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Friday, July 31, 2015

These Thousand Hills (1959)

A cowboy (Don Murray) from Oregon arrives in Montana and joins up with a trail herd as a bronco buster. But he is determined to make a name for himself and become an important man. He uses a saloon girl (Lee Remick) in his rise to the top but she's not decent enough for a future Senator's wife so instead he romances a respectable woman (Patricia Owens). But his past will come back to haunt him. Westerns were so prolific in the 1950s decade that many good westerns got lost in the stampede. This fine western is one of them. Based on the A.B. Guthrie Jr. novel and directed by Richard Fleischer (20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA), the film is heavy with strong characterizations and a solid moral dilemma for its protagonist. It's difficult to side with Murray's character as he benefits from exploiting others while wearing the cloak of respectability. While the movie's resolution leaves some unanswered questions, the film places thought over action. Performances are fine especially by Remick as the punching bag of a brutish rancher (Richard Egan, also good) and Stuart Whitman as Murray's ill fated partner. There's a lovely title song by Harry Warren and Ned Washington that Leigh Harline incorporates into his underscore. With Albert Dekker, Jean Willes, Harold J. Stone and Royal Dano.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Strange Interlude (1932)

When a young bride (Norma Shearer) finds out from her mother in law (May Robson) that she can never have children because insanity runs in the family, she is shattered because she desperately wants a child. So she takes her husband's (Alexander Kirkland) best friend (Clark Gable) as her lover and passes their love child off as that of her and her husband. Of all the theatrical pieces that resist transitioning to film, Eugene O'Neill's STRANGE INTERLUDE would seem to be at the top of the list. O'Neill's massive Pulitzer prize winning play which runs anywhere from four to six hours (either with a dinner break or performed over two separate nights) has its characters speak what they're thinking out loud often necessitating a slight difference in speaking tone so that its audience are able to decipher when the lines are addressed to the other characters and when to the audience alone. On stage, this can be quite tricky to carry off successfully and something the film doesn't even attempt. Instead, those inner thoughts are played as voice overs. In the end, it doesn't matter. O'Neill's 4 hours plus play has been gutted for the film to just under two hours. It contains the worst ensemble acting I've ever seen in one film. Shearer is godawful, Gable is, well ..... Gable but the most egregious performance is courtesy of Ralph Morgan as the prissy mama's boy in love with Shearer. Proof positive that not everything from Hollywood's "golden age" was golden. Still, it's an appallingly fascinating curio. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard. With Robert Young and Maureen O'Sullivan.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Perfect Storm (2000)

In 1991, the captain (George Clooney) of a fishing boat, disappointed with his recent catches, decides to go further than he's ever gone before and he and his five man crew head out to the Flemish Cap. What he doesn't foresee is the confluence of two powerful weather fronts which make the perfect storm. Based on a true story, many of the "facts" are ignored and instead dramatic license is given full reign. The fate of the Andrea Gail and its last moments are not known and the narrative for that segment is entirely a fictional creation. But one doesn't (I hope) go to the movies believing every "based on a true story" we see. What matters is the film and after a rough half hour which is all hokey exposition in which we're introduced to the men (and their women), the film kicks into high gear when it heads out to the high seas. There it becomes a rip roaring exciting edge of your seat adventure and even if we know the tragic outcome, the director Wolfgang Petersen (DAS BOOT) keeps us involved. There is a subplot about a yacht with 3 people caught in the storm that is given short shrift. James Horner's underscore, while good, pushes too hard. The large cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, John C. Reilly, Cherry Jones, William Fichtner, Karen Allen, John Hawkes, Bob Gunton, Michael Ironside and Christopher McDonald.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Pirates Of Capri (1949)

In late 18th century Italy, the people are revolting against the oppressive rule of Naples' Queen (Binnie Barnes). But in actuality, she's just a dupe for the prime minister (Massimo Serato) who's the real power behind the throne. Meanwhile, while masquerading as a fop at the court, a Count (Louis Hayward) is known to the people as the masked Captain Sirocco, the leader of the rebellion. This is your standard generic swashbuckler, not great but not bad either. The director Edgar G. Ulmer brings a certain panache to the proceedings but the hero masquerading as a fop plot (ZORRO, SCARLET PIMPERNEL, SON OF MONTE CRISTO) gives it a sense of deja vu. Hayward has done this sort of thing before and brings a comfortable fit to the part. The movie could have used a more exciting leading lady than the nondescript Italian actress (Mariella Lotti) used here. The unexceptional score is by Nino Rota. With Alan Curtis and Mikhail Rasumny.

Starting Over (1979)

After splitting up with his wife (Candice Bergen), a distraught magazine writer (Burt Reynolds) moves to Boston to be near his brother (Charles Durning). The brother and his wife (Frances Sternhagen) arrange a blind date with a school teacher (Jill Clayburgh) but he finds he can't get over his ex-wife so easily. A departure for the director Alan J. Pakula (ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, KLUTE), this is an above average romantic comedy that really gets to the core of the emotional messiness of entering the dating arena after the break up of a relationship. The script by James L. Brooks (TERMS OF ENDEARMENT) co-written with Dan Wakefield (based on his book) is intelligent and adult. The performances are spot on. Reynolds has never been better, no one does neurotic better than Clayburgh (well, maybe Diane Keaton) and Bergen (in an Oscar nominated performance) is the real surprise here. We could use more of this stuff today. The easy on the ears underscore is by Marvin Hamlisch with the song lyrics (excrutiatingly sung by Bergen) by Carole Bayer Sager. With Austin Pendleton, Wallace Shawn and Mary Kay Place.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Malice In Wonderland (1985)

In 1944, all Hollywood holds its collective breath as archrival gossip columnists Louella Parsons (Elizabeth Taylor) and Hedda Hopper (Jane Alexander) meet for lunch at Romanoff's. Everyone expects the fur to fly but instead ..... they reminisce. This is an enjoyable romp for fans of Old Hollywood even if it is sloppy with the facts. Example: they attend a screening of I REMEMBER MAMA in 1944. The only problem is ... it didn't come out until 1948. The two actresses have a field day even though Taylor is physically miscast. Even on her worst day, she was more beautiful than the homely Parsons. Parsons as written here isn't very interesting but Hopper's story has more range (washed up actress turns into feared gossip columnist) and Alexander plays it for all it's worth. The sumptuous cinematography by Philip H. Lathrop (THEY SHOOT HORSES DON'T THEY?) gives it a rich big screen movie sheen (it was shot for television). Directed by Gus Trikonis. With Tim Robbins as a young Joseph Cotten, Nancy Travis, Rick Lenz, Richard Dysart, Joyce Van Patten and Jon Cypher. 

The Torch (1950)

Set in Mexico, when a revolutionary General (Pedro Armendariz) takes over a small town, he arrests all the village's rich men and puts them in jail pending their execution. But when he meets the fiery and spoiled daughter (Paulette Goddard) of one of his prisoners, it's instant love on his part and contempt on hers. By the end of the 1940s, Paulette Goddard who had been one of the most popular actresses of that decade found her career on the wane. Taking matters into her own hands, she decided to produce this film in Mexico with a Mexican cast and crew and cast herself in the lead role. Unfortunately, she was pushing 40 and the role was that of a young foolish girl. Is there anything more embarrassing than seeing a 40-ish actress acting all coy and girlish when playing a role she's too mature for? As for the film itself, it's an odd duck beginning as a drama then turning all comedy cutesy in the middle and then getting all serious again as a medical epidemic ravages the city. Directed by the actor/director Emilio Fernandez and nicely shot by Gabriel Figueroa (NIGHT OF THE IGUANA). With Gilbert Roland as a pious priest (it might have been better if he had switched roles with Armendariz) and Walter Reed.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tangerine (2015)

