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September 19, 2014

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Wild at Heart & Used Cars (Blu-ray, Twilight Time)

Jeff reviews two blu-ray releases from Twilight Time.

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September 17, 2014

Movie Review: Tinto Brass: Maestro of Erotic Cinema (5-Disc Set, Blu-ray / DVD)



As an avid admirer of the wonders of the female form I've always thought that in many ways Russ Meyer is to curvaceous mammaries what Tinto Brass is to luscious derrieres. If you've seen a Tinto Brass film, you'll notice the man truly loves a lady's bottom and how it is presented artistically on film. Framing a pair of butt-cheeks is paramount in the presentation of Tinto's many beautiful subjects he puts in one of his films. Tinto has an amazing eye for the suppleness of a round derrière as well as those other womanly features such as large breasts, much like Russ' ability and has a knack for catching that appropriate jiggle. "Real" woman are highlighted so don't expect scrawny girls, mosquito bite breasts or shaved privates - get ready for some real curvaceous subjects on the opposite side of his camera lens. 

There is a new set entitled Tinto Brass: Maestro of Erotic Cinema from Cult Epics that highlights some of Tinto's finer more recent films - Monamour, the Blu-ray premiere of Black Angel, and also two other decedent slices of Italian naughtiness Private and Cheeky. Could this be an essential addition to the collections of European erotica enthusiasts? Let's have a look!

Movie Review: "Lake Placid" (1999; 20th Century Fox/Shout Factory)

...killer crocodiles, this...monster alligators, that...over the years, we've had rogue crocs, super-crocs, gatoroids, dino-crocs, mega-gators, and 'what-a-croc' everything in-between (...if I may be so applicably sarcastic). Heck, if it wasn't for all these king-sized blood-thirsty, CGI-rendered mutated 'monster gator' and 'killer croc' movies...why, the SyFy Channel NYSE stock would most assuredly plummet, and the audience for said genre cable channel staple, would probably shrink down to the size of...say, that of The Singing & Dancing Ampersand Channel (...nothing like comparative sarcasm, right??). And yet, amongst these almost countless, generic and often forgettable cinematic reptilian terrors, there's the standout misfits...the often bantered-about cult film oddities, with vividly striking visuals and lively, albeit eclectic characters...revered highly amidst the genre-embracing crowd. For instance, y'all remember the classic 1980 subterranean gut-muncher, "Alligator", right?? The clueless, burnt out, inner-city police officer, investigating some mysterious disappearances and deaths?? The unscrupulous, money grubbing, middle-aged industrialist, who represented, then sheltered illegal and careless discarded chemical experiments, which turns out to have adverse effects on...uh, oh?? The arrogant, ballyhooed and pompous big game hunter, who's come to the big city, in search of the ultimate game?? The invariable clash of characters, between the three?? And of course, the film's titular 'protagonist', itself...oh yes, who can't forget the classic visual of that monstrous 35-plus foot gargantuan reptile, breaking through the concrete streets, from it's underground sewer lair...an ear-shattering roar, emitting from it's gaping, razor tooth-lined maw...

...really!! Can another film of this ilk, come along and possibly top that level of camp...or at least equal it??

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Willow Creek

Kevin talks about the found footage Bigfoot movie from Bobcat Goldthwait.

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September 14, 2014

Movie Review: Tarzan (2013; Constantin Film/Lionsgate)

...yep, these days, the legendary Lord of the Apes...well, he ain't gettin' no love, film-wise. No siree, bob...in this day and age of super-powered, gadget-toting iron men, bat men and spider men, and/or other-worldly super men, ol' muscle-bound, grunting, vine-swinging Tarzan, for the most part, seems to be getting the ol' shaft-o-roonie. Eh, understandable, one might suppose, considering today's superhero-worshipping audience might well take one look at a celluloid-rendered version of Edgar Rice Burrough's classic literary character, shrug their shoulders, and think, '...eh, no powers?? Just muscle, animal 'magnetism' and the typical sense of right, wrong & justice...besides all that, who and what the heck is he, and what can he actually do, compared to...say, the likes of Wolverine, or The Hulk??" In fact, getting less respect, these days, than even the often heckled Aquaman...and heck, we don't even need to go there, right??...

...and to think, at one time, Tarzan was much more respectfully revered, as a savage 'hero amongst heroes'...at least, cinematically (...all due credit to athletically-vigorous Johnny Weismuller, or even via early TV broadcast (...oh, that muscle-bound Ron Ely). So what gives, as far as contemporary depiction of the once-iconic character, who pretty much hasn't seen proper representation, since...uh, can you say 'Christopher Highlander Lambert', in the heavily dramatic 1984 compeller, "Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes"?? Who knows?? But in the advent of Disney, having let their rights to the character expire, and recently, those rights having been deftly picked up by a German computer animation production company...well, let's just say that our intrepid, vine-swinging Lord of the Apes, isn't exactly faring particularly well, of late, and has definitely seen better days...

September 12, 2014

Movie Review: Follow That Dream (1962, Blu-ray)

Directed by Gordon Douglas

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Pop Kwimper (Arthur O’Connell), his son Toby Elvis Presley), his sort-of adopted children, 19-year-old Holly (Anne Helm) two twin boys and a little girl are motoring down on Florida interstate when they happen upon a pleasant seaside beach. They pitch camp, and decide to claim the area as their own under an obscure “homesteader” law. Within a matter of days, the family throws together a rather ritzy ranch home from castaway junk and begins to charge big bucks to the locals for the privilege of fishing on their land. Soon enough, there’s trouble in paradise: gangsters, led by Nick (Simon Oakland) take advantage of the area’s laissez-faire atmosphere to bring their gambling casino on to the premises. It falls on the King’s shoulder to drive away the gangster, rebuff a lecherous lady psychologist’s advances (Joanna Moore) and defend his patchwork family in court against all those pesky custody laws. Will he succeed? This is an Elvis Presley movie, what do you think?

Indeed, it is an Elvis Presley, albeit with a lot on its plate. An atypical Presley vehicle, Follow That Dream has only five songs, and a decent budget – in contrast to his later films that squeezed in 14 songs that were shot on blue suede shoestrings. It’s the familiar poor-but-honest rural folk against the sophisticated city slickers story, but Follow That Dream seriously examines American society. In its running time, Follow That Dream addresses property rights, self-determination, law, child custody, psychologists (director Gordon Douglas must have had a thing against lady psychologists – remember the hopelessly ineffectual one just before the little girl survivor cowers in the corner screaming “Them! Them! THEM!” in his 1954 giant ant extravaganza of the same name?) organized crime and the U.S. judicial system. The story itself is ridiculous – Presley waltzes through the whole affair with naïve aplomb, unaware of the dangers that face him, only to be acquitted time and again by his simple, honest heart. The gangsters in this film wouldn’t last very long in real life. Presley effortlessly grabs their guns out of their hands without sweat beading on his pompadour. Presley is also amazingly chaste in this film. A running gag  has Elvis reciting multiplication tables whenever he’s aroused by women.

September 10, 2014

Movie Review: Graduation Day (Blu-ray / DVD Combo)

With the Troma classics Sugar Cookies and Lust For Freedom currently available from Vinegar Syndrome the company has recently taken on one of the more well-known slashers of the early 1980's in Graduation Day. Troma did release Graduation Day several years back but it left much to be desired to say the least.  In the hands of Vinegar Syndrome though, improvement is inevitable, especially with the fact that it's making it's a Blu-ray debut in a combo pack from the genre DVD and Blu-ray producers.

Graduation Day was actually a spawn off the success of John Carpenter's Halloween as were many slashers from the era (The Burning, Friday the 13th, The Prowler, just to name a few.)  The story surrounds a sudden death of an athlete and a series of murders that follow immediately after the young track star's death. When the deceased girl's sister, Anne (Patch Mackenzie, It's Alive III: Island of the Alive) arrives in town for her funeral the bodies begin to pile up of her peers in a variety of ways. Could Anne be taking some revenge kind of revenge on the students? Could it be the gym teacher played by the great Christopher George (City of the Living Dead, Enter the Ninja) or could it just be some random psycho with a blood-lust the killing of college kids?

September 8, 2014

Movie Review: 2 Girls 1 Cup (2007)



As you probably already know, I like porn. Backroom Casting Couch is one of my favourite online series of videos, and I love them because the fantasy is great and the performers are usually gorgeous. But this is an example of ‘regular’ porn that ‘regular’ Joes tend to watch. But, people with fetishes have their own porn too.

Something like a decade ago, I came across a Max Hardcore video or two. I don’t remember which ones, but it doesn’t really matter as they all are very similar, as is often the case with gonzo porn. I watched attractive girls doing filthy things with this dirty old man; and vomit was involved. That’s the kind of fetishist porn I was talking about above. Such is the case of the title that I am about to review here.

