Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

December 7, 2020

Alan Ladd in DUEL OF CHAMPIONS (Italy 1961)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:30 am

I first saw DUEL OF CHAMPIONS as a boy of 11 or 12, in a pan and scan version, on a small black and white TV courtesy of a local UHF channel. It captivated me—-with the flavor of a Greek Tragedy, with the powerful yet downbeat orchestral score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, with a story where no one wins and everyone loses, and most importantly with a performance by the amazing Alan Ladd that’s smoldering and captures a burned-out character rising from the ashes to perform actions that on some level disgust him, my adolescent sensibility was swept away by the film. I watch it again every few years and I’m still moved and impressed. I may well be the only person who became a serious Alan Ladd fan BECAUSE OF Duel of Champions–and the next Ladd film I saw was 13 WEST STREET, another late-period Ladd performance, usually written off, but which also made a strong impression on me. I then sought out the earlier work. Truly, Ladd always brought his A-game to a film, and he knew how playing in an understated way, but with intensity, can pull in an audience and suggest the inner turmoil of a character, leading the viewers to not just feel for the character but feel with him. With my having seen his later work FIRST, and appreciating his skill in playing worn-down characters who are on the long end of middle-aged, I may well have looked at his earlier work differently. Most people who talk about Ladd refer to his decline in this period—-I, on the other hand, watched his earlier work with a knowledge of the depth and slower, more lived-in feel of the later performances.

This was a troubled production (I read a biography of either Ladd or Ladd’s wife, Sue Carol, once which went into detail about the production of the film, though I can’t find reference to it online, alas), and due to the poor working conditions during the shoot, Ladd was ill throughout, which certainly shows, but since the character was meant to be beaten-down and burned-out, it works magnificently. Everyone who knew or worked with Alan Ladd testified what a trouper the man was, with a strong work ethic and a belief that he owed a producer a solid day’s work (although he was not being paid what was promised on this film, until he threatened to walk off the production and return back to the US).

If you dislike Italian sword and sandal films, you’re not going to like this one, despite Ladd’s presence…and if you don’t like dubbing, don’t come within a mile of the film.

However, if you can put away your expectations and just go with the flow and accept that you are in the unique fantasy world created by European historical genre-films of the 50’s and 60’s, let the music of Lavagnino, the performance of Ladd, and the direction of Ferdinando Baldi, and man who understood epics on a budget (I saw BLINDMAN on a massive theatrical screen upon its release in 1972, and to say that that was a jaw-dropping experience is an understatement!), take you away….in a film where there are no heroes, nothing is romanticized, and in the end, great struggle is required to get to the point where nothing significant is achieved.

Cheap washed-out dollar-store DVD’s of this have been in circulation for decades—-however, the copy shared here is as good as I’ve seen the film look, though this is a few minutes shorter than the longest version circulating. I’d love to see a restoration of this, or even a simple quality Blu-Ray transfer, as Kino-Lorber did with another Italian sword and sandal film from the period, REVOLT OF THE SLAVES, starring Lang Jeffries and Rhonda Fleming, but I won’t stay awake nights waiting for that to happen.

See my review of Ferdinando Baldi’s 1970 film THE CORSAIRS, starring DEAN REED, elsewhere on this blog.

December 6, 2020

LUCY GETS TRAPPED (Air date: September 18, 1967)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:16 am

Always a privilege to spend some time with the First Lady Of Comedy!

starring Lucille Ball, Gale Gordon, and Mary Jane Croft

(season 6, episode 2, original air-date 9/18/1967)

December 5, 2020

Piccadilly Sunshine, Part Nine (British Pop Psych And Other Flavours 1964 – 1970)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:43 am

1 –Mike Lennox, Images Of You
2 –Mike Wallace, Daffodil
3 –Spencer’s Washboard Kings, Ordinary People
4 –Lee Harmers Popcorn, Love Is Coming
5 –Weather, Running Forwards
6 –Deuce Coup, A Clown In One Town
7 –Gary James, You’re Gone
8 –Villiers & Gold, This East
9 –William E*, Lazy Life
10 –Ian McCulloch, Down By The River
11 –Mike Lennox, Words I Like
12 –Lee Harmers Popcorn, Hello Sunshine
13 –Montanas, Hey Diddle Diddle
14 –Cartoone, Ice Cream Dream
15 –Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, Dreamy
16 –David McNeil, Don’t Let Your Chance Go By
17 –Caloogie, Bleecker Street
18 –Graham Bond Organization*, You’ve Gotta Have Love Babe
19 –Nocturnes*, A New Man
20 –Smokey Circles, Love Me While You Can

December 4, 2020

Byard Lancaster, “Personal Testimony–Then and Now”

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:07 am

All sounds created by Byard Lancaster

Then–1979

1 Miss Nikki 4:36
2 In Lovingkindness 5:20
3 Dogtown 3:05
4 Hoodoo 4:33
5 Brotherman 3:48
6 What A Friend We Have In Jesus 1:44
7 Marianne And Alicia 2:06
8 Brian 2:12
9 Mind Exercise 2:44


Now – 2007


10 Prayer Cry 3:50
11 Tribalize Lancaster 3:10
12 Afro – Ville 5:19
13 Free Mumia 4:07
14 Global Key 6:58
15 Loving You 5:04

December 3, 2020

Kane Richmond in THE SHADOW RETURNS (Monogram Pictures, 1946)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:51 am

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December 2, 2020

Ravi Shankar’s Chants of India – ‘Sarve Shaam’ (Lyric Video)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:51 am

December 1, 2020

Highway Patrol, “Narcotics” (1957), starring Broderick Crawford

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:45 am

Season 2 | Episode 36, originally broadcast 10 June 1957

Highway Patrol ran for four seasons, from 1955-1959, and each episode was like a grim, fatalistic B-crime film made at a low-budget studio like Allied Artists, but boiled down to 30 minutes with no filler. Also, a LOT of location shooting was used, particularly in the outlying small towns around Los Angeles, with real locations used for the diners and grocery stores and tire shops. Academy Award winner Broderick Crawford brought an intensity to the role, so much so that people who did not know the man’s body of work assumed he was just playing himself. In the reruns (trimmed by a few minutes, unfortunately, not like the episode here which is uncut) shown over the last few years, I’ve managed to see most all of the episodes at least once. This one, “Narcotic,” features everything that’s special about the series. If you like this, you’ll probably enjoy the show. Be warned though, if you are on the wrong side of the law, don’t even think about drawing a weapon on Broderick Crawford’s character. You’ll be gunned down before you can take a second shot…

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