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  1. United Artists The year started with a western saga The clown and the Kid was a family quickie The Misfits was both the final film for Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, and was close to the end for Montgomery Clift and Thelma Ritter as well (they'd all be gone by the end of the decade). The film itself becomes a bit dull toward the end, but one thing is clear, it's Monroe's finest performance. It was time for a Frontier Uprising Dog versus criminals Don Murray brought religion and hope to prison... Flashback to the battle in Burma the Brits served up a little horror saga The minotaur was another sword and sandal saga Ride 'em cowboy to a Gunfight The Western theme continued with Jim Davis Burt Lancaster, Shelley Winters, and Dina Merill entered the world of crime in The Young Savages. John Frankenheimer directed. Robert Mitchum decided to try comedy.... A Matter of Morals is an ironic title for a film which poster makes it clear is about anything but..... When the Clock Strikes was a law vs gangsters saga Gary Cooper made his final screen appearence in the thriller The Naked Edge. Deborah Kerr was a woman in danger. Toshiro Mifune was cast as a native American.... The story of Buddha made for a 70 MM epic. Michelangelo Antonioni made a splash with La Notte with Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau Three on a Spree was a British comedy Ingrid Bergman fell for Anthony Perkins in Goodbye Again back to the sword and sandals. Fate of a Man was an esteemed drama from the USSR Lana Turner returned to the screen for another romantic potboiler. Mary Had a Little... was a provocative Brit comedy The Cat Burglar was a little thriller The crime theme continued in You Have to Run Fast Teenage Millionaire was a youth oriented musical Fredric March and Ben Gazzara were at loggerheads in The Young Doctors Paris Blues was a lovely little bittersweet romantic drama with fine roles for Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier, and Diahann Carroll, plus it had a great Jazz soundtrack to boot. Aliens were after a plane in Flight that Disappeared Gangsters ahoy in the Secret of Deep Harbor Kirk Douglas was facing off against a group of individuals accused of sexual violence in Town without Pity. Seems to me that the basic plot sounds like the much later 1988 film The Accused. UA secured the Best Picture winner two years in a row with West Side Story, an ever-popular musical. The boy Who Caught a Crook was a little family film William Shatner was a teacher in The Explosive Generation, also featuring Patty McCormick. Gun Street was a return to the west.... One Two Three was an utter-delight. A whiz-bang satire from Billy Wilder, it is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Summer of the seventeenth Doll was a saga of infidelity set in Australia. And another choice title was The Children's hour, with gripping performances from Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, and many others. The film had a savage impact. And Judgment at nuremberg also stands as one of the greats. Indeed, this film, I feel is among the 50 best films ever made. Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth were up to no good.... X-15 was a fictionalization of the NASA program with Charles Bronson. It was the cinematic debut for director Richard Donner and co-star Mary Tyler Moore Carroll Baker went through unspeakable horrors in Something Wild And Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Hope Lange, Peter Falk, and film-debuting Ann-Margret were featured in Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles, a remake of his own Lady for a Day from 1933. American International Pictures The Year opened with Barbara Steele in Black Sunday Followed by the horror of The Hand Konga had Michael Gough on the run from a gorilla Beware of Children was an unusual sight at AIP, a family comedy Vincent Price and Charles Bronson took on Jules Verne.... Alakazam the Great was the company's first animated film Back to horror with Vincent Price and John Kerr in The Pit and the Pendulum The Rough and the Smooth was a saga of infidelity Twist All night was a dance film Space-men was from Europe the Phantom Planet continued the Sci-fi trend Flight of the Lost Balloon was an Adventure film Guns of the Black Witch was a pirate saga Embassy This company technically started a few years earlier, bringing in mostly small scale foreign titles or sword-and sandal films, of which there are a few here. But this was the year they made their first big impact, and for a time at least (as AVCO Embassy) they were a formidable mini-major with several Oscar nominated films. They lasted until 1986. The Sky Above and the Mud Below was an Oscar winning documentary The Hellfire Club was a swashbuckler with Dennis Stanton.... er I mean Keith Michell (too much Murder She Wrote here) Journey beneath the Desert was a saga of Atlantis Two Women was the breakthrough as Sophia Loren won the Oscar for her heartbreaking work in a shocking saga from Vittorio De Sica The Fascist continued a look at the Italian side of WWII Donald O'Connor starred in The Wonders of Aladdin The Miracle of the Wolves was a French swashbuckler Peter Finch was caught between love and politics The Three Musketeers made an appearance Constantine and the Cross was another epic, this one with Cornel Wilde Marcello Mastroianni and Claudia Cardinele were an item in Bell'Antonio Marcello's Divorce Italian Style would win the Oscar the following year for Foreign film Sophia Loren starred in Madame What a Carve Up was a Brit horror comedy Now Claudia was with Belmondo in La Viaccia Fury at Smuggler's Bay was a pirate adventure Sword without a Country was an Italian swashbuckler The Seven Revenges told of Mongols at battle Hercules in the Valley of Woe was another sword-and-sandal saga Triumph of the Son of Hercules was more prehistoric adventure Lex Barker played Robin Hood And Anna Magnani led The Passionate Thief
  2. United Artists Mark of the Phoenix was a British heist film Victor mature was in Escort West, the rare film that has the genre in the title Maime Van Doren took care of one of the three Gs in Guns, Girls, and Gangsters Operation Murder was a thriller from England Mickey Rooney was a mad killer on death row in The Last Mile. it was back to the west with Mustang Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming spoofed the West in Alias Jesse James Some like It hot was a landmark comedy, a dizzy delight with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon at the top of their games Trouble hit the reform school. With Dorothy Provine Sci Fi came next in Invisible Invaders pork Chop hill was a famed war saga of Korea with Gregory Peck, Rip Torn, and George Peppard Joel McCrea and Julie Adams were back in the West Alan Ladd and Carolyn Jones went noir in The Man in the Net Ava Gardner starred in The Naked Maja where she played a woman involved with Goya. John Wayne and William Holden were The Horse Soldiers. Constance Towers was the love interest. Hammer took on the Hound of the Baskervilles A Hole in the Head was the next to last from Frank Capra and was a likable family film with an excellent cast, and an Oscar-winning song ("High Hopes") Ten Seconds to Hell was a POW/bomb threat saga from Robert Aldrich And then there was the electrifying Shake Hands with the Devil with its masterful work from all involved, especially Cagney and Glynis Johns Ernest Borgnine starred in a family film The Rabbit Trip Robert Ryan, Burl ives, and Tina Louise starred in a Western lancaster, Douglasm, and Olivier took on George Bernard Shaw in The Devil's Disciple Back to crime with Cry Tough it continued in The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery with an early part for Steve McQueen Audie Murphy Went West Inside the Mafia came next Harry Belafonte headlined a noir, Odds Against Tomorrow Mitchum went West just months after the revolution, Havana found itself in a thriller Noir continued with Forrest Tucker David Niven and Mitzi Gaynor starred in a comedy Happy Anniversary A dive into horror A dash of adventure Crime from England with an American star A superior Tennesee Williams adaptation with knockout acting all around A coming of age saga An all-star nuclear saga A boy and dog film And then a big religious epic, Solomon and Sheba, closed the decade at UA. American International Pictures Paratroop Command started the year on a war note..... Operation Dames continued the war theme Road Racers was another saga of hard-driving cars. The call of war came forth once again Is he planning to go bowling with that? Michael Gough starred in The horrors of the Black Museum introducing the saga of a child bride Ghosts and hot rodders together! Alert the media. Anita Ekburg starred in Sheba and the Gladiator A Bucket of Blodd was one of Roger Corman's best regarded films and starred Dick Miller Get some insect repellent! Earth Attacks! (no wonder Mars wanted their revenge in a certain 90s film) Goliath and the Barbarians closed the decade
