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Sweet Mama (1930)
5/10
Giving it this and that
3 October 2018
Travelling burlesque chorus girl Alice White (Goldie) has a boyfriend David Manners (Jimmy) who she dotes on. She gets a telegram informing her that he has landed in jail so she jumps on a train to be with him. She has no ticket and gets indebted to policeman Robert Elliott (Mack) who pays for her journey. Alice meets with her boyfriend who has been bailed and who now works for gangster and nightclub owner Kenneth Thomson (Joe). Alice then gets involved in undercover shenanigans that puts both her life and her boyfriend's at risk.

It's an ok film made interesting by the musical number sung by White that is set to a Busby Berkeley type routine. It's ahead of it's time. Alice is also fun to watch as a cute flapper character. The film is nothing great but it does have an interest factor that puts you back in another time-zone. I read that the film had all its musical numbers cut as American audiences were fed up of musicals in 1930. The copy I saw kept the catchy "Giving it this and that".
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Midsummer Rock (1970 TV Movie)
2/10
Midsummer rubbish
3 October 2018
A bunch of bands that really should know better. Unfortunately, the sound on the copy that I watched was terrible, especially during Alice Cooper, one of the reasons for listening. So, I can't tell you if he was any good or not. His set looked pretty rubbish with wimpish stage theatricals. I mean, putting a sheet over every member of the band. How totally uncreative. In fact, it's just sloppy. Best bit was him being hit in the face by something lobbed at him by an obviously annoyed festival goer. Less pretension please.

The whole concert is basically not entertaining. From the choice of songs to the renditions of those songs, it fails. It's a bad film but it was probably alright if you were at the concert. Maybe. As long as you were taking drugs and not listening to the music.
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Framed (1930)
4/10
Disappointing
2 October 2018
Evelyn Brent (Rose) is on the side of the baddies, in particular the slimy, shady Ralf Harolde (Chuck). She is questioned over the shooting of a policeman but gives nothing away. She is then told that her dad has been killed in the shootout and she holds a grudge against Inspector William Holden (Butch) whom she blames. Fast forward a few years and Brent is a nightclub hostess working for the same gang but falling in love with Regis Toomey (Jimmy) who is a client at the nightclub. Wait a minute..........Toomey is the son of Holden....could be a tricky relationship..

It shouldn't be a tricky relationship at all. Toomey is so awful that he should completely be used and then killed. Watch and find out. Some of you may be disappointed with how things pan out but don't worry because there is someone else who is also completely awful - Maurice Black (Bing). He plays a killer. Great miscasting. Anyway, maybe he'll be killed. Watch and find out.

In summary, not everything that you wish to happen actually does happen. The film is saved by the end sequences but a lot of this cast are just plain crap.
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8/10
Happy landings
27 August 2018
Squadron commander Neil Hamilton (Brand) is very troubled in his position on the Front during WW1. He sends aircraft on missions as well as carrying out the dawn patrol. There are always casualties and he faces challenges from his more experienced flyers, especially Richard Barthelmess (Courtney) who questions the decisions to send out inexperienced pilots in sub-standard aircraft to take on German military veterans. But Hamilton is following orders and doing his job. Wartime creates personal tensions and hierarchical divides which becomes clearer to Barthelmess as the film develops. Maybe Hamilton isn't such a bad guy after all? The dawn patrol must continue.

James Finlayson of Laurel & Hardy fame pops up in this film and within seconds he throws out a "Doh!" - a quality moment. The cast are fine and you'll have to excuse some over-acting, eg, Gardner James (Hollister) who plays a pilot who loses his best friend. The film succeeds in setting the scene of camaraderie and shows how human life was expendable. There are good action scenes worthy of "Hell's Angels" (1930), laugh-out-loud moments of dialogue and the themes explored are quite poignant and moving. The cast give the film depth and it is a memorably enjoyable film.

