Classics

George Fitzmaurice – Suzy (1936)

Synopsis:
When American showgirl Suzy (Jean Harlow) finds herself in London without work, she plans to leave her career behind and find a rich husband. Instead, she falls for brilliant but broke inventor Terry (Franchot Tone), who is developing an airplane stabilizer. When Terry is mistakenly shot by a spy, Suzy fears she will be blamed and flees to Paris, where she returns to a life of singing and marries flyboy Andre (Cary Grant). But things get complicated when Suzy learns that Terry has survived. Read More »

Henry King – Little Old New York (1940)

Quote:
In the 1800s, American inventor Robert Fulton (Richard Greene) travels from Europe to New York intent on building a steamboat that will revolutionize river travel between waterfront boroughs, but instead gets a rude welcome from a vicious shipyard boss at a local tavern owned by salty beauty Pat O’Day (Alice Faye). Pat takes a shine to Fulton and offers to help him out, but her jealous boyfriend — sailor Charles Brownne (Fred MacMurray) — fears the new vessel will put him out of work. Read More »

Pierre Chenal – Crime et châtiment aka Crime and Punishment (1935)

Pierre Blanchar plays the murderer Raskolnikov, and Harry Baur is the police inspector on his trail…

Quote:
Crime et châtiment is one of the overlooked masterpieces of 1930s French cinema, an early and almost faultless adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s celebrated 1866 novel Crime and Punishment. One of the reasons for the film’s comparative obscurity is that it was released in the same year as Josef von Sternberg’s better known American adaptation which starred Peter Lorre and Edward Arnold. The French version appears to have been heavily influenced by an earlier silent adaptation Raskolnikow (1923) from the renowned German filmmaker Robert Wiene, whose best-known work – Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920) – is powerfully evoked in this film’s staging of the pivotal murder scene. Read More »

Sidney Franklin – The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com by Mark Deming
Based on a successful stage drama, this historical romance stars Norma Shearer as Elizabeth Barrett, an invalid largely confined to her bed. Elizabeth has little company beyond her dog and her obsessively protective father, Edward Moulton Barrett (Charles Laughton). Her one great passion and means of emotional escape is writing poetry, to which she devotes a large part of her days. She makes the acquaintance of fellow poet Robert Browning (Fredric March), who pays her a visit. They respect each others’ literary abilities and become romantically attracted to each other. Robert asks for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, but Edward refuses to allow it. Elizabeth must battle her father for the right to live her own life, but eventually she is able to wed Robert and bring herself back to health. Director Sidney A. Franklin also helmed a remake of The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957); it was his last film. Read More »

Fred Zinnemann – High Noon (1952)

Quote:
A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train. Read More »

Lewis Seiler – Pittsburgh (1942)

Quote:

This film is a hard one to assess. It is like a Western taken out of context, replacing the cowboys and Indians with coal miners and steel impresarios.

Ostensibly two coal miners, Pittsburgh Markham and Cash Evans, best friends, chance upon Josie “Hunky” Winters a high-class “countess” and both men fall in love with her. She persuades them that they need to take chances if they are to get anywhere and they do, by shaving three cents off the price of coke and persuading a steel company owner, Morgan Prentiss to sign a contract with them to provide it. Read More »

Ken Annakin – Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Synopsis:
A family in route to New Guinea is shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island. They are forced to remain on the island because of the damage to the ship and the pirates that are roaming the islands. They create a home on the island (centering around a huge tree house) and explore the island and its wildlife. Plenty of adventure ensues as the family deals with issues of survival and pirates, and the brothers must learn how to live on the island with an uncertain future. Read More »