  3. United Artists The Betrayal was a low budget offering from England involving a man seeking to find who sold him out to the Germans This one was also known as Tiger by the Tail and was a British crime film Mark Stevens headed west And another trip west was in store Romance developed near the water The Quiet American was much changed from the Grame Greene book, which had viewed the title character, played by Audie Murphy, in a spectacularly horrible light War was again in the cards Gable and Lancaster came back to UA for a well-regarded war drama It was next time for a jungle adventure Then a dab of horror Edge of Fury was an early example of a film with a nihilistic conclusion Machete was a tale of murder in Puerto Rico Bob Hope starred in the comedy Paris Holiday Robert Mitchum was dealing out illegal hooch in the cult film Thunder Road Here comes the west again.... At least this one came with Joel McCrea Marie Windsor was among the Island Women The Vikings was an adventure epic with Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, and Ernest Borgnine Tony Curtis was back again fighting in the war with Frank Sinatra in Kings Go Forth. Natalie Wood was along for the ride. The Lone Ranger returned Wink of an Eye was a small comedy Brigitte Bardot was big at the time, so La Parisienne was a smashing success of an import The Lost Missile was a sci-fi film with Robert Loggia A dash of horror.... God's Little Acre was a controversial hit. Shown here Robert Ryan and Tina Louise Two cases of sci-fi menace Followed by the landmark and brilliant drama The Defiant Ones, a Best Picture nominee, also nominated for Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier (first Black actor to be up for Leading Actor), Theodore Bikel, and Cara Williams The Gun Runners proved to be another film based on the Hemingway story that had been filmed as To Be or Not to Be and as The Breaking Point. Audie Murphy and Eddie Albert starred. Sterling Hayden was back in the West Gary Cooper headed West for one of his best regarded late-career films Robert Loggia starred in the B Cop Hater William Wyler served up amn all-star Western with The Big Country which won an Oscar for burl Ives, and also starred Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Jean Simmons, and Carroll Baker Sterling Hayden was back for a Mexican adventure Dana Andrews went noir And Gene Barry dealt with the Cold War in Hong Kong. Menace in the Night was a noir from England Alec Guinness was excellent as a curmudgeonly painter in the wry and offbeat The Horse's Mouth. Meanwhile Susan Hayward had her own (Oscar-winning) triumph with I Want to Live, a powerful and gripping story of a real-life woman doomed in a tale of law and disorder. Eartha Kitt and Sammy Davis Jr appeared in an African-American version of the melodrama Anna Lucasta Back to crime with The Mugger Victor Mature starred in China Doll, a cinematic return for director Frank Borzage Lonelyhearts served as the film debut for Maureen Stapleton (Oscar-nominated here) and starred Montgomery Clift, Robert Ryan, Dolores Hart, and Myrna Loy And Separate Tables was another all star production (David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Gladys Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Wendy Hiller, Rita Hayworth, Cathleen nesbitt, Rod Taylor). This one was sensitively handled and was one of UA's best of the year. Niven and Hiller won Oscars. American International Pictures The Screaming Skull started the year off with horror Sci-Fi had its turn next Then it was time for the air force with John Agar and Audrey Totter Mike Conners was the star of the war film Suicide Battalion The Cool and the Crazy told of troubled youth Daddy-O was another tale of youth, but had one important note. The legendary film composer John Williams began his movie career here with this film. Dragstrip Riot mixed the youth with murder. Connie Stevens had a supporting part Attack of the Puppet People, now that's some title. 9 Years before Faye Dunaway had her say, Dorothy Provine played Bonnie Parker Charles Bronson was playing a gangster as well Straight out of Juvie hall back to the cars again And then back to horror War of the Colossal Beast found a truly large monster on display Wartime called... twice in a row Sign of changing times; Robert Vaughn went from starring in Teenage Caveman to becoming an Oscar nominee in just one year More horror with Night of the Blood beast This was seemingly only a must for those into beach films, despite the fantasy setting Uh. too much... Arachnophobia had a good reason for forming.... the year closed with another war film
  4. United Artists Drango was a western starring Jeff Chandler The Halliday Brand was another Western this one with Joseph Cotten, Viveca Lindfors, Betsy Blair, and Ward Bond Barbara Stanwyck was suspected of a crime of Passion. Sterling Hayder, Raymond Burr, and fay Wray also starred. Four Boys and a Gun was a B crime film Ruth Roman was in trouble in Five Steps to Danger Chuck Connors went West Boris Karloff ran into the world of Voodoo The above was on a double bill with Pharaoh's Curse The Delinquents was the directorial debut of the great Robert Altman Errol Flynn took noir to Cuba. This film's setting would not be possible in a few short years Hit and Run continued the noir theme Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray went into the Korean War War Drums meant it was back to the West Followed by a noir venture. Costar Mary Costa is best known for her vocal work on Sleeping Beauty And back to the west And then there was The Bachelor Party with Don Murray, Jack Warden, EG Marshall, Nancy Marchand, and Carolyn Jones, Oscar nominated for her turn in a praised version of a production originally done on TV And then a flash of brilluiance: 12 Angry Men, one of the great courtroom dramas, with an early success for Sidney Lumet and unforgettable performances from Henry Fonda and Lee J Cobb This was followed by a trio of westerns this one with John Derek This with Anthony Quinn And this with Sterling Hayden The Crooked Sky was back into crime, the British way Ride Em Cowboy John Payne joined the air force Spring Reunion proved to be Betty Hutton's final film. A romantic melodrama, it costarred Dana Andrews and Jean Hagen Jean Seberg meanwhile made her debut in Saint Joan as the great saint Joan of Arc. She was supported by Richard Widmark, Richard Todd, and John Gielgud in the Otto Preminger film Monkey on My Back was the saga of a boxer Burt Lancaster had one of his key parts as the acid columnist in Sweet Smell of Success, one of the most cynical films of the era Two horrors in a row Peter Graves was down in the Bayou Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, and Frank Sinatra were caught up in the Napoleonic wars in the well-meaning but a bit sluggish The Pride and the Passion Trooper Hook was a western with Joel McCrea and Barbara Stanwyck Jungle Heat was an adventure saga Ride em cowgirl More lassos ahead for Dane Clark Hidden Fear continued John Payne's noir phase Enter Calypso music Valerie found Anita Ekberg joining Sterling Hayden in the dusty Western trails Brian Keith and Beverly Garland made for Chicago Confidential Jane Russell fell for her kidnapper in The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown the character of Mike Hammer returned Revenge was the main issue in Lady of Vengeance Dean Stockwell starred in the youth film the Careless Years, the first film for director Arthur Hiller And then there was a documentary about Louis Armstrong The Girl in Black Stockings was for anyone who wanted to see Mamie Van Doren, Anne Bancroft, and Marie Windsor in the same film More crime And Joel McCrea was back to the west. More horror sci-fi Marlene Dietrich starred in The Monte Carlo Story Richard Widmark was in the legal drama Time Limit And back to crime And to the west, with Gloria Grahame in a supporting role Man on the Prowl found a woman in danger Mickey Rooney got his chance to play a gangster Legend of the Lost teamed up John Wayne and Sophia loren More tumbleweeds passed by Paths of Glory is widely considered to be one of the great antiwar films And the year closed with the crackling Witness for the Prosecution, with its startling twist ending. this was Tyrone Power's final film American International Pictures Sci-fi met crime in the Astounding She-Monster naked Paradise was a crime saga with Beverly Garland Voodoo Woman made for a splash of Caribbean horror Onto the world of hot rodders, complete with Frank Gorshin Rock All Night was a rock-and-roll musical with Abby Dalton. (My love of 80s TV series is showing with me referencing Dalton and Garland. So many episodes of Falcon Crest and Scarecrow and Mrs King watched. But I digress....) The Undead certainly had a creepy poster Michael Landon was the cursed one in i Was a Teenage Werewolf Was this the inspiration for the design of Mars Attacks? Naked Africa was actually a documentary Lockdown catfights were in store in Reform School Girl Tommy Steele played his own life story White Huntress was an adventure film Cat Girl was a takeoff on Cat People Motorcycle Gang was about exactly that. Notable as one of the last appearences of Carl "Alfafa" Swizer. The Amazing Colossal Man was an inversion of The Incredible Shrinking Man Sorority Girl took noir to college i Was a Teenage Frankenstein definitely wasn't a looker Blood of Dracula had a female vampire who looked like Eddie Munster with outlandish eyebrows and sharp teeth. How's this for a title? The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent. Abby Dalton starred.
