Category Archives: Uncategorized

THIS ‘N THAT 27

………..In 1935 when David Selznick was producing  very successfully at MGM, he wrote to Greta Garbo (who had approval on any film suggested for her.)
Selznick had bought the rights to the 1934 play, DARK VICTORY  and offered it to Garbo, saying to her, “I personally feel that audiences are wanting to see you in a smart, modern picture.”

But Garbo was also considering ANNA KARENINA, with Fredric March .Apparently March  also wanted to do a modern subject.

But Garbo chose “Anna Karenina” ( which did well at the box office.) March costarred as directed by the studio.

Selznick sold the rights to “Dark Victory” to Warners in 1938 and it was a big hit for Bette Davis in 1939 – the year when Garbo finally followed Selznick’s advice and appeared in NINOTCHKA.

(The letter from Selznick to Garbo can be read at the great blog, starsandlettersblogspot.com)

 

…………Lovely new double discs of Ann Miller songs. Over 50 numbers covering a 17 year period, with  some quite rare. Ann was one of the few female dancers who had a good singing voice too.

Available from Jasmine-records.co.uk

 

………Film Pictorial Annual of 1938 didn’t go for a big star on the cover .Instead it’s June Travis (1914-2008) who made a few films for Warners in the mid 30s and then left Hollywood in 1938 at the age of 24. June returned to her home town,Chicago and married in 1940.
June had costarred with Ronald Reagan in his first film, “The Radio Murder Mystery” in 1937. She also played ‘Della Street’ opposite Ricardo Cortez in “The Case of the Black Cat.”

June Travis, Ricardo Cortez

Index page from the annual.

So many full page star photos were featured.
Other Contents included a “Fashion and Beauty” section including ‘A well tailored suit is a boon’ and “What one dark dress can do.’

Jeanette MacDonald.

 

Franchot Tone, Katharine Hepburn in QUALITY STREET, a film hardly ever mentioned nowadays.  I haven’t seen it for years. I know Kate played two roles.

 

A reminder to readers to pick up their weekly Film Pictorial. Only 2d.every Thursday.

  • Would still love to know why American publishers didn’t issue Christmas annuals. Surely a perfect gift for film fans  in the holiday season.

 

……….Picking up this 1938 issue of the Film Weekly magazine for £1 was quite a coup! Unlike the standard size magazines, at this time Film Weekly was so big – 10 by 14 inches.

Ginger Rogers on the cover.

Praise for James Stewart in VIVACIOUS LADY:

this performance confounds all those critics who said Stewart could never be more than a character actor….when he starred in “Next Time we Live” and “Seventh Heaven”, he seemed to lack the personal magnetism needed to carry a whole film.

Now along comes “Vivacious Lady”. It is no slight to Ginger Rogers to say that Stewart’s performance is the mainspring of the film’s charm and laughter – as the tongue-tied botanist, he is the raison  d’etre of the story…..it’s surely a star part as Gary Cooper’s “Mr. Deeds.”

 

………….Warner Archives bring three Judy Garland films to Blu-ray for the first time on June 7th,2022. A nice tribute in Judy’s centennial year.

( news from Judy Garland news.com)

If only the films were in the beautiful color displayed on the disc covers.

 

 

 

………..Don’t think so! A picture of Bill Elliott titled Randolph Scott.

THE COURT OF LAST RESORT

It’s unusual to see Lyle Bettger on the right side of the law. He made it at last on television’s “The Court of Last Resort” which ran for 26 half hour episodes in 1957/58.
The show has an interesting history, being based on an actual organisation which Erle Stanley Gardner founded in the 1950s, to look into court cases where an innocent person might have been convicted in error.

Stemming  from a true crime column Gardner wrote in ARGOSY MAGAZINE from 1948., the board of investigation was made up of experts in law and criminology.

Despite some research, I haven’t been able to discover if the group ever had a conviction overturned.
By 1960, Erle Stanley Gardner had retired and the group came to an end.

 

Lyle Bettger.

