W.S. Van Dyke

W.S. Van Dyke – Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

High society sleuths Nick and Nora Charles run into a variety of shady characters while investigating a race-track murder. Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – San Francisco (1936)

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco. Read More »

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

Synopsis:
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. 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 »

W.S. Van Dyke & George Cukor – Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Orphans Edward “Blackie” Gallagher and Jim Wade are lifelong friends who take different paths in life. Blackie thrives on gambling and grows up to be a hard-nosed racketeer. Bookworm Wade becomes a D.A. vying for the Governorship. When Blackie’s girlfriend Eleanor leaves him and marries the more down to earth Wade, Blackie harbors no resentment. In fact, their friendship is so strong that Blackie murders an attorney threatening to derail Wade’s bid to become Governor. The morally straight Wade’s last job as D.A. is to convict his friend of the murder, and send him to the electric chair. After he becomes Governor, Wade has the authority to commute Blackie’s death sentence– a decision that pits his high moral ethics against a lifelong friendship. Read More »

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 »