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Friday, July 21, 2017

Just Imagine (1930) Maureen O’Sullivan, El Brendel






Just Imagine (1930) Maureen O’Sullivan, El Brendel - futuristic tale of the 1980s!

Just Imagine is a 1930 American pre-Code science fiction musical-comedy film, directed by David Butler. The film is known for its art direction and special effects in its portrayal of New York City in an imagined 1980. Just Imagine stars El Brendel, Maureen O'Sullivan, John Garrick and Marjorie White. The "man from 1930" was played by El Brendel, an ethnic vaudeville comedian of a forgotten type: the Swedish immigrant.

The film starts with a preamble showing life in 1880, where the people believed themselves the "last word in speed". It switches to 1930, with the streets crowded with automobiles and lined with electric lights and telephone wires. It then switches to 1980, where the tenement houses have morphed into 250-story buildings, connected by suspension bridges and multi-lane elevated roads.

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CLARA BOW Helen’s Babies (1924) & The Plastic Age (1925)

 


Helen’s Babies (1924) starring Baby Peggy Montgomery with Clara Bow 2nd bill
& The Plastic Age (1925) on one DVD

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Abel Gance's J'ACCUSE (1919) NAPOLEON (1927)





Abel Gance NAPOLEON (1927)

Napolhão is a 1927 silent French epic film written, produced, and directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of Napoleon's early years. On screen, the title is Napoléon vu par Abel Gance, meaning "Napoleon as seen by Abel Gance". The film is recognised as a masterwork of fluid camera motion, produced in a time when most camera shots were static. Many innovative techniques were used to make the film, including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, a wide variety of hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple-camera setups, multiple exposure, superimposition, underwater camera, kaleidoscopic images, film tinting, split screen and mosaic shots, multi-screen projection, and other visual effects

A revival of Napoléon in the mid-1950s influenced the filmmakers of the French New Wave.

The film begins in Brienne-le-Château with youthful Napoleon attending military school where he manages a snowball fight like a military campaign, yet he suffers the insults of other boys. It continues a decade later with scenes of the French Revolution and Napoleon's presence at the periphery as a young army lieutenant. He returns to visit his family home in Corsica but politics shift against him and put him in mortal danger. He flees, taking his family to France. Serving as an officer of artillery in the Siege of Toulon, Napoleon's genius for leadership is rewarded with a promotion to brigadier general. Jealous revolutionaries imprison Napoleon but then the political tide turns against the Revolution's own leaders. Napoleon leaves prison, forming plans to invade Italy. He falls in love with the beautiful Joséphine de Beauharnais. The emergency government charges him with the task of protecting the National Assembly. Succeeding in this he is promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Interior, and he marries Joséphine. He takes control of the army which protects the French–Italian border, and propels it to victory in an invasion of Italy.

Gance planned for Napoléon to be the first of six films about Napoleon's career, a chronology of great triumph and defeat ending in Napoleon's death in exile on the island of Saint Helena. After the difficulties encountered in making the first film, Gance realised that the costs involved would make the full project impossible.

Napoléon was first released in a gala at the Palais Garnier (then the home of the Paris Opera) on 7 April 1927. Napoléon had been screened in only eight European cities when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the rights to it, but after screening it in London, it was cut drastically in length, and only the central panel of the three-screen Polyvision sequences was retained before it was put on limited release in the United States. There, the film was indifferently received at a time when talkies were just starting to appear. 

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J'accuse (1919) is a French silent film directed by Abel Gance. It juxtaposes a romantic drama with the background of the horrors of World War I, and it is sometimes described as a pacifist or anti-war film.

Work on the film began in 1918, and some scenes were filmed on real battlefields. The film's powerful depiction of wartime suffering, and particularly its climactic sequence of the "return of the dead", made it an international success, and confirmed Gance as one of the most important directors in Europe.


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Both films

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Just a Gigolo (1978) David Bowie, Kim Novak & Marlene Dietrich in her last film


”Odd masterpiece of story-telling!”

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant, Jayne Mansfield, Ty Hardin, Moira Shearer




All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 American epic Pre-Code war film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name. It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Arnold Lucy and Ben Alexander.

All Quiet on the Western Front opened to wide acclaim in the United States. Considered a realistic and harrowing account of warfare in World War I, it made the American Film Institute's first 100 Years...100 Movies list in 1998.

A decade later, after the same organization polled over 1,500 workers in the creative community, All Quiet on the Western Front was ranked the seventh-best American epic film. In 1990, the film was selected and preserved by the United States Library of Congress' National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

The film was the first to win the Academy Awards for both Outstanding Production and Best Director.

Its sequel, The Road Back (1937), shows members of the 2nd Company returning home after the war.




