Hal Hartley – Henry Fool (1997)

 Hal Hartley   Henry Fool (1997)

thgc Hal Hartley   Henry Fool (1997)

Plot summary:

Socially inept garbage man Simon is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty roguish, but talent-less novelist. Henry opens a magical world of literature to Simon who turns his hand to writing the ‘great American poem’. As Simon begins his controversial ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars. The two friends fall out and lose touch until Henry’s criminal past catches up with him and he needs Simon’s help to flee the country. Continue reading

Hal Hartley – Amateur (1994)

 Hal Hartley   Amateur (1994)

thgc Hal Hartley   Amateur (1994)

Quote:
Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember that he used to be a vicious pornographer, responsible for turning his young wife, Sofia, into the world’s most notorious porn queen. Sofia’s on the run, convinced she’s killed him. Together, Isabelle and Thomas set out to discover his past, a past waiting to catch up with him.

Hal Hartley fans, rejoice! For his forth feature, Amateur, the non-mainstream director of The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, and Simple Men has once again stayed far from the embrace of Hollywood. Those unfamiliar with Hartley’s style might mistakenly tag this movie with a “bad” label, but, really, all the overblown elements are entirely intentional. If nothing else, the director — referred to as America’s closest thing to a “European auteur” — is known for being quirky and inventive in both dialogue and character presentation. Like many independent film makers, Hartley will not compromise to pander to a larger audience. Continue reading

Arthur J. Beckhard & Joseph Lee – Girl on the Run (1953)

 Arthur J. Beckhard & Joseph Lee   Girl on the Run (1953)

thgc Arthur J. Beckhard & Joseph Lee   Girl on the Run (1953)

Synopsis:
“A hootchy-kootchy whodunit set at a small seedy carnival where a reporter tries to discover who killed his boss while his girlfriend inexplicably joins the burlesque show! Pure carny-noir. And see if you can spot a young Steve McQueen as one of the carnival’s customers.” – from the dvd packaging

Richard Coogan, our hero, was TVs “Captain Video.” “Little person” Charles Bolender was later a regular on the Jackie Gleason Show and performed on Broadway as well. Director Arthur J. Beckhard wrote Shirley Temple’s classic vehicle, Curly Top eighteen years before this film was made.
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Edward F. Cline – Hook, Line and Sinker (1930)

 Edward F. Cline   Hook, Line and Sinker (1930)

thgc Edward F. Cline   Hook, Line and Sinker (1930)

Plot Synopsis
The comedy team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey made their fourth film appearance of 1930 in the hectic comedy-melodrama Hook Line and Sinker. This time the boys are cast as itinerant insurance salesmen Wilbur Boswell and J. Addington Ganzy (“Not Pansy — Ganzy, with a ‘G’”!) After talking their way out of a traffic ticket, Wilbur and Addington make the acquaintance of penniless socialite Mary Marsh (Dorothy Lee), who is fleeing a wealthy marriage arranged by her mother Rebecca (Jobyna Howland). Falling in love with Mary himself, Wilbur talks Ganzy into helping her renovate a seedy hotel willed to her by her uncle. With the dubious aid of a decrepit bellboy (George F. Marion) and a nutty house detective (Hugh Herbert), the boys turn the hotel into a thriving enterprise. The plot thickens when a gang of jewel thieves and a band of bootleggers register at the hotel, followed in short order by Mary’s mother and the girl’s prospective fiance, lawyer John Blackwell (Ralf Harolde) — who happens to be in league with the bootleggers! A wild gangland shoot-out and nocturnal chase caps this dated but amusing Wheeler and Woolsey vehicle.
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Dori Berinstein – ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway (2007)

 Dori Berinstein   ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway (2007)

thgc Dori Berinstein   ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway (2007)

From Amazon.com -

The real drama happens behind the curtain in this fascinating and rare look at four high-profile Broadway musicals (Wicked, Taboo, Caroline, Or Change, and Avenue Q) and their fearless journey to the Tony Awards®. Including a star-studded cast, this entertaining film takes viewers on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view of the creative process that captures all the heartbreak and hilarity of trying make it big in Show Business!

The playful but intense and vastly informative Show Business: The Road to Broadway is a documentary about four musicals that were contenders for top Tony Awards prizes in the 2004 Broadway season. Following the parallel action between the quartet–”Wicked,” “Avenue Q,” “Taboo,” and “Caroline, or Change”–from concept through casting, rewrites, rehearsals, opening nights and the relative box-office fortunes of each, the film dazzles a viewer by seeming to be everywhere at once. Along the way, one encounters cascades of neuroses and anxieties from the creative community involved in these shows, but there is also tremendous insight shared by the various playwrights, composers, lyricists, producers, directors, and stars who get these productions up and running. There’s sundry drama, too, especially concerning the brief run of “Taboo,” the financially disastrous musical about Boy George that was largely bankrolled by Rosie O’Donnell and ran into a variety of problems. Excellent fly-on-the-wall moments include a dinner sequence involving a handful of well-known theatre critics, whose tastes vary and who often champion shows no one else seems to like. Everything leads to highlights from the 2004 Tony Awards show, which was full of surprises. A final sequence in which one catches up with the many talents involved says everything about how success and failure is often a mere roll of the cosmic dice.
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Rouben Mamoulian – City Streets (1931)

 Rouben Mamoulian   City Streets (1931)

thgc Rouben Mamoulian   City Streets (1931)

Nan, a racketeer’s daughter, is in love with The Kid, a shooting gallery showman. Despite Nan’s prodding, The Kid has no ambitions about joining the rackets and making enough money to support Nan in the lifestyle she’s accustomed to. Her attitude changes after her father implicates her in a murder and she’s sent to prison. During her incarceration, her father convinces The Kid to join the gang in order to help free Nan. When Nan is released, she wants nothing more to do with the mob and tries to get The Kid to quit, but she may be too late.
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pixel Rouben Mamoulian   City Streets (1931)