Tag Archive: Orry-Kelly

Dangerous

BBB (out of 5) Popular opinion had it that Bette Davis was overlooked by the Academy for her performance in Of Human Bondage, so she was easily expected to garner her first of two trophies… Continue reading

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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… Continue reading

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Baby Face

BBBB (out of 5) You need look no further for proof that Barbara Stanwyck was destined for stardom than this early talkie, too hot for the censors of the time (it’s partly what inspired… Continue reading

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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… Continue reading

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Irma La Douce

BB.5 (out of 5) The idea here was to reunite the cast and director of The Apartment and create yet another successful masterpiece that would please both critics and audiences. The result was… Continue reading

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Some Like It Hot

BBBB (out of 5) This hysterical comedy of gender-errors was recently ranked the greatest American comedy of the century by the American Film Institute. It’s a laughfest that begins when struggling musicians Jack… Continue reading

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Mr. Skeffington

BB.5 (out of 5) As with many similar soap opera films in which Bette Davis appeared, this one provides her with a magnificently juicy role while being in itself a grand bore. She plays… Continue reading

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Now, Voyager

BBBB (out of 5) One of Bette Davis‘ greatest Warner Bros. melodramas is this powerful drama about a woman’s emergence into her own self. She plays an ugly duckling spinster who, thanks to… Continue reading

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The Corn Is Green

BBBB (out of 5) This fully vibrant adaptation of Emlyn Williams’ successful stage play is at its best in its first half, watching Bette Davis sweep into a tiny town in the Welsh countryside… Continue reading

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Something In The Wind

BB.5 (out of 5) Deanna Durbin is all grown up and mistaken for her own great-aunt by the grandson of a deceased millionaire (John Dall) owing to them both having the same name. Dall has… Continue reading

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Caught

BBB (out of 5) Barbara Bel Geddes graduates from car-hop to salesgirl model after a rigorous course of charm school. Reluctantly agreeing to attend the party of a millionaire (Robert Ryan) on a yacht,… Continue reading

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The Petrified Forest

BBBB (out of 5) Early Bette Davis classic is one of the best stage adaptations to come out of Hollywood in the thirties. Leslie Howard plays a motorist who stops in for car repairs at… Continue reading

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Gold Diggers Of 1933

BBB.5 (out of 5) Delightful piece of Depression-era escapism stars Aline MacMahon, Joan Blondell and Ruby Keeler as chorus girls who can’t seem to keep a steady job. It’s not their problem, really, it’s because… Continue reading

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Gypsy

BB.5 (out of 5) The production of this grand musical was mainly to accomplish more than one guaranteed moneymaking scheme: firstly, the year before had seen another Jerome Robbins play, West Side Story become… Continue reading

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Three On A Match

BBB (out of 5) Fascinating example of how different Hollywood films were before the introduction of the Hays code. Three girls know each other in grade school and then grow up to become… Continue reading

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Harvey

BBB.5 (out of 5) James Stewart plays a charming fella who appears to have a bit of a drinking problem: he keeps insisting to everyone around him that his best friend is an invisible,… Continue reading

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The Man Who Came To Dinner

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Excellent comedy about a crotchety old newspaper columnist (Monty Woolley, recreating the role he played on Broadway), who, wheelchair-bound after having fallen and broken his leg, is invited to… Continue reading

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The Star

BB.5 (out of 5) Times were obviously getting tough for Bette Davis following her coup in All About Eve. One of the best roles she played before Whatever Happened To Baby Jane ten years… Continue reading

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Oklahoma!

BBBBB (out of 5) Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first musical success arrives on the big screen with all its gorgeous beauty and lively songs intact. Shirley Jones couldn’t be cuter as Laurey Morgan, a young… Continue reading

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Dark Victory

BBBB (out of 5) It always amazes me that my fellow campy queens who run around quoting Bette Davis lines (“Fasten your seat belts…blah blah blah…what a dump…blah blah blah”) don’t reach for any… Continue reading

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The Old Maid

BBB.5 (out of 5) Typical Bette Davis soaper has the great actress giving birth to a child out of wedlock and having her married cousin (Miriam Hopkins) raise her to hide the scandal. Naturally,… Continue reading

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The Great Lie

BBB.5 (out of 5) When Mary Astor and George Brent elope, they find out their marriage is invalid because her previous divorce has yet to come through. Complications ensue and soon Brent is off to… Continue reading

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The Little Foxes

BBBBB (out of 5) The best you’ll ever get of Bette Davis playing bad is in this superb adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s unforgettable play.  She plays a southern matriarch who, along with her… Continue reading

