Thursday 19 March 2020


Rain or Shine (1930 - b/w) - Goofy early Frank Capra in a carnival, with a forgettable cast.

Outside the Law (1930 - b/w) - Forgettable Edward G Robinson vehicle

Little Accident (1930)/(1939-b/w) - Silly comedy done twice, about a lost child. Though some derring stunts with Baby Sandy in the second.

King of Jazz (1930) - Goofy variety show in color, with an Uncanny Valley young Bing Crosby.

The Road to Reno (1931 - b/w) - Forgettable Paramount comedy.

Cavalcade (1933 - b/w) - Another Hollywood melodrama set in the English music hall, though points for having actual British child-of-music hall Dick Henderson Jr, later comedian Dickie Henderson as a boy actor, like Hughie Green, another British boy actor in Hollywood brought back home as a freakish Mid-Atlantic light entertainer.

The Big Cage (1933 - b/w) - Generic circus ramblings with Clyde Beatty and Mickey Rooney.

Imitation of Life (1934 - b/w) - The 1959 version has better performances. This, despite an African-American (opposed to a  Mexican) as Sarah Jane, in Fredi Washington, it's not aged well.
See also Magnificent Obsession (1935 - b/w).

Twentieth Century (1934 - b/w) - Undistinguished 30s comedy with John Barrymore and Carole Lombard, from Howard Hawks.
See also Lombard in Lady by Choice (1934 - b/w) and True Confession (1937 - b/w).

Carnival (1935 - b/w) -Undistinguished comedy from Columbia with Jimmy Durante and Lucille Ball. Fun puppets, though.

If You Could Only Cook (1935 - b/w) - Typical early B-screwball. See also Too Many Husbands (1940 - b/w), also with Jean Arthur, and Public Menace (1935 - b/w).

Fighting Youth (1935 - b/w) - Universal college comedy nonsense.

Next Time We Love (1936 - b/w) - James Stewart and his Welsh counterpart, Ray Milland -together in the flesh.

Love Before Breakfast (1936 - b/w) - Another interchangeable Carole Lombard vehicle.

The King Steps Out (1936 - b/w)  -Another light operatic Ruritanian musical, with Grace Moore and Franchot Tone, by Von Sternberg. 

The Magnificent Brute (1936 - b/w) - Wrestling picture (Yes, it's a proper genre) with Victor McLaglen.

Panic on the Air (1936 - b/w) - Forgettable thriller with Lew Ayres. Interchangeable with a dozen similar radio peril films.

California Straight Ahead (1937 - b/w) - Forgettable John Wayne trucker opera.

Girls' School (1938 - b/w) - 30s Columbia prom comedy.

The Lady and the Mob (1939 - b/w) - One joke Columbia B-comedy.

The Real Glory (1939 - b/w) - Cheerful tropicana with Gary Cooper and David Niven.

There's Always A Woman (1938 - b/w)/Good Girls Go to Paris (1939 - b/w)/The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939 - b/w) - Melvyn Douglas and Joan Blondell vehicles. Interchangeable.
See also He Stayed for Breakfast (1940 - b/w) and So They Were Married (1936 - b/w), There's That Woman Again (1938 - b/w, with Virginia Bruce). 

The Family Next Door (1939 - b/w) - Forgettable proto-sitcom family "fun" with Hugh Herbert.

Rio (1939 - b/w) - Forgettable story about beach bums that is not the proto-noir you'd think, with Basil Rathbone.

Beware Spooks (1939 - b/w) - At least Joe E Brown has a fun chase through a funhouse.

Zenobia (1939 - b/w) - Problematic colonial comedy with black servant "comic relief" that is lifted, because it has Oliver Hardy in it.

Boys from Syracuse (1940-  b/w) - Forgettable Roman slapstick.

Three Faces West (1940 - b/w) - Strange western/anti-Nazi immigration drama with John Wayne and Charles Coburn, from Republic.

Oh, Johnny How Can You Love! (1940 - b/w) - Forgettable B-romcom from Universal.

Fisherman's Wharf (1940 - b/w) - Forgettable vehicle for boy soprano Bobby Breen.

Seven Sinners (1940 - b/w) - Lively John Wayne western set at South Seas, with Marlene Dietrich.

Hired Wife (1940 - b/w) - Rosalind Russell romances Brian Aherne. Forgettable.

World Premiere (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable Paramount full-length ad.

Unfinished Business (1941 - b/w)  - Forgettable Irene Dunne//Robert Montgomery vehicle.

Appointment with Love (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable Romance with Charles Boyer and Margaret Sullavan, made back to back with their version of Back Street.

The Man Who Lost Himself (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable remake of Kay Francis' Strangers in Love (1932 - b/w), again with Francis but Brian Aherne instead of Fredric March.

Model Wife (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable Dick Powell comedy.

