Decade Redux

(March 10, 2019)

After watching movies kinda aimlessly for a while, I wanted to focus on a specific era, so I chose the 40s: One movie from every month of that decade. I chose the 40s more by process of elimination than anything else: All the other possible decades had bits that seemed less exciting here and there. … Continue reading Decade Redux

December 1949: Twelve O’Clock High

(March 9, 2019)

Awrite! The final movie in this blog series! December 1949! A decade of movies! It’s over! I think I started in… September? So it’s taken me about six months to watch 120 movies? That’s two thirds of a movie per day. OK, I’ll do a summing-up post later… So what’s this movie about? A high … Continue reading December 1949: Twelve O’Clock High

November 1949: Port of New York

(March 9, 2019)

Huh. This… looks like a B movie sourced from Youtube from VHS, but how did I buy this? It must be on a box set of some kind, but … which one? I sure can’t find it. And it’s weird. It’s got a voiceover like an educational short. I’m guessing this is a public domain … Continue reading November 1949: Port of New York

October 1949: Love Happy

(March 9, 2019)

What! A Marx Brothers movie!? I thought I’d seen them all? How did I miss this one? It must have been part of that Marx Bros box set I bought some years back? But… huh. This is not one of the classic Marx movies. There’s not a lot of Groucho in here (and his scenes … Continue reading October 1949: Love Happy

September 1949: The Fighting Kentuckian

(March 9, 2019)

Hey, John Wayne. Oh, and er Laurel? I mean Hardy. Or do I? This is a romantic western comedy, I guess. Wayne is a polarising actor, but I really like having him on the screen. He’s fun to watch. This is very, very slight fare. It’s charming and easy on the headbone. But perhaps it … Continue reading September 1949: The Fighting Kentuckian

August 1949: I Was A Male War Bride

(March 8, 2019)

Howard Hawks! Cary Grant! Ann Sheridan! And this is the first post-war war movie I’ve seen in this blog series, I think? Oh… it’s not really a war movie. It’s a post-war movie, set in present-day (i.e., 1949) Germany. This is a screwball comedy of sorts: Lots of pratfalls for Grant to excel at. But … Continue reading August 1949: I Was A Male War Bride

July 1949: Too Late For Tears

(March 2, 2019)

Based on the title I thought this was gonna be a Douglas Sirk weepie. But instead it’s a very noir film noir! This movie started off simply fabulous. Ly. Great random set-up and perfect noir performances. But things get more involved and the actors start chewing the scenery and instead of ever-increasing tension, we just … Continue reading July 1949: Too Late For Tears

June 1949: Kind Hearts and Coronets

(March 2, 2019)

Huh. Is this the first Ealing comedy I’ve watched in this blog series? I believe it is… Oh! They didn’t start until 1947, so that explains it. This is only their fifth movie, apparently. This isn’t quite what I expected: It’s slow and witty, but it’s about a serial killer murdering his way into a … Continue reading June 1949: Kind Hearts and Coronets

May 1949: Africa Screams

(March 2, 2019)

Hey! Abbot and Costello. I haven’t seen too many of thse… This is uncomplicated fun: A mix of physical humour, weak bon mots and general silliness. I’m smiling a lot while watching this, but I’m not actually laughing. But I can totally see an eleven-year-old me finding this to be the height of hilarity. The … Continue reading May 1949: Africa Screams

April 1949: The Secret Garden

(March 1, 2019)

Dean Stockwell!? But he can’t possibly… Oh, he plays the ten year old boy. And I was thinking of Harry Dean Stanton. ANYWAY. This is a fascinating movie. It’s not that often you see a movie that doesn’t fit neatly into a genre category or where you have no idea where the plot is going. … Continue reading April 1949: The Secret Garden

March 1949: Little Women

(March 1, 2019)

Oh, this isn’t what I thought it was going to be at all? I thought it was with… Bette Davis? And an adult drama? Little Something Else? The? Anyway, this is a big-budget Hollywood movie, and it really shows. When this kind of thing works, it really works. And this really works. There’s so many … Continue reading March 1949: Little Women

February 1949: Caught

(February 23, 2019)

Quite a few of these late-40s DVDs have been from Olive Films, a company I was previously unaware existed. Is this a new iteration of one of the older quality-minded DVD companies? Like… uhm… Eureka? Artificial Eye? Curzon? Tartan? I know that some of those have gone under and been resurrected under other names… All … Continue reading February 1949: Caught

January 1949: A Letter To Three Wives

(February 23, 2019)

*gasp* Nineteen fortynine! I just have 12 more movies to go for this blog project! This is pretty good. We get presented with three women’s lives, possibly at a pivotal point for any of them, and it’s pretty interesting. But mainly I’m wondering whether Ingmar Bergman saw this movie and then thought, hmm, I can … Continue reading January 1949: A Letter To Three Wives

December 1948: Force of Evil

(February 23, 2019)

Hm… that’s a very familiar name? Oh, yeah, that’s what I thought: Orson Welles did a movie with a similar name. This is definitely not that one. It’s John Garfield playing a mobster(ish) lawyer. It’s about the intricacies of running a numbers game. Basically everybody in this movie are crooks. I don’t know. I didn’t … Continue reading December 1948: Force of Evil

October 1948: June Bride

(February 22, 2019)

Oops! I was supposed to watch this before the previous movie, but I got confused because the first copy of this DVD arrived broken and I had to get another one in and then etc. But here it is! June Bride! Bette Davis! And… people… I didn’t think Davis did that many comedies, but this … Continue reading October 1948: June Bride

November 1948: Unfaithfully Yours

(February 22, 2019)

He’s on the down low here. It feels like forever since I saw the previous movie. But it’s been only… two weeks? Last weekend was Copenhagen. Oh wow! This is written, directed and produced by Preston Sturges, the director I wasn’t aware of before doing this blog series, but who’s become a new favourite after … Continue reading November 1948: Unfaithfully Yours

