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Tearjerkers

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tearjerkers What makes you cry? O.K. I know if you pull out a nose hair with tweezers you will probably shed a tear. But what kind of movie brings tears to your eyes? Unless you tend to view movies from a strictly controlled and objective viewpoint chances are you experience a variety of emotions when watching a film. Of course Hollywood knows this and has therefore learned how to manipulate you: they use visuals words a soaring soundtrack and [...]

Saboteur (1942)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Saboteur (1942) An incredibly ambitious film which is almost like a first draft of (maybe) Hitchcock’s greatest film North By Northwest (1959). It contains the familiar “innocent man wrongly accused” etc. theme (as mentioned above in The 39 Steps (1935) description) which ultimately culminates in a thrilling climax at a famous American landmark. Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane star (though Hitchcock originally wanted Gary [...]

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) More complex than your average “boy and his dog” family drama this essential fantasy adventure won four Oscars and received five other Academy Award nominations; somehow Best Picture honors went to Gandhi (1982) instead. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison each of whom were nominated the film took home gold in the Best Effects Sound Effects Editing Best Effects Visual Effects Best [...]

Pirate The (1948)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Pirate The (1948) If you believe in love at first site you might enjoy this average Musical featuring Gene Kelly Judy Garland and Walter Slezak; Gladys Cooper also appears as Garland’s Aunt Inez. Kelly plays an actor who pretends to be a notorious pirate to win orphan dreamer Garland away from her dull fiancé Slezak. The joke’s on Garland though since unbeknownst to her though known to Kelly Slezak actually IS the notorious pirate [...]

The Lost Weekend (1945)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Lost Weekend (1945) Ray Milland received his Best Actor Academy Award (on his only nomination) portraying a man struggling with his alcoholism in this Oscar winning Best Picture which also saw Billy Wilder earn his first Oscars (Director and Screenplay; the latter shared with his frequent collaborator and this film’s producer Charles Brackett) and showcases Jane Wyman’s dramatic acting ability for the first time leading to her [...]

Thin Man The (1934)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Thin Man The (1934) A terrific comedy and a great hit generating a handful of sequels. The most memorable of the many William Powell-Myrna Loy pairings IMO as the husband-and-wife detective team (Nick and Nora Charles). "The Thin Man" actually refers to a murder victim! Powell and Director W.S. Van Dyke were nominated for Oscars (the first nomination for each of them). The film received a Best Picture nomination; writers Frances [...]

Gary Cooper

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Gary Cooper Gary Cooper is a Hollywood legend and one of my favorite actors. He most often played a plainspoken everyman that (frequently) found himself in an heroic-making circumstance. Exuding charm and simplicity this tall handsome actor was perfect for playing humble yokels who were oftentimes (at least temporarily) taken advantage of by streetwise women. He also excelled in portraying loners whether the characters were fictional or real [...]

Easter Parade (1948)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Easter Parade (1948) Fred Astaire is in love with the dancing partner he believes he “created” Ann Miller. When she makes plans to go it alone he sets out to prove he can replace her and picks a nobody (Judy Garland) as his new partner. Gee ya think they’ll succeed? Peter Lawford plays a wealthy friend whose character gets into a quasi love triangle with the ladies; Jules Munshin plays a humorously frustrated French waiter. [...]

Sworn Enemy (1936)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Sworn Enemy (1936) Directed by Edwin L. Marin this crime drama doesn’t quite work because the writers (Wells Root wrote the screenplay for this Richard Wormser story) and the director couldn’t decide whether it should be played straight or not. Whereas a number of B pictures some also starring Robert Young are notable for their effective mix of comedy within a more serious story this one fails. The comedic elements which include Nat [...]

Pirates of the Prairie (1942)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Pirates of the Prairie (1942) Directed by Howard Bretherton and written by J. Benton Cheney and Doris Schroeder from a Berne Giler story this B movie Tim Holt Western features goofy crooner Cliff Edwards as ‘Ukulele Ike’ a sidekick-like character who sings a couple of short tunes while he strums his guitar. Holt plays Larry Durant a deputy marshal who’s sent in undercover to untamed Spencerville to investigate a corrupted [...]
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