Leigh Jason – The Bride Walks Out (1936)

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A model marries a struggling engineer; but he won’t let her keep her job, and they can’t pay the bills, while she is wooed by a wealthy drinker.

Michael Martin (Gene Raymond) tells Paul Dodson (Ned Sparks) he knows of a better job, and they get fired. Michael asks modeling Carolyn (Barbara Stanwyck) to marry, but she wants to keep her job. After work they go dancing. Michael now earns $35 a week; but Carolyn makes $50. They get married during his lunch hour. Carolyn cries and quarrels with Michael. He hits an officer and is put in jail. In court the drunk Hugh McKenzie (Robert Young) is fined and meets Carolyn. She pleads for Michael, and he gets 30 days or $50. Hugh loans them the money. Michael’s electricity is off. Hugh is paid and reluctantly leaves. Michael carries Carolyn in. Continue reading

Christy Cabanne – Mutiny on the Blackhawk (1939)

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Plot

One part high-seas adventure and one part western, Mutiny on the Blackhawk opens as a pair of heroes take a stand against mutineers and a ship load of freed slaves. Eventually the ship docks off the California coast and the twosome disembark. While traveling the land, they end up trying to prevent Mexican soldiers from destroying a village. Continue reading

Irwin Allen – The Sea Around Us (1953)

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Plot:

“What is the fate of the world?” With breathtaking Technicolor® photography and thrilling up-close encounters with the undersea world, The Sea Around Us gave audiences early warning about the environmental dangers threatening our planet. Based on Rachel Carson’s acclaimed book and written, directed and produced by Irwin Allen (The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno) with the visual power of a master storyteller, this dazzling odyssey takes us from the Great Barrier Reef to Arctic waters, from shark walking to crab herding, from titanic seismic sea waves to rainbow-hued Edens alive with flashing tropical fish. It’s an incredible, imperiled realm – and its future depends upon us. From Warner Brothers! Continue reading

Abel Gance – Lucrezia Borgia (1935)

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Episodes from the life of Lucrecia Borgia’s. Spoiled and willful, she has many love affairs and tries to resist her ruthless and scheming brother César Borgia’s plans to marry her off for political advantage.

Episodic and hard to follow to those not familiar with Italian geography and with the political situation of the time. Nice sets and costumes but the 16 millimeter print I saw did not show them well.

The kind of movie the French New Wave rebelled against Continue reading

W.S. Van Dyke – Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

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Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) is the first feature-length talking (sound) version of the Tarzan series. [Tarzan films stretch into the silent film era back to 1918.] The Tarzan saga was based upon the original ‘Lord of the Jungle’ characters created by novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Tar-zan character (called various titles through the years, including John Clayton, Lord Bloomstoke (Greystoke)), first appeared in late 1912 in All-Story Magazine. Many actors have portrayed Tarzan, both on screen and on television, including Elmo Lincoln, Gene Pollar, P. Dempsey Tabler, James Pierce, Frank Merrill, Larry “Buster” Crabbe, Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett), Johnny Weissmuller, Lex Barker, Gordon Scott, Denny Miller, Jock Mahoney, Mike Henry, Ron Ely, Miles O’Keefe, Joe Lara, Wolf Larson, Christopher Lambert, and Casper Van Dien. Continue reading

W.S. Van Dyke – Guilty Hands (1931)

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Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Madge Evans, Kay Francis, C. Aubrey Smith, Polly Moran, Alan Mowbry

Richard Grant (Barrymore) is a successful lawyer who believes that his many years of dealing with crime has taught him how to commit the perfect murder. He’s working for shady cad Gordon Rich (Mowbry) who informs Grant before a dinner party that he intends to marry his daughter, Barbara (Evans). Grant seethes with anger and, after dinner, kills Rich. It’s almost the perfect crime, but Rich’s troubled mistress Marjorie (Francis), becomes suspicious of Grant. Continue reading

W.S. Van Dyke – Marie Antoinette (1938)

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With a seven-figure budget and veteran director W.S. Van Dyke at the helm, MARIE ANTOINETTE is one of the most opulent period dramas produced in the golden era of Hollywood. The film chronicles the life of the 18th-century queen, following her emotional transformation from childhood as a young Austrian princess to her last days in the court of Louis XVI before the French Revolution. Led by the talents of Norma Shearer as Marie, John Barrymore as Louis XVI, and Tyrone Power as Marie’s childhood friend and aspiring lover, Count Axel de Fersen, the film exposes the power plays and chicaneries of the French court, painting the Duke d’Orleans as the villainous source of Marie’s public relations tragedy. With the extravagance of the court matched vociferously by the extravagance of the production, a romantic score by Henry Stothart, and a strong performance from Shearer, MARIE ANTOINETTE is a quality period drama. Continue reading