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A Tragedy at Midnight (1942)
A comic 'tragedy'.
Let's get over all this stuff about Powell-Loy. Howard-Lindsay hold their own in this Republic gem. I am all for 'the Republic for which it stands'.
The plot, not too original but, who cares? It was carried out beautifully by a cast of some of the era's most popular character actors.
The dialog, penned by a femme, was great fun and so well handled by John Howard and Margaret Lindsay. Why she never achieved greater fame, I will never know. She has a Lamarr-like beauty, gorgeous from any angle, and when it comes to line delivery excuse me - but - she equals Loy.
The chemistry between the stars - and they are that - is beautiful, the dialog is clever and witty.
The judo moves were very convincing as delivered by Keye Luke who also was A-plus in line delivery.
"A Tragedy at Midnight" is thoroughly enjoyable at any hour.
Campus Rhythm (1943)
Name sounds like a bad weather report, but, happy to report, she is a delight.
Some folks are fussing about the plot. Sure, it's thin, but it is fun and the picture is a delight thanks to a fine cast headed by the effervescent, Miss Storm. One critic referred to her as a faux Shirley Temple. Nonsense. She was an adorable,talented, easy on the eyes individual and, in this picture, she is a lot of fun. Johnny Downs, a busy and talented man and, my favorite non-star star, Robert Lowery, is always enjoyable to watch. One thing on which we all agree is that Candy Candido is a helluva lot of fun. All in all, "Campus Rhythm" is totally enjoyable. Small budget, small studio, big enjoyment. P.S. They kept talking about a Rawley College. As a North Carolinian I was proud and happy thinking it was Raleigh. Oh,well!
They Won't Forget (1937)
you won't forget "They Won't Forget."
Leave it to Warner Bros. to pull no punches. This powerful movie, based on a real case and sticking with the facts, is a stunner. The closer it gets to the end, the more involved you become as you hope for justice to be done.
I can't pinpoint any performer as outstanding. They were all outstanding as was LeRoy's no-nonsense direction. No side-tracking, no crapping around with sub-plots. He got to the point immediately and stayed with it.
This is an outstanding film. Interestingly it does not, of course, echo the South of today (I live in the South). There are still problems but, for the most part, they are back seat.
In schools, prejudice would most likely be laughed out. The races work and play together and, yep, go out on dates together.
If there are any KKK nutcases around they would be laughed out of the neighborhood.
Back to the movie: Fan-damn-tastic.
In the Meantime, Darling (1944)
in the meantime, darling - a darling presentation.
First of all, 70 minutes of Miss C is worth far more than 7 hours of watching most of today's over-made-up, plaster-faced screen personalities. JC (nice initials) Lamarr, Lamour, etc. were natural beauties.
Now for the pic. Produced and directed by Preminger - certainly not his usual thing. The movie itself was pleasant, the characters interesting and fun.
It is a woman's movie, but it gives insight into the lives of GIs and wives during WW2. I recommend it as a pleasant diversion, and an opportunity to watch its beautiful star for a good length of time.
for a good - no, great - cry PLEASE see this movie.
"Lifted" is a movie I knew nothing about. Now, I would love the whole world to know about it. It is an unashamed tear-jerker - a story that moves warmly along as it covers a variety of items - there are bullies, there is drug addiction and a few other negatives. On the positive side there is family love. The boy and his parents exude pure love.
And, there is talent. Lots of boys and girls roaming the silver screen, but none can hold a candle to the star of this movie. Mom, dad, the preacher, Mr. S and the unbilled Trace Adkins are all magnificent. One great scene is the one with Trace and the boy's grandfather.
All are great scenes in a movie with a gf - for great family - rating. Sure, it is a low budget job, but for heart and entertainment it cannot be equaled or beaten.
One more note. It is also a tribute to our servicemen and women, particularly the Marines. I'm ex-Army, but while the marines are the focus, you will see a beautiful tribute, especially to those who have lost their lives in 'our' behalf.
The Black Scorpion (1957)
black scorpion creates a very good - web - site.
I agree with most of the folks who wrote about this pic. In the '50s cheesy, but sort-of entertaining sci-flicks abounded. This one, under the WB banner was better than most as far as special effects are concerned.
