Tag Archives: Walter Brennan

Henry King – Maryland (1940)

Synopsis: Charlotte Danfield (Fay Bainter), a member of an old Maryland family with horse breeding in its blood, orders her entire stable sold after her husband meets his death in a hunting accident. She also forbids her son Lee (John Payne) to ride again, but when the boy remains friendly with Charlotte’s old horse trainer, William Stewart (Walter Brennan), and his granddaugther Linda (Brenda Joyce), Charlotte ships him off to school in Europe to remove him from Maryland’s horse-oriented environment. Horses are in Lee’s blood, however, so when he returns home a grown man and learns that “Uncle Bill” is grooming “Cavalier” for the Maryland Cup, he eagerly offers to ride the steed. Later, after acquiescing to Charlotte’s wish that he not ride, Lee, out of a sense of loyalty to Uncle Bill, defies his mother’s will. Read More »

Jean Negulesco – Nobody Lives Forever (1946)

G.I. Nick Blake, a never charged con man in his pre-military life, has just received an honorable discharge from the army on medical reasons. Rather than return to his old life, he plans to settle down in New York, his hometown, with his girlfriend Toni Blackburn and the small cache of money he amassed prior to the war: $50,000. When that plan does not pan out, he decides to head to Los Angeles with his con man friend Al Doyle and live it up until he decides on a more permanent course for his life. He is informed by Pop Gruber, an aging mentor doing solely penny-ante street cons now in L.A., of a potential big mark. Doc Ganson, a former con associate, found the mark, lonely widow Gladys Halvorsen worth $2 million, but does not have either the bankroll or the charms to carry out the con on Gladys himself. Read More »

Fritz Lang – Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Synopsis:
Set in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi occupation, Hangmen Also Die depicts an Eastern Europe populated by spies, traitors and revolutionaries…a deadly funhouse of political intrigue in which every personal encounter brings with it the threat of betrayal.
Pursued by the Germans after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Dr. Svobonda (Brian Donlevy) enlists the aid of a young woman (Anna Lee) who is oblivious to the lethal crosscurrents that surround her. As she learns more about the mysterious doctor, she grows aware of the involvement of her father (Walter Brennan) and fiance (Dennis O’Keefe) in the resistance, and soon finds herself entangled in the revolution’s secret operations. Read More »

Howard Hawks – Sergeant York (1941)

Synopsis:
Somewhat fictionalized account of the life and war service of Alvin York, who went from humble beginnings to being one of the most celebrated American servicemen to fight in World War I. As depicted in the film, Alvin turned to religion when he was struck by lightning during one of his drunken outings. Alvin took his newfound religion seriously claiming to be a conscientious objector when receiving his draft notice. When that was refused, he joined the infantry where he served with valor, capturing a large number of Germans and saving the lives of many of his men who were under heavy fire. Read More »

Allan Dwan – Driftwood (1947)

Six-year-old Jenny rescues a collie dog, the only survivor of a plane wreck. A tag on the dog’s neck states that it is en route to a medical laboratory where its blood will be used for spotted fever vaccine. Dr. Steven Webster meets both Jenny and the dog and “adopts” them both. His fiancée Susan isn’t too fond of either the girl or the dog. Webster wants to get a hospital for the town but he is suppressed by the town mayor. In the arguments that follow, Webster’s lab is wrecked and ticks infected with spotted fever escape. The town is in a panic and all want to be vaccinated. Jenny is infected and is about to die. Written by Les Adams Read More »

F. Hugh Herbert – Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948)

Plot:
Though the title sounds like something from a Big Band era tune, it actually refers to commands used during the training of mules. Young Snug Dominy has just purchased a pair of strapping mules. With no available cash, he must work for their previous owner to pay them off. Snug lives with his callous stepmother Judith, who spends all her time and attention with his stepbrother Stretch. This creates an escalating tension between the two youths that their father is unable to stop. Meanwhile, Snug toils long and hard to keep possession of his muleteam, as the farmer who owned them tries to get them back. Things get really sticky when Snug falls in love with the farmer’s lovely daughter. Look very closely and see a young Marilyn Monroe paddling a canoe in one sequence. Read More »