Max Hardcore may be American, and he even did time in jail, but this kind of porn is more often booming in countries such as Brazil. And 2 Girls 1 Cup was made in Brazil by Marco Fiorito who specializes in porn involving piss, scat, and vomit. But what is it about this video in particular that made it the most famous disgusting piece of viral madness ever unleashed on the internet? First let’s talk a little bit about what’s on screen...

An opening credits sequence involving z-grade animation is introducing us to the title’s female leads: Karla who is blonde and chubby, and Latifa who is brunette and skinny. The only sexy thing about this pair is Latifa’s tattoos, and even those, not very much so. Said performers enter a kitchen and they start kissing passionately. And they lick each other’s pussies and assholes. They actually seem to be into each other.

September 5, 2014

Movie Review: The Quiet Ones (2014, Blu-ray)

Oh, the 1970s. Filled with feathered hair, bell bottoms, and unsanctioned experimental medical treatments of psychotically tortured young women. The Quiet Ones brings us Joseph Coupland, a British abnormal psychology professor who truly believes ‘troubled’ people can manifest their negative energy through telekinesis. Once they do that, they can put it...somewhere and it can be destroyed permanently. Hence, Professor Coupland would be able to cure mental illness forever.

No small feat, that.

Coupland has already signed on two students, Harry and Krissi, who truly believe in Joseph’s theories and work. Brian joins last and his job is to film everything. What is everything? Professor Coupland already has a patient, Jane, and they will be performing experiments so she can finally rid herself of whatever is plaguing her.

Too bad the University thinks Coupland is cuckoo for cocoa puffs and pulls all funding. But that doesn’t deter our intrepid professor. He procures some run down abandoned house in the sticks and continues torturing poor Jane until she gives up the goods (I mean teleplasm not sex, you pervs) on the part of her psychosis she has named Evey.

September 4, 2014

Movie Review: "The Chambermaids" (1974; Impulse Pictures)

...the period, stationed at the Naval drydocks, on the Norfolk, Virginia Naval base, during the early-to-mid '80's, wasn't exactly the most off-time activity prevalent time, in this viewer's eclectically varied military career. Not much to do off-base, after a daily, rough & rigorous 10-hours-plus work shift, except to clear out the mess hall every night, killing the lights, chug a few cans of piss-warm Milwaulkee's Best, and spin the clunky reels of military-sponsored feature films on the rickety ol' projector. However, on the weekend evenings, there was always someone who somehow managed to covertly commandeer one of the base's VW non-designated buses, and as the result, a jaunty motley crew of us would speedily barrel miles down the road, whooping & hollering, and just being good ol' boys, out looking for a good time...or trouble, depending upon the inebriation level. When the bar-hopping scene got stale, and we found ourselves wearing tread on the dirt roads, in and about the midnight hour...without fail, we'd always find ourselves at one of several tucked-away-in-the-fields drive-in theaters, which exclusively flickered some of the wildest, albeit cheeziest and dated X-rated double-feature film fare, ever to have been seen stamped on celluloid. And it was one of these adventurous, late-night occasions, at which time, this viewer first laid eyes on this aged and obscure, playful and kinky little skin flick. Fast forward to 'this very moment'...at which time, afforded the opportunity to fondly revisit this obscure X-rated ditty, with considerably more objectivity, and considerably less alcohol...the invariable question, in this viewer's mind, arises: ...how does "The Chambermaids" hold up, in the advent of 40 years since the film's initial release, during the '70's golden age of skin flicks??...

September 3, 2014

Movie Review: 42nd Street Forever: Peepshow Collection Volume 3 and 4

It's amazing to think how far we have come when it comes to accessing quality material to get off to. Nowadays, if you're by yourself and looking to squeeze a goopy load to some hot chicks or dudes or whatever all it takes one or two pecks at the keyboard at your taken endless options to make your mess. There was a time when actual adult theaters theaters featured full-length films and loops. While pornographic feature films really just caught on around the early 70's with Deep Throat -- xxx rated loops have been given many an opportunity to choke the bald man into the turtle soup.

Synapse Films' super sleazy sub-label Impulse Pictures have shown a lot lately to make fans of golden age porn happy...now though, they've taken to handling loop compilations with their releases in the 42nd Street Forever: Peepshow Collection. The most recent additions to the collection are volumes three and four which include fifteen outrageous sex loops from the 70's and early 80's. If you think you can handle it here's a look at both!