South of Tahiti (1941 - b/w) - Brian Donlevy becomes a tropical queen or something in this ludicrous Universal tropic island tosh that launched Maria Montez. Andy Devine reacts.

The Lady from Cheyenne (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable comic western with Robert Preston and Loretta Young.

The Wife Takes A Flyer (1942 - b/w) - Forgettable wartime comedy with Franchot Tone and Joan Bennett.

Butch Minds the Baby (1942 - b/w) - Broderick Crawford in an entertaining if forgettable Runyon flick.

Paris Calling (1942 - b/w) - Tedious wartime melodrama with Elisabeth Bergner and Basil Rathbone.

Lady in a Jam (1942 - b/w) - Irene Dunne in a peculiar screwball comedy that suddenly turns into a western.
The William Powell vehicle The Senator was Indiscreet (1947 - b/w) goes the other way.

North to the Klondike (1942 - b/w) - Roughshod Northern with Lon Chaney Jr.

We've Never Been Licked (1943 - b/w)  -Forgettable propaganda starring Richard Quine, who doesn't register on screen, and he knew it, so he became a director.

Chip Off The Old Block (1944 - b/w) - Naval musical with the odious Donald O'Connor. See also Patrick the Great (1945 - b/w).

Ladies Courageous (1944 - b/w)  - Forgettable women's air comedy with Loretta Young and Geraldine Fitzgerald.

Bowery to Broadway (1944 - b/w) - More Maria Montez, but a B/W musical. I've become sick of light operatics.

Calling Dr. Death (1943 - b/w)/Pillow of Death (1945 - b/w) - Ropey Inner Sanctum featurette.  Lon Chaney Jr. is a ludicrous choice as leading man.

Gung Ho (1943 - b/w) - One is Canadian, one is set in the East, one has Barry Fitzgerald, the other has Bob Mitchum. But these two Universal Randolph Scott flicks are two sides of the same coin.

The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943 - b/w) - Odd, amateurish Universal mondo-esque propaganda.

Gyspy Wildcat (1944) - Actually quite nice-looking but ludicrous Maria Montez yarn.

This Love of Ours (1945 - b/w) - Slush with Claude Rains and Merle Oberon.

See My Lawyer (1945 - b/w) - The only highlight of this Olsen/Johnson vehicle are musicians dressed as Ainsley Harriott.

The Runaround (1946 - b/w) - Exactly what it says, with Rod Cameron and Broderick Crawford.

Danger Woman (1946 - b/w) - Forgettable Universal B-thriller, that I was sure I had seen before.

The Egg and I (1947 - b/w) - Well-made but baffling rural comedy that spawned Ma and Pa Kettle.

Fighter Squadron (1948 - b/w) - Forgettable US air combat set in "Herfordshire" with Robert Stack.

Larceny (1948 - b/w) - Bland noir with John Payne.

Another Part of the Forest (1948 - b/w) - Flaccid Universal Alabama-set post-Civil War melodrama with Fredric March.

Mystery Submarine (1950 - b/w) - Bland MacDonald Carey military vehicle.

Hollywood Story (1951  - b/w) - Richard Conte in bland William Castle-helmed noir.

Iron Man (1951 - b/w) - Serviceable boxing tale with Jeff Chandler.

Katie Did It (1951 - b/w) - Forgettable comedy with Ann Blyth and Mark Stevens.

The Groom Wore Spurs (1951 - b/w) - Bland romcom/western with Ginger Rogers and Jack Carson.

The Mob (1951 - b/w) - Broderick Crawford crawls. Noir that manages to evoke a nice setting.

Caribbean (1952) - Colourful but generic pirate movie with John Payne.
See also Yankee Buccaneer (1952), Buccaneer's Girl (1950), South Seas Sinner (1950 - b/w, which I thought I'd seen, but no, only the SCTV parody), the interchangeable duo of Son of Ali Baba (1952)/The Prince Who Was A Thief (1951) - both with Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie, Little Egypt (1951), Scarlet Angel (1952), The Desert Hawk (1950), Double Crossbones (1950).

A Man for All Seasons (1966) - Well-made but getting deja vu. Despite the sterling cast, it feels not too different from any other Tudor epic.

The Music Lovers (1969) - Don't really care for Ken Russell's biopics. See also Savage Messiah (1972).

Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness (1969)  - A horrible self-indulgent, pervy mess from Newley.

The Boy Friend (1971) - Typical MGM musical but with added Barbara Windsor and Brian Murphy.

Lady Caroline Lamb (1972) - Robert Bolt tries to make a Ken Russell film, but too much boredom gets in the way.

The Tempter (1974) - High-class nunsploitation with Glenda Jackson, MP.

Star Odyssey (1978) - Tatty but somewhat admirably ambitious post-Star Wars nonsense with suicidal Jewish duck robots with Star of David antennae, Gianni Garko, sub-Space 1999 design and

Lucky (2013) - Harry Dean Stanton wanders about. It's sweet but inconsequential.

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