Frank Borzage

Frank Borzage – Seven Sweethearts (1942)

This MGM musical lifts the premise of Pride and Prejudice and plunks it down into the early 1900s. S.Z. Sakall is a restaurateur who has decreed that his seven daughters must marry in order of age — the oldest one first. Kathryn Grayson isn’t the oldest, but she has the sweetest singing voice, and it is she who bags the first husband (Van Heflin). For the record, the remaining six sisters are played by Marsha Hunt, Frances Rafferty, Cecilia Parker, Peggy Moran, Dorothy Morris and Frances Raeburn. Seven Sweethearts was produced by Joe Pasternak, who’d been doing much the same material when in charge of Universal’s Deanna Durbin vehicles. ~ Hal Erickson Read More »

Frank Borzage – The Pride of Palomar (1922)

A soldier inaccurately reported as dead returns home to his Spanish family’s estate in California, only to find his father deceased and his ancestral land in the hands of strangers. Read More »

Frank Borzage – Three Comrades (1938)

A love story centered around the lives of three young German soldiers in the years following World War I. Their close friendship is strengthened by their shared love for the same woman who is dying of tuberculosis… Read More »

Frank Borzage – I’ve Always Loved You (1946)

A late entry from Frank Borzage and hs first “prestige” picture in years, after being cut loose from the Majors during his personal heyday of the 1920s and 30s.

This was Republic’s first Technicolor feature (and Borzage’s second). The color palette Republic concocted for the film is bizarre to say the least – dominant are pinks, purples, wedgewood blues, mauve, taupe, lilac, with highlights of orange aqua and apricot. The general tone of hyperreality is enhanced further with set design that extends to underfurnished rooms, and cavernous spaces and headroom, like the concert hall wiith virtually surreal intrusions of doric columns and poritcos as decorative objects. Read More »

Frank Borzage – History Is Made at Night (1937)

Wealthy shipowner Bruce Vail is insanely jealous of wife Irene, who divorces him for that reason. Vail schemes to get Irene in trouble with a hired gigolo; but passerby Paul Dumond rescues her, and Paul and Irene fall in love, much to Vail’s dismay. Read More »

Frank Borzage – Street Angel (1928)

Angela (Gaynor), a poor Neapolitan girl desperate to acquire medication for her sick mother, comes into conflict with the police and finds refuge with a traveling circus. Under the big top, she meets Gino (Farrell), a painter who falls in love with her while the law closes in. Read More »

Frank Borzage – Bad Girl (1931)

Bad Girl hasn’t worn as well as some of his other romances. It opens with Dot (Sally Eilers) in an elegant wedding gown talking nervously to her ever-present friend Edna (Minna Gomball). When she sails out of the room, we realize that she’s modeling this wedding dress for lecherous male department store customers. This opening emphasizes Borzage’s indifference to matrimony, as does his decision to simply skip the wedding of his leads, Eilers’s sexy Dot and James Dunn’s rough-Irish Eddie. There’s some charm and poignancy in this couple’s constant wisecracking, especially when they sit on the stairs of her apartment house and ponder their future while a whole cavalcade of miserable humanity trudges up the stairs and yells out of their doors impatiently. And there’s a classic Borzage moment when Eddie playfully chases Dot around the room, gathers her up in his arms, and yanks her hat off……. Read More »