September 1948: Sorry, Wrong Number

(February 9, 2019)

Oh, wow! I know this storyline! I’ve been listening to old Norwegian radio dramas while walking the last year, and there was a 50s serial about an invalid woman overhearing a murder plot on a crossed line on the telephone, and then trying to do something about it – all over the phone. So the … Continue reading September 1948: Sorry, Wrong Number

August 1948: The Scar

(February 9, 2019)

Huh! The previous movie was also an Eagle-Lion thing. How odd I’ve bought two of these in sequence. At least this had been restored properly; the Amazing Mr. X looked horrible. This is noir, though, and is told from the viewpoint of a bunch of small-time (wannabe) gangsters. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie … Continue reading August 1948: The Scar

July 1948: The Amazing Mr. X

(February 9, 2019)

Wow, this is a bad DVD transfer. Looks like it’s been sourced from VHS via an NTSC broadcast. But never mind. This is fun! It’s a horror movie, sort of. Or perhaps thriller? It’s kinda thrilling, anyway. Being able to see what was going on would perhaps have been even better, but it works anyway. … Continue reading July 1948: The Amazing Mr. X

June 1948: Easter Parade

(February 8, 2019)

I can see! In colour! Based on the name I thought this was going to be a cheap B movie, but instead it’s an Irving Berlin extravaganza! With Fred Astaire and Judy Garland! But like I guessed by the “parade” name, this is basically a bunch of songs and dances and skits with some nonsensical … Continue reading June 1948: Easter Parade

May 1948: Hamlet

(February 8, 2019)

Directed by Laurence Olivier, this is pretty spiffy. Lots of weird little touches. It’s not filmed theatre at all – it’s all movie. I didn’t recognise Olivier at all. Perhaps I’ve just seen him in much later movies? Or is it just the blond(e)ness? He’s fabulous here, anyway. We’ve all seen Hamlet way too many … Continue reading May 1948: Hamlet

April 1948: Letter from an Unknown Woman

(February 7, 2019)

Oh, directed by Max Ophüls. I haven’t seen a lot of movies by him… I remember seeing The Earrings of Madame De… the other year. I think? Yes. I was apparently befuddled then. This looks great. The cinematography is relentlessly intriguing. Joan Fontaine is marvellous. Her acting style is so different from what you usually … Continue reading April 1948: Letter from an Unknown Woman

March 1948: Fort Apache

(February 2, 2019)

Johns Ford and Wayne! Is this the first John Wayne movie I’ve seen in this blog series? Hm… Oh, Shirley Temple and Henry Fonda, too… This is sweet. I thought this was going to be one of those serious and relevant westerns (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but instead it’s pretty funny. Not … Continue reading March 1948: Fort Apache

February 1948: Sleep, My Love

(February 2, 2019)

Noir! Sirk! Colbert! *gets popcorn* This is brilliantly paranoid; a vortex of (possible) gaslighting, (possible) insanity and (possible) conspiracies. They give away the game a bit too early, I think, and from then on it all seems a bit too predictable. But it’s fun and it’s funny and gripping and it’s quite Douglas Sirk. Sirk … Continue reading February 1948: Sleep, My Love

January 1948: The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

(February 1, 2019)

Bogie! And… other people… I thought this was going to be a western, but it’s contemporary and is something much more singular. It’s the kind of movie you (I mean, me) have no idea what direction it’s going to go in. It’s by John Huston, so of course it’s good, and as usual with a … Continue reading January 1948: The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

December 1947: The Lady From Shanghai

(February 1, 2019)

*gasp* Orson Welles! And Orson is dubbed into a comedy Irish dialect!? WTF?! His lips don’t match up to the audio all the time, at least, so I’m assuming it’s not Welles himself doing the awful impression… This is such a weird movie! I love it! It makes no sense! I assume that Welles’ diet … Continue reading December 1947: The Lady From Shanghai

November 1947: Out of the Past

(January 30, 2019)

This is a film noir, but it starts off as like a 50s Tennessee Williams movie. But then you get all of the genre trappings: Flash-backs, gangsters, dames, beaches, repartee. I’ve never realised how similar Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas are. They’re basically the same person. Mitchum is a bit more muscular, but otherwise they’re … Continue reading November 1947: Out of the Past

October 1947: Green Dolphin Street

(January 30, 2019)

This has few votes on imdb so I assumed that it was a B movie. But this is an MGM high budget costume drama… with Lana Turner and Donna Reed. And what costumes! It was nominated for a handful of technical Oscars as well as Best Cinematography and was apparently quite popular upon release. That … Continue reading October 1947: Green Dolphin Street

September 1947: Dark Passage

(January 27, 2019)

Wow! Bacall! Bogie! Agnes Moorehead! I haven’t seen this before? I don’t think so? Why!? It’s the most noir thing ever! It’s an absolutely thrilling and riveting movie. The first-person camera in the first section of the film is amazeballs. The constant coincidences in the plot makes such paranoid sense. It’s fantastic! I’m not familiar … Continue reading September 1947: Dark Passage

August 1947: Life With Father

(January 26, 2019)

Technicolor! Irene Dunne! William Powell! Elizabeth Taylor! This is not a noir! Unfortunately, the DVD version seems to be sourced from a torrent copy of the movie at a bitrate of “there’s a bitrate?”, and the torrent was sourced from an NTSC broadcast, so it’s very pretty on my screen. It looks like it originally … Continue reading August 1947: Life With Father

July 1947: Brute Force

(January 26, 2019)

Now this is noir! Burt Lancaster is in jail (where it rains all the time) planning an escape! I’m reading Miracle of the Rose by Jean Genet these days, which is told from an er slightly different perspective than this movie. But there are certain parallels: Both are told from the perspective of the prisoners, … Continue reading July 1947: Brute Force

June 1947: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

(January 25, 2019)

This is pure entertainment, and I love that. Gene Tierney is perfect as the plucky widow, and Rex Harrison camps it up as the ghost of a ship captain. It’s such a perfect fluffy thing. It meanders pleasantly without straining the brain. But then! In the third act! Drama! This kind of thing works much … Continue reading June 1947: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

May 1947: Possessed

(January 25, 2019)

Oh My Emacs! Another Joan Crawford movie? Is this like the 30th in this blog series? Who bought these movies anyway? This is super noir. They even found rainy days to shoot in Los Angeles. As usual, you can’t fault Crawford’s er expressive performance. The other actors also plays it large, and it’s pretty great. … Continue reading May 1947: Possessed

April 1947: Monsieur Verdoux

(January 25, 2019)

Oh, this is Chaplin’s “serious” movie? Didn’t that flop spectacularly? Chaplin was subjected to unusually hostile treatment by the press while promoting the opening of the film, and some boycotts took place during its short run. In New Jersey, the film was picketed by members of the Catholic War Veterans, who carried placards calling for … Continue reading April 1947: Monsieur Verdoux

March 1947: Green For Danger

(January 19, 2019)

I’ve never seen a DVD from this er company: It seems to be called Mr. Fat W Video, and the titles look like they’ve been made in Video Toaster in the 90s. And the DVD looks to have been upsampled from a low-resolution, low-bandwidth source: There’s both jaggy lines and banding. But it doesn’t look … Continue reading March 1947: Green For Danger

February 1947: The Fabulous Dorseys

(January 19, 2019)

This is yet another (probably public domain) B movie from that DVD box set I’m apparently mentioning every third movie in this blog series. This is the rags-to-riches story about the Dorsey brothers (who were jazz musicians back in the day). The acting shifts between horrible and ridiculous, but the script is pretty amusing. And … Continue reading February 1947: The Fabulous Dorseys

January 1947: Calendar Girl

(January 18, 2019)

It’s been a while, but here’s another B movie from that box set where all the other B movies came from. Unfortunately the sound quality here is so bad that I can make out only every third word. It’s kinda charming. It doesn’t really amount to a whole lot, but it’s inoffensive. Nothing much to … Continue reading January 1947: Calendar Girl

December 1946: Humoresque

(January 18, 2019)

Joan Crawford! John Garfield! And directed by Jean Negulesco! Er… Ok, that’s a completely utterly unfamiliar name to me. That’s a really unenthusiastic Wikipedia page. He was nominated for a bunch of awards but didn’t win much. But they let him make a bunch of movies, so I guess they were commercially successful? This is… … Continue reading December 1946: Humoresque

November 1945: Brief Encounter

(January 18, 2019)

This seems awfully familiar… Oh, I watched this in 2014! Oh, well. Let’s watch it again; I seem to remember it being rather good. This 2K version has been beautifully restored – the last time I saw this was on .7K. So many more pixels! This is adapted from the Noel Coward play, and I … Continue reading November 1945: Brief Encounter

October 1946: My Darling Clementine

(January 12, 2019)

As westerns go, it doesn’t get more western than a movie directed by John Ford starring Henry Fonda (!) as Wyatt Earp (!!) in Tombstone (!!!). Shirley, I must have seen this movie before, but I really can’t remember anything about it… This Criterion restoration of the film is almost … too much? The blacks … Continue reading October 1946: My Darling Clementine

September 1946: La belle et la bête

(January 12, 2019)

Huh! It’s an opera? Sounds very modern? I didn’t know that Jean Cocteau did operas? How odd. Oh! Philip Glass composed an opera perfectly synchronized to the film. The original soundtrack was eliminated, and he composed the opera to be performed along with the film projected behind the orchestra and voice talent. The compact disc … Continue reading September 1946: La belle et la bête

August 1946: Black Angel

(January 11, 2019)

What’s this then? I wasn’t prepared for the segue into film noir was going to be this abrupt. Of the films after the war ended, virtually all the movies have been noir. This is another one, and it’s weird. I did see the twist coming a mile away, but there’s just so much strange little … Continue reading August 1946: Black Angel

July 1946: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

(January 11, 2019)

I love the title! And… wow! This is absolutely brilliant! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s condensed, over-the-top melodrama; every scene, every camera angle pitch perfect. Lizabeth Scott is wonderful here. I’m not familiar with her work, but she’s like every 40s dame distilled. And Kirk Douglas is perfect as the milk-toast weaselly D. … Continue reading July 1946: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

June 1946: Anna and the King of Siam

(January 5, 2019)

Barbaric! I don’t know… Irene Dunne is fun, of course. Rex Harrison as the king of Siam is… as you’d expect? But there’s something kinda loathsome about this film. It gets generally positive reviews, but it’s… horrifying and dreary. I really struggled to get through the last five hours of this horrid thing. Anna and … Continue reading June 1946: Anna and the King of Siam

May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice

(January 5, 2019)

Wow! This just looks so… restored! It’s the crispest 40s movie I’ve seen. This 2K bluray isn’t even a Criterion release. Oh, this is the one that was remade with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson, but I don’t think I’ve seen this version. I can’t get over just how weird and abrupt this movie is. … Continue reading May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice

April 1946: The Blue Dahlia

(January 5, 2019)

Oh, written by Raymond Chandler and with Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd. We’re out of B movie territory, finally. Not that there’s anything wrong with B movies. … Wow! This is some kinda noir masterpiece! There’s just so much in here! Ladd’s semi-mute stoicicity (that’s a word). Lake’s dead-pan witty repartee. William Bendix simmering like … Continue reading April 1946: The Blue Dahlia

