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 Human Comedy (1943)

CLARENCE BROWN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1943.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Story by William Saroyan, Screenplay by Howard Estabrook.  Cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr..  Produced by Clarence Brown.  Music by Herbert Stothart.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Irene.  Film Editing by Conrad A. Nervig.  Academy Awards 1943.   William Saroyan’s script, which he was also set to direct, was deemed too long and heavy…

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Boys Town (1938)

NORMAN TAUROG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1938.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Original Story by Dore Schary, Eleanore Griffin, Screenplay by John Meehan, Dore Schary.  Cinematography by Sidney Wagner.  Produced by John W. Considine Jr..  Music by Edward Ward.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Eugene Joseff.  Film Editing by Elmo Veron.  Academy Awards 1938.   Biopic inspired by the real work of Father Flanagan, who responded…

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Little Lord Fauntleroy

BBB.5 (out of 5) Adorable adaptation of the popular novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett features a starmaking turn by Freddie Bartholomew as the refined young man being raised on the streets of late nineteenth-century Brooklyn.  Possessing an English accent thanks to a dead British father (because that makes sense), little Ceddie is hopelessly devoted to his mother (a wonderful…

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Words And Music (1948)

NORMAN TAUROG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1948.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Story by Guy Bolton, Jean Holloway, Adaptation by Ben Feiner Jr.,  Screenplay by Fred F. Finklehoffe.  Cinematography by Charles Rosher, Harry Stradling Sr..  Produced by Arthur Freed.  Music by Lennie Hayton, Conrad Salinger.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Jack Martin Smith.  Costume Design by Helen Rose, Valles.  Film Editing by Albert Akst, Ferris Webster.  …

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Life Begins For Andy Hardy

BBB (out of 5) In one of the more entertaining (or should I say less annoying) chapters of the Hardy family saga, Andrew (no longer Andy) graduates high school and becomes a “man of the world” (or, what in Hollywood films about rich, white suburban people passes as a man of the world, someone who…

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Andy Hardy Meets Debutante

BB.5 (out of 5) Routine Andy Hardy adventure has its star Mickey Rooney falling in love with a society-page heiress while continuing to ignore plucky and spirited lass Judy Garland, who continues to be one step behind him. Other than the fact that it is traditionally wholesome family fare, which will be an area of appeal…

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Love Finds Andy Hardy

BBB (out of 5) Plucky young Andy Hardy is back once again, and his ridiculous adventures in romance are the centre of this painfully pure comedy. The drama it revolves around is a big dance, where Andy means to take his steady girl Polly (Ann Rutherford) as his date but is now alone because she’s…

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The Bridges At Toko-Ri

BBBB.5 (out of 5) One of the first big-budget anti-war movies. William Holden is a soldier in Korea who begins to question the futility of American involvement in their civil war when, as part of an aircraft-carrier force, he is assigned to fly over the country and bomb bridges that have been strategically chosen for them….

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Babe: Pig In The City

BBB (out of 5) Weird sequel to the classic 1995 comedy doesn’t come anywhere near the perfection of its predecessor but is a curiousity in itself. George Miller (who produced the first instalment) takes over the director’s helm and comes up with a visual style so visceral and post-apocalyptic where Chris Noonan’s was wry and…

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Night At The Museum

BBB.5 (out of 5) Ben Stiller is a divorced dad who just can’t get it together; his hare-brained business schemes won’t get off the ground and he’s in financial trouble again, something that seems to be affecting his young son’s opinion of him in a big way. In need of a job as quickly as…

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Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry

BBB (out of 5) Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland are teamed up for the first time in this charming little distraction about race horses. Ronald Sinclair plays a British nobleman’s grandson who accompanies his grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith) to America to race their prize horse in the hopes that it will win them big money to replace the…

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