A Tartu By Any Other Name

Hello again, Mr. Donat... I was going to review The Magic Box for Maddy's 'thon, but Amazon un-Primed it, so it's getting saved for later. Plan B was 1943's The Adventures of Tartu, an intriguing though very rough-around-the-edges tale of espionage and near-romance. I had no idea what to expect going in, but I figured I'd give Tartu a … Continue reading A Tartu By Any Other Name

Directed By Arch Oboler

I'm a big Arch Oboler fan. If you've been hanging around my blog for any length of time, you probably know this pretty well. Besides his prolific radio career, Oboler occasionally dipped his assertive big toe into screenwriting and directing, such as in the 1945 thriller, Bewitched. Put it this way: You know how we've all been … Continue reading Directed By Arch Oboler

Ziegfeld-less Follies

Mr. Ziegfeld, I presume... For someone who was the pinnacle of Broadway success, Florenz Ziegfeld didn't actually appear onscreen all that much as an actual character. Maybe once or twice, but that was about it. Oftentimes he was just an offscreen presence and his show was aspriational for many hopefuls. Other than that, he was … Continue reading Ziegfeld-less Follies

Not the Conventional Type

Mr. Price is back... Vincent Price might have been a horror king, but there was so much more to him. In fact, before horror was Price's primary acting output, he was known for his suave gentlemen characters of both the sympathetic and not-so-sympathetic persuasions. One of the most interesting, and one of Price's personal favorites … Continue reading Not the Conventional Type

Greer Meets Oscar

Why hello, Miss Greer... Greer Garson didn't set out to be an actress, although she wanted to. She trained to be a teacher at the University of London, but then started working in advertising in London, with a brief stint at Encyclopedia Britannica. On the side she appeared in community theater, and her talent was … Continue reading Greer Meets Oscar

Doris Takes A Cruise

Glad to see you, Miss Doris... Sometimes ya just gotta get away. It's not exactly doable these days, but the urge is real. We'll get there, folks. Someday we'll be able to move around freely again. It may take a while, but we'll get there. Until then, we do what we can, and last night … Continue reading Doris Takes A Cruise

Back To MGM

Mr. Keaton is back... Buster Keaton did have a career of sorts in sound films. Well, he tried, anyway. From 1933 onwards Keaton's life was turbulent. He was fired from MGM in 1933, his marriage collapsed, and Keaton struggled with alcohol abuse. IMDb claims there was a period of time when the public hated him … Continue reading Back To MGM

Norma’s Almost-Swan Song

Way up north... Quebecois Norma Shearer was an unlikely film star, at least in the sense that she didn't fit the mold of the perfect movie goddess. She had short legs, one of her eyes had a slight cast, and the critics regularly poked fun at her delivery. On the other hand, in regards to … Continue reading Norma’s Almost-Swan Song

Heigh-ho For Cuba

In this post-Fidel Castro day and age, it seems really odd to think about Cuba being a top tourist destination for Americans, but at one time it was. Before the country was declared off-limits to Americans, people liked the fact that they could pop round to an exotic country for a quick visit and be … Continue reading Heigh-ho For Cuba

At the Stage Door Canteen

Much has been made of the Hollywood Canteen and its efforts to entertain the troops during the Second World War. They weren't the first to the party, however, not that anyone's counting, but Broadway got there way before them. In 1917, various Broadway stars, many of them women, founded the American Theatre Wing, which was … Continue reading At the Stage Door Canteen

You’re In the Army Now

Eighty years ago next year, the Abbott and Costello film, Buck Privates hit theaters. It was a tense time in the United States because we knew we would be in the Second World War at some point, but we didn't know when. President Roosevelt had just reinstated the draft, so men were shipped off to the … Continue reading You’re In the Army Now

Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

This is the Army, Mister Jones. No private rooms or telephones. You had your breakfast in bed before, but you won't have it there anymore. (Irving Berlin, "This Is the Army," 1942.) Happy New Year! Welcome to the wild and wacky world of the Irving Berlin Wartime Musical. Nothing like starting off 2020 with a mix … Continue reading Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

Your Face Is Bogart’s

Nice to have you back, Ms. Bacall... Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart made five movies together. Their chemistry was so electric that no matter what the story was about, she would always smolder and he would always appraise her coolly and wordlessly. The 1947 film, Dark Passage, however thinks outside of the box due to one simple … Continue reading Your Face Is Bogart’s