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Tower of London

USA 1939
produced by
Rowland V. Lee for Universal
directed by Rowland V.Lee
starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil, Ian Hunter, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, Ernest Cossart, John Sutton, Leo G. Carroll, Miles Mander, Lionel Belmore, Rose Hobart, Ronald Sinclair, John Herbert-Bond, Ralph Forbes, Frances Robinson, G.P.Huntley, John Rodion, Walter Tetley, Donnie Dunagan, Joan Carroll, Harry Cording, Nigel De Brulier, Martin Faust, Jean Fenwick, Al Ferguson, Russ Powell, C.Montague Shaw, Ivan F.Simpson
written by Robert N.Lee, music by Ralph Freed, Hans J. Salter, Frank Skinner

Richard III

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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England, 15th century: Richard, the Duke of Gloucester (Basil Rathbone) is hell-bent to make his way to the top (meaning to become King of England), and the means he uses are murder, manipulation and intrigue: First, he has King Henry VI (Miles Mander) dethroned in favour of Edward IV (Ian Hunter), his closest ally, then he drives Edward into war with Henry Tudor (Ralph Forbes) that leads to Henry's exile in France. Later, Upon Edward's death, the throne technically goes to Edward's son, but the boy is way too young so Richard sees to it that he becomes the boy's protector ... but ultimately he has both of Edward's sons (Ronald Sinclair, John Herbert-Bond) killed and has himself proclaimed the undisputed king - Richard III ...

But Richard has strong opposition: Elysabeth (Barbara O'Neil), the widow of Edward, hasn't forgiven him the death of her sons, and she tries to get Henry Tudor back into England to overthrow Richard - but to that end, Tudor needs money, so Elysabeth has one of her most loyal allies, John Wyatt (John Sutton) rob the royal treasure and get it to Tudor - which leads to Wyatt's temporary arrest and daring escape, but ultimately the treasure reaches Tudor, who soon enough has an army big enough to return to England and overthrow Richard for good ...

Boris Karloff plays Richard's lead executioner and torturer, while Vincent Price, who plays an aristocrat who ultimately falls from Richard's grace, will play Richard himself in Roger Corman's 1961 cheapskate but nevertheless interesting remake [click here].

 

While by and large historically accurate and as a result full of macabre details, well-acted and made on a suitably large scale, Tower of London as a whole fails to totally convince as a film: It's way too episodic in structure, characters and plotlines seem to be introduced into the film at random and not always necessarily so, the film lacks a proper heroic lead to contrast Richard's evildoing, and it is at times a bit over-convoluted when it doesn't need to be. That all said, Tower of London is not too bad a film, it's well-made, has a great cast and nice sets and props. It's just not all it should/could have been.

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD