Jean Arthur

  • Frank Borzage – History Is Made at Night (1937)

    Wealthy shipowner Bruce Vail is insanely jealous of wife Irene, who divorces him for that reason. Vail schemes to get Irene in trouble with a hired gigolo; but passerby Paul Dumond rescues her, and Paul and Irene fall in love, much to Vail’s dismay.Read More »

  • Frank Capra – Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)

    Quote:
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) is producer/director Frank Capra’s classic comedy-drama, and considered by many to be his greatest achievement in film (and reminiscent of his earlier film, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936)). [In fact, the film project by Columbia was first announced as Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington starring Gary Cooper, in a role similar to his previous Longfellow Deeds character.]Read More »

  • Rowland V. Lee – The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929)

    Warner Oland makes the first of four screen appearances as Sax Rohmer’s insidious oriental Dr. Fu Manchu. The film makes an effort to explain Fu’s hatred of all whites by showing the death of the Doctor’s family during the Boxer Rebellion. Twenty years later, Fu Manchu is a full-blooded villain using a hypnotized Jean Arthur to help wipe out the British family Fu holds responsible for the deaths of his loved ones. But when Arthur falls in love with potential victim Neil Hamilton, Dr. Fu is forced to add her to his death-list. Weakened only by the excessive “silly-ass Englishman” comedy relief of William Austin, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu is a rapid-fire adventure devoid of early-talkie clumsiness.Read More »

  • Billy Wilder – A Foreign Affair (1948)

    Quote:
    Phoebe Frost (Jean Arthur), an upright Iowa Republican member of Congress, travels to Berlin to look into reports of corruption among the occupying American forces. She enlists an Army captain (John Lund) in her crusade and finds herself falling for him, unaware that he’s the man romantically involved with a German cabaret singer (Marlene Dietrich) who can lead army investigators to a high-level Nazi war criminal. The post-war public was not ready to accept such a witty expose of American and German hypocrisy during its original release but A FOREIGN AFFAIR is now considered one of Wilder’s most underrated and iconic films. The black and white cinematography by Charles Lang and the screenplay by Wilder, Charles Brackett and Richard L. Breen received Oscar® nominations.Read More »

  • John Ford – The Whole Town’s Talking (1935)

    Synopsis:
    Ordinary man-in-the-street Arthur Ferguson Jones leads a very straightforward life. He’s never late for work and nothing interesting ever happens to him. One day everything changes: he oversleeps and is fired as an example, he’s then mistaken for evil criminal killer Mannion and is arrested. The resemblance is so striking that the police give him a special pass to avoid a similar mistake. The real Mannion sees the opportunity to steal the pass and move around freely and chaos results.Read More »

  • George Stevens – Shane (1953)

    Synopsis:
    The simple story of a Wyoming range war is elevated to near-mythical status in producer/director George Stevens’ Western classic Shane. Alan Ladd plays the title character, a mysterious drifter who rides into a tiny homesteading community and accepts the hospitality of a farming family. Patriarch Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) is impressed by the way Shane handles himself when facing down the hostile minions of land baron Emile Meyer, though he has trouble placing his complete trust in the stranger, as his Marion (Jean Arthur) is attracted to Shane in spite of herself, and his son Joey (Brandon De Wilde) flat-out idolizes Shane. When Meyer is unable to drive off the homesteaders by sheer brute strength, he engages the services of black-clad, wholly evil hired gun Jack Wilson (Jack Palance)…Read More »

  • Frank Capra – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town [+commentary] (1936)

    Synopsis:
    Longfellow Deeds lives in a small town, leading a small town kind of life – including playing the tuba in the town band. When a relative dies and leaves Deeds a fortune, Longfellow picks up his tuba and moves to the big city where he becomes an instant target for everyone from the greedy opera committee to the sensationist daily newspaper. Deeds outwits them all until Babe Bennett comes along. Babe is a hot-shot reporter who figures the best way to get close to Deeds is to pose as a damsel in distress. When small-town boy meets big-city girl anything can, and does, happen.Read More »

  • Frank Capra – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

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    Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is a 1936 American screwball comedy film directed by Frank Capra, starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in her first featured role. Based on the 1935 short story “Opera Hat” by Clarence Budington Kelland, which appeared in serial form in the Saturday Evening Post, the screenplay was written by Robert Riskin in his fifth collaboration with Frank Capra.
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