W.S. Van Dyke – His Brother’s Wife (1936)


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Rita Wilson meets epidemiologist Chris Claybourne and they fall in love with each other. When Claybourne leaves for the tropics to find a cure against a disease, Wilson gets her revenge by marrying Claybourne’s brother although she still loves him. Written by Mattias Thuresson Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – The Feminine Touch (1941)

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Disgusted by having to pass “pinhead” football heroes in order for his college to soar to football victory, Professor John Hathaway (Don Ameche) takes his leave of Digby College. With his wife Julie (Rosalind Russell) in tow, Hathaway sets out to conquer Manhattan’s literary circles, his scholarly manuscript on the subject of “jealousy” tucked under his arm in the romantic comedy The Feminine Touch (1941). Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – I Live My Life (1935)

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Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A brisk romantic/comedy Joan Crawford vehicle capably directed by W.S. Van Dyke and gamely written but not one of the better scripts by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It’s from the short story “Claustrophobia” by A. Carter Goodloe. It’s the usual class warfare Joan Crawford film of that era with the good looking actress dressed chic and defending her free-spirited upper-class superficial lifestyle in her argumentative romance with the commoner Brian Aherne, who thinks the high society crowd are idlers and lightweights.

Bored heiress Kay Bentley (Joan Crawford) travelling with her dad (Frank Morgan) on his yacht meets on the Greek island of Naxos handsome Irish archaeologist Terry O’Neill (Brian Aherne), who’s on an archaeological dig for the Pygmalion statue. Learning that he thinks very little of the society jet set Kay tells Terry she’s Ann Morrison, the secretary of Mr. Bentley. They kiss and he falls madly in love, surpisingly following the attractive secretary to New York where he hopes to marry her. Learning the truth, the two have a spat but nevertheless grow fonder of each other. Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – Rage in Heaven (1941)


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Old friends Ward and Phillip both become smitten with Phillip’s mother’s attractive young secretary Stella. But Stella marries Phillip and stands by him as his behavior becomes more and more erratic and his jealousy of Ward increases. Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – Penthouse (1933)


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Quote:
By now, Myrna Loy’s enduring portrayal of Nora Charles in the Thin Man series has pushed the fact that she was hardly an overnight success into the recesses of movie history. Loy served one of the lengthier movie star apprenticeships, appearing in over 70 films before she caught on with the public (for a more recent example of eventual-star stamina, check out Jack Nicholson’s pre-Easy Rider [1969] resume.) Given Loy’s immense gifts as a comic actress, and her obvious sex appeal, it’s surprising it took her so long. However, until she appeared in the mob comedy-melodrama, Penthouse (1933), she was typecast either as a “bad girl” or as a multi-cultural exotic with a non-specific accent. Some producers even tried to pass her off as Asian! Read More »

Peter Adair – Holy Ghost People (1967)


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Bright Lights Film Journal wrote:
The late Peter Adair (1943-1996) is best known in the queer community as one of the auteurs of Word Is Out, the first documentary about gay people that found a home in the mainstream. An outsider himself as a gay man, Adair was apparently drawn to other outsiders. His first, and in some ways best, film explored a distinctive American subculture. Holy Ghost People is a 53-minute documentary about snake-handling, strychnine-swilling members of the “Holiness” church. Rightly hailed by Margaret Mead as one of the best ethnographic films ever made, and a staple of classes on anthropology and documentary film, this study of a little-known sect who put their lives on the line for their religion still packs a wallop three decades after its release. Read More »

Harvey Hart – Street Killing (1976)


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Plot
In this detective drama, a prosecutor investigates a murder and finds that it is connected to a recent mugging. In the end, he is led to convict a high-ranking crime lord. Read More »