Volume three serves up a grouping of loops that have plenty of interesting highlights. We get to see a young John Holmes slap around his mammoth python with a young gal. Before he pummels the lass from behind a bunch of butter to the area. Does this help dull the pain? We'll never know because all you can hear is the projector running as is the norm for every single loop on these collections.

Nightbreed Director's Cut Blu-Ray & DVD 10.28.14 from Scream Factory!


EXPERIENCE CLIVE BARKER’S CLASSIC MASTERPIECE IN TERROR 
LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE!

NIGHTBREED: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT ON BLU-RAY™ & DVD 
EVERYWHERE OCTOBER 28, 2014

"This is film history and beyond my wildest dreams of realization.” Clive Barker

Pre-order now at:

Limited-Edition: http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/nightbreed-directors-cut-deluxe-edition

Special Edition: http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/nightbreed-directors-cut

In 1990, the film was released theatrically nationwide. However, the movie studio edited the film extensively and several scenes were excised or rearranged – much to Clive Barker’s disappointment. Since then, a fan-driven movement was created (www.OccupyMidian.com) to see the full version of the film restored and re-released.  Now, after 25 years, fans and horror enthusiasts can finally experience NIGHTBREED like never before! Scream Factory, in conjunction with Warner Bros., was able to find the long-thought-missing original film elements and combed through over 600 boxes to locate not only the lost scenes but a treasure trove of never-before-seen footage as well. With lost footage meticulously restored, the result is not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker’s book Cabal, but also what he originally intended NIGHTBREED to be.

September 2, 2014

Movie Review: "Deadly Eyes" (1982; Golden Harvest/Scream Factory)

...going into Shout/Scream Factory's recent release of the 1982 Canadian-produced 'nature-gone-amuck' horror chiller, "Deadly Eyes", sight unseen (...I missed it, when it was originally released theatrically, having instead been intensely engaged in the ol' 'hut-one, hut-two' 12-week-plus military boot camp 'game', at the time), this ardent and devoted viewer of the genre, to be quite honest, really didn't expect much. In fact, given the Fortune Star/Golden Harvest opening logos, I almost thought that I had inadvertently plugged in one of those cheezy chop-socky flicks, which for years, Golden Harvest was best known for. Sure, for a long time, it was dimly known by this unsuspecting fright film fan, that the movie had something to do with killer rats...that the film was based upon a best-selling page-turner, by genre author James Herbert...that, in a surprising genre switch, cult film director Robert 'Enter the Dragon' Clouse, handled the reins of the film. Heck, this viewer was even a bit privy to the concept, that inspiration for the outrageous special effects...especially those depicting the rats...was picked up and taken from that ol' class, notorious known as 'Killer Shrews 101'. Later on, even the dark and somewhat vague box art, displayed on the video shelves, didn't phase nor mesmerize this mega monster movie mogul, who often picked up said video rental from the shelves, took a quick & casual look at it, and with a shrug of the shoulders, placed it back, with an uninterested sigh. I mean, really...a killer rat movie?? What could I see in that, which I had not already seen in, say movies like 1971's "Willard" (...also based on a novel), it's 1972 follow-up, "Ben", or even the 1976 drive-in-flavored creature feature, "Food of the Gods"?? (...I could also mention the 1972 Andy Mulligan stinker, "The Rats are Coming...the Werewolves are Here!"...I could, but naw, scratch that...I won't even go there. Eh, forget I even brought it up...)

...boy, was I in for a big surprise...an understatement, to be sure...

September 1, 2014

Movie Review: Caligula (1979)



I am not a Tinto Brass fan, but I always wanted to add this film of his in my collection. The problem was the shit quality and cut editions of it floating in the market. That was until the 4-DVD Imperial Edition (Region 2 - PAL) came out and I bought it immediately.

The first disc offers the uncut version which I saw when I bought the box-set; the second disc contains an alternative version which I haven’t seen as yet, the third disc offers the theatrical version which is the one I watched for the purpose of this review, and the fourth disc is full of extras.

Now, on with the theatrical version... It doesn’t contain all the excessive violence and the explicit sex, and with so many scenes missing the whole thing doesn’t make as much sense as the uncut version does. Anyway, the whole thing about the history behind the cuts of this troubled production has been studied extensively elsewhere, so here I would like to focus on the impression the film made to me.

Movie Review: The Legend of Billie Jean (Blu-ray)


Reviewed By: Jimmy D.