  5. United Artists Aan was imported by UA from Bollywood As was the Tiger and the Flame. The Extra Day was a British comedy about a film having to do last minute reshoots Three Bad Sisters was a crime quickie Shadow of Fear was a suspense film with a stepmommie dearest Lilacs in the Spring found Errol Flynn in a musical (!) Mark Stevens starred in the noir Timetable, which had an early role for Jack Klugman Manfish was a white-knuckled underwater film Wendell Corey wanted to off Rhonda Fleming in The Killer is Loose, but Fleming's husband Joseph Cotten was having none of that Crime Against Joe continued the noir theme Van Heflin starred in Rod Sterling's Patterns, a film that skewered the business world Richard Burton played Alexander the Great, and was supported by Claire Bloom and Fredric March Ghost Town was another little western. Comanche sent Dana Andrews to the West Cornel Wilde starred in the swashbuckler Star of India The Broken Star made for another UA Western UFO was a film that concerned itself with documenting the growing obsession with flying saucers Edward G Robinson was out to stop a dangerous hypnotist in Nightmare Quincannon Frontier Scout made for yet another Western Burt lancaster and Tony Curtis vyed for Gina Lollobrigida in the circus film Trapeze Stanley Kubrick's The Killing was a noir landmark. It starred Sterling Hayden. Robert Wagner bumped off Joanne Woodward and then proceeded to have dastardly plans for her sister Virginia Leith in A Kiss Before Dying, also with Jeffrey Hunter and Mary Astor the Black Sheep was a horror film that marked the end of the line for Bela Lugosi (unless you count his snippet in Plan 9) The Quartermass Xperiment kept up the horror trend, and was well received by the genre's fans Robert Mitchum found some shocking skeletons in the closet in the noir Foreign Intrigue Olivia De Havilland fell for John Forsythe in The Ambassador's Daughter. Myrna Loy and Adolphe Menjou were along for the ride Frank Sinatra played the outlaw of the title in Johnny Concho Richard Widmark, trevor Howard, and Jane Greer starred in Race for the Sun, a remake of the Most Dangerous Game John Payne and Ruth Roman starred in a blend of Western and Noir Huk was an action film shot in the Philippines John Payne continued in Noir in The Boss A dinosaur somehow came back to live and was munching on cattle in the Beast of Hollow Mountain Buster Crabbe returned to films after a few years away in Gun Brothers Robert Mitchum was a one man army in the Western Bandito Crime hit Asia in Flight to Hong Kong Robert Aldrich directed the WWII saga Attack with Jack Palance, Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, Richard Jaekel, and Buddy Ebsen Around the World in Eighty Days was the second UA best Picture winner in a row. It starred David Niven, Cantiflias, Shirley MacLaine and Robert Newton (final film) and made for plenty of cameos: Buster Keaton, Caesar Romero, Glynis Johns, Ronald Colman, Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra, Bea Lillie, Andy Devine, Robert Morley, Noel Coward, Trevor Howard, Peter Lorre, Evelyn Keyes, Finlay Currie, Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Coburn, John Carradine, John Gielgud, Keye Luke, Red Skelton, Victor McLaghlan, Hermoine Gingold, Jack Oakie, Charles Boyer, Gilbert Roland, Joe E. Brown. Yes it was a bit too long, but it was a tremendously fun film, with wonderful closing credits designed by Saul Bass. Man from Del Rio was a Western with Anthony Quinn and Katy Jurado Running target made for yet another Western. They were at the peak of popularity at the time Crime reared its head again in Hot Cars And in Emergency Hospital as well James Arness actually did star in a big screen western while he was working the medium on the small screen's Gunsmoke. this film paired him with Angie Dickinson in her first true role Victor Mature was out to save the Navy from Sharks The Peacemaker was a smaller Western And The Brass Legend with Hugh O'Brien and Raymond Burr was a slightly larger one Anthony Quinn was in The Wild Party, a cautionary tale of lurid influences The final western of 1956 was a comic one, The King and Four Queens, with Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, and Jo Van Fleet And the year closed with the last Abbott and Costello film American International Pictures Corman directed a Western, The Oklahoma Woman Female Jungle was the only noir the studio made. Jayne Mansfield made her film debut It was Beverly Garland vs. John Ireland in the Western Gunslinger Garland then subsequently returned in a sci-fi horror film with Peter Graves, It Conquered the World. Girls in Prison has a self-explanatory title. As does Hot Rod Girl The She-Creature was another take on Sci-fi horror Flesh and the Spur promised a spicy Western with that title Runaway Daughters was a saga of troubled youth And Shake Rattle and Rock was a Rock and Roll musical.
  6. United Artists This was a year that shows the changes that were soon going to transform UA once again into a force to be reckoned with. There are plenty of B films, but there are some A fils here, and some truly loved classics. The year opened with a Somerset Maugham adaptation, The Beachcomber with Robert Newton and Glynis Johns Battle Taxi was a Korean War drama with Sterling Hayden Sabaka was an adventure film made in India and featuring Boris Karloff Big House USA was a crime saga with Ralph Meeker and Broderick Crawford Joel McCrea starred in the Western Stranger on Horseback Gregory Peck was dealing with depression over his lost wife and the war in Burma in The Purple Plain back to the West with Canyon Crossroards And then, a change in the tide. Marty became the first UA film to win best Picture since Rebecca, and after this point was raised up the Hollywood totem pole. And for good reason too, as this film is a masterpiece in my eyes, a gloriously sensitive romance. it also won the Palme D'Or. it was Edward G Robinson vs George Raft in the crime tale A Bullet for Joey. Also with Audrey Totter. Kiss Me Deadly has only kept growing over the years. A flop in 1955, it is regarded as a screen masterpiece. Ralph Meeker played Mike Hammer, Robert Aldrich directed a film that is often considered to be his best, and Cloris Leachman had a small but important early role. back to the Rest with Robber's Roost Top of the World was an adventure film with an aviation theme And more noir with The Big Bluff. One of the female parts was played by Martha Vickers. Summertime brought Katharine Hepburn and David Lean Oscar nominations for the delicate tale of a spinster schoolteacher who fell for a married man while on a Venetian vacation. Not as a Stranger was the directorial debut of Stanley Kramer, a cross between a crime film and a medical film, starring Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, Olivia De Havilliand, Broderick Crawford, Gloria Grahame, Charles bickford, Lon Chaney Jr, and Lee Marvin. The Sea Shall Not Have them was a British war film with Michael Redgrave and Dirk Bogarde. This British War trend continued with Albert RN Burt Lancaster headed west to star in The Kentuckian Moira Shearer was the redhead in question in the comedy The Man Who Loved Redheads Orson Welles's version of Othello with him laying the title role in dark makeup finally arrived, 4 years after it was made The Night of the Hunter was another film that flopped in 1955, but make no mistake, it is a thrilling masterpiece with Robert Mitchum at his chilling best, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, and the two leading children also scored stongly under Charles Laughton's one time only direction. The Naked Street was a noir with Farley Granger, Anthony Quinn, and Anne Bancroft Killer's Kiss was another noir, this one directed by Kubrick Peter graves was back in the west in Fort Yuma Hollywood got skewered in The Big Knife with Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Wendell Corey, Shelley Winters, Jean Hagen, and Rod Steiger King's Rhapsody was a British Musical Jane Russell and Jeanne Crain starred in a musical comedy Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. The blondes were more popular.... Robert Mitchum was the Man with the Gun in a Western costarring Jan Sterling Ralph Meeker starred in the African adventure Desert Sands Lawrence Harvery, Gloria Grahame, and Joan Collins appeared in the Brit noir The Good Die Young Heidi and Peter was a followup to the Swiss family hit Another game changer. The Man with the Golden Arm shattered taboos with its depiction of drug addiction. Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, and Kim Novak starred Cornel Wilde starred and directed in the noir Storm Fear Kirk Douglas was The Indian Fighter. Walter Matthau had one of his earlier parts And the year closed with a Sterling Hayden western, Top Gun. American International Pictures Meanwhile, on the B movie front, a new company was starting. Known as American International Pictures, they would make big inroads in the genres of youth entertainment, sci-fi, and horror. It started as American Releasing Company, but the name was changed before the 50s ended. Operation Malaya was the first release and it was a documentary about the British at war in the titular area. The Fast and the Furious was a crime melodrama with John Ireland and Dorothy Malone Five Guns West was a Western with a sign of things to come. It was Roger Corman's first film for the company Outlaw Treasure was a Western The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes was their first foray into the sci-fi genre for which they would become famed Apache Woman was another Corman western, this one with Lloyd Bridges The Day the World Ended was a post-apocalyptic tale And The Beast from 10,000 Leagues closed out their inaugural year