One moment had me laughing about health and safety and how times change. I went for a recruitment selection day to become a UK air traffic controller. I fancied the salary. Anyway, one question they asked us was regarding the procedure for a plane that is coming in for a crash landing. Contrary to what everyone said - switch on all the runway lights - the strategy is actually the opposite and it is recommended that you kill the lights. This is so the plane doesn't crash and cause a larger inferno than anticipated. In the film, they light a paraffin line to attract a plane towards their camp. Ha ha - not any more they wouldn't. As for the air traffic controller job, I was unsuccessful although I suspect I was the victim of positive discrimination. There was one particularly dodgy muslim candidate who kept asking about military airspace to everyone's disbelief. I bet he got selected in the politically correct nonsense that is called Britain. Happy landings.
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Journey's End (1930)
7/10
Here's luck!
9 August 2018
Colin Clive (Stanhope) is the Captain in charge of a troop of officers in the trenches of World War One. He is given intelligence that a German attack is imminent and he has to ensure that orders in response to this are carried out. Into his charge comes fresh-faced David Manners (Raleigh) who knows him from school and who idolizes Clive. However, Clive is a changed man. He likes a drink these days and he has a temper to go with it.

Interestingly for me, I live on a street named after Colin Clive's ancestor. The acting can be slightly wooden and exaggerated - step forward David Manners and cowardly Anthony Bushell (Hibbert) but Clive is good in his role as is his trusted officer and friend Ian Maclaren (Osborne). The setting is realistic and the constant background shelling gives you a feeling of actually being on location!

I found the film much better than expected given that I knew to expect a 2 hour staged play. The scenes give depth to the characters and we watch the relationships between them grow. Pass the whisky.
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6/10
Anyone for an apple tart?
29 July 2018
Richard Conte (Nick) returns home after serving with the military and he brings gifts from all over the world for his mother, father and girlfriend. They don't go down well, though. His father Morris Carnovsky (Yanko) has lost both his legs in a trucking accident and has no need for a pair of Chinese slippers. Conte sets out for revenge for those responsible for his father's condition. It involves teaming up with trucker Millard Mitchell (Ed) and selling apples to market trader and bully boy Lee J Cobb (Mike).

I was a bit wary of this film when it started. A film about trucks. Not my thing. However, this is more than just a film about trucks. But it is unbelievable in parts and the main examples of this come with Conte's encounters with gangster Lee J. I'm afraid Conte would have been disposed of pretty sharpish and there is no way he would have got away with such an antagonistic manner towards the king of the thugs. Even in the final climax, Lee J is seen as a cowering wreck when face-to-face with Conte. It doesn't make sense.

My favourite in the cast are street girl Valentina Cortesa (Rica) and fellow trucker Jack Oakie (Slob). They both deliver funny lines and give the most notable performances. They win the acting honours for me. I usually find Oakie an irritant and groan if I see him on any cast list. However, he has won me around with this performance. His character has a conscience - sort of!
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Whisky Galore (1949)
7/10
Water of life
28 July 2018
We are on a remote island off the coast of Scotland and there is a crisis. No whisky. The islanders have run out. It is war-time and supplies are scarce. Prayers are said and God comes good. A ship crashes just off the coast of the island with a cargo of 50,000 cases of whisky. Happy days. However, we have a Captain Mainwaring figure in the form of Basil Radford who is leader of the island's Home Guard and he wants to make sure there is no pilfering of the cargo. Boo. The film is a cat and mouse game between the islanders and this jobsworth insistent on misery. It's a comedy and it does have funny moments. I'm not a fan of Ealing comedies but I'm keeping on to this film as it is an exception as it has actually got some comedy in it.

It's filmed on location which gives authenticity to the proceedings and thankfully, we don't get the usual Ealing comedy music - oom-pa-pa, oom-pa-pa, wah wah wah - soundtrack. It's based on actual events and this adds to the interest for me. You definitely root for the inhabitants over the officious do-gooder busy-body as represented by Radford. Let them have their whisky, for goodness sake. They're not bad people - they even don't allow themselves to get up to any mischief on a Sunday!

Top tip - head over to remote areas of Scotland. A large gold nugget worth £50,000 has recently been found there but authorities are not saying where. You may even come across some stray whisky.
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5/10
Guardian Angel?
27 July 2018
Hugh Latimer is PC 49 who goes undercover to catch a gang of thieves operating in London and the Home Counties. Their MO is to find out information about lorry cargos and then just blatantly steal the lorry whilst the driver has a snack at a café. Just drive off with the lorry - zoom. It's a simple plan and bags the gang a tidy fortune. However, Hugh is on a mission and it means tracking down the boss.

