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TomJH

NAME A MOVIE GEM THAT DESERVES TO BE BETTER KNOWN

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The world is full of those good little films (or good big films, for that matter) that few people ever talk about, probably because they never even heard of them.

 

Well, here's a chance for you to name that film gem that you feel deserves a better fate.

 

For starters, I will pick TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. Heard of it? I thought not.

 

This is a 1948 Columbia release starring Dick Powell as a U.S. Treasury agent on a round-the-world chase, Shanghai to Cairo to Havana, after international opium dealers. Presented in the semi-documentary style that 20th Century Fox had popularized after the war, it is a fast moving, hard hitting drama that leaps from one exotic setting to another. The film has atmosphere, there are a raft of colourful bits done by menacing character actors, and Powell, in the midst of the tough guy period in his career, is in great form.

 

Oh, yeh, the film also has a great twist ending which I, for one, didn't see coming.

 

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TCM showed TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH once, a few years ago, in the wee hours of the morning. It's time to show this one again, and hopefully in a reasonable time slot!

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*The Night of June 13th* (1932)

Clive Brook, Frances Dee, Charles Ruggles, Gene Raymond, Mary Boland and Charley Grapewin in a nice little mystery.

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CHICAGO CALLING (1952)

 

This was a nice little film. Dan Duryea plays the average man here, a bit down on his luck as we first see him, a point emphasized by the stairway that we see him descending en route home. His wife is about to leave him since he's chronically unemployed, and she's going to take their daughter with her.

 

This happens the next day and then he later gets a telegram stating that his daughter was injured in a car accident and is about to undergo surgery. He'll supposedly get the details the next day via a phone call. But that's just it - his day started out bad, and only got worse as the phone company terminated his service and if that isn't bad enough, his dog is also injured in an accident while he's out trying to scrounge up money to pay the bill so he can get the call the next day.

 

It reminded me of Loretta Young's "Cause For Alarm" in which we follow the protagonist through an agonizing day, in her case she was trying to retrieve an incriminating letter. It may have been sunny in each film, but the characters are having one very dark day.

 

"Chicago Calling" may be the title, but what we get is the lower environs of Los Angeles in all of its seediness. But still some helpful characters emerge, such as a counter-woman who must have seen "The Grapes of Wrath" (at least the diner scene) and has a soft spot for Duryea's woe, and a young boy, the one whose bicycle hits Duryea's dog. The boy's "help" only compounds Duryea's problems, but he meant well.

 

A very nice job on a low budget, the director John Reinhardt died the next year, but based on this and "Open Secret" - another budget job that had antisemitism in its sights, he had a lot of promise that might have been fulfilled had he gotten the breaks.

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CORRIDOR OF MIRRORS, a British production of 1948, may be dismissed by some as a pretentious "art" film. It's also an audacious venture that has the courage to try to emulate the huge success that director Jean Cocteau had enjoyed with Beauty and the Beast two years before. And just how many other Cocteau-imitators are there?

 

Eric Portman plays a strange, to put it mildly, artistocrat living in the past, with a palatial home filled with furniture, statues and luxurious finery that are all tributes to the renaissance. He also, as it happens, believes that he lived in that period and has now in 1930s London discovered a woman that is the physical embodiment of a former lover from that time.

 

The beauteous Edana Romney, who was also co-writer of the screenplay, plays that lady in a film of murder, madness and reincarnation. Terence Young, years before directing the first of the Bond adventures, has a frequently tracking camera movement, observing the lush surroundings, mirrored corridors and these not quite real people who inhabit them.

 

The film boasts luscious black-and-white photography, many of the closeups of Romney looking almost like small paintings. Accompanying the film's strong visuals, and adding to the often dreamlike quality of the production is the moody, at times over powering musical score of Georges Auric, the same composer who had brought so much to Beauty and the Beast, as well.

 

The film also has early screen appearances in a nightclub scene by both Christopher Lee and Lois Maxwell, years before the roles of Dracula and Moneypenny would be theirs.

