Tag Archives: Diana Scarwid

Bunco (1977, Alexander Singer)

One of the best parts of Bunco–and there’s actually a lot of good stuff in it–is how director Signer composes his shots of “leads” Robert Urich and Tom Selleck. Even though Urich’s top-billed and has a little more to do, Singer makes sure to get both men in each shot. So there’s some occasionally awesome shots just from that star making technique.

Urich and Selleck got the quotation marks because they really aren’t the leads in their own pilot. Donna Mills runs the majority of the episode. She’s the undercover cop, in danger from the con man the boys can’t catch. Alan Feinstein plays the con man. He’s fantastic, far more dynamic than Urich or Selleck.

The leads have some amusing conversations, but they’re barely in it except to run around.

Oh, and Michael Sacks is bad as the big villain. But it’s otherwise, very entertaining stuff.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Alexander Singer; written and produced by Jerrold L. Ludwig; director of photography, Gene Polito; edited by Marjorie Fowler and Bill Mosher; music by John Carl Parker.

Starring Robert Urich (Walker), Tom Selleck (Gordean), Milt Kogan (Lt. Hyatt), Donna Mills (Frankie), Michael Sacks (Dixon), Marlene Clark (Nickey), Alan Feinstein (Sonny), Kenneth Mars (Bank manager) and Diana Scarwid (Lolly).


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Psycho III (1986, Anthony Perkins)

I’m a little upset. Anthony Perkins only directed two pictures and one of them–this one–was written by Charles Edward Pogue. Pogue’s a bit of punchline, but at least most of Psycho III is well-plotted. His dialogue, especially at the beginning, is iffy, but it might also have been Perkins getting used to directing actors.

Psycho III takes place a month after Psycho II. While II was a really sensitive attempt to follow up on a famous cinema character, it ended weakly. III attempts, eventually, to right the misstep. I can’t figure out why Maltin, for instance, says this one’s played for laughs. It’s even sadder in some ways than the second film, with Perkins’s Norman finding the hint of real redemption and real human concern, only to have it destroyed.

Perkins, I think, did stage work and he directs the good actors in Psycho III like stage actors. The scenes with him and Diana Scarwid, for example, are just lovely, the two of them really understanding how to share the space and the time. Scenes with Jeff Fahey, not so much. Fahey’s awful in Psycho III and it’s sort of shocking no one realized the attempted rapist–Fahey’s establishing characteristic–was a villain deserving of a spectacular end.

Though the IMDb trivia says he was supposedly–initially–the villain.

Unfortunately, the film ends on its own misstep.

But it’s a fine ride to it. Especially with Carter Burwell’s fantastic (synthesizer-heavy?) score and Bruce Surtees’s luscious photography.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Directed by Anthony Perkins; screenplay by Charles Edward Pogue, based on characters created by Robert Bloch; director of photography, Bruce Surtees; edited by David E. Blewitt; music by Carter Burwell; production designer, Henry Bumstead; produced by Hilton A. Green; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates), Diana Scarwid (Maureen Coyle), Jeff Fahey (Duane Duke), Roberta Maxwell (Tracy Venable), Hugh Gillin (Sheriff John Hunt), Lee Garlington (Myrna) and Robert Alan Browne (Ralph Statler).


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