Archive for December 6, 2008

Stuff and things

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by dcairns

The new banner is a woodcut by Guy Budziak, regular Shadowplayer and very possibly the leading proponent of the film noir woodcut.  Buy one for the noirist in your life.


Linda Darnell and Charles Bickford face off in Otto Preminger’s FALLEN ANGEL.

And in other news, another regular Shadowplayer has started his own blog. Alex Livingstone’s Snakes Are My Life, In A Way brings you funny film stuff to supplement your Shadowplaying. Everyone go there! Go now and surprise him! Go even if you only came here in hopes of finding something about Zarah Leander or William Gargan!

Niece of Chandu

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on December 6, 2008 by dcairns


Possibly the most luxurious sight that’s ever met my eyes. The bedclothes, the girl (in reality, actress and gangster’s moll June Lang), the lighting. Too bad she’s about to be kidnapped by the henchmen of the evil Roxor (Bela Lugosi), resulting in a slave-market sex fantasy come to celluloid life:


CHANDU THE MAGICIAN is enjoyable nonsense. There’s irritating comedy relief, every scene begins with a beautiful miniature landscape, often filmed with a slinky crane-in movement, the situations are preposterous, and the death ray plot was revived by Blake Edwards forty years later for THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN.


Plus: absurd dialogue.

Roxor has poor old Chandu crammed into a sarcophagus. The spectre of burial alive looms. Roxor’s sidekick Abdullah objects.

“It would be better to kill him now.”


“Yogis have been buried for days.”

“Not underwater!”

At this point I imagine the henchmen in diving suits digging a hole in the bed of the Nile. Lowering the sarcophagus into the pit, they turn to the earth-mound to fill in the hole, but find that every last shovel-load has drifted off. What to do?