Archive 5 - 2012

Previous Posts that appeared on the front page of

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter in Don Siegel's 1956 classicof Sci-fi paranoia, the temlate for many films (and TV programs) that followed later.

Read review here.

Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes

The "original" Sherlock Holmes on the silver screen (though there were many other forerunners) was the Basil Rathbone run as Sherlock Holmes in 14 films.

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Cat People, 1942

This 1942 Val Lewton produced film is unique in that it set off the cycle of Lewton movies at RKO, and also incidentally made (depending on your data source) between $2 and $4 million dollars, effectively stabilizing the company (or saving it from bankruptcy, if you believe the claims by many of the Lewton film history boosters who exist). The money also went to some degree in insuring Lewton's control over his miniscule-budgeted unit where he made 8 more films. Though he couldn't control the titles assigned him ("market-tested" was the claim the executives gave for the often-times ridiculous exploitation-tinged titles) Lewton did control the one thing where he had supreme responsibility, the story and selection of director. READ MORE

Der Blaue Engel

[Below] Title Card to the German language version of 'The Blue Angel', 1930.

The Blue Angel

Marlene Dietrich became a Hollywood star via this Josef Sternberg directed movie "The Blue Angel" (which was shot in both German and English language versions, simultaneously, though the German version is usually preferred by Sternberg and Dietrich fans).

A nightclub singer/performer destroys a university professor who falls into her fickle grasp, and the tale takes the man from the stuffy dignity of his clasroom, into (what he thinks) is the bliss of marriage to the most desirable woman he's ever seen, and then back again to his classroom, a wrecked and degraded shell of whatever he was before. Sternberg ends the film with the triumphant "Lola Lola" (Dietrich) looking out at a new audience of men who she obviously despises and hates, yet needs (if only for crushing).

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Erroll Flynn

Mr. Flynn is famous in a variety of ways, not all good. But as a working professional actor he has yet to be bested as Robin Hood (and there have been dozens of competitors).

He had many other fine roles in films of very good to not-quite-good quality, but whatever the case he did that thing actors from his generation seem to always do - play the role to the best of their ability, no matter what is lacking on the screen all around them.

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