March 1946: Strange Impersonation

(January 4, 2019)

Well, this is a strange little movie. Barely an hour long and filmed on cheap (but nice (with the least convincing lab set ever in the history of ever)) sound stages, but it seems to have some ambition. It’s a B movie film noir/mystery thing, and is kinda unusual in that all the characters that … Continue reading March 1946: Strange Impersonation

February 1946: Breakfast in Hollywood

(January 4, 2019)

Perhaps I should have limited the number of movies from the 50 movie box set of (presumably public-domain) small-studio musical comedies for this blog series, but some of them have been unexpected gems. The vast majority are just vaudeville skits with some dialogue to fill in the gaps. Just like the previous movie, this is … Continue reading February 1946: Breakfast in Hollywood

January 1946: People are Funny

(January 4, 2019)

Of all the B-movies I’ve seen during this blog series, this is the one of them. As usual, it’s a series of vaudeville bits with some plots in between. The plot here is slightly more substantial (if that’s the word) than usual. I think. It was awfully confusing, but perhaps that’s because I’ve got a … Continue reading January 1946: People are Funny

December 1945: Doll Face

(December 30, 2018)

I knew they had short ties back in the 40s, but… This is a B movie from that box set where all the other B movies I’ve been watching. And as usual, it’s set in a vaudeville theatre, so that the movie makers can just film a bunch of stage actors and then pretend that … Continue reading December 1945: Doll Face

November 1945: The Lost Weekend

(December 30, 2018)

Oh, Billy Wilder. I wasn’t quite aware that he had done a film noir, I think? I’ve seen all his 50s/60s comedies… This movie won all the Oscars, and confirms most of my prejudices against those movies. It’s about a tedious alcoholic doing tedious alcoholic things, but very dramatically. So much drama. It’s not that … Continue reading November 1945: The Lost Weekend

October 1945: And Then There Were None

(December 30, 2018)

Oh, this is the Agatha Christie thing! I’ve seen a bunch of versions and read the book etc, but I don’t think I’ve seen this version before. And I’ve forgotten who the murderer is. How delightful. At first I thought that they had embellished the novel greatly (as they usually did back in the days; … Continue reading October 1945: And Then There Were None

September 1945: Mildred Pierce

(December 30, 2018)

Surely I’ve seen this Joan Crawfordaganza before, but it really doesn’t seem very familiar… This is the Criterion-restored DVD version. It’s good, but it doesn’t look as brilliant as their best restorations do. The blacks never go down to full blackness, so everything is a bit washed out… but perhaps that’s what the director was … Continue reading September 1945: Mildred Pierce

August 1945: Love Letters

(December 29, 2018)

!!! Dum ti dum ti dum… WHAAAA AYN RAND! So it this going to be a super-corny schmaltzy ode to objectivism? It’s a budget movie? It looks like it’s been filmed on the cheapest, most cramped sound stages. I assume that it ended up in my queue due to block-voting on imdb (I selected movies … Continue reading August 1945: Love Letters

July 1945: Christmas in Connecticut

(December 29, 2018)

Hey! Why did this premiere in July? I assumed they did Xmas movies at Xmas? Is imdb wrong about the release date? Oh, this is delightful. It’s got a classic screwball set-up, charming actors and witty repartee. The “You have a baby? I want to give him a bath!” bit is even more unintentionally hilarious … Continue reading July 1945: Christmas in Connecticut

June 1945: Murder, He Says

(December 29, 2018)

It feels like weeks since I saw the previous movie… perhaps because it was? Gotta catch up now then. Wow, this is an odd movie. It’s a screwball comedy, but it’s set in a such a nightmarish milieu that it’s sometimes difficult to know whether to be horrified or amused: It’s about a hapless insurance … Continue reading June 1945: Murder, He Says

May 1945: The Valley of Decision

(December 16, 2018)

Gregory Peck and Lionel Barrymore… And Greer Garson… Oh, I’ve seen her in Mrs. Miniver, which was very good indeed… Uh-oh! It’s a movie about Irish in the US. ME AM SUSPICIOUS There’s something particularly dreadfully tedious about Irish cultural extruded product. The combination of religiosity, pomposity, sentimentality and forced cheer is positively venomous. If … Continue reading May 1945: The Valley of Decision

April 1945: Blithe Spirit

(December 15, 2018)

*gasp* I can see colours! Technicolours! Well, this is a high-ticket item. Directed by David Lean from a script by Noel Coward (and also produced by him). Margaret Rutherford is wonderful as the most unlikely medium ever. It’s a very, very English screwball comedy: A deceased woman comes back as a ghost to visit her … Continue reading April 1945: Blithe Spirit

March 1945: Delightfully Dangerous

(December 15, 2018)

This is another cheap and cheerful B movie from that 50 movie box set. Perhaps a majority of the movies on the box set are stage shows wrapped in a nonsensical excuse for a framing device. I don’t mind; it’s fun to watch those stage shows. This is also an excuse to show a variety … Continue reading March 1945: Delightfully Dangerous

February 1945: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

(December 15, 2018)

This is like… neo-realism… before neo-realism. So is it realism? Oh, this is Elia Kazan’s first movie. He’d go on to define the 50s with A Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront and East of Eden. This movie looks wonderful. It’s so sharp: The light and the shadows. New and fresh and a new thing. … Continue reading February 1945: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

January 1945: Objective Burma

(December 15, 2018)

On a War Movie scale of 1 to 10 this is 25: It’s all soldier, all the time. The director has the best profile picture ever on IMDB: And the movie is just about what you’d expect from seeing that picture: It’s brash, manly and filled with robust humour. And as you’d expect, it’s not … Continue reading January 1945: Objective Burma

December 1944: Together Again

(December 15, 2018)

