Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Song to Remember

A Song to Remember is a 1945 Columbia Pictures Technicolor biographical film which tells a fictionalised life story of Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin. Directed by Charles Vidor, the film starred Cornel Wilde (as Chopin), Merle Oberon (as George Sand), Paul Muni (as Józef Elsner), Stephen Bekassy (as Franz Liszt), and Nina Foch.

Directed by Charles Vidor
Produced by B. F. Zeidman
Written by Ernst Marischka (Story) Sidney Buchman
Paul Muni
Cornel Wilde
Merle Oberon
Nina Foch

Music by Miklós Rózsa

Cinematography Tony Gaudio
Allen M. Davey

Edited by Charles Nelson

Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Release dates
January 18, 1945

Friday, October 7, 2016

Flame of the Barbary Coast

Naive Montana cowboy Duke Fergus (John Wayne) arrives in San Francisco and visits the notorious Barbary Coast. He becomes smitten with the lovely star attraction of the fanciest gambling hall, "Flaxen" Tarry (Ann Dvorak), the "Flame of the Barbary Coast". He gets talked into gambling against the owner (and Flaxen's lover), card shark Tito Morell (Joseph Schildkraut). Predictably, Fergus gets cheated and loses all his money.

He sets himself to win Flaxen's affections and decides the best way to do it is to take over. He gets his friend Wolf Wylie (William Frawley) to teach him everything about gambling, including how to spot cheating. When he's ready, he sells all he owns and returns to the city to challenge Morell's rule of the Barbary Coast. He goes from casino to casino, challenging each one's resident poker champion to a heads-up game, starting with Morell. Duke wins every time.

Fergus then builds an opulent new gambling establishment, catering to the upper class. To make it a success, he needs to persuade Flaxen to come work for him, but she is initially not interested. Only when Morell offends her does she decide to accept Fergus's offer. And then the fireworks begin. Morell does not take the challenge lying down. In the midst of it all, the Great Earthquake of 1906 strikes, both Fergus' and Morell's businesses are destroyed, and Flaxon grievously injured. They rebuild and recover. Throw in a political battle, and someone gets the girl.

Directed by Joseph Kane
Written by Prescott Chaplin
Screenplay by Borden Chase
John Wayne
Ann Dvorak
Joseph Schildkraut
William Frawley
Music by
R. Dale Butts

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Casanova Brown with Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright

Casanova Brown is a 1944 American romantic comedy film directed by Sam Wood, and starring Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, and Frank Morgan. Written by Thomas Mitchell (the actor), Floyd Dell, and Nunnally Johnson, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards: for Best Score (Arthur Lange), Best Sound, Recording (Thomas T. Moulton) and Best Art Direction (Perry Ferguson, Julia Heron).[2][3][4] The film had its world premiere in western France after the Allies had liberated those territories following the D-Day.

Arriving in a small Illinois town by train, Casanova Brown is met by Madge Ferris and tells her not to bring up his trip to New York.

Cas decides to ask Madge to marry him, even though her father J.J. warns him against it, saying Madge is nothing but trouble. Cas leaves town because of a letter from a Dr. Zernerke summoning him to Chicago, but promises to be back in time for the wedding.

A baby girl is at the Chicago hospital and Cas is asked for an explanation. He tells of his New York experience with Isabel Drury, of how they fell in love and decided to wed, only to have Cas repeatedly upset Isabel's mother by insulting her belief in astrology, ignoring her warnings that their union would be cursed, then inadvertently burning down the Drurys' house.

After the marriage is annulled, Cas thought it was over. But now there's a baby. Cas disguises himself as a doctor and kidnaps the kid. He then decides to adopt it, but in a hurry to prove he has a stable home life, he proposes to the first woman he sees, Monica, a hotel maid, that they get married immediately.

Madge is left at the altar, Isabel comes back claiming it was just a prank she was playing to get even with Cas for leaving her, and it turns out Monica didn't get to marry him after all because they didn't have a proper license. Cas and Isabel decide to give it another try.

Directed by Sam Wood
Produced by Nunnally Johnson
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Floyd Dell
Nunnally Johnson
Starring Gary Cooper
Teresa Wright
Frank Morgan
Anita Louise
Music by Arthur Lange
Cinematography John F. Seitz
Edited by Thomas Neff
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates
August 5, 1944 ( Premiere-France)
August 23, 1944 (U.S.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Berlin Express


Berlin Express is a 1948 American drama film directed by Jacques Tourneur and starringRobert RyanMerle Oberon and Paul Lukas.
Thrown together by chance, a group of people search a city for a kidnapped peace activist. Set in Allied-occupied Germany, it was shot on location in post-World War II Frankfurt-am-Main (with exterior and interior shots of the IG Farben Building and its paternosterelevators  and Berlin. During the opening credits, a full-screen notice reads, "Actual scenes in Frankfurt and Berlin were photographed by authorisation of the United States Army of Occupation, the British Army of Occupation, the Soviet Army of Occupation."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Frenchman's Creek - 1944


Frenchman's Creek is a 1944 adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel about Lady Dona St. Columb, an aristocratic English woman who falls in love with a French pirate. It released by Paramount Pictures and starred  Joan Fontaine, Arturo de Córdova, Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway, and Nigel Bruce. Filmed in Technicolor, it was directed by Mitchell Leisen. The musical score was by Victor Young, who incorporated the main theme of French composer Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune as the love theme for the film.

The film is a mostly faithful adaptation of the 1941 novel by Daphne du Maurier, taking place during the reign of Charles II in the mid seventeenth century, mostly in the Cornish region of England. 

The technicolor photography is stunning, lush and beautiful. The music, with strains of Claire de Lune, is enchanting, like the creek, and the very romantic adventure story.

Frenchman's Creek won Academy Awards for art direction and set design.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tomorrow, The World - 1944


When war breaks out in Germany, the parents of young Emil Buckner (Skip Homeier) send their son to live in the United States with his American uncle (March). Although the American family reaches out to the boy, trying to make him part of their lives, he has been heavily indoctrinated in Nazi propaganda from his years in the Hitler Youth.

The uncle is a "gently liberal university professor," while the young boy – even though he is an orphan with a father who was anti-Nazi – has become "a parrot for the Third Reich, denouncing his late father as a traitor and being as nasty as possible to the professor's Jewish fiancée.

Starring: Fredric March, Betty Field,  Agnes Moorehead, Joan Carro, Edit Angold, Skip Homeier, Emil Bruckner

Directed by Leslie Fenton                           

Writing credits
James Gow, Arnaud d'Usseau, Ring Lardner Jr., Leopold Atlas   

Trapeze - 1956

Crippled trapeze aerialist and former star Mike Ribble (Burt Lancaster) sees great promise in young, brash Tino Orsini (Tony Curtis). Ribble—only the sixth man to have completed the dangerous triple somersault—thinks his protégé is capable, under his rigorous training, of matching his feat. However, Orsini is distracted by the third member of their circus act, the manipulative Lola (Gina Lollobrigida). Tensions rise as a love triangle forms.

Staring: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Tino Orsini, Gina Lollobrigida, Katy Jurado, Thomas Gomez

Directed by Carol Reed

Writing credits Max Catto  

Liam O'Brien (adaptation)

James R. Webb (screenplay)

Ben Hecht -  uncredited and Wolf Mankowitz - uncredited