Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week in Review

Films I've Viewed

  • The Bribe (1949) - Robert Taylor (Rigby), Ava Gardner (Elizabeth Hintten), Charles Laughton (J.J. Bealer), Vincent Price (Carwood), John Hodiak (Tigwell "Tug" Hintten).  Taylor plays a cop, sent to find a group of people smuggling airplane motors and selling them illegally.  Ava is a down on her luck singer in a seedy nightclub, torn between her attraction to Rigby and her devotion to her shady, dying husband.  Elizabeth's husband is part of the gang, so if he does anything it will hurt her.  Robert Taylor is divine.  One of my favorite leading men.  Ava played the sultry singer well.  I don't think she was worth the trouble, but then, Ava is not one of my favorite actresses.  Charles Laughton and Vincent Price were fabulous as the bad guys.  Their portrayals were worth the film alone.  Well worth the view.

  • He Walked by Night (1948) - Richard Basehart (Roy Martin/Roy Morgan), Scott Brady (Police Sgt. Marty Brennan), Roy Roberts (Police Captain Breen), James Cardwell (Police Sgt. Chuck Jones), Jack Webb (Lee Whitey).  Richard Basehart plays Roy Martin, a thief who steels electronics and then sells them to an unsuspecting dealer.  The police catch wind of the scheme and end up on a manhunt for him, especially when a police officer dies during a shootout with Martin.  Told in a gritty style, this film totally reminded me of a Dragnet episode, style-wise.  No surprise, since the police adviser was Sgt. Marty Wynn, a police adviser to Jack Webb and his Dragnet radio and television shows.  Apparently Wynn and Webb met on the set of this film, and Dragnet was born.  This film is incredibly important for that alone.  I really enjoyed this gritty noir.  One of the best scenes was Richard Basehart doing his own bullet-removal surgery.  It just proves you don't need a lot of blood to be convincingly in pain.  The black and white film is an intense and striking look into catching criminals the Dragnet way.

  • A Stolen Life (1946) - Bette Davis (Kate and Patricia Bosworth), Glenn Ford (Bill Emerson), Dane Clark (Kanock), Walter Brennan (Eben Folger), Charles Ruggles (Freddie Linley).  Bette Davis plays twin sisters Kate and Patricia.  Kate is a sweet girl who paints.  Patricia is her bratty, spoiled sister.  Kate falls for Bill, played wonderfully by Glenn Ford.  Naturally, her worldly sister Patricia snags and marries him.  Kate is devastated.  One day Kate and Patricia go sailing and Patricia is lost.  When Kate is found, they think she is Patricia, and for some reason, Kate pretends to be Patricia.  But Patricia has apparently been sleeping with everyone under the sun, and Kate feels trapped in Patricia's life.  Pretty good film.  You can't go wrong with Bette Davis and Glenn Ford.  I enjoyed the film, but found the ending frustrating.  I totally felt like Kate should have ending up with Kanock, the mysterious painter.  And there was never any closer with Patricia.  Was she dead?  Did you turn up alive on some distant island?  With no body, there was never really any closer.  I was also impressed by the twin action.  When an actor plays two roles who interact together, it can go wrong very quickly.  Thankfully, Warner Brothers did it right.

Links of the Week

  • GlamourDaze features two great millinery time lines: the 1920s Cloche Hat and the 1930s Hat.  I think both periods have their strengths and weaknesses.  I love the variety of head wear of the 1930s, but their is just something so chic about a well designed cloche hat.  I wish I could wear a cloche, but my short neck doesn't allow for the proper fit.  I imagine my hairstyle impedes a cloche as well.  I just could never have a bob.  I prefer long hair.  I love how long hair offers a large variety of styles and frankly, feels more feminine.

Harvard Club

House on Haunted Hill

  • I heard about this very cool list of B Movies from Mental Floss.  I love B films for it's kitsch factors.  Now I have a huge list of films to see!
Wimborne Minister in Dorset, England

  • Books are precious to me.  In medieval times, they were so valuable that they were sometimes even chained up.  A few of these chained books still remain.  Atlas Obscura sheds light on a few of these places.

  • Penguin books is relaunching their non-fiction line.  Non-fiction is so often overlooked as a viable reading option.  I often read non-fiction because I have a voracious desire to learn.  It does not matter if the topic is something completely unappealing to me, I can usually find something useful in it.  It disturbs me that knowledge isn't prized these days, just celebrities and sports players.  Technology and games - not knowledge.  A broad knowledge base is a wonderful thing to have and I admire anyone who attempts to better themselves.

  • Thanks to Solo Vintage for highlighting images from the series of posts I did from Favorite Foods of Famous Stars.  The cookbook series was one of my favorite things to research and was quite popular with many of you.  Maybe this will get some more traffic to my site.

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