Directing Musicals

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Directing Musicals Not every great Hollywood director attempted to direct a musical during their career but many of them gave the genre at least one chance never to return to it. Though Hitchcock never tried Capra Hawks Huston Mankiewicz Wilder Wyler and Zinnemann did … while Ford aborted most of what was to be his only offering. Not so surprisingly their efforts were above average. When thinking about the Hollywood studio era and the many [...]

When a Man Loves (1927)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

When a Man Loves (1927) This silent version of Abbé Prévost’s much filmed romance drama Manon Lescaut features Dolores Costello as Manon opposite top billed John Barrymore as Chevalier Fabien des Grieux. It was directed by Alan Crosland and the story was adapted by Bess Meredyth (A Woman of Affairs (1928)). Warner Oland plays Manon’s opportunistic greedy brother Andre; Sam De Grasse plays Comte Guillot de Morfontaine to whom Andre [...]

Suddenly Last Summer (1959)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Suddenly Last Summer (1959) Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (A Letter to Three Wives (1949) & All About Eve (1950)) with a screenplay written by Gore Vidal & Tennessee Williams (on whose play of the same name this film is based) this engaging drama features some terrific Academy Award nominated acting from two of its three leads: Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn. Montgomery Clift holds his own as the third lead actor. The [...]

Enemy Below The (1957)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Enemy Below The (1957) One of a handful of films directed by actor Dick Powell with a screenplay by Wendell Mayes (Anatomy of a Murder (1959)) this essential World War II submarine film gives more of the surface Destroyer perspective as a U.S. Navy Captain (Robert Mitchum Story of G.I. Joe (1945)) matches wits with a German U-boat Commander (Curt Jurgens). It won an Oscar for Best Effects Special Effects even though all but the actual depth [...]

Empty Holsters (1937)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Empty Holsters (1937) Featuring Dick Foran as the "Singing Cowboy"- link with his trusty horse Smoke "the Wonder Horse". Also appearing in the film are the prolific if unknown "B"-movie stock players Emmett Vogan and Glenn Strange. *** SPOILERS *** Ace Cain (Vogan) owns everything in town except the bank which is owned by Jim Ware who also happens to have the prettiest daughter (and only woman in the film?) in town [...]

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Bringing Up Baby (1938) A terrific screwball comedy the first of five films with director Howard Hawks and actor Cary Grant and another of the great Katharine Hepburn pairings with Grant. Hepburn is an heiress who runs into museum curator Grant who needs one more bone to complete his dinosaur skeleton display. She owns a tame leopard pet but there’s an identical wild one on the loose. Of course some romantic entanglements occur. Plus a dog [...]

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 1 Comment

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) Directed by Anatole Litvak this straightforward anti-Nazi propaganda film was based on real events involving a New York spy ring and four of its members that were convicted of spying on behalf of the German government. After about 45 minutes of set-up and character establishment Edward G. Robinson is introduced as the FBI agent who ends up unraveling the ring. Francis Lederer George Sanders Paul Lukas and Sig [...]

Riding the Wind (1942)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Riding the Wind (1942) Tim Holt stars as rancher Clay Stewart in this “B” Western from the 40’s which has the requisite gun play chases on horseback fist fights and mild humor to make for a fairly entertaining hour. The film opens with Burt MacLeod (Earle Hodgins) complaining to his wife Martha (Kate Harrington) about the fact that Henry Dodge (Eddie Dew) has just secured the water rights in the valley where all the ranchers [...]

Man Who Shot Liberty Valance The (1962)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Man Who Shot Liberty Valance The (1962) This is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time and I’ve avoided writing anything about it for a long time for two reasons: it’s been a while since I last watched it and more importantly I’m afraid I can’t do it justice. While I’ve written about other favorite films of mine the former reason is probably why I won’t be recounting its plot in any detail now. I did [...]

Father Goose (1964)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Father Goose (1964) One of Cary Grant’s last roles (actually his second to last) has him playing a grizzled island dweller whose idyllic home just happens to be a key location for monitoring Japan’s military strength in the Pacific during World War II. So he’s convinced by Trevor Howard’s character a Commander in the British Navy to keep track of the Japanese presence (e.g. count airplanes he sees) in the region. However [...]
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