Monday 27 April 2020


War Nurse (1930 - b/w) - As generic and predictable as the title.

Doughboys (1930 - b/w) - Buster Keaton in a foxhole.

The Last Flight (1931 - b/w) - Another post-WW1 drama about dreary pilots, with Richard Barthelmess.

Chances (1931 - b/w) - Rote WW1 drama with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Alexander Hamilton (1931 - b/w) - Another George Arliss biopic.

West of Broadway (1931 - b/w) - As generic as the title. With John Gilbert.

Silver Dollar (1932 - b/w) - Edward G. Robinson plays a Kansan gold-searcher.

The Wet Parade (-1932 - b/w) - Walter Huston alcoholism drama.

Are You Listening? (1932 - b/w) - Rote musical behind the scenes drama.

Ever in My Heart (1933 - b/w) - Rote wartime melodrama with Barbara Stanwyck and Ralph Bellamy.

Dinner at Eight (1933 - b/w) - A typical upper crust stage drama.

The House on 56th Street (1933 - b/w) - Kay Francis melodrama.

Broadway to Hollywood (1933 - b/w) - Typical backstage musical with Frank Morgan.

I Loved A Woman (1933 - b/w) - Kay Francis melodrama with Edward G. Robinson stiff in period garb.

Today We Live (1933 - b/w) - Joan Crawford war-romance. More of the same melodrama.

Captured (1933 - b/w) - Rote war drama with Leslie Howard.

Hell Below (1933 - b/w) - The same old naval battle with Walter Huston.

Heroes for Sale (1933 - b/w) - Interchangeable wartime drama with Loretta Young.

Queen Christina (1933 - b/w) - The typical 30s historical epic, with Garbo.

British Agent (1934 - b/w) - Leslie Howard-Kay Francis Soviet-set melodrama.

Operator 13 (-1934 - b/w) - Marian Davies escapes the Civil War by blacking up as a maid, and falls in with Gary Cooper. Just as terrible as it sounds.

Rendezvous (1935 - b/w) - Another interchangeable war drama with Rosalind Russell and William Powell.

General Spanky (1936 - b/w) - The Little Rascals are child soldiers in the Civil War. Yeah.

The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936 - b/w)/The Life of Emile Zola (1937 - b/w) - Similar biopics despite the differences in the lives of the people profiled. Both with Paul Muni.

The Gorgeous Hussy (1936 - b/w) - Joan Crawford is herself, amongst an all-star cast.

Conquest (1937 - b/w) - Typical Garbo, with Napoleon Charles Boyer-parte.

The Good Earth (1937 - b/w) - So unconvincingly Chinese it doesn't even feel like Earth.

The Shopworn Angel (1938 - b/w) - Rote melodrama (I do overuse rote) with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.

The Toy Wife (1938 - b/w) - Colonial tweeness.

A Yank in Oxford (1938 - b/w) - Typical MGM British tosh, except actually shot in Britain, with Robert Taylor and Vivien Leigh. Jon Pertwee is an extra, apparently.
The US-shot spiritual sequel A Yank in Eton (1942 -b/w) with twenty-odd Mickey Rooney still playing a child is very hard to take seriously, though.

Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938 - b/w) - Colbert, Cooper, feels so samey.

Marie Antoinette (1938 - b/w) - Norma Shearer does Garbo, alongside Tyrone Power and an out of place Robert Morley.
See also Madame Du Barry (1934 - b/w), with Dolores del Rio.

Wife, Husband and Friend (1939 - b/w) - Dreary opera drama with Loretta Young.

Young Tom Edison (1940 - b/w) - Mickey Rooney age 20 struggles as naughty schoolboy Thomas Edison. See also the much more serious Edison The Man (1940 - b/w) with Spencer Tracy and ad placement for CBS, ABC and WJR.

The Shop Around the Corner (1940 - b/w) - One of the proto-typical romantic comedies.

Pastor Hall (1940 - b/w) - Rote anti-Nazi propaganda Britpic with Wilfrid Lawson.
See also Contraband (1940 - b/w) with Conrad Veidt and the Foreman Went to France (1941 - b/w). Foreman spawned two further, more comedic Tommy Trinder vehicles, The Bells Go Down (1942 - b/w) and Sailors Three (1943).

Comrade X (1940 - b/w) - Clark Gable is horrible to Communist Hedy Lamarr.
See also the astrology cobblers of The Heavenly Body (1944 - b/w) with William Powell and Hedy.

Susan and God (1940 - b/w) - Joan Crawford sadly is not a cop who teams up with God.

Design for Scandal (1941 - b/w) - Generic screwballer with Rosalind Russell and Walter Pidgeon. See also The Feminine Touch (1942 - b/w).

Kathleen (1941 - b/w) - Shirley Temple tries to be grown up, age 12. Yikes!

