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The Villain Still Pursued Her

USA 1940
produced by
Harold P. Franklin for Franklin-Blank Productions/RKO
directed by Edward F. Cline
starring Richard Cromwell, Alan Mowbray, Anita Louise, Buster Keaton, Joyce Compton, Margaret Hamilton, Diane Fisher, Hugh Herbert, Billy Gilbert, Charles Judels, Eddie Acuff, Ernie Alexander, Bobby Barber, Vernon Dent, Eddie Dunn, Edward Gargan, Arthur Housman, Lew Kelly, Robert McKenzie, Carlotta Monti, Charles Murphy, Jack Norton, Victor Potel, Walter Tetley
written by Elbert Franklin, additional dialogue by Ethel La Blanche, based on the play The Drunkard by William H.Smith, musical director: Frank Tours, cinematography by Lucien Ballard

The Drunkard

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Crooked lawyer Silas Cribbs (Alan Mowbray) desperately wants to get his hands on the land of Edward Middleton (Richard Cromwell), especially since Middleton is such a kind-hearted young man who's not interested in the schemes of his lawyer. But Cribbs is one of those lawyers who always has a bunch of tricks up his sleeve, so at Middleton's wedding to virtuous Mary (Anita Louise), he gives Middleton his first taste of alcohol, and soon sees to it that he becomes hooked on the stuff.

Years pass, and Middleton has become a bona fide alcoholic who has lost all of his family's fortunes and has moved from his country home to New York, just because the liquor is more readily available there, but he still hasn't given up the land he knows that Cribbs is so desperately trying to get. So Cribbs eventually tricks him into a crime, forging the signature on a cheque that belongs to Frederick Healey, a renowned philanthropist Frederick Healey (Hugh Herbert). Thing is though that William Dalton (Buster Keaton), a man from Middleton's hometown, has long hooked up with Healey and has witnessed Cribbs persuading almost passed out Middleton to forge the signature, and now Dalton persuades Healey not to press charges against Middleton but instead try to get the real culprit, Cribbs, to pay for his crimes.

Thing is, Dalton's half-crazy sister Hazel (Joyce Compton) has witnessed Cribbs bury the real last will of Middleton's father that would have exposed Cribbs ten years ago, but now, in one of her bright moments, she remembers where - and this way, Cribbs is finally lured into a trap and everything is set right again.


Above synopsis might sound incredibly cheesy and unbearably simplistic, just like an annoying and annoyingly cheesy piece of cinema - Yet The Villain Still Pursues Her is not, it's an enjoyably silly parody of morality plays of teh 1800's, complete with incredibly stilted dialogue, characters talking directly to the camera (and audience), the cast mercilessly hamming it up (and especially Alan Mowbray is great in that department), and the message coming across with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. And every cliché that is used throughout the film seems to be there first and foremost to be made fun of, from the guy becoming hooked on liquor after just one glass to the mother musing over stealing her daughter's bread out of poverty until the girl offers to share her blanket with her mother. The only problem the film might have is that in the end, it tries to tie up all the loose ends, and as a narrative piece of cinema it's by far not as good as as spoof, but that hardly diminishes the overall effectiveness of the movie.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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