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A Sweet Romantic Film
I have always thought that it was a shame that Leslie Howard is remembered today (if at all) for one of his weakest roles, that of Ashley Wilkes in GONE WITH THE WIND. He was so much better than that! An actor, director, playwright, you name it, he did it all. He was also a helpful mentor to other actors such as Humphrey Bogart (they became such close friends that Bogart named his daughter "Leslie") and William Gargan (who named his son Leslie Howard Gargan). In DEVOTION, Leslie Howard is a lawyer who is loved by Ann Harding from afar. Yes, the plot plays out a little like a Mills and Boon novel, but in such a charming manner that the viewer can just sit back and enjoy!
Will true love conquer all?
Sporting Blood (1931)
A pleasant surprise
I recently caught this film on TCM during their celebration of Clark Gable as "Star of the Month" and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Good behind the scenes racing story, with the added attraction of a very young Clark Gable in his first top-billed role. Yes, the story is sentimental, but exceedingly well done, with excellent performances by all. But the best surprise of all is the treatment of the African American characters in the film. Considering the time period, all of the African Americans are treated as intelligent, thinking HUMAN beings, not as shuffling minstrel show caricatures. Why isn't this film better known? Catch it when you have the chance. Highly recommended!
The Outsider (2002)
Has anyone seen "Angel and the Badman?"
The whole time I was watching this movie, I kept thinking it was a semi-remake of John Wayne's 1947 "Angel and the Badman." The similarities between the two are striking: injured gunfighter cared for by a woman who is a member of a pacifist religious sect, they fall in love and the gunfighter gives up his violent ways. Along the way, both women nearly die, but have miraculous recoveries. There is even a scene in both where the doctor has a speech about what a waste of time it is to treat gunfighters, because they'll just go out and get shot again.
Don't get me wrong, this is an enjoyable movie, if you like romantic westerns. The leads are attractive and the Carradine brothers both give excellent performances. Not at all a bad way to waste an hour or so.
Just not the most original movie ever made!
Another great performance by Mary Astor
If you get the chance to see this version of "Holiday," take it! Ann Harding is fabulous in the part of Linda, a role later played by Katharine Hepburn in the better known 1938 version. But another pleasure of this version is Mary Astor's excellent portrayal of Julia. She takes a rather blah and unrewarding role and really makes something of it. Highly recommended!
The Voice of the Turtle (1947)
A charming WWII romantic comedy
A charming WWII romantic comedy with a likable cast and some witty lines by the great Eve Arden. A "feel-good" movie about taking a second chance on love, and one of Ronald Reagan's best performances. If you enjoy all those Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies, you'll love "The Voice of the Turtle."