The Legend of Billie Jean holds a special place in my heart. I am proud to admit I was at the theater when this Tri-Star film opened in 85. Matthew Robbins, many will say killed Mark Hamill’s career with Corvette Summer or tried to cash in on the Cocoon craze with Batteries not Included. Many will forget the little gem that is this film. Starring Supergirl herself Helen Slater, Pump up the Volume’s Christian Slater and one of my favorite directors ever Keith Gordon. This film centers on this nobody who just one day gets to be a huge somebody.

People will compare this film to Turk 182 which came out around the same time with another rebel played by Timothy Hutton who really does not have to do that much to win over the people’s love and adulation. The film tells the story of Billy Jean Davy who looks like she was auditioning for either Square Pegs or Flashdance, who lives in a trailer in Texas. She is an innocent beautiful blonde who seems to attract the wrong kind of attention. She gets bullies to chase her and her younger brother played by Christian Slater. When the bullies cause around 600.00 dollars to damage to Binx’s motorcycle, she goes to the father of the kid who started it and demands the money. Well the father tries to get a little too fresh and Billie Jean knees him till Binx stumbles onto a gun he fires it and turning him and his sister Billie Jean into outlaws.

Interracial Sex Havoc #6: 1978



The Interracial Sex Havoc project is trying to catalog as many films as possible that contain at least one interracial sex scene. Not all films included here are pornographic, but they had to have at least one interracial sex scene in order to qualify.

This chapter is about movies released in 1978 and I wrote about golden age porn [one film by Alex deRenzy], and a Joe D’Amato sleaze-fest. So, enjoy!

Pretty Peaches (1978)
The title’s girl [Desiree Cousteau from Caged Heat (1974)] is wearing red t-shirt and matching shorts (so short that half her ass cheeks are out for everyone to see at the car service parlour she stopped for a while) on her way to her father’s wedding to a black woman [Flower]. After some gambling (it’s a proper Las Vegas ceremony after all) and some shots of alcohol, she leaves, driving her fancy jeep. But she loses control of the vehicle and crashes on a tree. She gets out of the car and falls on the ground unconscious. Two opportunists find her and rape her. When she wakes up properly, she realized that she has amnesia. Her journey to remember her name begins and the trio drives to San Francisco.
Peaches is soon introduced to a bogus doctor/friend of the rapists, who places a paper bag on her head and tries to perform oral sex to her, she refuses, but she happily proceeds to some anal play which ends up with some impressive ass squirting.

Movie Review: Curtains (1983, Blu-ray)

Directed by Richard Ciupka

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Overbearing stage and screen director Jonathan Stryker (John Vernon) seems intent on casting his longtime star and erstwhile lover Samantha Sherwood (Samantha Eggar) in his new production of “Audra.” Said hot property is about a woman who murders her lover for infidelity and is then sent to a sanitarium. Adherents to the “method,” both Stryker and Sherwood plot to have Sherwood committed to an insane asylum to add authenticity to the role. Sherwood at first adapts to the “snake pit,” but it turns out that it was all a ruse on Stryker’s part to keep her out of the way in order to ogle some fresh new starlets in a most unorthodox audition process at an isolated countryside mansion. Left languishing, Sherwood is sprung from the nuthouse by a friend (in a quickly done single-take scene) and meets Stryker and his chorus line of bimbos at the house. Slowly but surely, a killer in an old hag mask (perhaps symbolic of Eggar’s status as an aging actress?) begins to thin out the cast. A surprise ending that MAKES NO SENSE follows.

As gorgeous and as hopeless as its victims, Curtains is a mess of the first water. Filmed around 1981, then shelved, with additional scenes filmed and inserted later, Curtains was shot on a not-inconsiderable budget of $4 million and is as disjointed and nonsensical as any shot-on-video cheapie. Let us count the ways: one character plunges out a second story window and somersaults through a first floor window; a young male character is introduced in the first scenes at the mansion and then inexplicably disappears; and so on. Slasher films generally are very poorly plotted with ample plot holes but compensate with energy and clever kill scenes. Other than its classic scene of an ice skating session cut short – literally, Curtains is slow and tame even by 1981 standards! It does feature the first example of a severed head found-in-a-toilet, but is otherwise dull and lifeless.

