Search Results for essays

Strangers on a Train (1951)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Strangers on a Train (1951) Given that his last four films were unsuccessful with critics and moviegoers alike (including Under Capricorn (1949) & Stage Fright (1950)) director Alfred Hitchcock needed this film which though thin of story & convincing dialogue helped him to reclaim his title as "the Master of Suspense". The plot involves two men played by Farley Granger and Robert Walker (interesting casting given his previous [...]

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 [...]

Swan The (1956) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Swan The (1956) – full review! Directed by Charles Vidor with a screenplay by John Dighton (Roman Holiday (1953)) this average romantic drama with comedic elements stars Grace Kelly (The Country Girl (1954)) in the title role as a Princess who hopes to (marry to) become a Queen. Ironically production on this film was wrapped up (at the Biltmore House in North Carolina) just before Christmas when Prince Rainier of Monaco who had been [...]

The Music Man (1962)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Music Man (1962) This family favorite and Academy Award winning Musical – Best Music Scoring of Music Adaptation or Treatment by Ray Heindorf (his third Oscar out of 18 nominations) – was also nominated for Best Picture Editing and Sound as well as for its Color Art Direction-Set Decoration and Costume Designs. It features Robert Preston in the title (and his career) role as Professor Harold Hill Shirley Jones as Marian “the [...]

Divorcee The (1930)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Divorcee The (1930) Directed by Robert Z. Leonard with dialogue and continuity provided by John Meehan this above average drama features Norma Shearer’s Oscar winning Best Actress performance. The film director Leonard and writer Meehan were also nominated. Even though its pre-morality code storyline is dated it’s still a worthwhile film today dealing with the hypocrisy of men who have affairs and expect to be accepted back into the marriage [...]

General Died at Dawn The (1936)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

General Died at Dawn The (1936) If not for all the grandstanding speeches contained within its dialogue this adventure drama might have been better. As it is it’s notable for earning Akim Tamiroff his first of two unrewarded Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominations. Cinematographer Victor Milner (Cleopatra (1934)) also picked up an Oscar nomination as did the film’s Score. Directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western [...]

Casanova Brown (1944) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Casanova Brown (1944) – full review! One of the rare remakes that’s better than the original (though I don’t really know since I’ve not seen Little Accident (1930) nor Little Accident (1939)); surely the cast alone makes this version superior (though the original original did feature Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Anita Page Zasu Pitts and Roscoe Karns among others)? Plus this one did receive Academy Award nominations for its B&W Art [...]

Trailin’ West (1936)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Trailin’ West (1936) Featuring Dick Foran as the “Singing Cowboy” and his horse Smoke (unbilled). Paula Stone from Treachery Rides the Range is the girl in this one too. Also appearing is Henry Otho the favorite foil of the “Singing Cowboy”? Although Jim Thorpe (yes that Jim Thorpe) appears in the credits as Black Eagle if he’s in the film at all it’s for all of three seconds in a montage of the Indians [...]

Patterns (1956) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Patterns (1956) – full review! It’s curious to me that very few corporate boardroom dramas exist and that the two best were released within a couple of years of each other. Like Executive Suite (1954) this Rod Serling teleplay (which he also adapted for the big screen) is an excellent business behind-the-scenes story that holds up today because of it authenticity. Van Heflin plays Fred Staples a sharp plant manager who is brought in [...]

Out of Africa (1985)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Out of Africa (1985) One of the worst movies to win the Best Picture Oscar in my opinion. Simply awful especially Meryl Streep’s accent (though she was Oscar nominated). This biography of Karen Blixen is predictably dull. Another Steven Spielberg snub (The Color Purple (1985) – 11 nominations without a single Oscar win) or just a weak year? It’s as if the Academy was trying to make up with (producer) Sydney Pollack who received [...]
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