Oh, this is from the Icons of Screwball Comedy DVD “box”, which I can’t seem to find at the moment… I’m substituting the other box for the dice throw picture. CONTINUITY ERROR This is a supremely amiable movie. The actors are charming; the storyline is cute; the lines are witty. It’s entertaining and amusing, but … Continue reading December 1944: Together Again

November 1944: The Children Are Watching Us

(December 8, 2018)

Oo. Those are purdy fonts. Huh? An Italian movie from 1944? Oh, it’s from the director of Bicycle Thieves, which is a wonderful movie. And this is pretty great, too. According to this, it was filmed in 1942, before Italy started losing. There’s no mention of the war in this film, although we do see … Continue reading November 1944: The Children Are Watching Us

October 1944: To Have and Have Not

(December 8, 2018)

After a couple of cheapies, this is a proper, expensive A movie. I mean, Bogart? Bacall? Howard Hawks? Hemingway? Doesn’t get more A than that. The movie has been beautifully restored for this bluray release. I must have seen this movie a few times before (who hasn’t?) because some of the scenes seem awfully familiar. … Continue reading October 1944: To Have and Have Not

September 1944: Swing Hostess

(December 8, 2018)

Oh, another cheapie B-movie from PRC from that box set. The previous movie, Minstrel Man, wasn’t er good, but you never know… This one seems more promising… for one, there’s no blackface. And the lead’s a better actor. It’s a real movie, sort of: It’s not just an excuse to string a bunch of songs … Continue reading September 1944: Swing Hostess

August 1944: Minstrel Man

(December 8, 2018)

This is another B movie from that DVD box set. The transfer is pretty good here – while some of these have been sourced from torrents, this looks like a straight from film to DVD transfer. Hm… it might have been done via high quality video tape… There’s some typical tape ghosting going on. It … Continue reading August 1944: Minstrel Man

July 1944: Summer Storm

(December 7, 2018)

Yay! Douglas Sirk! Mah favourite. I was a bit in the mood for a comedy after the last movie, but whatevs. I’m such a fan that I apparently bought two copies: Wow. This has Edward Everett Horton in a kinda-sorta serious role. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. I mean, it’s Anton Chekhov (it’s … Continue reading July 1944: Summer Storm

June 1944: Since You Went Away

(December 7, 2018)

Can any powder-box really be too gay? How odd. This DVD starts with a five minute overture (i.e., some swelling orchestral music playing while we’re shown some stills). I wonder whether this was part of the original movie theatre experience… I guess it could have been, because it’s long enough that it may have been … Continue reading June 1944: Since You Went Away

May 1944: The White Cliffs of Dover

(December 7, 2018)

Ah, finally! Back to the 40s! I only have the TV on on weekends, and the past few weekends have been busy with concerts and parties and other boring stuff. This is a proper grandiose, romantic war movie, with stoic British women pining (and nursing) away at home while brave British soldiers bravely fight against … Continue reading May 1944: The White Cliffs of Dover

April 1944: Trocadero

(November 24, 2018)

This movie was done for TV. I didn’t even know that they did movies for TV in 1944, but I’m apparently off by a couple of decades according to Wikipedia. Or is the “FOR TELEVISION” thing it says at the start about this particular edit of the movie? I have no idea, but this is … Continue reading April 1944: Trocadero

March 1944: The Curse of the Cat People

(November 24, 2018)

Another Val Lewton production! Hm… oh. His name seemed so familiar that I assumed that I had seen dozens of his films, but it’s really just The Ghost Ship. Is there another producer with a similar name? Hm… ah, he headed the RKO horror division, overseeing a string of cheap B-movies that looked better than … Continue reading March 1944: The Curse of the Cat People

February 1944: Passage to Marseille

(November 24, 2018)

Claude Rains! Bogart! This is no B movie. I found this to be a frustrating watch. It’s a sort of mid-war fantasy about war. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s so… stiff? Perhaps it’s because everything looks like it’s filmed on a sound stage? Even the outdoors bits? This is definitely not … Continue reading February 1944: Passage to Marseille

January 1944: Career Girl

(November 23, 2018)

That’s some design on those er leotards. Indeed. This is a cheap and short B movie, I guess? It’s got a classic set-up: A Broadway hopeful moves into a hotel for Broadway hopefuls. Lots of good movies have been written around that concept… and while this is very likeable, and it’s got some good lines … Continue reading January 1944: Career Girl

December 1943: Ghost Ship

(November 17, 2018)

“Why, a captain has more law than the King of Siam! A captain can marry you!” “Well, I’m already married.” This is an extremely odd film about a crew on a ship ships that’s possibly haunted. Excuse me while I do some googling. It was produced by Val Lewton for RKO Radio Pictures as part … Continue reading December 1943: Ghost Ship

November 1943: Old Acquaintance

(November 17, 2018)

It’s Bette Davis! Again! Geez, the person who bought these movies had a one track mind… Anyway! It’s a comedy! A romantic comedy! I didn’t think Davis did those, but this is the second one in this blog series… Oh, it’s not a comedy after all. That makes more sense. It’s about an insufferably grating … Continue reading November 1943: Old Acquaintance

October 1943: Guadalcanal Diary

(November 17, 2018)

This DVD has a very artifactey transfer – it’s probably mastered off of a torrent site. This is not the first movie in this blog series that’s been told from the point of view of the troops, but this one keeps the focus there throughout the movie. And while it’s a propaganda movie (the opening … Continue reading October 1943: Guadalcanal Diary

September 1943: Le Corbeau

(November 16, 2018)

What’s this then? A French movie? Made during the occupation? That had to be controversial. Ah. Some wikipedia editor says: The film caused serious problems for its director after World War II as it had been produced by Continental Films, a German production company established near the beginning of the Occupation of France, and because … Continue reading September 1943: Le Corbeau

August 1943: Hi Diddle Diddle

(November 3, 2018)

