Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

I also cover vintage television at my sister site, CLASSICS ON THE TUBE , so please feel free to check that out as well.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Maltese Bippy (1969)

Starring Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Carol Lynley, Julie Newmar, Mildred Natwick
Directed by Norman Panama
(actor & director credits courtesy

An actor making low budget adult films with his business partner fears his penchant for howling means he may be changing into a werewolf.

We have here a comedy vehicle for TV's Laugh-In stars Rowan and Martin, but fans of the series may well be disappointed, as none of the other actors from the series make appearances, and the film itself is nothing special.  Although there's a few witty lines, there's not enough to provoke genuine laughs, the odd horror-mystery plot seems out of place, and although the film boasts a fine supporting cast, they're not given enough to do.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Carry On Screaming! (1966)

Starring Harry H. Corbett, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Fenella Fielding
Directed by Gerald Thomas
(actor & director credits courtesy

A police detective tries to solve a series of disappearances of young women, and follows the clues to a mad scientist who's been using a werewolf lackey to abduct the women.

Part of the long-running British "Carry On" series of movies, featuring a recurring cast of character actors in a comedic spin on a popular movie setting each picture, this entry targets horror films, and although not the funniest outing in the series, it's still charming, with a few jokes that stick.  Williams is particularly good as aptly-named scientist Dr. Watt, who uses electricity to recharge his dead body, but is still concerned with maintaining proper decorum.  Although the story is completely silly, Williams and the rest of the quality cast treat it as seriously as possible, making for good fun.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Case Of The Lucky Legs (1935)

Starring Warren William, Genevieve Tobin, Patricia Ellis, Lyle Talbot, Allen Jenkins
Directed by Archie L. Mayo
(actor & director credits courtesy

Famed attorney Perry Mason is hired to track down the winner of a contest for the prettiest legs, who's disappeared after being cheated out of her prize money.

In this adaptation of Erle Stanley Gardner's novel, we find the story re-worked into a witty comedy vehicle for William as Mason, although Tobin as Mason's secretary Della Street has most of the best lines.  Mayo keeps things moving at a breakneck speed, not giving us time to try to figure out the mystery on our own, but it doesn't matter- this is fine entertainment with good character actors in the cast and lots of chuckles along the way.