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La mujer de otro (1967)
Very Entertaining Martha Hyer Movie
"La mujer de otro" (Another Man's Wife) was one of several movies that Martha Hyer made in Europe during the late 60s. Martha was a big international star in Europe. In the opening credits, her name is listed above the movie title, a rare honor for any actress.
Martha is truly the star of this soap opera. She plays Ana Maria, a happily married woman with two sons. One day, she accidentally encounters Andres (John Ronane) her college sweetheart whom she hasn't heard from in many years. Andres is also married and has a young daughter. The two begin a torrid love affair that forms the basis for the plot.
Martha Hyer was 43 when she made this movie. She was still exquisitely beautiful and her body seems to have been in fantastic shape, as evidenced by a few bathing suit scenes, which include her going snorkeling under water.
The scenery and photography are excellent. The film is done entirely in Italian, without subtitles, but it was fairly easy to tell what was going on. Martha's voice was dubbed by an Italian actress who did sound a little like Martha, who has a very distinctive voice.
This film can be enjoyed by Martha Hyer fans, even though it is in Italian without subtitles. She is clearly the star and does some great acting with her many emotional scenes.
Battle Flame (1959)
OK War Film
This movie is not bad as long as you don't expect much. It was obviously shot on a very limited budget and was mainly done indoors with a lot of backdrops to make it look like the scenes are taking place in Korea during both the summer and winter.
The battle scenes have very little action involving the actors. Much of it is actual newsreel footage shot during WW II and The Korean War. There is so much newsreel stuff that it looks like the filmmakers were trying to flesh out the movie to make it long enough.
Scott Brady speaks his lines as though he were reading them from cue cards. Elaine Edwards gives a very wooden performance with little or no emotion at all. The best acting is done by Robert Blake, who is very good as one of the platoon members. He definitely makes the viewer take notice every time he appears in a scene.
The plot is an unusual one for a Korean War movie, with the U.S. Marines trying to rescue five Navy nurses taken prisoner by the Chinese. The senior nurse (Edwards) is the former lover of the Marine commanding officer (Brady) and that adds spice to the story. Part of this movie's problem is that all that newsreel footage gets in the way of the plot.
As long as the viewer does not require excellent production values and great acting, Battle Flame is an OK little Korean War film that can be enjoyed for its 78 minutes in black and white.
Thunderboat Row (1989)
Excellent TV Movie
Thunderboat Row is a TV movie filmed as a pilot for an ABC series, but the network chose not to pick it up. The film features some great shots of high-speed powerboats. The story concerns a task force made up of various law enforcement agencies in South Florida, chasing the bad guy drug runners in the fastest boats in the world.
Chad Everett stars as Ben Bishop. The Ben Bishop character is based on real-life boat builder and powerboat racing legend Don Aronow. Many of the events that are seen in this movie actually occurred in real life. The book "Speed Kills," by Artur Jay Harris, tells the story of how drug runners incorporated powerboats into their smuggling and anyone who reads this book will see that some of the incidents in the movie were taken directly from real life.
Also in the cast is the beautiful Freddie Simpson. She is best remembered for her role as Ellen Sue in the classic baseball movie, "A League of Their Own" (1992). In Thunderboat Row, Freddie Simpson has some very emotional scenes, and she handles them quite well.
Also in the movie are Jason Adams, sometimes billed as Ash Adams, Nick Corri, also known as Jsu Garcia, Dennis Boutsikaris as the bad guy, Anthony Rene Jones, Peter Murnik, Todd Schaeffer, John J. York, and Robert Estes, who later starred in the TV series "Silk Stalkings." Carrell Myers has a small role as Tami, Ben Bishop's girlfriend.
Thunderboat Row is an entertaining and exciting movie. It was very well made with great production values. Those sleek, super-fast powerboats ripping through the water are worth watching all by themselves. This is an old-fashioned good guys vs. bad guys movie and it will keep you interested from start to finish.
Very Entertaining Murder Mystery
This is a very entertaining British murder mystery. The plot concerns a gang of four jewel thieves, led by Diana Napier, who steal two highly valuable diamonds out of a set of earrings. Napier sells them to a dishonest businessman (Willoughby Goddard) at his country estate, but the gang plans to return later and steal them back. However, Goddard's long-lost half-brother (John Benley) suddenly returns to the estate accompanied by his new fiancée (Patricia Owens). Bentley wants to claim his half of the inheritance, but soon discovers that his half-brother has squandered the family fortune and is now engaged in buying and selling stolen gems. He confronts Goddard, who panics, and hits Bentley over the head with a poker. As he is about to strike a death blow, a shot rings out and Goddard falls dead. The police arrest Bentley for the murder but soon have to release him for lack of evidence. Meanwhile, Patricia Owens tries to find the real killer by playing up to one of the members of the gang, who happens to be an old boyfriend of hers. The best scenes in the movie occur when Diana Napier pulls a gun on Patricia Owens and ties her hands behind her back. Later, while tied hand and foot and gagged, Patricia manages to stand up and hop to a table where she grabs a telephone by its cord. She then hops across the room and is able to hurl the telephone through a glass window to attract attention and get help. Eventually, John Bentley comes up with a plan to lure the gang to the mansion and expose the real killer. There is a neat plot twist and surprise at then end of the movie. It is definitely worth watching, especially for mystery fans.
Some May Live (1967)
Excellent Spy Thriller
I saw this movie many years ago on the late late show and thought it was an outstanding film about espionage in Saigon during the Vietnam War. The acting is very good with Joseph Cotten and Martha Hyer heading a fine cast. It is truly an unusual film as I don't know of any other movies which deal with the subject of spying in Saigon during Viet Nam. It was made in 1967 and so was very topical at the time and is truly a walk down memory lane for those of us who living through it during the 1960s. Joseph Cotten plays an Army colonel who is trying to find out who the spy is and Martha Hyer plays a computer programmer whose husband is the spy. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I would like to see this movie come out on VHS or DVD. It is definitely worth watching.