Who is the boss? Who is Mr Big? If you can't guess immediately, you are pretty stupid. The film screams it at you so there isn't any mystery and this somewhat ruins the tension in the climactic scenes. It's just not a surprise.

The film is ok to pass the time but extremely stupid if you think about it. The plot that the police come up with is ridiculous. Part of Latimer's cover story is that he used to work for a gang with someone who actually works for the gang he is going to infiltrate. What happens when this crook - Martin Benson (Skinny) - comes face to face with Latimer and doesn't recognize him? They don't seem to have covered that base. WHAT??!!

The film may not be brilliant but it just may trigger an urge in you to learn the craft of origami.
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Side Street (1950)
5/10
Side-step this one
22 July 2018
Temporary mail-delivery man Farley Granger (Joe) steals some money from a crooked lawyer's office. He does this so that he can provide for his family - he has a baby due any day courtesy of Cathy O'Donnell (Ellen). This money will see them start family life in an affluent manner. However, he comes away with way more money than he anticipated and panics as to what to do with it. I'm afraid that he makes some ludicrous decisions and gets into a mess that puts his life in danger.

When I say ludicrous decisions, here are a few examples - if you have a large some of money, do you keep it or give it to someone else to keep for you? Well, Farley takes the ludicrous option. Here's another, if you thought about returning the money you had stolen, what would you do? Once again, Farley goes ludicrous on the viewer. He does this a lot. Pair this with the extremely soppy O'Donnell who seems to over-emote at every opportunity and I'm afraid you have two pretty dumb lead characters who elicit no sympathy. These two also starred in "They Live By Night" (1948) which is about as good as this film, ie, not very good.

So, to summarize we have a thieving temporary postman - still a stereotype for today's postal workers - who has no steady job but thinks this is a good position to be in to start a family- a role model for today's families who thrive on being on benefits and can't wait to irresponsibly have the next baby. The happy couple are incredibly stupid - O'Donnell is so drippy that I was urging Farley to take the money and just run away from her to start a new life. Watch to see what happens but you have been warned that this is over-rated.
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7/10
Nice needlework
22 July 2018
At the beginning of the film Juan Hernandez (Lucas) is taken from a police car and put into a small town jail. His fate is sealed - he's going to get lynched and it's only a matter of time. There is a crowd who are ready to be led by the brother of the man he is accused of killing. That man is Charles Kemper (Crawford) and he is not a nice person. Hernandez asks young man Claude Jarman (Chick) to help him out by getting a specific lawyer - David Brian (Stevens) - to defend him. Luckily, he has been arrested on a Sunday and the townsfolk like to respect a bit of religion so Hernandez only has 24 hours before the mob gets to him.

It's a film that depicts the racism of the times. I thought the film was set in a previous era but no, it is set currently in a real town in the present. The story keeps you watching as snippets of information are gradually revealed and we learn the back-story through flashbacks. The cast do well, and thankfully, Hernandez isn't portrayed as a mightier than thou type who acts smugly and holier than everyone else. He's an awkward so-and-so and is stubborn. He has flaws.

I did find the lawyer's character rather irritating in parts and this is a combination of both the crass dialogue he is given to narrate and his delivery. He gets preachy and is obviously making points for the viewer to go away and think about. Only trouble is, these points are so blatantly obvious that it's like being sat in a class being lectured to by an idiot teacher.

The film is enjoyable and contains dialogue that probably wouldn't be allowed today due to the politically correct brigade who seem to be currently holding back any kind of progression for mankind. It's interesting to see how the film ends with people just going about their business as usual - this incident hasn't really affected anyone's behaviour. That is up to the next generation and Jarman to do something about.
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Abandoned (1949)
3/10
Abandon it
15 July 2018
Reporter Dennis O'Keefe (Mark) decides to investigate the death of a woman's sister who had recently given birth. He does this because he fancies her. God knows why. The lady in question is Gale Storm (Paula) and she's a wet fish. She is definitely not leading lady material. Anyway, this film is about tracking down a gang who deal in illegal adoptions. It's quite topical given some high profile children who have been snatched subsequent to this film. It's interesting to note just how long this criminal activity has been going on for in such an organized manner. Interesting topic, boring film.
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3/10
Tedious
15 July 2018
Lawyer Rosalind Russell (Marsha) wants to be a judge but there is a committee that is judging her before her appointment. And they are not happy about her recent divorce. Fellow lawyer Bob Cummings (Pete) is her ex-husband who still loves her and wants her back but several misunderstandings concerning witness Marie McDonald (Ginger) in one of his cases makes sure that Roz doesn't feel the same way. It's a screwball comedy so we know the outcome. Roz Russell is a total bitch in this film and Cummings is unrealistically in love with her. The story makes absolutely no sense and will have you groaning every time Cummings bangs his head. When is that ever funny? The answer is never. There are actually a few moments that made me laugh, eg, the alphabet conversation between Roz and suitor Gig Young (Darvac) at a bar when Roz is trying to make Cummings jealous. However, no way would he still be interested in this awful woman. It should be quite clear to her that she has been mistaken and he is doing his job by helping a witness. She's in the same industry as him!