“Court  of Last Resort” is a great title for a show and Gardner’s Paisano Productions, after the success of “Perry Mason”, initiated a television series based on his own investigations.

Lyle Bettger plays the Last Resort’s  investigator. The police and courts are very cooperative with him ( even though his job is to reinvestigate cases).

Carleton G. Young played one of the Court’s team. Paul Birch plays  Erle Stanley Gardner.
Bettger’s character updates the court members from time to time, seeks their advise and expertise.

From time to time, the real members of Gardner’s board of investigation are seen at the end of an episode.

Lots of well known faces in the cast – Denver Pyle, Paul Fix, Robert Wilke, Roy Bancroft, Clem Bevans.

 

Carleton G. Young

Not to be confused with  Carleton Young.

Carleton Young

 

Tony Young

Side note; Tony Young, (son of Carleton G.Young) was the star of the 1961 series, “Gunslinger “.

 

There are a few episodes on You Tube. I wish the whole series was available.
One interesting episode involved a girl asking for help for her brother on death row. She is convinced of his innocence, but Bettger proves he is actually guilty.

 

 

Erle Stanley Gardner

 

Paul Birch as Erle Stanley Gardner.

 

Lyle Bettger subsequently played a similar role in the series Grand Jury (1959-60) which ran for 40 episodes. Bettger and Harold J. Stone play investigators for the State Grand Jury.

 

 

Harold J. Stone, Lyle Bettger.

 

Douglas Dumbrille

Douglas Dumbrille is the head of the Grand Jury and Richard Travis is the Grand Jury lawyer.

Again, lots of good support from  John Hoyt, Charles Lane,Marsha Hunt, June Vincent, Otto Kruger, Anthony Caruso.
I could only find a brief clip from the show on Y.T.


I love the comment about this show on mystery file.com from David Vineyard in 2015 :

Bettger, Stone and Dumbrille were the heroes? That must have confused viewers…I would have been waiting for one of them to murder someone every episode!”

Oldies.com has released a dvd of 4 episodes of “The Court of Last Resort.”

 

 

 

TOPNOTCHKA!

A lovely painting by Alejandro Mogollo who features vintage films and stars and includes an iconic line of dialogue; in this case Garbo in NINOTCHKA to Melvyn Douglas.

(Alejandro’s work, which is for sale, can be viewed at redbubble.com.)

 

Garbo, Melvyn Douglas.

 

Was this a headache for the MGM publicity team – how do you promote a title like NINOTCHKA?

Well, of course, they made it work. Don’t try to pronounce it- Nanootshka?……’Ninowtchky?

  • ”Dont pronounce it!  See it!”
    It’s “Topnotchka “!   Keep them ‘Hotchka’  for Ninotchka!

 

 

Garbo laughs” was also a headline ( reminiscent of Garbo’s first talkie, ANNIE CHRISTIE,  advertised as “Garbo Talks.”

Garbo, Melvyn Douglas.

This was Garbo’s first comedy – though Howard Barnes of the New York Herald Tribune described her as “a past mistress of comedy!”

”NINOTCHKA” was banned in the Soviet Union. ( the depiction of Stalinist Russia was satirised so well).

Garbo’s salary was $125,000 ( $2 million today!)

Garbo attended the film’s preview at the Long Beach theater in Sept.1939. ( wish we had pictures of that event.)

Ninotchka” became a Cole Porter Broadway musical in 1955 , SILK STOCKINGS and starred Hildegarde Neff and Don Ameche. And of course the film musical version starred Fred Astaire and  Cyd Charisse.

A great website for all things Garbo – Garboforever.com

A colorised  version  was shown on television in 1990 and released on home video.

 

 

I never understood Ninotchka’s fascination with this hat!

 

.With director Ernst Lubitsch

All those colourful posters and lobby cards. If only MGM had splashed out on Technicolor.

Love how Lubitsch and Wilder get exclamation marks after their names.

 

Last scene the movie.

I always liked Ina Claire (1893-1985) as the Grand Duchess Swana., so fashionable, witty, caustic.

