Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. ... See full summary »
This is the sad story of several desperate ladies incarcerated somewhere in Italy in a camp for displaced women after the end of World War II. Among them, Anna, a Yugoslav, who has seen her... See full summary »
A down-on-his-luck farmer makes a deal with the devil for seven years of prosperity. When Mr. Scratch comes to collect, orator and hero of the common man Daniel Webster comes to the rescue. Written by
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Thomas Mitchell was originally cast as Daniel Webster. While filming a carriage ride scene with young actor Lindy Wade, Mitchell lost control of the horses and was thrown from the carriage. He suffered a fractured skull and was in the hospital for 17 weeks, but made a full recovery. Director William Dieterle recast Edward Arnold in the role with one day's notice. All of Mitchell's scenes as Daniel Webster had to then be re-shot with Arnold. See more »
When Jabez comments on the full moon, the moon shaped light in the sky is obviously not in the full moon phase. See more »
Why would someone who has thoroughly enjoyed movies such as "Judge Dredd" and "Wild at Heart" consider this to be "my favorite movie"?
One word - "fantasy". It's my favorite movie category, and this is the best one that I've ever seen. The 1940s was the decade in which horror melodramas and fantasies really began to ramp up, and this movie helped to set the standard. Stephen Vincent Benet's story is a bit changed, but not enough to diminish this American Gothic tale.
Aside from being superior entertainment, the movie simply has no weaknesses. Where to start? The casting and acting are extraordinary. Though both are most often remembered for other movies, Edward Arnold and Walter Huston turn in their best performances here. Simone Simon (known today for the "Cat People" movies) is exceptional as Belle. Anne Shirley, James Craig, and the stellar supporting cast are also great.
This is Bernard Herrmann's best film score. William Dieterle's direction is quirky and involving, propelling the film along at a fast clip. Admittably, the characters are caricatures, but Dieterle helps us to feel their trials and tribulations. The movie also features brilliant cinematography, exceptional production values, and truly superior editing (this was an early job for director Robert Wise). The scenes are quite stagey, but never disjointed - the logic of the story is unmistakable and riveting.
Huston is the ultimate "Mr. Scratch". I've seen this show many times, and it's a 10/10.
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