Of more interest is the storyline with Marie McDonald which never really takes off. The lasting image I have of the film is the end shot of her in the closet. I have read her profile on IMDB after watching the film and it is way more interesting than the film. She killed herself at age 42 and seems to have crammed in quite a lot before that point.

The film is one of those 1940s comedies that you either like or don't like. It proves that comedies are the most difficult genre to carry off and a lot of the humour is dated along with the stereotypical characters of bumbling husband running after wife and total bitch of a wife who wants a career over being a nice human being. Roz needs to sharpen up on her cooking skills - see the fish sequence - and concentrate on pleasing her man.
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Celia (1949)
5/10
Aunt Nora is an idiot
10 July 2018
Detective Bruce Lester (Larry) calls on the help of friend Hy Hazell (Celia) to help him discover what has happened to Elsie Wagstaff (Aunt Nora). She goes undercover as a housemaid in the country house in which Wagstaff is hidden away and young husband John Bailey (Lester) seems to be scheming up some evilness.

It's a short film and it keeps you watching for the duration. There are no surprises and Hy Hazell carries the film along with her enthusiasm. It takes a bit of a while to get going and it's ok while it lasts. It's a comedy so there is never really any real threat to anyone's life although the film does succeed in delivering some tension, eg, hiding in the bedroom.

Of more interest is reading about Hy Hazell and the way she died in real life. She choked on a steak whilst eating at a Westminster restaurant at the age of 50. I want to know more. It's more interesting than the film.
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5/10
The gal who made the wrong choice
10 July 2018
Yvonne De Carlo (Lillian) rides into town and becomes the focus of attention for two cousins - Scott Brady (Lee) and John Russell (Grant) - who really don't like each other. They are both super powerful and run half of Arizona each. They are just waiting for old-timer Charles Coburn (General O'Hara) to pop his clogs and then they can battle it out to take complete control of the state.

The story is told in flashback as three old-timers relate their viewpoint of how De Carlo interacted with the two cousins and we learn what happened in the gaps between the stories. The film is basically about the rivalry between the two cousins with the added interest of who De Carlo will ultimately choose to procreate with. That's what we watch for - who will she choose?

The cast are pretty unpleasant - including De Carlo - apart from Coburn who is the funniest as is to be expected. He shines whilst the others don't in this completely unrealistic story. Throw in some terrible songs as well. Not a particularly good film.
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4/10
A touch of boredom
17 June 2018
Rosalind Russell (Valerie) plays an actress who is fed up of doing as she is told by mentor and romantic partner Leon Ames (Dunning). She wants to break free from comedic plays and tackle more serious parts. She also wants to end her romantic liaison with Ames and head off with architect Leo Genn (Morrell). She confronts Ames at the beginning of the film and a few minutes later we have a murder for detective Sydney Greenstreet (Danbury) to look into.

It's a strange mix. We have a happy musical credit sequence at the beginning which leads into the dramatic confrontation and murder at the film's beginning. What's this about? Unfortunately, the acting is uninteresting with the women being fragile and therefore showing no interesting qualities. They are just resigned to their fate. Go to the bottom of the class Rosalind Russell and Claire Trevor who plays fellow actress and rival Marian. When Sydney Greenstreet appears, we get some hope in terms of storyline, and he adds comedy into the mix. He always manages to portray a sinister character. Does he know more than he lets on?

