James Gleason

  • Lewis Allen – Suddenly (1954)

    1951-1960250 Quintessential Film NoirsFilm NoirLewis AllenUSA
    Suddenly (1954)
    Suddenly (1954)

    For a small film, Suddenly has a lot of baggage. Even after many years, it remains tainted by its eerie foreshadowing of President Kennedy’s assassination nine years following the film’s release—an association made all the more sinister by the oft-repeated (and now disputed) assertion that Lee Harvey Oswald watched the film shortly before the President was gunned down in Dallas. Then there’s the claim that star Frank Sinatra ordered the film withdrawn from circulation after Kennedy was killed, an order Sinatra had no power to give, although he did protest when a TV station aired the film shortly after the 35th President’s death. In the Nineties, the film was the victim of a botched colorization effort that turned Sinatra into Old Brown Eyes, and the failure to renew the film’s copyright caused it to become available through multiple public domain distributors in inferior versions that were painful to watch.Read More »

  • George Nichols Jr. – The Big Game (1936)

    1931-1940ComedyDramaGeorge Nichols Jr.USA

    Plot Synopsis
    Future best-selling novelist Irwin Shaw made his screenwriting bow with the modest RKO Radio sports drama The Big Game. The story revolves around the efforts by a group of crooked gamblers to fix the outcomes of college football games. When star quarterback Clark (Philip Huston) refuses to be bribed, the villains kidnap him on the eve of the titular Big Game. Clark is rescued by his burly teammates just in the nick of time, but the film’s not over yet: there’s a riot on the football field during the final scenes, reportedly inspired by a real-life incident during a 1935 NYU-Fordham game. Adding to the enjoyment of The Big Game is the presence of several genuine members of the 1936 All-American football squad: The University of Chicago’s Jay Berwanger, Notre Dame’s William Shakespeare, Southern Methodist’s Bobby Wilson, NYU’s Irwin “King Kong” Klein, Ohio State’s Gomer Jones, and Stanford’s Robert “Bones” Hamilton, Monk Moscrip and Frank Alustiza.Read More »

  • George Archainbaud – Penguin Pool Murder (1932)

    1931-1940ClassicsGeorge ArchainbaudMysteryUSA

    RKO Pictures launched what could have been one of the great detective series in 1932, when Edna May Oliver starred in “The Penguin Pool Murder”. As Stuart Palmer’s elderly schoolteacher turned sleuth Hildegarde Withers, Oliver was one of the screen’s most liberated women, defying Police Inspector Oscar Piper (James Gleason) to track down killers with little regard for his pride or her own safety. Although Oliver left the series after only two more installments, leading to a serious decline in quality for the films, her first two outings in particular were years ahead of their time, thanks to director George Archainbaud’s uniquely visual narrative skills and for the films’ depiction of an older, independent woman.
    Read More »

  • William Hamilton & Edward Killy – Murder on a Bridle Path (1936)

    1931-1940ComedyMysteryUSAWilliam Hamilton and Edward Killy


    From TCM:
    When the body of Violet Feverel, who had taken her horse for an evening ride, is discovered in Central Park, Inspector Oscar Piper of the New York police arrives at the crime scene and is joined by his friend, amateur detective and schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers. After Hildegarde locates Violet’s horse and bloodied saddle, Oscar concludes that she was murdered and begins to question suspects, including Latigo Wells, the manager of Violet’s stable. Confronted by Oscar’s suspicions, Wells reveals that Violet had quarreled with Eddie Fry, her sister Barbara Foley’s boyfriend, just before the murder. Hildegarde then finds out from High Pockets, a stable employee, that Violet also had quarreled with Wells just before her death. At Violet’s apartment, Oscar and Hildegarde discover Eddie and Barbara hastily packing and question them. The young couple, who had become engaged in spite of Violet’s objections, defend their innocence and cast suspicion on Don Gregg, Violet’s ex-husband, whom Violet had jailed for nonpayment of alimony.Read More »

  • Vincente Minnelli – The Clock (1945)

    1941-1950ClassicsRomanceUSAVincente Minnelli

    In 1945, during a 48-hour leave, a soldier accidentally meets a girl at Pennsylvania Station and spends his leave with her, eventually falling in love with the lovely New Yorker.Read More »

Back to top button