Whistling in the Dark (1941)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Whistling in the Dark (1941) Directed by S. Sylvan Simon with a screenplay written in part by Albert Mannheimer (producer Simon and screenwriter Mannheimer would later collaborate and receive Oscar nominations for Born Yesterday (1950)) this typical Red Skelton comedy adds elements of mystery to entertain. Skelton plays Wally Benton a radio broadcaster whose program ‘The Fox’ features himself in the title role as a crime solver that [...]


August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

1938 1938 Academy Awards (Oscar winners and nominees) (winners listed first in bold print) Best Picture You Can’t Take It with You (1938) The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938) Boys Town (1938) The Citadel (1938) Four Daughters (1938) La Grande illusion (1937) Jezebel (1938) Pygmalion (1938) Test Pilot (1938) Best Actor in a Leading Role Spencer Tracy Boys Town (1938) Charles Boyer Algiers (1938) James [...]

Strangers on a Train (1951)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Strangers on a Train (1951) Given that his last four films were unsuccessful with critics and moviegoers alike (including Under Capricorn (1949) & Stage Fright (1950)) director Alfred Hitchcock needed this film which though thin of story & convincing dialogue helped him to reclaim his title as "the Master of Suspense". The plot involves two men played by Farley Granger and Robert Walker (interesting casting given his previous [...]

Sworn Enemy (1936)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Sworn Enemy (1936) Directed by Edwin L. Marin this crime drama doesn’t quite work because the writers (Wells Root wrote the screenplay for this Richard Wormser story) and the director couldn’t decide whether it should be played straight or not. Whereas a number of B pictures some also starring Robert Young are notable for their effective mix of comedy within a more serious story this one fails. The comedic elements which include Nat [...]

Hard Way The (1943)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Hard Way The (1943) Joan Leslie stars as a woman with average (singing) talent that Jack Carson wants to make a star. Carson and partner Dennis Morgan are traveling vaudeville song & dance men with marginal talent themselves and Carson thinks he’s discovered just what their act needs – this “kid” with spunk. Ida Lupino playing Leslie’s sister uses Carson’s interest in (attraction to) her sister to help [...]

Madame Curie (1943) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Madame Curie (1943) – full review! Directed by Mervyn LeRoy with a screenplay by Paul Osborn & Paul Rameau that was based on Madame Ove Curie’s book this above average biographical (if fictionalized) drama features Greer Garson in the title role with Walter Pidgeon as her husband and co-discoverer. It relates the first years of the woman scientist’s educated life from her early years as Polish student Maria come Marie [...]

Star is Born A (1937)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Star is Born A (1937) Although some prefer this to the Judy Garland/James Mason version I think both are great. This one stars Janet Gaynor as the talented yet undiscovered actress who makes her way to Hollywood to pursue her dream. The first one to recognize her talent is an aging declining actor (Fredric March) who falls in love with her helps her and marries her before she hits it big. Hence he is overshadowed by her and she’s [...]

Hell is for Heroes (1962) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Hell is for Heroes (1962) – full review! Directed by Don Siegel and co-written by Robert Pirosh (Battleground (1949)) this gritty World War II drama stars Steve McQueen Bobby Darin Fess Parker Harry Guardino James Coburn and Bob Newhart (!) among others. Guardino plays the Sergeant of a group of veterans thinking they’re about to go home. The group includes Darin – the “free enterprise” scrounger who sells needed [...]

Music Pioneers of Film

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Music Pioneers of Film There have been countless fictionalized biographies of music professionals turned out by Hollywood over the years including Cornel Wilde’s Academy Award nominated Best Actor performance as Chopin in A Song to Remember (1945) . So many have been released – like 1984’s Oscar winning Best Picture about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – that there are far too many to include all of them in a single article. To [...]

Films about Fathers

August 29, 2014 // 1 Comment

Films about Fathers As a father I’m particularly “affected” by films which portray relationships between fathers and their children particularly their daughters. No I’m not talking about Godfathers or other “sick” fathers like John Huston’s in Chinatown (1974) nor do I mean pathetic fathers like Kevin Spacey AND Chris Cooper in American Beauty (1999). I mean movies which show a more idealized view of the [...]
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