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Last Picture Show The (1971)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Last Picture Show The (1971) Former TCM Essentials host Peter Bogdanovich received his only recognition (to date) from the Academy with Oscar nominations for directing and adapting this Larry McMurtry novel with the author who shared the latter nomination. Several of the film’s actors’ performances were also recognized: Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman swept the Supporting Actor awards on their only nominations; they were competing [...]

Roaring Twenties The (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Roaring Twenties The (1939) This is an excellent film about three World War I Army buddies whose lives change dramatically when they return from the war and get involved in crime to varying degrees. Eddie (James Cagney) initially works as a cab driver sharing his old friend’s (Frank McHugh) taxi. But through a speakeasy owner a woman named Panama (Gladys George) Eddie gets involved in the illegal alcohol business (e.g. during Prohibition). [...]

Mrs. Miniver (1942)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Mrs. Miniver (1942) This terrific film about perseverance & courage helped rally U.S. support for our British allies in World War II. The first film to receive five acting nominations winning two (one for Lead Actress Greer Garson & one for the comely Teresa Wright Supporting Actress) and also earned William Wyler his first (out of three) Best Director Oscar. His other two were earned directing the Best Pictures in 1946 and 1959. Walter [...]

Black Book The (1949)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Black Book The (1949) aka Reign of Terror (1949) Directed by Anthony Mann with a screenplay by Aeneas MacKenzie and Philip Yordan (Dillinger (1945)) this noirish fictionalized historical drama focuses on the time period just after the French Revolution dubbed the ‘reign of terror when silver-tongued Maximilian Robespierre (played by Richard Basehart) used the people’s confusion and nearly became France’s new dictator. Robert [...]

Beginning or the End The (1947)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Beginning or the End The (1947) Directed by Norman Taurog (Boys Town (1938)) it features Brian Donlevy as Maj. Gen. Leslie Groves Robert Walker as Colonel Nixon Tom Drake as Matt Cochran Beverly Tyler as Anne Cochran Audrey Totter as Jean O’Leary Hume Cronyn as Dr. Robert Oppenheimer Joseph Calleia as Enrico Fermi Richard Haydn (Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music (1965)) as Dr. Chisolm John Litel as K. T. Keller Henry O’Neill as [...]

Death of a Cyclist (1955) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Death of a Cyclist (1955) – full review! aka Muerte de un ciclista (1955) María José (Lucia Bosé Miss Italy 1947) and Juan Fernandes Soler (Alberto Closas) are returning from their illicit affair weekend in the country in her car when she hits and injures the titled bicyclist on a desolate wet roadway. They stop and Juan is unsure whether the accident victim has been mortally wounded or can be saved (e.g. with proper medical attention) [...]

Lust for Life (1956)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lust for Life (1956) A standout performance by Kirk Douglas as painter Vincent van Gogh is what makes this film great but it was Anthony Quinn (Viva Zapata! (1952)) as Paul Gauguin who won his second Supporting Actor Academy Award; Douglas’s intense portrayal was only Oscar nominated. Norman Corwin’s Screenplay was also nominated representing his only Academy recognition; he adapted Irving Stone’s novel. Vincente Minnelli [...]

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 [...]

Man from Laramie The (1955) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Man from Laramie The (1955) – full review! The last of the (director) Anthony Mann-James Stewart collaborations features a complex screenplay which was co-written by Philip Yordan (Broken Lance (1954)) and Frank Burt that was based on a Saturday Evening Post story by Thomas Flynn. The director’s use of scenery (as an integral part of the story) helps this Western earn a slightly above average nod. It’s about an ex-military [...]

Gunga Din (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Gunga Din (1939) Based on a Rudyard Kipling poem this is a very entertaining adventure film with an excellent cast including Cary Grant Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Victor McLaglen Sam Jaffe (in the title role) Eduardo Ciannelli and Joan Fontaine. Directed by George Stevens after Howard Hawks was removed when Bringing Up Baby (1938) bombed at the box office; it was added to the National Film Registry in 1999. Oscar nominated for its Cinematography (the [...]
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