The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Finally a version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s much acclaimed series adapted to the screen and done well. This film won all ELEVEN Oscars for which it was nominated including Best Picture Best Director (Peter Jackson) and Adapted Screenplay yet none in the acting categories. The second sequel to win BP after The Godfather: Part II (1974). Gollum’s (Andy Serkis’s) hauntingly spoken [...]

Baby Face (1933) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Baby Face (1933) – full review! Barbara Stanwyck is perfectly cast in the title role of this sexy drama that was recently restored to its scandalous pre-code origins. Alfred Green directed the Darryl F. Zanuck (aka Mark Canfield) story; Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola wrote the screenplay. It’s the story of a woman who grew up in a horrible environment that made her a tramp. But she receives some advice from a local (factory town Erie) [...]

Winchester ’73 (1950)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Winchester ’73 (1950) The first and arguably the best of the many (director) Anthony Mann – James Stewart (actor) collaborations most of which were Westerns – this one’s an essential (and one of the best from this genre)! With a story by Stuart Lake (The Westerner (1940)) and a screenplay by Borden Chase (Red River (1948)) and Robert Richards the plot revolves around the titled gun. Stewart plays Lin McAdam who wins the [...]

Notorious Affair A (1930)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Notorious Affair A (1930) Directed by Lloyd Bacon with a screenplay by J. Grubb Alexander that was based on the play Fame by Audrey and Waverly Carter this less than stellar pre-code romance drama suffers from more than its (early) sound (era) quality; it features an incredibly wooden (at best) performance from male lead Basil Rathbone. He plays Paul Gherardi a starving artist musician (violin) who marries wealthy debutante Patricia Hanley [...]

Without Reservations (1946)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Without Reservations (1946) A so so story about a writer (Claudette Colbert) who writes a novel that becomes the rage. On her way (by train and then car) to Hollywood where her book is to be made into a movie she meets the perfect unknown man (John Wayne) and military officer to portray her protagonist on-screen. Unfortunately for her without knowing who she is he shares his view that the ideas expressed in her popular book are nonsense. However [...]

Three Musketeers The (1948)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Three Musketeers The (1948) Directed by George Sidney with a screenplay by Robert Ardrey that was based on the Alexandre Dumas novel this particular screen adaptation of the famous story earned an Academy Award nomination for its Color Cinematography (Robert H. Planck’s second of four unrewarded Oscar nominations in that category) and is notable for lead Gene Kelly’s acrobatic portrayal of D’Artagnan the fourth musketeer. [...]

Marty (1955)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Marty (1955) Paddy Chayefsky’s first of three Best Writing Oscars has Best Actor Ernest Borgnine playing against type in the role that Rod Steiger played on TV two years earlier … a sign that TV had arrived! This Oscar winning Best Picture is an insightful story about loneliness peer pressure and homeliness. The only BP winner to win the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or also the shortest (91 minutes) to win. Director [...]

Frank Sinatra – The Early Years

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Frank Sinatra – The Early Years Double Dynamite (1951) an RKO title that not too subtly refers to the assets of its top billed Howard Hughes discovery Jane Russell is a subpar comedy that was directed by Irving Cummings (In Old Arizona (1928)) and written by Melville Shavelson from a story by Leo Rosten. It’s about an ordinary bank clerk (third billed Frank Sinatra) that improbably receives a gambling windfall from a bookie (Nestor [...]

Sons of the Desert (1933) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Sons of the Desert (1933) – full review! My favorite of the Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy films (#96 on AFI’s 100 Funniest Movies list) also features comedian Charley Chase as the conventioneer who pulls gags on all the other attendees. It was directed by William Seiter and written by (frequent actor) Frank Craven; Byron Morgan provided continuity. Laurel & Hardy are members of Kiwanis-like club called the “Sons of the [...]

Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) – full review! C.S. Forester adapted his own novel for this British military ship adventure drama that takes place during the Napoleonic wars which was directed by Raoul Walsh; Ivan Goff Ben Roberts and Aeneas MacKenzie wrote the screenplay. Gregory Peck plays the title role (R.N. stands for Royal Navy) in this Technicolor movie which could have been the model for Peter Weir’s 2003 action drama [...]
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