  7. William Lundigan, Herbert marshall, and Matha Hyer starred in the sci-fi film Riders to the Stars Personal Affair had Gene Tierney racing to protect husband Leo Genn from horrible claims made about what he had supposedly done to Glynis Johns. Dane Clark, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and the Harlem Globetrotters appeared in a sports film, Go Man Go Tony Curtis was among the marines in Beachhead Dragon's Gold was a crime film. Phil Silvers starred in Top Banana, a 3D musical overland Pacific was a B western In The Scarlet Spear, there was a race against time to stop a ritual killing. Van Heflin went to England for a treasure hunt film A Queen's World Tour was a Documentary about Queen Elizabeth doing just that In came a Swiss made version of the famous Swiss tale, Heidi.... two years late Beat the Devil, John Huston's famous cult film arrived with Humphrey Bogard, jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, and Peter Lorre in the cast from a Truman Capote script. Back to the West with Southwest Package. Like Top Banana earlier in the year, it was originally shown in 3D, but 3D prints of both have vanished, leaving only regular ones Barbara Stanwyck was a Witness to Murder The Lone Gun was another western. this time, the main female was Dorothy Malone, supporting George Murphy Another swashbuckler, this one with Eva Gabor. More noir, this time with Anthony Quinn and Charles Coburn And to the West for The Yellow Tomahawk Challenge the wild was a nature documentary Richard Egan and Herbert Marshall went sci-fi in Gog Charles Laughton received raves for his leading part in Hobson's Choice Gregory Peck went to England to appear in the comedy The Million Pound Note Return to Treasure Island again had Robert Newton as Long John Silver. This one also had Tab Hunter. The Lawless Rider was another little Western Burt Lancaster and Jean Peters played Native Americans in Apache The Diamond Wizard was a heist film that was also England's first 3D film Crossed Swords starred the greatest of the Swashbucklers, Errol Flynn and Gina Lollobrigida Victory at Sea was a condensed movie version of a documentary TV show about historic naval battles of WWII Luis Bunuel did a fine job with an energetic film version of Robinson Crusoe, buoyed by a great performance from Dan O'Herlihy, Oscar nominated. Alec Guiness, Jack Hawkins, and Flora Robson appeared in the war film Malta story Edmund O'Brien was a crooked cop in Shield for Murder, a film much seen on TV in the early days The Little Kidnappers was a British import with much praised child performances Broderick Crawford and Ruth Roman went Down Three Dark Streets in a noir type of way Khyber Patrol was a B adventure film with Richard Egan Jesse James's Women made for a slightly different Western The Barefoot Contessa was another acid-tonged showbiz tale from Joseph Mankiewitz, director of All About Eve. This won won an Oscar for Edmund O'brien, and starred Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner in its deeply pessimistic tale The hunt was on for a killer in Operation Manhunt Back to the West with Sitting Bull Frank Sinatra was a hitman hired to kill the president in Suddenly, co-starring Sterling Hayden. The Golden Mistress was a saga with good vs. voodoo You Know What Sailors Are was a british comedy of the amorous activity of sailors Ginger Rogers was in Twist of Fate, a dark thriller The White Orchid was a Western Adventure film The Snow Creature returned UA to the world of sci-fi and horror Laurence Harvey was Shakespeare's famous Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, with Flora Robson as the nurse Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster were mortal enemies in Vera Cruz Two crime films closed the year: The Steel Cage, a prison film And Black Tuesday with Edward G Robinson
  8. Lots of B films for 1953, and unlike 1952, no Best Picture nominees in the pack here. But its a big pack, and the ranks include one that caused some to pass around the smelling salts at the time.... Genghis Kahn was made in the Philippines and arrived with UA backing in the US three years after it was made. The golden Arrow with Jean-Pierre Aumont and Burgess Meredith in the other male lead was even later: 4 years post its UK debut. Guerrilla Girl dealt with a woman who had joined the Communists after facing savage treatment at the hands of the nazis Luxury Girls was a saucy import from Italy. Earth was under threat from The Magnetic Monster, in the latest sci-fi Richard Greene played a double role in the swashbucker The Bandits of Corsica. Raymond Burr was in the supporting cast. the double roles continued in the B Western Son of the Renegade Venetian Bird found Richard Todd getting entangled in an assassination plot. Mahatma Gandhi- 20th Century Prophet was a documentary about the great man. That Man from Tangier was an adventure film from Spain. Shoot First was a British thriller with Joel McCrea, Evelyn Keyes, and Herbert Lom. Phantom from Space brought sci-fi back to the fore. John Payne and Donna Reed appeared in the swashbuckler, Raiders of the Seven Seas The Twonky mixed sci-fi with comedy. Next up for sci-fi followers? The Neanderthal Man. Back to the west to meet the Marshal's Daughter SCANDAL! screamed the 1953 headlines. The Moon is Blue was the first American film in years to be turned down by the production code and to be condemned by the Legion of Decency to boot. Result? Many went to see just what the fuss was about and Maggie McNamera was up for an Oscar. Gary Cooper went to the South Pacific for Return to Paradise Yvonne De Carlo was off to Fort Algiers Volcano was an Italian film with Anna Magnani trying to restore her damaged reputation. London Town finally arrived in America..... 7 years after it was made. The musical featured Petula Clark and Kay Kendall. Gun Belt was a Western with George Montgomery and Tab Hunter Lew Ayres appeared in the noir No Escape. Edward G Robinson and Paulette Goddard appeared in the next noir, Vice Squad. Melba was a musical biopic about a praised opera star. A man named Biff Elliot played Mike Hammer in I the Jury Robert Stack vs the Indians in War Paint. Stack was back, fighting in the Korean war, in Sabre Jet Captain Scarlett was another swashbuckler the Joe Lewis Story was exactly that, no more, no less The Fake was a mystery film involving a detective trying to solve an art heist. Lew Ayres and Nancy Reagan starred in the sci-fi/horror Donovan's brain paul henreid and Lois "Miss Moneypenny" Maxwell were out to trap a killer in Man in Hiding. John payne and Evelyn Keyes starred in 99 River Street, an esteemed noir The Steel Lady was an adventure film set in war time. Tab Hunter was one of the costars The Village was a drama from Switzerland Robert Morley and Maurice Evans were the title pair in The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan. Paul Muni went to Italy to make Stranger on the Prowl Shark River was an Eastern Western. it was set in Florida. James Mason, Claire Bloom, and Hildegarde Kneff were caught up in a spy ring in The Man Between, Then there was a B take on the famous tale from Johnstown Yesterday and Today was a compilation film of silent movies Song of the Land was a nature documentary. Like the film above, no pictures on hand. Conquest of Everest was a documentary about the historic mountain climbing. Otto Preminger also did a German version on The Moon is blue.... Beverly Michaels was a Wicked Woman And Kirk Douglas was in love in France with ramifications in Act of Love
  9. Robert Preston went to England to star in the revenge thriller Cloudburst Thery Were Not Divided was a British war film. the picture is blurry but the man on the left is Desmond Llewllen, later to be known as Q in 17 James Bond films. Three Husbands was a comedy that featured the great Eve Arden. Yvonne De Carlo was up for sultriness in the comedy hotel Sahara, costarring peter Ustinov and David Tomlinson Jean Simmons and Dirk bogarde appeared in a well-regarded British thriller, So Long at the Fair, also with David Tomlinson, Honor Blackman, and Cathleen Nesbitt the Scarf was a psychological thriller with John Ireland and Mercedes McCambridge Ray Milland got into trouble when investigating his brother's death in Circle of Danger. Bobby Driscoll dreamed of years to come in When I Grow Up. Robert Preston and Martha Scott were his parents. Charles Boyer was a priest in The First Legion, a drama directed by Douglas Sirk. Sci-fi was next up in The Man from Planet X. Skipalong Westernberg was a Western spoof. Rex harrison and Lilli Palmer starred in the Brit noir The Long Dark Hall Lew Ayers went to the West for New Mexico Four in a Jeep was a post-war film from Switzerland with Ralph Meeker and Vivica Lindfors. it won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Barry nelson was in the noir The Man with My Face. jack Warden made his film debut. The Italians wanted in on producing noir, so this next one was an Italian-American coproduction. Llloyd Bridges starred. the Prowler has remained a highly regarded example of the genre with Van Heflin stalking Evelyn Keyes. Lawrence Tierney was The Hoodlum Queen for a Day was a spinoff from the radio/TV game show John Garfield terrorized Shelley Winters in He Ran All the Way. It was his final film. he died a year later. David Lean's version of Oliver Twist arrived in the US three years after its debut in England. Janis Page and Robert Alda were a showbiz married couple in Two Gals and a Guy. Patty McCormick made her film debut. Paul Henreid and Merle Oberon starred in the romantic comedy Pardon My French bette Davis was a most dangerous woman in Another Man's Poison Dick Haymes was a crook disguised as a priest in St Benny the Dip Wicked City with Maria Montez was also delayed. It appeared in Europe in 1949. the Three Stooges headed out West for Gold Raiders The Well was a noir that took on the weighty topic of racial injustice, and was rewarded with a Screenplay nomination at the Academy Awards Jean Renoir's the River is generally regarded as a cinematic masterpiece. Mr. Peek-a-boo was a French comedy Douglas Fairbanks Jr was Mr Drake, and his duck was laying atomic eggs. Dane Clark, Ben Johnson, and Peter Graves held down Fort Defiance. Tom Brown's Schooldays was a prep-school saga based on the Children's classic book. the Big Night was a noir with John Barrymore Jr. Alistar Sim received the role of his lifetime in Scrooge, a brilliant Dickens adaptation and one of the great Christmas films And finally, another masterpiece: The African Queen. Humphrey Bogart got his oscar, Kathrine Hepburn had one of her best roles, and John Huston made an adventure film to cherish. Robert Morley was also quite good in limited screentime. it should be noted in finishing that this was a pivotal year in UA's history. Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin took over the company, and for 27 years , until they exited to form Orion in 1978, they lifted UA up to its latter-day high. It was never the same after that. Second note: In future installments, this series will include not only UA, but other independent companies, long gone now, that had their libraries folded into UA , not just Orion, but also AIP/Filmways, the Samuel Goldwyn Company, Atlantic, Cannon, hemdale, and Island.
