Tag Archives: Mary Astor

Del Lord – Trapped by Television (1936)

Quote:
This film tries to blend comedy with drama, and the result is an uneasy tossed salad rather than a smooth pudding. Lyle Talbot is so stalwart and large it is difficult to feature him as a TV inventor — but he more than makes up for this in the fight scene, where, with his usual technique, he just beats the dickens out of the other actors for five or ten minutes. Nat Pendelton is wonderful as the dim-witted bill collector turned science hobbyist. Mary Astor, playing closer to her “Thin Man” arch smile than to her “Maltese Falcon” dramatic style, is a scheming but lovable promoter of potato peelers who decides to back this newfangled thing called television. All in all, this makes a better comedy than a drama, but the direction pulls it both ways, and thus it fails to satisfy either audience altogether. Read More »

John G. Adolfi – A Successful Calamity (1932)

Plot: Henry Wilton is an elderly millionaire saddled with his selfish young second wife Emmy ‘Sweetie’ Wilton and a pair of spoiled grown children (Peggy and Eddie). To test his family’s mettle, Henry pretends to have gone broke. Just as he suspected they would, his children rally to their father’s side and change their ways: Peggy forsakes the fortune hunter George Struthers for the nice young man she’s really in love with, the polo coach Larry Rivers; while Eddie applies for a demanding job and performs admirably. Only Sweetie seems to desert Henry. Written by Robert Read More »

John Huston – The Maltese Falcon [+commentary] (1941)

Synopsis:
Spade and Archer is the name of a San Francisco detective agency. That’s for Sam Spade and Miles Archer. The two men are partners, but Sam doesn’t like Miles much. A knockout, who goes by the name of Miss Wonderly, walks into their office; and by that night everything’s changed. Miles is dead. And so is a man named Floyd Thursby. It seems Miss Wonderly is surrounded by dangerous men. There’s Joel Cairo, who uses gardenia-scented calling cards. There’s Kasper Gutman, with his enormous girth and feigned civility. Her only hope of protection comes from Sam, who is suspected by the police of one or the other murder. More murders are yet to come, and it will all be because of these dangerous men — and their lust for a statuette of a bird: the Maltese Falcon. Read More »

Vincente Minnelli – Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Synopsis:
St. Louis 1903. The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. 17-year old Esther has fallen in love with the boy next door who has just moved in, John. He however barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transfered to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis and the St. Louis Fair. Read More »

John Huston & Vincent Sherman – Across the Pacific (1942)

Synopsis:
Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed, kicked out of the Army, and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has Leland really been booted out, or is there some other motive for his getting close to fellow passenger Doctor Lorenz? Any motive for getting close to attractive traveler Alberta Marlow would however seem pretty obvious. Read More »