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A United Artists Retrospective Scrapbook: 1943


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Anne Shirley and Carole Landis were in the modelling business in the musical The Powers Girl

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Paulette Goddard was chasing after Ray Milland's hand in marriage in The Crystal Ball.

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Caboose was a steamliner sequel to one of the 1942 offerings.

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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.

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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.

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Two Hopalong Cassidy Westerns followed.

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Fritz Lang blended noir with the war in Hangmen Also Die!, starring Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, and Anna Lee.

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Back to the streamlined comedies went William Bendix with Taxi, Mister.

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Barbara Stanwyck starred in Lady of Burlesque, a musical comedy based on a story written by Gypsy Rose Lee. It was entertaining enough.

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Buckskin Frontier was a Western action film with Richard Dix, Jane Wyatt, and Lee J. Cobb.

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Prairie Chickens finished up a streamliner trilogy started in 1942 and continued earlier in 1943.

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Hopalong came by again for his third adventure of the year.

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And Hal Roach decided one lampoon of Hitler was not enough

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it was Hopalong time yet again.

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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.

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Yanks Ahoy was a morale booster on a smaller scale.

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the Foreman Went to France was a war film seen through British eyes.

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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.

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Hi Diddle Diddle was a musical comedy with Adolphe Menjou, Martha Scott, Pola Negri, and Billie Burke

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James Cagney was Johnny Come Lately, the first of several independent productions he starred in.

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Richard Dix and Jane Wyatt made their second Western teaming of the year.

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Three more Hopalong Cassidy romps. Note Robert Mitchum was in the first and third ones, pre-fame.

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Michael O'Shea was the famous novelist in jack London, while his love interest was Susan Hayward.

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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.

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And the year closed with Claire Trevor in the West as The Woman of the Town

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We've posted a lot about how 1943 was an uneven year, and none of my top picks here would make my over-all top ten of the year. I watched all of those Hopalong Cassidy movies because Robert Mitchum appears in them to varying degrees.

  1. Stage Door Canteen
  2. Hangmen Also Die!
  3. Johnny Come Lately

I've also seen Young and WillingThe OutlawHoppy Serves a WritBorder PatrolLady of BurlesqueLeather BurnersColt ComradesHi Diddle DiddleThe KansanBar 20False ColorsRiders of the Deadline, and Jack London.

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THE POWERS GIRL never seems to show up anywhere. 

HI DIDDLE DIDDLE is very funny. Pola Negri hadn't been in a Hollywood movie since 1932.

JOHNNY COME LATELY is also quite good.

Paramount helped UA again. THE CRYSTAL BALL was originally a Paramount picture. So was YOUNG AND WILLING. UA owed exhibitors more pictures than they had. So they struck a deal with Paramount to release a few more of theirs.

UA was short on films, because Walter Wanger had signed a deal with Fox...and Goldwyn was now releasing through RKO...so UA lost product with producers it previously relied upon.

 

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