HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  ...All the Marbles Tag Team Troubles
Year: 1981
Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Peter Falk, Vicki Frederick, Laurene Landon, Burt Young, Tracy Reed, Ursaline Bryant, Claudette Nevins, Richard Jaeckel, John Hancock, Lenny Montana, Charlie Dell, Chick Hearn, Cliff Emmich, Clyde Kusatsu, Joe Greene, Angela Aames, Stanley Brock
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Another night, another wrestling match and the tag team of The California Dolls manage to win the evening - this time. They are Iris (Vicki Frederick) and Molly (Laurene Landon), two athletic girls who spend their time travelling the United States with their manager Harry Sears (Peter Falk) who always wants what's best for them, but might just be more looking after his own interests as they are his meal ticket after all. Every match they play features another fight in itself, to get enough money to cover their expenses and with a little luck to move higher up the rankings...

...All the Marbles will forever be remembered, if it's remembered at all, for being the final movie of one of the great American cult directors, Robert Aldrich, a man whose flops were almost as interesting as his hits, and whose hits were among the very best examples of his craft coming out of Hollywood in his career. This last film, as with many of his others, picked up a following mainly for its unusual subject matter as this was before wrestling really took off as an entertainment fit for the masses, and women's wrestling was rarely the draw that the men's matches were, no matter that they both featured the same amount of prowess.

As the two Dolls, dancer Frederick and future cult star, often in Larry Cohen movies, Landon did all their own stunts having been coached by legendary exponent of the craft Mildred Burke; if Oscars were given out for the amount of physical knocks the actresses took, these two would be nominated in the blink of an eye, managing to look as glamorous as possible under the circumstances. Those circumstances being flung around the ring for a good half of the movie, the rest of it taken up with the character stuff where they more than held their own against the more experienced wiles of co-star Falk, a veteran scene-stealer putting in similarly excellent work here.

These three were so good together it was a pity another vehicle was never found to put them together once more, you can believe in the banter they delivered from the script that they had indeed spent more time living hand to mouth and out of one anothers' pockets than they cared to recall, and many of the non-combat sequences featured the girls lamenting their lives had come to this while Harry attempts to buoy their spirits. Harry was a smooth talker all right, but he's not invincible, and he struggles to get his team the breaks they deserve, so when in the second half things begin to look up for them all, after a particularly humliating bout of topless mud wrestling, you are genuinely optimistic.

As much as this was a deliberately uplifting triumph against the odds comedy drama - or you begin to hope it is after getting to know them for two hours - Aldrich did not soft pedal the grim nature of the characters' existences. Yes, there was a lot to laugh at but you're always aware that a more serious scene was on its way, whether it's Molly's painkiller addiction or simply Iris's mortification that she was laughed at during one bout; these were tough women but they were not heartless. This is all building up to a contest that plays out in near-real time for the last half hour of the movie as the California Dolls get their chance at the big time against the reigning champions, a formidable duo who will take all their resources, including Harry's publicity drive, to bring them down. With Burt Young on great, untrustworthy form this may remind you of Rocky movies, possibly deliberately, but the match which climaxes this was far more exciting than most of that franchise because you don't know how cynical the conclusion of this too often unsung gem will be. Music by Frank De Vol.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8407 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: