Latvian-born Teuvo Tulio came to Finland as a young boy, and started his film career as a teenager acting in movies directed by his friend Valentin Vaala. His oriental looks (there was at least Turkish blood in him) and romantic roles gained him fame and the nickname of Finland’s Valentino. At the onset of adulthood Vaala’s and Tulio’s roads would part with Vaala eventually becoming the most prominent director inside Finland’s studio system (mini-Hollywood) and Tulio becoming perhaps the most esteemed independent director-producer of the nation. Continue reading Teuvo Tulio – Sellaisena kuin sinä minut halusit AKA The Way You Wanted Me (1944)
Mikami, a Japanese soldier serving in China, is captured by the Chinese. Although he is able to escape, his troubles are far from over. He returns to his unit but is treated with contempt for the disgrace of having been captured. Mikami falls in love with Harumi, a prostitute. She tries to convince him to desert from the army, with fatal results.
Continue reading Senkichi Taniguchi – Akatsuki no dasso AKA Desertion at Dawn (1950)
The camera shows Phillip Marlowe’s view from the first-person in this adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s book. The detective is hired to find a publisher’s wife, who is supposed to have run off to Mexico. But the case soon becomes much more complicated as people are murdered.
Continue reading Robert Montgomery – Lady in the Lake (1947)
RKO Radio’s Johnny Angel was adapted by Steve Fisher and Frank Gruber from a short story by Charles Gordon Booth. In one of his better performances, George Raft plays sea captain Johnny Angel, who doggedly pursues the no-good rats who murdered his father and swiped a shipment of gold bullion. Along the way, Johnny crosses paths (and words) with Lilah (Claire Trevor), the faithless wife of his boss, and French stowaway Paulette (Signe Hasso), apparently the only witness to the murder-hijacking. Aiding and abetting Johnny is philosophical cab driver Celestial O’Brien, engagingly played by songwriter Hoagy Carmichael. Continue reading Edwin L. Marin – Johnny Angel (1945)
Saburo and Keiko fall in love with each other but the tide of the war separates them.
It’s a scene that would be cherished and preserved in the cinema’s pantheon of moments were it known; a simple scene – a young man saying goodbye to his girl at her home. They are trying to come to terms with the fact that the fates don’t seem to want to be together. He leaves, and she goes back to the living room and moves to the window to watch him go. Snow is falling steadily. She waits for him to look back, which he does about 10 yards or so away. He starts to come back and stops in front of the window. He’s positioned lower down than her, but after longingly staring at each other, and the camera showing us each of their anguished faces in turn, he stands on tip toe to pucker up his lips to the glass. She in turn motions her head down to meet his lips. Continue reading Tadashi Imai – Mata au hi made AKA Till We Meet Again (1950)
Searching for John Ford by Joseph McBride wrote:
Shot quickly at Fox and ready for use by March 1941, the black and white Sex Hygiene is suitably horrifying but also somewhat tongue in cheek. Coing directly from making Tobacco Road, Ford was in a bawdy mood when he filmed the scenes of the soldiers (including George Reeves, later known as TV’s Superman) playing pool in an army canteen before one young man makes the mistake of slipping off to a brothel. The results of his and others’ sexual follies are displayed in a graphic illustrated lecture by a medical officer intoned in stentorian fashion by Charles Trowbridge, who later was promoted by Ford to admiral and/or general in They Were Expendable, When Willie Comes Marching Home and The Wings of Eagles. Perhaps it is fitting that the one Ford film dealing explicitly with sexual themes makes the subject seem so thoroughly revolting. Continue reading John Ford & Otto Brower – Sex Hygiene (1941)
Although John Colton’s and Margaret Linden’s onscreen credit reads “by”, they had actually written an unproduced and unpublished play based on Helen Simpson’s novel. The novel was adapted for the screen by Hume Cronyn and was the basis for the screenplay. In this film, Alfred Hitchcock continued to experiment with long takes, a technique that he began in Rope, which was also adapted by Cronyn. Ingrid Bergman’s monologue, during which she relates the story of her marriage to “Flusky,” the subsequent shooting of her brother and their experiences in Australia, lasts nine and one-half minutes and was shot in one take. A dinner table sequence runs more than seven minutes without a cut. Most of the picture was filmed in London and the English countryside, according to an October 11, 1948 news item in Hollywood Reporter, but some scenes were shot on the Warner Ranch in Calabasas, CA. On August 26, 1948, Hollywood Reporter reported that Hugh Reticker would be the art director on the film when the production returned to the United States, but the extent of his contribution is undetermined. Continue reading Alfred Hitchcock – Under Capricorn (1949)