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Big Town Czar (1939)
The Gangster's Mistake
Phil Daley muscles in on his own boss taking over the NYC's number's racket and is enjoying the high life. His younger brother Danny quits college when he sees how his brother lives and becomes one of his agents. Danny decides to get into the fight racket by telling Chuck Hardy, championship contender, to take a dive. When Hardy loses the fight, rival gang leader Mike Luger loses a fortune and decides to get revenge on the Daleys.
This is a film without much purpose or reasoning. Barton MacLane's character is a jerk but at the same time, he is really given the blame and anger of everyone he encounters due to his brother's idiotic actions. The characters just seem to be going through the motions and the audience is just left thinking that there are a lot better stories that drive home the point that crime doesn't pay.
The House of Hate (1918)
Pearl vs. the Hooded Terror
Munitions magnate Winthrop Waldon names his daughter Pearl as heir to his empire disappointing his brother Ezra, nephew Haynes and niece Naomi. Soon after, Waldon is murdered by the Hooded Terror who the police confirm must be a member of the household, also including Pearl's sweetheart and Waldon chemist Harry Gresham. With her standing as head of her father's company (remember this is still WWI), Pearl stands to be next in line for murder and spends the remainder of the serial dodging accidents and a near prison execution.
The version I saw was a condensation shown to USSR audiences in 1925, so a lot of the plot was removed but very little of the action which this serial had aplenty. The Hooded Terror now ranks as my all time serial villain due to his persistence and strength. It is also nice to see a lot of Fort Lee location shooting here. I really hope this becomes available to a larger audience in the near future.
Mark of the Spur (1932)
Custer meanders through this one
Young man decides to get a job as a riding boss on a ranch run by rough tough Hardshell Beckett (played by 1000 year old Lafe McKee) but the real boss of the ranch seems to be Beckett's adopted daughter Alice, who the kid tries to romance. When the kid arrives, so does Beckett's ex- wife and long lost son, whom Beckett suspects of trying to take over the ranch. Finding out that the kid might be a wanted outlaw, Beckett's son (along w/ two ranch hands that don't approve of their new riding boss) frames the kid for robbing Beckett's safe and stabbing the old man. How can the kid save himself and what secret is Beckett's ex hiding?
Custer, who has little acting ability to begin with, tries to go the Hoot Gibson route and play the likable kid in the modern west. Unfortunately, he is still not believable in the role. Lillian Rich seems to highbrow to appear in this below the barrel affair, but she does give some effort and is probably the only good thing in the film. Action is kept to a minimum and everything wraps up just as you would expect it to. Funny thing is that every B-western Lafe McKee played the father of a young girl, she was always in her late teens, here we believe that his son in George Cheseboro, who was in his mid 40's at this point.
Rating, 2 out of 10.
Bombay Clipper (1942)
War Time Diamond Smuggling
Foreign correspondent Jim Wilson is trying to get a big break on a story while at the same time trying to please his fiancé Frankie by settling down. Jim gets a break on a case where diamonds will be transported on the Bombay Clipper plane where they will be eventually cut for the war effort which will also bring out spies trying to abduct the gems. When one thief is killed on board it seems like much of the threat is over, but he was only small fry and the head of the smugglers still plans to get the gems, which were given to Frankie.
Decent and pedestrian affair only hampered by the fact that the United States wasn't at war when the picture was filmed and we don't have the actual Nazi or Japanese factions named in the film to root against. Nice dialogue between Gargan & Hervey as well as a very good closing scene with the two. Mary Gordon has probably her best non-Mrs. Watson role in the film in a fun gambling scene. Much of the revelation at the end of the film seems trite & rushed and probably could have used some script doctoring.
Rating, 5 out of 10
The Eddie Cantor Story (1953)
I really wanted to like this film, but........
The story of Eddie Cantor with plenty put in and taken out by 1950's Hollywood standards. Here Eddie grows up in a tough part of New York City, living with his grandmother. He catches a break when he wins a local amateur contest and gets a part with a group of young performers in a traveling show. When he grows out of the role, he marries his girlfriend Ida and struggles in getting new parts. Pal Jimmy Durante gives him a break in a show out in Los Angeles and leaves Ida pregnant with his first (of five) daughters. He comes back from LA and manages to get a part in a Ziegfeld show and his career takes off despite the loss of his grandmother and the strain it puts on his and Ida's marriage.
