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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Dead End (1937)

WILLIAM WYLER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1937.  The Samuel Goldwyn Company.  Screenplay by Lillian Hellman, based on the play by Sidney Kingsley.  Cinematography by Gregg Toland.  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 1937.   Compelling adaptation of the play by Sidney Kingsley, with most of the…

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The North Star

BBB (out of 5) Lillian Hellman pens a tribute to the spirit of Russia suffering under Nazi atrocities during World War II, the film released while the U.S. still considered the great red nation an ally.  It’s painfully dated and corny now, a vision of village life that looks like an idyllic small American town but with…

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Three Broadway Girls (The Greeks Had A Word For Them)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Delightful precursor to How To Marry A Millionaire in which the comedy isn’t as light and the girls are a hell of a lot cattier. Joan Blondell and Madge Evans are thrilled when their old pal Ina Claire comes roaring back into town, the three of them planning to get rich quick by…

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Mystic Pizza

BBBB (out of 5) This charmer tells the tale of two Portuguese-American sisters and their best friend living in Massachusetts and working in a local pizza parlor:  Lili Taylor has left Vincent D’Onofrio at the altar, but still loves him despite her fear of commitment; Annabeth Gish becomes attached to a handsome architect whose children she…

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The Perez Family

BB.5 (out of 5) A Cuban family is trying to adjust to a new life in Miami in this so-so film featuring an excellent cast. Alfred Molina has finally managed to make it over to America from Cuba to join his already established wife (Anjelica Huston), but are they still the happy couple they once…

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The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

BBBBB (out of 5) A thoroughly delightful experience. Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye in a standout performance) is a lowly editor for a pulp magazine publishing house who spends half of his life daydreaming (perfect for his job of proofreading vampire stories and salacious detective novelettes). In between fantasies about himself as a ship captain or top…

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The Preacher’s Wife

BBB.5 (out of 5) Though lazily directed by Penny Marshall, this modern update of The Bishop’s Wife is well worth watching.  Courtney B. Vance plays a severely depressed preacher who is losing his faith in himself and his church, not to mention his integrity now that a successful businessman (Gregory Hines) is offering to buy his…

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Oleanna

BBBB (out of 5) Fascinating adaptation of David Mamet’s popular and undeservedly controversial play. When a university student (Debra Eisenstadt) consults her professor (William H. Macy) about a course she is having difficulty with, she walks away from their meeting feeling that his behaviour was entirely inappropriate. She returns to him the next day threatening…

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The Bishop’s Wife

BBBB (out of 5) Delightful romantic comedy about a frustrated bishop (David Niven) who can’t find a way to build a new cathedral for his parish or work things out with his unhappily ignored wife (Loretta Young). After praying for guidance, an angel appears (in the form of Cary Grant) to help him along, only…

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Bulldog Drummond

BBBB (out of 5) The first great adventure thriller of sound films was this terrific yarn starring Ronald Colman in the title role. He plays a ‘demobilized officer’ of World War I who returns to his life of plush aristocracy only to find it deathly boring and his life in need of a bit of a…

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The Madness Of King George

BBBB (out of 5) King George III (Nigel Hawthorne) is suffering from an unknown ailment that threatens to render him unfit to sit upon the throne of England. This is a huge problem considering that his ambitious son (Rupert Everett) is looking to overthrow him and may now have the perfect opportunity to do so….

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