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Classic Missing in Action

592 posts in this topic

001. A film that could be played instead of A FACE IN THE CROWD:

 

*GOOD LUCK, MR. YATES* (1943)...Columbia Pictures...Claire Trevor, Jess Barker, Edgar Buchanan

 

goodluckyatestemplc.jpg

 

From Chris in Australia at the IMDB:

 

A mild teacher at a military school for young boys is keen to elevate himself to hero status by enlisting to fight in WW2. However he is refused entry due to a perforated ear drum, a condition about which he sees an eminent doctor, who assures him that with care, and a little time, is curable.

 

Due to his enlistment being just postponed, in his eyes, he tells what he believes to be a small lie, telling his former students he has been accepted and is in Army training. He thinks this will be of no consequence because he will soon be accepted.

 

Guess again, the results of even just one harmless lie lead to chaos in his temporary job at the shipbuilding yards, the military school, his boarding house, the FBI, the military and police.

 

Claire Trevor's presence is a joy to watch as the love interest, while the rest of the cast are competent.

 

Another hard to find movie that is worth the time to search for.

 

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035949/

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This post is aimed at the story line in "Good Luck Mr Yates".

 

That teacher seems very ignorant when it comes to war. Enlisting just to become a hero? So he told a little lie and lost bragging rights - yawn! Something similiar happened for real which I will get to at the end.

 

That script could had been made *more interesting* by having the teacher bride the doctor to let him past the physical to join the army.

 

After a taste of bitter hand to hand combat and the horrors of war, he went AWOL and got disgraced instead of coming back a hero.

 

Back to the original script - Lol, only got turned down because of an ear problem? How many guys wish they could trade places with him.

 

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, I heard a story of a guy who enlisted during peace time (thinking its safe) and hope to spend a few dull, hazard free years in the army and come home a type of fake hero but instaed got the tables turned when the Gulf War broke out. Instead of fighting, he hide in a church refusing to go. Yeah *some hero.*

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Considering this was made during WWII, I am sure the goal was not to show the horrors of war but to look at the way in which people can serve their country.

 

The story you mention about the guy serving during the Persian Gulf War is very interesting. It seems like a reverse on HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO!

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I heard of a guy who did the same sort of thing. Joined the Army to qualify later for the VA loans, and college tuition, wound up losing a leg in Desert Storm.

 

 

O the irony!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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002. Another film that could be played instead of A FACE IN THE CROWD:

 

*THE RED HOUSE* (1947)...United Artists...Edward G. Robinson, Lon McCallister, Judith Anderson

 

images-64.jpg

 

From bkoganbing in Buffalo at the IMDB:

 

The house is located by a mill and it contains a terrible secret from the past of Edward G. Robinson. Robinson and his sister (Judith Anderson) have raised young Allene Roberts on their farm since she was an infant and have been like parents to her. They have one standing rule at their place. Under no circumstances is she or anyone else to go to a certain stretch of woods and to enforce that rule Robinson has hired Rory Calhoun to keep trespassers off.

 

Of course you tell teenagers like Roberts, Lon McCallister, and Julie London not to do something or go somewhere and you know very well what's going to happen in movies and in real life. Their curiosity unravels both a terrible secret from the past and it also unravels Robinson himself who we see degenerate from a loving father figure to a terrible figure of fright and horror.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039757/

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003. *THE OTHER LOVE* (1947)...United Artists...Barbara Stanwyck, David Niven, Richard Conte

 

images-322.jpg

 

From David in Edinburgh at the IMDB:

 

A truly irresistible piece of high-fashion schmaltz, THE OTHER LOVE stars Barbara Stanwyck in the sort of genteel weepy role more commonly associated with Norma Shearer or Joan Fontaine. A lady pianist dying of some unspecified lung disease. Whatever her illness may be, it only makes her grow more glamorous the closer she edges towards death.

 

Of course, dying in so decorous a fashion would take a bite out of anybody's schedule. So our Babs cuts short her international concert tour, and checks into a plush clinic with a panoramic view of the Swiss Alps. There she meets David Niven, a handsome doctor who takes a more-than-professional interest in her case.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039686/

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Going back to GOOD LUCK, MR. YATES for a moment, my father enlisted in the Navy at age 16 in 1943. He had a perforated ear drum from childhood. He just got the doctor to check the same ear twice. The Navy didn't catch it until the war was over.

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Interesting comment. I guess it depends on the individual, how they see their duty in the armed services.

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It seems to me that during WWII if one really wanted to be 1A, he'd wind up being 1A.

 

The exact opposite situation from Vietnam, where everyone was trying to play the system for deferments and many did.

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>It seems to me that during WWII if one really wanted to be 1A, he'd wind up being 1A. The exact opposite situation from Vietnam, where everyone was trying to play the system for deferments and many did.

 

You're right, a generation gap if ever there was one.

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A note to those who are following this thread. At first, I had planned to do 1000 posts here. I knew there would be at least a thousand classics that have fallen through the proverbial cracks, most langushing in the vaults, some given a cable airing on the rarest of occasions. And often this has little to do with rights issues...they are out of sight and out of mind, and people do not even know these films exist, truly, unless they had a relative who worked on the production of a forgotten film years ago.

 

When I worked on a list of films for this thread, I wound up with 1,500.

 

My goal with this is to focus more on the programmers, pictures that had medium budgets and featured household names, stars that were on their way up or down in Hollywood. The major A-films are for the most part shown on cable or available on home video. It's the programmers, that are longer than the typical B-film fare that seem to be most on the 'endangered list.' So they will be my priority.

 

Every now and then I may include a B-film if it has a major star or director attached, and I think it would be of interest to folks reading.

 

These will be titles that were made at Universal, Fox, Republic, Paramount, Eagle-Lion, Columbia and some RKO (especially those released for Sam Goldwyn, David Selznick & Walt Disney) as well as some independent releases (mostly through United Artists) and British releases (most studios did make films in the U.K.). I am not referencing MGM or Warners/First National since those are frequently in rotation on TCM.

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lady_chance02.jpg

004. *A LADY TAKES A CHANCE* (1943)...RKO/Republic...Jean Arthur, John Wayne, Charles Winninger

 

From guenzeld in the United States at IMDB:

 

Produced by star Jean Arthur, whose performance in it is nothing short of excellent, A LADY TAKES A CHANCE is a real pip of a movie. The writing (by Jo Swerling and Robert Ardrey) is first rate and the direction by that old master, William A Seiter (who goes back to the silent days) couldn't be better. The supporting players are all from the top drawer, too. Really, this is perhaps one of those rare, near-perfect films where everything works.

 

John Wayne is great as the somewhat dense but lovable lout who is tamed by the spunky Miss Arthur. He here displays a knack for comedy which, when under careful direction, could really shine.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036092/

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I have never seen this Jean Arthur movie (Lady Takes a Chance) and since Jean is my fifth favorite actress I hope TCM shows it soon. Not a big fan of Wayne but him playing "somewhat dense but lovable lout" sounds interesting.

 

 

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I am not sure if it has fallen into the public domain or not. It was originally produced by RKO with Wayne on loan-out from Republic. But somewhere along the way, Republic had taken ownership of the picture, and it is released on home video now by Artisan, which has other titles from the Republic library. The point of this is that they have not taken the time to properly restore the print, as evidenced on the DVD I watched earlier today.

 

But the story is so good and the actors are having such a fun time making this movie that it's easy to overlook an inferior quality print.

 

They are two complete opposites in this picture, and there are several places along the way where a one-night stand is hinted at (though not shown) that I think it's one of Arthur's more sexually liberated roles. Her chemistry with Duke (the name of Wayne's character here, as well as his nickname in real life) is simply sensational.

 

Charles Winniger gives a very good supporting turn as the rodeo friend who does not think these two should get together. And we also have Phil Silvers as the obnoxious tour guide on the bus that Arthur takes out west.

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TopBilled, this sounds like it's going to be the best thread ever, but is there any way at some point you might consolidate those 1500 films into a series of consecutive entries of 50 or 100 titles each, sorted by year if that's possible, so that we can get an overview of your discoveries? With your encyclopedic knowledge of movies, this could be an invaluable reference source.

 

(Hey, I don't ask for much, do I?) ;)

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I understand what you are asking. I am covering roughly 1933 to 1960. I have tried to mix the order up, so that I don't do five Paramount films in a row or so that I don't do eight westerns in a row. Also, if I go chronologically by year of production, it may not interest people who prefer movies from one decade over another. This way there is some variety and people will keep checking back.

 

I will make sure that I include the year after each title, as I have been doing.

 

My genuine hope is that by the time we reach 1,500 a large percentage of these have found their way either on to TCM or home video. But I do not think that is going to happen unless we create some sort of awareness about these pictures. They are not 'lost' films; they are merely missing in action.

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1casbah.jpg

005. *CASBAH* (1948)...Universal...Tony Martin, Yvonne de Carlo, Peter Lorre

 

From dhenderson in New York City at the IMDB:

 

I've watched this movie many, many times and I truly love it. Tony Martin, as Pepe LeMoko, plays a suave, fascinating and very sexy jewel thief who is wanted by the police but is protected by everyone in the Casbah to the point that they will not let the police arrest Pepe and remove him from its confines.

