Essential Character Actors

August 29, 2014 // 1 Comment

Essential Character Actors this is a work in progress (and currently male only) please check back later for updates During the studio era character actors were common (and respected) much more so than today. Whether it was MGM Warner Bros. or you name it each company had some stock players that were excellent supporting players whether they were typecast or not. Sometimes it was directors (e.g. like John Ford later copied by Clint Eastwood) who [...]

The Little Mermaid (1989)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Little Mermaid (1989) Disney’s version of this Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is notable for its Music Score which won the Academy Award (Alan Menken) and features two Oscar nominated songs “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl” (lyrics by Howard Ashman). The screenplay was written and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. The titled character is Ariel (Jodi Benson) who protests that she’s [...]

Spiral Staircase The (1946)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Spiral Staircase The (1946) A serial killer is on the loose that chooses his victims for their imperfections. Dorothy McGuire is mute working as a live-in servant for a wealthy old woman played by Ethel Barrymore (who received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination). Also living in the mansion are her sons Professor (George Brent) and Steve Warren (Gordon Oliver) the Professor’s secretary (Rhonda Fleming) who’s dating Steve and [...]

Facts of Life The (1960) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Facts of Life The (1960) – full review! Directed by Melvin Frank who co-wrote it with producer Norman Panama this romance drama was originally written as a Brief Encounter (1945) type movie for James Stewart & Olivia de Havilland who’s only film together ended up being Airport ‘77 (1977). Eight years later it was modified into a more comedic look at two persons who are frustrated by their attempts to have an affair. Hence it [...]

My Dream Is Yours (1949)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

My Dream Is Yours (1949) Doris Day’s second film was this Technicolor remake of Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934) which had featured Dick Powell and a story by Paul Finder Moss and Jerry Wald. This comedy musical was produced and directed by Michael Curtiz adapted by Laura Kerr and Allen Rivkin and features a screenplay by Harry Kurnitz (What Next Corporal Hargrove? (1945)) and Dane Lussier; I. aka Friz Freleng directed an animated dream [...]

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The (1939) Produced by Joseph Mankiewicz and directed by Richard Thorpe with a screenplay by Hugo Butler that was based on the classic novel by Mark Twain this average adventure drama features Mickey Rooney in the title role. Huck lives with the widow Douglass (Elisabeth Risdon) and her sister Miss Watson (Clara Blandick); their Black slave Jim who’s a big part of the story is played by Rex Ingram. [...]

How the West Was Won (1962) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

How the West Was Won (1962) – full review! This epic Cinerama film begins with a flyover over shot of cloud-shrouded Rocky Mountains; narration is provided by Spencer Tracy throughout to connect its disparate storyline. Debbie Reynolds is the only character that survives from beginning to end. She’s part of the Prescott family headed by Karl Malden and Agnes Moorehead who ventures west after having a tough time of it farming ‘rocks’ [...]

Silk Stockings (1957)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Silk Stockings (1957) Though not nearly as good as the original this musical remake of Ninotchka (1939) is entertaining because let’s face it Cyd Charisse isn’t hard to look at and when paired with Fred Astaire one always gets to see memorable dance sequences. Charisse plays the cold Russian woman (Ninotchka) that Garbo played in the original. Though the plot is different Astaire plays the Melvyn Douglas-like role (e.g. the one that [...]

Sahara (1943)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Sahara (1943) Directed by Zoltan Korda who collaborated with John Howard Lawson (Blockade (1938)) on the screenplay they based on Philip MacDonald’s story (see below) this essential war drama stars Humphrey Bogart as Army Sergeant Joe Gunn who leads his tank (named Lulubelle) unit and a mixed bag of other Allied soldiers that join them through the titled desert. The men must defend an oasis they find with the water they desperately need [...]

Camelot (1967)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Camelot (1967) This musical adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical play (of the same name) by Alan Jay Lerner from T.H. White’s "The Once and Future King" was directed by Joshua Logan. It earned three Academy Awards – for Art Direction-Set Decoration Costume Design and Music Scoring of Music Adaptation or Treatment – in addition to Oscar nominations for Cinematography and Sound. However its lead actors: Richard Harris as [...]
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