Tag Archive: Hans Dreier

Wake Island

BBBB (out of 5) Fact-based account of the American servicemen stationed on Wake Island, a small oasis in the Pacific ocean.  The soldiers are barely kept in line by their commander (Brian Donlevy) while a… Continue reading

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Five Graves to Cairo

BBB.5 (out of 5) A British soldier (Franchot Tone, employing very little Britishness) arrives at a remote Egyptian hotel, delirious from wandering the hot desert sun, and promptly passes out.  When he is conscious and… Continue reading

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A Foreign Affair

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Billy Wilder moves towards a golden age of fifties classics in his filmography with this postwar masterpiece featuring stunning cinematography and unforgettable performances. The chipper optimism that Jean Arthur always brought… Continue reading

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The Last Command

BBBB (out of 5) An aging movie extra (Emil Jannings) drags his tired body to the set of his latest assignment, another day of earning a dollar fulfilling a silent-era stereotype. He flashes back… Continue reading

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The Stork Club

BB.5 (out of 5) Betty Hutton is adorable as a coat check girl at the titular nightclub, who rescues an old man (Barry Fitzgerald) from drowning thinking him a poor lost soul. What she… Continue reading

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You And Me

BB (out of 5) Early Hollywood project by the recently-arrived Fritz Lang shows him off at his corniest. George Raft and Sylvia Sidney play employees at a department store whose big-hearted owner (Harry Carey) has… Continue reading

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My Favourite Brunette

BB.5 (out of 5) Bob Hope is on death row waiting to be executed for murder and is visited by curious reporters who want to know his story.  He flashes back to some… Continue reading

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Sunset Blvd.

BBBBB (out of 5) The mother of all backstage Hollywood movies that just never seems to age. One of the peaks of Billy Wilder’s abundantly successful career is this fantastic film about a… Continue reading

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The Lost Weekend

BBBB (out of 5) Effective look at alcoholism is one of Hollywood’s first unapologetic looks at a truly unattractive subject. Ray Milland‘s performance in the lead as a perpetually drunk screenwriter with no… Continue reading

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Double Indemnity

BBBBB (out of 5) One of film noir‘s greatest peaks is this fantastic Billy Wilder murder mystery. A joe-schmo insurance investigator (Fred MacMurray) on a routine door-to-door sales route talks to a married… Continue reading

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College Swing

BBB.5 (out of 5) Fans of Gracie Allen will get a kick out of this adorable comedy. She plays the last in a long line of rich heiresses who becomes the first member of… Continue reading

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We’re Not Dressing

BB.5 (out of 5) Imagine Lina Wertmuller’s Swept Away as a thirties musical-comedy and you have this embarrassingly dated but sometimes enjoyable comedy. Carole Lombard is lovely as a wealthy heiress whose expensive yacht… Continue reading

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The Great Moment

BB (out of 5) Rare misfire from the great Preston Sturges has him tackling a period drama with unsuccessful results. Joel McCrea, badly miscast, plays the dentist who discovers the use of ether… Continue reading

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Hail The Conquering Hero

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Eddie Bracken has been avoiding going back to his home town for a year following his medical discharge from the Marine Corps for hay fever. One night at a bar… Continue reading

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The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek

BBBB.5 (out of 5) All-American gal Betty Hutton comes home from a party for departing GIs drunk as a skunk, unable to remember just how it is that she stayed out at all night… Continue reading

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The Palm Beach Story

BBBBB (out of 5) Excellent Preston Sturges comedy about a runaway bride (Claudette Colbert) without a dime to her name who stows away on a railroad bound for Florida and ends up befriending… Continue reading

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Sullivan’s Travels

BBBBB (out of 5) One of my favourite comedies ever made is this terrific Preston Sturges masterpiece. It tells the tale of a conscientious filmmaker (Joel McCrea) who decides that Depression-era audiences no… Continue reading

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The Lady Eve

BBBBB (out of 5) A simple-minded man, a conniving woman and a snake…where have I heard this one before? The age-old tale of Adam and Eve is given a hilarious modernization in this… Continue reading

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Christmas In July

BBB (out of 5) In this short, adorable feature, Dick Powell plays an office clerk who is tricked by his co-workers into thinking that he’s won a twenty-five thousand dollar contest for having supplied… Continue reading

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The Great McGinty

BBB.5 (out of 5) Brian Donlevy plays a clever hobo who stumbles upon a voting scheme designed to get a mayoral candidate into office, and uses it to turn a few extra dollars. His… Continue reading

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Holiday Inn

BB.5 (out of 5) This was the film that the hit song “White Christmas” was originally written for, and you’ll wonder why it never became a traditional Christmas movie (the way 1954’s White… Continue reading

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Road To Zanzibar

BBB (out of 5) Following the grand success of Road To Singapore, the sterling box office trio of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour were once again reunited for their second “road” adventure (which… Continue reading

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I Married A Witch

BBB.5 (out of 5) Veronica Lake and Fredric March headline this delightful, frothy comedy that was later the inspiration for Bewitched.  After Lake and her father are burned for sorcery following March’s accusations during the… Continue reading

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True Confession

BBB (out of 5) Highly imaginative fiction writer Carole Lombard (in one of her most adorable, zany performances) is married to honest, straight-laced lawyer Fred MacMurray.  When she decides to supplement their income by… Continue reading