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The Letter

BBBB.5 (out of 5) In the exotic jungles of Malaya, Bette Davis is the wife of a rubber plantation owner (Herbert Marshall) who shoots her lover in a fit of rage. Going to jail… Continue reading

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Jezebel

BBB.5 (out of 5) Bette Davis stuns the crowd again as a rebellious southern gal who shockingly wears red to her cotillion ball (gasp!)  She also openly pursues a handsome gentleman (Henry Fonda)… Continue reading

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An American In Paris

BBBB (out of 5) The visual splendor of this Vincente Minnelli musical has made it one of the most successful uses of colour film in cinema history.  Gene Kelly is perpetually charming as… Continue reading

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The Maltese Falcon

BBBBB (out of 5) The one and only original film noir, the film that launched a thousand imitations. Granted, some of those imitations were even improvements on the original (I like The Big… Continue reading

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In This Our Life

BB (out of 5) A spoiled, bitchy socialite (Bette Davis, of course) dumps her fiancee (George Brent) and runs off with her sister’s instead. After the manipulated man (Dennis Morgan) commits suicide to escape… Continue reading

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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… Continue reading

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Auntie Mame

BBBBB (out of 5) One of the funniest, most enjoyable romps ever to be produced is this hysterical comedy based on the popular Broadway play.  Rosalind Russell gives the signature performance of her career… Continue reading

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Casablanca

BBBBB (out of 5) Here’s another one of those rare classics that actually deserves its status among the greatest films ever made: in Casablanca, intrigue, romance and a colourful cast all conspire to… Continue reading

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The Sea Hawk

BBBBB (out of 5) My favourite of Errol Flynn‘s swashbuckling adventures (not counting The Adventures of Robin Hood) is this exciting tale of heroes and pirates on the wild seas. Liberally adapted from… Continue reading

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The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex (Essex And Elizabeth)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The volatile love affair between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Earl of Essex in 16th-century England is the main focus of this fascinating and gorgeously shot costume drama.  Bette… Continue reading

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Angels With Dirty Faces

BBBB.5 (out of 5) James Cagney solidified the stardom he gained in The Public Enemy with this terrific crime drama, as much a testament to his talent as director Michael Curtiz’s in their ability… Continue reading

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Four Daughters

BBBBB (out of 5) Every frame of this wonderful comedy-tearjerker is chock full of charm as it follows the hilarious love lives of Claude Rains‘ four attractive daughters (three of them played by… Continue reading

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Les Girls

BBBB (out of 5) Glorious MGM musical perfectly highlights how much the world of entertainment lost in the premature death of Kay Kendall two years later. She stars alongside Mitzi Gaynor and Taina Elg as three… Continue reading

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Arsenic And Old Lace

BBBB (out of 5) Hilarious adaptation of the popular play about a well-intentioned suitor (Cary Grant) who is trying to court Priscilla Lane but hopes that she won’t find out his dark family secret:… Continue reading

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Sweet Bird Of Youth

BBB.5 (out of 5) Tennessee Williams makes his way to the big screen once again. This film mainly centres around the sadomasochistic relationship between a pretty-boy wannabe actor (Paul Newman) and an established,… Continue reading

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A Stolen Life

BB.5 (out of 5) What’s better than watching Bette Davis in a movie? Watching two Bette Davises in a movie! She plays twin sisters who are both in love with the same man (Glenn… Continue reading

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Gold Diggers Of 1935

BBB (out of 5) The best of the “Gold Diggers” movies is this Busby Berkeley-directed musical about a group of talented individuals who, amid complicated romances, put on a show at a posh… Continue reading

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Marked Woman

BBB.5 (out of 5) “I’ll get you! Even if I have to come back from the grave to do it!” Bette Davis screams at the man responsible for her innocent sister’s death. She plays… Continue reading

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Gold Diggers Of 1937

BB.5 (out of 5) Dick Powell stars in this pedestrian “Let’s put on a show” musical, one of the many choreographed by Busby Berkeley to entertain Depression-era audiences. Victor Moore wants to put on a… Continue reading

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42nd Street

BBBB (out of 5) The genre of backstage musicals had its first huge success with this showstopper, a bland story done incredible justice by the energetic performances and Busby Berkeley-choreographed numbers. Ginger Rogers has… Continue reading

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Pat and Mike

BBB.5 (out of 5) Katharine Hepburn plays a champion athlete (tennis, golf, you name it) who is discovered by talent agent Spencer Tracy. Their love-hate relationship develops as they go from game to game,… Continue reading

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