Plenty of liberties were taken with Cantor's life here, but the film is entertaining. Brasselle looks like Cantor but his performance isn't acting, its more on the line of an imitation. The fact that Cantor dubbed in all of the singing and the cameo by Eddie and Ida at the end of the movie are nice touches. It would have been nice to make more of Eddie's charitable work rather than condense it to 3 minutes at the end.
Like I said, a good film, but one I would have liked to enjoy more.
Rating 5 out of 10.
Night World (1932)
B version of Grand Hotel in a nightclub
Happy's Club, a non speakeasy nightclub in Manhattan, is home to many stories and characters. Owner Happy MacDonald is threatened by rival bootleggers and decides to settle matters with them himself. Happy's wife Jill is keeping on an affair with the nightclub's entertainment director Klauss. Dancer Ruth Taylor is falling for young Michael Rand, who's been drinking away at Happy's after the recent events of the murder trial concerning his mother shooting his father. All the events come together (sort of- see review) where people with grudges against each our cast come to Happy's for a showdown.
The film has a great cast and almost all of them do a bang-up job, but the film falls flat because the various stories don't really gel together and a lot of characters have their roles wasted (Clarence Muse and George Raft especially). In a sense the only draw of the film is the Busby Berkeley choreographed dance sequence about 10 minutes in.
Rating 4 out of 10.
The Killer Shrews (1959)
The Killer Dogs.... I mean Shrews Attack
Thorne Sherman and Rook Griswold come by boat to deliver supplies to Dr. Craigis on a small deserted island in Texas. Dr. Craigis assistant Jerry Farrell advises the two to get off the island, but the doctor's daughter Ann insists that they stay the night. It seems that the doctor (along with assistant Dr. Baines) have been conducting genetic experiments on rats, which has gone haywire as each successive generation has inherited the bad genes of the previous ones to the point that the current generation are a pack of carnivorous, mutated shrews who have also poison running through their mouths which they are immune to. Slowly the shrews are getting more and more hungry, and the only ones left on the island are Sherman, Ann, Farrell, and the two doctors.
Despite the low budget and the cheesy looking shrews (either puppets up close or wild dogs in long shots), the film is able to create a good amount of suspense with very little to work with. Also props should be given out to Kellogg & cinematographer Cline for creating the cramped environment throughout the film. Rating 5 out of 10.
Roy helps save the Union
A group of Confederates are posing as Northern loyalists in Colorado where they are sabotaging the help the Union needs in the war. General Grant sends Lt. Jerry Burke to investigate the trouble, but when he arrives he discovers his brother Don, using the alias of Cap. Donald Mason, is one of the ringleaders of this wave of sabotage. The head of the secessionists is Jim Macklin, who is the Indian Agent of the area, who has also been providing the Indians with rifles in hopes of further spoiling the arrival of army troops. Jerry tries to set a trap for Macklin, but is shot by one of the renegade Indians and is nursed back to health by Don, who has grown tired of following Macklin's orders and shoots him in an argument. Fully healthy, Jerry learns of his brothers' actions and goes after him putting his duty above his heart in a battle that only one can leave alive. The film has plenty of action, drama, and suspense, plus a great climax to the film, but the film really weakens by trying to draw out the relationship b/w the brothers and the fact that Macklin is really that great a villain, where the script really could have had him use the brother situation to a better advantage. Moore is given a better role than her other films w/ Rogers really torn between her fiancé (Don) and a blooming love for Jerry. Rating, based on B westerns, 6.
Young Buffalo Bill (1940)
Not a great Historical Rogers
Bill Cody and friend Gabby Whitaker are called on by the US Army to survey the New Mexico territory. Don Regas is not happy with the survey since he feels that the Army is out to cheat or rob him of his rightful land (through a Spanish grant), but is assured by Cody that all will be fair. The Don's friend Emelio Montez is actually trying to acquire part of the Don's land since there is a rich gold mine on the property and calls on his half-brother, a renegade Indian chief Akuna to kill the Don so that the claim will be open and ready for filing, especially when the surveyor is in the debt to Montez and fixes the boundaries so the land is open for anyone to file. When Cody learns of Montez' plot, he races to protect the claim as well as the Don's daughter Tonia from Akuna's wrath. The film never quite has the ability to take off and is just an ordinary oater despite the characters and setting for a great film. Moore and Sothern are out of their acting range and Pendleton is very flat in his portrayal. The rest of the cast's performances and story could have been a lot better, but there is some mighty fine photography and locations used here. Rating, based on B westerns, 5.