This is a B movie, I guess? Cheap and cheerful. It’s got a convoluted and silly plot that putters away in a very pleasing manner. Much intrigue and running around. It’s not exactly a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s really funny. It’s just an almost-perfect bundle of silliness, and everything works out like it’s supposed to. … Continue reading August 1943: Hi Diddle Diddle

July 1943: This is the Army

(November 3, 2018)

Oh Em Gee! Colour! It’s a movie in colour! Is colour even possible?! My eyes! An Irving Berlin eleganza extravaganza. It’s about a bunch of guys drafted into the army and then they put on a show. As one does. It’s great! It’s got lines like Angry sarge: “Did you sleep well?” Private: “Sure. This … Continue reading July 1943: This is the Army

June 1943: Hitler’s Madman

(November 3, 2018)

Douglas Sirk! I love his 50s melodramas, but I haven’t seen any of his earlier stuff, so I’m excited to watch this movie. Virtually all of the war movies I’ve seen so far in this series (that are set in foreign countries) are set in the Czechoslovakia. I guess it makes sense… it was an … Continue reading June 1943: Hitler’s Madman

May 1943: The Ox-Bow Incident

(November 2, 2018)

Oh! A western! With a name like that I thought this was going to be about an obscure Pacific naval battle or something. This is from a director, William A. Wellman, who’s done a shit-load of movies, but who’s unknown to me, for some reason or other. Aaaanyway. This is a kinda odd western. It’s … Continue reading May 1943: The Ox-Bow Incident

April 1943: Clancy Street Boys

(November 2, 2018)

I am Confused, Bemused and Bemildred. What is this?!?! It starts off with a street gang spanking their leader… and then the rival gang spanks him… and I guess my general confusion is due to the video quality is kinda like fourth generation VHS, and the audio is more rumble than voice. But what’s even … Continue reading April 1943: Clancy Street Boys

March 1943: Hangmen Also Die

(November 2, 2018)

Huh. A British war movie directed by Fritz Lang from a script co-written with Bertolt Brecht. I had no idea what to expect here, but they use their not-inconsiderable talents to go all-in on the anti-Nazi propaganda war effort. And it’s great! The Nazis are evil, eeevil; mincing and brutally sadistic at the same time. … Continue reading March 1943: Hangmen Also Die

February 1943: Air Force

(October 27, 2018)

It’s a war movie! I’ve seen some spy stuff during this blog series, but very few out-and-out war movies. And it’s by Howard Hawks, so it looks like the shots are gorgeous… Except that the transfer I have i ridiculous. There’s digital artefacts all over the place. Not just banding and exaggerated grains, but also … Continue reading February 1943: Air Force

January 1943: The Hard Way

(October 27, 2018)

Opening with an attempted suicide, that’s not what you expect when imdb says that this is a romantiv musical. The scenes of industrial grime in a factory town are stunning. imdb is on acid, of course. This is a movie about struggling out of property and the hard-nosed grift needed. Ida Lupino is brilliant as … Continue reading January 1943: The Hard Way

December 1942: A Night To Remember

(October 26, 2018)

Oh, this is just perfect. It’s a screwball comedy about a couple moving into a haunted tenement house… OR IS IT!??! Things move at a brisk pace, and if all the individual gags aren’t exactly genius, it all just kind of works. “Jeff! Don’t be a fool!” “Don’t be silly. I’ve always been a fool.” … Continue reading December 1942: A Night To Remember

November 1942: Once Upon a Honeymoon

(October 26, 2018)

Ginger Rogers! Cary Grant! In a romantic Nazi intrigue comedy! Director Leo McCarey was a veteran director with films like Duck Soup on his resumé, but hadn’t really been super-successful. (He did do An Affair To Remember later, though.) And… this movie tries so hard. It’s got so much going for it, like Rogers’ preposterous … Continue reading November 1942: Once Upon a Honeymoon

October 1942: Now, Voyager

(October 26, 2018)

Ooo! Bette Davis! I thought that perhaps I’d seen this before, but if so, it must be a long, long time ago, because scenes seem familiar in vague flashes. Perhaps I saw it as a child? But, man, Davis is amazing here. Didn’t get the Oscar, of course. Isn’t it weird how it’s more difficult … Continue reading October 1942: Now, Voyager

September 1942: The Major and the Minor

(October 13, 2018)

What could be more appropriate after watching a movie with Fred Astaire than a movie with Ginger Rogers? Had they stopped working together by this time? The computer says yes, almost. This is directed by Billy Wilder, who’d worked in movies a lot before this, but it’s only his second directorial feature (and the one … Continue reading September 1942: The Major and the Minor

August 1942: Holiday Inn

(October 13, 2018)

Yes! Fred Astaire! Bing Crosby! Irving Berlin! Bluray! I wonder whether I have the release date wrong here… or did they really release an Xmas movie in August? Watching movies by month I wanted to experience the change of the seasons, but… Anyway, it won the Oscar for best song: White Christmas, and no surprise. … Continue reading August 1942: Holiday Inn

July 1942: The Pride of the Yankees

(October 13, 2018)

Oh. This is about some sports guy? Who got a disease named after him? And it was nominated for all the Oscars? But only won for “Best Film Editing”? And it’s directed by schmaltzmeister Sam Wood, who we previously saw in Our Town and Kitty Foyle? I fear the absolute worst! And, yes, Wood lays … Continue reading July 1942: The Pride of the Yankees

June 1942: Mrs. Miniver

(October 12, 2018)

This movie won all the Oscars. So I approached this with some scepticism. But it’s irresistibly charming. The actors playing the Minivers are absolutely wonderful, but there are some variable performances otherwise. The plot’s not quite what I expected, either… Still, I don’t think this is quite as good as Wyler’s previous movie The Little … Continue reading June 1942: Mrs. Miniver