 

If you're ready to abandon logic and be caught up in a film of Gothic atmosphere that dares to be different (the confidence of these filmmakers is really impressive), Corridor of Mirrors will be the kind of dreamlike trip that you may well enjoy. Certainly I did.

 

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vCWsHevQZSGub5QyHKSfaPegR8XjrqXHQXWIVmUGNwCRP0qVtjODX3uO6JKszMupEkkfSpQdvxzeMeQ/wDiqlpoaTz29ImK9cY3jge3Tl71QxLVFLHYfuBQKP4h8b7u0yj4v1OgQ9ct4pis15z1M/QUd7fYpmvANO0keZmPtSrfmZIiRzoM3dq8TWxNS22tARwYhRPX1HMCgIFDCFKKVjlI6bdFHLAFAQa0SkADWgGQ95lA2MEdMTYiBtQlrdsv8WuugMQaC7hMMdmG1B0NmL1r0NMHDLysphs2utK3H8TmxYA/lhffc/eg8C1XuF3wsyYkgRtUSTljlMcxG9Zs/ENqBtuvyO0fuPvS1j8N4mVuf16EUYt4osEPKBmHmPvpPzrw4nhZHmJ18uVBawVwiygnZAPpFDuFYicy/0gfevYOQiegFD8A8Pc9vuaBjwO89BRDDYsi0tvloaGcOuaHzj70r8R7R3xdcK5QKxAAA2BI5ig6eUgJBLX05VY4Qma/cdtFUi0vroD/OudcJ/EK6jDv1F5R0ARx7jQ4pgb8SLFqyvdh7lweMjLkXOZOpOpgnkNYqAh244/aw7razBu7BJQHVieR/p96DrIlkYTEi2jJeZRbt5oIIbwuQV2IBJgVc9u3yzFmMsxLEnck6k1rNUakUas4jOE6jRh9jQcb1awTIxzFB0Xs9fFwaggCP5tz001ojfw4tMzjZuvI0icH4jcsvnTUe0ehoze4hdxQ8XhUHlpP7NB6XIl3y2z/qYbDy9aA453wt9bs5nDh9djpqp9RpRnC4XJECBS/2uxWa4q/0iT6mgB3CMxgQJMDoJ0Hypg7D4YXsT3DfDdWGMxAUhifpHvS7V/g92jk3M0FSBl5E9ecf4oCnbGw64xrTTmWEUEyAoAA9IoF3ZkjzinbjfF8NcWzfsEteytbuLdBBbwwHk6aClrDYUd4meADBJPwwRO0xQXOF467azIrQ2VrepBXKRJUdNaudnM2kKW7hfKQyvJzLMEIQp5LQe9ZtqHYXFOZgFUAk5d83/D0quHXQKJYnc75uVAe/8aYad7c002qUxpYssAxIBYSRA3OpqUHT8Q5IB570G4xfATeDI05mdPvFFbrRlA6CgKQM4aNYB9xtQc8/ELhoDq4JEBiQcpjnPrIpGuLGlOP4jKyYoqSYAECdOpgUm0GY0rUCtlOlamgLYZPyVIGoJUcGR96YOFsCo60uYLHOVS1PgBYgQPiYCTPsKaCYEXgCDlbbT9aC7i8GtxMskTzFDW7GEDS4Neoo8nC7inUSPL/NWhhxsVM1AD4fwTuQQGLMxA266ACkriNhreKdXJbhDA9Qdqcu1OJuYZbbocrd4COewkfWknF4lrtxrjeJ2JdjG5Jkkx51RYddYrVCQdK93XYjmAfpXidKA9wmWAH9M69as39vofrQ7hOLYJA5DT6/rV7CXw8g6fs0Hncw49qDgZXuUzNY/xQri2EIBuDn8X6GgnDcZA16il/jNsC/cIMyZetEsNdge00Cu3SxLHc60HkaxUmpQQrWVSdtawatcNRS8N0aNSNY028/pNBVJrZbkGRpV3iHDcsMPgacpkaxodBsZ1jzHWh9A9dmrFu7ZVjqw8J/v7imO5gQi6bGuY8L4q9hpXY/EvIina32tU2c3KNRzB6VBrxnHizbLbnYDzpAxN8uxY7nU1e41xU3nk7DYUNFUQVmoKlAQweNyoAQCAxMGSOXIb7fWvDGX5MjQQNBoP3z968bdYegyLpBBBMjaNKu2MZcuZLQCsSQF8IzyToM251POqAra20EEbgg9AzGxdTwNh74ZfCR4NCNCPh61K6bc4Et4m7/EAd4TcghQRm8UGeetSgMdkHIR4YUgcmgMR9frVHh5zEE9R9DVtxGm8AD35mtbdsgyKBb/Evs13z94m4A89Rrt6fauU4xiXJaJ20AA09K6r2oxz37hVTFtdIH8zQZk8hXM8dg8jFQZgx68/lQUUWtCutemWGFbX7cGg0QwZHKn/spYhi3ImfYif1pBtprXUuzljLbtg9INA1WgCvWsmwK8cM4FeuKxiqIoFHtxC90cob8wGCMwIgyCDuCJrnOJBDsV8IafCJgAmSvp5HpXUO0di3dNsXC4NvBknwjc5zEax7il7E8HVUVxr5mJgiZ003oFnC6oPIkfrta3FoqlhSWEedVbmFANBpgtJ38jMRBEtFuH8JYTmJBMwAJ05EmfPlVDBPlbUAjKw9JjWOcb0fwGGFy5abvSgtgzpOZSdF059J8lBSt4oqMpkhdD1HmPI1etIHQjef3/aq3aC0guFVMvroBPMwsQr17I8PuXCxVlBAnu2kMw6jlQLPGbJtDwjRtPTyoCzU98VwmYNOokyNj6etJWNwpRo5cjQVqzWKzQQVsrkEEaEaitRUNB73MSW35ryaotQigxW63IBHWK0rBoMzWBWRWKDNSagqUGyVG3rKVrcOulBivbBkd4s7ZhPpNeNb2mgz0/Kg7fd/EnDW2NskShKHnquh1jyqVxAsTqdalB39cVEyQfMaacqmKx4t2ySdD6yTyA6mh3E8bbRz4x6SD7aUAbtAouSyhwNoMZeo9aC0ODkyVZgW1ysQwJO8nzNKHaTBNbuDOrLKjeCDuCVYbj11HOnL/6qtnUSD0IBUGmW1wxMZYZL6GDsSsQY0dSefaDhF5unKvesqhGsj6zrlN2I7MC3cayyDMhIJJgspJyMu0aHzlC8NwxGLKrSbZaR8URJJ02Gh18qCjhcKqJLjMSQQRqVgExGxkwJ5U6cI4hmtggQRHptuPlS1bszGlHuG8MyrcbXZSuXQyDqY2bQn1oGfh1rNqa98XcRIzsFB0GYxrS9wzil0c82mxAmdfCdVjbzojjsPcvMjG3pmW0FZkAYEZ3zDfLKjfSRsTUwCNFbl3wsSAkSNiJYNr6svy3r2x1lShUEEAR11jSibdnFFu5bzMLjCWBAuBVAMKHKHLrIIG8j1oNd4P3UxpJI0ESCZluczpHICqFtG/NHnpVi5hZHnOojboZ/SrB4dDhvOduh1pgThU8qBN/hGLJosKWA0BPwyfOCKNYHFG2REageIBc6FSCrTz1I0ognAQ2I10VQGP6D561bYvDDJqA2vLWZ3PkY5eVAQ4V2eS/ee5cy5WjxCfESolV5xvPrU49w822Fy2VBUyI09iIlb8DxYt2LYYj4jlbLPWCJAIkE0f/wDE8OywxDeTaf8AdQJeIsjEq9xcocQWtgaxEFpnXXUEem6RxfA7giurYnAWiwNuLbDZgQSOo9PKkPthhCja89DH0PpQIVy2QYNaVbxJzeoqrQSpUqUGy1msKagNBgCoahqTQQVgVma1oMzWQa1rIoPUV5E1sTpWooMgVKlSg9wi/1fSpXjNSg63gOzKIwN24STLFttfLetsXw6xbaUcZWEwddZgnX1ofguI4gJo6XAP5XBzfPevazfsnu0v5rMT4pNwNOoExIE/wBqA/hLn8OQ7Jbv2iQM6qveL7AeIfWmUE31z4a6hncMJIPTy9CKFWv4SwgL3lXQc9/PTrVW61i54sE903ZEG2jwfUkARQCu0vBMY12XXvANAQRoOgFDk4etmyW7k23LglzrbJEyscpmY2PvTeeJ438Vk3I3ldCOfiBqnxPjwdGR0Ni46lCrfA39MzBHqPLWgTMVwq4t8lZyBQzHfKCYA38Wum9Xez2PvM2QhQBmBJAXyG+pGgr0w2Ga7hLq5vGhynbMNATlkgxlXQdSxnWqvDMDetgqs2y2hEScs6mGaQwAmPeg2wDu3sUUQg3GJ1DQv/Vy6Ux4XhOMwmacO1wbi7bbM4MzEAmVkmRlHtRHh/Cbaob8AszaAkqqkCWiN/ETqQeVe2F4tfW6x7piuUZSGlCIMHxQZB5eVAvYjtEzv3ZLWidV0a3leSQSu7TJGWY2qxhbTXE8Ukkk6xpyIEcht7U33bwe0rPLBgWyXQD4QSCCpBHuKVBIF7zQhZZl7vUAyZULBBGw5UGuI4R4ARyIPtsfvRbA4XwyRy9K2tY9GQgEGNwZVo9Imfard5vD4YgQNNZP3gUFDCPbDOuhcglgY3MfKF0FD8TgQysozAsSB5SZlSN9/rRXB4cD84mSpZWEZYnflrWDw8l7oGUR4dJnQy3vFAE43ge6wygZmKAHzMbn1ihWF7Q22hSkqTAJg7xBPztM3FLyoGa4wygSSToB/muZcN4ggkMABLFW6a/4FB0K9gbGXMANtTMADmfKgnaHs2l2yIYjmrbrrqPasHicWxkIMiBoDPrRIYdksg3XCzrpHyj2ioOQ8U4bcsPluD0I2IoewrqvF7GGupDMZPWJH9qQuKcDyEm2c6/WqA1YNZcVrQZFZmsCpQQ1BWKlBk1ipUoJWy1iKgNBs1ampWTQYBraa1isig2gVmtJqUHQIYUWX1JMbXEIGZeWh0PzFCuIYzvIlzA6LBPuTFemL4moQJlaBMZtYHIecHaqWQls0ZBzlTy09zP3oDfCIqFVh4iugNw5iBy0PKnbh2LvfG9xRGoHSdPCPpXN1xWMrLP8Apn71oIZjJMYJH60HVMb2zdFKg5zscwFAbOKuMDdueIEkSRmCDkMu4G23IUuYIox1fKeoP10G9Fs6iTnZhykkHzmZoLWF4iDcV0Ur/y3m8LRswA5o2NMGK4DbnOHbu3JYiAR49QQdxqTpSLZxYD5gFJ1kagfoaZOzXGXym3cEquhMqYBI6RvQFuH8PhShcsstuoGbNBMawI6gVZscChmIutJIKhlUooGwiZPOrmI4X4QA0DcHYnaCDRTA4TMoLbj2igC2OEXV1FxX1OjA6DbQHSdeegArDWr1oGLAFqZIUgiOUqo669NRwa6HYj7c68MVdVZOgI1On7mgUeENbuK4fKVaIDb7mcseu8z8qu28YttltqnxGRAmNYPrzJ3q4eIKbefu4JzSHARsmviynWNyBzofhMYGtzbkcs2hLSDrAJignErRkyRqTEkxMHeNxtrQ3xJtJaNxlA3jQESNv7VvibJeZaTOaSCD852HSvO1cVZAEMNh8wfnQJPbXE3JuBmYqWDBZJXUa6bbilHA4vQgtNHbvUIw8wfbUfekr4Wk9AycN4k1khwM6AzG8RzFFMfxR76MbT5lbe2fiUkQctAuG45Ap/mJWCDsDmiSY6VFtMPzLYK6kEA8xGoI9aD0PFmU6g7QQdZH3rdMerMvgZRBmDnkxpA00671dwvFUuQL6gnojXyk9et/jqW/CqK7KD/TlXpM7mgXIYJHuHJz1GhHzBoPicKyHUe/Kjj4zvQc2rAyI/SKp67ZSRqSCD96ATUqxfsiMwPOCDuP7ivCgxUqVKCVKlZAoJWKzFYoM1JrFZBoM1KzWKCVKlSg6DisIbuLRUBCL4iwH8gK5MGASIBg8jzq9ieztu6rNfu3QS7MwQBmcBRoWPtsP0gv2U4dfsDDOtxGD3LiMGUklVDzrzCAOWlUO1Fp3u3lQhe7tLeEyIz6sV3hj4RPrQVV7DpfuslqLZAUc8y/1FhJOiyddyfOqWM7Osl1rdgM6oM2ZoBJ8gNBXSy3A0w2HKrq/hR3P8zsA7t6Et9BUwGEVxdaPicr7KSo31oOP3kdRJ05a6Gf1q/w/iUAByYGmwNdKv9nbZQgqpA2BAOvnpSLxzs93bCGgNJgAQABJ1AV4ZwpHIfuw6bBgvPn4o3hOCA3PywYg6nz5fSkPhPFoIDSyqRK7RBkEa6naur8Ew5S2rlixYliYy/FquknYQN6D1s8Ysplt3ri22A0zEAab6nb3ovhrqMAyMrDaVIYHykGKDcR4dbujxKCZmSJ/2oHwi3/DYi7ZQKuYZgVkCYEkiY26dKB0xWKyzJgco1JHM7UuYHjhv3e7ICHxwCd1gFDrs3760G4j2jvGbZYAd58QAkcgNRr69KrYW5cuOrM0hJjSD6fSgZGdLodWecpJzDcEkgJm8hPoDQ/ht4KCQwhWgRr8iRp/mvXA3gNSJHQQNTzigL4Xu7mhJWcwB5elBf4hxYmSYmMsH1oRfvnUgnUedWf4wEmVBGxBEgtAMbxVQYAIOuwEe2tZGO0jg2JcRlYHSNc2ntypMOD7wkA67361MeO4kj22BDEkc48vPyoTZUKQdYJyiNCJ5taAkZrenI6wfcf3oph8b3mgJHq0fvWrFkK5ysPiViNBuIMnnPvQ84XI6kHo6yAeeoNAQt8PYyYMc2YwBpqs9yTCKhA3Zkn5TP1q5xTjuclWWCojSI5UHtY9gdCYaRHyE/WgIi450LfIBR7BQK3VWWDOU666gj1I2nzq1wt8Bb4TKxpMRBOh32tbYnH94e8CATqRJ6xy20oLNrAO9qWCXhuU8JYjqp3PsZpe4x2be2GuIpCLGZWJJ023KgwJ5SJo3gkDH8stbJG0hlMdQas3JKFNu8pYPmUxuNNYJ19tqDn9SrnFuHGxdNsnNABB6giRPQwap0EFSpUoJUqVKCVKzWKCVmoKyRQZmpWsVKD/9k=!

