Wednesday 15 April 2020


Song o'my Heart (1930 - b/w) - John McCormack vehicle. Set and partly shot in Ireland, this is the kind of sentimental mawk that scarred Hollywood's depiction of us for decades.

Scotland Yard (1930  - b/w) - Cheapish WW1 mystery with Joan Bennett and Edmund Lowe.

His Woman (1931 - b/w) - Forgettable shipboard melodrama with Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert.

Strange Adventure (1932  - b/w) - Old dark ouser from Monogram with the dreadful black drama school acting of Snowflake.

By Whose Hand (1932 - b/w) - Railway comedy blandness with Ben Lyon

The Secret of Madame Blanche (1933 - b/w) - Faux-Brit Irene Dunne melodrama.

Adorable (1933 - b/w) - Janet Gaynor mittel-European musical. There is an adorable chefs sequence.

Peg O'My Heart (1933 - b/w) - Marion Davies is an Oirish gal in terrible MGM schlock.

The Count of Monte Cristo (1934 - b/w) - Rote adaptation with Robert Donat.

Steamboat Round the Bend (1934 - b/w) - John Ford helms a typical Will Rogers vehicle, with Stepin Fetchit.

Ladies Crave Excitement (1935)  - Serviceable, workmanlike Mascot adventure.

Danger - Love at Work (1937 - b/w) - Routine Fox comedy. From Otto Preminger.

The Great Hotel Murder (1935 - b/w) - Early Fox programmer. Nowhere near as exciting. See also Grand Exit and the Lupe Velez vehicle Hot Pepper (1933 - b/w), all three with Edmund Lowe.

Red Lights Ahead (1936 - b/w) - Forgettable Chesterfield juvenile comedy with Andy Clyde.

The White Angel (1936 - b/w) - Kay Francis is an American Florence Nightingale.
Not to be confused with The White Sister (1933 - b/w) where Clark Gable romances Helen Hayes as  a nun.

Wife, Doctor and Nurse (1937 - b/w) - Rote melo with Warner Baxter and Loretta Young.

Live, Love and Learn (1937 - b/w) - Typical family comedy.

My Favourite Wife (1940 - b/w) - Typical screwball.

The man I Married (1940 - b/w) - Rote Joan Bennett vehicle.

Girl in the News (1940 - b/w) - Rote British thriller with Margaret Lockwood.

Star Dust (1940 - b/w) - Rote Hollywood drama with Linda Darnell.

He Married His Wife (1940 - b/w) - Rote comedy with Joel McCrea.

Rise and Shine (1941 - b/w) - Jack Oakie football musical. So not my cuppa.

Life Begins at Eight Thirty (1942 - b/w)  - Rote theatrical bluster for Monty Woolley.

Loves of Edgar Allan Poe (1942 - b/w) - Rote romance in gothic drag, with Linda Darnell, and the forgettable John Shepperd, who nevertheless as Shepperd Strudwick, had a long, decent career as a character actor and Broadway actor.

The Panther's Claw (1942 - b/w) - Poverty row  mystery.

Time to Kill (1942 - b/w) - Rote Michael Shayne mystery with Lloyd Nolan, based on a Marlowe tale.

The Magnificent Dope (1942 - b/w) - Henry Fonda comedy, with Don Ameche. See also Girl Trouble (1942 - b/w).

Cairo (1942 - b/w) - Robert Young and Jeanette MacDonald and Ethel Waters in a  musical that didn't even need to be in (modern) Egypt. It doesn't matter and it doesn't feel Egyptian.

Roxie Hart (1942 - b/w) - Rote comedy that inspired Chicago.

A Gentleman at Heart (1942 - b/w) - Cesar Romero B. See also Tall, Dark and Handsome (1941 - b/w).

The Postman Didn't Ring (1942 - b/w) - Bland Fox B comedy about stamp collecting.

Claudia (1943 - b/w) - Forgettable comedy with Dorothy McGuire. See also Claudia and David (1946 - b/w).

Whispering Footsteps (1943 - b/w) - Republic cheapie mystery.  See  also Strangers in the Night (1944 - b/w)

The Meanest Man in the World (1943 - b/w) - Jack Benny featurette.