 

Marta Toren, in the role of Gaby, is a very beautiful, classy and mysterious lady visiting the Casbah who meets Pepe. Pepe finds her so extremely different from anyone he has ever met in the Casbah and she also finds him fascinating (what women wouldn't?). It's easy to see how they become attracted to each other and the sparks start flying.

 

Yvonne DeCarlo plays Inez, Pepe's long-time girlfriend who tries to break up Pepe and his new interest. The supporting cast, including Peter Lorre and Thomas Gomez, are well-cast and believable in their roles.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040214/

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> {quote:title=ginnyfan wrote:

> }{quote}Going back to GOOD LUCK, MR. YATES for a moment, ...

Another interesting thing about that movie:

The Three Stooges had a scene in the movie, but it eventually was cut out in the final editing. But then Columbia took the scene, had additional material written around it and released it as a new Three Stooges short about a year later.

The short was GENTS WITHOUT CENTS (1944) which has gone on to be one of The Stooges' most popular, as it includes their version of the old "Niagara Falls" routine plus some amazing acrobatic dance routines by the team of Lindsey, LaVerne and Betty.

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images-416.jpg

006. *SLEEP, MY LOVE* (1948)...United Artists...Claudette Colbert, Robert Cummings, Don Ameche

 

From kenjha at IMDB:

 

A man plots his wife's demise while his lover waits impatiently. It treads familiar territory, with the story a variation of GASLIGHT. However, it's a lot of fun, thanks to a good cast, a fast pace, and an engaging script.

 

Colbert and Ameche collaborate for the third time while Cummings plays a character similar to the one he later played in DIAL M FOR MURDER. The tension is nicely balanced with touches of humor, with Rita Johnson providing most of the comic relief.

 

Before he became known for directing a series of melodramas in the 1950s, Douglas Sirk dabbled in some film noir, and this is his best.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040798/

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lady-in-the-dark.jpg

007. *LADY IN THE DARK* (1944)...Paramount...Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Warner Baxter

 

From Alex da Silva at the IMDB:

 

Liza (Ginger Rogers) is the editor of a magazine who can no longer make decisions. She suffers headaches because she is highly strung about work and she has a love life that she is not comfortable with. Through psychoanalysis with Dr Brooks (Barry Sullivan), she unravels her troubles by recounting 3 dream sequences. Can she regain her decisiveness?

 

This film is a bit girly in that it concerns one woman's journey to discover lost memories and understand her behaviours. It has great colour, good costumes and it's well acted with a spattering of humour throughout. The bulk of the film comes in the form of dream sequences which are musical, colourful and surreal. The rest of the film follows the romances that Liza has alongside her role as a tough boss lady. The film is fun and has a happy ending.

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I am going to feature LADY IN THE DARK tomorrow on the thread 'Yesterday's Classic Films.'

 

This is my favorite Mitchell Leisen film. I hope people seek it out and watch it.

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1ozark.jpg

008. *GIRL OF THE OZARKS* (1936)...Paramount...Virginia Weidler, Henrietta Crosman, Leif Erikson

 

From ancient-andean at the IMDB:

 

Virginia is a very special child actress, a master in this movie. Unlike many of her era, she was an 8-year-old who could squeeze the last bit of emotion from the audience, eyes gleaming in one scene, dripping tears in the next... mischievous, adorable. Along with her big brown eyes, she could act. Viewers will also want to catch her singing "Old Dan Tucker." She sings it like a poor child really would and what happens during the song will break your heart.

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images58.jpg

009. *GREEN HELL* (1940)...Universal...Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Bennett, John Howard

 

From drystyx at the IMDB:

 

This is simple story telling and adventure, with some great scenery. It's set in a jungle as a team of excavators hope to bring back gold and news of an archaeological find. The key is to have all the elements.

 

We have expert directing, more than adequate editing, and good script writing enough to tell an exciting and interesting story. In today's world of dull routine scripts, this is probably more exciting than a modern audience is used to. This was made in the days when people were smart enough to know de Mille was someone to emulate, and this director does emulate de Mille in many ways, as much as he can with a less than de Mille budget.

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Green Hell, aside from having an above average cast of actors, is also remembered for using Universal's standing set from The Mummy's Hand.

 

In his book, Salad Days, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. called it probably his worst film. That didn't mean he didn't want a copy of it, however. Many years ago a friend of mine was in contact with the actor, and somehow Fairbanks mentioned to him that he was searching for a copy of this film, as he was, I suspect, all other films in his career.

 

I had a late night televsion video tape copy of Green Hell and gave my friend a second generation copy of the film, which he sent on to Fairbanks. I hope the film stood up a little better in the actor's estimation than his memory had indicated.

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What is your opinion of the movie?

 

It is nice that you forwarded a copy on to Mr. Fairbanks.

 

The set was also redressed and reused for THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943) with Nelson Eddy.

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