The Trouble with Harry (1955)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Four nice folks of a scenic village trying to get rid of a corpse who died under mysterious circumstances.
2) The movie’s most memorable aspect is its distinctly beautiful & vividly colorful location, and bright cinematography shot in VistaVision.
3) A lighthearted black-comedy surrounding a dead-body.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Sam Marlowe: You’re not supposed to bury bodies whenever you find them. It makes people suspicious.

A Shot in the Dark (1964)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A bumbling, clumsy, and nincompoop French police officer investigating a murder case leading to hilarious situations.
2) Peter Sellers as Jacques Clouseau gave an excellent performance as expected.

 

 

CONS –
1) The comedy is often slapstick in nature.

 

 
QUOTE –
Clouseau: The murderer was after me. Fortunately, he missed.
Dreyfus: ‘Fortunately’ is not the word!

Double Indemnity (1944)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A seductive housewife lures an insurance salesman into the scheme to murder his husband to get the huge insurance money. A perfect thriller from Billy Wilder from the first minute to the last.
2) Barbara Stanwyck playing the femme fatale not just convinced the poor bright salesman but the entire audience being an average wife just trying to get rid of her abusive husband.
3) Notable performance from Edward G. Robinson as Barton Keyes, the sharp-witted claims adjuster who always listens to his “little man”.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Barton Keyes: They may think it’s twice as safe because there’s two of them, but it isn’t twice as safe. It’s ten times twice as dangerous. They’ve committed a *murder*! And it’s not like taking a trolley ride together where they can get off at different stops. They’re stuck with each other and they got to ride all the way to the end of the line and it’s a one-way trip and the last stop is the cemetery.

“Columbo” Murder by the Book (TV Episode 1971)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The story started with the execution of the crime. The entire plot was unraveled from the very beginning to the audiences. The element is how Columbo catches the murderer.
2) The birth of a clumsy and persistent homicide detective.
3) Jack Cassidy playing the suave perpetrator.
4) Barbara Colby as the nervous blackmailer.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Lieutenant Columbo: Suddenly I thought of something. How clever that first murder was. The phone gimmick, working late in the office – brilliant.
Ken Franklin: Are you awarding gold medals today?
Lieutenant Columbo: Yes. For the first one. Not for the second one. That was sloppy. Mrs. Melville, she’d have been very disappointed.

Murder by Death (1976)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A spoof of the whodunit murder-mystery films with characters resembling famous fictional detectives.
2) A huge ensemble of Hollywood A-listers including Alec Guinness, David Niven, & an unrecognizable Peter Sellers as Sidney Wang.
3) The climax is nonsensical but at the same time apt for a movie meant for spoofing this genre.
4) Peter Falk as Sam Diamond was spot-on parodying Sam Spade (or Humphrey Bogart in general), accompanying his sexy & mistreated secretary who is ending her every spoken sentence with “Sam”.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Sam Diamond: The last time that I trusted a dame was in Paris in 1940. She said she was going out to get a bottle of wine. Two hours later, the Germans marched into France.

Knives Out (2019)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Return of the gentleman-sleuth in the line of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, solving a whodunit murder mystery.
2) A great ensemble.

 
CONS –
1) A one-time watch movie with switcheroo being the ultimate twist.
2) The entire suspense was already revealed during the first half of the movie.

 
QUOTE –
Benoit Blanc: Physical evidence can tell a clear story with a forked tongue.

Gumnaam (1965)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The movie belongs to Helen and Mehmood with their huge screen presence overshadowing all other cast members.
2) A must-have Bollywood soundtrack/album from Shankar-Jaikishan with timeless gems like “Jaane Chaman Shola Badan”, “Hum Kaale Hain To”, “Jaan Pehechan Ho”, “Iss Duniya Mein Jeena Ho To”, “Jaane Chaman Shola Badan”, and “Gumnaam Hai Koi”.

 
CONS –
1) This Agatha Christie story adapted by Dhruva Chatterjee failed in execution by the director Raja Nawathe.
2) A weak screenplay is full of potholes underutilizing its excellent cast.

 
QUOTE –
“Mehmood : Khayaloon mein… Khayaloon mein… “

Death on the Nile (1978)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

PROS –
1) All the heavy-lifting is mainly done by Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. He’s truly an actor’s actor.
2) The movie came into life after the 3rd murder.
3) Another Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery with a pan-European ensemble.
4) The scene at Temple of Amun with all the possible future suspects got to be the best scene of the movie.

 

CONS –
1) Quite a generic whodunit plot very similar to Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

 

QUOTE –
Hercule Poirot: “The great ambition of women is to inspire love.”

Double Face (1969)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 0
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An erotic murder-mystery with some strange cinematography.
2) Klaus Kinski is known for his sociopathic roles. This time he plays a subdued husband trying to solve the case.

 
CONS –
1) It’s an average movie with terrible acting and incoherent screenplay but still got some weird elements which keep the audiences hooked.

 
QUOTE –
John: I’m looking for a blonde named Christine.
Concierge: Second floor, number five. You can’t go up. There’s already a man up there.
John: It will be more interesting.

True Detective (Season 1)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A must watch detective crime thriller of epic proportion with 17 years of non-linear storyline. It’s HBO’s reply to Memories of Murder (2003).
2) Matthew McConaughey as Detective Cohle gave a great performance of a sociopathic cop.
3) Opening song: “Far from Any Road”
4) Unapologetically good ol’ misogynist show with a high level of testosterone.
5) The climactic fulfilling scene between Rust & Marty

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“Marty: A man’s game charges a man’s price. Take that away from this, you’ve nothing else.”