When speaking to Ninotchka , Swana says: “Oh dear  me. I must be losing my finesse. If I’m not careful, I’ll be understood by everybody.”

 

Ina Claire, Melvyn Douglas

Ina ,born Ina Fagan, only made about dozen films between 1915 and 1943. She was a Broadway star who had been in the ZIEGFELD FOLLIES of 1915 and 1916.  Her career was primarily as a comedienne.
She was in the first version of THE AWFUL TRUTH (1929), playing the role made famous by Irene Dunne. Unfortunately Ina’s version is considered a lost film. Her costar was Henry Daniell.

And Ina had played the lead in the original stage version of “The Awful Truth” in 1922.

Ina Claire, Henry Daniell as Lucy and Jerry Warriner.

Still trying  to imagine Henry Daniell in the role Cary Grant played.

 

(Spelling: ‘Daniel’ )

 

Before appearing together in “Ninotchka”, Ina Clare and Garbo were featured in a magazine article at the time of Ina’s marriage to John Gilbert in 1929. The article says that Garbo was expected to be Gilbert’s next bride.

 

Ina was married to John Gilbert ( her second husband) from 1929 to 1931.

In later years Ina lived for decades on Nob  Hill in San Francisco with her husband William R. Wallace, a lawyer.

Of her career, Ina said, “I wished I could have played up to my real name of Fagan and done more varied parts.”

I don’t know why Ina didn’t make more films. Her age may have been against her – approaching 40 by the time of her first sound film; she perhaps preferred the live audiences of Broadway where she was a big star.

Her last film was as Dorothy McGuire’s mother in CLAUDIA (1943).

She  retired from the stage in 1954.

 

Ina Claire

 

I caught up with THREE BROADWAY GIRLS (1932) on You Tube. . .originally released as  “The Greeks Have a Word for Them”, I guess it was decided audiences wouldn’t understand that title. Or the original Broadway play title,” The Greeks Have a word for IT!” – the 1930 comedy was by Zoe Akins who coined this phrase. ( So much of the English language is based on the Ancient Greek language.)

The story of the three girls who live on their youth, looks and ability to make men pay for whatever they want. Not too subtle in the pre- code era , and I didn’t find it particularly funny though I liked all three performers – Ina  Claire, Joan Blondell and Madge Evans, with Ina in the main role, wisecracking and leading the action.

Interesting  to see the film’s director, Lowell Sherman (1884-1934) also playing a role in the film. I liked his comedy style. He went on to direct two quite different films in 1933 – “She Done Him Wrong” and “Morning Glory.”
Sherman had been acting  since 1914. He sadly died in 1934, aged 46.

Lowell Sherman, Katharine Hepburn.

 

Lowell Sherman also starred in WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD, with Constance Bennett and Neil Hamilton.

 

The plot line of “Three  Broadway Girls”  was used in “THREE BLIND MICE” and “HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE.”

In “Three Broadway Girls”, Joan Blondell is called ‘Schatzi Sutro’ and Madge Evans is ‘Polaire’, while Ina has the plain name of ‘Jean.’
In “How To Marry a Millionaire” Lauren Bacall is also called ‘Schatze’ ,while Marilyn is ‘Pola’

There is quite a good print on You Tube.

Ina had been in the 1919 play, “THE GOLD DIGGERS“ – possibly the first use of that term.

Another Ina Claire I’d like to see, THE ROYAL FAMILY OF BROADWAY. 

 

CASABLANCA: 80th Anniversary

Kensington and Chelsea Library in London hosted a two-part zoom tribute to the 80th anniversary of the release of CASABLANCA . (www.rbkc.gov.uk)
Writer/broadcaster Stephen C. Smith, in Palm Springs, talked about the special ingredients of this film, of the cast and crew,many of whom had fled Nazi Germany.

Stephen summed up the film as a story of love, loyalty and courage and the struggle of desperate refugees.

