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Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) Directed by Michael Curtiz with a story by Rowland Brown (The Doorway to Hell (1930)) this essential crime drama features not only one of several James Cagney-Humphrey Bogart pairings but also one of several James Cagney-Pat O’Brien pairings as well. Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur are said to have been uncredited contributors to the John Wexley-Warren Duff script. Cagney received his first Best Actor Academy [...]

Inherit the Wind (1960)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Inherit the Wind (1960) Produced and directed by Stanley Kramer (The Defiant Ones (1958)) this essential courtroom drama was based on the real events of (what’s come to be known as) the Scopes Monkey trial: John Scopes was a high school teacher in Tennessee that was arrested for teaching evolution in the classroom celebrated lawyer Clarence Darrow (and the ACLU) came to his defense whereas William Jennings Bryan a former Democratic [...]

Gigi (1958)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Gigi (1958) Of all the films which won the Best Picture Oscar one has to wonder how this ho hum musical earned all nine Oscars for which it was nominated. Was it just a weak year or did The Defiant Ones (1958) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) cancel each other out as well? It’s a mystery. Director Vincente Minnelli the Original Song “Gigi” its Musical Score and Adapted Screenplay were among the other Oscar winners. Leslie Caron [...]

Chariots of Fire (1981) – a rarity

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Chariots of Fire (1981) – a rarity With the exception of boxing (and to a lesser degree golf) individual sports stories are under served by Hollywood. If you take a minute to think I’ll bet that you can name several team sports movies – from baseball football basketball or even hockey and soccer. But given twice as much time you’d probably struggle to remember a single movie about a track (or field) athlete except this [...]

Winchester ’73 (1950)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Winchester ’73 (1950) The first and arguably the best of the many (director) Anthony Mann – James Stewart (actor) collaborations most of which were Westerns – this one’s an essential (and one of the best from this genre)! With a story by Stuart Lake (The Westerner (1940)) and a screenplay by Borden Chase (Red River (1948)) and Robert Richards the plot revolves around the titled gun. Stewart plays Lin McAdam who wins the [...]

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 [...]

Men Are Such Fools (1938)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Men Are Such Fools (1938) The title comes from the last line spoken in the film by Priscilla Lane incidentally. Directed by Busby Berkeley it features Ms. Lane as a secretary in an ad agency who wants to become a successful working woman. Unfortunately the film gets pretty bogged down in some very dated stereotypes of women in the workplace and especially men’s attitudes towards it. Lane shares an apartment with Penny Singleton who (for [...]

Longest Day The (1962)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Longest Day The (1962) The epic story of D-Day June 6 1944 a retelling of the Normandy invasion (France) by the Allies (e.g. troops from the United States and Great Britain among others) during World War II from across the English Channel detailing various assaults and the American British French and German perspectives (e.g. the Nazi thinking that Calais would be invaded). This essential war drama was directed by Ken Annakin Andrew Marton and [...]

Battleground (1949)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Battleground (1949) Directed by William Wellman (A Star is Born (1937)) and written by Robert Pirosh this essential war film details the plight of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division trapped in the Ardennes Forest near Bastogne Belgium during the "Battle of the Bulge" created by the Germans last ditch Panzer tank advance during World War II. Pirosh (who wrote from his own experiences) received a Best Writing Oscar for his Story [...]

My Fair Lady (1964)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

My Fair Lady (1964) One of "my favorite movies" though it should have starred Julie Andrews who starred with Rex Harrison on Broadway. In a bit of Oscar irony Ms. Andrews won the Best Actress Oscar playing Mary Poppins (1964) and Ms. Hepburn wasn’t even nominated. Alan Jay Lerner’s musical adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s classic Pygmalion (1938) story. The film won 8 (out of 12 nominations) Oscars including Best Picture [...]
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