Down In Africa

It's Miss Grace! Grace Kelly's third movie was 1953's Mogambo, co-starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner. Set in the French Congo, it was a remake of the 1932 film, Red Dust. The story was a daring choice for Kelly, but it paid off. Victor Marswell (Clark Gable) is a big game hunter living in the African bush. He's … Continue reading Down In Africa

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Semper Fidelis

As I've said before, with many of their bigger stars and directors overseas, Hollywood studios had to get creative as to what kinds of films they made. Actors and actresses who normally played character or supporting roles were commonly moved into lead parts, and one example of this is the 1943 film, Salute To the Marines. Featuring … Continue reading Semper Fidelis

Mr. Breen Goes To the Village

Welcome back, Mr. Breen! Although it's pretty gentrified nowadays, Greenwich Village has a reputation for counter-culturalism and being a haven for artists and other creative types. It's always been a tempting setting for a story, even during the Production Code Era, when an undiluted bohemian Village didn't exactly meet Mr. Breen's standards. 20th Century Fox … Continue reading Mr. Breen Goes To the Village

The Fighting WACs

One obvious side effect of war, especially a global one, is the shortage of men at home, and World War Two was no different. Countless Hollywood fixtures, whether cast or crew, enlisted or were drafted into the armed forces, leaving studio rosters a little thin for the time being. Naturally, this gave rise to more … Continue reading The Fighting WACs

And Now For Something Completely Different

Who's up for a little classic intrigue? Sometimes when a chance presents itself, there's nothing to do but take it (Within reason, of course). In the early nineteen-forties, Fred MacMurray was a durable rom-com guy, but 1944 brought him a new kind of opportunity--a role in Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity. Based on a story by James M. … Continue reading And Now For Something Completely Different

Ingrid’s Casablanca

Welcome back, Ms. Bergman! What hasn't been said about Casablanca? What hasn't been asked about Casablanca? This is a film that's been parsed, analyzed, memorialized, quoted, parodied, and collected more homage than most films in history, with the exception of Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz, of course. What's left to be said? Plenty. It's a classic film that we … Continue reading Ingrid’s Casablanca

Hostage Hotel

Even after his mobility became limited, Lionel Barrymore had a busy career right up to his death in 1954. While he was with MGM for decades, he was loaned out on many occasions, one of the later ones being the 1948 film, Key Largo. Barrymore's role is definitely memorable, and shows his power as an actor even … Continue reading Hostage Hotel

Shamedown #7: The Memphis Belle

Another month, another Shamedown. If anyone would like to know what a Shamedown is, please visit Cinema Shame here. Previous Shamedown posts can be found here. The 1990 film, Memphis Belle, is fairly widely known. An ensemble piece starring Matthew Modine, Sean Astin, Harry Connick, Jr., D.B. Sweeney, Tate Donovan, and John Lithgow, among others, the film was produced … Continue reading Shamedown #7: The Memphis Belle

Try To Remember

Filmmakers have always seemed to love using amnesia as a plot device. There's nothing like a fish being in water and out of it at the same time. One example of this is the 1943 film, Random Harvest, starring Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. It's a movie that genteely declares itself a "prestige picture," with an important … Continue reading Try To Remember

Once More With Feeling

Fred and Ginger's RKO partnership ended after The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle in 1939. It wasn't that they hated each other, or had creative differences, or anything like that--they simply wanted to part ways. RKO's money problems were a determining factor as well. Ten years later, however, the two were reunited at MGM for a … Continue reading Once More With Feeling

Stage To Screen: Something For the Boys

Happy Fourth of July, all! During World War Two, there was no shortage of entertainment that encouraged audiences to do their part and help the servicepeople. Movies, radio, magazines, Broadway...every platform was used to the fullest. Sometimes the results came off better than others, of course, and one example of the "others" is Something For the … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Something For the Boys

Dinner and Serendipity

When I reviewed Christmas In Connecticut, Kristina from Speakeasy recommended 1944's Sunday Dinner For A Soldier to me. It just so happened that the film was already on my Amazon list, and lo and behold, I got it for Christmas. Funny how things work out. Anyway, the film is the story of a poor family who want to do their … Continue reading Dinner and Serendipity