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2016 Centennials


I'm happy that most of my writing now ties to projects, but I still wanted the opportunity to review a whole bunch of odd films that tie to an overt theme. I thought a lot about how I could accomplish that and remembered how much I'd enjoyed my Charlie Chaplin Centennial project in 2014.

So how about the idea of celebrating the centennials of other key players in the movie industry, not just actors but directors, producers and writers, along with anyone else who might have made a substantial impact and deserves to be remembered?

I thought about other criteria I should hold the project to. Beyond remembering people who were notable within the industry, I decided to do so by reviewing a film in their career that was interesting, at least mildly obscure and which (with rare exceptions) I hadn't already reviewed at Apocalypse Later Reviews. I also wanted the titles to be suitably diverse by era and genre.

I did my homework and found 35 such people, two of whom I was surprised to find were still alive: Olivia de Havilland and Kirk Douglas. So there was my list for the year and I planned to post each review on what would have been (or actually would be) the 100th birthday of the person I was remembering. If I kept up to that schedule, I'd have a book at the end of the year and be ready to move onto 1917.

I enjoyed the project immediately and only gradually realised that I'd picked a set of films that also served to illustrate a variety of little chapters of film history like lavender marriages, the Communist witch-hunts and the birth of 3D, not to mention the treatment of actors of colour during the golden era. As the year progressed, the book felt more substantial as a whole than I had initially expected it would and this certainly played into my choices for the 1917 sequel.

To read the reviews here, just click on the posters below or the titles below them. These reviews also interlink if you want to read through them in order.



The Inheritance (1962) for director Masaki Kobayashi
The Brute Man (1946) for actress Jan Wiley
Skidoo (1968) for actor Jackie Gleason
Death Car on the Freeway (1979) for actress Dinah Shore
Bwana Devil (1962) for producer Sidney W Pink
Dance of the Vampires (1967) for actor Ferdy Mayne
Angel Baby (1961) for actress Mercedes McCambridge
Terror in a Texas Town (1958) for actor Sterling Hayden
Behold a Pale Horse (1964) for actor Gregory Peck
Babies for Sale (1940) for actor Glenn Ford
Postal Inspector (1936) for actress Patricia Ellis
The Ghost Breakers (1940) for actor Willie Best
The Lost World (1960) for producer Irwin Allen
The Spiral Staircase (1945) for actress Dorothy McGuire
Deathtrap (1982) for actor Irene Worth
Lady in a Cage (1964) for actress Olivia de Havilland
The Night of the Grizzly (1966) for actor Keenan Wynn
23 Paces to Baker Street (1956) for actor Van Johnson
Hellzapoppin' (1941) for actress Martha Raye
The Iroquois Trail (1950) for actor George Montgomery
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965) for producer James H. Nicholson
Dr. Syn (1937) for actress Margaret Lockwood
Psychout for Murder (1969) for actor Rossano Brazzi
The Shiralee (1957) for actor Peter Finch
The Tattered Dress (1957) for director Jack Arnold
The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) for actor Anthony Dawson
Carry On... Up the Khyber (1968) for writer Talbot Rothwell
The Dark Eyes of London (1940) for actress Greta Gynt
Johnny O'Clock (1947) for actress Evelyn Keyes
Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) for actor Michael Gough
Curse of the Queerwolf (1988) for icon Forrest J. Ackerman
10 Rillington Place (1971) for director Richard Fleischer
The Villain (1979) for actor Kirk Douglas
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949) for actress Betty Grable
Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971) for director Roy Ward Baker

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Last update: 15th March, 2018