Saga of Death Valley (1939)
Best of the Separated Brothers Genre
Ed Tasker kills Roy Rogers, Sr. over a land dispute and the only witness to the crime is his 3 year old son Tim, who is kidnapped by Tasker and led into a life of crime. Years later, Tasker is controlling the water rights for the valley, along with the adopted son, now named Jerry. Rogers' other son Roy, arrives in the valley under an assumed name to reacquire his father's old ranch. When Tasker starts charging Roy and the rest of the ranchers outrageous prices for the water, Roy organizes a group of night riders to disrupt Tasker's plans. Tasker sends out Jerry to stop the night riders leading to a showdown of brother versus brother, even though neither of the two know it. The idea of brothers separated at birth was definitely not new when this B western was made, but so far of the ones I've seen this is definitely the best, obviously helped out by the opposite characterizations performed by Rogers and Barry. Excellent directing by Kane, as well as an interesting characterization by outlaw Taliaferro, contemplating to blow up the dam in the film's shoot out. Rating, based on B-westerns, 10.
Tom & Tony to the Rescue
Cullen, president of the K & A railroad, is at a loss to stop the robberies occurring on his line, even though he is unaware his secretary, Holt, is secretly tipping off the bandits with the shipments. Tom Morgan is called on to investigate, even though he needs to disguise himself as an outlaw in order infiltrate Tolfree's gang and hear their plans. When Cullen decides to send a shipment of bonds with him on another train, Holt tells Tolfree, who's going to lead his gang into robbery unless Tom's assistant, a hobo named Deluxe Harry, can relay the information to him in time. This is one of the more enjoyable Mix silents (of which there are still way too few) with a brisk pace, exciting chases, thrilling stunts throughout, and an exciting climax in an underground cave. A prologue to the film points out the exterior shots being in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and they are very striking adding a lot of beauty to the picture. I think the film tried to be too mysterious with Mix' characterization and the character of the butler could have been eliminated since Deluxe Harry fit in well as the comic relief. Rating 8.
Last Generation's Army to the Rescue
Tommy Grayson is arrested on suspicions of sabotage following the destruction of a series of test flights for the government. Major Grayson, Tommy's father, tries to clear the charges against his son but finds only the scorn of the town since the aircraft plant's closing following the sabotage. The Major gets a lead, and with a group of former army veterans, goes to investigate Tommy's co-worker, but the Major gets caught by the leader of the fifth columnists and it seems all done once the leader, Gardner, plans to blow up the plant and keep the major from talking. Enjoyable B spy thriller once it gets past the romance angle at the beginning of the film w/ Tommy and his new bride Gail. Grapewin has one of his biggest roles and makes the most of it as the Major, as well as Littlefield who has a field day as former Civil War vet Eli. The film moves along a good clip and its interesting in the fact of being one of the first Bs about spies on the homefront, especially with the spies being German. Rating, based on B's, 8.
The Vigilantes Return (1947)
It tried to be a B+ Western
Marshal Johnnie Taggart is sent to Montana to investigate a series of stage robberies & murders, and goes undercover as outlaw Ace Braddock. Working with dance hall accordion player Andy, he is also recognized by Kitty, co-owner of the dance hall, whose other owner Clay Curtwright is the leader of the bandits. Curtwright learns of Taggart's identity and arranges a bank holdup where the watchman is killed and Taggart is framed for the murder. The only person in town besides Andy & Kitty who will stand by Taggart is Judge Holden, but this gets complicated when his granddaughter, Louise, is in love with Curtwright. Andy helps Taggart escape from jail, and sensing that he better get out while he can, Curtwright plans to take the stolen loot, but not before he can square accounts with Taggart. The movie has a b-movie cast, plot, and setting, but you can tell that Universal was trying to make this western a notch above the others they were making before, but it doesn't really come off. The Cinecolor really makes the film look too dark at the night scenes and too bright for certain day scenes. There are a good deal of fights and action scenes, the best being Taggart & Andy going through the saloon on horseback. The script does aim at a more complex nature with the Louise-Curtwright relationship, which did end differently from what I predicted. The cast is fine, even though I really don't buy Wilcox as a leader of a gang of road agents. Rating, 6.
