Tag Archives: Raymond Massey

Stuart Heisler – Chain Lightning (1950)

Synopsis:
Former World War II flying ace Matt Brennan (Humphrey Bogart) takes a position as a test pilot for a commercial aircraft corporation and bumps into his old girlfriend, Jo Holloway (Eleanor Parker), who now works as a receptionist for the company. As daredevil Matt tries to rekindle his once passionate romance with Jo, he courageously takes the most dangerous assignment of his career when he consents to use an unorthodox, unproven ejector seat while flying at death-defying speeds. 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 »

Fritz Lang – The Woman in the Window (1944)

Quote:
Fritz Lang’s The Woman in the Window (1944) is a riveting melodrama that’s only improved with age. Edward G. Robinson delivers a memorable performance as an everyday Joe who suddenly finds himself entangled in a murder, but Lang’s sense of adventure is the real draw. One shot in particular – a single-take transitional moment near the end of the film – simply has to be seen to be believed. Look for Robinson leaning forward in a leather chair during what appears to be the picture’s tragic climax, then watch what happens next….and good luck determining how Lang did it. Read More »

Curtis Bernhardt – Possessed (1947)

Quote:
Joan Crawford won an Academy award in 1945 for Mildred Pierce, and, two years later, she was trying her utmost to win another. Her gripping, melodramatic star turn helped make Possessed a hit and a prime example of post-war film noir. Crawford can’t find happiness with either Van Heflin or Raymond Massey, and her fiery emotions drive her into a lethal frenzy. Based on Rita Weiman’s book One Man’s Secret, Possessed is told almost entirely in flashbacks, the goal being to figure out what drove Crawford’s character crazy. As a dark psychological study, this is Hollywood at its moodiest; love has rarely seemed so perilous and fraught with anxiety. German director Curtis Bernhardt was known for making emotional films that appealed to women. Crawford got her Oscar nomination, but Loretta Young won the statuette that year for The Farmer’s Daughter. Read More »

King Vidor – The Fountainhead (1949)

Quote:
The hero of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is Howard Roark (Gary Cooper), a fiercely independent architect obviously patterned after Frank Lloyd Wright. Rather than compromise his ideals, Roark takes menial work as a quarryman to finance his projects. He falls in love with heiress Dominique (Patricia Neal), but ends the relationship when he has the opportunity to construct buildings according to his own wishes. Dominique marries a newspaper tycoon (Raymond Massey) who at first conducts a vitriolic campaign against the “radical” Roark, but eventually becomes his strongest supporter. Upon being given a public-housing contract on the proviso that his plans not be changed in any way, Roark is aghast to learn that his designs will be radically altered. Roark sneaks into the unfinished structure at night, makes certain no one else is around, and dynamites the project into oblivion. Read More »

John Cromwell – Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

Plot:
Among the most masterful matchups of actor and role in screen history is this stirring film of Robert E. Sherwood’s beloved play taking a thoroughly human look at the early years of our 16th President, with all his frailties and strength of character. Best Actor Oscar nominee* Raymond Massey (who originated the role on stage) wonderfully plays the future Great Emancipator in a chronicle of his backwoods childhood through his first romance with Ann Rutledge (Mary Howard) to his phenomenal rise to President Elect, besting the great orator Stephen Douglas (Gene Lockhart). Ruth Gordon also does memorable work as driven, ambitious Mary Todd Lincoln, whose vision of Abe’s leadership destiny will not be denied by anyone – including her often reticent husband. There’s also no denying the enduring emotional power of this simple, magnificent movie. From Warner Brothers! Read More »

Curtis Bernhardt – Possessed [+Extras] (1947)


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Synopsis from IMDb: A dazed woman walks the streets of Los Angeles looking for a man named David. After collapsing in a diner, she’s taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. Flasbacks reveal her obsession for David as a result of borderline personality disorder…
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