The bummers were the truck and train attacks, both looking like the tiny models they probably were. Otherwise, that fat and quite ugly spider would have scared hell out of Little Miss Muffett and her family, especially if it did sit down beside her.
King Kong's Willis O'Brien had so much to do with the overall look of the biggie spider and its enemy, the biggie worm. Best scene? The cave, of course.
The acting was quite good. Richard Denning, who seemed to have graced every third sci-fi movie of the era, was quite good and he had one thing in common with the title character - drool.
The spider felt it necessary to drool in every close-up, and he was drooling over Mara Corday - and for good reason.
Overall, this movie from days gone by still elicits a lot of thrills.
Gambling Lady (1934)
gamble on this lady.
As a movie, I would have given this a seven, but because Stanwyck is the star, I upped the ante.
That gambling term is appropriate since that is the theme of this movie which will command your attention from beginning to end.
Long time co-star Joel McCrae (this was their first time together) is excellent as the main man in her life.
Will they get together? Sure, it's in the cards.
So - nothing spectacular about this movie, but nothing wrong with it either. The lady from Brooklyn makes it extra-worthwhile.
Other plus-es include the always reliable Pat O'Brien and the always delightful Sir C. Aubrey Smith. What a character --- actor.
Kansas Pacific (1953)
Kansas pacific - an exciting choo-choo.
I would have given this a 10, backing down because it played loosely with history. Otherwise, it was a helluva good movie - rousing, exciting, constantly moving like a train with the tracks intact.
It has to do with building the rail through Kansas to the Colorado border, train/tracks coveted by the Confeds and the Union.
The action is never-ending, most of the fight scenes convincing and leading man, Sterling Hayden is rock solid (not Rock Hudson). His own life was far more exciting. Check his unbelievable bio. Wow!! All in all, there is not a thing wrong with the movie. If you like westerns, if you like action, it is all there on the "Kansas Pacific." Final thought: If Sterling Hayden married Robert Sterling, he would be Sterling Sterling.
Speaking of sterling - as in silver - the hi-yo man has a small part in this adventure.
Two Tickets to Broadway (1951)
buy one of those tickets
First of all, to those upset about the Indian number - get a life. This was '51. Don't take it so seriously - and keep away from pictures with Mantan Moreland, etc.
Then there are the criticisms about Tony Martin. He has the dark look, so some people automatically assume he should portray gangsters. Prejudice, prejudice against dark-haired people. Tsk.
Martin sang grand opera in this movie, pop songs, novelties and did beautifully with all of them. Not all of the music was memorable, but even the songs that might be described as mediocre were beautifully presented. The girls were attractive and personable. Miss Leigh was a doll and, yes, she did her own singing and dancing.
No one can knock Ann Miller. What a great talent. Speaking of talent, The Charlivels were outstanding as a high wire act, and as dancers.
Interesting casting was Max Baer's bro, Buddy, also a boxer, as a tough swabbie.
The Bob Crosby number, where he compares himself with brother Bing was very well done - real life situation. The one thing I missed - I wish his band had played some of its trademark Dixieland. OOoops - is that word offensive to northern ears? The plot was ancient but, who cares. Howard Hughes put this together and came up with a fun, pleasant movies.
If Winter Comes (1947)
winter is warm
First of all will you tell a couple of the birds who wrote critiques of this picture that a pigeon is a bird, and that Pidgeon is a movie actor. For heaven's sake, if you are going to try to sound so learned, at least get the name of the leading man straight. Look - Pidgeon, Pidgeon, Pidgeon. Got it??? As for the picture itself, it is a delight for those who enjoy such movies as "Love Story" and "An Affair To Remember." This one does not have the big budget, but it has the same affect on the heart.
Pidgeon - the actor - is a little too goody-goody, but he is always a joy to watch as he is in this movie playing, to say the least, a misunderstood gentleman. Co-star Kerr is at her loveliest/sweetest, and Angela Lansbury is at her bitchiest without going overboard about it.
This was an early effort for Janet Leigh who is super cute/sweet, a real heart capturer.
The trial scene was effective, and all in the cast were quite good. If you want a warm, heart-tugging movie, try this one on for size. It will fit.