After selling his Ohio auto-parts plant, Sam hopes to celebrate his retirement by taking his wife Fran on a romantic getaway to Europe. Instead, Sam and Fran begin to grow apart, realizing they want different things from life… Read More »
Based on the short story “Venus Rising” by George Bradshaw, How to Steal a Million features a rather contrived plot about a wealthy art forger (Academy Award winner Hugh Griffith, Ben Hur) and his beautiful daughter (Hepburn) who are about to be exposed as frauds after they allow one of their fake statues to be displayed in a major art exhibition. In a desperate attempt to save face, Hepburn solicits help from a dashing society burglar (Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia) to steal the statue before tests can be made to reveal its true origin. The “burglar” isn’t exactly what he appears to be, however, and as they plot their haphazard heist, the two inevitably begin to fall in love. Read More »
The Heiress is set in the late 1840s, largely in the opulent New York townhouse of Dr Austin Sloper (Ralph Richardson in his first Hollywood performance). Sloper idolises his dead wife and cruelly dismisses his doting daughter Catherine (Olivia de Havilland) as inferior in every respect: she’s awkward, plain and shy in company. In consequence, he encourages his widowed sister Lavinia Penniman (Miriam Hopkins), who has recently joined the household, to coach Catherine in the social graces. Read More »
William Wyler’s dark and poisonous melodrama, based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel, features Bette Davis in one of her nastiest roles. The story begins in the shimmering moonlight on a tropical Malayan rubber plantation. Shots ring out and a wounded man, Geoffrey Hammond (David Newell) staggers from a bungalow as Leslie Crosbie (Bette Davis) coldly follows him, pumping the remaining bullets into his body. She later tells her husband Robert (Herbert Marshall) that she shot Geoffrey, a mutual friend, because he was drunk and tried to take advantage of her. Robert, who owns the plantation, believes her story and hires high-powered lawyer Howard Joyce (James Stephenson) to defend her. Read More »
This is the story of an English middle class family through the first years of World War II. Clem Miniver is a successful architect and his beautiful wife Kay is the anchor that keeps the family together. With two young children at home, Kay keeps busy in the quaint English village they call home. She is well-liked by everyone and the local station master has even named his new rose after her. When their son Vincent, Vin to everyone, comes home from Oxford for the summer he is immediately attracted to Carol Beldon, granddaughter of Lady Beldon. Their idyllic life is shattered in September 1939 when England is forced to declare war on Germany. Soon Vin is in the RAF and everyone has to put up with the hardship of war including blackouts and air raids. Read More »
Man about town and First Class cricketer A.J. Raffles keeps himself solvent with daring robberies. Meeting Gwen from his schooldays and falling in love all over again, he spends the weekend with her parents, Lord and Lady Melrose. A necklace presents an irresistible temptation, but also in attendance is Scotland Yard’s finest, finally on the trail. Read More »
In a small Pacific village, a widowed fisherman marries a girl young enough to be his daughter. Complications ensue when the new wife falls in love with her husband’s son.
Creaky but interesting melodrama powered by Walter Huston’s performance as a brute and a dynamite action ending. Although Wyler’s direction is not as sure as it would be later, it is interesting to note that, for the most accomplished studio director of all time, a man said to operate without a style of his own, a lot of images that show up in his later films (particularly WUTHERING HEIGHTS and THE LITTLE FOXES) also show up here. Read More »