I liked Stephen’s comment that music becomes a weapon – ( the Cafe Americaine scene with ‘La Marseillaise”.)

I didn’t  know that Casablanca was not seen by German audiences (I.e. West German) until 1952. Amazingly Warner Brothers agreed to the editing of the film to eliminate any mention of the war or the Nazis. As a result the film was shorn of 25 minutes and I believe Conrad Veidt’s scenes were deleted.

Conrad Veidt

Why did this happen? In an article at NPR.org by Isabelle Ross in  2017, it was suggested that , although 7 years after the war’s end, the original story might stir up German nationalism .
In the truncated German dubbed version of 1952, Victor Laszlo becomes Victor Larsen, a Norwegian atomic physicist on the run from Interpol!
There is no “La Marseillaise “.
I checked Richard Anobile’s 1974 book on the film and I reckon all Conrad Veidt’s scenes , plus the deletion of the “La Marseillaise “ scene would amount to about 25 mins.

Typical of the dialogue changes which were made. In one scene Rick says to Renault ( referring to Laszlo): “He escaped from a concentration camp and the Nazis have been chasing him all over Europe.”

This becomes: “Victor broke out of jail and escaped many people before you.” 

 

German poster

The film received lukewarm reviews and it wasn’t until 1975 that it was re-dubbed with all the deleted scenes re-inserted.
You Tube has the trailer for the 1952 release and it is odd to see Bogie and hear a German voice.

It would be fascinating to see this version, though without subtitles rather difficult to understand!

 

 

Ingrid Bergman

 

Paul Henreid, Ingrid Bergman

Sydney Greenstreet as Senor Ferrari

 

Claude Rains

We smile when Rick says he came to Casablanca for the waters and Renault responds : “But we’re in the desert.”

Stephen Smith pointed out that Casablanca is a port city!

 

The plane carrying Laszlo and Ilsa  takes off.

 

CASABLANCA had the added publicity of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill meeting in Casablanca, French Morocco in 1943 for the Casablanca Conference, at which the two leaders discussed strategy for the next phase of World War II.

 

Lots of controversy in the past about the colorisation of B&W  films.  This looks ok to me. Sometimes colour breathes new life into a vintage movie.

 

Alan Ladd, John  Loder, Hedy Lamarr

Lux Radio Theater broadcast of Casablanca in 1944 starred Alan Ladd, Hedy Lamarr and John  Loder

Conrad Veidt died of a heart attack in 1943, aged only 50. “ABOVE SUSPICION” was released after his death.

Will we ever forget the fantastic supporting players in “Casablanca.”

Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre ( as ‘Ugarte’)

 

PHOTO OF THE DAY: “Play it again”

Who remembers Maxell blank recording tapes. Still available today for those who cherish their VCR’s ( which stopped production around 2016).

I wonder how much Maxell ( a Japanese company) paid for the rights to Bogie’s image . The title, “Casablanca” doesn’t even need to be mentioned.

 

Dooley Wilson

 

Ingrid Bergman

IN THE SHADOWS

If you want over 100 hours of classic crime dramas from the big screen and television, check out Oldies.Com who have these two box sets for sale.
“Danger, Death and Dames”  and ”In The Shadows.”

Mill Creek Entertainment specialise in grouping lots of public domain titles in big batches of dvds.  I like the illustrations and colors on these two covers ( though the one above is spoiled by giving the middle photo to an unknown figure – why didn’t they just choose another star).

50 films and 150 television episodes are delivered on 12 discs at a cost of $19.98 plus post. I expect the picture quality will in most cases be poor, but , still, you get a lot of viewing for a smallish charge.

Films include what you  might expect from those  which have languished in public domain ( though there are a few which have been rescued on other labels);

Titles include   Gaslight (1940); Cause For Alarm; D.O.A; The Sleeping Tiger; The Man Who Cheated Himself; The Scar; Trapped; Woman On The Run; The Great Flamarian; Inner Sanctum; There Was A Crooked Man; The Capture.