The copy I watched had some pixel interference and the lip synching fell out of line so there were moments of unwanted hilarity of masterful ventriloquism. This would normally annoy the hell out of me but it actually scores the film a mark in this instance. Rosalind Russell is poor in the lead.
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Drunken Angel (1948)
6/10
Far from angelic drunkards
14 June 2018
Dr Takashi Shimura (Sanada) is a local doctor in Japan shortly after the war has ended. The district he works in is in decay and is ruled by gangsters. The scary gang leader in this particular locale is Toshiro Mifune (Matsunaga). He gets the girls and he doesn't pay for things on market stalls - he's the main man. One problem, though, he's ill with TB and visits the Dr. Here begins an unlikely friendship. It's tempestuous. And you can say that again! One day, the previous gang leader Reizaburo Yamamoto (Okada) is released from prison and returns to town.....

The film mainly concentrates on the relationship between Dr and patient and we get a lot of humour out of this interaction. They are both nuts! And they both like a drink. If you're going to boss the town, don't get yourself into a drunken, paralytic stupour. You need to be in control. You don't find the drug dealers at the top of their game actually taking the drugs they distribute. They run things as a sobering business. Just a top tip for anyone interested in pursuing this avenue.

The film develops at a slow pace but it is more of a character study of the 2 main actors. The "drunken angel" refers to the Dr as he can't help his passion for putting people right but he's also a bit of a lush. I had a doctor like that until recently. He retired early to spend more time drinking in the local pubs. He also didn't mince his words just like our drunken angel of the film.
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5/10
Get dahn (down) the river and earn ya manee (money)!
10 June 2018
We have Nigel Patrick as a spiv on the loose in Lahndun Tahn (London Town), know wot I mean? He runs the black market operations but things have taken a turn for the worse as a girl is murdered and the finger of blame is pointed at his boss Joseph Calleia (Sugiani). Fashion reporter Carole Landis (Linda) puts it upon herself to bring down the bad guys.

Unfortunately, there is a comedy thread which runs throughout this film and this takes away any real tension from proceedings. Landis delivers wisecracks with extreme confidence in her encounters with the bad guys and this just doesn't ring true. She plays it wrong. She should be scared. After all, this gang has no problem with bumping off females - there are a total of 3 female casualties by the end of this film. Whilst the approach of Landis is wrong, the acting of two of the main characters is appalling - step forward wet lettuce Derek Parr (Jumbo) as boyfriend to Landis and Ruth Nixon (Annie) as girlfriend of Calleia. These characters join Landis in the land of the unconvincing. Parr does not convince as a character who can command any respect whatsoever and Nixon received no further roles of note. The best in the cast is the spiv and we do get some funny lines, especially from him. However, the story is just nonsense, especially the plan for the good guys to recruit everyone at the gym to foil the gangsters. In reality, they'd all be part of the gangster set-up.

The film has a running time of 76 minutes on imdb. Not true - it's at least 15 minutes longer than this.
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7/10
We're shooting coconuts
3 June 2018
It's a Western set in the 1870s that sees stranger-in-town Rod Cameron (John) buy a coconut from a shop and meet Lorna Gray (Julie Ann) and Ilona Massey (Lin). Sheriff George Cleveland (Sam) comes into the shop after hearing a gunshot. Cameron has shot into the coconut to get the milk and share it with the girls. He's a smooth operator. However, the sheriff recognizes Cameron as a wanted man and Cameron is forced to escape town. Whilst on the run, he bumps into fellow outlaw Forrest Tucker (Whit). Things aren't what they seem...

It's an entertaining Western with a good cast and a buddy-buddy feel to it as we follow Cameron and Tucker Throw in some Indians at the climax and this film covers all bases. It has plenty of action, there is tension, the lead characters are appealing and you root for the bad guys. Well, I did. It's a shame that Massey gets 2 rubbish songs to sing. I like my Western saloon girl songs to be uptempo with a catchy tune. Not here, unfortunately.

