The Shop Around The Corner (1940)

ERNST LUBITSCH Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5.  USA, 1940.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Samson Raphaelson, based on the play Parfumerie (Illatszertár) by Miklos Laszlo.  Cinematography by William H. Daniels.  Produced by Ernst Lubitsch.  Music by Werner R. Heymann.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Film Editing by Gene Ruggiero.   A clothing store in Budapest is the centre of plenty of drama in this cynical…

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The Human Comedy (1943)

CLARENCE BROWN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1943.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Story by William Saroyan, Screenplay by Howard Estabrook.  Cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr..  Produced by Clarence Brown.  Music by Herbert Stothart.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Irene.  Film Editing by Conrad A. Nervig.  Academy Awards 1943.   William Saroyan’s script, which he was also set to direct, was deemed too long and heavy…

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The Big House (1930)

GEORGE W. HILL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1930.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Story and dialogue by Frances Marion, additional dialogue by Joseph Farnham, Martin Flavin.  Cinematography by Harold Wenstrom.  Produced by Irving Thalberg.  Music by William Axt.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by David Cox.  Film Editing by Blanche Sewell.  Academy Awards 1929/1930.   Robert Montgomery is sent to prison for manslaughter, having killed a pedestrian while…

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Boys Town (1938)

NORMAN TAUROG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1938.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Original Story by Dore Schary, Eleanore Griffin, Screenplay by John Meehan, Dore Schary.  Cinematography by Sidney Wagner.  Produced by John W. Considine Jr..  Music by Edward Ward.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Eugene Joseff.  Film Editing by Elmo Veron.  Academy Awards 1938.   Biopic inspired by the real work of Father Flanagan, who responded…

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The Opposite Sex

BBB (out of 5) Watered down remake of The Women that tries to capture the success of How To Marry A Millionaire by ruining the fun and having men actually appear on screen. June Allyson  is the sweet-natured and devoted wife to a theatre producer who is devastated when she learns from a gossipy manicurist that her husband (Leslie…

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Julia Misbehaves

BBBB (out of 5) Positively delightful, this is one of many films that Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon made together but the only time they tried comedy.  She plays a capricious theatrical actress who long ago left behind her aristocratic husband (Pidgeon) and infant daughter, now almost two decades later still surviving by her wits…

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The White Cliffs Of Dover (1944)

CLARENCE BROWN Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.  USA, 1944.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Claudine West, Jan Lustig, George Froeschel, additional poetry by Robert Nathan, based on the poem by Alice Duer Miller.  Cinematography by George J. Folsey.  Produced by Clarence Brown, Sidney Franklin.  Music by Herbert Stothart.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Gile Steele.  Film Editing by Robert Kern.  Academy Awards 1944.  …

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The Wind

BBBB (out of 5) Lillian Gish heads west from her native Virginia to live with a male cousin and his careworn wife, but before long her beauty and instant rapport with their children inspire insecurity in the lady of the house.  After the mister starts to give her the glad eye, Gish is ejected and,…

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Red Dust (1932)

BBBB (out of 5) Clark Gable runs a rubber plantation in southeast Asia, his daily grind interrupted by the appearance of a brassy blond (Jean Harlow) who is avoiding the authorities in Saigon, Sadie Thompson style, and sets Gable’s loins ablaze upon sight.  After a surveyor arrives to work the land but is taken ill with fever,…

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Love Is Better Than Ever (The Light Fantastic)

BBB (out of 5) Big time New York theatrical agent Larry Parks meets the owner of  a children’s dance studio (Elizabeth Taylor) and courts her during an out of town dance convention she is attending.  He drops her when they’re ready to go back to their regular lives, telling her that they were only ever…

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The Girl Who Had Everything

BB.5 (out of 5) After a Washington attorney (William Powell) succeeds in getting a gangster (Fernando Lamas) acquitted of illegal gaming charges, he invites him over to his house where the hood spots Powell’s gorgeous daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) and they fall in lust.  She is convinced that he’s the right future for her and drops…

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Callaway Went Thataway (The Star Said No)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Old westerns starring Howard Keel are being played on television and thrilling the kids who watch them on the small screen with their parents.  Film producers realize this is a great opportunity to resurrect the star’s career and put new films out in theatres that will net a huge profit, but there’s one…

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