Author Archives: Vienna

CELEBRATING LYNN BARI

    Lynn Bari

Born on this day in 1913, tall and sultry Lynn Bari is for me one of these performers who should have been a  bigger star.

In films as early as 1933, Lynn spent quite a few years in uncredited parts before getting a contract with Fox where she stayed for 12 years.

She was adept in drama or comedy, yet Fox never groomed her for top stardom.

I haven’t seen half of her output but always appreciated her talent .

With Barbara Stanwyck in “Always Goodbye.”

 

With Lloyd Nolan in “Charter Pilot”.

Lynn and Lloyd were in four films together. i’ve Seen PIER 13 and SLEEPERS WEST. They made a good team.

 

 

 

With a young Dana Andrews and Jon Hall as KIT CARSON (1940).

 

 

With George Sanders In THE FALCON TAKES OVER . This film was based on Raymond Chandler’s “Farewell My Lovely”, with the Falcon substituting for Philip Marlowe. It would take RKO another two years to try again with the story and get it right with MURDER MY SWEET with Dick Powell.

The Falcon Takes Over is an ok entry in the Falcon series, but like early versions of The Maltese Falcon, chose to take a lighter tone with the material.

 

 

With John Payne and Alice Faye In HELLO FRISCO HELLO.

 

With Edward G. Robinson In TAMPICO (1944)

 

With Fred MacMurray In CAPTAIN EDDIE (1945)

 

With Randolph Scott. HOME SWEET  HOMICIDE (1946)

 

One  of my favourite Bari films, she has a substantial role in this Raft picture,playing  a character whom Raft falls,for even though he’s not sure if she’s a murderer.

 

Lynn’s second husband was Sid  Luft who went on to marry Judy Garland.

 

I’d love to see the 12 episode TV series Lynn starred in ,BOSS LADY (1952), costarring Glenn Langan. No sign of it on You Tube.

 

 

This 500 page biography by Jeff Gordon was published in 2010 and got excellent reviews. The paperback edition came out this year and I have just ordered it. The author had a long correspondence with Lynn in the years prior to her death in 1989 and he was also in contact with friends and relatives, including her son John Luft.

CAPRA ON THE TRACKS

The script of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE has been painted onto station platforms from London to Glasgow as part of a mental health festive campaign.

The initiative was developed by Virgin Trains’ charity partner, Rethink  Mental Illness.  Over several weeks,  4.5 miles of words of the film’s script have been stencilled in bright yellow paint on ten rail stations and include details of how to seek help from the charity .

Starting at London’s Euston station and including Birmingham, Liverpool, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow, 15,000 words of the entire script now appear on platforms.

Glasgow  Central station has the final lines in the film of Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang  Syne”.

 

 

 

 

Virgin Trains are screening the film throughout December on their trains.

Ward Bond, Frank Faylen.

 

James Stewart, Gloria Grahame

 

Donna Reed, James Stewart

 

NOW PLAYING – WINNIPEG – 1948

 

 

What an interesting  film listing for cinemas in Winnipeg on July 3rd, 1948. Names of some  of the cinemas include Macs, Uptown,the Deluxe, Paris, Valour, Kings. I bet most of them are gone now.

In 1948, Winnipeg (capital of Manitoba ) had two film classifications , ‘General’ and ‘Adult’.  Some titles such as Moss Rose, Desert Fury,  Casbah were considered Adult, while other films had the ‘ General ‘ category, like Copacabana, Miracle on 34th Street, Seven Were Saved. 

(Another Canadian state, British Columbia banned all horror films during the Second World War. And back in 1938, that state plus Ontario banned “Angels With Dirty Faces.” )

Of the new releases, I only counted three from 1948 – “I Remember Mama”, “ Casbah” and “The Mating of Millie”. The rest, The High Wall, Blaze of Noon, Living in a Big Way, The Homestretch were all 1947 releases. I guess it took a little longer for them to make the rounds  in Canada.

The Return of Monte  Cristo was a 1946 release.

”The Homestretch”, with Maureen O’Hara and Cornel Wilde is one I didnt know. It’s in color and on You Tube.

Only two films had no second features, only cartoons in support – Casbah and Call Northside 777.  The Rialto ‘s Susie Steps  Out was in support of Montana Mike, but  had the grand title of “Companion Feature”.

The Garrick cinema was holding over The Mating of Millie for a fifth week. Glenn Ford and Evelyn Keyes were obviously a winning twosome. (They made 6 films together.)

On the re-release front were Mark of Zorro/Drums Along The Mohawk;  Love laughs at Andy / Bowery Buckaroos;  It Happened on 5th Avenue/West of the Pecos.

The earliest re-issue was Street Scene from 1931. Swiss Family Robinson was from 1940.

James Stewart’s Pot O’ Gold was re-released in 1948 as “Jimmy Steps Out”.

I don’t see any British films which surprised me.

But wouldn’t you like to open your newspaper and have so many films to choose from!

 

 

 

 

Fred MacMurray, Ava Gardner. SINGAPORE.

(I preferred the Errol Flynn re-make , ISTANBUL).

 

 

 

One of the lacklustre IMDB reviews of “The Arnelo Affair” starts off: ‘The one about the housewife and the gangster .’

 

 

No wonder Fred Zinnemann wanted out of his MGM contract. They obviously didn’t realise his talent.

YANKEE FAKIR (1947)

As a member of the International Douglas Fowley Appreciation Society (Scottish chapter), I was delighted to see YANKEE FAKIR in which he stars.

Douglas does look very different without his moustache but he is the hero after all , so a quick shave was in order.

Douglas plays ‘Yankee’ Davis, who, with his partner,Prof.Newton (Ransom M. Sherman), travel from town to town peddling their wares from a wagon.

Yankee sells spectacles, watches etc but his partner is always trying to sell his snake oil tonic from Zanzibar.

They arrive in the little town of Mystic and Yankee is immediately smitten with Mary (Joan Woodbury) whom they rent a room from.

When her father, a border ranger ,is murdered, Yankee determines to find the killer.

 

Joan Woodbury, Douglas Fowley.

Yankee is a good  guy and when he comes across an old prospector  called ‘Shaggy’ (Clem Bevans) down on his luck and in bad health, he gives the old chap some money to get medical help.

Marc Lawrence is good as always as one of the bad guys who has been smuggling over the border. The head man is never identified though he is the one who killed Mary’s father.

Yankee  comes up with a plan to smoke out the murderer, and it involves Shaggy returning as a millionaire!

Clem Bevans as you have never seen him before! And this film provides quite a substantial role for old Clem. (Was this actor  ever as old as his characters!)

Clem offers $50,000 for the Worst Person in town, claiming he wants to find out how honest the town is before settling there. Of course the lure of the money starts loosening tongues and eventually the killer is revealed.

Happy ending all round.

This is a pleasant little film from Republic and directed by W. Lee Wilder (Billy Wilder’s brother). And a nice change of character for Douglas Fowley.

I liked Joan Woodbury (1915-1989) who was married to Henry Wilcoxon for over 30 years. She starred in the 1945 Columbia serial, “Brenda Starr, Reporter”.

Joan Woodbury

 

 

Yankee Fakir in support, but look at the advertising for The Two Mrs Carrolls! – “Kill Mad!……Love Mad!……Man mad!”