Friday 27 March 2020


Son of the Gods (1930 - b/w) - Richard Barthlemess unconvincing as a Chinaman, even as one who supposedly passes for white.

Glorifying the American Girl (1929 - b/w)/Whoopee! (1930)/Palmy Days (1931 - b/w)/Show Business (1944 - b/w)/The Kid from Spain (1932)/Roman Scandals (1933 - b/w)/Strike me Pink (1936  b/w)/Forty Little Mothers (1940 - b/w)/Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943 - b/w)/If You Knew Susie (1948 - b/w) - Eddie Cantor's ambition fascinates me, but the material (blackface etc) doesn't.

Madam Satan (1930 - b/w) - Pre-code variety.

Tugboat Annie (1933 - b/w) - Fun Pacific Northwest adventure with an older female lead, here Marie Dressler, then Marjorie Rambeau in the sequel, Tugboat Annie Sails Again (1940 - b/w).

Below the Sea (1933 - b/w) - Forgettable Ralph Bellamy/Fay Wray vehicle.

Stingaree (1934 - b/w) - Richard Dix/Irene Dunne highwayman romance.

A Midsummer's Night Dream (1935 - b/w) - Is it heresy to say that Mickey Rooney is the best Puck? It is probably his best performance. He is a ferocious little demon, none of the mugging old vaudevillian/embarrassing grandad/overgrown adolescent of later films. This film looks gorgeous, too.

The Dancing Pirate (1936 - b/w) - Peculiar, tatty musical with Frank Morgan.

Ramona (1936) - Bland colour story of Loretta Young as a "HALF BREED" and Don Ameche.

The Bold Caballero (1936) - Threadbare Zorro adap from Republic - in color.

Murder by an Aristocrat (1936 - b/w) - Forgettable Warner B mystery with Lyle Talbot.

When's Your Birthday (1937) - Joe E fecking Brown.

Ebb Tide (1937)/Men With Wings (1938) - Early color adventures with Ray Milland. Blandly entertaining and solid. The former is more interesting, plus has Barry Fitzgerald.

Nothing Sacred (1937) - Baffling Carole Lombard comedy.

Victoria the Great (1937)/Sixty Glorious Years (1938) - Ponderous, colourful Anna Neagle-as-Victoria biopic.

Heart of the North (1938) - Early color Northern, with Dick Foran.

The Buccaneer (1938 - b/w)  -Lavish though samey pirate adventure with Fredric March plus brief colour sequences.

Kentucky (1938)-  Horse racing dullness with Richard Greene.

Spawn of the North (1938 - b/w) - A really authentic feeling Arctic drama with Dorothy Lamour, John Barrymore, Henry Fonda and George Raft, and Slicker the Seal as himself.

Her Jungle Love (1938) - Dorothy Lamour jungle tosh. See also  The Jungle Princess (1936 - b/w), Tropic Holiday (1938 - b/w), Moon Over Burma (1940 - b/w) and Road to Bali (1952).

My Son is Guilty (1939 - b/w) - Forgettable Bruce Cabot Columbia-B.

Hollywood Cavalcade (1939)  -The usual early color musical about making  a musical, with Alice Faye and Don Ameche.

Disputed Passage (1939 - b/w) - Dorothy Lamour plays a Chinese girl. Just as shonky as it sounds.

Men Against the Sky (1940 - b/w)/Marines Fly High (1940 - b/w) - Interchangeable Richard Dix air films.
See also I'm Still Alive (1941 - b/w).

Dulcy (1940 - b/w) - Rote Ann Sothern comedy. See also Swing Shift Maisie (1943 - b/w), Three Hearts for Julia (1943 - b/w), Undercover Maisie (1947 - b/w).

International Squadron (1941 - b/w) - Reagan in the RAF. Slightly entertaining. It has Cockney yokels reading Flash Gordon.

Down in San Diego (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable Nancy Drew-ish story with Bonita Granville.

Steel Against the Sky (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable story of bridgemakers with Craig Stevens and Alexis Smith.

Highways by Night (1942 - b/w) - Forgettable Richard Carlson B.

I Was Framed (1942 - b/w) - Another Warner cheapie.

Joan of Paris (1942 - b/w) - Atmospheric if circular French Resistance saga, "with Alan Ladd as Baby". Sadly, not remade as Dirty Dancing.

Rings on her Fingers (1942 - b/w) - Typical rote romcom, with Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney.

Seven Miles from Alcatraz (1942 - b/w) - Forgettable prison escape.

Born to Sing (1942 - b/w) - Tiring teen B-musical with one of the Bowery Boys.

The Gorilla Man (1943 - b/w) - Rote faux-British spy propaganda, not the Monogram-esque cheapie the title suggests.

Whistling in Brooklyn (1943 - b/w) - I've had enough of Red Skelton.

Air Raid Wardens (1943 - b/w)  - Stan and Ollie are getting on.

Adventures of a Rookie (1943 - b/w) - Forgotten comedy duo Brown and Carney in a forgotten flick.

