Sunday 5 April 2020

110 - mainly MGM

Untamed (1929 - b/w) - Proto-sound Joan Crawford dancey  nonsense.

The Sea Bat (1930 - b/w) - Ropey early sound tropical nonsense with Charles Bickford.
See also Ship from Shanghai (1930 - b/w), also from MGM.

Paid (1930 - b/w) - Joan Crawford melodrama.

The Big House (1930 - b/w) - The first prison blockbuster of the sound era, with the interchangeable Robert Montgomery and Chester Morris, plus Wallace Beery.

A lot of early 30s MGM blends into one. The Secret 6 (1931 - b/w), A Free Soul (1931 - b/w), Guilty Hands (1931 - b/w), Gentleman's Fate (1931 - b/w, with John Gilbert), Dance, Fools, Dance (1931 - b/w), the goofy Ernest Truex Whistling in the Dark (1933 - b/w) and Midnight Mary (1933 - b/w - Loretta Young), The Women in his Life (1933, with Otto Kruger, Una Merkel and Ben Lyon), Myrna Loy in Penthouse (1933 - b/w), The Solitaire Man (1933 -b/w) with Herbert Marshall.
And Times Square Lady (1935 - b/w, with Robert Taylor), Murder in the Fleet (1935, with Robert Taylor), After Office Hours (1935 - with Clark Gable), The Murder Man (1935 - b/w, with James Stewart and Spencer Tracy),, The Bishop Misbehaves (1935 - b/w, with Maureen O'Sullivan and Edmund Gwenn in a faux-Brit farce), Shadow of Doubt (1935 - with Ricardo Cortez), Woman Wanted (1935 - b/w, with Maureen O'Sullivan and Joel McCrea and gangsters), Whipsaw (1935 - b/w, with Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy), Public Hero No 1 (1935 - Jean Arthur, Chester Morris, Lionel Barrymore), The Garden Murder Case (1936 - b/w, with Edmund Lowe), Moonlight Murder (1936 - b/w) with Chester Morris, Three Live Ghosts (1936 - with Richard Arlen), The Unguarded Hour (1936 - b/w, with Loretta Young), Sworn Enemy (1936, with Robert Young), Sinner Take All (1936 - with Bruce Cabot),  Bad Guy (1937, with Bruce Cabot), Within the Law (1939 - with Tom Neal), They All Came Out (1939 - b/w), Society Lawyer (1939 - b/w, with Walter Pidgeon), and
Tell No Tales (1939, with Melvyn Douglas).

The Phantom of Paris (1931 - b/w) - Rote faux-Parisian smoothiness with the generic John Gilbert, who I can kind of see why he faltered post-silent era. His voice is fine, but he doesn't have any distinguishing features.

Hell Divers (1931 - b/w) - WW1 routine with Wallace Beery and Clark Gable.
See also Thunder Afloat (1939 - b/w) with Beery.

Beast of the City (1932 - b/w)/Night Court (1932 - b/w) - Stagey crime sagas with Walter Huston. Beast at least has energy.

Paddy the Next Big Thing (1933 - b/w) - Oirish mush with Janet Gaynor.
See also Kelly the Second (1936 - b/w).

Java Head (1934 - b/w) - Despite the advertising and Anna May Wong, actually  a drawing room bore.

Hide-out (1934 - b/w) -Robert Montgomery bores me.

You Can't Buy Everything (1934 - b/w) - May Robson makes the same film she always did.

Manhattan Melodrama (1934 - b/w) - Exactly what it says on the tin, with William Powell, Clark Gable, Myrna Loy.

Death on the Diamond (1934 - b/w) - Dreary baseball mystery with Robert Young and Mickey Rooney.

The Gay Bride (1934 - b/w) - Bland Carole Lombard vehicle.

Evelyn Prentice (1934 - b/w) - Rote William Powell vehicle.

Murder in the Private Car (1934 - b/w) - Ropey B-mystery with Charles Ruggles, that has a well-staged climax.

Kind Lady (1935 - b/w) - Rote faux-Victoriana with Basil Rathbone. The 1951 one version has more atmosphere.

One New York Night (1935 - b/w) - Rote drama with Franchot Tone.

The Casino Murder Case (1935 - b/w) - Rote mystery with Rosalind Russell and Paul Lukas.

Baby Face  Harrington (1935 - b/w) - Baffling vehicle for the baffling comic Charles Butterworth.

Riffraff (1936 - b/w) - Spencer Tracy and ean Harlow in a fast-paced thriller, with Mickey Rooney in a scary clown mask.

Speed (1936 - b/w) - James Stewart land speed record tosh.

Tough Guy (1936 - b/w) - Jackie Cooper and Rin Tin Tin. Utterly generic dog adventure.

Trouble for Two (1936 - b/w) - Forgettable period thriller with Rosalind Russell.

The Longest Night (1936 - b/w) - Schlocky short with Robert Young.

Under Cover of Night (1937 - b/w) - Bland action-mystery with Henry Daniell.

London by Night (1937 - b/w) - Atmospheric but un-English cheapie featuring such papers such as The Daily Mercury, the London Advocate,

The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937 - b/w) - Turgid costume caper with William Powell and Luise Rainer that sparks when the unusual Paul Porcasi pops up.

