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A United Artists Retrospective Scrapbook: 1939


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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.

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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)

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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.

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Adolphe Menjou was the King of the Turf

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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.

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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.

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Prison Without Bars was another women's jail film

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Zenobia was a comedy with Oliver Hardy but without Stan Laurel.

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Brian Aherne, Victor McLaglen, and Paul Lukas were bound for the Australian Outback in Captain Fury

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Swashbuckling was back in play with Lewis Hayward and Joan Bennett in James Whale's The Man in the Iron Mask.

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Ann Sheridan starred in the comedy-drama Winter Carnival. The Robert Mitchum listed on the poster is not the one you're thinking.....

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The Four Feathers was a much esteemed British war film/literary adaptation starring Ralph Richardson.

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Much masterful violin playing was in the offing in They Shall Have Music.

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Ingrid Bergman arrived in Hollywood and promptly remade one of her Swedish films, and a graceful, delicate classic this remake turned into!

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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.

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Loretta Young and David Niven teamed for the romantic comedy Eternally Yours, with an impressive supporting cast.

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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.

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Pat O'Brien was out to clear his name from a murder charge in Slightly Honorable

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David Niven had his turn to be the gentleman thief in Raffles with Olivia De Havilland.

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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.

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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. 

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Three great films this year: Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, and Of Mice and Men.

I think Stagecoach is still one of the best screen Westerns. It's John Ford at his best.

Laurence Olivier gives a fine performance as Heathcliff, and Geraldine FitzGerald is fiery and ravishingly beautiful in  Wuthering Heights.

I think Of Mice and Men is the best film Lewis Milestone ever made. The novel is also one of my favorites.

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A good year, with the top film being among my favorites, although I know many don't care for it...

  1. Stagecoach
  2. Of Mice and Men
  3. Four Feathers
  4. Wuthering Heights
  5. The Man in the Iron Mask
  6. Raffles
  7. Made for Each Other
  8. The Real Glory

I've also seen Intermezzo and Slightly Honorable.

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A lot of enjoyable films. 

We should mention that Claire Trevor was catapulted to the "A" list. Before STAGECOACH, she'd been making "B" films at Fox. 

This is my favorite version of RAFFLES. It's really well made.

MADE FOR EACH OTHER recycles a plot point from MGM's NIGHT FLIGHT (flying a serum to a sick baby). Selznick produced both pictures.

Leslie Howard agreed to do GONE WITH THE WIND, if Selznick would let him make INTERMEZZO with Ingrid Bergman. 

OF MICE AND MEN is a classic, though subsequent versions have been good in their own way.

This version of WUTHERING HEIGHTS is unrivaled. Same for THE FOUR FEATHERS.

ETERNALLY YOURS is a Walter Wanger production that utilizes a lot of leftover footage from TRADE WINDS. Basically, Wanger's idea was to take all the on-location filming and craft two movies from it.

My favorite film from this batch is actually ZENOBIA. It's such a charming film with some truly delightful performances. One of Hal Roach's best feature-length comedies.

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On 7/11/2019 at 7:03 PM, CinemaInternational said:

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.

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One of my favorites. Lon Jr. often parodied his performance in other film but this is the original, he is touching in the role that made him a star.

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