1941-1950

Jean Yarbrough – She-Wolf of London (1946)

In the turn of the century in London, the aristocratic lawyer Barry Lanfield proposes to marry the heiress Phyllis Allenby and she accepts. Phyllis lives in the family manor with her “aunt” Martha Winthrop, her pseudo-niece Carol Winthrop and the housemaid Hannah. Out of the blue, dreadful murders happen in a nearby park and Detective Latham believes that they are victims of a werewolf or a she-wolf, but his superior Inspector Pierce says that they are victims of an animal. Meanwhile, Phyllis finds blood on her hands, and her shoes and clothing dirty and she believes that she may be killing people under the influence of a family curse. Who might be the serial-killer? Read More »

Henry Koster – Harvey (1950)

Quote:
The classic stage hit gets the Hollywood treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd who makes friends with a spirit taking the form of a human-sized rabbit named Harvey that only he sees (and a few privileged others on occasion also.) After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, a comedy of errors ensues. Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for a family mending its wounds and for romance blossoming in unexpected places. Read More »

Lew Landers – The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)

Winnie Slade, a young divorcee, buys an old historic house from nutty Professor Billings, who lives there with his daffy housekeeper and bizarre neighbors, in order to convert it into a hotel. She allows them to continue to live on the property – unaware that the Professor continues to experiment unsuccessfully on traveling salesmen, the bodies of whom have filled the cellar. They are joined by a variety of eccentric characters including a quack doctor who doubles as the town’s sheriff, Winnie’s frenetic ex-husband, an oddball choreographer, a punchdrunk traveling salesman, and a lunatic escapee from the Italian army. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Stage Fright (1950)

A 1950 British crime film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock starring Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich, Michael Wilding and Richard Todd. Others in the cast include Alastair Sim, Sybil Thorndike, Kay Walsh, Hitchcock’s daughter Patricia Hitchcock in her movie debut and Joyce Grenfell in a humorous vignette.
The story was adapted for the screen by Whitfield Cook, Ranald MacDougall and Alma Reville (the director’s wife), with additional dialogue by James Bridie, based on the novel Man Running by Selwyn Jepson. Read More »

Allan Dwan – Around the World (1943)

Bandleader Kay Kyser takes his troupe of nutty musicians, goofball comics and pretty girl singers on a tour around the world to entertain the troops during World War II. Read More »

Jacques Tourneur – I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

A young Canadian nurse (Betsy) comes to the West Indies to care for Jessica, the wife of a plantation manager (Paul Holland). Jessica seems to be suffering from a kind of mental paralysis as a result of fever. When she falls in love with Paul, Betsy determines to cure Jessica even if she needs to use a voodoo ceremony, to give Paul what she thinks he wants. Read More »

Elmer Clifton – The Judge (1949)

One of the last films directed by the great Elmer Clifton, whose career dates back to the mid-teens and D.W.Griffith, The Judge was also the first production of Ida Lupino’s production company, first called Emerald Productions, later called The Filmmakers.

This is a quirky film which is both hard-boiled and pretentious, raw and artsy. It is also a film that raises as many questions as it answers. Elements are introduced into the story, covered in detail, and then not developed. Dream sequences are introduced, but are unclear. The main character–who is a sleazy defense attorney, NOT a judge–is well-played by Milburn Stone, but his story is not really typical of anyone other than this one oddball character. Read More »