Saturday, June 7, 2014

Week in Review

Films I've Viewed

  • The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936) - William Powell (Dr. Lawrence Bradford), Jean Arthur (Paula Bradford), James Gleason (Inspector Corrigan), Stokes (Eric Blore), Robert Armstrong (Nick Martel), Lila Lee (Miss Prentiss).  Mr. and Mrs. Bradford are divorced because Paula, a mystery writer, kept involving them in mysteries and he couldn't concentrate on his medical practice.  But mystery follows them, when a jockey drops dead at the track and a huge bundle of bills end up in the doctor's hands.  William Powell was wonderful.  I love him in detective roles because he brings elegance, yet comedy to a role.  It's an approachable elegance.  Jean Arthur was incredibly annoying, as usual.  I will never understand the appeal.  Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard, her delivery is annoying, this film definitely is an example of why she is on my Least Favorite Actress list.  One of the cool aspects of this film was the killing method - a black widow spider contained in a gelatin capsule.  As the pill heats up due to body heat, the capsule dissolves and the spider is released.  I never would have thought of it!  Fun mystery 7 out of 10 Bobs - minus Jean Arthur.

  • We're On the Jury (1937) - Victore Moore (Mr. J. Clarence "Pudgy" Beaver), Helen Broderick (Mrs. Agnes Dean).  A young woman is accused of murdering her older husband.  Mrs. Agnes Dean is the only one who believes she is innocent.  In her own brassy way, she convinces everyone else on the jury to change their minds through tricks and getting to know them.  Helen Broderick and Victor Moore were funny and the life of the film.  How could you go wrong with a character name like Pudgy?  7 out of 10 Bobs.

  • Mr. Sardonicus (1961) - Ronald Lewis (Sir Robert Cargrave), Audrey Dalton (Baroness Audrey Sardonicus), Guy Rolfe (Baron Sardonicus/Marek Toleslawski), Oskar Homolka (Krull).  

  • Sons O'Guns (1936) - Joe E. Brown (Jimmy Canfield), Joan Blondell (Yvonne), Beverly Roberts (Mary Harper), Eric Blore (Hobson), Craig Reynolds (Lt. Burton).  

  • Blue Gardenia (1953) - Anne Baxter (Norah Larkin), Richard Conte (Casey Mayo), Ann Sothern (Crystal Carpenter), Raymond Burr (Harry Prebble).  Anne Baxter plays Norah, a girl dumped by her boyfriend by letter.  She decides to go on a drunken bender with Harry Prebble, played by Raymond Burr.  Harry is killed, and Norah may have killed him.  Harry's killer is dubbed the Blue Gardenia because of the song played in the cafe, sung by the fabulous Nat King Cole, and the blue gardenia corsage she wore.  This is one of my favorite films, so I definitely try to catch it when it's on.  It's a great noir, featuring some of my favorite actors, Ann Sothern and Richard Conte.  Raymond Burr, a fabulous actor, I love primarily from radio word, is great as the cad who gets killed.  Anne Baxter does an admirable job as the damsel in distress, a bit too frigid, but still good.  I definitely would watch this film if you get a chance. 9 out of 10 Bobs.

Hugh Herbert and Helen Broderick in To Beat the Band (1935)

  • To Beat the Band (1935) - Hugh Herbert (Hugo Twist), Helen Broderick (Mrs. Freda McCrary), Roger Pryor (Larry Barry), Fred Keating (Fred Carson), Eric Blore (Hawkins), Phyllis Brooks (Rowena), Evelyn Poe (Barbara Shelley).  7 out of 10 Bobs. 

Judith Anderson as Slade in Lady Scarface (1941)

  • Lady Scarface (1941) - Dennis O'Keefe (Lt. Bill Mason), Judith Anderson (Slade), Frances Neal (Ann Rogers), Mildred Coles (Mary Jordan Powell), Rand Brooks (James "Jimmy" Powell), Eric Blore (Mr. Hartford).  The evil Chicago gangster Slade is on the loose.  Lt. Mason and Ann Rogers are both vying to catch the criminal.  The gang has come up with a scheme of contacting each other involving want ads and dogs as code names.  It also involves leaving money at a hotel for a "Mary Jordan".  The only problem occurs when someone who really is named Mary Jordan gets the money by mistake.  A trap is set and villains are caught.  Fun mystery of mistaken identity.  Judith Anderson, the villain from Rebecca, plays the villain gangster Slade, whom the police mistakenly believe is a man and pass her over.  Fun, early 1940's film.  7 out of 10 Bobs.

Links of the Week

Ann Sothern

  • Ann Sothern demonstrates some 1930's Makeup Tips on GlamourDaze.  Ann Sothern is one of my favorite actresses.  It's fun to see the looks the makeup artist was able to come up with.

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