Last month we kicked off a new round of Proto-#Bond_age_ screenings with Greta Garbo in Mata Hari (1931). While sampling some pre-code double agent Garbo action proved to be a treat for everyone, the melodrama lacked certain espionalogical thrills. (You heard me. I said Espionalogical.)
Now that we’ve gone waaaay back into the history of talkies to mine one of the earliest examples of spy cinema, let us jump forward four years to 1935 where we’ll pick up with Alfred Hitchcock and his first of many forays into the world of spy shenanigans. Featuring dashing leading man and bristling with wry humor, The 39 Steps is a far more proficient thriller and one of the early masterworks of Alfred Hitchcock and an essential viewing for, well, just about everyone.
Join #Bond_age_ on Wednesday, March 7th for the live tweet of Alfred Hitchcock’s sublime spy thriller The 39 Steps starring Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll and Robert Donat’s ‘stache.
On March 2nd, Craigers turns 50! To celebrate, #Bond_age_ is cracking open a big bottle of Cowboys and a pint of Aliens. That’s right. It’s the #Bond_age_ live tweet for which you’ve all been waiting. It’s Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde in Cowboys & Aliens!
For those of you that haven’t seen Cowboys & Aliens, there’s truth in advertising. While the title may seem like a dead giveaway of certain stupidity (and that might be true) — Cowboys & Aliens offers fun, pretension-free slice of action absurdity. It never stood a chance with audiences or critics (and you’ll see why), but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed far worse movies.
Don your best party hats and join #Bond_age_ for the Cowboys & Aliens Live Tweet on Wednesday, February 28th @ 9pm ET. Follow #Bond_age_ hashtag. Also consider some liberal usage of #CowboysandAliens and/or #HappyBirthdayCraigers.
Some time ago, #Bond_age_ live tweeted a few movies that were released before Dr. No. We called them Proto-#Bond_age_ and classed this place up a little bit with some #TCMParty vibes. We did North by Northwest, Arsene Lupin, Sherlock Holmes and a couple episodes of The Falcon.
To broaden the scope of #Bond_age_ and scratch off some more movies I’ve always intended to see, I figured it was time to toss on a few classics and see where “going legit” takes us. Unlike some of the other ongoing series I don’t really have an agenda or master plan. We’ll wind our way through classic spy and espionage cinema until we end up back at 1962.
I wanted to start with Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece Spies, but that’s a damn long silent movie for a live tweet, especially when I’m trying to spur some interest in a new #Bond_age_ series. Greta Garbo seemed like a better first option. Therefore…
Please join #Bond_age_ for Mata Hari (1931) on Wednesday, February 7th @ 9pm ET. Follow #Bond_age_ hashtag.
We kick off this year’s Year of the Spy retrospective with Richard Donner’s swinging Salt & Pepper starring Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peter Lawford. This big studio caper concerns two nightclub owners that become unwitting (witless?) participants in matter of British national security when a spy turns up dead in their club and MI5 hires them to help foil the plan.
Salt & Pepper is first a comedy — if you couldn’t tell — but Salt & Pepper goes off the mainstream rails when it incorporates a couple of relatively unsettling scenes of violence. For a comedy. I’ll defer to this quote from Roger Ebert’s review from October of 1968 to summarize the audience at which Salt & Pepper is aimed. It says all you need to know about the film in one sentence of criticism. It is both a ringing endorsement for our purposes and certain damnation for an average moviegoing audience.
“About the first thing we learn in the movie is that Sammy Davis Jr., plays Salt and Peter Lawford plays Pepper. But Davis is black and Lawford is white — get it? If you found it funny, this is your movie.”
#Bond_age_ kicks off YEAR OF THE SPY 1968 with Richard Donner’s Salt & Pepper on Wednesday, January 31st at 9pm ET. Follow #Bond_age_ hashtag.
For our first Ladies Night broadcast of 2018, we’re starting back up with the other lovely lady from The Man with the Golden Gun. And truth be told I’ve been looking for an excuse to screen this movie for #Bond_age_ for a long time now.
Killer Force (aka The Diamond Mercenaries) offers a certain brand of Ocean’s Eleven heist elements mixed with lazy ensemble action movie cliches and a general distaste for filmmaking logic. The bottom line is that Killer Force features Peter Fonda, Christopher Lee, Telly Savalas, O.J. Simpson, and, of course Maud Adams. It’s intermittently plodding (perfect for live tweet reflection), mostly stupid and occasionally divinely over the top. It’s the live tweet you never knew you needed.
Join #Bond_age_ for Ladies Night: Maud Adams — the Killer Force Live Tweet on Wednesday, January 24th @ 9pm ET. Follow #Bond_age_ hashtag.
Many Cruisemoons have passed since our last Tom Cruising Live Tweet event. For those keeping track of such things, that was Days of Thunder way back in August.
The hell you say!
Hell yes, I say.
Tom Cruise is back on #Bond_age_ with the movie he made right before Risky Business and right after The Outsiders, which in retrospect may have been a better movie to view because it also has Patrick Swayze and Ralph Macchio! NEVERTHELESS WE ARE HERE TO TALK TOM CRUISE NOT THE SWAYZE. Though a future series of #Swayz_age_ is not out of the question.
Losin’ It (1983) is a not entirely uninspired teen sex comedy set in 1965 starring Tom Cruise, Jackie Earle Haley and Shelley Long. A bunch of horny, awkward high school boys head off to Tijuana for a wild night and in the process take on the company of a heartbroken and eccentric housewife. It’s all very dumb and more than worth a riff or two. Most notable is that this is director Curtis Hanson’s first mainstream film after toiling in cheap genre films throughout the 1970’s. For those that don’t recognize the name offhand, Hanson went on to direct L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys and 8 Mile, among other notables.
Anti-Cruisers will enjoy how little respect the characters in this movie have for the Cruise.
Join #Bond_age_ on Wednesday January 17th @ 9pm ET for another edition of TOM CRUISING featuring Losin’ It!