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Raffles (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Raffles (1939) Produced by Samuel Goldwyn and directed by Sam Wood (Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939)) with a screenplay by Sidney Howard (Gone With the Wind (1939)) and John Van Druten (among others) that was based on The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung this comedy adventure drama features David Niven in the title role of A.J. Raffles a star cricket player who (it’s learned) is also a charming high society thief! Ronald Colman had played the [...]

Smilin’ Through (1941)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Smilin’ Through (1941) This Technicolor remake of Smilin’ Through (1932) adds songs for its star Jeanette MacDonald to sing and changes the nature & location of Kathleen and Kenneth’s meetings from lunching at an Inn to lakeside picnics but is otherwise a faithful retelling of the Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin (What Price Hollywood? (1932)) written play; screenwriters Donald Ogden Stewart (The Philadelphia Story (1940)) and John [...]

Viva Villa! (1934)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Viva Villa! (1934) This film won John Waters a Best Assistant Director Oscar on his second and last nomination; it was also nominated for Best Picture & Sound Recording as was Ben Hecht’s adaptation of the material. It stars Wallace Beery (The Champ (1931)) as a fictionalized version of the titled character (Pancho Villa) who fought on behalf of the peons (landless poor people) and Francisco Madero (played in the film by Henry Walthall) [...]

Sing Your Way Home (1945)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Sing Your Way Home (1945) Anthony Mann directed this below average musical comedy written by William Bowers from a story by Edmund Joseph and Bart Lytton. Fortunately at least for director Mann and writer Bowers better things were in their futures. The Allie Wrubel-Herb Magidson song “I’ll Buy That Dream” did receive an Academy Award nomination the last for Magidson who’d received his Oscar for “The [...]

Cover Girl (1944) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Cover Girl (1944) – full review! Rita Hayworth plays two characters and the title role in this musical comedy which won an Academy Award for Best Musical Score; the film also received Oscar nominations for its Color Art Direction-Interior Decoration & Cinematography and Sound; its Jerome Kern-Ira Gershwin original song “Long Ago and Far Away” was also nominated. It was directed by Charles Vidor with a story by Erwin Gelsey [...]

Secret Agent (1936) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Secret Agent (1936) – full review! One of director Alfred Hitchcock’s weaker early films loosely based on two of W. Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden stories and a play by Campbell Dixon based on a third; Charles Bennett adapted them for the screen Ian Hay and Jesse Lasky Jr. provided additional dialogue and the director’s wife Alma Reville also contributed. It’s a mystery thriller with a romance drama angle between John [...]

Red Dust (1932)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Red Dust (1932) Before he immortalized the role of Rhett Butler in producer David O. Selznick’s Oscar winning blockbuster – the film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s celebrated novel – Gone With the Wind (1939) Clark Gable played plenty of other womanizing rogues in the movies like the one he plays in this steamy pre-code drama opposite Jean Harlow the screen’s original blonde bombshell? and Mary Astor. Like GWTW this [...]

Min and Bill (1930) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Min and Bill (1930) – full review! Directed by George Hill with scenario and dialogue co-written by the tremendously talented (and not as well known as she should be) Frances Marion (The Champ (1931)) this above average comedy-drama features Marie Dressler’s Oscar winning Best Actress performance. She plays a self sacrificing woman who raises her floozy friend’s daughter as her own protecting her as a mother would a cub while [...]

Room Service (1938)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Room Service (1938) Directed by William Seiter with a screenplay by Morrie Ryskind this slightly above average Marx Brothers comedy also features Lucille Ball Ann Miller Frank Albertson and Donald MacBride (among others). Though the film lacks a lot of the staples of their earlier films (music Zeppo & memorable quotes besides “jumping butterballs”) it’s still an entertaining 80 minutes. Groucho plays the would-be producer [...]

Lifeboat (1944)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lifeboat (1944) Alfred Hitchcock received his second of five unrewarded Best Director Academy Award nominations for this creative war drama that was written by John Steinbeck who earned his first (of three unrewarded) Best Writing Oscar nomination for his Original Story. Glen MacWilliams received his only Academy recognition when his B&W Cinematography was Oscar nominated. Jo Swerling (The Pride of the Yankees (1942)) wrote the film’s [...]
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