May 1942: Private Buckaroo

(October 12, 2018)

This is from that collection of cheap b movies and features the Andrews Sisters. This also has the fabulous Mary Wickes. She can liven up a movie just by being in the general vicinity of it, and when she’s on the screen, she’s just everything. And Shemp Howard is a perfect foil for her. This … Continue reading May 1942: Private Buckaroo

April 1942: This Gun For Hire

(October 12, 2018)

Yay! A real noir thriller! Alan Ladd’s great as the taciturn assassin. I don’t think I’ve seen many movies with Veronica Lake, and she’s definitely of the “I’m standing here waiting until the other person finishes their line so that I can say my line” school of acting, but she’s fun. She’s certainly a better … Continue reading April 1942: This Gun For Hire

March 1942: Reap the Wild Wind

(October 6, 2018)

When I saw the start of the title sequence, with the American eagle and everything, I thought that we’d finally arrived at a honest-to-goodness American war movie. But no: It’s a Cecil B. DeMille extravaganza set in 1840. It’s a romantic/comedic/epic kind of thing, and I had no idea that the plot would get this … Continue reading March 1942: Reap the Wild Wind

February 1942: To Be Or Not To Be

(October 6, 2018)

To Be Or Not To Be. Ernst Lubitsch. 1942. Oh yeah! This one! I’ve seen it several times before. And the Mel Brooks remake, of course. I’ve been attempting to avoid movies I’ve seen before in this blog series, but my research sucks! “Heil myself.” It’s a very funny film, of course, and as a … Continue reading February 1942: To Be Or Not To Be

January 1942: The Man Who Came To Dinner

(October 4, 2018)

The Man Who Came To Dinner. William Keighley. 1942. Oh this isn’t Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner… I did think that was a much later movie… and it is! Well, you can’t but enjoy Monty Woolley’s over-the-top performance, and Bette Davis is here, so it’s definitely got things going for it. It’s funny! It’s good, … Continue reading January 1942: The Man Who Came To Dinner

December 1941: Sullivan’s Travels

(September 29, 2018)

Sullivan’s Travels. Preston Sturges. 1941. After a string of low-budget movies today, here’s an A feature. By Preston Sturges! This is his third movie in this blog series! I didn’t plan this! It starts off with people fighting on the top of a speeding train! That’s the best way to start a film! It’s a … Continue reading December 1941: Sullivan’s Travels

November 1941: Secret of the Wastelands

(September 29, 2018)

Secret of the Wastelands. Derwin Abrahams. 1941. Oh! This is a Hopalong Cassidy movie! I don’t recall having seen any of these before, but Hopalong himself looks very familiar. According to imdb, William Boyd basically did no other roles after the mid-30s, so I guess I must have seen one of these before? Looks like … Continue reading November 1941: Secret of the Wastelands

October 1941: All-American Co-Ed

(September 29, 2018)

All-American Co-Ed. LeRoy Prinz. 1941. Another thing from the box set, and pretty kooky. It’s a great set-up where they manage to come up with a good explanation for why a guy from an all-male college disguises himself as a woman and goes to an all-female college. I know! The drag isn’t very er fishy, … Continue reading October 1941: All-American Co-Ed

September 1941: Let’s Go Collegiate

(September 29, 2018)

Let’s Go Collegiate. Jean Yarbrough. 1941. Another b-movie cheapie from the musicals box set. And what seems to be a trend here, the b-movies are more diverse than the main features: This on has not only black people, but an Asian guy! Which is a first in this blog series, I think. It’s amusing, I … Continue reading September 1941: Let’s Go Collegiate

August 1941: The Little Foxes

(September 29, 2018)

The Little Foxes. William Wyler. 1941. *gasp* Bette Davis! She’s magnificent here, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. This is a film set in the somewhat oldee south, but I wonder whether it’s a conscious political decision to have a black person in just about every scene (mostly as servants, of course). It makes a … Continue reading August 1941: The Little Foxes

July 1941: Sergeant York

(September 29, 2018)

Sergeant York. Howard Hawks. 1941. This is a big-budget huge sentimental Hollywood movie written by John Huston and directed by Howard Hawks and starring just about everybody. This was nominated for all the Oscars and won a couple, and neither is surprising. This is one of those national myth-building American films that pop now and … Continue reading July 1941: Sergeant York

June 1941: Man Hunt

(September 28, 2018)

Man Hunt. Fritz Lang. 1941. Is this the first American war film (sort of) in this blog series? Everybody’s speaking English, though (except for the Germans), so perhaps it was just financed by Americans, but it’s British? And it’s Fritz Lang! Golly! The cinematography is on another plane entirely from these other American films I’ve … Continue reading June 1941: Man Hunt

May 1941: Sunny

(September 28, 2018)

Sunny. Herbert Wilcox. 1941. This is more the video quality I expected from the 50-movie DVD box set. Completely unrestored. But the sound’s kinda good. This is based on a stage musical, so it’s chock-full with musical numbers and doesn’t have much of a plot. Which is fine by me. Yay! Edward Everett Horton! I … Continue reading May 1941: Sunny

April 1941: That Uncertain Feeling

(September 23, 2018)

That Uncertain Feeling. Ernst Lubitsch. 1941. There’s like… nothing here. The film spins its wheels from the start to the end, and nothing really happens. It’s plain weird. But it might just be my lack of concentration? I don’t know. I skipped back a few times because I just didn’t track what (if anything) was … Continue reading April 1941: That Uncertain Feeling

March 1941: Meet John Doe

(September 22, 2018)

Meet John Doe. Frank Capra. 1941. I’ve seen this before! Unfortunately, this is the Amazon Prime version of this movie, and the video sucks and the audio is very mp3-artifactey. (Everybody is talking from underneath the ocean. Whoosh whoosh.) NEVER AMAZON PRIME AGAIN (unless I really have to). This is, of course, a very good … Continue reading March 1941: Meet John Doe

