Lesley Selander – Arrow in the Dust (1954)


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Synopsis
Spoiler –

After deserting his command, cavalry trooper Bart Laish comes upon the remnants of a wagon train bound for Oregon and discovers that its inhabitants have been massacred by Indians. The only survivor is Major Andy Pepperis, a distant cousin of Laish’s who served with him at West Point. With his dying breath, Pepperis appeals to Laish’s sense of honor and decency and begs him to find the main train up ahead and lead it to safety at Fort Laramie. Having fled the rigors of army life, Laish remains ambivalent to Pepperis’ pleas until he reaches Fort Taylor and finds the men annihilated, the victims of another Indian raid. Read More »

Alan Crosland – Big Boy (1930)


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Plot: If faithful Gus can only help the racehorse BIG BOY to win the Kentucky Derby the white folks who employ him will be saved from financial ruin.
Strange, offbeat, bizarre, unique. All of these terms can describe this film which features legendary entertainer Al Jolson in blackface, playing a black man. While acted with tongue very firmly planted in cheek, and meant solely for lighthearted entertainment, this movie will definitely not be to every viewer’s taste. Not until the final minutes does Jolson appear as himself, joking with the audience and reprising the film’s dullest song yet once again. Read More »

George Cukor – Bhowani Junction (1956)


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Synopsis
Ava Gardner was never more alluring than as the half-caste heroine of Bhowani Junction. Set during India’s battle for independence from Britain, the film begins with Gardner returning to her native land after spending several years in England. Her true loyalties, and her own sense of who she really is, are put to the test by the two men in her life: Stewart Granger, whose job it is to prevent saboteurs from destroying the trains at Bhowani Junction, and Bill Travers, another half-caste. When she kills a potential rapist in self-defense, Gardner is given comfort by Communist insurrectionist Peter Illing, further dividing her fidelities. A climactic attempt on the life of Mahatma Gandhi provides a rousing finish to this romantic melodrama. Bhowani Junction was adapted from the novel by John Masters. ~ Hal Erickson @allmovie.com Read More »

Ray Enright – Alibi Ike (1935)


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Plot: Rookie pitcher Francis “Ike” Farrell comes seemingly out of nowhere to help the Cubs go for the pennant. His idiosyncratic ways, which include excuses and alibis for everything, drive his manager and fiancee crazy in this baseball farce. Written by Jerry Milani Read More »

William Keighley – Babbitt (1934)


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Plot:
Middle aged George F. Babbitt is a leading citizen in the town of Zenith, the fastest growing community in America according to its town sign. George is a large part of that growth as a property developer and realtor. He is lovingly married to his wife Myra, the two who have two children, Ted and Verona who are approaching adulthood. George has always had a fearless attitude, much like that of a naive child, which has led to his business success. He encounters some personal stresses when he faces what he believes is a potential home-wrecking issue, and when his oldest friend Paul and his wife Zilla deal with domestic problems. These stresses make George want to provide even more to his own family, leading to George agreeing to participate in a less than scrupulous but lucrative business dealing. George’s bravura gets him into a potential scandal. This situation makes him question his general behavior, especially toward his family. Read More »

James P. Hogan – A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen (1942)


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IMDB Review.
Ellery Queen is about to leave for San Francisco, where his new book will be set, when he is visited by a woman who asks him to find out if her husband is alive or dead; supposedly he drowned in a boat accident a few years ago, but someone who looks a lot like him was recently seen in SF. Ellery takes Nikki Porter with him and has her impersonating the missing man’s wife, to bring him out into the open. The plan works, but a case of embezzlement and a murder bring Inspector Queen to SF as well, and guess who the chief suspect for both crimes is: the man Ellery was looking for! “A Desperate Chance For Ellery Queen” had the potential to be one of the best entries in the series, but it’s a little too messily put together to achieve that. Kudos, however, to Lilian Bond for her sexy femme fatale. I think it’s the first time in the series where another woman steals the show from Margaret Lindsay. Read More »

Telly Savalas – Beyond Reason (1977)

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Quote:
Telly Savalas wrote, directed, and starred in this obscure late 70’s thriller.

Savalas stars as Dr. Nicholas Mati, a disturbed psychologist tormented by the memory of a patient that committed suicide. Dr. Mati feels that he was responsible in some sort of way and that he could saved his life. Through flashbacks, we as the audience can get an opinion. I think that the patience was a really tormented soul that wanted suicide; Dr. Mati didn’t have a chance to save him. Read More »