Tag Archives: W.S. Van Dyke

W.S. Van Dyke – They Gave Him a Gun (1937)

Synopsis:
While serving in World War I, mild-mannered Jimmy (Franchot Tone) strikes up an unlikely friendship with outspoken Fred (Spencer Tracy), but an Army nurse named Rose (Gladys George) comes between them. While Fred ends up in a POW camp, Jimmy makes a courageous turn in battle, thus winning Rose’s love. Unfortunately, after the war ends, Jimmy still yearns for the thrill of combat. Without an outlet, it isn’t long before he willingly enters the seedy criminal underbelly of New York City. Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – San Francisco [Colourised] (1936)

San Francisco is a 1936 film directed by W.S. Van Dyke, written by Anita Loos, starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy and Jack Holt. It was nominated for six Oscars, of which it won one. The film tells the story of Mary Blake, who, out of poverty, starts singing at a local gambling hall. When she moves on, the owner of the gambling hall, Blackie, keeps following her. The confrontations between Mary and Blackie are suddenly put to a stop with the advent of the San Franscisco earthquake. Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke & Robert J. Flaherty – White Shadows in the South Seas (1928)

Unscrupulous trader Sebastian has little trouble cheating the inhabitants of the South Seas paradise and leading the natives to adopt some of the more unfortunate habits of “civilized” men. He has little opposition save Dr. Matthew Lloyd, once an educated and prominent physician but now smothered in the depths of alcoholic deterioration. When Lloyd goes too far in his attempts to thwart the success of the trader’s greedy plots, Sebastian sees to it that the doctor is framed for a crime and sentenced to be cast adrift tied to the wheel of a derelict ship. Read More »

Howard Hawks & W.S. Van Dyke – The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933)


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Plot: Steve is just a heavy duty bartender when Edwin J. Bennett, known as the Professor, starts training him for the ring. While doing road work, he is almost killed by a speeding car which crashes into a ditch. In the car is Belle Mercer and her driver. Steve takes Belle to a farmhouse and is smitten by her, but she is Willie Ryan’s Girl. The fight is a breeze and later, Steve again meets Belle with Willie. That night, Steve and Belle disappear and return married, much to the disappointment of Ryan. Then Steve starts training in ernest and is 19 for 19 in the ring. However, he has an eye for the women and an expanding ego to match. Written by Tony Fontana Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – Eskimo (1933)

Plot Synopsis
The remarkable location-filmed Eskimo was adapted from two books: Die Flucht Ins Wiesse Land and Der Eskimo, both written by naturalist Peter Freuchen. Director Woody Van Dyke, in the tradition of his White Shadows on the South Seas and Trader Horn, took his cast and crew on location to the Arctic, arriving by whaling schooner at the topmost settlement in Alaska with author Freuchen as his guide. Van Dyke, Freuchen, and cinematographer Ray Wise also played prominent on-screen roles in the film. Eskimo Ray Mala (billed only by his last name) essays the title role, speaking in the tongue of his ancestors (even though his English was excellent). Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) is the first feature-length talking (sound) version of the Tarzan series. [Tarzan films stretch into the silent film era back to 1918.] The Tarzan saga was based upon the original ‘Lord of the Jungle’ characters created by novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Tar-zan character (called various titles through the years, including John Clayton, Lord Bloomstoke (Greystoke)), first appeared in late 1912 in All-Story Magazine. Many actors have portrayed Tarzan, both on screen and on television, including Elmo Lincoln, Gene Pollar, P. Dempsey Tabler, James Pierce, Frank Merrill, Larry “Buster” Crabbe, Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett), Johnny Weissmuller, Lex Barker, Gordon Scott, Denny Miller, Jock Mahoney, Mike Henry, Ron Ely, Miles O’Keefe, Joe Lara, Wolf Larson, Christopher Lambert, and Casper Van Dien. Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – Guilty Hands (1931)

Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Madge Evans, Kay Francis, C. Aubrey Smith, Polly Moran, Alan Mowbry

Richard Grant (Barrymore) is a successful lawyer who believes that his many years of dealing with crime has taught him how to commit the perfect murder. He’s working for shady cad Gordon Rich (Mowbry) who informs Grant before a dinner party that he intends to marry his daughter, Barbara (Evans). Grant seethes with anger and, after dinner, kills Rich. It’s almost the perfect crime, but Rich’s troubled mistress Marjorie (Francis), becomes suspicious of Grant. Read More »