The Hurricane (1937)

JOHN FORD Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.  USA, 1937.  The Samuel Goldwyn Company.  Screenplay by Dudley Nichols, adaptation by Oliver H.P. Garrett, based on the novel by Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall.  Cinematography by Bert Glennon.  Produced by Samuel Goldwyn.  Music by Alfred Newman.  Production Design by Richard Day.  Costume Design by Omar Kiam.  Film Editing by Lloyd Nosler.  Academy Awards 1937.  This excellent…

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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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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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Across The Pacific (1942)

JOHN HUSTON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1942.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by Richard Macaulay, based on the serial by Robert Carson.  Cinematography by Arthur Edeson.  Produced by Jack Saper, Jerry Wald.  Music by Adolph Deutsch.  Production Design by Robert M. Haas, Hugh Reticker.  Costume Design by Milo Anderson.  Film Editing by Frank Magee.   Humphrey Bogart is mixed up in international intrigue in this passably enjoyable spy…

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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 the rich families on board. Arriving in Florida she becomes houseguest to smitten heir Rudy Vallee while also attracting a charmless dolt (Joel…

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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 lacking a dime to her name. She befriends a cab driver (Don Ameche) with whom she has an immediate attachment, but then…

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Little Women (1949)

MERVYN LeROY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1949.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Loew’s.  Screenplay by Andrew Solt, Sarah Y. Mason, Victor Heerman, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott.  Cinematography by Robert H. Planck, Charles Edgar Schoenbaum.  Produced by Mervyn LeRoy.  Music by Adolph Deutsch.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse.  Costume Design by Walter Plunkett.  Film Editing by Ralph E. Winters.  Academy Awards 1949.   Second…

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The Great Lie (1941)

EDMUND GOULDING Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1941.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by Lenore J. Coffee, based on the novel The Far Horizon by Polan Banks.  Cinematography by Tony Gaudio.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis.  Music by Max Steiner.  Production Design by Carl Jules Weyl.  Costume Design by Orry-Kelly.  Film Editing by Ralph Dawson.  Academy Awards 1941.   When Mary Astor and George Brent elope, they find out…

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Dodsworth (1936)

WILLIAM WYLER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1936.  The Samuel Goldwyn Company.  Screenplay by Sidney Howard, based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis.  Cinematography by Rudolph Mate.  Produced by Samuel Goldwyn.  Music by Alfred Newman.  Production Design by Richard Day.  Costume Design by Omar Kiam.  Film Editing by Daniel Mandell.  Academy Awards 1936.   Most of William Wyler’s films of the thirties and forties are…

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Meet Me In St. Louis

BBBBB (out of 5) The apex of good family viewing is this heartwarming and colourful musical, a career peak for director Vincente Minnelli. His soon-to-be-wife Judy Garland is Esther Smith, a teenaged girl in turn-of-the-century St. Louis who is in love with John Truitt (Tom Drake), the boy next door: literally! Lucille Bremer, Leon Ames, Mary…

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The Maltese Falcon (1941)

JOHN HUSTON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA, 1941.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by John Huston, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett.  Cinematography by Arthur Edeson.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis.  Music by Adolph Deutsch.  Production Design by Robert M. Haas.  Costume Design by Orry-Kelly.  Film Editing by Thomas Richards.  Academy Awards 1941.   The one and only original film noir, the film that launched a thousand imitations….

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The Prisoner Of Zenda

BBBB (out of 5) Ronald Colman returns to the small, fictional European country of his ancestry and is delightfully surprised to learn that he is identical in looks and manner to his cousin (also Colman), the soon-to-be King of the nation. For fear of an assassination attempt, the non-royal Colman is asked to substitute his…

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