Essays

Old Acquaintance (1943)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Old Acquaintance (1943) Bette Davis is a serious literary writer who’s enjoyed mild success. She returns to her hometown to visit her childhood friend played by Miriam Hopkins who’s married to John Loder. Hopkins’s character yearns for a life of her own outside of the trappings of her husband and daughter and is inspired by her friend’s visit to try and get her trashy romance novel published. Davis helps her out and of [...]

Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941) Tay Garnett directed this drama which comes off as a female version of Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939) though this one was based on a Bess Streeter Aldrich novel that was adapted by Stephen Vincent Benet; Sheridan Gibney (The Story of Louis Pasteur (1935)) and Adelaide Heilbron wrote the screenplay. Edward Ward’s Score received an Academy Award nomination. Sentimental and not particularly affecting the story [...]

Susan Hayward

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Susan Hayward On March 14 1975 actress Susan Hayward died a few months shy of her 58th birthday; the cause of death was multiple cancerous and inoperable brain tumors. She was buried about 40 miles west of Atlanta (20 miles from the Alabama state line) in Carrollton Georgia with her second husband Floyd Eaton Chalkley a wealthy lawyer and businessman who’d died nine years earlier. She’d been born Edythe Marrener in Brooklyn New York [...]

Devil and Miss Jones The (1941)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Devil and Miss Jones The (1941) An hilarious comedy by director Sam Wood starring Jean Arthur Charles Coburn Robert Cummings Spring Byington Edmund Gwenn S. Z. Sakall and William Demarest. Sags a little after the first 45 minutes (except for Cummings reciting the Declaration of Independence etc.) but picks up the pace and interest again in the final 20 minutes. Coburn (Best Actor) and Norman Krasna (Original Screenplay) picked up Oscar [...]

Runaway Brides and Other Interrupted Weddings

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Runaway Brides and Other Interrupted Weddings The musical comedy Cover Girl (1944) features Rita Hayworth in two different roles as singer-dancer Rusty Parker in the film’s present day and as her grandmother Maribelle Hicks in flashback sequences. Within both storylines her character becomes engaged to a wealthy man she doesn’t love and as a bride each leaves her groom at the altar for the poorer man she does. Watching this movie [...]

Janie (1944)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Janie (1944) What would otherwise have been an average B comedy produced to provide light entertainment and escape for World War II audiences is actually quite remarkable when viewed today. First it was directed by Michael Curtiz who though no stranger to directing B movies earlier in his career had just won an Academy Award the previous year (Casablanca (1942)) with his fourth Best Director nomination. But the best reason for watching this film [...]

The Falcon Out West (1944)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Falcon Out West (1944) This eighth film in the Falcon series By utilizing other talents from within RKO Studios the Falcon series was given a Western locale similar to those found in so many B Westerns from the same time period with a screenplay from Morton Grant (and Billy Jones) and cinematography by Harry Wild (Army Girl (1938)). Based on the character created by Michael Arlen and directed by William Clemens it features Tom Conway as Tom [...]

Henry O’Neill

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Henry O’Neill Unless you’ve watched a lot of Warner Bros. and MGM movies on TCM like I have you may not be familiar with character actor Henry O’Neill though he appeared in more than 160 films. Even if you know this prolific actor’s name you may not be able to recall (or instantly identify) his face. In fact you might find yourself confusing him with another prematurely gray-haired (yet mustached) actor Lewis Stone (born [...]

Romeo and Juliet (1936)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Romeo and Juliet (1936) Nominated for a Best Picture Oscar this Irving Thalberg-MGM production was released less than a month before his premature death. It features his wife Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard in the title roles of this Shakespearean classic about two doomed lovers from different feuding families. John Barrymore plays Mercutio; Basil Rathbone is Tybalt. The all star cast also includes Edna May Oliver C. Aubrey Smith and Andy [...]

Oklahoma! (1955)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Oklahoma! (1955) If you’ve never seen this don’t miss it! I find it unbelievable that none of its songs (from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II) made AFI’s 100 Top Movies Songs of All Time list. Shirley Jones’s first film won Oscars for Best Music and Sound Recording and it’s Editing & Color Cinematography were also nominated. It features a terrific cast including Gordon MacRae Rod Steiger (in his only [...]
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