Personally, I like the range of television programs – though 25 episodes of Dragnet seems a bit excessive. Other series featured:

The Lone Wolf; Michael Shayne; Racket Squad; Decoy; Burke’s Law; The Adventures of Ellery  Queen; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Lock Up; Martin Kane, Private Eye; The Court of Last Resort.

 

The ten films  in the second set are:

He Walked by Night; Detour; Suddenly; Fear in the Night; Scarlet Street; Too Late For Tears; Please Murder Me; The Strange Love of Martha Ivers; Woman on the Run; Trapped.

Cost $5.98 plus post.

If you have experience of Oldies, I’d be glad to hear from you.

 

Other titles available from Oldies.com  Some nice covers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO MIX 44

Dorothy Lamour adding her name , with a small paint brush, to a car which is  covered with celebrity autographs in white paint.
It’s  1939 and the photo is taken on the lot of Paramount studios. The story goes that the car was owned by fan, Jack Pinney who waited in front of studio by day and clubs by night to collect his autographs…. A unique autograph book!
I wonder if that is Jack standing next to Dorothy.

I spotted several signatures on the car – Allen Jenkins, Betty Grable, Alice Faye , Patsy Kelly, Franchot Tone, Stuart Erwin, Rochelle Hudson, Virginia Bruce, Tom Brown.

Dorothy was filming ST.LOUIS BLUES which I’ve never seen. It looks fun and features jazz singer Maxine Sullivan (1911-1987) reprising  her 1937 hit, ‘Loch Lomond,’ the Scottish folk song – which she went onto record many times.  How this old song came to her attention would make an interesting story – if anyone knows! She was even nicknamed  ‘Miss Loch Lomond.’

This was Maxine’s only full length feature.  She toured the U.K. in  1948 and 1954. Wonder if she ever visited Loch Lomond. She was still active till the year before her death.

 

Maxine Sullivan

 

A tad careless. A picture of Brian Donlevy shown as Randolph Scott. (Both were in the movie.)

 

Charles McGraw, always a powerful presence. Big fan. A smallish role in HIS KIND OF WOMAN.

 

 

Lovely photo of Deanna Durbin and Jeanette MacDonald.

Late 1940s?

 

James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, Doris Day.

The premiere of THE MAN WHO  KNEW TOO MUCH.

Doris and Hitch exchange words. Hitch  says, “Who me?”!

 

Dramatic shot of Fredric March, Humphrey Bogart. “THE DESPERATE HOURS”. Love the shadows.

 

Jack Palance.Smiling. Whatever next. 

 

The stars of PARTY GIRL. Lee J.Cobb, Cyd Charisse, John Ireland, Robert Taylor.

Musical star Cyd Charisse made a few dramas – TENSION, EAST SIDE ,WEST SIDE, TWILIGHT FOR THE GODS.

 

Don’t worry, they are friends by the end of STAGE DOOR, the story of aspiring actresses.Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn.

 

 

Lots of Hollywood stars were  Canadian:

Top row: Deanna Durbin, Walter Huston, Ruby Keeler, Bobby Breen, Rosina  Lawrence, Ben Blue.

Middle row: Raymond Massey, John  Qualen, Katharine DeMille, Berton Churchill, Cecilia Parker, Douglas Dumbrille, Mary Pickford.

Bottom row: Gene Lockhart, Fay Wray, Walter Pidgeon, Ann Rutherford, Donald Woods, Norma Shearer.

Ontario seemed to produce the most stars.

I didn’t recognise Rosina Lawrence (1912-1997). She was active in the 30s but retired when she married in 1939.  She was in Laurel and Hardy’s “Way Out West”, and I’ve just learned that she provided the high soprano voice for Stan Laurel’s ‘On the trail of the Lonesome  Pine’.

On the death of her first husband in 1973, Rosina later married Laurel and Hardy biographer, John McCabe in 1987. They met at a ‘Sons  of the Desert’ convention.

 

Dana Wynter, Kevin McCarthy.  Nice closeup.INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. 