  10. the decade began with George Montgomery as Davy Crockett, Indian Scout Gun Crazy is generally regarded as one of the ultimate noirs. the Cisco Kid rode again Love Happy was the final Marx Brothers comedy and the last time that Grocho, Chico, and Harpo all appeared in the same scene together. Teh(e)ran was a thriller in which there was a race against time to prevent FDR from being assassinated. this is the best I can do for The Great Plane Robbery, somebody holding a press sheet. Interesting to note that Margaret Hamilton had second billing. Mickey Rooney next dipped into noir in Quicksand. Peter Lorre was in the supporting cast. D.O.A. was another noir classic with Edmund O'Brien excellent as the man trying to solve his own murder. Pat O'Brien next took to noir in a Damon Runyon adaptation. Ronald Colman was an immensely successful quiz show contestant in Champagne for Caesar, costarring Celeste Holm and Vincent Price So Young So Bad teamed up Paul Henreid with three escapees from reform school: Anne Jackson, Rita moreno, and Anne Francis George Montgomery fought his way down The Iroquois Trail Myrna loy drifted into an affair in If This Be Sin. Then daughter Peggy Cummins fell for the same man.... Mrs. Robinson who? Robert Young and Betsy Drake next headed to noir in the Second Woman Caesar Romero continued the noir trend in Once a Thief Marlon Brando arrived on the screen as a paralyzed veteran in The Men, also starring Teresa Wright. The rest is history.... Dan Duryea played a reporter covering The Underworld Story Edmund O'Brien and Wanda Hendrix headed to the sea in the comedy The Admiral Was a Lady The Kangaroo Kid was a Western set in Australia The last noir of the year was Try and Get Me/The Sound of Fury And Jose Ferrer returned UA to the Oscar winning circle with his award-winning performance as Cyrano De Bergerac
  11. Just a Big Simple Girl was a French comedy that has seemingly disappeared without a trace, not even a picture remains Maria Montez was The Siren of Atlantis William Bendix received a rare lead in the noir Cover-Up Franchot Tone next took a stab at noir in Jigsaw Continuing the noir theme, it was Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines and Charles Coburn in Impact Concluding the noir quartet was John Payne in The Crooked Way George Raft, usually in noirs, headed off for an African adventure. Home of the Brave was in its day a much praised war film. Lloyd Bridges was in it. The Cisco Kid returned again Kirk Douglas became a full fledged star after his Oscar nominated turn as a boxer in Champion. Dorothy Lamour was accused of murder, brian Donlevy was in love with her and wished to clear her, and his secretary Claire Trevor was in love with him in the comedy The Lucky Stiff. Jack Benny made his only effort as a producer. Abbott and Costello took a comedy trip to Africa. Cisco all over again Lizabeth Scott topped the bill in the cult favorite noir Too Late for Tears orson Welles starred in Black Magic, based of a story by Alexandre Dumas George Raft and Virginia Mayo turned again to noir, but at UA this time Under the Sun of Rome was the first part of a neo-realism trilogy from Italy. The third and final part won the grand prize at Cannes. Cisco-a-go-go Laraine Day was in much distress in the noir Without Honor Mickey Rooney and Thomas Mitchell starred in the sport film The Big Wheel. This was the final film for Hattie McDaniel. the Great Dan Patch was a story of horse racing. Back to the world of crime for William Bendix. A Kiss for Corliss was the final film of Shirley Temple. She left acting behind after this rom-com with David Niven. And the year closed with Dick Powell and Evelyn Keyes in love in spite of the odds in Mrs. Mike.
  12. David Niven was out to try to woo Joan Caufield, a woman who has just authored a book rejecting romance, in The Lady Says No. Dan Duryea resorted to desperate tactics to get the little sum he needed in Chicago Calling A Tale of Five Women was a European portmanteau film set in five different cities. The best known cast member was Gina Lollobrigida. Glenn Ford found himself caught up in a web of Nazis and duplicitous women while trying to obtain the missing Green Glove. Obsessed was a murder mystery set in the Victorian era that starred Geraldine Fitzgerald. Clayton Moore next played Buffalo Bill in a B western. Evelyn Keyes was mistaken to have been kidnapped in One Big Affair, a romantic comedy Royal Journey concerned Queen Elizabeth II's trip to Canada with Prince Phillip that occurred in 1951, shortly before she became Queen. It was a documentary. Mutiny was a saga of the War of 1812 (rarely filmed this particular war!) with Mark Stevens and Angela Lansbury John Forsythe starred in The Captive City a noir directed by Robert Wise Strange World was a Brazilian adventure film. Posters exist still, but are kind of a bit lurid for a site like this. Without Warning was about the hunt for a serial killer. Red Planet Mars next tried to invade and it was up to Peter Graves to stop it Richard Conte was in the noir The Fighter, based on a jack London tale about boxing. Confidence Girl was a B crime film Actors and Sin was a two part tale. The first part was a murder mystery with Edward G Robinson, with Marsha hunt as the victim, the second part was a comedy with Eddie Albert High Noon won Gary Cooper his second oscar, made audiences aware of Grace Kelly, and is rightly regarded as one of the best Westerns ever made. Katy Jurado also stood out in the supporting cast. Linda Darnell and Tab Hunter were up for risque business in Island of Desire. Park Row was a Noir from Sam Fuller, regarded as a master of the genre. Untamed Women was a sci-fi quickie The Ring was a boxing film with a difference. It was a saga of exposing racial bigotry. Rita Moreno was the girlfriend of the fighter. the Thief with Ray Milland was unusual for 1952. It was, despite sound effects, devoid of words. It was thus, in that regard, a silent movie. Limelight was Charlie Chaplin's last in America and last at UA, the company he helped to found. At least he went out on a high note, with a gloriously bittersweet film that was achingly lovely. Claire Bloom made her first big impact here, and Bustor Keaton had a chance to appear in a scene with Chaplin. Kansas City Confidential with John Payne might have been a B noir at the time, but it is regarded today as a great example of the genre. bwana Devil introduced 3D to the movies. You can take that as an advancement or as a debit to films based on your point of view. Claudette Colbert and Jack Hawkins vs. Communist rebels in The Planter's Wife Babes in Baghdad was a spoof of middle eastern adventure films with Paulette Goddard and Gypsy Rose Lee mingling among the harem. Monsoon was a saga of forbidden love And 1952 closed with another Best Picture nominee in the form of Moulin Rouge, the story of Talouse-Lautrec, brilliantly played by Jose Ferrer,. The John Huston film was colorful and fascinating, well handled in the extreme.
  13. Fanny by Moonlight started the year, four years late after its British release and with 17 minutes shaved off. It was provocative for the time Claudette Colbert, Robert Cummings, and Don Ameche made a sudden shift toward noir in Sleep My Love. On Our Merry Way was a compilation comedy, with 3 different sections. Here (in one of the parts) are Paulette Goddard and Burgess Meredith. Jimmy Stewart, Dorothy Lamour, Henry Fonda, and Fred Macmurray were also in it. Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer found love amidst war in Arch of Triumph. The Angry God was one of those films involving natives against a volcano. here Comes Trouble was a B Comedy that was the end of the line for Betty Compson. Hopalong returned yet again. Who killed Doc Robbin was another attempt to re-utilize material once meant for Our Gang. Hopalong again X 2 So This Is New York was a satirical show business comedy. The Cisco kid was brought back teas Brooklyn and Heaven was a culture clash comedy. The Vicious Circle was a film involving dirty oil. Hopalong again, but the end is soon in sight for him Joel McCrea played a western outlaw, and his real-life wife Frances Dee was along for the ride. Pitfall was a noir with Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, and Raymond Burr James Cagney made another trip to UA in a self produced film, the comedy drama The Time of Your Life. The Last two Hopalongs Red River though was a Western on a much bigger scale and is generally regarded as one of the genre's best. John Wayne and Montgomery Clift starred. Urubu was one of those adventure films with stock villainous natives. Madeliene Carroll feared that her husband Fred macMurray was unfaithful in An Innocent Affair. Carroll quickly returned for a mountain-climbing drama and Laraine Day and Kirk Douglas were a love match in My Dear Secretary.
