MCMXXXIX XVI: Dark Victory

(January 17, 2021)

Dark Victory. Edmund Goulding. 1939. *gasp* Bette! They’re talking really fast, see? Is that Ronnie? It is! I thought this was gonna be a noir crime thing, but it’s a very dramatic drama instead? I’m digging it. Everybody’s talking like they’re in an early 30s crime thing, though. See? Boo. When they introduce the male … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XVI: Dark Victory

MCMXXXIX XV: Never Say Die

(January 16, 2021)

Never Say Die. Elliott Nugent. 1939. OK, so this is about a hypochondriac millionaire at a spa. I’m guessing there’ll be hi jinx! Monty Woolley! This is very funny! And quite risque. As screwball comedies go, it’s very, very screwy. Martha Raye is a comedic genius. Oh! Preston Sturges! I should have known! The script … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XV: Never Say Die

MCMXXXIX XIV: East Side of Heaven

(January 16, 2021)

East Side of Heaven. David Butler. 1939. This is most amiable. Joan Blondell, Bing Crosby, and a plot that doesn’t feel like it’s going to be too taxing for my poor branes. There haven’t been many musicals in this blog series? Last night was the Vernon and Irene thing, which was, I suppose, but like … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIV: East Side of Heaven

MCMXXXIX XIII: The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

(January 16, 2021)

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. H.C. Potter. 1939. Hey! I thought this was gonna be a Thin Man movie! But it’s not! This is better! I’m really enjoying this… the only thing I’m confused about is whether we’re supposed to thing that the Castles are wonderful dancers or not? I mean, Astaire and … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIII: The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

MCMXXXIX XII: You Can’t Get Away with Murder

(January 15, 2021)

You Can’t Get Away With Murder. Lewis Seiler. 1939. Bogie! This is an odd movie. It started in one place, and now we’re in a totally different place. I wonder where this is going. OK, now the two parts are connected… but… it’s kinda boring now? So this is all about a kid who’s on … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XII: You Can’t Get Away with Murder


(January 5, 2021)

Midnight. Mitchell Leisen. 1939. Claudette Colbert! I like her. This movie gets off to a really great start: Everything is explained in a couple of sentences and then we’re off. Colbert is a lot of fun to watch, too. I’m all in. This movie is a lot of fun. It’s got a great set-up: A … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XI: Midnight

MCMXXXIX X: The Little Princess

(January 5, 2021)

The Little Princess. Walter Lang, William A. Seiter. 1939. So this is the tenth week of 1939… so we’re into March? And this movie is in colour! Oh, they’re using the Boer War (turn of the century? the previous one?) as a proxy for the war that’s currently brewing in Europe? This movie is quite … Continue reading MCMXXXIX X: The Little Princess

MCMXXXIX IX: The Oklahoma Kid

(January 5, 2021)

Oklahoma Kid. Lloyd Bacon. 1939. But… but… that’s… that’s… It is! It’s Bogart! What’s he doing in this cheapie western? Was this before he became famous? Ah, right, he was doing all these things in the 30s until his big break in 1941, I guess. Because this is a Cagney vehicle. This isn’t a very … Continue reading MCMXXXIX IX: The Oklahoma Kid

MCMXXXIX VIII: Wife, Husband and Friend

(December 20, 2020)

Wife, Husband and Friend. Gregory Ratoff. 1939. What! There were no lanes in New York in 1939? Just total anarchy? I love it! This movie’s got a whole bunch of gags… but none of them really land? I mean, very few do. I almost feel bad at not enjoying this movie, because it’s puttering along … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VIII: Wife, Husband and Friend

MCMXXXIX VII: Nancy Drew… Reporter

(December 4, 2020)

Nancy Drew… Reporter. 1939. William Clemens. I mean… I didn’t expect much from this movie — it’s a shortish, goofy B movie thing. But it seems odd to me how little of the Nancy Drewiverse they’ve retained? I mean… I don’t remember much of Nancy Drew… but didn’t she have a gal pal? And stuff? … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VII: Nancy Drew… Reporter

MCMXXXIX VI: Made for Each Other

(December 4, 2020)

Made For Each Other. John Cromwell. 1939. Oh, I’ve seen this one before! And not too long ago, either. I wonder where… Emacs knows everything. I watched this in… October? Last year? Hey! I even blogged about it. This is a serious break-down in my movie methodology. Oh well! Now it’s in 2K. I’m liking … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VI: Made for Each Other

MCMXXXIX V: Honolulu

(November 30, 2020)

Honolulu. Edward Buzzell. 1939. So much drama! Heh. That was a good fake-out. This is most amusing. And horribly racist. And that’s the main problem with this movie: Robert Young really isn’t that believable as somebody who’d people would go nuts for. I mean, he’s great and all, but imagine if this were Cary Grant … Continue reading MCMXXXIX V: Honolulu

MCMXXXIX IV: Idiot’s Delight

(November 26, 2020)

Idiot’s Delight. Clarence Brown. 1939. Hey… this is fun. It’s about a soldier (Clark Gable) returning from the previous war, and he’s an actor on a downwards trajectory. It’s very fleet-footed. The movie has turned kinda strange. Clark is being pursued desperately by Norma Shearer… I mean, that’s not odd, but the way the movie … Continue reading MCMXXXIX IV: Idiot’s Delight

MCMXXXIX III: They Made Me a Criminal

(November 26, 2020)

They Made Me A Criminal. Busby Berkeley. 1939. So here in this blog post is where I was supposed to make some food, but the next dish in the Bistro Cooking book was a mussel dish, and… while I was waiting for the grocery delivery guys to deliver a kilo of live mussels for me … Continue reading MCMXXXIX III: They Made Me a Criminal

MCMXXXIX II: Son of Frankenstein

(November 15, 2020)

Son of Frankenstein. Rowland V. Lee. 1939. For today’s dish from the Bistro Cooking, we have another apple tart. I mean sex worker. This one looks less like an omelette than the previous one… it’s a cream and egg thing (and apples, of course). It is, again, as with many of the recipes in this … Continue reading MCMXXXIX II: Son of Frankenstein

MCMXXXIX I: King of the Underworld

(November 12, 2020)

King of the Underworld. Lewis Seiler. 1939. Welcome to the first week of the 1939 movie blog. But first: Some food. So tonight’s dish from Patricia Well’s Bistro Cooking (which I’m cooking my way through, semi-chronologically) is a chick pea salad. I’m not really all that enthusiastic about this one, because I’m seeing “onion” and … Continue reading MCMXXXIX I: King of the Underworld


(November 12, 2020)

I hate choosing movies to watch; it’s just … better … to watch the next scheduled one, so a schedule has to be created. A few years back, I watched one movie per year from 1918 to 2018 (i.e, a century), and then last year I did a decade (the 1940s); one movie per month. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX