Friday 10 April 2020

109 (mainly Paramount)

Jennie Gerhardt (1933 - b/w) - Rote melodrama with Sylvia Sidney.

The President Vanishes (1934 - b/w) - Nowhere near as exciting. Just Andy Devine and Arthur Byron talking to CBS. Plus early appearances from Sidney "Roman Castevet" Blackmer and Rosalind Russell.

The Scarlet Empress (1934 - b/w) - Dietrich does Garbo.

Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934 - b/w) - Forgettable rural comedy with W.C. Fields.

Four Hours to Kill (1935 - b/w) - Rote 30s actioner with Richard Barthelmess.

The Crusades (1935 - b/w) - Alongside Nibelungen, feels like Cecil B. Demille invented the sword and sorcery movie. A discovery.

Rumba (1935 - b/w) - Extravagant musical with Carole Lombard and George Raft.

The Moon's Our Home (1936 - b/w) - Henry Fonda, Margaret Sullavan romance.

Hollywood Boulevard (1936 - b/w) - Rote showbiz-set drama with Robert Cummings and Marsha Hunt, with Gary Cooper cameoing.

College Holiday (1936 - b/w) Blacking up, dressing as a mammy and singing in a slurry voice. Jack Benny too. Not good.

The Maid of Salem (1937 - b/w) - Rote witchcraft melodrama with Claudette Colbert.

I Met Him in Paris (1937 - b/w) - Rote Claudette Colbert romcom. See also I Covered The Waterfront (1933 - b/w).

Swing High, Swing Low (1937 - b/w) - Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray in a jazz band. With Anthony Quinn as the Don. See also True Confession (1937 - b/w).

Easy Living (1937 - b/w) - Milland and Jean Arthur in a screwball comedy.

Hunted Men (1937 - b/w) - Rote Lloyd Nolan quickie.

This Way, Please (1937) - Rote musical comedy with Betty Grable.

Artists and Models (1937 - b/w) - Jack Benny musical. So deliberately goofy it even has Rube Goldberg.

Exclusive (1937 - b/w) - Fred MacMurray soap. With Frances Farmer, before she met Jacqueline Gurney Bouvier. See also the boxing saga Invitation to Happiness (1939 - b/w).

Internes Can't Take Money (1937 - b/w) - Joel McCrea is Dr. Kildare.

Night Club Scandal (1937 - b/w) - Routine crime B with John Barrymore.

Thrill of a Lifetime (1937 - b/w) - Forgettable vehicle for a musical comedy troupe called the Yacht Club Boys, with Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour and the baffling Judy Canova (hillbilly cornpoke humour never travels well).

If I Were King (1938 - b/w) - Preston Sturges-written proto-The Court Jester with Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone in medieval larks.

King of Gamblers (1938 - b/w) - Rote Lloyd Nolan crime-B. See also Prison Farm (1938 - b/w).

Romance in the Dark (1938 - b/w) - Wretched light operatics with John Barrymore. See also The Champagne Waltz (1937 - b/w).

Dr. Rhythm (1938 - b/w) - Sub-Marx Brothers musical comedy with Bing Crosby. See also  Double or Nothing (1937 - b/w), The Star Maker (1939 - b/w) and Paris Honeymoon (1939 - b/w).

Never Say Die (1938 - b/w) - Rote Bob Hope vehicle.

J. Edgar Hoover's Persons in Hiding (1938 - b/w) - Rote gangster nonsense with Patricia Morison. The poster was in Halliwell's Filmgoers' Companion.

Professor Beware (1938 - b/w) - Harold Lloyd works best in short chunks. See also The Milky Way (1936 - b/w).

One Third of A Nation (1939 - b/w) - Typical tenement drama starring Sylvia Sidney and some called kid, also called Sidney, Sidney something or other. Sidney Lumet. Yes, that Sidney Lumet.