Been watching a lot of MGM comedies that kind of blend into one. Third Finger, Left Hand (1940 - b/w), Hullabaloo (1940 - b/w) with Frank Morgan, Married Bachelor (1941 - b/w), I Love You Again (1940 - b/w) and Love Crazy (1941 - b/w, with Powell and Loy), This Time for Keeps (1942 - b/w),  Sunday Punch (1942 - b/w), We Were Dancing (1942 - b/w), The Affairs of Martha (1942 - b/w) and Her Cardboard Lover (1942 - b/w) with Norma Shearer, Tish (1942 - b/w), Young Ideas (1943 - b/w), The Youngest Profession (1943 - b/w), Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1944 - b/w)/Lost in a Harem (1945 - b/w)/Rio Rita (1942 - b/w), Blonde Fever (1944 - b/w), The Sailor Takes A Wife (1945 - b/w), Twice Blessed (1946 - which predates the Parent Trap), She Went to the Races (1945 - b/w), My Brother Talks to Horses (1945 - b/w) and Little Mister Jim (1945 - b/w) with child actor Jackie Jenkins, Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945), Faithful in my Fashion (1946 - b/w), No Leave, No Love (1946 - b/w, with Van Johnson and British star Pat Kirkwood, the other alleged great love of Phil the Greek), the Show-Off (1946 - b/w),  and the dire musicals I Dood It (1943 - b/w) and Esther Williams in  Bathing Beauty (1948) with Red Skelton, The Bride Goes Wild (1948 - b/w).
And various Ann Sothern vehicles - Maisie (1939 - b/w), Congo Maisie (1940 - b/w), Ringside Maisie (1941 - b/w), Maisie was a Lady (1941 - b/w), Gold Rush Maisie (1942 - b/w), Maisie Gets Her Man (1942 - b/w), Maisie Goes to Reno (1944 - b/w), Up Goes Maisie (1946 - b/w), and Panama Hattie (1942 - b/w).

When Ladies Meet (1941 - b/w) - Garson vs Crawford.

Two Faced Woman (1941 - b/w) - Greta Garbo moans.

Come Live With Me (1941 - b/w) - Hedy Lamarr/James Stewart romance.

Devil and Miss Jones (1941 - b/w) - Rote though sparky shipbound romcom with Jean Arthur.

Pride of the Yankees (1942 - b/w) - Baseballs. See also The Stratton Story (1949 - b/w).

Tennessee Johnson (1942 - b/w) - Post-Civil War drama with Van Heflin a slightly Wellesesque presence.

The Vanishing Virginian (1942 - b/w) - Political drama with Frank Morgan.

Slightly Dangerous (1943 - b/w) - Feels very samey, this Lana Turner vehicle.

The Human Comedy (1943 - b/w) - Basically Andy Hardy in all but name, with Mickey Rooney and Frank Morgan.
Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938 - b/w) was a slog, despite Mickey and Judy Garland.

Madame Curie (1943  -b/w) - Rigsby's favourites Garson and Pidgeon are back.

H.M. Pulham, Esquire (1943 - b/w) - Routine drama with Robert Young.

Meet Me  in St. Louis (1944) - Treacly, always presumed it was a musical but there's only that one song.

3 Men in White (1944 - b/w) - Dr. Kildare without Kildare only Gillespie. See also Young Dr. Kildare (1938 - b/w).

Adventure (1945 - b/w) - Greer Garson is Greer Garson. Clark Gable is Walter Pidgeon.

Cynthia (1947 - b/w) - Forgettable teen comedy with Elizabeth Taylor.

Every Girl Should Be Married (1948 - b/w) - Cary Grant on autopilot.

Luxury Liner (1948) - Bland colour musical.

Strange Bedfellows (1965) - Generic romcom with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida, a sequel-kinda to Come September (1961). Set in London, and with Edward Judd, Terry-Thomas and Arthur Haynes, but shot mostly at Universal Studios. They try very hard to make the European streets look like London. They clearly had a budget, so ads for Adam Faith, the Swinging Blue Jeans and the Hollies are placed about, a massive Vauxhall griffin on the wall, and footage of cinemas showing Tom Jones and a Boots' help but it still looks fake, and there's a lot of Cockernee mugging. There's a car chase about the backlot, where every little nook is used. Features a tabloid called the Daily Gazette, plus the Daily Echo,  London Press, London Clarion.

Promise Her Anything (1966) - Silly Disney-esque comedy set in the US shot in England, with Warren Beatty and Leslie Caron handling an unruly infant.

Half A Sixpence (1967) - I am infuriated by Tommy Steele. And I despise Cockney singalongs (well, this kind of music hall nonsense - I quite like Chas and Dave and think Ain't No Pleasing You is one of the finest songs ever written).

Where's Jack (1969) - More Steele. This film is an average 60s Tom Jones knockoff, and like Sinful Davey (1968), it was shot in Ireland, and therefore my grandad tended the horses.

Urban Cowboy (1980) - Travolta does a film about country music fans and line dancing. Oh god! What's that sketch show he watches?

Ordinary People (1980) - Ordinary indeed.

Nijinsky (1980) - Forgettable ballet biopic. The only time Ronald Pickup is given bigger billing than Jeremy's Iron,  and  Frederick Jaeger and Vernon Dobtcheff are billed above Sian Phillips.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) - An erotic thriller with a budget, though nice to see copies of Doc Savage, the Avenger and Photoplay.

First Blood (1982) - The first quarter is great, then it gets samey. The thing about it, people forget is that it's almost an honorary Canadian tax shelter picture. It's set in Washington, but clearly shot in British Columbia. Even the TV station used is KVOS, a weird trans-national hybrid that served both Washington and B.C., and showed a mix of CBS programmes, being an affiliate of the Tiffany network, and BBC and ITV sitcoms. And the director is ex-CBC/BBC man Ted Kotcheff. Didn't realise the theme was written by former Matt Monro associate Hal Shaper. Man, we're all gonna miss Brian Dennehy.

No comments:

Post a Comment