They Gave Him A Gun (1937 - b/w) - Spencer Tracy tries to be Cagney.

Too Hot to Handle (1938 - b/w) - Typical unPC jungle tosh with caricatured tribesmen, Clark Gable and Myrna Loy.

The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938 - b/w) Gary Cooper and Basil Rathbone in completely inauthentic Art Deco exotica.

Yellow Jack (1938 - b/w) - Andy Devine and Robert Montgomery jungle tosh.

Lord Jeff (1938 - b/w) - Slightly more convincing than the average faux-Brit MGM production, with Bovril, Schweppes, the Daily Mail, Barnardo's.  Posh Mickey Rooney is extraordinary,  posh rhythm, but still sounding like a Brooklyn street kid. Freddie Bartholemew grates. He sounds like a schoolboy in a public school production of Romeo and Juliet doing a Katharine Hepburn impression. Plus he bristles when he is in scenes with women. And he spends most of the film dressed as a sailor. Also, Peter Lawford pops up.

Fast and Loose (1939 - b/w) - Forgettable comedy with Robert Montgomery.

Sergeant Madden (1939 - b/w) - Typical Oirish coppery with Wallace Beery.

Burn 'Em Up, O'Connor (1939 - b/w) - Rote  racing B-film.

Four Girls in White (1939 - b/w) - Basically a  Roger Corman nurses film made in 1939.

Blackmail (1939 - b/w)- MGM do a Warner crime film, with Edward G. Robinson. See also Unholy Partners (1931 - b/w).

It's A Wonderful World (1939 - b/w) - James Stewart goofs about as a scoutmaster in bottle-specs.

Flight Command (1940 - b/w) - Routine US air force stuff with Robert Taylor
See also the overlong 30 Seconds over Tokyo (1944 - b/w) with Spencer Tracy.

Gallant Sons (1940 - b/w) - Juvenile mystery with Jackie Cooper.

A Rage in Heaven (1941 - b/w) - Stolid noir-infused melodrama with Robert Montgomery and Ingrid Bergman.

The Penalty (1941 - b/w) - Rural drama with Lionel Barrymore.

The Get-Away (1941 - b/w) - Forgettable heister with Donna Reed and the forgettable Robert Sterling.

The Golden Fleecing (1941 - b/w) - Slapstick MGM cheapie with Lew Ayres.

Gentleman from Dixie (1941 - b/w) - Monogram cheapie with Jack LaRue and Clarence Muse.

Pacific Rendezvous (1942 - b/w) - MGM naval nonsense.

Crossroads (1942 - b/w) - Rote faux-French noir with William Powell, Claire Trevor and Basil Rathbone.

Somewhere I'll Find You (1942 - b/w) /Any Number Can Play (1949 - b/w) - Routine Clark Gable wartime romances.

Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942 - b/w) - Rote installment in the Dr. Kildare cinematic universe.

Pilot #5 (1943 - b/w) - Rote war action with Marsha Hunt, Gene Kelly and Franchot Tone.

Cry Havoc (1943 - b/w)/Keep Your Powder Dry (1945 - b/w) -  Rote WW2 action, but with women.

Marriage is a Private Affair (1944 - b/w) - Forgettable Lana Turner wartime comedy.

Dragon Seed (1944 - b/w) - Godawful yellowfacestravangaza. Walter Huston isn't even bothering.

Song of Russia (1944 - b/w) - Dreary Robert Taylor faux-Soviet musical.

Pride of the Marines (1945 - b/w) - John Garfield and his own studio-enforced clone Dane Clark star in this patriotic dirge.
See also See Here, Private Hargrove (1945 - b/w) and The Bugle Sounds (1942 - b/w).

Step by Step (1946 - b/w) - Rote Lawrence Tierney cheapie.

Three Wise Fools (1946 - b/w) - Oirish Leprechaunia with Margaret O'Brien sounding Welsh/Geordie, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold, Lewis Stone and Thomas Mitchell.

Dark Delusion (1947 - b/w) - Rote B-mystery with Lionel Barrymore.
See also The Hidden Eye (1945 - b/w).

The Arnello Affair (1947 - b/w) - Stolid melodrama with John Hodiak and Dean Stockwell.

The Beginning or the End (1947 - b/w) - Stolid, documentary-like dramatisation of the atom bomb with Brian Donlevy, Hume Cronyn as Oppenheimer and cast against type, Sir Godfrey Tearle as Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Desire Me (1947 - b/w) - Greer Garson and Robert Mitchum tussle in an oddly Cornish-feeling backlot France.

The Search (1948 - b/w) - A lovely 20 minute short struggles to get out of a 100-minute feature of a concentration camp survivor orphan struggling through post-war Germany, who befriends Montgomery Clift.

Border Incident (1949 - b/w)  - Modern western with Ricardo Montalban.

Scene of the Crime (1949 - b/w) - Rote noir with Van Johnson.
See also Robert Ryan and Van Heflin in Act of Violence (1948 - b/w) and Richard Basehart in Tension (1949 - b/w), and Robert Taylor in Johnny Eager (1941 - b/w) and Undercurrent with Robert Mitchum and Katharine Hepburn (1947).

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