Here Comes The Navy (1934)

LLOYD BACON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1934.  Warner Bros..  Story by Ben Markson, Screenplay by Earl Baldwin, Ben Markson.  Cinematography by Arthur Edeson.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis, Jack L. Warner.  Music by Leo F. Forbstein.  Production Design by Esdras Hartley.  Costume Design by Orry-Kelly.  Film Editing by George Amy.  Academy Awards 1934. James Cagney plays a construction worker who gets into a fight…

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I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (1932)

MERVYN LeROY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1932.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by Howard J. Green, Brown Holmes, based on the story by Robert E. Burns.  Cinematography by Sol Polito.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis.  Music by Bernhard Kaun.  Production Design by Jack Okey.  Costume Design by Orry-Kelly.  Film Editing by William Holmes.  Academy Awards 1932/1933.   A mere two years after The Big House and the movies have…

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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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Desert Fury

BBBB (out of 5) Problem child Lizabeth Scott comes home to her saloon-owning mother (Mary Astor) after having been thrown out of yet another boarding school.  Astor has tried to raise her to be more than just a booze-slinging casino owner, but trying to get her daughter beyond her origins proves very difficult when Scott falls…

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Kings Row

BBBBB (out of 5) This is the most curious masterpiece: a perfect blend of film noir, period drama, and charming small-town situational comedy, all lensed to perfection by cinematographer James Wong Howe. Director Sam Wood knows exactly what he’s doing the whole time, and his risks (like introducing a major character in the last half…

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Fun In Acapulco

BBB (out of 5) Another Elvis Presley music-fest that serves as a collection of music videos in the days before MTV. Girls! Girls! Girls! ended with him as the happiest captain of a sailboat the world ever did see. When Fun In Acapulco begins, the fun has ended on the water and Presley is stranded on…

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Girls! Girls! Girls!

BB.5 (out of 5) The producers of this film seem to be slightly aware that acting wasn’t exactly Elvis’ strong suit:  every possible opportunity to start another song is crammed into the running time of this mostly enjoyable fluff. The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll plays a fishing boat captain whose father lost his vessel to…

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Blue Hawaii (1961)

NORMAN TAUROG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1961.  Hal Wallis Productions.  Story by Allan Weiss, Screenplay by Hal Kanter.  Cinematography by Charles Lang.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis.  Music by Joseph J. Lilley.  Production Design by Hal Pereira, Walter H. Tyler.  Costume Design by Edith Head.  Film Editing by Terry O. Morse.   Elvis Presley gets out of the army and returns home to Honolulu, avoiding his wealthy…

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Artists And Models

BB.5 (out of 5) Splashy colours and some fun songs don’t do much for this forgettable Martin and Lewis comedy. Dean Martin plays a cartoonist who is down on his luck for his inspiration until he realizes that Jerry Lewis‘s nocturnal dreams are a goldmine of ideas. Anita Ekberg appears as one of his models, and Shirley…

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Barefoot In The Park

BBB (out of 5) Neil Simon’s hit play transfers to the screen with charming results, obviously maintaining its small scope of space but never feeling cramped. Jane Fonda is delightful as the new bride to young and handsome lawyer Robert Redford, the two of them madly in love on their wedding day. Following a sex-fest honeymoon,…

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Now, Voyager (1942)

IRVING RAPPER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1942.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by Casey Robinson, based on the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty.  Cinematography by Sol Polito.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis.  Music by Max Steiner.  Production Design by Robert M. Haas.  Costume Design by Orry-Kelly.  Film Editing by Warren Low.  Academy Awards 1942. One of Bette Davis‘ greatest Warner Bros. melodramas is this…

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The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers

BBBB (out of 5) This terrific film noir is one of the darkest films to come out of the forties. It starts off with young Martha Ivers, a twelve year-old heiress who lives with her cruel aunt (Judith Anderson) and dreams of one day being rid of her. When this finally happens it is under…

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