 

ARGYLE SECRETS (1948)

Reading that ARGYLE SECRETS (1948) was part of the “Noir City Hollywood Festival” this April,I found that the film was available to view on You Tube.

Fans in Hollywood will see a pristine print restored by The Film Noir Foundation. I watched a copy which strained the eyes. Still, I could follow the movie’s short 64 minutes .

William Gargan plays a  Washington reporter who gets caught up in what might be the biggest scoop of his career – the search for a dossier called The Argyle Album which contains  the names of war profiteers.

Along the way, Gargan is pursued by the police ( led by a clueless Ralph Byrd) and by a motley band of crooks who want the album for blackmailing purposes.

The crooks include John Banner ( yes, that John Banner from “Hogan’s Heroes), Jack Reitzen ( looking like  Sydney Greenstreet and doing his best to remind us of Peter Lorre in “The Maltese Falcon”) and Marjorie Lord in full Mary Astor /Brigid O’Shaughnessy  mode .

There is a touch of “The Big Sleep”, as the plot thickens to such an extent I wasn’t sure what was happening.
Not helped by the fact that the script betrays its radio origins – director/writer Cy Endfield adapted his 30 minute 1945 “Suspense” episode called ‘The Argyle Album’. – although there is plenty of action, there are a couple of scenes where Gargan simply stands and tells you what’s going on.  The film literally comes to a stand still.

William Gargan

And yet, there is much to enjoy in this film.I liked William Gargan as the reporter who won’t give up even though he is beaten up, shot at and accused of murder.

There are a couple of enjoyable lighter scenes and I wished the film had given more screen time to Marjorie Lord who impressed as the femme fatale who is ready to change sides if it suits her.
I do hope there will be a dvd release as I’d like to see it properly. It’s not perfect but it has a lot going for it.

It will be interesting to see reviews after the Hollywood  screening.

As usual, I’m always amazed how much  plot you  can get in just over an hour..

Marjorie Lord

I’m not aware I’ve seen Marjorie Lord (1918-2015) in anything else. She was active in the late 30s and in the 40s but found fame on television in “The Danny Thomas Show”  for seven years.

Her first husband was John Archer and her daughter Anne Archer is also an actress.

 

Ralph Byrd

Not a great part for Dick Tracy but Byrd does his best in the few scenes he is in.

Favourite scenes: “North by Northwest”

One of the memorable scenes in North By Northwest ,in the airport where the Professor (Leo G. Carroll )  sets the record straight about Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint ).

In the Northwest terminal of Chicago’s Midway airport, the Intelligence Agency chief needs the help of Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) so he starts explaining to Thornhill what Eve’s role really is in relation to Vandamm (James Mason), and about the MacGuffin ( Government secrets being taken out of the country)

 

Cary Grant, Leo G. Carroll

Part of the conversation is drowned out by the planes’ engines ( presumably the part where the Professor tells Thornhill what he wants him to do at Mount Rushmore.)

Even as he explains Eve’s position, the Professor is still keeping Thornhill in the dark about the ultimate outcome – Eve flying off with Vandamm.

 

Cary Grant

Thornhill’s belated realisation that he had been all wrong about Eve Kendall – not his fault , but now he fears for her safety.

 

Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint.

This isn’t the happy ending -not quite yet! Roger thinks he and Eve are now free to pursue their relationship- until she tells him she is due to re-join VanDamm.

 

Martin Landau, James Mason

Two comments, wonderfully delivered by James Mason :

Games –  must we?!”

And , near the end of the thriller: ”This matter is best disposed of from a great height – over water!”

(The ‘matter’ being Eve Kendall.)

 

Ken Lynch, Cary Grant, Patrick McVey

Two bored cops ,having arrested Thornhill at the auction, suddenly find they are transporting America’s most wanted man!

 

Question: Did Eve realise she was sending Thornhill to his death at the Prairie bus stop, Highway 41. Or can we hope she didn’t know what Vandamm had planned.

 

Also love this ad: “…..run from the cops,killers,secret agents, beautiful agents……..and see if you can do all this without wrinkling your suit!”