Cafe Society (1939 - b/w) - Rote Fred MacMurray romcom.  See also Honeymoon in Bali (1939 - b/w),  Remember the Night (1940 - b/w), Practically Yours (1944 - b/w) and Suddenly, It's Spring (1947 - b/w), and Hotel Imperial (1939 - b/w) with Ray Milland.

Rulers of the Sea (1939 - b/w) - Maritime drama with Douglas Fairbanks, Will Fyffe and Margaret Lockwood.

The Biscuit Eater (1940 -b/w) - Preachy interracial drama.

French Without Tears (1940 - b/w) - Rote British drama of the era, with Ellen Drew and Ray Milland, because Paramount.

I Want a Divorce (1940 - b/w) - Forgettable Dick Powell-Joan Blondell romcom.

Those Were The Days (1940 - b/w) - Forgettable period nostalgia with William Holden.

Arise My Love (1940 - b/w) - Rote romance with Claudette Colbert and Ray Milland.
SkyLark (1941 - b/w) - Anotther Colbert-Milland rotary.

Love Thy Neighbor (1940 - b/w) - Idiotic Jack Benny farce.

Nothing But the Truth (1940 - b/w) - Rote Bob Hope-Paulette Goddard vehicle.

Hold Back the Dawn (1941 - b/w) - Mexican-set soaper with Charles Boyer and Olivia de Havilland.

One Night in Lisbon (1941 - b/w) - Rote Faux British propaganda with Fred MacMurray, plus laughs and Marcel "the real Rabbi Jacob" Dalio. There's a chorus of "There'll Always be An England", which I discovered was cowritten by Ross Parker, who is in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dick Barton, The Saint, Department S...

Hold Back the Dawn (-1941 - b/w) - Rote De Havilland soaper.

New York Town (1941 - b/w) - Another interchangeable Fred MacMurray comedy, here with Akim Tamiroff, Mary Martin and Robert Preston.

Louisiana Passage (1941) - Interchangeable  40s musical - in color, with Bob Hope.

Take A Letter Darling (1942  - b/w) - Forgettable Rosalind Russell vehicle.

The Major and the Minor (1942 - b/w) - Silly pretend teen romance with Ray Milland and Ginger Rogers.

The Great Man's Lady (1942 - b/w) - Silly Barbara Stanwyck western with Joel McCrea.

The Fleet's In (1942 - b/w) - Rote Dorothy Lamour musical propaganda. See also True to The Army (1942 - b/w) with the excessively grating Judy Canova.

True to Life (1943 - b/w) - Rote screwballer, feels like songs were edited out, with Franchot Tone.

No Time for Love (1943 - b/w) - Rote Colbert/MacMurray comedy that nonetheless has probably the most gorgeous superhero sequence I have seen in a pre-1960s film and probably had more budget than an entire Columbia serial. The sequence is elegiac rather than tatty.

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1944- b/w)/Our Hearts Were Growing Up (1946 - b/w) - Rote 40s youth comedies.
See also Henry Aldrich For President (1941 - b/w) and Henry Aldrich gets Glamour (1943 - b/w).

Going my Way (1944 - b/w) - Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald in a shamrock bowl of Irish American sentimental bull.

And Now Tomorrow (1944 - b/w) - The title says it all. Romantic drama with Alan Ladd and Loretta Young.

My Own True Love (1945 - b/x) - Faux-Gainsborough romance with Melvyn Douglas and Phyllis Calvert.

Kitty (1945 - b/w) - Faux British bodice ripper with Paulette Goddard and Milland.

Out of This World (1945 - b/w) - Eddie Bracken sings with the voice of Bing Crosby. That's the joke. Also with Parkyakarkus, the father of Bob Einstein and Albert Brooks.

Salty O'Rourke (1945 - b/w) - Alan Ladd in the perfect role for him - a jockey. Horse racing baffles and disgusts me.

Miss Susie Slagle's (1946 - b/w) - Routine Veronica Lake/Joan Caulfield comedy.
See also Isn't it Romantic? (1948 - b/w).