Highway West (1944 - b/w) - Forgettable rural action with Arthur Kennedy.

Marine Raiders (1944 - b/w)/Bombardier (1943 - b/w) - More WW2 aviation/marine propaganda, with Pat O'Brien.

The Spanish Main (1945) - Routine colour pirate film with Paul Henreid and Maureen O'Hara and fellow Dub JM Kerrigan (who apparently supported Bohemian's FC - mind blown).

This Man's Navy (1945 - b/w) - Agreeable war comedy with Wallace Beery and a blimp.

God is my Co-Pilot (1945 - b/w) - Typical aviation propaganda, with Raymond Massey gruffly ordering about.

Those Endearing Young Charms (1945 - b/w) - Misleading title.

Destination Tokyo (1945, sorry 1943 - b/w) - Cary Grant in another identikit naval yarn.

China Sky (1945 - b/w) - Randolph Scott in an unconvincing China alongside that famous Chinese actor, Anthony Quinn. Rote adventure.

Tycoon (1947) - John Wayne in a modern western where he plays a big rich white tycoon in South America. Yawn.

Wild Harvest (1947 - b/w) - Yawn-inducing rural drama with Alan Ladd and Dorothy Lamour.

Deep Valley (1947 - b/w) - Ida Lupino swamp soap - atmospherically shot.

Joan of Arc (1948) - St. Michael spoke to Joan Arc. Did he give her secrets about Marks and Spencer? This is overlong, and Ingrid Bergman is too old. But it's not all bad. It has the credit "and George Coulouris".

Command Decision (1948 - b/w) - Clark Gable military marathon.

Homecoming (1948 - b/w) - Rote war romance with Clark Gable and Lana Turner.

Hunt the Man Down (1950 - B/W)/Bunco Squad (1950 - b/w) - Cheap RKO B-cop shows.
See also Destination Murder (1950 - b/w) and ROADBLOCK (1951 - neat storm drain chase).

Gambling House (1950 - b/w)/The Las Vegas Story (1952 - b/w) - Basically the same film, but the latter done more lavishly. Both with Victor Mature.

Outrage  (1950 - b/w) - Decently-directed by Ida Lupino, but it's just a noir.  See also The Bigamist (1953 - b/w) and Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951 - b/w). Compare with the Don Siegel-directed Private Hell 36 (1954 - b/w), which stars and was produced by Lupino. Lupino also did lavish but ropey exploitation pics, Never Fear (1950) and Not Wanted (1949).

Born to Be Bad (1950 - b/w) - Joan Fontaine does femme fatale. The usual.

The Secret Fury (1950 - b/w) - Average noir melodrama with Claudette Colbert and Robert Ryan.

The Racket (1951 - b/w) - Rote noir with Robert Mitchum. See also Where Danger Lives (1950 - b/w).

Cry Danger (1951 - b/w) - Rote noir with Dick Powell.

At Sword's Point (1952) - Forgettable swashbuckling, a musketeers spinoff with Cornel Wilde and Maureen O'Hara. See also Sword of Venus (1953 - b/w).

Blackbeard the Pirate (1952) - Rote Treasure Island cash-in with Robert Newton. Unfortunately, the actual lead is the bland Keith Andes.

A Girl in Every Port (1952 - b/w)  - Groucho seems like a sad old man.

Tokyo File 212 (1952 - b/w) - Godawful Japanese-shot B movie.

Second Chance (1953) - Colourful but rote noir with Robert Mitchum and Linda Darnell.

Affair with a Stranger (1953 - b/w) - Bland romcom with Jean Simmons and Victor Mature. See also the Mitchum-starring She Couldn't Say No (1954 - b/w).

Never Wave at A Wac  (1953 - b/w) -  Rosalind Russell plays Paul Douglas' daughter. There's two months different. Russell annoys me.

Susan Slept Here (1954) - Annoying Debbie Reynolds vehicle, with some interesting minimalist dance-dream sequences.

This Is My Love (1954) - Forgettable romantic drama with Linda Darnell.

Underwater! (1955) - Bland swimming odyssey with Jane Russell.

The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956 - b/w) - Judy Holliday infuriates me.

The Conqueror (1956) - It is awful. Dick Powell isn't a good director. Every role is miscast, not just John Wayne. Susan Hayward looks like an Irish country singer from the 70s.  The desert locations are uninspiring. And people died to make this film.

Time Table (1956 - b/w) - Bland noir with Mark Stevens.

Man in the Vault (1956 - b/w) - Forgettable Batjac B-noir with William Campbell.

Death of a Scoundrel (1956 - b/w) - Overlong, well-made but kind of boring George Sanders/Yvonne De Carlo noir-melodrama.

Jet Pilot (1957) - Sexist melodrama. Janet Leigh has to be taught to be a real American girl. John Wayne does the same bullshit he did fighting Japs in Fighting Leathernecks (1951).

Battle of the Coral Sea (1959 - B/W)  - Bland, workmanlike war film with Cliff Robertson and Patricia Cutts, the short-lived first incarnation of Blanche Hunt in Coronation Street.

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