 

We’ll never really know how the film was called NORTH BY NORTHWEST. It isn’t a compass setting ( though Northwest by North is). It was described as a working title during filming. I doubt it  had anything  to do with HAMLET’s reference ( “I am but mad north-north-west).

Hitchcock , in 1963, said:

“It’s a fantasy. The whole film is epitomised in the title -there is no such thing as north-by-northwest on the compass.”

In the scene  I described above at the airport, there is reference to Northwest Airlines.

 

 

Bernard Hermann ’s  fantastic overture over Saul Bass’s opening titles. Intense, driving and conveying the subsequent chase Cary Grant endures across America. 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS ‘N THAT 26

………Love watching  the live Sunday podcasts with Leonard and Jessie Maltin. “Maltin on Movies.” (Available on You Tube/Instagram/Face Book).

An hour of movie discussion with a chance to comment and ask Leonard and his daughter Jessie questions. Often about current films, but I usually sneak in something vintage and Leonard is such a fund of knowledge.
Recently he talked about the career of Preston Sturges – no notes, simply a lifetime of loving films.

Jessie has been following in her father’s footsteps, confident  in front of the camera and sharing her opinions on the film scene.

Jessie and Leonard Maltin

http://www.leonardmaltin.com

 

Noir heaven is back in the U.S. after cancellation last year. Noir City: Hollywood returns in April 2022 at the Hollywood Legion Theater, presented by The Film Noir Foundation, the Hollywood Legion Theater in association with the UCLA Film and Television Archive and the American Cinemateque.

Hosted by Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode, the usual ten day festival is shortened to a three day event and featuring eight Noirs in glorious 35mm prints.

 

Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier.NO WAY OUT.

 

THE ARGYLE SECRETS (1948) has been restored by The Film Noir Foundation. A reporter ( played by William Gargan) sets out to find a album with the names of war profiteers and traitors.

 

 

Lloyd Bridges and Frank Lovejoy star in TRY AND GET ME, the story of a kidnapping which goes wrong.

 

Evelyn Keyes and Van Heflin tangle in THE PROWLER.

 

 

 

 

Considered the more faithful version of the Ernest Hemingway story – most  of us know  the earlier TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. I suppose I should catch up with this one being a fan of John Garfield.

Noir fans in Seattle also had a festival in February,2022, hosted by Eddie Muller and featuring another super group of thrillers – THE KILLERS, SHAKEDOWN, NAKED ALIBI, THE STORY OF MOLLY X, HE WALKED BY NIGHT, THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK.

 

 

………Catching  up with Lee Marvin ‘s hit TV series ,”M -Squad” (1957-1960) in which Marvin plays Lt. Frank Ballinger of M SQUAD, a special unit of the Chicago Police.
Marvin made 117  half hour episodes , all of which are available on dvd. ( I saw some episodes on You Tube.)

Similar to DRAGNET, the stories are police procedural. The Marvin character has no private life or sidekicks. The only regular character is Paul Newlan who plays his boss.

The series boasts a host of Hollywood faces. I’ll name a few – Morris Ankrum, John Hoyt, June Vincent, Whit Bissell, Kent Smith, Ted de Corsica, Connie Gilchrist, Percy Helton, Jack Elam, Mike Mazurki, Myron Healey.

There was location shooting in Chicago but the city’s mayor Daley refused cooperation since one episode had a city cop taking bribes. And the portrayal of the city as crime-ridden.

Lee Marvin (whose company Latimer Productions co-produced the series) said:

“We’d shoot locations twice a year. No,permit,no cooperation. They didn’t want any part of us. We’d shoot and blow.”

Marvin did plenty of TV guest spots in the early 60’s but three films with John  Wayne set off his film career into high gear  and television was left behind. THE COMMANCHEROS, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, DONOVAN’S REEF.

 

………Too easy, but name the film ,director and Bogie’s costar.

 

……..Not so easy. Who’se this enjoying himself fishing.