Search Results for essays

Arizona Legion (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Arizona Legion (1939) Directed by David Howard with a screenplay by Oliver Drake from a story by Bernard McConville this George O’Brien B Western also features Laraine Day using her birth last name Johnson for the fourth and final time in the credits and appearing in her third consecutive (and last) RKO oater with O’Brien who appears in his 60th film. The film’s beginning is unusual in that O’Brien as Boone Yeager appears to [...]

Pygmalion (1938)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Pygmalion (1938) Directed by Anthony Asquith and lead actor Leslie Howard this original screen version of the George Bernard Shaw play that was later made into the better known musical and Academy Award winning Best Picture My Fair Lady (1964) (with Rex Harrison & Audrey Hepburn) features Howard (Berkeley Square (1933)) in the role of the tremendously self confident linguist Professor Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller in the role of the cockney [...]

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 [...]

Stella Dallas (1937)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Stella Dallas (1937) Barbara Stanwyck gives a knockout performance as a poor woman determined to have a better life who thinks money alone will give her class. It doesn’t and refusing to learn this she soon finds herself back in the dumps. However her love for her daughter (played by Anne Shirley) and self sacrificing struggle to make a better life for her helps build her character. The ending is not to be missed! Stanwyck’s and [...]

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 [...]

Phantom Lady (1944)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Phantom Lady (1944) Don’t know if you’ll be as entranced as I was watching Ella Raines for the first time in this one but regardless this is a pretty good murder mystery which also stars Franchot Tone and Thomas Gomez. A man (Alan Curtis) is framed for killing his wife. His secretary (Raines) who also happens to be infatuated with him doesn’t believe it and works to clear him by finding “the title character”. She is [...]

Tribute to a Bad Man (1956)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tribute to a Bad Man (1956) Directed by Robert Wise with a screen story and screenplay by Michael Blankfort that was based on a short story by Jack Schaefer this ill-titled Western features James Cagney (in the title role) as Jeremy Rodock a roughhewn man and earlier settler of Wyoming who not unlike the actor did himself breeds and trains horses on his expansive ranch in a valley he calls his own. Cagney was filling in for Spencer Tracy who was [...]

Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection Manhattan Melodrama (1934) – full review! Evelyn Prentice (1934) – full review! Double Wedding (1937) – Myrna Loy’s seventh pairing with William Powell was this Joseph L. Mankiewicz produced comedy that was directed by Richard Thorpe which features a screenplay by Jo Swerling. It’s not as good as their earlier films together (nor at least one of their later efforts – I [...]

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

3:10 to Yuma (1957) A gripping Western drama with Glenn Ford as the leader of a gang of murdering thieves and Van Heflin as a struggling rancher who must bring him in because he needs the money. Lots of tense drama in this one as Van Heflin’s character “wrestles” with his (wife and) own sense of ethics. Richard Jaeckel is also featured prominently as a member in Ford’s gang. The ending would feel even more contrived if [...]

Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) – full review! A star-studded extravaganza from Warner Bros. the kind of wartime fare that allowed soldiers overseas to see all their favorite stars in those locations where a movie projector could be set-up but a (e.g. Bob Hope) USO-tour could not. Entertaining fluff for the home-front as well directed by David Butler and featuring a full slate of the studio’s stars and more. The razor thin (Everett [...]
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