Friday, February 26, 2010


Prairie Home Companion is selling "151 Best Movies You Haven't Seen" by Leonard Maltin.  I downloaded it and looked over the list to see I had already seen some.  I didn't recognize any but I read a few descriptions.  One was for the movie "Kill Me Later".  I thought it would be about someone trying to postpone his own murder but it isn't.  A despondent woman climbs to the roof of a tall building, preparing to hurl herself off.  Just before she jumps, a bank robber fleeing from the police hot on his trail bursts out of a door and grabs her as a hostage.  What a situation!  Will she try to get killed?  Will the police allow the bad guy to slip away, unaware they could kill two birds with one shot?  Lynn predicts the two will fall in love.  

I love these odd situations.  "The Ransom of Red Chief" was the first one I learned about.  The bad guys come to regret kidnapping a very spirited and unpredictable little boy.  Then, I read "High Wind in Jamaica" where similar regrets overtake pirates who don't do so well with children as hostages.  One of my favorites movies, Ruthless People, written by my favorite screen writer, Dale Launer (also "Love Potion #9" and "My Cousin Vinny").  For financial reasons, the villian plans to murder his wife but before he can do that, she is kidnapped and held for ransom.  The villain dislikes his wife intently but deeply, deeply loves every bit of his money.

The movie "Three Fugitives" includes the improbable but funny situation where a desperate lightweight played by Martin Short, takes as hostage a dangerous and experienced criminal who has just finished serving time and wants to go straight.  Short is small and light and tries to hold Nick Nolte around the throat as a shield as he exits a bungled bank job. Nolte is afraid Short's trepidation and sloppy threatening behavior will get them both shot.  While serving as a human shield in front of ready-to-shoot police, he snarls at Short to hold his gun up and act tough.

In the movie "Short Time", policeman Dabney Coleman thinks he has a fatal disease and realizes that if he dies, his family will have very little to live on.  But, if he is killed in the line of duty, the insurance for his family is a respectable amount.  Suddenly, Office Coleman is taking amazing risks while confronting bad guys.

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby