Sunday 22 March 2020


Kismet (1944) - Arabian nights tosh with Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich.

Smooth as Silk  (1946 - B/W) B-noir from Universal, undistinguished, with Kent Taylor.

Inside Job (1946 - b/w) - Boring B-thriller with Preston Foster.

A Stolen Life (1946 - b/w) - Double the melodrama with Bette Davis.

She Wrote the Book (1946 - b/w) - Unmemorable comedy with Joan Davis and Ava Gardner.

White Tie and Tails (1946 - b/w) - Forgettable comedy of manners with Dan Duryea.

Girl on the Spot (1946 - b/w) - Forgettable crime musical by William Beaudine, with TV's Count of Monte Cristo, and father of Mickey, George Dolenz.

So Goes My Love (1946 - b/w) - Forgettable western comedy with a slightly too old Myrna Loy, Don Ameche and doomed Disney Peter Pan/Jim Hawkins Bobby Driscoll.

Time Out of Mind (1947 - b/w) - Faux-Gainsborough New England melodrama with Phyllis Calvert and Robert Hutton, both of whom would leave Hollywood for England, Calvert on her way back home, and Hutton ended up as a C-list American support in British horror.

Take One False Step (1948 - b/w) - Suburban B-noir with Shelley Winters and an older William Powell, now resembling Captain Peacock.

Family Honeymoon (1948 - b/w) - Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert family com.

You Gotta Stay Happy (1948- b/w) Airborne war-rom-com with Joan Fontaine, James Stewart and Eddie Albert before his hair went white.

Free For All (1949 - b/w) - Bland Washington comedy with Robert Cummings.

Once More, My Darling (1949 - b/w) - At least, Ann Blyth rocks a T-shirt. Robert Montgomery is like an oak.

The Lady Gambles (1949 - b/w) - Barbara Stanwyck-Robert Preston-"Anthony Curtis" melodrama.

The Night Unto Night (1949 - b/w) - Tropical noir gubbins with Viveca Lindfors and Ronald Reagan.

Dynamite (1949 - b/w) - Bland Paramount B with William Gargan blowing things up. Not exciting.
See also Special Agent (1949 - b/w) with William Eythe, and The Lawless (1950).

Under My Skin (1950 - b/w) - John Garfield is a jockey.

Francis (1950 - b/w) - Tiresome vehicle with Donald O'Connor and his donkey.  John McIntire has a somewhat Wellesian presence in some scenes.
See also the Milkman (1950 - b/w) and Yes, Sir That's My Baby (1949 - b/w).

The Happy Years (1950) - Even now, Dean Stockwell seems so modern, he seems ludicrous in Victorian gear.

Pagan Love Song (1950) - Typical MGM musical with Esther Williams and Howard Keel, and lots of browned up dancers in its tiki-esque tropical island artifice.

Under the Gun (1951 - b/w) - Richard Conte trudges through the everglades and in jail.
See also the Sleeping City (1950 - b/w) and the Raging Tide (1951 - b/w).

The Law and the Lady (1951 - b/w) - Forgettable Greer Garson period comedy.

Shakedown (1951 - b/w)  - Undistinguished B-noir with Howard Duff.
See also Abandoned (1949 - b/w - with "Roc Hudson"), Damn Citizen (1958 - b/w), I Was a Shoplifter (1950 - b/w), Undertow (1949 - b/w), Manhandled (1949 - b/w), The Accused (1949 - b/w), Illegal Entry (1949 - b/w), Woman on the Run (1950 - b/w), Outside the Wall (1950 - b/w) with Richard Basehart, Woman in Hiding (1950 - b/w) with Ida Lupino  and with Duff, Johnny Stool-Pigeon (1949 - b/w), which at least has a  nice folksy-sinister turn from John McIntire.

Air Cadet (1951 - b/w)/Bright Victory (1951 - b/w) - Rock Hudson in the military, though it's more Arthur Kennedy in the latter.

Journey Into Light (1951 - b/w) - Feels familiar. Sterling Hayden as a priest.

Quebec (1951) - It's terrible. Shot in Quebec, but both leads, Corinne Calvet and John  Barrymore Jr/Drew Barrymore Sr are awful.

Bronco Buster (1952) - Modern B-western about rodeos.

No Room for the Groom (1952 - b/w) - Piper Laurie and Tony Curtis romcom.

Flesh and Fury (1952 - b/w) - Another Universal boxing-B with Tony Curtis.

Here Come the Nelsons (1952 - b/w) - A pilot for the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Added  Rock Hudson.

Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952) - Rote Rock Hudson family comedy.

Because of You (1952 - b/w) - Nondescript melodrama with Loretta Young and Jeff Chandler.

The Golden Hawk (1952) - Sam Katzman pirate potboiler with Sterling Hayden.

Aaron Slick from Punkin Creek (1952) - Annoying hillbilly musical with Dinah Shore and Alan Young, who in this is as annoying as he was as 7-Zark-7.

Take the High Ground! (1953) - Military training boredom with Richard Widmark and Karl Malden.

Girls of Pleasure Island (1953) - Bland tropical comedy with Don Taylor and Leo Genn.

Girls in the Night  (1953 - b/w) - Forgettable JD noir.

