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Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Manhattan Melodrama (1934) Directed by W. S. Van Dyke (The Thin Man (1934) & San Francisco (1936)) & George Cukor (My Fair Lady (1964)) uncredited with a screenplay co-written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve (1950)) this film is reported to be the one that Myrna Loy fan John Dillinger went to see at a Chicago theater after which he was gunned down by the FBI. Arthur Caesar’s Original Story won an Oscar. It also contains the [...]

Keeping Company (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Keeping Company (1940) Directed by S. Sylvan Simon (who produced Born Yesterday (1950)) this dated Herman J. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane (1941)) story whose screenplay was co-written by Adrian Scott (Crossfire (1947)) is a comedy-drama about married life as told through a family of two parents with daughters their eldest first getting engaged then marrying and having to deal with conflict for the first time in her relationship with her [...]

Dark Command (1940) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Dark Command (1940) – full review! If the film Stagecoach (1939) got John Wayne noticed in Hollywood this Western (based on the W.R. Burnett novel of the same name) earned the actor a permanent place on casting director’s cards for the genre. Directed by Raoul Walsh with a screenplay written by Grover Jones (The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)) and others the rest of the cast in this average but watchable story was oddly chosen. [...]

Tearjerkers

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tearjerkers What makes you cry? O.K. I know if you pull out a nose hair with tweezers you will probably shed a tear. But what kind of movie brings tears to your eyes? Unless you tend to view movies from a strictly controlled and objective viewpoint chances are you experience a variety of emotions when watching a film. Of course Hollywood knows this and has therefore learned how to manipulate you: they use visuals words a soaring soundtrack and [...]

Three Godfathers (1936)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Three Godfathers (1936) Possibly the best of this oft-filmed story about three outlaws on the run who come across a dying mother and her baby in the desert and decide to help. This one features Chester Morris as the orneriest of the bunch Lewis Stone as the wisest and most educated – ‘Doc’ and Walter Brennan as the most “simple”. There’s a little more to this story than (the one reel shorter) Hell’s Heroes [...]

Lead Actors in Oscar’s Best Picture Winners

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lead Actors in Oscar’s Best Picture Winners Several (male) actors have appeared in more than one movie that won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences highest award (e.g. the Best Picture Oscar); in fact a few have acted in back-to-back winners! Not surprisingly though some of the best known actors from the studio era never appeared in an Academy Award winning Best Picture. For instance Fred Astaire Richard Burton James Cagney [...]

Tom Dick and Harry (1941)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tom Dick and Harry (1941) Silly comedy especially its dream sequences that will make you wonder how Ginger Rogers earned a Best Actress Oscar (in her film that directly preceded this one Kitty Foyle (1940)). Bo Derek must have watched this film to learn how to “act” (e.g. demurely chewing a pinkie finger in her mouth to show that her character’s “thinking”). Thank goodness Rogers redeemed herself the following year [...]

The Great Diamond Robbery (1954)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Great Diamond Robbery (1954) This – the last MGM film of Red Skelton – minor comedy was directed by Robert Z. Leonard (The Great Ziegfeld (1936)) and written by Martin Rackin and László Vadnay . In addition to the headliner comedian the cast includes Cara Williams James Whitmore Kurt Kasznar and Reginald Owen among others. Skelton plays an accomplished diamond cutter (!) that has worked for Bainbridge Gibbons (Owen) for 20 years. Found [...]

Berlin Express (1948)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Berlin Express (1948) An almost documentary (as it’s narrated by an uncredited voice) style thriller set in post World War II Germany with a terrific cast directed by Jacques Tourneur. Frankfort and Berlin were devastated by Allied bombing raids towards the end of the war and the country is now divided into four disparate sections controlled by United States Russian French and British military forces. An important German diplomat who had [...]

Harder They Fall The (1956)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Harder They Fall The (1956) This great boxing movie features Humphrey Bogart’s last on-screen performance. He plays Eddie Willis a has-been sportswriter that’s hired to promote an Argentinian boxer named Toro Moreno (Mike Lane) by the fighter’s owner Nick Benko played by Rod Steiger. Benko has arranged bouts for Toro against bums or others who will take a fall to enable his “boxer” to earn a title fight. This sets [...]
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