 

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Late For Dinner (1991) is a nice setimental movie to watch with a significant other. It's about two framed men, one of whom is mentally slow and is dying, on the run. A doctor helps them and decides the only way then can live is in the future where one can be healed and the other's crimes won't be remembered. Needless to say he gets them to the future, I won't say how, and they see how the world and people they love has changed. I recomend it and it's played here and there on the movie channels.

 

 

The Clock (1945) This is a movie that is a war romance but I think this is much more emotional then other war romances at the time. Judy Garland and Robert Walker bring an innocence as two people who meet and face the reality of him going off to war.

 

 

Primrose Path (1941) The back and forth between Rogers and Mcrea is golden. There are sad parts as well as happy ones and parts where you wish charecters wouldn't do what they do but this is a good movie showing that someone from a bad home can make their own way in life.

 

 

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One of my favorite lesser-known movie gems is "the hopeless emerald." In *The Snake Pit*, one of the asylum inmates says, "I have the Hope Diamond." Someone -- it is Olivia? -- responds: "I have the Hopeless Emerald."

 

OK, so I took the subject literally!

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*Blanche Fury* (1948) Gothic tale with Stewart Granger and Valerie Hobson

*The Hidden Room* (1949) Neat little British mystery with Robert Newton and Sally Gray

*It Happened in Broad Daylight* (1958) for foreign film buffs, which was remade as The Pledge with Jack Nicholson directed by Sean Penn, but I prefer the original

 

 

 

Edited by: allaboutlana on Apr 21, 2013 2:44 AM

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Cecil B. DeMille's UNCONQUERED.

 

It seems a little strange to include a gargantuan production which was the biggest box office film of 1947 as a little known gem but that is the case since De Mille's reputation as a director has taken such a hit over the years. No director during the '30s and '40s seemed to have his finger on the movie public's pulse for giving them exactly what they wanted (all but one of his epics made huge money, each succeeding one bringing in more than the previous venture). However his films are often criticized for their lack of subtlety, at times tableau-like settings and grade school dialogue. Don't forget, though, that De Mille could also be a great story teller.

 

Unconquered was the last of the director's frontier epics and salutes to the American nation-building spirit. This one deals with Indian wars in the colonial America of 1783. Nicknamed by some critics as "The Perils of Paulette" because of the serial-like woes that threaten to overcome heroine Paulette Goddard, it is a long, highly colourful, episodic adventure in which she is the object of desire between stalwart buckskinned hero Gary Cooper, frequently coming to her rescue, and villainous slave trader Howard Da Silva.

 

 

The film has great costumes and sets, and a genuine feeling of authenticity in its recreation of Colonial America atmosphere. As melodramatic as the story might be, the visuals are just lovely.

 

 

Beautifully lensed in Technicolor, the film boasts as one of its highlights an exciting Indian attack on Fort Pitt, brimming in the usual De Mille manner with explosions, massive smoke, Indians scaling over the walls and fire arrows, one coming, at one point, right at the camera. One incident took place during the filming in which a fire arrow accidently landed on a drum as the drummer was drumming away. The extra didn't lose his composure but kept drumming, much to the director's delight, and the moment stayed in the film.

 

 

One of the great melodramatic highlights of the film, not to be taken seriously for a moment but still great fun to watch, is when Cooper and Goddard make their escape from the Indians by canoe. The Indians are close behind in their own canoes, of course, but our hero and heroine also have to battle rapids and, finally, a waterfalls which looms just ahead. Cooper and Goddard go over the falls in a remarkably edited sequence which helped to bring the film an academy award for special effects.

 

 

And, yes, if you're wondering, De Mille does find an excuse to have a scene in which Paulette must take a bath in a wooden tub. Always best to add a little sex into the mix whenever the occasion arises.

 

 

The main criticism of the film today, I feel, will be in reference to De Mille's portrait of Indians. And it is horrible sterotyping, blood thirty savages standing in the way of the director's idea of the white man's manifest destiny to conquer their land. Among the "Indians" are gangster actor Marc Lawrence as a medicine man, Noble Johnson (who played the native chief in King Kong) and, wait for it, BORIS KARLOFF (!!!) as Guyasuta, chief of the Senacas. Somehow, a real native actor was also cast, Iron Eyes Cody, having the opportunity to do what the director thought Indians did, torture the leading lady at an Indian torture stake (see picture below).

 

 

If you can get past the Indian sterotypes in this very politically correct time of ours (as you must in so many other westerns), then Unconquered is great fun!

 

 

TCM has yet to show this film but it has, fortunately, been released on DVD in an amazingly beautiful print by Universal. I can't recommend it enough, as long as you're in a mood for unsophisticated adventure. By the way, Robert Osborne does the introduction of the film on the DVD. That's right, Unconquered has the Osborne stamp of approval!

