4 items from 2017
By Hank Reineke
Though heavyweights Columbia and Universal produced as many serials as Republic Pictures from 1929-1956, the latter studio is generally best known for its exciting sound-era chapter-plays. Universal and the less widely known Mascot Pictures were in the game the earliest; both studios began releasing their sound serials in 1929. Mascot would only last six years or so. Universal – choosing to concentrate exclusively on the production of feature films – effectively got out of the serial business in 1946. Republic and Columbia hung on to the production of chapter-plays the longest; they released their final serials in 1955 and 1956, respectively.
Republic wasn’t only a serials factory. The studio was in the low budget feature filmmaking business as well, busily churning out a dizzying array of westerns, adventure pictures, and mysteries. They would test the box-office potentials of the horror film market during the 1940s with limited success. As a second-tier “Poverty Row” studio, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Robot roll call! This also-ran robotic fantasy from the 1950s is precisely the kind of movie one would expect from Republic, a two-fisted anti-Commie tract for juveniles. The studio comes up with an impressive robo-hero, but short-changes us when it come time for action thrills. Still, as pointed out in Richard Harland Smith’s new commentary, Tobor filled the the kiddie hunger for sci-fi matinees, at least until Robby the Robot came along.
Kl Studio Classics
1954 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 77 min. / Street Date September 12, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Cinematography: John L. Russell
Production Design: Gabriel Scognamillo
Film Editor: Basil Wrangell
Original Music: Howard Jackson
Produced by Richard Goldstone
Directed by Lee Sholem »
- Glenn Erickson
This is the ultimate in screen sadism circa 1947, and it’s all in the debut film performance of Richard Widmark as a too-nasty-for-words hood who likes to shoot people in the stomach. Actually, Victor Mature is not bad in a grim story of a stool pigeon that tries to square himself with the law, and finds himself a target for mob murder.
1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 98 min. / Street Date February 7, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95
Cinematography: Norbert Brodine
Film Editor: J. Watson Webb Jr.
Original Music: David Buttolph
Produced by Fred Kohlmar
Directed by Henry Hathaway
- Glenn Erickson
Dana Andrews movies: Film noir actor excelled in both major and minor crime dramas. Dana Andrews movies: First-rate film noir actor excelled in both classics & minor fare One of the best-looking and most underrated actors of the studio era, Dana Andrews was a first-rate film noir/crime thriller star. Oftentimes dismissed as no more than a “dependable” or “reliable” leading man, in truth Andrews brought to life complex characters that never quite fit into the mold of Hollywood's standardized heroes – or rather, antiheroes. Unlike the cynical, tough-talking, and (albeit at times self-delusionally) self-confident characters played by the likes of Alan Ladd, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and, however lazily, Robert Mitchum, Andrews created portrayals of tortured men at odds with their social standing, their sense of ethics, and even their romantic yearnings. Not infrequently, there was only a very fine line separating his (anti)heroes from most movie villains. »
- Andre Soares
4 items from 2017
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