Articles by Rob

Movie Mothers

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Movie Mothers While writing my essay about Irene Dunne I reflected on two of her later and most memorable roles – playing mother characters in Life with Father (1947) and I Remember Mama (1948) – and recalled several other classic movie moms and the actresses who portrayed them ideally. I then thought it would be appropriate to explore further the best of Hollywood’s studio era film mothers. Whether they were protective [...]

Mating Season The (1951)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Mating Season The (1951) This delightfully funny (and ironic) comedy earned Thelma Ritter the second of her six unrewarded Supporting Actress Oscar nominations even though her role is really a leading one. It was directed by Mitchell Leisen (Dynamite (1929)); producer Charles Brackett (Sunset Blvd. (1950)) wrote the screenplay with Richard Breen (A Foreign Affair (1948)) and Walter Reisch (Ninotchka (1939)) from a play by Caesar Dunn. It also [...]

Letter The (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Letter The (1940) Bette Davis gives her typical powerhouse (and Best Actress Academy Award nominated) performance in this essential drama as a woman accused of killing a man she claims was in self-defense. Herbert Marshall plays her husband who engages his lawyer (James Stephenson his only Oscar nominated performance Supporting) to defend her. Howard Koch adapted W. Somerset Maugham’s play which takes place on a rubber plantation. The film [...]

Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory Vol. 3

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory Vol. 3 Hit the Deck (1955) is an MGM CinemaScope musical that bears a striking resemblance to the studio’s earlier hits Anchors Aweigh (1945) and On the Town (1949) without having any memorable songs or dance sequences of its own. Originally it was a Broadway smash that was filmed in 1930 by RKO which later adapted it for the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle Follow the Fleet (1936) using Irving [...]

Bundle of Joy (1956)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Bundle of Joy (1956) Directed by Norman Taurog (Skippy (1931)) this Musical remake of Bachelor Mother (1939) by Felix Jackson with a screenplay by Robert Carson (A Star is Born (1937)) Norman Krasna (Princess O’Rourke (1943)) and Arthur Sheekman doesn’t come close to the charm or quality of the original. It was primarily made to capitalize on the Eddie Fisher-Debbie Reynolds marriage and her pregnancy which would produce future [...]

No Time for Sergeants (1958)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

No Time for Sergeants (1958) After his stunning film debut as Larry ‘Lonesome’ Rhodes in Budd Schulberg’s A Face in the Crowd (1957) Andy Griffith played Private Will Stockdale in this comedy produced (with Alex Segal) and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. The film followed the Broadway play (of the same name) which was based on a novel by Mac Hyman adapted by Ira Levin for the stage and John Lee Mahin (Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957)) [...]

Dallas (1950) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Dallas (1950) – full review! Directed by Stuart Heisler (who’d received his only Oscar nomination for Tulsa (1949) for Special Effects) and written by John Twist this needlessly complex and talky Western with a B movie feel that includes some comedy (intentional or otherwise) might please only fans of its lead actor Gary Cooper who plays a familiar role as a wronged man waging a solo battle of revenge. Coop plays Blayde [...]

Yearling The (1946)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Yearling The (1946) Beautifully shot (Best Color Cinematography & Art Direction Oscars) it gives one a bit of perspective about the way things were on a family farm in the late 1800’s. It features Gregory Peck as the understanding father of his outgoing son a young Claude Jarman (his screen debut); Jane Wyman plays Peck’s wife the overprotective mother of their only surviving (from multiple child births deaths) son. Oh yeah and [...]

Shop on Main Street The (1965) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Shop on Main Street The (1965) – full review! aka Obchod na korze (1965) This World War II drama from Czechoslovakia won the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award; additionally lead Ida Kaminska was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. It was directed by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos; both are credited with adapting the story by Ladislav Grosman. Unlike a lot of foreign language dramas the subtitles are non-obtrusive: easy to read without [...]

Barkleys of Broadway The (1949)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Barkleys of Broadway The (1949) Because of Judy Garland’s various problems Fred & Ginger made one more film together 10 years after their last (The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)) and their only in Technicolor earning Cinematography Harry Stradling Sr. his (first for Color) third (of fourteen) Oscar nomination(s). Ironically its story is about a (married) song & dance team that split because the woman (Rogers) feeling [...]
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