1941-1950

Dave O’Brien – Sure Cures (1946)



Quote:
This is another of the Pete Smith Specialities, which was co-written and directed by Dave O’Brien, who plays the poor fool with the hiccoughs. He tries various “remedies” to “cure” himself (some of which Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition might have applauded) to no avail. It’s all great fun, for everyone but the poor twit. O’Brien frequently played a character not likely to be joining Mensa any time soon in these shorts. This runs on TCM as filler fairly often and virtually every March as part of the “31 Days of Oscar”. Most recommended. Read More »

Ted Tetzlaff – A Dangerous Profession (1949)


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Plot: Ex-policeman Vince Kane is a partner with Joe Farley as bail bond brokers, but retains his ties and friendship with the police and Detective Nick Ferrone. Ferrone picks up Claude Brackette, a brokerage clerk, as a suspect in the securities robbery in which a policeman was killed, and Kane goes with him when the detective searches Brackett’s apartment, and Kane finds that Brackett’s wife, Lucy, is his former sweetheart. She insists her husband is innocent and pleads with Kane to get him out on bail but she has only $4,000 of the $25,000 needed. A mysterious emissary puts up $12,000 and Kanes, over Farley’s protest, makes up the rest from the company’s money. Brackett is murdered after his release. For Lucy, Kane investigates and finds that Brackett had dealings with night club owner Jerry McKay and a hoodlum named Roy Collins. Suspecting McKay was in back of the robbery, Kane begins a campaign in which he himself behaves like a crook, and demands a heavy bride from McKay for his silence. Farley denounces this tactic, and is met by Kane for a payment also, or he will be branded in league with the crooks. Written by Les Adams Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Kanzashi aka Ornamental Hairpin (1941)


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Synopsis
Based on an Ibuse Masuji short story, this delightful escapist drama is set at a hot spring resort providing sanctuary to people of vastly different backgrounds and personalities bounded by one thing: their common desire to not leave. The resort’s patrons include a Tokyo woman (Tanaka Kinuyo) with a mysterious past who develops a brief relationship with a wounded soldier (Ryu Chishu). A comedic piece filmed and set during wartime Japan, Kanzashi makes a statement with its lightness. Read More »

Curtis Bernhardt – Possessed [+Extras] (1947)


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Synopsis from IMDb: A dazed woman walks the streets of Los Angeles looking for a man named David. After collapsing in a diner, she’s taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. Flasbacks reveal her obsession for David as a result of borderline personality disorder…
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John Sturges – Right Cross (1950)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Right Cross stars Dick Powell as cynical sportswriter Rick Gavery and Powell’s wife June Allyson as boxing manager Pat O’Malley. Subbing for her incapacitated father (Lionel Barrymore), Pat grooms prizefighter Johnny Monterez (Ricardo Montalban) for the championship. Johnny holds a grudge against the world because he feels that his Mexican heritage has made him an outcast, though curiously the audience never sees any prejudice levelled against him. Gradually, Pat falls in love with the tempestuous Monterez, while Gavery, who’s always carried a torch for Pat, observes from the sidelines. The film wisely avoids the usual boxing-flick cliches, most commendably during the climactic Big Bout. Marilyn Monroe appears unbilled in the opening scene as Dick Powell’s dinner companion. Read More »

Mario Soldati – Piccolo mondo antico aka Old-Fashioned World (1941)

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Plot:
Franco, a young man of noble descent, decides to marry Luisa, daughter of a humble clerk, against his grandmother’s will. But a terrible tragedy upsets the life of the newly married couple: their little daughter Ombretta drowns in Lake Como and Luisa goes to the brink of madness… Read More »

Robert Bresson – Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne AKA The Ladies of the Bois de Boulogne (1945)

Quote:
“Les dames du Bois de Boulogne is a 1945 film directed by Robert Bresson. It is a modern adaptation of a section of Diderot’s Jacques le fataliste (1796), telling the story of a man who is tricked into marrying a former prostitute. The title means “the women of the Bois de Boulogne”, a park in Paris. Les Dames was Bresson’s second feature and is an early example of his dramatic experimentation and innovations in reducing dramatic form to its bare essentials, signifying his status as an auteur, rather than simply a metteur en scène. It is also his last film to feature a cast entirely composed of professional actors.The film’s editing rhythms are similar to Bresson’s later work. However, while his later work often reflects Bresson’s personal Catholic beliefs and Christian-intellectual mentality, Les Dames is a more secular work. The redemptive ending is more secular than spiritual although it does establish Bresson’s later, more refined, thematic obsessions with redemption and salvation.” Read More »