heendeniya), a member of a high class family. They fall in love, but can’t elope because Piyal is of a lower class. Nanda’s parents instead push her into a marriage with Jinadasa (Gamini Fonseka), who is of the same class as them. With economic downturn in Sri Lanka, both families lose their status and Jinadasa leaves to try to make a better life for himself; he never achieves his goal and dies penniless. Piyal and Nanda can now finally come together. They have changed however, and the earlier idylic nature of their relationship is not recaptured.

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The Fat Black Pussycat (1963) Harold Lea, Frank Jamus, Janet Damon, Patricia McNair, Crime, Horror, Drama

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Originally produced as a tongue-in-cheek crime drama, The Fat Black Pussycat was reedited to play adults-only houses after falling into the hands of film producer/distributor M.A. Ripps (Poor White Trash, Macumba Love). Extensive surgery successfully amplified the picture’s exploitability, but the final version bears obvious scars. The extra scenes include plenty of female nudity and some surprisingly strong violence for the time, adding several new characters and even altering the film’s ending. Overall, these surreal deviations from the original plot probably improved The Fat Black Pussycat, as what remains from the first cut is amusing but hardly compelling. What director/screenwriter Harold Lea had in mind was a routine thriller with a wisecracking detective hero who gets the girl (after getting her drunk). His beatnik adversaries immediately date the film with its very square impression of pre-Beatles youth culture, complete with pretentious, drunken poets, dingy coffeehouses, and anthropologists comparing the beats to primitive pygmy tribes. But Ripps’ tampering turns The Fat Black Pussycat into a much weirder animal, one that breaks at the drop of a hat for stark, gruesome murders of naked girls and bearded boys. A strange subplot involving a cat that communicates psychically with schizophrenics is introduced and explained in pseudo-scientific language so jumbled that it almost makes sense, and the new Ripps-approved ending involves not one but two killers, each compelled to murder thanks to unresolved homosexual tendencies. The hyper-lit violence and seemingly improvised dialogue of the padding lacks the relative professionalism of the rest of Pussycat, but this confusion only enhances the film’s bizarre flavor. Well-known character actors Hector Elizondo, Geoffrey Lewis, and Leonard Frey all make early appearances in Lea’s original footage, and professional hippie Wavy Gravy (then still known simply as Hugh Romney) has a brief walk-on during a raucous beatnik party. Russ Meyer fans will recognize a slice of frantic jazz scoring a few action scenes that was also used for Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, presumably purchased from the same stock music library.

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Les Félins / Joy House (1964) René Clément, Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Lola Albright, Crime, Drama, Thriller

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French filmmaker Rene Clement presents Alan Delon as a petty criminal on the run from the underground. On the Rivera, he seeks refuge in a flophouse whose soup line is served by Jane Fonda and Lola Albright. The two women move him to a Gothic mansion owned by Albright, a millionaires with a Salvation Army complex. Fonda, her cousin, is hot for him and repeatedly attempts to seduce him while someone is attempting to poison him; and his murderous former associates have got wind of his whereabouts.

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Charles, Dead or Alive / Charles mort ou vif (1969) Alain Tanner, François Simon, Marcel Robert, Marie-Claire Dufour, Drama

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On the 100th anniversary of the founding of a watchmaking company in Geneva, Charles Dé the founder’s 50-year-old grandson has had it: he speaks eccentrically to a reporter, recognizing his grandfather as a craftsman and his son as a businessman, but is evasive about himself. He gives his family the slip and moves in with a young couple he meets by chance, doing the cooking, reading, drinking, and engaging in philosophical discussions with them. The young couple comes to love Charles. In secret, he stays in touch with a daughter, and the rest of the family hires a private investigator to find him, setting in motion a business take-over that threatens his Bohemian happiness.

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Twisted Nerve (1968) Roy Boulting, Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Billie Whitelaw, Drama, Thriller

Twisted Nerve (Roy Boulting, 1968)
Martin is a troubled young man. With a mother who insists on treating him like a child, a stepfather who can’t wait to see the back of him, and a brother with Down’s Syndrome shut away in an institution, is it any wonder he retreats into an alternate personality – that of six-year-old Georgie? It is Georgie who befriends Susan Harper, but friendship soon turns into obsession. When Susan begins to distance herself, something inside Georgie snaps and he embarks on a killing spree, with Susan as the next target.

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Bedtime Story (1964) Ralph Levy, Marlon Brando, David Niven, Shirley Jones, Comedy

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Benson, is a Casanova who despises women and invents all sorts of tricks to bed them and leave them. His favorite one is going through Germany posing as an American GI of Teunonic extraction. Whenever he spots a girl he likes, he takes a Polarod picture of her house, knocks on the door waving the photo and pretending to be on a pilgrimage to this very cottage his grandmother so vividly described. It is an infallible system for a hit-and-run seduction. Benson seems content with his game until he meets Jamison, a real operator who has learned to combine sex with money. Jamison poses as an exiled prince and not only gets women to share his bed but also to bestow their jewels on him for the sake of the counterrevolution. Benson decides to corner Jamison’s market on sex plus finance. A contest develops, and whoever wins will dominate a small Riviera resort as “King of the Mountain,” the film’s original title. Remade in 1988 as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”

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