Variety Girl (1947 - b/w) - Hope, Crosby, Ladd, Lancaster, George Pal animation, Barry Fitzgerald, Gary Cooper, William Holden, Sonny Tufts, Lizabeth Scott, Sterling Hayden, Robert Preston, Veronica Lake, they're all in this mess. Basically an ad for Paramount. The actual lead, though you wouldn't know it is Deforest Kelley. Who would become a Paramount star, eventually.

Dear Ruth (1947 - b/w)/Dear Wife (1949 - b/w) - William Holden and Joan Caulfield makes the same film twice.

The Perfect Marriage (1947 - b/w) - Forgettable David Niven romcom.

Welcome Stranger (1947 - b/w) - Rote Bing Crosby performance, featuring Barry Fitzgerald doing the same performance he does In The Stork Club (1945 - b/w), a musical with Betty Hutton and Latino crooner Andy Russell. 

Miss Tatlock's Millions (1948 - b/w) - SameyParamount comedy with Wanda Hendrix and Barry Fitzgerald.

Song of Surrender (1949 - b/w) - Depressing musical with Claude Rains and Wanda Hendrix.

Sorrowful Jones (1949 - b/w) - That most cloying story, Little Miss Marker, with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball.

Red, Hot and Blue (1949 - b/w) - Rote Betty Hutteh (sic) vehicle.

September Affair (1950 - b/w) - Rote romance

Paid in Full (1950 - b/w) - Rote not-quite-a-noir drama, though Lizabeth Scott is devastating as always.

Somebody Loves Me (1952 - b/w) - Ralph Meeker sings. With Betty Hutton.

Carrie (1952 - b/w) - Rote romance in the period restaurant world with Jennifer Jones and Olivier.

The Country Girl (1954 - b/w) - Bing Crosby tries to do the tragic clown, William Holden is lost within the film and Grace Kelly is overshadowed. 

Manuela (1957 - b/w) - Turgid tropical melodrama with Trevor Howard, Elsa Martinelli and Pedro Armendariz. And because it's a Latino-themed British film, Roger Delgado.

Fear Strikes Out (1957 - b/w) - Rote baseball drama.
See also Bang The Drum Slowly (1973).

The Joker is Wild (1957 - b/w) - Depressing showbiz biopic with Frank Sinatra.

Wild is the Wind (1957 - b/w) - Seems like I saw this before. Magnani, Quinn, Franciosa. It feels so very familiar.

St. Louis Blues (1958 - b/w) - Great performances from Ruby Dee, Mahalia Jackson, Juano Hernandez. Nat "King" Cole, Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, and Barney Bigard. Not to be confused with the similarly authentic-feeling Too Late Blues (1961 - b/w).

The Party Crashers (1958 - b/w) -Rubbishy JD nonsense from Paramount.

Desire Under the Elms (1958 - b/w) - Rote turn of the century American tragedy with Anthony Perkins, Burl Ives and Sophia Loren.

But Not for Me (1959 - b/w) - Comedy I perceived as tragedy, with Clark Gable and Carroll Baker. A remake of the similarly baffling Sylvia Sidney drama Accent on Youth (1936 - b/w).

Career (1959 - b/w) - Shirley MacLaine/Dean Martin melodrama.

The Bliss of Miss Blossom (1968) - Routine British comedy with Shirley MacLaine and Richard Attenborough, written by Denis Norden, and being one of those people, John Cleese pops up. 

Deep End (1970) - It feels sleazy, and because it was mostly shot in Germany, despite Jane Asher and John Moulder Brown, it has the feel of an Edgar Wallace krimi shot by a drunk crew.

Paper Moon (1973)/Daisy Miller (1974) - Peter Bogdanovich really wanted to make 30s films, but as a result, he feels like an old hack.

The Little Prince (1974) - It looks lovely, but it feels kind of empty. It needed an extra layer of darkness. And a great thouh, though. Fosse, Wilder, Ackland, Revill, Spinetti, Crowden.

Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York (1975)- Watchable but a bit Woodless Allen vehicle for Jeannie Berlin. However, Roy Scheider as her love interest looks like her da.


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