Movie Diary 12/3/2009

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (William Beaudine, 1966). The Old West, where a descendent of the well-known Frankenstein family might reasonably re-locate in order to maintain a lowish profile and find a specimen – say, the body-building assistant to famed outlaw Jesse James – with which to run a few experiments. When it comes to the gulf between promising titles and actual movie-watching fun, this one has a sadly wide distance.

Cinderella Liberty (Mark Rydell, 1973). Shot around the Seattle waterfront during a memorably frowzy and fragrant era, with James Caan and Marsha Mason as the low-rent lovebirds. An absolute Seventies look – even movies that pay tribute to the style of the era don’t look like this – photographed by Vilmos Zgismond.