Raoul Walsh

Raoul Walsh – The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945)

Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Though Jack Benny made a cottage industry out of joking about the purported rottenness of his 1945 vehicle Horn Blows at Midnght, the film is in fact a delightful comedy-fantasy-certainly not Benny’s best film, but far from his worst. While dozing off during a radio broadcast, studio musician Athaniel (Benny) dreams he’s a trumpet player in Heaven’s celestial orchestra. At the behest of glamorous angel Elizabeth (Alexis Smith), Athaniel is brought into the lavish chambers of The Chief (Guy Kibbee), who has a job for our hapless hero. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – The World in His Arms (1952)

Synopsis:
Frustrated by illegal competition from Russians in the seal fur trade, Capt. Jonathan Clark (Gregory Peck) struggles to raise funds to purchase Alaska from Russia. Another competitor, unscrupulous trader Portugee (Anthony Quinn), is hired to transport Russian Countess Mariana Selanova (Ann Blyth) to marry the callous Prince Semyon (Carl Esmond). After Jonathan falls in love with Mariana, he squares off against Portugee, the prince and the Russians to rescue her and restore the trading business. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – The Yellow Ticket (1931)

Marya, a Russian Jewish girl (Elissa Landi) is forced into a life of prostitution in Czarist Russia – a scandal to the naïve muckraking British journalist (Laurence Olivier). They both eventually find their lives endangered when she reveals to him tales of social crimes rampant in her country. The lecherous Baron (Lionel Barrymore), popping pills for “extra potency,” is also head of the secret police, and he is determined to seperate them. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – Big Brown Eyes (1936)

Synopsis:
Dan Barr is a flatfoot on the trail of jewel robbers. Eve Fallon is his girl of 5 years. We meet them spitting and sparring, but never doubting they’re in love. Eve is a manicurist, with an eye for news. Soon after we meet her, she’s out of the beauty salon and into the news-room as an ace reporter. With Eve’s help, Dan nabs one of the jewel gang members, Cortig, whose stray bullet killed a baby in the park. A spooked witness and a slick lawyer get Cortig off. Disgusted with the lack of justice, Dan quits the force to find his own justice. Eve, likewise, quits the paper and returns to her job as manicurist. While giving a manicure, Eve unwittingly discovers that a prominent local citizen is the jewel gang’s leader. All the while, Dan is hot on the trail. Their trails merge and the case is solved. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – Pursued (1947)

Synopsis:
After his family is murdered in the 1880s, orphan Jeb Rand is raised by the Callum family on their nearby horse ranch. He remains haunted by this childhood trauma in a recurring nightmare of flashing spurs and confinement inside a trap door as his family is slaughtered. Widow Callum does her best to make Jeb feel loved as he is growing up, but the young man stubbornly maintains a sense of his own identity. While he has great affection for his foster-sister Thor, his relationship with her brother Adam is tenuous at best, especially when Jeb blames him for shooting a colt that he was riding. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – The Naked and the Dead (1958)

Hal Erickson writes:
Despite an ad campaign wherein RKO Radio congratulated itself for its “guts”, this long-delayed film version of Norman Mailer’s bestselling WW2 novel The Naked and the Dead still had to pull most of its punches (especially when it came to four-letter words). Aldo Ray heads the cast as sadistic sergeant Croft, who’d as soon kill one of his own men as he would the Japanese. Sensitive, moralistic Lieutenant Hearn (Cliff Robertson) tries to put a leash on Croft, but he’s ordered to keep out of the situation by psychotic General Cummings (Raymond Massey), who is convinced that soldiers will fight harder the more they hate their superiors. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – Under Pressure (1935)

Two members of a crew of “sandhogs”, men who work on an underwater tunnel project, battle each other over the same woman and a rival team of sandhogs to see who will finish their half of the tunnel first, with the winning team getting more money and guaranteed future work. Read More »