I can't wait to go to my local shop, ask for a coconut and try out my latest way of getting into the damn thing. I might buy some arms as well whilst I'm there and sell them to the enemy. Everyone seems to be up to those tricks in Westerns. And in real life, just check out what our Governments are STILL doing!
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Saraband (1948)
3/10
What a load of cack
3 June 2018
After 40 minutes of this film, I still had no idea what was going on. The story is complicated, confusing, slow-paced, uninteresting and full of talking. This is a true story that has had all the interest taken out of it. No wonder the film is forgotten - it's just not at all engaging. This is a terrible shame, especially as the story deals with the ancestors of the current royal family at the time when their ancestry was about to switch to the German lineage. I feel the film-makers have done a huge dis-service to what should have been a fascinating story. What we get is a slow snorefest of no interest with cast members delivering their dialogue in a very deliberately slow-paced manner. The worst offender is Joan Greenwood as Sophie Dorothea. She is terrible. All her dialogue is overdone in a slow, deliberate manner that is totally inappropriate and spoken for dramatic effect without any realism. The film is basically about a doomed love affair. That's how I'd describe it. However, it should be about so much more given the subject matter and significance to the English monarchy. I must tip my hat to fellow reviewer "theowinthrop" who explains the situation perfectly in his review. I suggest you read that for all the interest and knowledge surrounding this topic and forget about this film. You have been warned!
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The Hunted (1948)
5/10
Run for it
27 May 2018
Belita (Laura) is back in town after spending 4 years in prison. She's vowed to kill her ex-boyfriend Preston Foster (Johnny) because he arrested her and her lawyer Pierre Watkin (Simon). She protests her innocence for her original crime and then one of the two men in question is killed. Well, we have a suspect number one......and she goes on the run.

The cast are ok but the story, whilst it sounds interesting, develops at a slow pace. The beginning scenes go on far too long in setting the scene and we need more location changes to keep things interesting. The film gets a bit boring right at the point where it should be drawing you in. Belita gets to do some skating and she does well in the lead role. Preston Foster's character is a ghastly jobsworth who turned in the woman he loves just because he is a cop and that comes first. I was certainly hoping that Belita would get to carry out her threat against him. Maybe she does....
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4/10
A dangerous operation
27 May 2018
A gang steal a load of money and the insurance company send an insurance investigator to the boarding house which is run by the chief suspect's girlfriend to find out what is going on. Gene Raymond (Dan) carries out the visit to Noreen Nash (Bonnie). As it happens, this gang is extremely dumb and head for the most obvious place to hide. That's right, they go to the boarding house that is run by the chief suspect's girlfriend. This is obviously because the police would never think to go there! Surprisingly, they don't! It's up to the insurance investigator who is posing as a doctor to sort things out. Uh-oh, the gang leader Robert Bice (Frankie) is wounded and needs medical attention. Step forward Mr Raymond to operate. Will his cover be blown?

There is a story here but it drags and the film becomes boring. By the end, you are expecting a formulaic shoot-out with the involvement of Gene Evans (Joey) as the good-guy brother of Nash. Unfortunately, there are no surprises and the film is not fast-paced enough to keep the audience's attention.
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Moonrise (1948)
5/10
Standing up to a bully
27 May 2018
Dane Clark (Danny) is an outcast in the town where he has grown up. He's been constantly teased, bullied, beaten up and he still lives there! Now add the peculiar decision to make him quite a confrontational, aggressive individual and things make absolutely no sense as to why he has still stuck around in the town. The film doesn't ring true right from the outset. He's also a thoroughly unpleasant character and so it is impossible to get on his side, no matter how hard you try. Why on earth would local girl Gail Russell (Gilly) have any interest in him? No idea. But she falls in love with him when he forces himself upon her. What is this total nonsense! The film rolls along with impossibly false situations like this over and over again. Another example is when Dane pays a visit to the village simpleton Harry Morgan (Billy) who has found Dane's knife near the scene of a murder. The question to ask is where was the knife found. It's obvious. But Dane goes round and attacks the guy instead. Who wrote this rubbish? Yet another example is the ferris wheel ride where Dane's actions once again defy belief.

You watch the film to find out what will happen so its ok on that front but there is some confused moralizing. The ending reminded me a bit of the Defiant Ones (1958) when Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier wait to be caught by the sheriff's dogs and go off back to jail with a smile on their faces. Only in that film, the message is more powerful and more emotional as you actually care for the two leads and the film succeeds in putting the viewer on their side whilst they are on the run. This offering just doesn't hit the mark.

