Laura - 1944
Laura - October 11,1944. Directed by Otto Preminger
Over a decade before there was Hitchcock's Vertigo with it's obsessed detective (Jimmy Stewart) who can't get a dead girl out of his head, there was Preminger's 1944 Laura, with Gene Tierney as a dead girl so perfect (at least in the eyes of her friends and would-be husbands) that Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) who is continualy interviewing the lot of them (trying to find the killer) finds himself frustratingly falling in love with a ghost.
Shepherd of the Hills - John Wayne
Shepherd of the Hills - Released July 18, 1941. Directed by Henry Hathaway
Filmed partially in California (San Bernardino Forest), but meant to represent the Ozarks, the story chronicles the return of Harry Carey Sr (as Daniel Howitt) to a mountain community where family feuds and grudges control the lives of many of the people, and through Howitt's influence, some of this quagmire of trouble is mitigated. But it is his friendship with Young Matt Matthews (John Wayne) which is the true test of his influence, especially since there are reasons Masters might hate Howitt most of all.
Betty Fields as the superstitious and affectionate Sammy Lane and a supporting cast with Ward Bond, Beulah Bondi, James Barton, and Marjorie Main (among many other familiar faces from classic Hollywood) makes director Hathaway's movie a small-scale epic story of cross-generational ills. Not counting the 2010 Winter's Bone, this might be the best film about the Ozarks yet made.
Vampira - Maila Nurmi
Plan 9 from Outer Space - Released July 22,1959. Directed by Ed Wood
Sophia Loren - 1967
Boris Karloff - 1934
Hitchcock - 2012
Hitchcock - Released December 14, 2012. Directed by Sacha Gervasi
Gervasi's film of Hitchcock gives us the making of the movie Psycho as the frame for an episode in the life of the famous director. Examined are Hitchcock's relationships with his production company, cast, crew, and most importantly with his wife Alma. We get to see how important a role she played (i.e., very) in the creative and emotional shaping of Hitchcock's work.
Scarlett Johansson appears as actress Janet Leigh, not the most important part of this tale since is focuses more on the mechanics of the creative process (and the inner turmoil of artists), but Johansson brings the glamour which helps to paint a colorful story of Hollywood, circa 1960. Her character is seen as a stable and reliable element within a deeper story of insecurity and anxiety as Hitchcock attempts to put together his unusual production that lacks the full backing of the production company executives. Psycho will require Alma and Alfred to leverage their personal wealth, and the production becomes a contest that goes far beyond solving story problems and casting.
Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren are Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock, and the film has a bit of soap opera progression as questions naturally become evident: why is she with him? Do they actually even like each other? Will this marriage survive the trauma of Psycho and an attendant number of other pressures and threats?
The movie doesn't delve deeply into Hitchcock's psyche and try to unearth a psychological portrait of a man famed for his dark humor and dedication to the mystery genre, though it does hint around the edges and give Hopkins (as Hitchcock) some brief moments when illuminating comments are made that describe the director's origins, his childhood experiences, and the struggle of staying in control of the creative element that is viewed not as an artistic expression by executives, but as a product.
MacBeth - 1978
MacBeth - Broadcast 1978. Directed by Philip Casson
Also known as A Performance of MacBeth - this bare-bones production is about Shakespeare's words with a minimum of visual distraction aside from the actors who dominate nearly every single frame, with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench doing the honors. An existing familiarity with other more fully-formed productions of the play is likely necessary to best appreciate the minimalism in this verbally inventive version.
One is a Lonely Number - 1972
One is a Lonely Number - Released June 19, 1972. Directed by Mel Stuart
Starring Miss Barbara Stanwyck [Illustrated with 310 Photographs] - amazon.com
- Cat People - 1942 - Simone Simon in Val Lewton's first horror film for RKO.
- Wife vs Secretary - 1936 - Cark Gable has a problem: Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow are deciding on which woman will get to claim his heart in this corporate melodrama.
- Confession - 1937 - One of Kay Francis' best films and a well-made version of the German film Mazurka.
- Holiday Inn - 1942 - Bing Crosby turns his farm into a show business showcase, and Fred Astaire shows up. Incidentaly, he's also interested in Bing's girlfriend, Marjorie Reynolds. Film features the song "White Christmas", among many others.
- Gone with the Wind - 1939 - The biggest money-maker and one of the most famous films ever made.
- Dr. Strangelove - 1964 - The world is on the verge of a nuclear disaster between the United States and the Soviet Union - Director Kubrick makes this seem quite funny in this Cold War satire.
- Blade Runner - 1982 - Ridley Scott's influential film about 'replicants' who wish to live on earth and find a way to extend their limited lifetimes. Harrison Ford is sent to stop them.
- The Vampires Coffin - 1958 - Well made Mexican horror film with excellent photography amid a very familiar plotline. However, good performances and humor help make this version stand out.
- Daybreak - 1931 - Helen Chandler and Ramon Novarro in a melodrama about a piano teacher and an Austrian Imperial Officer who are trapped into (sometimes brutal) societal expectations for their lives.
- Stolen Holiday 1937 - Claude Rains and Kay Francis are almost lovers, but not quite; but she is extremely loyal as his financial empire begins to fall apart.
- Guilty Hands - 1931 - Lionel Barrymore and Kay Francis are working out who has killed a wealthy philanderer.
- The Vagabond Lover - 1929 - Rudy Vallee and Marie Dressler in a song-soaked and humorous telling of an amateur jazz band that is pretending to be a group of famous pros.
- The Lady Vanishes - 1938 - Hitchcock's famous film about a disappearing lady who no one remembers aboard a trans-continental train except for one stubborn young female passenger who is consequently accused of mental instability.
- White Zombie - 1932 - Bela Lugosi likes making zombies, and this comes in handy when a local plantation owner on Haiti decides if he can't woo a certain girl to be his wife, he'll have Lugosi turn her into a mindless slave that he can command.