Tag Archives: English

John Cromwell – Victory (1940)

Plot

Victory was the first of Joseph Conrad’s novels to be adapted to film, way back in 1919. The earliest talkie version, pointlessly retitled Dangerous Paradise, was lensed in 1930. Finally, Victory was given its best screen treatment in 1940 under the sensitive direction of John Cromwell. Fredric March plays an intellectual British recluse living in the Dutch East Indies. Having vowed to close himself off from the world, March is forced to break this promise to himself when lovely travelling showgirl Betty Field is imperiled by three murderous scavengers. The villains–led by Cedric Hardwicke at his most sardonically scurrilous–switch their attentions from Field to March when they’re led to believe that the recluse is wealthy. The experience shakes the morose March back into the real world, but his regeneration is tinged by tragedy. Not precisely perfect (it’s possible the book was unfilmable), the 1940 Victory is superior to the earlier film versions if for no other reason than its retention of Joseph Conrad’s overall sense of doom and foreboding. Read More »

Leslie S. Hiscott – The Seventh Survivor (1942)

A group of survivors in a lifeboat from a torpedoed neutral ship on its way to Portugal pick up a seventh survivor . He is the captain of the U-boat that is responsible for the sinking of the ship. Read More »

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – Sleuth (1972)

Synopsis :
A man who loves games and theater invites his wife’s lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results. Read More »

John McTiernan – Nomads (1986)

A French anthropologist gets murdered in Los Angeles after he discovers the existence of some unknown demonical creatures. Before he dies, he reveals his secret to a young doctor…

One of those rare fantasy movies that has the courage to be conceptually uncompromising with its audience, this plays with several layers of reality so that often one is uncertain if the particular scene currently on-screen can be taken at face value or not … yet by the movie’s end all makes perfectly coherent sense according to the movie’s own internal logic. (imdb) Read More »

Kurt Neumann – Ellery Queen, Master Detective (1940)

Ralph Bellamy made the first of four appearances as fictional sleuth Ellery Queen in Columbia’s “Ellery Queen, Master Detective”. For reasons that defy logic, the studio elected to transform the brilliant, analytical Queen into a hopeless bumbler, who seems incapable of tying his own shoes, much less solving a murder. Set at a posh health resort, the story gets under way when wealthy physical culturalist John Braun (played by former director Fred Niblo) is killed after threatening to cut all his heirs out of his will. Read More »

Robert Florey – Johnny One-Eye (1950)

Johnny One-Eye was adapted from one of Damon Runyon’s lesser-known stories. Pat O’Brien and Wayne Morris star as Martin Martin and Dane Cory respectively, former partners in crime who have long since split up. When a new district attorney puts the heat on, Cory, anxious to save his own hide, accuses Martin of an unsolved murder. Holed up in abandoned house, Martin is befriended by a little girl (Gayle Reed) and her dog. It so happens that the girl is the daughter of the crusading DA, and thereby hangs the rest of this tale. Produced by Benedict Bogeaus, Johnny One-Eye co-stars Bogeaus’ wife Dolores Moran as a moll named Lily White. The film represented the last directorial assignment of Robert Florey, who retired shortly afterward. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »

Otto Preminger & Rouben Mamoulian – Porgy and Bess (1959)

A woman whose past is scorned by nearly everyone around her meets a man who’d love her regardlessly- if only everyone else would allow them to. Read More »