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Half a Hero (1953)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Half a Hero (1953) This Red Skelton comedy provides a social commentary of its time that’s not as dated as one might think. In fact it reminded me of a recent “keep up with the Jones” commercial for a financial lending organization at first with a little bit of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) later. Skelton plays a New York magazine writer named Ben Dobson whose ambitious – one might even say ‘social climbing’ – wife [...]

Lolita (1962)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lolita (1962) There are a lot of mixed opinions about this film from director Stanley Kubrick. Personally I like it. James Mason (A Star is Born (1954)) gives his usual solid performance as middle aged Professor Humbert Humbert who pursues Charlotte Haze’s (Shelley Winters The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)) teenage daughter (Sue Lyon in the title role) while Charlotte pursues him. Peter Sellers give an hilarious performance as Clare Quilty a [...]

Real Glory The (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Real Glory The (1939) This Samuel Goldwyn (co-)produced Henry Hathaway directed action adventure film will remind classic movie fans of the director’s The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) which like this one also stars Gary Cooper and even Gunga Din (1939) released almost 9 months earlier that same year. This one is set in the Philippines some distance from Manila in lieu of the British Colony of India in 1906 (shortly after the San [...]

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 [...]

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) Featuring Raymond Massey in the title role this biographical drama is an interesting look at the man his humble beginnings his reluctance to serve (shyness and other pressures) and early "grass roots" politics. Massey received his only recognition from the Academy when he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. The highlight of this film is Lincoln’s "House Divided" speech delivered in a [...]

Angel Face (1952) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Angel Face (1952) – full review! Produced and directed by Otto Preminger (Laura (1944)) with a screenplay by Oscar Millard (The Frogmen (1951)) and Frank Nugent (The Quiet Man (1952)) that was based on a Chester Erskine story this slightly above average crime drama film-noir features Robert Mitchum as working class Frank Jessup and Jean Simmons (in the title role) as Diane Tremayne a seemingly sweet ‘debutante’ daddy’s [...]

Rancho Notorious (1952)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Rancho Notorious (1952) Directed by Fritz Lang with a screenplay by Daniel Taradash (From Here to Eternity (1953)) this above average Western has Marlene Dietrich playing a mysterious woman by the name of Altar Keane. Arthur Kennedy is a cowboy on a trail of revenge which eventually leads him to Altar Keane which at first he isn’t sure to which the name refers – a person place or thing. It turns out that Keane is a woman who runs a [...]

Ada (1961)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Ada (1961) This above average political (campaign) drama by Daniel Mann who directed Shirley Booth to the Best Actress Oscar (& her only nomination) is his directorial debut Come Back Little Sheba (1952) features Susan Hayward (I Want to Live! (1958)) whom he’d earlier directed in the Lillian Roth biography I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955) in the title role. The film also stars Dean Martin Wilfrid Hyde-White in a very non-Colonel [...]

Of Human Bondage (1934)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Of Human Bondage (1934) Better than average this film stars Bette Davis (write in Academy Award Best Actress nomination!) as an unlovable waitress who’s pursued by club-footed artist come medical student played by Leslie Howard who loves her at his peril. She runs off with Alan Hale’s character only to later return to him pregnant. He breaks his relationship with Kay Johnson’s character because of his obsession with [...]

Mannequin (1937) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Mannequin (1937) – full review! Directed by Frank Borzage (Bad Girl (1931)) who also co-produced with Joseph L. Mankiewicz this stereotypical rags to riches (poor girl becomes showgirl marries millionaire) story by Katharine Bush was turned into a fairly involving drama by screenwriter Lawrence Hazard and performances from Joan Crawford (in the title role another term for runway model) and Spencer Tracy their only pairing. Alan Curtis who [...]
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