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Films set in China

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Films set in China Shanghai Express (1932) and The Shanghai Gesture (1941) are two Josef von Sternberg classics worth mentioning; the first starred one of the director’s more frequent successful and beautiful collaborators actress Marlene Dietrich while the second featured Gene Tierney a couple of years before she had learned her craft. Dietrich plays Shanghai Lily a woman notorious for using her considerable assets to seduce men (who [...]

Wizard of Oz The (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Wizard of Oz The (1939) I used to watch this annually when I was a child didn’t you? Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow” #1 on AFI’s 100 Top Movie Songs of All Time and an Oscar winner to boot was nearly cut from the film! The film’s score which features “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead (#82 on AFI’s 100 Top Movie Songs of All Time) also won the Oscar. Mervyn LeRoy’s film was nominated for Best [...]

Flight Angels (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Flight Angels (1940) Directed by Lewis Seiler with a story co-written by (future) Irving G. Thalberg winner Jerry Wald this insipid romantic comedy-drama is one of the weaker B films I’ve seen which given its cast is surprising. Featuring a dated storyline and a plethora of uncomfortably sexist themes the plot is rife with stereotypes from the time in our history prior to U.S. involvement in World War II when women presumably had nothing [...]

Baby Face (1933) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Baby Face (1933) – full review! Barbara Stanwyck is perfectly cast in the title role of this sexy drama that was recently restored to its scandalous pre-code origins. Alfred Green directed the Darryl F. Zanuck (aka Mark Canfield) story; Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola wrote the screenplay. It’s the story of a woman who grew up in a horrible environment that made her a tramp. But she receives some advice from a local (factory town Erie) [...]

These Three (1936)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

These Three (1936) A film you must see if you want to understand the damage that rumor and innuendo can do. A child played by Bonita Granville in an Academy Award nominated performance destroys the lives of three people with the help of her Grandmother played by Alma Kruger. The three whose lives are turned upside-down are played convincingly by Merle Oberon Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea in this William Wyler directed film produced by Samuel [...]

1931-1932

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

1931-1932 1931-1932 Academy Awards (Oscar winners and nominees) (winners listed first in bold print) Best Picture Grand Hotel (1932)   Arrowsmith (1931) Bad Girl (1931) The Champ (1931) Five Star Final (1931) One Hour with You (1932) Shanghai Express (1932) The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) Best Actor in a Leading Role Wallace Beery The Champ (1931) and Fredric March Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) Alfred Lunt The Guardsman (1931) Best Actress [...]

Oliver! (1968)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Oliver! (1968) “Consider yourself at home” “Food glorious food” and many other many memorable songs (none of which were recognized by AFI!) and scenes mark this musical version of Charles Dickens’s classic Oliver Twist. In my opinion you’ll find no better character acting than Ron Moody as Fagin (though he lost the Best Actor Oscar to Cliff Robertson’s Charly (1968)) in this film – OUTSTANDING! The [...]

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 [...]

It’s Love I’m After (1937)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

It’s Love I’m After (1937) Directed by Archie Mayo Casey Robinson (Captain Blood (1935)) adapted this silly Maurice Hanlin story about two stage stars who are romantically involved yet never seem to get married; they’ve failed to make it almost a dozen times! The couple is played by Leslie Howard and Bette Davis. Things get complicated when a young woman’s (Olivia de Havilland) infatuation with Howard threatens her [...]

Boom Town (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Boom Town (1940) This is one of the many entertaining pairings of Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy; it’s about two “wildcat” oil friends who become competitors and also get involved with two beautiful women Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamarr. Frank Morgan also figures prominently as a competitor and partner. Directed by Jack Conway with a screenplay by John Lee Mahin (Captains Courageous (1937)) that was based on James Edward [...]
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