August 31, 2014

Movie Review: The Man from Laramie (1955; Columbia/Twilight Time)

...hypothetical question time: What makes a good western, a great western?? Is it the sweeping, spansive view of the prairie, stretching out almost endlessly across the dusty frontier?? Not necessarily; one can find that in just about any well-shot oater. How about the prerequisite conflict between the dedicated lawful, and the self-serving, greedy & corrupt...invariably culminating in the ol' cliché of meeting in the middle of town, at sun-up, for the prerequisite gun-slinging showdown?? Naw...call such things, a dime-a-dozen, in the common western film tradition. The fleeting, hero versus villain, horse-galloping pursuit, with guns a-blazin'?? The free-for-all, barroom brawl, instigated by too many aces in the deck, during a 'friendly' little game?? The grizzled ol' drunken geezer, 'teched' in the head by too much sun, and too many crazed illusions of tapping into that ever-evasive gold vein?? Same old, same old, for those who are ardently devoted to the flicker of the celluloid western film fervor...

...so what exactly makes for a superior western epic, as opposed to something more generic, routine and derivative?? Depth and complexity of character, perhaps?? Motivation of said character, hiding a much more determined, albeit underlining purpose?? Both suppressed and exposed levels of strengths, weaknesses, jealousies and insecurities?? Basically, knowing what makes such characters, tick?? 1955's "The Man from Laramie"...one of Twilight Time's most recent limited edition releases, and the fifth & final western-themed collaboration between actor James Stewert, and director Anthony Mann...brilliantly balances a more psychologically inclined study of it's varied characters, amidst the backdrop and routine staples of high western drama, culminating in a somewhat unconventional and much more compelling approach to the genre, than typically rendered...

August 29, 2014

Movie Review: A Survey of an Open Space (2013)

Directed by Peat Duggins

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

In 2009, bicyclists Zach Hall and Michaela Duggins (the director’s sister) set off to span the breadth of our nation, from the Mexican border of their hometown of Austin, Texas, to the furthermost reaches of the Alaskan border. Ninety days and 4,000 miles later, both Hall and Duggins successfully completed their mission. What did they learn? Many things, chief among them the fact that America is still a place of wide open spaces and startling beauty. Touching three oceans before reaching the Arctic, the duo saw much natural wonder and desolation.

A Survey of An Open Space is as sparse and beautifully simple a documentary as one could hope for. While it would be expected that this project would have some sort of agenda, it has none other than objectively capturing the trip. It’s ironic that the film’s chief virtue works against the film’s favor: the two protagonists are just too gol-durn good natured and focused! One would think that Hall and Duggins would erupt into a big fight somewhere along the way, but it never occurs. Duggins in particular is so virtuous and pure she verges on the fringes of Pollyanna. Both bicyclists face bad weather and unfortunate situations but greet it with good ol’ fashioned American optimism. The audience is kept waiting for a big blow-up that never occurs … one wonders if any of this was edited out.

Movie Review: Born Yesterday (1950, Twilight Time)

Directed by George Cukor


Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

The classic tale! Corrupt, kind-of gangster Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford) breezes into Washington D.C. to buy a congressman – or two to facilitate his growing junkyard empire. Renting out the top floor of a luxury hotel, Brock becomes concerned that his unpolished chorus line girlfriend Billie (the incredible Judy Holliday in her Academy Award-winning performance) may not go over well with the local intelligentsia. Hiring journalist Paul Verrall (William Holden) to school her in the finer things, Billie hits the books big time. Eating from the Tree of Knowledge, Billie goes from dumb blonde to an increasingly aware, socially responsible woman. No longer blind to Brock’s corrupt dealings, Billie decides to take a stand. Confronting the bully, and hatching a scheme to keep herself immune, Billie confidently sails out of Brock’s life with Paul on her arm, in order to marry.

No doubt about it, Born Yesterday is one of the most wonderful movies ever made. Based on playwright Garson Kanin’s hit Broadway play, the celebrated movie adaptation is above all else a tale of redemption. Movie audiences in the past had long laughed at a long parade of dumb blondes and gangster molls before. Born Yesterday was among the first films to suggest that intelligence and wise decisions are available to the least aware, provided they set their minds to it. It also offers a timely message to the viewer as well: In order to defeat bullies, it’s essential to educate yourself and then follow through on what you know is right.

In this sense, Born Yesterday is a far more radical film than My Fair Lady (1964), to which it is frequently compared. In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) is transformed from a hardscrabble Cockney to regal lady-in-waiting under the tutelage of Dr. Henry Riggins (Rex Harrison) – but remains a common girl at heart. Not so in the case with Billie, whose slow transformation ultimately dismantles Brock’s ruthlessly constructed fiefdom of corrupt lawyer, for-sale politicians and gun thugs.