February 1941: Road Show

(September 21, 2018)

Road Show. Hal Roach. 1941. I love it! It’s one of those screwball comedy things. It’s absolutely insane. This is another movie from the absurd box set, and the audio/video quality is a lot better than anybody has a reason to expect. It’s a low budget movie, so I guess it’s a “B movie” of … Continue reading February 1941: Road Show

January 1941: Come Live With Me

(September 21, 2018)

Come Live With Me. Clarence Brown. 1941. This is another pro-immigration movie, with a refugee from Austria who’s being deported, and the very odd hi-jinx that ensue. (Which include her married boyfriend frittering and his wife (and her boyfriend) and you know.) It’s obliquely making references to the Situation in Europe. It’s very risque, and … Continue reading January 1941: Come Live With Me

December 1940: Kitty Foyle

(September 21, 2018)

Kitty Foyle. Sam Wood. 1940. I guess you could call this a light-hearted romp… or loathsome misogynistic propaganda. But that’s only the intro, and then we’re into the main part of the movie, and things get less divisive, I guess, but… I don’t understand these people at all. “My favorite movie of all time” “Another … Continue reading December 1940: Kitty Foyle

November 1940: Little Nellie Kelly

(September 20, 2018)

Little Nellie Kelly. Norman Taurog. 1940. So Irish. So very Irish. But this is an odd duck. It takes us through the American immigration process in excruciating detail. Is it meant as a manual for Irish immigrants? It’s based on a Broadway show from 1922… so what was the reason for the movie version in … Continue reading November 1940: Little Nellie Kelly

October 1940: Christmas in July

(September 20, 2018)

Christmas in July. Preston Sturges. 1940. Oh my god. This is one of those spiralling-out-of-control comedies with plenty of room for embarrassment, which I have to watch from behind a pillow. But it’s really good. Such great lines and so likeable characters. Is this one of those films they show on TV every Xmas? Because … Continue reading October 1940: Christmas in July

September 1940: Up in the Air

(September 20, 2018)

Up in the Air. Howard Bretherton. 1940. This is the first film from the 25 DVD/50 movie musicals box I’ve seen. I was expecting horrid audio and video quality, but this isn’t so bad… the sound is a bit scratchy. It a very simple (presumably low-budget) film about musical film-makers favourite subject: Performers putting on … Continue reading September 1940: Up in the Air

August 1940: Night Train to Munich

(September 15, 2018)

Night Train to Munich. Carol Reed. 1940. I’m guessing that Carol Reed isn’t a woman? Yes? It just occurred to me that I did no filtering for gender when I bought these films, so I’m wondering whether this is going to be a 120 movie sausage fest… Anyway! I was very impressed by the montage … Continue reading August 1940: Night Train to Munich

July 1940: The Great McGinty

(September 15, 2018)

The Great McGinty. Preston Sturges. 1940. I like the plot structure, what with most of the movie being a flashback, and I like that the protagonist is, well, a crook. But such a personable crook. It’s all about grift and the mob running US politics and stuff, really, and we’re cheering them on. Being a … Continue reading July 1940: The Great McGinty

June 1940: The Mortal Storm

(September 15, 2018)

The Mortal Storm. Frank Borzage. 1940. This is the first war film in this blog series, and I assume that there’ll be a lot more, but perhaps not before December 1941? It’s the first one that touches on the war in Europe at all, except for a throw-away line in His Girl Friday. Anyway, this … Continue reading June 1940: The Mortal Storm

May 1940: Our Town

(September 15, 2018)

Our Town. Sam Wood. 1940. I hadn’t quite realised how many of films from the early 40s were based on theatre plays. I think so far it’s been… all of them? Almost all of them? This is another one. This was nominated for all the Oscar awards, including “best sound, recording”, and the sound is … Continue reading May 1940: Our Town

April 1940: The Doctor Takes A Wife

(September 14, 2018)

The Doctor Takes A Wife. Alexander Hall. 1940. You gotta admire the sheer preposterousness (that’s a word) of the premise here, but it just doesn’t fire on all cylinders. It’s also a very typical “battle of the sexes” thing of the period, which doesn’t help. But there’s a lot here to enjoy. The performances are … Continue reading April 1940: The Doctor Takes A Wife

March 1940: Too Many Husbands

(September 14, 2018)

Too Many Husbands. Wesley Ruggles. 1940. Hm… Did I see this before? I didn’t think so… Is it part of a box set I’ve bought some years ago? *time passes while I rummage through the bookcase* I dud have it! On “Icons of Screwball Comedy Volume One”. Well, this isn’t a very good track record … Continue reading March 1940: Too Many Husbands

February 1940: Pinocchio

(September 14, 2018)

Pinocchio. Norman Ferguson. 1940. I’ve never seen this one, but I’ve seen excerpts from it every Xmas (on a couple of channels), so I’ve heard the intro song more than a 80 times, and I’m feeling very Xmas-y now. You can say many things about Disney, but at least they took really good care of … Continue reading February 1940: Pinocchio

January 1940: His Girl Friday

(September 14, 2018)

His Girl Friday. Howard Hawks. 1940. And we’re off! I’ve seen this movie plenty of times before, and that’s not what I want to do in this blog series, really, but I had bought a new copy of this (as part of a screwball box set), so what the hey. And, as you all know, … Continue reading January 1940: His Girl Friday

Decade

(September 14, 2018)

When watching movies, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and always return to your favourite genre. (Which, for me, is science fiction. I’ll basically watch anything that’s science fiction, no matter how bad it is, and it gets really, really bad.) I’ve tried to mix it up by giving myself various stupid challenges, … Continue reading Decade