Tuesday 5 May 2020

99 - mainly RKO

Inside the Lines (1930 - b/w) - Dreary WW1 RKO drama.
See also Christopher Strong (1933 - b/w) and The Soldier and the Lady (1937 - b/w).

The Lost Squadron (1932 - b/w) - More WW1 action.

Panama Flo (1932 - b/w) -Routine jungle adventure with Helen Twelvetrees.

Is My Face Red (1932 - b/w) - Routine crime flick, from RKO. See also Conspiracy (1930 - b/w), Midnight Mystery (1930 - b/w), Framed (1930 - b/w), The Fall Guy (1930 - b/w), Runaway Bride (1930 - b/w) Shooting Straight (1930 - b/w), Alias French Gertie (1930 - b/w), The Pay-Off (1930 -b/w), Lightning Strikes Twice (1934 - b/w), Traveling Husbands (1931 - b/w), The Public Defender (1931 - b/w), Tomorrow at Seven (1933 - b/w), Woman in the Dark (1934 - b/w), The Roadhouse Murder (1935 - b/w), We're Only Human (1935 - b/w), Wanted Jane Turner (1936  - b/w), Muss 'Em Up (1936 - b/w), Special Investigator (1936 - b/w), Two in the Dark (1936 - b/w) and Don't Turn 'Em Loose (1936 - b/w), Crime Ring (1938 - b/w), Crashing Hollywood (1938 - b/w), The Spellbinder (1939 - b/w), Two Thoroughbreds (1939 - b/w).
And various Hildegarde Withers mysteries - Murder on the Blackboard (1934 - b/w), Murder on a Honeymoon (1935 - b/w), The Plot Thickens (1936 - b/w), Murder on a Bridle Path (1936 - b/w), and the non-Withers vehicles with Helen Broderick and Edna May Oliver,  Ladies of the Jury (1932 - b/w) and We're On The Jury (1937 - b/w).

And the bland Saint ventures The Saint in New York (1938 - b/w) with Louis Hayward, the George Sanders ventures The Saint Strikes Back (1939), The Saint in London (1939 - b/w  - with a scene in a newsagent that sells Radio Fun and The Rover comics) and The Saint In Palm Springs (1941 - b/w), and the Hugh Williams ventures The Saint's Vacation (1941 - b/w) and The Saint Meets The Tiger (1943 - b/w), the latter of which was not RKO but Republic.

Roar of the Dragon (1932 - b/w) - Yellow peril nonsense.

Midshipman Jack (1933 - b/w) - Naval timewaster with Bruce Cabot.

Headline Shooter (1933 - b/w) - William Gargan B-tosh. See also Emergency Call (1953 - b/w).

Silver Streak (1934 - b/w) - Train peril not to be confused with the 1976 film.

You Can't Buy Luck (1934 - b/w) - Rote music hall mystery.

The People's Enemy (1935 - b/w) - Dreary RKO crime cheapie with Preston Foster and Melvyn Douglas.

The Three Musketeers (1935 - b/w) - Ropey RKO adaptation.

The Nitwits (1935 - b/w) - Wheeler and Woolsey stay true to the title.

The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936 - b/w) - Undistinguished screwball mystery with Jean Arthur and William Powell.

Winterset (1936 - b/w) - Handsomely mounted Burgess Meredith drama.

Snowed Under (1936 - b/w) - Warner filler.

A Woman Rebels (1936 - b/w) - Victorian melodrama with Kate Hepburn.

Riding on Air (1937 - b/w) - Rote Joe E. Brown comedy.

Sea Devils (1937 - b/w) - Maritime boredom with Ida Lupino and Victor McLaglen.

There Goes My Girl (1937- b/w) - Gene Raymond/Ann Sothern comedy. Bland.

Criminal Lawyer (1937 - b/w) - As generic as the title.

China Passage (1937 - b/w) - RKO exotica cheapie.

Tarnished Angel (1938 - b/w) - Forgettable RKO melodrama.

Romance for Three (1938 - b/w) - Alias Paradise for Three, rote vehicle for Robert Young.

The Flying Irishman (1939 - b/w) - About aviator Douglas Corrigan, starring aviator Douglas Corrigan.

Full Confession (1939 - b/w) - Victor McLaglen plays Pat O'Brien.

Way Down South (1939 - b/w) - Bobby Breen and his slaves sing.

Twelve Crowded Hours (1939 - b/w) - Richard Dix/Lucille Ball B-quickie. See also the more sitcommy Annabel Takes A Tour (1938 - b/w) and Go Chase Yourself (1938 - b/w).

