Watch On the Rhine

BBB (out of 5) Lillian Hellman’s play is adapted to the screen by Dashiell Hammett with respectable results, giving Bette Davis another chance to prove herself queen of Warners dramas and winning Paul Lukas an Oscar for his noble performance.  They play a couple who leave Germany as Nazi terror is brewing ever more noisily, bringing their…

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The Song Of Bernadette

BBBB (out of 5) This adaptation of the novel by Franz Werfel mixes fact and supposition for a film that tells the tale of a miracle: the now venerated saint of Lourdes who saw a vision of a “beautiful lady” by a stream and went back to pray at her feet every day for two…

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For Whom The Bell Tolls

BB.5 (out of 5) This wooden adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel might have seemed like an instant classic when originally released in 1943, but today it’s tedious.  A story about patriots and foreigners joining the fight during the Spanish Civil War, the film boasts a marvelously energetic performance by Katina Paxinou as rebellious hero Pilar,…

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