  14. 1947 opened with another return of Hopalong Cassidy. The Fabulous Dorseys was a loose biopic based on the Dorsey brothers, playing themselves here. Carnegie Hall was meant as a showpiece for many musical performances of the type the place might play Edward G Robinson came to UA to make The Red House, a psychological thriller Followed by another Hopalong The Sin of Harold Diddlesbrook was the last time for Harold Lloyd; RKO rereleased it under the name mad Wednesday Charlie Chaplin returned with Monsieur Verdoux. For a change, he was playing a murderous rogue. The film was a dark comedy that took many poited takes at war and at society in general, and was most effective. Martha Raye made quite the impact as a seemingly indestructible woman, who, try as he might, always ends up outliving Chaplin's murder attempts. New Orleans was a jazz film with both Louis Armstrong and Billie Holliday Safari leader gregory peck was in for more than he bargined for when taking Joan Bennett and Robert Preston on tour in The Macomber Affair George Sanders was a rogue in The Private Life of Bel Ami, and Angela Lansbury and Ann Dvorak were tangled up with him. Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake headed off for the West in Ramrod. And in the West UA remained with their next B film Barbara Stanwyck and David Niven had a love that was not meant to be in The Other Love. Eddie Bracken and Priscilla Lane played fortune-hunters who fell for each other in Fun on a Week-End Hed Lamarr returned to the world of noir for Dishonored Lady Hopalong Cassidy made yet another appearance Groucho Marx appeared with Caren Miranda in Copacabana Jackie Cooper became a father in Stork Bites Man Hopalong X 2 Curley was some variation on Our Gang/Little Rascals material Hal Roach was ready for a retrospective The Fabulous Joe involved a talking dog The Roosevelt Story was a documentary about the late great president. Lucille Ball invesigated the case of a serial killer in the wonderful noir Lured, directed by Douglas Sirk. Ball was ideal in her dramatic part. Heaven Only Knows mixed fantasy with the Western genre. Don't let the poster fool you, Christmas Eve was actually a comedy Body and Soul brought massive praise to John Garfield. He received an Oscar nomination for playing a boxer. George Raft was back to the world of gangsters in Intrigue. The year closed with Alfred Hitchcock trying out the world of courtroom dramas in The Paradine Case.
  15. With the end of the war came some very delayed British films, ones that had appeared in England up to even 4 years earlier..... Mr Emmanuel was a British film involving the plight of a Jewish man forced by a plea to go back inside Germany. Delightfully Dangerous was another musical with Jane Powell. Brewster's Millions was a brash, amusing take on a comedy perennial, handled with skillful timing. It's In the Bag was the only starring role in a film for Fred Allen. James Cagney and Sylvia Sidney starred in the romantic thriller Blood on the Sun Jean Renoir received an Oscar nomination for directing the affecting The Southerner, a moving saga of a close-knit family, poor but resilient. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp arrived, two years late, but still a masterful film by any means, tremendously moving and fascinating, with unforgettable performances. The Great John L. was the boxer with the last name of Sullivan. Ruth Hussey played a doctor who fell for her patient in Bedside Manner. Burgess Meredith starred in the gritty, realistic war film The Story of GI Joe. Robert Mitchum seen here prominantly on the rerelease poster had a smaller role, but it was the only Oscar nomination of his career (pity; he deserved more) Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche appeared in the romantic comedy Guest Wife Rex Harrison might have been top billed in Blythe Spirit as the man whose life is upset when the ghost of his first wife returns, but nobody could prevent Margaret Rutherford from stealing the whole show as the eccentric medium in this offbeat comedy. Love on the Dole with Deborah Kerr arrived late. It was in England in 1941, making it her first leading role. Paris Underground was the saga of people desperately trying to leave the besieged city in 1940. Hitchcock returned with the ever-popular Spellbound, a romantic psychological thriller with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. Way to the Stars was a British war film with Michael Redgrave, John Mills, and Jean Simmons Charles Laughton was out to sea as Captain Kidd Getting Gertie's Garter brought an old hit comedy back to the screen.
  16. This is a relatively sleepy year outside of the British imports, and there is a reason for that. It was in this year (or was it perhaps 1947?) that the Rank company switched distribution to Universal, and with many of their premier American produced moved elsewhere (Goldwyn moved to RKO in 1941; Selznick was trying it on his own.) So UA had a few leaner years, but they came back in the 1950s. 1946 started with the western Abilene Town with Randolph Scott and Ann Dvorak. George Raft and Ava Gardner topped the bill in the noir Whistle Stop Paulette Goddard was a servant who caused giant change in the household she was employed in in Diary of a Chambermaid Breakfast in Hollywood was a b comedy costarring Bonita Granville. Jane Russell was the young Widow, considering a new romance with Louis Hayward The Marx Brothers returned for A Night in Casablanca. Henry V was belated by 2 years. Having arrived in England in 1944, it came here in 1946 and was a Best Picture nominee. George Sanders caused A Scandal in Paris, in a Douglas Sirk film that costarred Signe Hasso and Carole Landis George Raft was a gangster and Sylvia Sidney was running for Congress in the noir Mr Ace An interesting cast appeared in this fluffy comedy known as The Bachelor's Daughters Vivien Leigh starred as Cleopatra in an adaptation of Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra released in England in 1945. Claude Rains was Caesar, and Stuart Granger and Flora Robson were along for the ride in an intriguing film that is worth a look. Paul Muni was deep into a Faustian deal in Angel on My Shoulder Little Iodine was based on a comic strip Hedy Lamarr was a femme fatale in The Stange Woman Hopalong returned The Chase was another noir Susie Steps Out was a B comedy And Abie's Irish Rose was a film version of a long running Broadway hit
  17. 1942 started with another one of Hal Roach's comedy streamliners Which in turn was followed by another. note that lead William Bendix would have a breakout year in 1942 thanks to The Glass Key and Wake Island at Paramount Pimpernel Smith was the final leading part for Leslie Howard, who died in 1942. To Be or Not To Be had bad timing. By the time it was released, America had been at war for three months and the film's leading lady had been gone for two. As such the reception wasn't warm. With time though, people have come to realize what a brilliant film it is. Remade at Fox (quite well, actually) in 1983. Off to the dude ranch for the next streamliner, this one with Noah Beery Jr., long before becoming James Garner's father on The Rockford Files. Sabu returned for a well-beloved adventure film, a version of The Jungle Book. Another streamliner comedy. This one had Margaret Dumont in the supporting cast. Brian Donlevy and Miriam Hopkins were former love interests turned bitter enemies in the crime film A Gentleman After Dark. Twin Beds was a farce with George Brent, Joan Bennett, Mischa Auer, Glenda Farrell, Margaret Hamilton, and Una Merkel. Flying with Music showed that the Stremliners had discovered the rumba. Ships with Wings was a war film from England. Miss Annie Rooney was most noted for being the film where Shirley Temple received her first kiss (from Dickie Moore). The advertising played up on that. Friendly Enemies was another wartime morale-booster. Powell and Pressburger returned with One of Our Aircraft is Missing! The Devil with Hitler actually had the dictator as its main character in a lampoon Undercover Man was a Hopalong Cassidy adventure. George Sanders turned to painting in The Moon and Sixpence, from the Somerset Maugham tale and co-starring Herbert Marshall. Veronica Lake was a witch going for revenge. Instead she found love with Fredric March in I Married a Witch. Silver Queen sent Priscilla Lane and George Brent to the West. Back to the war themed comedy streamliners with Fall-In Jacare was a documentary concerning the dangers of South America's jungles. Richard Dix made up an empire with the help of an enemy in the West Hopalong Cassidy returned William Bendix returned for another programmer comedy. And Noel Coward and David Lean served up one of the best regarded war films of the era, In Which We Serve.