They Made Her A Spy (1939 - b/w) - Routine B-pic with Sally Eilers.

Nurse Edith Cavell (1939 - b/w) - Typical 30s biopic with Anna Neagle. 

Sued for Libel (1939 - b/w) - Rote radio mystery.

Flight for Freedom (1941 - b/w) - Rosalind Russell in RKO-made biopic about Amelia Earhart. Heavily fictionalised to become propaganda.

The Strawberry Blonde (-1941 - b/w) - Musical comedy with Cagney, Hayworth and De Havilland.

The Gay Sisters (1942 - b/w) - Generic Barbara Stanwyck vehicle.

Syncopation (1942 - b/w) - RKO jazz mixtape.

Stallion Road (1947 - b/w) - Modern western with Ronald Reagan.

The Fugitive (1947 - b/w) - Gloomy tale of Mexico, with Henry Fonda.

I Remember Mama (1948 - b/w) - Typical family saga. I can't quite believe that the young girl in it is Barbara Bel Geddes.
See also genteel comedies Good Sam (1948 - b/w) Adventure in Baltimore (1949 - b/w), Bride for Sale (1949 - b/w), Holiday Affair (1949 - b/w), The Judge Steps Out (1949 - b/w).

The Story of Seabiscuit (1949) - Oirish-infused horse operetta with Barry Fitzgerald and an Oirish Shirley Temple.

The D.I. (1959) - Dreary militaria with Jack Webb.

Kisses for my President (1964 - b/w) - Sexist bullshit with Polly Bergen as President but focusing on the First Lady, Fred MacMurray.

Friends (1971) - Treacly, provocative Elton John-scored teen romance from Lewis Gilbert.

The Man (1972) - James Earl Jones plays the first black President. He is completely convincing, even as the father to Janet MacLachlan (in real life only two years younger, but convincing as college age). An underseen little gem, written by Rod Serling based on an Irving Wallace paperback.

A Separate Peace (1972) - A bunch of identical-looking white boys go to school. A film based on a book that is beloved in America but is unknown outside. I can see why. It's preachy American boys' school gubbins.

A Doll's House (1973) - Slow thespian-heavy adap.

The Duellists (1977) - Ponderous historical epic. I like the fact it has "You've Been Watching" credits and Maurice Colbourne gets billed thus, above Jenny Runacre and Alan Webb. Arthur Dignam and Matthew Guinness and Liz Smith and Pete Postelthwaite don't.

Joseph Andrews (1977) - Peggy Ashcroft, Peter Bull, Wendy Craig, Kenneth Cranham, Karen Dotrice, John Gielgud, Hugh Griffith, Alfie Lynch, Murray Melvin, Ronald Pickup, Norman Rossington, Jenny Runacre and Timothy West are all listed as "special guest stars", but Berkoff, Jonathan Cecil, Sandra Dorne, Vernon Dobtcheff, Brian Glover and Willoughby Goddard, Tim Pigott Smith, James Villiers, Patsy Rowlands, Janet Webb, Penelope Wilton and Henry Woolf aren't. It's very much Peter Firth as Tom Jones, BUT Richardson wants to be Ken Russell or some bull hence Ann-Margret. Who asked for a naked Michael Hordern?

Thieves (1977) - Bland New York comedy with Marlo Thomas and Charles Grodin.

Nest of Vipers (1978) - Teenage temptress nonsense with Ornella Muti.

Blood Feud (1978) - Loren/Mastroianni dirge, by Lina Wertmuller. Depressing. Sophia Loren looks like Alice Cooper.

North Dallas Forty (1979) - American football good old boys with Nick Nolte and Mac Davis, America's question that Ireland answered with TR Dallas (who covered Davis' songs for the Irish market).

Giallo Napoletano (1979) - Tati-esque comedy giallo. If you ever wanted to see Marcello Mastroianni in a pink dress and big red Crystal Tipps/Bette Midler wig and glasses like Lynda from Gimme Gimme Gimme, here it is. Directed by Sergio Corbucci in comedy mode.  Has Michel Piccoli muirdered live during a concert  on Rai, and a cafe that sells Mars Treets, which were basically a bag of Revels if they were just Peanut Revels.

Starting Over (1979) - Watching this, I can at last understand my mother's habit of confusing Kathleen Turner and Candice Bergen.

Frances (1982) - Affecting if overlong, soapy dramatisation of Frances Farmer. But the soundtrack is excellent, John Barry on all cylinders.

Stormy Monday (1988) - Dreary Geordie noir.

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