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I’m No Angel

BBBB (out of 5) Mae West made her starring debut in this wisecracking comedy that she also scripted (as she did most of her films). She plays a lion tamer with a penchant for… Continue reading

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The Uninvited

BBBB (out of 5) Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey are siblings who decide to buy an abandoned mansion at the top of a hill in an English village, completely unaware of its miserable history.  The… Continue reading

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Here Comes Cookie (The Plot Thickens)

BBB (out of 5) Your grandparents’ favourite comedy team in one of their cutest films. A Manhattan millionaire decides to give all his assets over to his featherbrained daughter (Gracie Allen) when he… Continue reading

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Road To Rio

BBBB (out of 5) One of the most enjoyable of the Road movies, featuring a marvelous musical score and a delightful supporting cast. Bing Crosby and Bob Hope are on their way to Rio De… Continue reading

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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… Continue reading

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The Blue Dahlia

BBB.5 (out of 5) The definitive film noir for fans of the genre, and in particular the most famous pairing of Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd.  Ladd plays a returned veteran whose fight with… Continue reading

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The Perils Of Pauline

BBB (out of 5) Pearl White was a silent screen movie star who appeared in the cliffhanger film series “The Perils of Pauline”. This delightful comedy, made in 1947, stars a wonderfully energetic… Continue reading

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The Smiling Lieutenant

BBBB (out of 5) Maurice Chevalier stars as an ineffably charming Frenchman for Ernst Lubitsch yet again in this delightful romp.  He’s a Viennese soldier standing guard during a parade of visiting dignitaries who… Continue reading

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The Furies

BBBB (out of 5) The title refers as much to the temperaments of its main characters as it does to the land upon which they live.  Barbara Stanwyck is in fine form as the… Continue reading

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Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1931)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Moody, gothic interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ever-popular novel is a horror film treat. Fredric March is excellent as the passionate scientist who discovers a formula that unlocks the inner… Continue reading

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The Love Parade

BBB.5 (out of 5) Ernst Lubitsch is considered one of the major pioneers of the movie musical thanks in part to this terrific little charmer starring Jeanette MacDonald in a gorgeous film debut. Only… Continue reading

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One Hour With You

BBBB (out of 5) One of the best examples of Ernst Lubitsch’s contributions to early musicals. Jeanette MacDonald is at her most ravishingly defiant as a happily married woman who is most satisfyingly paired… Continue reading

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Trouble In Paradise

BBB.5 (out of 5) Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins fall madly in love over a shared interest: thievery. After a romantic entanglement in Venice, the pair go live with an aristocratic woman and become her… Continue reading

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To Each His Own

BBB (out of 5) Olivia de Havilland won her first Academy Award for this mother of all housewife melodramas. She plays a beautiful young lady circa World War I who falls in love with… Continue reading

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Golden Earrings

BBB (out of 5) Ray Milland is an English officer who finds himself lost in Germany’s Black Forest and, naturally, knows he’s in a lot of danger. He comes across a gypsy caravan, and… Continue reading

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Midnight

BBBB.5 (out of 5) There’s a reason why they call it the silver screen:  the images here literally glisten as Claudette Colbert arrives in Paris in the middle of the night, finely dressed but… Continue reading

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Hands Across The Table

BBBB (out of 5) Carole Lombard shines in this comedy about a manicurist who aims high in hopes that she will marry rich Ralph Bellamy, but ends up falling in love with broke Fred… Continue reading

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Swing High, Swing Low

BB.5 (out of 5) Carole Lombard misses her boat while carousing around Panama with Fred MacMurray and ends up getting stuck there. He’s a world class trumpet player and she’s a little bit of a… Continue reading

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If I Were King

BBB.5 (out of 5) Ronald Colman plays a ruffian poet living in Louis XI’s France who keeps getting into trouble with the law. Criminal behaviour is a particular problem in Paris at this point… Continue reading

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Island Of Lost Souls

BBBB (out of 5) Made around the time that exotic horror adventures were extremely popular (The Most Dangerous Game, King Kong), this one features a level of sadism that makes it a particularly… Continue reading

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Ministry Of Fear

BBBB (out of 5) Fritz Lang’s powerful visual style has not abated by the time he makes this Hollywood classic, a superbly enjoyable wartime thriller that does not dwindle even when its plotting… Continue reading

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The Princess Comes Across

BBBB (out of 5) Carole Lombard does a hilarious Garbo impersonation in this cute comedy. She plays a poor woman who impersonates a European princess to get onto a cruise liner bound for America,… Continue reading

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The Glass Key

BBB.5 (out of 5) Routine Dashiell Hammett murder mystery has Alan Ladd up to his usual business as a bodyguard to an important politician (Brian Donlevy) accused of murder. Where would film noir be… Continue reading

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Goin’ To Town

BBBB (out of 5) “What excuse does a gal like you have for runnin’ around single?” “Mmm, I was born that way!”  Just one of the great examples of the witty one-liners that… Continue reading

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Duck Soup

BBBBB (out of 5) This is definitely one of the most popular, beloved comedies starring the Marx Brothers. In it, Groucho plays a citizen of Freedonia who is suddenly catapulted to national domination when… Continue reading

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