  18. The Lion has Wings was a propaganda film meant to raise British morale in World War II Laurel and Hardy were reunited for A Chump at Oxford. Walter Pidgeon fell for married woman Joan Bennett in the House Across the Bay. Did I mention she was married to a gangster? George Raft, Lloyd Nolan, and Gladys George costarred. Bryan Aherne's overly spoiled son Louis Hayward grew up rotten in My Son! My Son! Victor Mature and Carole Landis were cavepeople in One Million BC Laurel and Hardy returned for Saps at Sea Adolphe Menjou and Carole Landis played a couple who mysteriously swapped bodies in Turnabout. Conquest of the Air was an aerial documentary. Thornton Wilder's classic play Our Town made it to the big screen. The ending was changed, but it was still a wonderful film. With Martha Scott and William Holden. And then, an all-time classic: Rebecca with Joan Fontaine, Lawrence Olivier, and the unforgettable Judith Anderson under the watchful direction of Alfred Hitchcock making his American debut. It won for Best Picture. After that it was off to the islands with South of Pago Pago Victor Mature and Alan Ladd were out to sea in Captain Caution. Foreign Correspondent proved that there was more than one wonderful Hitchcock classic at UA in 1940..... Jon Hall was out to the West as Kit Carson. Pastor Hall was one of the first anti-Nazi films Gary Cooper scored with the Westerner and Walter Brennan won his third Oscar for playing Judge Roy Bean. John Ford came to UA to make The Long Voyage Home, with John Wayne, from the Eugene O'Neill play. It was a strong film, and the film debut for veteran character actress Mildred Natwick. Contraband was a spy film made by the soon-to-be-famous Powell and Pressburger, better known as The Archers. Charlie Chaplin returned with the landmark skewering of Hitler known as The Great Dictator. The year closed with a fantasy landmark, The Thief of Baghdad.
  19. Hopalong Cassidy started the year. Thornton Wilder's classic book The Bridge of San Luis Ray made its second of three trips to the big screen. Voice in the Wind was a film noir Shelley Winters made her debut in Knickerbocker Holiday, a Nelson Eddy musical Up in Mabel's Room was a comedy based on a play that was then 25 years old. More Hopalong Cassidy.... it Happened Tomorrow with Dick Powell and Linda Darnell was a lovely fantasy comedy that was most endearing with Powell as a man who suddenly started receiving tomorrow's papers. Hopalong redux. Song of the Open Road was a musical comedy that served as the film debut for Jane Powell. More Hopalong Sensations of 1945 was another musical revue, this time with Eleanor Powell topping the bill. William Bendix and Susan Hayward starred in an O'Neill adaptation. George Sanders and Linda Darnell starred in a noir. Since You Went Away was one of the great homefront films, heartwarming, gentle, and very moving, with one of Claudette Colbert's best performances, and equally fine work from Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker. it was time for another war comedy Dark Waters was a gothic noir with Merle Oberon. There is a Family was a family comedy that does not seem to have any images left on the internet. Charles Ruggles and Fay Bainter starred. Anne Baxter and Ralph Bellamy next took a stab at noir. Fredric March had a Nazi for a nephew in Tomorrow the World. And I'll Be Seeing You was a lovely way to close 1944, with a tender, absorbing story showing Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten to excellent advantage. And such a lovely title song too. https://hollywoodhistoryinpictures.wordpress.com/blog-feed/
  20. Merle Oberon won the lottery then proceeded to lose it all in Over the Moon, a comedy costarring Rex Harrison. I found it to be enjoyable. La Inmaculada was another foreign film pickup that seems to be listed places, but unfortunately again, no pictures have turned up. Constance Bennett, Roland Young, and Billie Burke returned to their former roles in the supernatural comedy Topper takes a Trip (the original was put out at MGM) Jimmy Stewart and Carole Lombard made a fine couple in the comedy drama made for Each Other, where they played a couple who married impulsively and then had to navigate the ups and downs of wedded life. Adolphe Menjou was the King of the Turf Stagecoach was one of the screen's best westerns, a fine showcase for director John Ford and for stars John Wayne (who was upped to the A-list after this) and Claire Trevor. Thomas Mitchell won the supporting actor Oscar for playing the drunken doctor. Another masterpiece was in store with Lawrence Olivier, Merle Oberon, Geraldine Fitzgerald, David Niven, Flora Robson, and Donald Crisp in William Wyler's version of Emily Bronte's classic Wuthering Heights. Prison Without Bars was another women's jail film Zenobia was a comedy with Oliver Hardy but without Stan Laurel. Brian Aherne, Victor McLaglen, and Paul Lukas were bound for the Australian Outback in Captain Fury Swashbuckling was back in play with Lewis Hayward and Joan Bennett in James Whale's The Man in the Iron Mask. Ann Sheridan starred in the comedy-drama Winter Carnival. The Robert Mitchum listed on the poster is not the one you're thinking..... The Four Feathers was a much esteemed British war film/literary adaptation starring Ralph Richardson. Much masterful violin playing was in the offing in They Shall Have Music. Ingrid Bergman arrived in Hollywood and promptly remade one of her Swedish films, and a graceful, delicate classic this remake turned into! Gary cooper and David Niven dealt with rebellion in the Phillipines in The Real Glory, a film bound to run into a bit of difficulty a few years later, thanks to some unflattering portraits in the film. Loretta Young and David Niven teamed for the romantic comedy Eternally Yours, with an impressive supporting cast. Joan Bennett and Adolphe Menjou were in The Housekeeper's Daughter which set a romantic comedy into the world of gansters. Victor Mature made his debut here. Pat O'Brien was out to clear his name from a murder charge in Slightly Honorable David Niven had his turn to be the gentleman thief in Raffles with Olivia De Havilland. The decade closed with another classic and best picture nominee, a version of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men with Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr. the 40s would be strange years for UA. They started off strong, but as producers moved to other studios or thinned out their slates, the company soon dipped into many films that were not well known. A revivival would come in the 50s that carried until 1979.
  21. Anne Shirley and Carole Landis were in the modelling business in the musical The Powers Girl Paulette Goddard was chasing after Ray Milland's hand in marriage in The Crystal Ball. Caboose was a steamliner sequel to one of the 1942 offerings. Young and Willing had William Holden, Eddie Bracken, and Susan Hayward as aspiring actors waiting for their careers to take off in a showbiz comedy. UA handled early bookings of The Outlaw, the Western about Billy the Kid, that was more mentioned because of the many leering camera shots of Jane Russell in lowcut numbers. It caused a national scandal at the time, and the film was only intermittently released, including a 1950 try by RKO. Two Hopalong Cassidy Westerns followed. Fritz Lang blended noir with the war in Hangmen Also Die!, starring Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, and Anna Lee. Back to the streamlined comedies went William Bendix with Taxi, Mister. Barbara Stanwyck starred in Lady of Burlesque, a musical comedy based on a story written by Gypsy Rose Lee. It was entertaining enough. Buckskin Frontier was a Western action film with Richard Dix, Jane Wyatt, and Lee J. Cobb. Prairie Chickens finished up a streamliner trilogy started in 1942 and continued earlier in 1943. Hopalong came by again for his third adventure of the year. And Hal Roach decided one lampoon of Hitler was not enough it was Hopalong time yet again. Stage Door Canteen had many stars making cameo appearences for the war effort. Little trivia note: This was only one of two supporting appearances that Katharine Hepburn ever made. Yanks Ahoy was a morale booster on a smaller scale. the Foreman Went to France was a war film seen through British eyes. Even the Disney company got in on the war theme with Victory Through Air Power. This was the only Disney film released though United Artists. Hi Diddle Diddle was a musical comedy with Adolphe Menjou, Martha Scott, Pola Negri, and Billie Burke James Cagney was Johnny Come Lately, the first of several independent productions he starred in. Richard Dix and Jane Wyatt made their second Western teaming of the year. Three more Hopalong Cassidy romps. Note Robert Mitchum was in the first and third ones, pre-fame. Michael O'Shea was the famous novelist in jack London, while his love interest was Susan Hayward. Anna Sten was the lead in Three Russian Girls, one of several pro-Russian films that came under heavy scrutiny in the blacklisting era postwar. And the year closed with Claire Trevor in the West as The Woman of the Town https://hollywoodhistoryinpictures.wordpress.com/blog-feed/
  22. Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, and George Sanders started 1941 going with a swashbuckler, The Son of Monte Cristo. Adolphe Menjou, Carole Landis, and Patsy Kelly were off to the circus in Road Show. Martha Scott was a dedicated teacher in Cheers for Miss Bishop. Fredric March, Margaret Sullivan, Frances Dee, Glenn Ford, Erich von Stroheim, and Anna Sten astarred in So Ends Our Night, which was another one of the early anti-Nazi (and one of the most outspokenly so) films to come out before America joined the war. Topper returns was the final of the ghost comedy series, again with Roland Young, just this time with Joan Blondell. Jimmy Stewart and Paulette Goddard were teamed for the musical Pot O' Gold Merle Oberon, Fredric March, and Burgess Meredith starred in That Uncertain Feeling, a comedy from Lubitsch. Vivien Leigh was the notorious Lady Hamilton and Laurence Oliver was her Lord Nelson in a sweeping and engrossing saga of their involvement with one another. (The stars married off screen around this time) Major Barbara was a piece of barbed satire from George Bernard Shaw's play, well acted by Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Robert Morley, Robert Newton, and film-debuting Deborah Kerr. Broadway Limited was the saga of much mayhem that occured on a train. Kukan was a documentary about how China was fighting against Japan. Sailors Three was a war comedy from England. Alan Curtis was Franz Schubert in the biopic The Great Awakening. Tanks a Million was what was known as a streamliner, a short film, in this case a war comedy, made quickly and on a low budget. Hal Roach made many of these in the war years. Merle Oberon played the gamut in Lydia going from being a young girl to an elderly woman. Joseph Cotten and Edna May Oliver were also in the cast. Ilona Massey was an enemy spy in International Lady. Niagara Falls was another short streamlined comedy. Gene Tierney and George Sanders were in Sundown, a war-set film that was a big critical hit. All American Co-Ed was another streamliner comedy, this one also a war film, and a musical, thus hitting three nails simultaneously. Miss Polly was one of the shortest streamliners. Only 45 minutes. The Corsican Brothers found Douglas Fairbanks Jr. appearing in the type of swashbucker his father was famed for. Gaiety (also known as Fiesta) was another musical quickie that was only 45 minutes. 1941 closed with Von Sternberg's The Shanghai gesture, a film noir with Gene Tierney, Victor Mature, Walter Huston, and Ona Munson.
