British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.
Various film historians, film makers, and cultural commentators discuss the cultural, political, economic and religious reasons for what is known as the pre-code era of Hollywood movie ... See full summary »
I was expecting so much more from this profile of Hollywood's greatest year. I was very disappointed that this look at 1939 was so thin and so poorly done.
I expected a lot of time to be spent on The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind. I didn't expect this time to be at the expense of other '39 movies. This documentary of 1939 barely glossed over Idiot's Delight (Clark Gable's only appearance singing and dancing) and totally ignored The Little Princess, Bachelor Mother, Stanley and Livingstone, and Intermezzo: A Love Story (just to name a few).
I was particularly disappointed that they left out Intermezzo because this would have provided a perfect time to contrast Leslie Howard with his role in Gone With The Wind (he was much too old to play Ashley Wilkes and I feel that showed in his performance, but he was wonderful in Intermezzo). The exclusion of Intermezzo is all the more puzzling because it was the first American film appearance of Ingrid Bergman. How can the debut of such a star be overlooked?
Even the attention given to Gone With The Wind is weak. No mention is made of Hattie McDaniel's historic Oscar win (except for a one second moment of footage at the awards).
The core audience for this film would have to be newcomers to classic movies. Any fan of classic movies will not learn anything new and will be horribly distracted by all of the omissions.
The 70th anniversary of Hollywood's greatest year deserves better.
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