A Royal Scandal (1943 - b/w) - Period fluff.

Secrets of Scotland Yard (1944 - b/w) - Republic nonsense, faux-patriotic British Nazi spying with a ludicrous scene where American-accented Scotland Yard men stand to God Save the Queen after a faux-Churchill speech on the BBC.

Her Favourite Patient (1945 - b/w) - Forgetttable UA cheapie romance.

Within These Walls (1945 - b/w) - Thomas Mitchell in a prison.

Captain Eddie (1945 - b/w) - Fred MacMurray aviation tosh.

I've Always Loved You (1946) - Lush but cheap-feeling stab at respectability from Republic by Frank Borzage.

Black Beauty (1946) - Tatty Fox adap that is seemingly set in both  1946 and the Victorian era, depending on when the crew are bothered.

The Late George Apley (1947 - b/w) - Rote turn of the century comedy of manners with Ronald Colman, Peggy Cummins and Richard Haydn.

Daisy Kenyon (1947 - b/w) - Rote Joan Crawford melo.

The Babe Ruth Story (1948 - b/w) - Monogram attempt to go legit, as Allied Artists.William Bendix looks lost, and the scene with the kid in bed miraculously cured is ludicrous. As bad as they say.

The Wonderful Urge (1948 - b/w) - Rote Tyrone Power/Gene Tierney romance comedy.

The Wake of the Red Witch (1948 - b/w) - John Wayne makes the same film again, another maritime melodrama. Costar Duke Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian Olympian swimming champ who invented modern surfing.

Sleeping Car to Trieste (1948 - b/w) - "And" Hugh Burden, Bonar Colleano and David Tomlinson in a lively riff on The Lady Vanishes.

Father was  a Fullback (1949 - b/w) - Idiotic football-com.

Pinky (1949 - b/w) - Story of a mixed-race girl who passes for white. Except she's played by the lilywhite Jeanne Crain, who is so unconvincing (she has no soul - she looks catatonic in some shots) is that the only way this story works if it was a Navin Johnson situation. In fact, I'm sure Carl Reiner had to have seen this before the Jerk. She's even called Johnson. She was probably a relative.

HiJacked (1950 - b/w) - Rote Lippert trucker nonsense with Jim Davis.

Edge of Doom (1950 - b/w) - Farley Granger and Dana Andrews noir. Forgettable.

Customs Agent (1950 - b/w) - Forgettable vehicle for the forgettable William Eythe.

Our Very Own (1950 - b/w) - RKO teen melodrama with Ann Blyth and Natalie Wood.

No Sad Songs for Me (1950 - b/w) - Margaret Sullavan's last melodrama.

I'll Get You For This (1950 - b/w) - Rote British European-set crime drama with George Raft.

The Guy who Came Back (1951 - b/w) - Ropey football drama with Paul Douglas.

I Can Get It For You Wholesale (1951)  - Dull Susan Hayward romance.

Saturday's Hero (1951 - b/w)/The Family Secret (1951 - b/w) - God John Derek was a hell of a non-actor. Both soppy dramas.

Japanese War Bride (1951 - b/w) - Rote melodrama with Don Taylor, Shirley Yamaguchi and Cameron Mitchell.

The Brave Bulls (1951 - b/w) - How many matador films did Anthony Quinn do?

Payment on Demand (1951 - b/w)/Storm Center (1956 - b/w) - Bette Davis melodramas.

The Star (1952 - b/w) - Rote Bette Davis melodrama, about Hollywood, with Sterling Hayden.

One Minute to Zero (1952 - b/w) - Rubbishy Korean war with Robert Mitchum.f

Paula (1952 - b/w) - Loretta Young melodrama.

A Member of the Wedding  (1952 - b/w) - Julie Harris as a twelve year old is like a lesbian with learning difficulties.

Bad for Each Other (1953 - b/w) - Rote bad girl noir with Lizabeth Scott and Charlton Heston.
See also Scott in The Company She Keeps (1951 - b/w).

