Kendal Browning is a secretary in love with her boss, Stephen Dexter, a man who every spring succumbs to his weakness for blondes. Much to Kendal’s chagrin, Stephen’s current affliction is model Phyllis Walden. When Stephen’s cement company is threatened with a takeover by one of his competitors, Stephen’s attorney, Roger Van Horn, suggests that Stephen marry and put his assets in his wife’s name, thus averting the danger of takeover. Stephen foolishly dispatches Kendal to bring back Phyllis as his bride, but Kendal cleverly tenders Stephen’s proposal in such a way that Phyllis rejects him, thereby making Kendal Stephen’s bride by proxy. On their wedding night, Kendal confesses her deviousness to Stephen, who throws her out until he realizes that his new wife owns everything. To keep his business competitors from challenging the legality of his marriage, Stephen moves Kendal back in, recruits Roger to act as chaperone and promises Phyllis that he will divorce his bride as soon as possible. Kendal, however, has other plans as she forces her old friend Jose, a gigolo, on Phyllis. Presenting Jose as a wealthy South American rancher, Kendal finances his courtship of Phyllis with Stephen’s money. Soon after, Stephen defeats his business rivals and asks Kendal for a divorce, but she refuses. However, Kendal’s plans go awry when Judge Peabody, the official who performed their wedding ceremony, appears to inform them that his license had expired and therefore their marriage is invalid. Just as Stephen banishes Kendal from his life forever, he realizes that he really loves her. At the same time, Phyllis realizes that she really loves Jose, and all ends happily as Stephen proposes to Kendal in earnest. Continue reading
Golgotha is noteworthy because it is the very first sound-picture ever made about Jesust. On top of that, it is thoroughly well done and engrossing. It starred a cast of hundreds—perhaps the biggest ever assembled for a film at the time. Like Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 film King of Kings, Duvivier gives his film a glossy, Hollywood look featuring terrific sets and (at the time) epic camera shots, but unlike many Hollywood incarnations of Jesus’ life, the story is decidedly intimate, focusing on characters who speak quietly in closed rooms rather than over-expressive actors who wear their Shakespearian training (or lack thereof) on their sleeves. Continue reading
20th Century-Fox evidently adored “triangle” comedies like Wife, Husband and Friend; apparently so did Loretta Young, who appeared in most of these films. Young plays the wife of businessman Warner Baxter, while “friend” Cesar Romero is an amorous singing teacher who convinces Young that she has a future in opera. To show up his wife, Baxter takes lessons from diva Binnie Barnes–and as it turns out, he’s the one with the ideal operatic voice. The romantic quadrangle is resolved when Baxter makes a disastrous stage debut, whereupon Romero and Barnes exit and Baxter and Young realize the error of their ways. Wife, Husband and Friend was remade in 1949 as Everybody Does It, with Paul Douglas (of all people) as the would-be Caruso. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading
A world-weary prima ballerina, desperate for love. A noble cat thief, desperate for money. A dying clerk, out on a last fling. His industrialist boss, passionate & brutal. A pretty young stenographer, willing to do almost anything to get ahead. A hotel bell captain, anxious to hear about his pregnant wife. And a cynical, war-scarred doctor. Destiny awaits them all in one of Europe’s most renowned establishments – Berlin’s GRAND HOTEL. Continue reading
In a small Pacific village, a widowed fisherman marries a girl young enough to be his daughter. Complications ensue when the new wife falls in love with her husband’s son.
Creaky but interesting melodrama powered by Walter Huston’s performance as a brute and a dynamite action ending. Although Wyler’s direction is not as sure as it would be later, it is interesting to note that, for the most accomplished studio director of all time, a man said to operate without a style of his own, a lot of images that show up in his later films (particularly WUTHERING HEIGHTS and THE LITTLE FOXES) also show up here. Continue reading
Made in 1934 by an amateur ethnographer and aristocratic German diplomat who had abandoned his country to live in Scotland, this is one of the earliest film portraits of the tiny island Eriskay, famous for Whiskey Galore, the Eriskay Love Lilt, the Eriskay fisherman’s jersey, and the fact that Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot on Scottish soil on this island, when he returned from France to lead the rebellion.
Eriskay sits at the bottom of the long chain of the outer Hebrides, running from Lewis in the North, through Harris, through North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and nearby Barra…
Kissling filmed the 500 islanders at work, men and women, girls and boys, setting off in their herring smacks, shearing, gathering peats, collecting lichen for dying their tweed, spinning, carding, waulking, and recorded their beautiful working songs… Continue reading
The Ugly Duckling is an animated black-and-white cartoon released by Walt Disney in 1931 as part of the Silly Symphonies series
Although the short film is loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling”, the only real similarities are one bird getting confused for another and his unique abilities enabling him to become something special. In this version, a duckling has gotten mixed in among the farmyard chickens. Despite his best attempts to fit in with his chick siblings, things don’t work out. However, when the hen’s chicks are threatened by a waterfall, due to them being dropped off in a river by a cyclone, the little duckling saves them and is lauded as a hero. Continue reading