 

 

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STATE SECRET (1950).

 

An expertly crafted British suspense thriller, lightly performed, written and directed by Sidney Gilliat, co-author of The Lady Vanishes and director of Green for Murder.

 

 

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. plays an American physician lured to the small European dictatorship of Vosnia (behind the Iron Curtain?) who soon finds himself on the run for his life after he gains knowledge of the death of the nation's ruler. This is the kind of familiar material that Hitchcock could have directed in his sleep, but Gilliat keeps things moving briskly and amusingly.

 

 

The cast is excellent, headed by Fairbanks, charming in his role, of course, but also bringing a certain common man quality to it ,as well, helping with audience identification. Assisting him more than capably are the charming, husky voiced Glynis Johns as a vaudeville performer who gets involved, Jack Hawkins, quite excellent, as the head of the state police determined to capture him, and Herbert Lom as an underworld scoundrel who reluctantly (make that very reluctantly) gets trapped into helping Fairbanks, as well.

 

 

Lom's performance brings the film some of its best touches of humour. Playing a character who, as Johns says, would sell out his own mother, Lom is forced to help the doctor because the doctor makes a point of informing him of the death of the state dictator. Lom's possession of that knowledge, if the doctor is captured, would result in Lom's death, as well.

 

 

At one point Lom agrees to help Fairbanks saying, "Alright, I'm a sportsman. I accept"

 

 

Johns says, "You have no choice."

 

 

"That's another good reason," Lom responds.

 

 

Lom's role woud have been perfect for a young Peter Lorre, but with Lorre absent, Lom is a wonderful substitute.

 

 

This woud turn out to be Fairbanks' second last film role before stepping back from his movie career to concentrate on television. State Secret remains, in my opinion, one of his very best roles and films.

 

 

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I've wanted to see State Secret for quite some time. Fairbanks and Johns are both favorites of mine, and I'm a sucker for a good, light international espionage flick. I've never been able to find it though. There isn't even a British DVD edition. :(

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THE PROUD REBEL (1958)

 

Alan Ladd is a star who has unfortunately been largely forgotten. He was the star of one film classic (Shane), a couple of decent film noirs and a lot of programmers, though a few of those are quite entertaining.

 

The Proud Rebel is little remembered today, an intelligent, reflective little western with an emphasis (unexpectedly for a Ladd film) upon characterization rather than action. Michael Curtiz, in the last noteworthy film of his career, directed this surprisingly sensitive study of a Civil War vet who travels the west with his mute son (played by Ladd's real life son, David). He encounters a farm woman (Olivia de Havilland) and is hired by her to try to help her keep her place together. At the same time Ladd is also hoping to somehow find the funds for an operation that may cure his son of his speech impediment.

 

All the cast is fine in their roles, with Ladd delivering one of his more emotive performances, while it is his son, in a touching characterization, that steals the show.

 

There is a suspenseful action climax (what western would be complete without some gunplay) but the highlight scene is a genuinely tear jerking moment when Ladd must break the news to his son that he sold the boy's dog (for the funds for the operation). Both Ladds, father and son, bring an unexpected depth to this sensitive little moment, the son understandably upset and the father, wracked with guilt, trying in futility to make him understand the reason why. Jerome Moross' musical score is highly effective in this scene as, indeed, it is for the entire film.

 

This lovely little western died at the 1958 box office and has remains, unjustifiably, a film with which few today are familiar. It is also, exasperatingly, one of the few Ladd films of the latter part of his career that TCM has NOT shown over the past few years.

 

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!

 

fier-rebelle-im01.jpg

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NoraCharles, it IS frustrating as to how difficult it is to see a copy of State Secret today, especially since, 30 years ago or so, it was constantly broadcast on television.

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King Vidor's *THE BIG PARADE (1925)*. While this was the highest grossing film of the 1920's, it isn't exactly well known today, or even been widely seen even among Silent film fans. Hopefully, when the Blu-ray is released later in the year this will start to change.