The President's Lady (1953 - b/w) - Rote historical nag with Susan Hayward and Heston.

Cell 2455 Death Row (1955 - b/w) - William Campbell Columbia crime programmer.

Queen Bee (1955 - b/w) - Joan Crawford melodrama. See also Harriet Craig (1950 - b/w).

Pacific Destiny (1956 ) - Denholm Elliott finds love in Polynesia.

The Ambassador's Daughter (1956) - Bland romcom with John Forsythe and Olivia De Havilland.

Teenage Rebel (1956 - b/w) - Ginger Rogers is the mum in this JD melodrama.

Hold Back the Night (1956 - b/w) - Forgettable Allied Artists Korean war shambles.

Strange Intruder (1957 - b/w) - Post-Korean War noir shambles with Edmund Purdom and Ida Lupino.

The Young Don't Cry (1957 - b/w) - Sal Mineo melodrama.

The True Story of Lynn Stuart (1958  - b/w) - Rote crime drama with Betsy Palmer.

Herod the Great (1958) - Forgettable biblical knock-off with Edmund Purdom from Allied Artists.

Ten North Frederick (1958 - b/w) -  Dreary Gary Cooper drama.

The Goddess (1958 - b/w) - Kim Stanley miscast as a Marilyn-type.

Jeanne Eagels (1958 - b/w) - Kim Novak stage melodrama.

Blue Denim (1959 - b/w) - Carol Lynley and Brandon deWilde teen mush.

The Big Operator (1959 - b/w) - Mickey Rooney and Mamie van Doren crime drama.

The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961 - b/w) - Unauthorised biopic of future B-movie producer Arch Hall Senior, starring Robert Mitchum. A routine post-Bilko army comedy.  Ends with Hall with copies of Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

Angel Baby (1961 - b/w) - Christian tent preacher juvenile romance with Salome Jens and George Hamilton, plus Burt Reynolds and Joan Blondell as proto-late-stage Shelley Winters.

Hitler (1962 - b/w) - Cheapo Allied Artists biopic. Richard Basehart tries his best, but he is physically too large and imposing for the title role. And it is very stagebound, with a few obvious California exteriors and when various cast from Hogan's Heroes appear in uniform, it is hard to take anything seriously.

Soldier in the Rain (1963 - b/w) - Forgettable Allied Artists comedy with Steve McQueen and Jackie Gleason slumming it.

Tarzan Goes to India (1963)/Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963) - Jock Mahoney as Tarzan. He's too old, at 44, but his Tarzan is basically Da Tarzan. He's paired in both with Asian kids to be parental to. In India, he has "Jai the Elephant Boy" as himself, and Ricky Der in Three Challenges. I've seen Der in I Spy, where he was a snarky Asian-American kid, but here he is dubbed by either Denise Bryer or Olive Gregg, he has that Fruit Gums ad "middle  aged woman doing eager English schoolboy voice" that was common in British films and telly until the early 90s. They are rote but colourful adventures. Tarzan Goes to India has genuine Bollywood talent such as Feroz Khan, but Tarzan's Three Challenges, though shot in Thailand casts Earl Cameron and Woody Strode as the supposed Thai characters, having already played African tribesmen in earlier films in the series, because Sy Weintraub liked to reuse talent.

Mara of the Wilderness (1965) - Family-friendly sexploitation about a girl raised by wolves found by Adam West.

The Peace Killers (1971)  - Tawdry biker trash.

Blood Mania (1971) - Skanky Crown International horror.

What's Up, Doc (1972) - It's nicely wacky, but why couldn't be Kenneth Mars and Madeline Kahn be the leads?

Short Cut to Haifa (1973) - Perry King and Peter Ustinov are truckers - basically Androgynous Terence Hill and Kosher Bud Spencer.

Terminal Island (1973) - Prison island trash lifted to watchable by Stephanie Rothman's direction and some odd touches - such as the bee-sting-on-the-arse chase. Tom Selleck is the nominal hero. Has a weird spoken-word country theme.

Scum of the Earth (1974) - Routine schlocky, nasty exploitation about homicidal hillbillies.

