Archive 275 - March 2016
Previous Posts that appeared on the front page of cinemagraphe.com
The Palm Beach Story - 1942
The Palm Beach Story - 1942 - Released November 7, 1942
Colbert is kept in an expensive apartment by failing inventor/husband Joel McCrea (they are Mr. and Mrs. Jeffers). The couple is seriously behind on their bills and on the verge of being evicted when a "Fairy Godfather" appears (aka, the "Weinie-King" an eccentric elderly man with a fortune made in low-cost lunch meats) who, smitten with Mrs Jeffers (he meets her while she is hiding in a shower stall in the apartment, he is inspecting the place because he might like to rent it ... "You don't come with the apartment?" he asks). He provides funding to save the couple from impending financial disaster.
But Colbert's character has the idea to permanently fix their financial situation: she'll divorce her husband, go to Florida, marry a millionaire, and use the new husband to fund the old husband's crazy ideas (Mr Jeffers has a plan to build a city airport atop a super-heavy-duty tarp suspended on wires hung from skyscrapers. The small-scale model in McCrea's engineering office looks utterly unfeasible outside of a Hollywood movie).
Colbert (Mrs Jeffers) takes off for Florida, and soon McCrea is in pursuit (he also gets funded miraculously by the 'Weinie King') and the story, now choc-full of double-identities (there's more to come) continues to have twists and turns as it picks up additional characters (Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee).
Written and Directed by Preston Sturges, the tale is screwball comedy mixed with satire.
More on the Palm Beach Story
Eleanor Parker - 1948
Eleanor Parker - The Woman in White - Released May 15, 1948
Sudden Fear - Crawford Vs. Palance
Is this love? Joan Crawford as a middle-aged playwright (Myra Hudson) who is pursued by an unconventional leading man she had fired from her new play (he didn't look right). An apparent chance meeting leads to a whirlwind romance and soon Palance (as Lester Blaine) and Crawford are married: but by now we in the audience know something is not quite right.
Then Gloria Grahame appears,and she has a mysterious hold on Palance having to do with a borrowed $5,000 and a few other more intimate peculiarities - plus she doesn't mind if he threatens to kill her (it's just his way of saying "I love you") and she smiles happily when Lester does it.
Directed by David Miller, Sudden Fear is not a complete abandonment of the typical Crawford-pseudo-noir film, but it is a different effort with Hitchcockian tensions.
Burgess Meredith - Spring Madness, 1938
Suddenly, Last Summer
Suddenly, Last Summer - Released December 22, 1959. Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz
Mercedes McCambridge (as the mother of Catherine Holly, played by Elizabeth Taylor) is being torn apart by her passive betrayal to her daughter as pressures from several sides have landed Cathy into an asylum and scheduled to receive a lobotomy. Tennessee Williams' dark, Southern-gothic play about going crazy (and other problems) is outsized and filled with 1950's Hollywood-style angst, with Taylor pulling most of the load. A shaky Montgomery Clift is also on screen in the heroic role of a rescuing surgeon and erstwhile psychologist up against Katherine Hepburn (as Violet Venable), an extremely wealthy woman who always gets what she wants, and she wants Catherine Holly's brain medically modified to delete the secrets of what happened to her son Sebastian (who we barely see in the film) on a disastrous vacation trip to Europe.
Colin Clive and Valerie Hobson
While making Bride of Frankenstein, January 1935
Original Page March 2, 2015
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- Laura - 1944- Dana Andrews is a police detective investigating a murder of a girl so seemingly perfect he is frustratingly falling in love with her ghost.
- The Body Snatcher - 1945 - Grave-robbing in Scotland becomes a test of willpower between a compromised doctor (Henry Daniell) and the cabman (Boris Karloff) who ferries bodies (living and dead) for him.
- Hitchcock 2012 - Story of the making of the 1960 film Psycho, and how Alfred and Alma Hitchcock worked together during its production.
- Shepherd of the Hills - John Wayne, Harry Carey and Betty Fields in the Ozarks
- Son of Paleface 1952 - Bob Hope and Jane Russell team up in this sequel to bring a small amount of law and order to the west. Includes Roy Rogers and Trigger "The Smartest Horse in the World"
- Cat People - 1942 - Simone Simon in Val Lewton's first horror film for RKO - - what hints at being a sideways imitation of Universal's The Wolf Man but turns into a psychological study of marital alienation and self-deception, along with Lewton's frequent theme of superstition clashing with rational explanations that don't always quite fit.
- 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 aboard a trans-continental train. Except for one stubborn young female passenger [who is consequently accused of mental instability] no one aboard can remember the vanished elderly Miss Froy.
- 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.