Quicksand (1950)

IRVING PICHEL Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 1950.  Samuel H. Stiefel Productions.  Screenplay by Robert Smith.  Cinematography by Lionel Lindon.  Produced by Mort Briskin.  Music by Louis Gruenberg.  Production Design by Boris Leven.  Costume Design by Joan Joseff.  Film Editing by Walter Thompson.   Mickey Rooney plays an auto mechanic who is out drinking with the boys when he spots a dangerous blonde…

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The Pied Piper (1942)

IRVING PICHEL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1942.  Twentieth Century Fox.  Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson, based on the novel by Nevil Shute.  Cinematography by Edward Cronjager.  Produced by Nunnally Johnson.  Music by Alfred Newman.  Production Design by Richard Day, Maurice Ransford.  Costume Design by Dolly Tree.  Film Editing by Allen McNeil.  Academy Awards 1942.   Monty Woolley is a Brit enjoying a vacation in France after most…

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The Great Commandment (19

IRVING PICHEL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1939.  Cathedral Films.  Story and Screenplay by Dana Burnet.  Cinematography by Charles P. Boyle.  Produced by John T. Coyle.  Music by Walter Jurmann, Hans J. Salter.  Production Design by Edward C. Jewell.  Costume Design by Travis Banton.  Film Editing by Ralph Dixon.   An industry of religious B-movies existed in the earlier half of the twentieth century, mostly…

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The Most Dangerous Game (Hounds of Zaroff) (1932)

IRVING PICHEL, ERNEST B. SCHOEDSACK Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1932.  RKO Radio Pictures, Radio Pictures.  Screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman, based on the story by Richard Connell.  Cinematography by Henry W. Gerrard.  Produced by David O. Selznick.  Music by Max Steiner.  Production Design by Carroll Clark.  Costume Design by Walter Plunkett.  Film Editing by Archie Marshek.  Podcast:  My Criterions.   Entertaining adaptation of the…

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Destination Moon

BBB.5 (out of 5) Today this film is merely a curiosity of yesteryear, but at the time it came out it was considered a serious attempt at marrying entertainment with science. Spending years on research, the filmmakers came up with the best possible case scenario for what would happen if astronauts took a trip to…

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Something In The Wind (1947)

IRVING PICHEL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1947.  Universal International Pictures.  Story by Fritz Rotter, Charles O’Neal, Screenplay by Harry Kurnitz, William Bowers.  Cinematography by Milton R. Krasner.  Produced by Joseph Sistrom.  Music by Johnny Green.  Production Design by Alexander Golitzen, Frank A. Richards.  Costume Design by Orry-Kelly.  Film Editing by Otto Ludwig.   Deanna Durbin is all grown up and mistaken for her own great-aunt by…

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Martin Luther (1953)

IRVING PICHEL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA/West Germany, 1953.  RD-DR Productions, The Lutheran Church in America, Luther Filmgesellshaft, Louis De Rochemont Associates.  Screenplay by Theodore G. Tappert, Jaroslav Pelikan, researched and prepared for the screen by Allan Sloane, Lothar Wolff.  Cinematography by Joseph C. Brun.  Produced by Lothar Wolff.  Music by Mark Lothar.  Production Design by Paul Markwitz, Fritz Maurischat.  Costume Design…

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Dracula’s Daughter

BBB (out of 5) Gloria Holden makes a stylish villain as the famous Transylvanian count’s daughter (just who he reproduced with is beyond me, but anyway), who now roams dark American streets in search of young girls to prey upon. Irving Pichel is a scream as her trusty troll-slave, and everything is performed at a delicious…

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Jezebel (1938)

WILLIAM WYLER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1938.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by Clements Ripley, Abem Finkel, John Huston, based on the play by Owen Davis.  Cinematography by Ernest Haller.  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 1938.   Bette Davis stuns the crowd again as a…

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Juarez

BBBB (out of 5) Powerful and impressively mounted film biography of the famous Mexican revolutionary Benito Juarez (Paul Muni, a mainstay of Warner Bros. film biographies at the time).  Juarez fights for the freedom of the less fortunate in the country when Emperor Maximilian (Brian Aherne) and his wife Carlotta (Bette Davis) arrive. Trying to…

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Cleopatra (1934)

BBBB (out of 5) Not nearly as grand as the Elizabeth Taylor version, its more modest length and sharper plotline make this version of the Queen of the Nile’s story more entertaining (though Liz was, by comparison, more historically accurate). Claudette Colbert ably plays the most famous seductress in history after Eve, swishing around in…

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