Allyn Joslyn makes a nice sheriff, Ethel Barrymore is rather ridiculously given 3rd billing for appearing briefly right at the end as Dane's grandmother. She does ok here but Dane plays the lead character completely wrong. In reality, he would have gone straight to the police at the beginning of the film given that it is such a small town.
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7/10
Keep your money on you
19 May 2018
Sisters Veronica Lake (Letty) and Joan Caulfield (Jane) are bad-ass con merchants who fleece men of their money and then skip town. Weirdly, I had just watched a film called "Larceny" from the same year (1948) a week prior to seeing this film. It has exactly the same premise with John Payne and Dan Duryea as the bad-ass con merchants who fleece victims of their money and skip town. And check this, Joan Caulfield is also in that effort although her role in that film is one of a victim. Here she is part of the bad-girl duo. Another difference is that "Larceny" is a crime thriller whilst "The Sainted Sisters" is a comedy. And both films are as enjoyable as each other. So, the sisters are on the run and take shelter in the house of Barry Fitzgerald (Robbie) who knows what they are up to. Can the girls make it across the Canadian border to freedom?

The film works as a comedy in that the comedy isn't slapstick or dated, tiresome screwball nonsense. It is actually funny and is driven by humerous situations instead of characters shouting over each other or falling over in obvious pratfalls. I was worried when I saw William Demarest in the cast but I have to give him credit in this as he only does one unfunny pratfall that I can remember. Barry Fitzgerald is a bit difficult to understand at times but he drives the film along. The other strong characters are Lake Veronica, the town's wealthy Beulah Bondi (Hester) who is one mean woman dressed in black, and, surprisingly, the usually appalling Demarest as the town's sheriff. You get comedy moments and a morality lesson for the two sisters although the romance thread is a bit difficult to take. No way.
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Coroner Creek (1948)
5/10
Creeky
13 May 2018
Randolph Scott (Chris) is out to avenge the man responsible for the death of his fiancée. He has a description of the man responsible and so his search begins. That man is George Macready (Miles) who is now living as top dog in the town of Coroner Creek. Scott arrives and plays a tactical game.

The problem with the film is the path that Scott pursues to take his revenge. I'm all for a bit of revenge - it can be very satisfying. Why doesn't he just get on with what he came for instead of namby-pambying around with psychological warfare. He gets involved with too many people. Henchman Forrest Tucker (Ernie) gives him a good fight but there is no way Scott would have defeated him with the use of only one arm. Unrealistic nonsense. So, the film loses a point. I also found Macready an unconvincing bad guy - he's too angelic looking.

It is filmed in colour which makes a change for 1948 but the process only seems to have brought out oranges and greens. Everything is orange, browny-orange, orangey-brown and green. The film is ok to watch but I was a little disappointed and it includes a far-fetched ending with dodgy shooting that ties everything up conveniently.

I'm off to but a new orangey-brown outfit but not sure what colour it will go with. I'll try green.
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Pitfall (1948)
6/10
Play it safe?
7 May 2018
Insurance Fraud Investigator Dick Powell (John) is fed up with his life. He has a perfect wife in Jane Wyatt (Sue) and a son, a good job and everything is just the same - and it's stale. It's doing his head in. One day he arrives at the office and takes over a case from private investigator Raymond Burr (MacDonald) which involves retrieving goods from Lizabeth Scott (Mona). Her boyfriend Byron Barr (Smiley) bought her gifts with the proceeds of an insurance scam and he is currently serving time in jail for it. Still, Powell must do his job and take back anything bought with the proceeds of the crime. Just one problem, Lizabeth Scott is a babe and he falls in love with her. As does the thuggish Raymond Burr. That's all three male characters in love with the same girl and the boyfriend is due out of prison shortly.

It's an ok film that doesn't quite make it into the definite solid good category but it's worth a watch and keeping onto for a future viewing. The cast are good apart from Barr who isn't. He overacts. The film has a message of forgiveness and puts forward the reality that everything in life just doesn't get neatly resolved. It scores a point for that and this gives Wyatt her best moments.

What do you do if you are fed up with the way your life is going? Don't do what Powell does. Just stick with that well-paid job and crack on. Then you can dream of a lovely retirement. Err...........on second thoughts.......break free...go for it......! This film hints that things may work out ok even if you screw up.
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