 

As far as I know Kevin Brownlow will still be at *THE BIG PARADE* Premiere restoration screening at the TCM Classic Film Festival this week. However, Carl Davis isn't going to make the screening of Clara Bow's *IT. (1927)* His live score will be handled by another conductor. Hope that carl Is OK? He's 76 years old.

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I believe a story must be very good if it has two good remakes within eleven years:

*Secret of the Blue Room* (1933)

*The Missing Guest* (1938)

*Murder in the Blue Room* (1944)

 

I believe this series of movies should be resurrected from obscurity:

*What a Life* (1939)

*Life with Henry* (1941)

*Henry Aldrich for President* (1941)

*Henry and Dizzy* (1942)

*Henry Aldrich, Editor* (1942)

*Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour* (1943)

*Henry Aldrich Swings It* (1943)

*Henry Aldrich Haunts a House* (1943)

*Henry Aldrich, Boy Scout* (1944)

*Henry Aldrich Plays Cupid* (1944)

*Henry Aldrich's Little Secret* (1944)

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THE HANGING TREE (1959)

 

A low key, intelligent "adult" western, set in a rough Montana mining camp, dealing with the relationship between an attractive new Swiss arrival, blinded as a result of a stagecoach robbery, and the gunslinging doctor with a mysterious past who tends to her injuries.

 

Delmer Daves directs a strong cast, all of whom rise to the occasion to provide this intriguing drama with superior characterizations and great character interplay. Gary Cooper was experimenting with his screen image in a number of his later film roles. Doc Joe Frail in The Hanging Tree is by far the most successful of his attempts to play mysterious individuals, a considerable contrast to the open faced innocents that had been the actor's bread and butter roles in the past. Just look at his Jess Birdwell performance in Friendly Persuasion from three years before to see a polar opposite role for the actor.

 

 

In support of Cooper, Maria Schell gives an intelligent and sensitive performance as the soft spoken new arrival who turns out to have more fire in her belly than is first apparent. Karl Malden has a field day in a colourful role as Frenchie, a loud, lecherous low life pretty much capable of just about anything that his conniving little mind can think up, while George C. Scott, in his film debut, makes a very strong impression as a camp religious zealot who despises Doc Frail for reasons that are never quite explained.

 

 

Malden, by the way, also took over the directorial chores of the film for a few days after Daves fell ill.

 

 

There were a lot of '50s westerns that had ballad song accompaniments, but The Hanging Tree has one of the best, created by Mack David and Jerry Livingstone, with great lyrics sung by Marty Robbins. As if that wasn't enough, the film further benefits from the expressive background musical accompaniment by the great Max Steiner.

 

 

The Hanging Tree, beautifully filmed in Washington state, has a terrific climax, both genuinely suspenseful and satisfactory. Cooper, whose facial features had become increasingly craggy in his later years, has his aging appearance work well for him in this role. His Doc Frail is tough, surly, manipulative, a noted fast gun capable of gunning a man down if sufficiently aroused but at times unexpectedly sensitive and caring. He is also a man tortured by something from his past. This would turn out to be the last really good role and film of the actor's long career.

 

 

The Hanging Tree has been broadcast on TCM a few times now. Hopefully it will be again, for those looking for a western of intelligence, with strong characterizations.

 

 

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BULLDOG DRUMMOND STRIKES BACK [1934] with Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, Charles Butterworth, Warner Oland and C.Aubrey Smith. I have seen it.

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*Amores perros* is a Mexican drama released in 2000. Three distinct stories are linked by a car accident, and the central characters are briefly brought together. The film has a very basic premise; it examines how people interact with one another. It addresses the issues of loyalty, infidelity, animal cruelty, and the importance placed on a woman's beauty (or lack thereof). The Academy Award winning film *Crash* bears quite a resemblance to this film, but can't touch it in quality, acting or realism.

*Amores perros* is grittier, extremely heart-wrenching and to be honest, much more deserving of the coveted Oscar. I encourage anyone who has seen *Crash* to check this one out. I saw it a decade ago and I have never been able to get it out of my mind.....................

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