1941-1950

Robert Hamer – Kind Hearts and Coronets [+commentary] (1949)

Quote:
Film Forum writes:Poor relation Dennis Price, ninth in line to the Dukedom of Chalfont, coolly narrates from prison his ascent to the peerage via serial murder, bumping off one D’Ascoyne after another, from an arrogant playboy, to a bullet-headed general, to a stiff-upperlipped Admiral, to a dotty reverend, to a formidable dowager — all, plus three more, played by Alec Guinness. Read More »

John Paddy Carstairs – Sleeping Car to Trieste (1948)

Synopsis:
Espionage agents Valya (Jean Kent) and Zurta (Albert Lieven) break into an embassy in Paris to steal a diary filled with crucial political secrets. The spies pass the diary on to accomplice Karl (Bonar Colleano) — who then double crosses them, fleeing on the Orient Express to sell it abroad. The agents go after Karl to regain the diary, and a police inspector pursues the agents — while on the train, an unfaithful couple, a writer and a bird-watcher become unwitting participants in the drama. Read More »

Roy William Neill – The Scarlet Claw (1944)

Quote:
When a gentlewoman is found dead with her throat torn out, the villagers blame a supernatural monster. But Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer. Read More »

Harry Lachman – Dead Men Tell (1941)

Just as elderly Miss Nodbury is ready to leave on a treasure hunt for a family fortune she is scared to death by the ghost of a pirate ancestor. Charlie Chan investigates the rest of the clan.

A treasure map in four pieces, the ghost of a hanged pirate, a talking parrot, and a shipful of red herrings complicate Charlie’s search for a murderer on board a treasure cruise. Read More »

John Cromwell – Caged (1950)

Synopsis:
Pregnant nineteen-year old Marie Allen (Eleanor Parker) is sentenced to prison as an accessory to robbery. The warden, Ruth Benton (Agnes Moorehead), dedicated to reforming even the most hardened of the prisoners, deals fairly with Marie, even upon learning of her condition. The naïve Marie comes up against tough block matron Evelyn Harper (Hope Emerson) and must decide whether accepting the friendship of the toughest prisoners will rub off on her and affect the future of her unborn child. Read More »

Ernst Lubitsch – Cluny Brown (1946)

Quote:
The final film completed by Ernst Lubitsch, this zany, zippy comedy of manners, set in England on the cusp of World War II, is one of the worldly-wise director’s most effervescent creations. Jennifer Jones shines in a rare comedic turn as Cluny Brown, an irrepressible heroine with a zeal for plumbing. Sent to work as a parlormaid at a stuffy country manor, she proceeds to turn the household upside down—with plenty of help from Adam Belinski (Charles Boyer), an eccentric Continental exile who has fled the Nazis but is still worried about where his next meal is coming from. Sending up British class hierarchy with Lubitsch’s famously light touch, Cluny Brown is a topsy-turvy farce that says nuts to the squirrels and squirrels to the nuts. Read More »

Arthur Lubin – Francis AKA Francis the Talking Mule (1950)

The truthful soldier Stirling didn’t know how to lie about his source of information, the talking army Mule, Francis, so he was treated as a lunatic and led to one after another hilarious situations, where the mule was the only one that appeared in his right mind. In the process of all this, the mule assisted in uncovering a spy, Mareen, who pretended to be lost among the jungles, but was actually… Read More »