Branded a Bandit (1924)
Too Much Chasing
Jim Turner has discovered a rich gold mine that he plans to use its profits to take care of his two granddaughters Jennie and Skeets. Horse Williams who has his eyes on Jennie also has his eyes on Turner's riches and shoots the old timer. Jess Dean, a local cowhand, is framed for the murder by Williams, since he was carrying a sample of the gold (which Turner wanted Dean to give to Jennie). Williams convinces the town of Dean's guilt and he escapes, but Williams organizes his "posse" to go after Dean. The movie lacks originality even for one made in 1924 since the plot I described takes place in the first 12-15 minutes then the next 35 is just Williams' gang chasing after Dean. The film also doesn't have much in the way of great horse-riding stunts characteristic of Yakina Canutt, but the climax of the film with Yak fighting Williams does provide plenty of action and thrills. Rating 5.
Vigilante Hideout (1950)
Nugget Clark's Invention Emporium
Range detective Rocky Lane arrives in town to help Nugget Clark's rustling problem, even though Nugget has only 3 cows. Rocky also learns the other real problem in town is the lack of a water supply, which Nugget is trying to tap using dynamite to test for vibrations where water might be. The town also has raised $20,000 for a fund to build an aqueduct which is stored in the bank vault. This gives Benson, express operator, an idea to use an abandoned mine that leads directly under the bank and Nugget's dynamite to blow a hole underneath so the crooks can make off with the funds. Rocky tries to piece together the rustling of Nugget's cattle, the actions of Muley Price and his gang, as well as the charges that he is responsible for the recent troubles and robberies in town. This western did have original ideas but they weren't fleshed out as well as they could have been, especially not getting into the crux of the story til the halfway mark and with characters whose purpose doesn't carry that far into the story. Perennial Rocky Lane villain Roy Barcroft seems to disappear halfway through the film and the idea of the heroine's father being a former crook wasn't utilized very well. The highlight of the film is really the things Nugget invents (just for the sake of saying he was able to invent them) such as a perpetual motion machine, a voice recorder, horseless carriage, plus many more but thinking they will never have any practical purpose. Rating, based on B westerns, 6.
So Dark the Night (1946)
Noir on the French Countryside
The famous French detective Henri Cassin takes his first vacation in 11 years in St. Margot where he meets Nanette, the daughter of the vacation spot proprietors. Despite Nanette being promised to childhood sweetheart Leon, Henri and Nanette fall in love and decide to marry, despite Nanette's father objecting due to Henri's age. On the day of their wedding, Leon returns and Nanette runs after him. Nothing is heard of the two until both are found dead, and Henri swears he won't rest until he can find the killer. The only clue Henri has to work with is a footprint found by Leon, but he is also getting written warnings that others will die soon. Soon Nanette's mother is found dead and Henri has no idea as to the identity of the killer. Thinking himself a failure he returns to Paris, then he realizes (and fears) that the killer can be only one person, even though none of his colleagues can believe his explanation. Out of the ordinary murder mystery that doesn't really follow the formula in other of the genre by Columbia or other B studios. Credit to that certainly goes to director Lewis who does manage to turn this into a noirish film despite the setting of the film, also aided by the use of good camera-work and lighting. Geray turns in a very good performance in probably his only lead and the rest of the cast is able to carry their performance. Rating, 8.
Between Fighting Men (1932)
Sheepmen vs. Cattlemen (Again)
Land is opened up for sheepherders to set up homesteads on the land formerly owned by cattlemen. Naturally this leads to conflict and Win Thompson who owns the largest ranch wants to drive the sheepmen off. Trying to help are Ken & Wally Thompson, who are even given more incentive to help when they see Judy Winters, daughter of one of the sheepherders. Thompson's foreman Butch Martin is given orders to drive the rustle the sheep, but interprets the orders his own way and murders Judy's father. Win takes Judy in at the ranch, but she later learns that Win gave the order to Butch to drive off the sheep. Ken tries to remedy the matter, but can't do much especially when Wally is influenced by Butch that Ken is stealing Judy away from him. Enjoyable B western even though the script had already been done to death at every poverty row studio. The highlight is probably Ruth Hall who does a great job as Judy making us wish she kept up her film career. Another highpoint was Josephine Dunn as the café proprietor whose bit trying to snag Wally at the dance is fun to watch. Maynard is good as he usually is, but I think we could have had a bit more action. Rating, based on B westerns, 6.
