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

Underwater! - 1955

Dominic Quesada and Johnny Gray, two SCUBA divers searching for sunken treasure off the coast of Cuba, think they've hit the jackpot when they find a 17th century ship on the sea floor. They need working capital however and Johnny is ready to hock his boat but his wife Theresa think their off on another wild scheme that will leave them all poorer than when they started. She comes around however and are soon joined by Gloria, whose boat they will use and Father Cannon, a university professor and archaeologist. Although Dominic hasn't been completely honest with his partners, hey may in fact be in the area of a major treasure ship. When they do find it, the ship is teetering on the edge of a 300 foot cliff and dangerous for even the most experienced divers. 

Stars: Jane Russell, Gilbert Roland and Richard Egan

Directed by John Sturges
Writing credits Walter Newman (screenplay)
Hugh King (story) and Robert B. Bailey (story)

An Innocent Affair - 1948

Paula Doane believes her husband, Vincent, is having an affair but instead he is only trying to land an account for the advertising agency which he works for. Yet, Vincent is hiding something from Paula-his client is actually his former girlfriend, but, he believes that if Paula knew this, she'd misinterpret everything. In the meantime, Paula thinks the only way to rekindle their romance is to make Vincent jealous. She goes to the Burke Agency to hire an actor to flirt with her while she and Vincent dine at a nightclub restaurant. However, Mr. Burke "tips off" Vincent about his wife's plan. He now thinks he "holds all the cards", and will play along with the joke. Yet, the joke is actually on Vincent, when the seating arrangements for the actor are switched, and in his place is seated Claude Kimball, the tycoon tobacco owner. Now the fun truly begins.

Starring: Fred MacMurray, Madeleine Carroll, Chas. Buddy Rogers

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Writers: Lou Breslow, Joseph Hoffman