1941-1950

David Butler – My Wild Irish Rose (1947)

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The life of Irish tenor Chauncey Olcott is chronicled from his childhood to his days as the toast of New York. In between, his rise to the top is complicated by romances with two women: his true love Rose Donovan and stage star Lillian Russell, who wants to make him a star. Read More »

Budd Boetticher – Escape in the Fog (1945)

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In 1945, Dutch-born actress Nina Foch had the good fortune to star in a pair of economical, satisfying thrillers. She was a damsel in distress in Joseph H. Lewis’ My Name Is Julia Ross, an updated Gothic set in England. In Budd (then ‘Oscar’) Boettischer’s wartime espionage drama Escape In The Fog, she’s a dame in distress in the city by the bay.

It opens in a nightmare she’s having. Walking one fog-bound night on the Golden Gate Bridge, she sees three men piling out of a taxi trying to kill a fourth. She screams – and the screams bring to her room in Ye Rustic Dell Inn other guests running to her aid. One of them is the intended victim in her dream (William Wright), whom she’s never before laid eyes on. They hit it off, though, and he persuades her to join him for a few days in San Francisco. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Stromboli [Italian version + Extras] (1950)

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Quote:
The first collaboration between Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman is a devastating portrait of a woman’s existential crisis, set against the beautiful and forbidding backdrop of a volcanic island. After World War II, a Lithuanian refugee (Bergman) marries a simple Italian fisherman (Mario Vitale) she meets in a prisoner of war camp and accompanies him back to his isolated village on an island off the coast of Sicily. Cut off from the world, she finds herself crumbling emotionally, but she is destined for a dramatic epiphany. Balancing the director’s trademark neorealism—exemplified here in a remarkable depiction of the fishermen’s lives and work—with deeply felt melodrama, Stromboli is a revelation. Read More »

H. Bruce Humberstone – Tall, Dark and Handsome (1941)

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Plot
Cesar Romero plays an outwardly tough prohibition-era gangster who in reality wouldn’t hurt a fly. He maintains his “killer” reputation by planting evidence of his involvement at the scenes of other crooks’ crimes. Romero begins aspiring for respectability when he falls in love with Virginia Gilmore and adopts the orphaned Stanley Clements. Through his own non-homicidal means, Romero redeems himself by wiping out a genuinely nasty gangster boss (Sheldon Leonard). Tall, Dark and Handsome was remade in 1950 as Love That Brute, with Paul Douglas in the Cesar Romero role–and with Romero playing the villain! Read More »

Jean Dréville – Copie conforme (1947)

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From IMDB:
Another Louis Jouvet’s tour de force., 8 March 2003
Author: dbdumonteil
Some movies do not need a director at all:when Louis Jouvet is the lead,he carries everything on his shoulders.Here he’s got two parts: a crook and an honest man ,who is his perfect double. Jouvet is so good,a perfectionist extraordinaire ,that you do believe there are really TWO different actors on the screen,one self-assured,smart and tricky,the other one a born-sucker. Nevertheless, best scenes are to be found at the beginning:Jouvet selling a castle on the historical register to a couple of nouveaux riches: his crook becomes a true noble ,and when he says to these bourgeois he despises “call me excellency as everybody does”,his behavior compels respect. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Bon Voyage (1944) (HD)

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A young Scottish RAF gunner is debriefed by French officials about his escape from occupied territory, and in particular one person who may or may not have been a German agent. Read More »

René Clair – And Then There Were None (1945)

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Jeremy Heilman of moviemartyr.com wrote:
One of the supreme suspense films, René Clair’s And Then There Were None combines the glamour and wit of a Hollywood studio production with a considerable amount of very real suspense. Adapted from an Agatha Christie novel (Ten Little Indians), it tells the story of a group of strangers who are invited to stay at an island estate only to find out that they are being eliminated one by one according to the predictions of a nursery rhyme that they find. By making a game of the treachery and never actually showing any of the murders on-screen, Clair achieves the same delicate balance between tension and breeziness that Hitchcock strived for in films such as To Catch a Thief and Family Plot. The production values are top notch, and the cast of relatively unknown character actors assembled keeps us from guessing whodunit right off the bat. Read More »