  23. Miriam Hopkins and Gertrude Lawrence vied for Sebastian Shaw in the fierce Men are Not Gods, which also gave a push to Rex Harrison's career. Several Brits needed to attend to some unfinished business in India in Troopship. Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney made for a tragic pair of outlaws in love in Fritz Lang's brilliant You Only Live Once. Roland Young starred as The Man Who Could Work Miracles, a comedy written by HG Welles. Vivien Leigh and Rex Harrison, both early in their careers, appeared in Storm in a Teacup, a romantic comedy. leigh was back again in the historical drama Fire Over England involving the great London fire. Flora Robson played the queen; Lawrence Olivier, Robert Newton, and Raymond Massey were also involved. Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur were a wonderful pair in History is Made at Night, a cross between romance, comedy, drama, and disaster film. Somehow, it worked. Sabu made his debut in the adventure Elephant Boy. Ann Harding and Basil Rathbone appeared in the Agatha Christie adaptation Love from a Stranger. A remake would appear just a few years later with Sylvia Sidney. The first official version of A Star is Born was my personal favorite. The tried-and-true tale was luminously enacted by Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, both of whom were Oscar nominated. Miriam Hopkins was after Joel McCrea in Woman Chases Man Elizabeth Bergner appeared in Dreaming lips, the saga of an illicit affair and its dreadful repercussions. Douglas Fairbanks Jr was a cat burgler whose ideas of love were shattered in When Thief Meets Thief (foreign-language poster here) Warner Baxter and Joan Bennett found themselves falling for one another in the fashion industry in Vogues of 1938 (actually a 1937 film) Conrad Veight and Vivien Leigh were spies in love in Dark Journey Robert Donat was out to save hostage Marlene Dietrich in Knight Without Armor Barbara Stanwyck obtained one of her signature roles in the affecting Stella Dallas, a wonderful film. Both she and Anne Shirley were Oscar nominated for it. Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart, and Claire Trevor (not to mention the Dead End Kids) were trapped in the slums in Dead End. Ronald Colman starred in The Prisoner of Zenda, one of the screen's best swashbucklers. Stand-In was a lampoon of Hollywood with Leslie Howard, Joan Blondell, and Humphrey Bogart. This sounds most intriguing. Dorothy Lamour and her sarongs shot to stardom following the release of The Hurricane, a classic disaster film with Jon hall, Mary Astor, C Aubrey Smith, Thomas Mitchell, Raymond Massey, and John Carradine Murder on Diamond Row was a crime saga from England. Ian Hunter starred in 52nd Street, a musical Carole Lombard made her only film in color with Nothing Sacred, a gleefully wicked satire filled with one delicious joke after another. Fredric March was the male lead, with Walter Connelly making an impact as a newspaper editor named Oliver Stone!
  24. Clive Brook was trying to clear his name from card cheating in Action for Slander. Ann Todd had top billing though. Joan Bennett and Henry Fonda traversed a long rocky road to love in I Met My Love Again Merle Oberon, Lawrence Olivier, Binnie Barnes, and Ralph Richardson starred in the popular The Divorce of Lady X, one of the first films in color to come out of England. Samuel Goldwyn staged a giant musical revue. Tommy Kelly and Jackie Moran were the famous Tom and Huck in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The Gaiety Girls was a romantic comedy from England. Barry Barnes stepped into Leslie Howard's shoes in The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel. this was an early appearance for James Mason. Gary Cooper was the famed adventurer in The Adventures of Marco Polo with Basil Rathbone and Binnie Barnes. Lana Turner had a small bit, pre-stardom. Moonlight Sonata mixed romance with classical piano music. it was one of the last few films for silent star Charles Ferrell. Madeleine Carroll and Henry Fonda became caught up in the Spanish Civil War. Ralph Richardson got caught up in politics in South Riding. Edna Best, Edmund Gwenn, and Ann Todd costarred. This was the film debut for Glynis Johns, then age 14. Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr scored a big lift to their careers with the popular romantic adventure Algiers. Dreamers of Glory was a Mexican film made much earlier in the decade that UA handled in 1938. I can't find a picture for it. Sabu and Raymond Massey returned in the war film The Drum. Fredric March and Virginia Bruce starred in a delightful romantic comedy, There Goes My Heart, but Patsy Kelly stole the entire film as Bruce's wisecracking friend and coworker. The Young in Heart was another delightful comedy as a family of cons mend their ways after befriending an elderly lady, an intended target named Miss Fortune. This was the last film of the prime part of Janet Gaynor's career (she would make one last film in 1957). Again though, a supporting player, this time Minnie Dupree as the lovely Miss Fortune, stole the show. Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon took to a Western romance The Cowboy and the Lady. Louis Hayward was wooing Joan Fontaine in the Duke of West Point. And Fredric March and Joan Bennett starred in a romantic comedy, Trade Winds.
  25. Le Golem was a monster movie from France. Cary Grant returned to his native England for The Amazing Adventure. Robert Donat was a ghost less than impressed with the brashness of American society in The Ghost Goes West. I think you can tell by my picture what I think of this next release. Modern Times is my pick for the best film ever made. I think that says enough there. Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, and Joel McCrea appeared in These Three, a much changed version of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour (filmed in a blunter version by the same director, William Wyler, again at UA in 1961). Still, this received much praise, and Bonita Granville as the malevolent gossip was up for an Oscar. Freddie Bartholomew had one of his best parts in Little Lord Faunteroy, a very charming film. Twas also the first independent David O. Selznick production. Continuing a good run, Things to Come is regarded as one of the greatest of sci-fi films. Douglas Fairbanks Jr was out to clear his father's name in The Amateur Gentleman. Ida Lupino had an early lead in One Rainy Afternoon. Moscow Nights was a romantic drama that featured Lawrence Olivier Randolph Scott and Binnie Barnes starred in a version of The Last of the Mohicans. Another 1936 masterpiece arrived in the form of Dodsworth, a completely brilliant film. The Gay Desperado was a Western Comedy. Edweard Arnold, Frances Farmer, Joel McCrea, and Oscar-winning Walter Brennan starred in Come and Get It, another much acclaimed title. UA ventured forth into color for the first time with The Garden of Allah with those continental lovers Dietrich and Boyer. Douglas Fairbanks Jr was back in England for the melodrama Accused. Charles Laughton was much praised for his work playing the great painter Rembrandt. And Brian Aherne and Merle Oberon appeared in Beloved Enemy, a loos, disguised take on the Irishman Michael Collins. https://hollywoodhistoryinpictures.wordpress.com/blog-feed/
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