IT HAD TO HAPPEN 1936

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George Raft is an Italian immigrant just arriving in America with his pal Leo Carrillo ( though George doesn’t have an accent!). George meets rich girl Rosalind Russell on the ship coming from Europe.
It’s love at first sight for him and he is spurred on to going from being a ditch digger to a powerful New York politician in the shake of an eye! He meets the mayor who offers him a job.
The very next scene is 4 years later and he’s the usual well dressed,suave Raft! ( with no attempt at an explanation of his success).
Rosalind is married to an unscrupulous banker whom Raft saves from prison.
Arline Judge,as Raft’s secretary, is far more suited to him than the snooty Rosalind.
It just isn’t the Roz we know and love. She was yet to find her screen persona. Thank heavens for The Women and His Girl Friday.
Raft and Russell just didn’t make a convincing couple.

CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY 1939

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The first attempt by a Hollywood studio (Warners) to comment on Nazi Germany and its infiltration of America before the second world war.
Most Americans in 1938/39 didn’t want to get involved in what was happening in Europe. This film is an unashamed propaganda approach intended to wake people up to the depths of Hitler’s ambitions.
Paul Lukas and Francis Lederer play fervent Hitler followers  – they are German American fifth columnists who make it clear they want to do away with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
George Sanders gives his usual fine performance as one of the spies in New York.
The orders from Berlin come by post via an address in Scotland. I couldn’t help smiling when the address is shown – 1 Cathcart Road, Argyl, Scotland. For a start, Argyl is spelt with 2 ‘L’s. and is equivalent to a state in America ie you’d need the name of the city or town.

Considering Edward G.Robinson is billed as the star, it’s odd he doesn’t appear till the film is nearly half way through.He plays an FBI agent who wastes no time in breaking up the spy ring.

Edward G Robinson, Francis Lederer

Edward G Robinson, Francis Lederer

The film was banned in Germany (and Japan) and Warners took a lot of flack.
To be honest, I preferred Hitchcock’s Saboteur.

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