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Apartment for Peggy (1948)
Where is the I.W.W. when you need 'em?
This is a Hollywood attempt at 'writing between the lines' regarding the true under-pining of what this movie represented. The owning class did not want some G.I. who just scraped the French mud off him attending college. Yeah, perhaps it was important to beat the Germans and the Japanese but PLEASE do we really have to let them in OUR universities? Even the esteemed educator, Hutchings, objected to G.I. 'invading' his university when, clearly, they were not, 'university material'. This movie shows the struggle the working class had in getting a university education. Actually, it represents a form of bravery that this movie was ever produced. I wonder how it managed to evade HUAC's attention.
Beat the Devil (1953)
Not your grandfather's Bogart nor Jones picture
The other comments from reviewers capture the plot. I won't add mine.
'Beat The Devil' has got to be the most edgy movie Bogart or Jones ever attempted. Jones performance is a revaluation in her range of talent. Actually, considering 'Portrait of Jenny', 'Love Letters', and 'Song Of Bernadette' a startling revelation. In 'Beat The Devil' she more than matches Morley and Lorre in comedic brilliance. Very few actors could play a saint and a complete ditz with precision and believability.
Bogart was no slouch in comedy e.g. 'All Through The Night' and 'We're No Angels' may have called this movie, 'A mess', but it is a fine mess and a tribute to Bogart's ability.
The Green Man (1990)
'Angry Young Man' gets an honest shake on film
Kingsley Amis, a charter member of the English 'Angry Young Men' club of post World War II writers, wrote a marvelous book containing equal parts of horror and humour.
'The Green Man' is an adequite translation of Amis's literary masterpiece to the screen; alas, in this case, the television screen.
Albert Finney delivers a preformance to match the character Amis created to present the story of a centuries-old child molester who still inhabits the precincts of the home in which he lived.
The production is English, hence, superior. If this one doesn't stick with you...check your pulse.
Doc Hollywood (1991)
James Hilton Lives!
Has anyone noticed the similarity of Grady to Shangri-La?
The airplane crash brings Conway to the lamasary of Shangri-La; a car smash brings Ben Stone to Grady.
Both find a world in which they can function apart from their 'chosen' capitalistic professions.
Unlike 'Witness', 'Doc Hollywood' does what we all would: find that entrance to Shangi-La and never look back! Who, even a Yankee, could leave Grady? Who, even an Englishman could leave Shangri-La?
A great movie!
Random Harvest (1942)
Read The Book!
The novel, 'Random Harvest' by James Hilton might be un-filmable.
I read this book every year on November 11. And, every year a lump forms in my throat at the novels' end.
Unfortunately, the movie doesn't deliver. Ronald Coleman is mis-cast (too old), Robert Donat would have been better. The movie doesn't capture the feeling of pre-WWII England sonambulisticly heading into war. Hilton did a great job with the novel; but unlike his 'Lost Horizon' and 'Good-bye, Mr. Chips', Hollywood couldn't put it on the screen.
All Through the Night (1942)
The NePlus Ultra Of Character Actors
I have long held a fantasy about this picture. One day, Jack Warner wandered into his studio commissary, noticed all these contract players sitting around drinking coffee and screamed, 'Get 'em all into a movie...NOW!' I submit: Jackie Gleason William Demarest Frank McHugh Wally Ford Peter Lorre Conrad Viedt Judith Anderson James Burke Not enough? OK, how about: Jane Darwell Karen Verne Hansel, the dog Barton McLain All The Ones I Forget
This has GOT to be as fun a movie to watch as any ever made.
Chasing Nazi 'Fivers' through Manhattan...they don't even make it to Brooklyn! Gloves, Humphrey Bogart, and his boys show the Hun they can't do in New York what they could in Berlin. Yes, it's propaganda with a capital 'P'; but its fun with a capital 'F'. One of my favourite Bogart movies.
The Front (1976)
As close as Hollywood has come to 'Scoundrel Time'.
The great playwright, Lillian Hellman termed the period of the Hollywood blacklists as 'Scoundrel Time'. This movie catches the period perfectly. Written and directed by two who were blacklisted themselves, it captures the insanity of the HUAC period. Woody Allen gives a wonderful performance as a simple cashier who becomes a 'Front': someone who represents himself as a writer for writers who've been blacklisted. Zero Mostel delivers one of his best performances on film as a comic who get caught up in the blacklist. That he himself was blacklisted lends an incredible level of authenticity to his role. In all, a great movie. Understated, yet showing the evil of the period.