OUTPOST IN MOROCCO.
Did GEORGE RAFT have it in his contracts that he must have at least one scene in his movies where he dances? I for one am glad if he did. I love to see him gliding his way round a dance floor, he is such a smoothie!
At the start of this film there is at least 5 minutes of George showing what a good ballroom dancer he was. His tango with Marie Windsor is great, he makes it looks so easy as he leads the lovely Marie .
RIVER LADY 1948
It seemed really odd to see DAN DURYEA in this color western playing a very subdued character in love with the gorgeous YVONNE DE CARLO who runs the ‘River Lady’ gambling boat.
I kept waiting for Dan to burst out of his straitjacket character and let rip, but it never happened.
Unusual too to see Yvonne playing a ruthless character who falls for logger ROD CAMERON,but wants him to move up in the world.
Nice little cameo from FLORENCE BATES, also in a change from her usual grand dame roles – she runs a tavern.
FIVE CAME BACK. 1939
Good cast in this 1939 film from RKO about the passengers on an L.A. to Panama plane which crash lands into the jungle. Always a good set up for drama and conflict – mixed bag of people who have to get along.
The title tells you how many survive.
The pilot is CHESTER MORRIS. LUCILLE BALL shows yet again she should have done a lot more drama, but she really doesn’t have much to do in this.
But what a cast – JOHN CARRADINE,C.AUBREY SMITH,ELISABETH RISDON, JOSEPH CALLEIA,PATRIC KNOWLES,KENT TAYLOR, WENDY BARRIE,ALLEN JENKINS!
Nice quote from Allen Jenkins:
“I don’t wanna blow my own horn,but in some circles I’m considered very handy with a heater.”
“Five Came Back” was remade as BACK FROM ETERNITY with ROBERT RYAN.
CHARLTON HESTON looked a bit lost in this very average melodrama – he’s a Texas rancher who falls for JANE WYMAN ( as Lucy). She has been jilted and ends up selling her high fashion trousseau to the local ladies and then sets herself up in business in the oil-boom town.
The supporting cast of CLAIRE TREVOR and THELMA RITTER makes it worth a look, but I didn’t see any sparks between Heston and Wyman.
CHARTER PILOT, from Fox in 1940, stars LLOYD NOLAN as an ace commercial pilot and LYNN BARI as his girlfriend who is a radio actress in a serial about his fictional adventures – which she also writes!
Sounds promising ,but not a lot happens and it is disappointing.
GEORGE MONTGOMERY and ARLEEN WHELAN also feature.
Nolan and Bari make a good team. I’m enjoying seeing early Lloyd Nolan films. His talent is obvious, in comedies like this and of course in dramas.
ETTA MCDANIEL (sister of Hattie McDaniel) plays Lynn’s maid.
SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT (1944) is one of the CRIME DOCTOR ‘B’ movie series which kept WARNER BAXTER going in the 40s ( he made 10 ‘Crime Doctor’ films from 1943 to 1949.)
Baxter’s health was poor and he looked a lot older than his 54 years.
These hour long dramas were popular with audiences so Columbia kept making them.
This one is set in an old dark house called Rocky Point near the sea. It is owned by NINA FOCH who makes a surprise night time visit to the Crime Doctor and explains her sudden appearance by saying,
“I was afraid I wouldn’t live till the morning!”
Nina has been having nightmares and all her weekend guests are suspects – her lawyer, MINOR WATSON, her sister and brother in law, JEANNE BATES,LESTER MATTHEWS, her boyfriend EDWARD NORRIS, her uncle GEORGE ZUCCO, and her handyman,BEN WELDEN.
There are hidden rooms, an hypnotic gas,plus several murders before the Crime Doctor solves the mystery.
At 67 minutes, it’s average but I guess in 1944 it would be ok as the second half of a double bill ( and it wouldn’t cost Columbia too much to make.)
It’s always nice to see Nina Foch and also character actor,Ben Welden, usually a small time crook, but here one of the good guys!