Tag Archives: Herbert Marshall

William Wyler – The Letter (1940)

Synopsis:
William Wyler’s dark and poisonous melodrama, based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel, features Bette Davis in one of her nastiest roles. The story begins in the shimmering moonlight on a tropical Malayan rubber plantation. Shots ring out and a wounded man, Geoffrey Hammond (David Newell) staggers from a bungalow as Leslie Crosbie (Bette Davis) coldly follows him, pumping the remaining bullets into his body. She later tells her husband Robert (Herbert Marshall) that she shot Geoffrey, a mutual friend, because he was drunk and tried to take advantage of her. Robert, who owns the plantation, believes her story and hires high-powered lawyer Howard Joyce (James Stephenson) to defend her. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Synopsis:
Johnny Jones is an action reporter on a New York newspaper. The editor appoints him European correspondent because he is fed up with the dry, reports he currently gets. Jones’ first assignment is to get the inside story on a secret treaty agreed between two European countries by the famous diplomat, Mr. Van Meer. However things don’t go to plan and Jones enlists the help of a young woman to help track down a group of spies. Read More »

George Cukor – Zaza (1938)

Synopsis:
George Cukor’s seldom seen adaptation of David Belasco’s Zaza, this one features Claudette Colbert in the lead role of Zaza a famous singer who falls for a married man played by Herbert Marshall. This one gets little attention in the careers of Colbert and Cukor, but it’s a solid if uneven film, and certainly worth a peak. Read More »

William Wyler – The Little Foxes (1941)

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Lillian Hellman’s play, a prime example of the “well-made” variety, is precisely the kind of successful middle-brow property that appealed to Samuel Goldwyn. He had already produced Hellman’s controversial The Children’s Hour (also directed by William Wyler, with cinematographer Gregg Toland), a play that handsomely survived a title change to These Three and the transformation of the issue of lesbianism into an illicit heterosexual affair. No major alterations were required for The Little Foxes. The film even resists the conventional “opening up” so often applied to theatrical texts, in the mistaken notion that fundamental cinematic values are expansively pictorial ones. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Black Jack (1950)

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IMDb comment by niathan:
I saw this film when it was released to the minor cinemas in the UK some 50 years ago; and the memory remains of a great musical score, and the tragedy of the storyline. I saw it again on video recently. The sound track was poor and the picture grainy; but it is one of two films that I saw again the next day, the other being Gladiator. The music theme is intensely tragic, and from the outset one knows that it heralds failure or death. Certainly one of George Sanders best performances; as a man working the black market to get pay back for what he lost in the war, but nemesis waits; Patricia Roc plays a refugee from Eastern Europe eaten with despair. He is attracted to her, selflessly wants to help her, and then falls in love with her, but she is too proud and hurt to accept help. Their love destroys him, and inevetably the girl and the doctor (Herbert Marshall), who brought the nemesis. The storyline is of complex intertwining destinies, where subsidiary characters are not who they appear to be. This is as a film, which diappointed the critics and struggled at the box office; but for the adolescent who saw it, and the retired gentleman who saw it again it is one of the greatest films (taking into account its age)whose story is more akin to an opera. Read More »

Mark Sandrich – A Woman Rebels (1936)

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Plot: The story revolves around Pamela, as a woman in late-1800’s England who has no intention of marriage and wishes to be her own person. After a great deal of difficulty in finding a job, she finally lands a position at a “woman’s” magazine, which covered topics such as sewing and cooking. After the editor takes sick, she moves the magazine into discussing issues of gender equality, child labor, medical care, and finding a job. She then finds herself as the unexpected leader of a movement. After an unexpected event, she is also faced with raising a child without a father, which people at that time thought was scandalous. Written by Taed Nelson Read More »