Thursday, June 14, 2007

It Doesn't Play Like Gangbusters

When I was a kid, a movie played regularly on Channel 32 called “Gangbusters” (1954). I remembered I happened to catch it one afternoon, really enjoyed it and made a point of watching it whenever it was on.

I probably hadn’t seen it in more than 30 years but retained fond memories of it. When I saw it was issued on DVD awhile ago at an affordable price, I snatched it up.

I watched it last night and boy is it bad. In doing a little research I learned this 72-minute movie was compiled from several episodes of a TV series of the same name.

The funny thing is I didn’t remember any of it. No situations, no scenes, nothing. I’m sure it was the same movie, but after 15 minutes of progressively sinking disappointment I couldn’t understand what it was about it that appealed to me all those years ago.

This is one trip down memory lane I wish I hadn’t taken.

“Gangbusters” is found as a co-feature on a DVD from the Something Weird label, along with the marvelously-lurid titled “Ma Barker’s Killer Brood.” (1960). I hope that one is better.

Regardless of “Gangbusters”, I generally enjoy these 1950s crime dramas. One I’ve always wanted to see but never have has one of the greatest titles ever: “Guns, Girls and Gangsters” (1959) with Mamie Van Doren and Lee Van Cleef. To my knowledge, this has not been issued on DVD, but I hope it is someday. I would love to see it.

Of course, I’m also anxiously awaiting the long-delayed DVD release of “The Navy vs. the Night Monsters” (1966), also starring Mamie, which shows you where my taste is at.

1 comment:

Dees Stribling said...

Never heard of Gangbusters, but we all have movies that were favorites as kids, repeatedly seen on Saturday afternoons, that might not stand up to grown-up scrutiny. The Cavern comes to mind as an example for me. Haven't seen it in 30 years. It may be better to leave it in the past.