City Girl (1930)  Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan

City Girl is a 1938 American crime film directed by Alfred L. Werker and written by Lester Ziffren, Frances Hyland and Robin Harris. The film stars Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks, Robert Wilcox, Douglas Fowley, Chick Chandler and Esther Muir. The film was released on January 7, 1938, by 20th Century Fox.


Only Angels Have Wings (1939) Cary Grant, Jean Arthur

Only Angels Have Wings is a 1939 American drama film directed by Howard Hawks, and starring Cary  Grant and Jean Arthur, based on a story written by Hawks. The film also marked the first significant role in a major film for Rita Hayworth.

It is generally regarded as being among Hawks' finest films, particularly in its portrayal of the professionalism of the pilots of the film, its atmosphere, and the flying sequences. The supporting cast features Thomas Mitchell and Richard Barthelmess.

Only Angels Have Wings was based on a number of real incidents witnessed by Hawks, and although Air Mail (1932), Night Flight (1933), Ceiling Zero (1936, also directed by Hawks) and Flight From Glory (1937) have similar stories, they are not related. The film inspired the 1983 television series Tales of the Gold Monkey, which in turn, inspired the 1990 television series TaleSpin.




The Big Trail (1930) John Wayne, Dir: Raoul Walsh

The Big Trail is a 1930 American pre-Code early wide-screen movie shot on location across the American West starring John Wayne in his first leading role and directed by Raoul Walsh.

In 2006, the United States Library of Congress deemed this film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, saying "the plot of a trek along the Oregon Trail is aided immensely by the majestic sweep provided by the experimental Grandeur wide-screen process used in filming".



Custer of the West (1967) Robert Shaw, Ty Hardin

Custer of the West is a 1967 American Western film directed by Robert Siodmak. It tells a highly fictionalised version of the life and death of George Armstrong Custer. It starred Robert Shaw as Custer, Robert Ryan, Ty Hardin, Jeffrey Hunter and Mary Ure. The film was shot entirely in Spain.

The plot of the film was very close to that of the 1941 film They Died with Their Boots On, in which Errol Flynn played Custer.



The Red Shoes (1948) Moira Shearer

The Red Shoes is a 1948 British drama film written, directed and produced by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, known collectively as The Archers. The film is about a ballerina who joins an established ballet company and becomes the lead dancer in a new ballet called The Red Shoes, itself based on the fairy tale "The Red Shoes" by Hans Christian Andersen.

The film stars Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook and Marius Goring and features Robert Helpmann, Léonide Massine and Ludmilla Tchérina, renowned dancers from the ballet world, as well as Esmond Knight and Albert Bassermann. It has original music by Brian Easdale and cinematography by Jack Cardiff, and is well regarded for its creative use of Technicolor.

At the 21st Academy Awards, The Red Shoes won awards for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction, as well as nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Today it is regarded as one of the best films of Powell and Pressburger's partnership and in 1999 was voted the 8th greatest British film of all time by the British Film Institute. Filmmakers such as Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese have named it one of their all-time favourite films.



Out of The Past (1947)

Out of the Past (billed in the United Kingdom as Build My Gallows High) is a 1947 film noir directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas. The film was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring (using the pseudonym Geoffrey Homes), with uncredited revisions by Frank Fenton and James M. Cain, from his novel Build My Gallows High (also written as Homes).

Film historians consider the film a superb example of film noir due to its complicated, dark storyline, dark cinematography and classic femme fatale. The film's cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca also shot Tourneur's Cat People. In 1991, Out of the Past was added to the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."




The Dark Mirror (1946)

The Dark Mirror is a 1946 American film noir psychological thriller film directed by Robert Siodmak starring Olivia de Havilland as twins and Lew Ayres as their psychiatrist. The film marks Ayres' return to motion pictures following his conscientious objection to service in World War II. De Havilland had begun to experiment with method acting at the time and insisted that everyone in the cast meet with a psychiatrist. The film anticipates producer/screenwriter Nunnally Johnson's psycho-docu-drama The Three Faces of Eve (1957). Vladimir Pozner's original story on which the film is based was nominated for an Academy Award.




The Lady From Shanghai (1947)

The Lady from Shanghai is a 1947 film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Welles, his estranged wife Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane. It is based on the novel If I Die Before I Wake by Sherwood King.

Although The Lady from Shanghai initially received mixed reviews, it has grown in stature over the years, and many critics have praised its set designs and camera work.




The Naked City (1948)

The Naked City is a 1948 film noir directed by Jules Dassin. Based on a story by Malvin Wald, the film depicts the police investigation that follows the murder of a young model, incorporating heavy elements of police procedure. A veteran cop is placed in charge of the case and he sets about, with the help of other beat cops and detectives, to find the girl's killer. The movie, shot partially in documentary style, was filmed on location on the streets of New York City and features landmarks such as the Williamsburg Bridge, the Whitehall Building, and an apartment building on West 83rd Street in Manhattan as the scene of the murder.