Mister Deathman (1977) - Dull blaxploitation Bond knockoff with one David Broadnax terrible in the lead. A vanity project for the lisping, Tyson-voiced Broadnax, it also stars Stella Stevens and was shot in South Africa. Yeah.

Lady Streetfighter (1981) - The astounding Renee Harmon, middle-aged German-American lady Sonny Chiba stars in this strangeness - a kind of amateur action movie version of Sextette.

Five Element Ninjas (1982) - Swish and energetic, but I am not interesting in wuxia. They're the westerns of the east.

Jewel of the Gods (1989) - Ghastly but ambitious Indiana Jones-themed spinoff from the Gods Must Be Crazy, with stars Marius Weyers and Sandra Prinsloo.

Films that were logged late.

Detective Kitty O'Day (1944 - b/w)/The Adventures of Kitty  O'Day (1945 - b/w) - Forgettable Monogram girl reporter comedies.

Right Cross (1950 - b/w) - Rote boxer yarn with Ricardo Montalban.

A Life of Her  Own (1950 - b/w) - Lana Turner/Ray Milland melodrama.

Jim Thorpe -All American (1951 - b/w) - Burt Lancaster plays a Native American athlete. He looks like he got a slight tan in Torremolinos.

It's A Big Country - An American Anthology (1951 - b/w) - Forgettable morale booster. The Gary Cooper installment is basically a cigarette commercial.

Night into Morning (1951 - b/w) - MGM melodrama with Ray Milland and Nancy Reagan.

Washington Story (1951 - b/w) - Dreary political drama with Patricia Neal and Van Johnson.

The Girl in White (1952 - b/w) - Inaccurately titled medical drama with June Allyson and Arthur Kennedy.

My Man and I (1952 - B/W) - Southern melodrama with Shelley Winters and Ricardo Montalban.

Invitation (1952 - b/w) - Dorothy McGuire and Van Johnson in rote MGM women's picture.

Big Leaguer (1953 - b/w) - Bland baseballer with Edward G. Robinson.

The Girl who had Everything (1953 - b/w) - Televisual melodrama with Elizabeth Taylor, William Powell and Fernando Lewis.

Trial (1955 - b/w) - Interesting but drudging courtroom drama with Glenn Ford, but interesting to see Juano Hernandez as a judge.

I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955 - b/w) - Serviceable but uninteresting to me musical biopic of Lillian Roth (who was in Alfred Sole's Communion) with Susan Hayward and Eddie Albert.
See also Torch Song (1953) where Joan Crawford is so unlikeable that once she dons blackface and dresses as a mammy, you think, "She deserves that."

These Wilder Years (1956 - b/w) - Barbara Stanwyck melodrama with James Cagney and Walter Pidgeon.

Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956 - b/w) - Epic boxing biopic with Paul Newman as Rocky Graziano.

Man on Fire (1957 - b/w) - Sentimental Bing Crosby tosh.

The Seventh Sin (1957 - b/w) - Dull Hong Kong-set drama with Eleanor Parker and Bill Travers.

The Young Stranger (1957 - b/w) - James MacArthur is an annoying young delinquent. See also On The Loose (1951 - b/w), also from RKO, a kind of distaff equivalent.

Edge of the City (1957 - b/w) - John Cassavetes acts in something that feels not unlike his own work, with Sidney Poitier.

Handle with Care (1958 - b/w) - Bland vehicle for Dean Jones.

I Accuse! (1958 - b/w) - Dull José Ferrer period drama.

Edge of Fury (1958 - b/w) - Cheapo beach noir from United Artists.

Girls' Town (1959 - b/w) - Mamie van Doren cheapie.

What A Whopper (1961 - b/w) - Silly Adam Faith comedy in Loch Ness.

The Tempest (1980) - The Amazing Orlando has a strange, immensely watchable presence, Heathcote Williams is like Charlie Chuck playing Tom Baker, Toyah is Toyah, Karl Johnson is weird, but not alien enough as Ariel, and Elisabeth Welch steals it, singing Stormy Weather.

Smooth Talk (1985) - Lolita variant with Laura Dern.

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