The Wolf Dog (1933)
Incomplete, but Still Watchable
Frank Courtney discovers that he is heir to a shipping line and travels to Los Angeles to claim his inheritance. The current president of the line, Norman Bryan, has been embezzling from the company and rather lose this opportunity, decides not to have Frank arrive in LA. Traveling with Frank to LA is Bob Whitlock, a radio operator for the company, but also the inventor of a machine that can destroy enemy planes and ships from a distance. Bryan, along w/ his assistant Mason, try to obtain the plans for the machine. Aiding Frank and Bob is Irene Blaine, who is actually Frank's cousin, also trying to clear the charges of company embezzlement against her father. For 12 chapters our trio, also with the help of Pal, the wolf dog, try to survive Bryan's plans of conquest. Average serial for Mascot, not aided by the fact that my print is missing pieces of footage and at least 8 cliffhangers, so its really hard to accurately judge the serial with the missing footage. However it is fun and moves at a quick pace with a lot of on location shooting rather than the Mascot lot. The cast seems to enjoy the serial, but the plot points such as Frank being abducted or Bob's invention being stolen are rehashed to death here. The serial's most memorable moment is probably Bryan's final scene in the serial. Rating, based on serials, 5.
The Flame and the Arrow (1950)
Could Have Been Better Swashbuckler
The setting is 12th century northern Italy where German oppressors have conquered the villages and leaving the townspeople in fear, but groups of rebels arise and one in the town of Lombardi is led by carefree fighter Dardo Bartoli. Dardo should have plenty of reasons to be angry at Count Ulrich, the head of the oppressors in the village since years ago, Dardo's wife Francesca ran off with the count leaving Dardo with his son Rudy. When Ulrich plans to abduct Rudy to better his life, Dardo fights with everything he's got, but his son is captured and Dardo barely escapes with his life. Dardo and his band hold as prisoner Anne de Hesse, a noblewoman who is a guest of Ulrich and Dardo plans to use her as bait for his son. The Marchese Alesandro de Granazia has also joined Dardo's outfit, but for his own reasons to marry Anne and seize the throne from Ulrich. After Marchese has betrayed both Dardo and Ulrich, Dardo plans a scheme to get his son back and free the town. The film has a good deal of swordplay and action (most fun to watch are the acrobatics by Lancaster and Cravat) but the plot doesn't really take hold of this audience member or run smoothly for that matter. While Ulrich and Marchese are definitely the villains, the characterization given them really doesn't impress me as being a villain worthy of our hero. Mayo is good looking and is a good enough actress to carry herself here, but the way her character is developed doesn't give her much use. Te climax with the circus acrobats mixed in is well staged, and the final showdown between Dardo & Ulrich is excellently handled, but can't really make up for the unimpressive script. Rating, 6.
Saw a ghost, not to mention the weak script
Lord Epping has to impress the Fitzbadden's at his country estate even though he has a hunting trip scheduled. Not a problem he thinks as he gets Dennis to host the brother & sister with his Aunt Della leaving Carmelita and Uncle Matt behind. Since Edith Fitzbadden plans to give an account to Dennis & Lord Epping, she is insulted when the latter is not their to greet them and threatens to leave. Matt (who with Carmelita have been hired as servants at the house) is talked into impersonating Lord Epping to keep the Fitzbaddens happy, but confusion reigns when Lord Epping actually arrives and drives the Fitzbaddens nuts, especially Percy, also coupled with the fact that a group of smugglers is using the house as a hideout until the police quit searching for them and they are also making things disappear. Probably the weakest of the 8 Spitfire films not because this is the umpteenth time they are using the same formula, but the fact that this could have been a fun haunted house comedy, but that element is almost non existent in the film. MacBride probably steals the show as Percy Fitzbadden going nuts at the drop of a hat and in hysterics trying to comprehend the confusion caused by Errol's dual role. Watch it only if you have to watch the entire series. Rating, 4.
The French Key (1946)
French Key, Spanish Coins, Good American B entry
Johnny Fletcher and Sam Cragg have skipped on their board bill and try to sneak into their room to get their trunks, when they find a corpse on their bed clutching an old Spanish coin. Fletcher being a pseudo-detective learns the nature of the coin from a numismatist named Vedder, but learns that he is mixed up some way with the murder. Apparently the murdered man was mixed up with a gold smuggling outfit where the coins were actually stolen gold forged into the rare coins. However Fletcher has to find out the murderer and how & where the stolen gold is located. This is a very enjoyable B mystery aided especially but the witty dialogue by Frank Gruber, who also wrote the novel the story is based on. Its a shame however that Republic didn't decide to continue the series. Dekker and Mazurki are obviously enjoying themselves in the picture and Dekker does add a somewhat sophisticated touch to what could have been an ordinary urbane role. The movie does move nicely but the end Dekker's character does seem to change to a more hardboiled sleuth than the fly by the seat of his pants character he was. A good B-repertoire cast (Ankers, Foulger especially) make this an enjoyable hour plus. Rating, 8.