The film received two Academy Awards, one for cinematography for William H. Daniels, and another for film editing to Paul Weatherwax. In 2007, The Naked City was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".




The Spy in Black (1939)

The Spy in Black (US: U-Boat 29) is a 1939 British film, and the first collaboration between the British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They were brought together by Alexander Korda to make the World War I spy thriller by Joseph Storer Clouston into a film. Powell and Pressburger eventually made over 20 films during the course of their partnership.

The Spy in Black stars Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Sebastian Shaw and features Marius Goring.




Youth Runs Wild (1944)

Youth Runs Wild is a 1944 B movie about unattentive parents and juvenile delinquency, produced by Val Lewton, directed by Mark Robson and starring Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Jean Brooks, Glen Vernon and Vanessa Brown. It was written by John Fante, Herbert Kline and Ardel Wray.





The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (a.k.a. La Bionda e Lo Sceriffo/The Blonde and the Sheriff) is a 1958 British/American CinemaScope Western comedy film directed by Raoul Walsh, starring Kenneth More and Jayne Mansfield.

Mansfield's singing voice is dubbed by Connie Francis.

It was one of the first Westerns to be shot in Spain.






The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

The Girl Can't Help It is a 1956 musical comedy starring Jayne Mansfield in the titular role, Tom Ewell, Edmond O'Brien, Henry Jones, and Julie London. The picture was produced and directed by Frank Tashlin, with a screenplay adapted by Tashlin and Herbert Baker from an uncredited 1955 novel Do Re Mi by Garson Kanin. The movie was originally intended as a vehicle for the American sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, with a satirical subplot involving teenagers and rock 'n' roll music. The unintended result has been called the "most potent" celebration of rock music ever captured on film.



The original music score, including a title song performed by Little Richard, was by Bobby Troup, with an additional credit to Ray Anthony for the tune "Big Band Boogie". Tom Ewell had portrayed Marilyn Monroe's leading man in The Seven Year Itch the previous year.







Kiss Them for Me (1957)

Kiss Them for Me is a 1957 20th Century-Fox comedy film directed by Stanley Donen.

As an adaptation of the 1945 Broadway play of the same name, the film stars Cary Grant and Jayne Mansfield, and co-stars Ray Walston, Werner Klemperer, Leif Erickson, Larry Blyden, and introduces model-turned-actress Suzy Parker in her first major film role.



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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Edward G. Robinson is Little Caesar (1931) & Shelley Winters is Bloody Mama (1970)


Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931)

Little Caesar is a 1931 American pre-Code crime film distributed by Warner Brothers, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Edward G. Robinson, Glenda Farrell, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

The film tells the story of a hoodlum who ascends the ranks of organized crime until he reaches its upper echelons. The story-line was adapted from the novel of the same name by William R. Burnett.

Little Caesar was Robinson's breakthrough role and immediately made him a major film star. The film is often listed as one of the first full-fledged gangster films and continues to be well received by critics.

Shelley Winters is Bloody Mama (1970)

Bloody Mama is a 1970 American low-budget drama film directed by Roger Corman and starring Shelley Winters in the title role.[3] It was very loosely based on the real story of Ma Barker, who is depicted as a corrupt mother who encourages and organizes her children's criminality. The film features an early appearance by a young Robert De Niro as Lloyd Barker.

Corman says the film is one of his favourites.

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Check out...

The Public Enemy (1931) James Cagney & Jean Harlow & Paul Muni is Scarface (1932)
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The Public Enemy (1931) James Cagney & Jean Harlow & Paul Muni is Scarface (1932)


Paul Muni is Scareface (1932)

Scarface (also known as Scarface: The Shame of the Nation and The Shame of a Nation) is a 1932 American pre-Code gangster film starring Paul Muni as Antonio "Tony" Camonte. The film features Ann Dvorak as Camonte's sister, and also stars Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins, and Boris Karloff.

It was produced by Howard Hughes and Howard Hawks, directed by Hawks, and Richard Rosson. The story is based on Armitage Trail's 1929 novel of the same name, which is loosely based on the rise and fall of Al Capone. The plot centers on gang warfare and police intervention when rival gangs fight over control of Chicago. A version of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre is also depicted.

The film was the basis for the Brian De Palma 1983 film of the same name starring Al Pacino.

The Public Enemy (1931) James Cagney & Jean Harlow

The Public Enemy (released as Enemies of the Public in the United Kingdom) is a 1931 American all-talking Pre-Code gangster film produced and distributed by Warner Bros..

The film was directed by William A. Wellman and stars James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Donald Cook, and Joan Blondell.

The film relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America. The supporting players include Beryl Mercer, Murray Kinnell, and Mae Clarke.

The screenplay is based on a never-published novel by two former street thugs — Beer and Blood by John Bright and Kubec Glasmon — who had witnessed some of Al Capone's murderous gang rivalries in Chicago.

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