Houdini (1953) - Actually quite fun. Tony Curtis has a role that suits him. But it's George Pal, so of course, it's fun.

Count the Hours (1953 - b/w) - Rural noir with Teresa Wright.

Her Twelve Men (1954) - Greer Garson teaches some winsome child actors.

Elephant Walk (1954) - Despite Elizabeth Taylor and Peter Finch, this Paramount adventure in Sri Lanka is a Pine-Thomas production in all but name.

Casanova's Big Night (1954) - Bob Hope lollops about Venice, with Joan Fontaine at his side.

Deep in My Heart (1954) - 2 hour musical variety show with a cast of stars.

Jivaro (1954) - Pine-Thomas jungle adventure. With Lon Chaney, Brian Keith and Brazilian princess Rita Moreno.  Not to be confused with the Australian/New Guinea-set Crosswinds (1951 - b/w), which is almost identical, or Captain China (1950 - b/w).

Rose Marie (1954) - Faux-Canadian spectacle with a soundtrack beloved of aul wans. Here, it's Howard "Harold" Keel, though fans of Slim Whitman will know all the hits. It's also the origin of Indian Love Call, humanity's greatest defence of Martians. It looks nice. But light operetta gives me a headache.

Lucy Gallant (1955) - Jane Wyman alleged romance with Charlton Heston.

It's A Dog's Life (1955) - Actually quite sweet story about a bull terrier in the Bowery.

The Far Horizons (1955) - Donna Reed's brownface as Sacajawea looks like bad old age makeup. MacMurray and Heston are Lewis and Clark.

The Scarlet Coat (1955) - Colonial America tosh with Cornel Wilde and George Sanders.

The Glass Slipper (1955) - Leslie Caron is Cinders. Estelle Winwood is her lusty possibly-lesbian godmother. Otherwise basic MGM musical.

Seven Little Foys (1955) - Typical musical.

You're Never Too Young (1955) - Oh god, Jerry Lewis infuriates me. See also Artists and Models (1955).

The King's Thief (1955)/Diane (1956) - MGM costume tosh with decent casts, headed in both cases by Lana Turner, supported in both by Roger Moore.

Forever Darling (1956) - Big-screen tedium with Lucy and Desi.

Tea and Sympathy (1956) - Overaged teen John Kerr seeks help with Deborah Kerr.

The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) - Apparently, this was intended as a comedy, and Marlon Brando is hilarious. But I don't think his bizarre, supposedly Japanese but almost unrecognisable as anything Earthly greaser was intended as a joke.
See also Sayonara (1957) - same film except Brando is the American, and now the unconvincing Japanese man is a grimacing Ricardo Montalban.

Gaby (1956) - Tatty though expensive-looking yet simultaneously cheap-feeling Waterloo Bridge redo with a quite impressive recreation of wartime London, and Leslie Caron lusting over the wooden John Kerr.

The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957) - Errzzzzz.

Les Girls (1957) - Has a lot of juicy fake Britishness. Newspapers with titles like Morning Globe and British Daily Tatler. A rare Hollywood venture for Leslie Phillips. But it's a typical A-grade Gene Kelly vehicle. Star Jacques Bergerac's name is French for John Nettles. Leslie Phillips never did a Bergerac, but he did do a Lovejoy.

Don't Go Near the Water (1957) - Asinine Glenn Ford naval commedy.

The Wings of Eagles (1957) - John Wayne learns to walk again, and decides to write. Maureen O'Hara looks on. Naval gubbins.

The Little Hut (1957) - Ava Gardner, David Niven and Stewart Granger squabble on an island.

Anna di Brooklyn (1957) - Gina Lollobrigida tempts  an Italian town, or something.

Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958) - Junky backlot-bound Gordon Scott venture. Woody Strode is a Mohawk, for some reason.

The Reluctant Debutante (1958) - Rex Harrison nonsense.

Some Came Running (1958) - Sinatra and Dino gloat. Shirley MacLaine gets fridged.

Gigi (1958) -See also Lili (1953).

Houseboat (1958)  - Bland Cary Grant/Loren vehicle.

Count Any Blessings (1958) - Silly Rossano Brazzi-Deborah Kerr comedy made in England, though with a mainly ex-pat Hollywood Brit cast plus Martin Stephens.

It Started with A Kiss (1959) - Spanish-set Glenn Ford/Debbie Reynolds romcom.

Ask Any Girl (1959) - Generic Shirley MacLaine vehicle.

The Trap (1959) - Basically a western set in modern era, with Richard Widmark, Lorne Greene, Tina Louise and Lee J. Cobb.

The Doctor's Dilemma (1959) - Not a Doctor film, despite Dirk Bogarde. A period comedy. At least, it has Alastair Sim.

L'Il Abner (1959) - It's very stylised, but rather grating. It lacks the Old Shmoo too.

The Mating Game (1959) - Debbie Reynolds with a Gloria Hunniford haircut plays Mariette. Tony Randall is Charley. Paul Douglas is Pop Larkin. That's right. It's the Darling Buds of May, moved to Kentucky. And it is awful. It's like the original H.E. Bates stories being raped. No wonder his son decided to adapt them himself decades later. Tony Randall later returned to appearing in bastardisations of beloved British characters later adapted by ITV in possibly-definitive versions in the 1990s, as Poirot.

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