The Mysterious Rider (1938)
Pecos Bill and the Cook
Ben Wade decides to return to his father's old ranch 20 years after he was framed for a murder and his foreman (who framed him) took over the ranch. In those 20 years, Wade had become the Pecos Kid, highway bandit, who's also had Frosty Kilburn tag along. No one recognizing him, Wade is given the job of tending the hounds by William Bellounds (who framed him). Rustling has been a problem at the ranch, but Bellounds does little about it since a) its not legally his ranch and b) evidence might point to his son Jack, a former convict, who has connections with the head of the rustling gang cap Folsolm. Wade dons his Pecos Bill disguise riding teaming with ranch foreman Wils Moore, who seems to be in trouble at the ranch cause of his love for Collie, the actual ranch owner and Wade's daughter (she's unaware of both facts) and later when accused of leading the rustling gang with Pecos Bill. Wade learns more about the rustlers' actions and, with Frosty, have a showdown at their headquarters in the desert. Excellent B western, even though this may be considered a B+. Unlikely casting here works, considering Dumbrille and Toler may be the oddest of western pairings but both give great performances. The film is more plot and character driven rather than the emphasis on action and Selander's direction really makes that decision succeed. The Saguaro Forest in Arizona made for some of the most beautiful scenery I've seen in any western, most notably in the film's shootout climax. Rating, 10.
Jungle Drums of Africa (1953)
Better than its reputation
Alan King and Bert Hadley are representatives from an American Oil company who are in the African jungles looking to seek a concession from Chief Douanga for mining uranium on the land of Douanga's tribe. Kurgan, a trading post operator, is working on the behalf of an unnamed government seeking the uranium and employs Regas, an American, and Naganto, a witch doctor with Douanga's tribe who has been losing his influence thanks to the work of Carol Bryant, missionary's daughter who doubles as doctor for the tribe. Alan, Carol, and Bert battle to get their mining done while disrupting Kurgan's plots to kill them or drive them from the territory. The serial has a reputation of a formulaic Republic 50's entry with generic plot and abundant stock footage. This is not the case since there is a lot of new material especially when it comes to the cliffhangers (which have very good resolutions). Glenn is excellent as Naganto, and there is a lot of action here, but terrible gunfights since no one can hit the broad side of a barn. Moore and Coates seem to be going through the motions here, which gives the serial its drawback, as well as a climax in the quicksand which goes on too long. Rating, based on serials, 7.
Ay Tank Ay Go (1936)
Ay Tank Ay Shudda Mist Dis Vun
A feud between the Carsons and Beagles sets us up for this "We wanted a Romeo & Juliet story, but failed miserably" romance. Ole is member of the Carsons who loves Mary Lou Beagle, but the families feudin' will give a whole new interpretation to a shotgun wedding. The Carson clan has their own girl for Ole to marry, but she has a face that can stop a clock. Ole & Mary Lou sneak off to elope but they're caught which starts a feud and the only way for the lovebirds to escape is to disguise themselves in a cow outfit, which doesn't sit too well with a bull. No surprise that Columbia decided to do only one more short w/ Brendel (The Super Snooper) before parting ways for four years. Many of the gags lose their hilarity before the take ends and there is none of the imagination seen here available in Columbia's other shorts of the same era. Only real funny gags may be Ole combing his cowlick and the baby's participation in the feud. Watch only if you must. Rating, 2.
Madame Curie (1943)
Very Good Biopic
The story of Marie Curie who at the beginning of the film is a Polish student at the Sorbonne who is given the opportunity for working with Dr. Pierre Curie on his experiments when the two learn of a fellow professor who has found a rock that seems to give off its own light and energy despite being deep underground for centuries. The two find that it must contain a new element, more radioactive that uranium. The two are able to isolate the new element despite the hardships of inadequate lab equipment, the birth of a young daughter, their colleagues questioning their work, and numerous failed experiments. Excellent film dealing with the hard work of the Curies and the realization that hard work and commitment will pay off (nice ideal during the war years). Garson and Pidgeon build on the great chemistry the two had in Mrs. Miniver, and are helped by an excellent supporting cast. The screenplay and LeRoy's direction do each other perfect justice by combining the romance and drama superbly. Rating, 8.