On Christmas Eve, a transgender hooker (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is fresh out of jail when her fellow trans prostitute pal (Mya Taylor) gives her the news that her pimp boyfriend (James Ransone) has been cheating on her with a non-trans white trash hooker (Mickey O'Hagan). Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and she goes off her rocker determined to find her rival and teach her a lesson. This low budget movie was actually shot entirely on an iPhone on the streets of Hollywood. This isn't the stylish Hollywood of GET SHORTY, this is the armpit of Hollywood ... the section of Santa Monica Boulevard where the hookers, street people and less unfortunate proliferate. While it's refreshing to see transgender characters actually played by transgender actors, as actors, they're clearly amateurs and it compromises the film severely. It makes one appreciate Jared Leto's work in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB all the more. By far the most interesting character is the married Armenian cab driver (Karren Karagulian) with a penchant for trans hookers on the side. His story could have made for an entire film by itself. But it's gritty, honest, funny, sad and in the end, it's about the strong bonds of true friendship which has the ability to heal. Directed by Sean Baker. With Clu Gulager, Alla Tumanian and Luiza Nersisyan. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Behind The Mask (1958)

After passing his exams, a young doctor (Tony Britton) is offered a job at a prestigious hospital by a well known surgeon (Michael Redgrave), who just happens to be the father of his fiancee (Vanessa Redgrave). But the behind the scenes drama at the hospital threatens to sabotage his career. Based on the novel THE PACK by John Rowan Wilson, this is the kind of movie that has been taken over by television and shows like ER and GREY'S ANATOMY. Oh, it's decent enough but fairly predictable. Plot wise, there's an interesting subplot about a drug addicted doctor (Carl Mohner), a survivor of a concentration camp, and the woman (Brenda Bruce) he jilted that stands out and there's a surprising graphic look at open heart surgery in color (way before ALL THAT JAZZ) that must be a first for cinema. It's also notable as Vanessa Redgrave's film debut. She's the love interest and it's not a complex role and though she already has a strong screen presence, there's no indication of a great talent. It would be 8 years before she made another movie and soon become one of the greatest actresses of her generation. Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. With Ian Bannen, Niall MacGinnis, Lionel Jeffries and Margaret Tyzack.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Anna Karenina (1967)

In pre-revolutionary Moscow, a young aristocrat (Tatyana Samoylova, CRANES ARE FLYING) is in a loveless marriage to a much older man (Nikolai Gritsenko). When she meets a dashing young Count (Vasiliy Lanovoy), they begin a passionate affair that can only lead to tragedy. Leo Tolstoy's classic novel has seen more film (going back to the silent era) and TV adaptations from around the world than I care to count. Most of them have their assets and liabilities but this version from director Aleksandr Zarkhi has an authenticity that sets it apart from the others. The fact that it's actually a Russian film already gives it an edge and the film gives more time to the novel's subsidiary characters, notably Kitty (Anastasiya Vertinskaya) and Konstantin (Boris Goldayev) than most versions and Karenin is a major part of the narrative rather than a third wheel to the Anna/Vronsky romance. Try as I might, I've always found it difficult to give Anna much sympathy. Granted, she's a victim of a patriarchal hypocrisy where men are forgiven their infidelities with a wink while women are branded as outcasts but she seems so intently willful in her own self destruction. Still, as film versions go this one gets it right.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Two Mules For Sister Sara (1970)

An American mercenary (Clint Eastwood) traveling in Mexico saves a nun (Shirley MacLaine) from being raped by a gang of bandits. The mercenary is working for the Mexican revolutionaries because of money while the nun assists the revolutionaries in fighting the French colonialists because she believes in their cause. They team up but ..... not everything is as it seems to be. Budd Boetticher's original screenplay (he was set to direct at one time) was substantially rewritten by Albert Maltz so that now Boetticher is just credited with the film's story. Don Siegel (DIRTY HARRY) took over the directorial reins and this entertaining western feels like an offshoot of those wonderful Sergio Leone westerns of the 1960s. Not just because Eastwood is doing a riff on his "man with no name" character but being filmed in Mexico with an entirely Mexican cast (save the two leads) gives the film a slightly foreign feel to it. Then there's that terrific Ennio Morricone underscore to add to that effect. The final battle is a bit of a jumble but other than that, it's a solid entertainment. With Manolo Fabregas.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tremors (1990)

In the Nevada desert, two handymen (Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward) discover some odd deaths that they at first believe to be the work of a killer on the loose. But it's nothing human that caused those deaths and soon everyone in what's left of the town is food! This affectionate homage to those 1950s "B" creature monster movies is both amusing and scary and is there a better combination? Acting wise, everyone is on the same page, just enough of a wink to let us know not to take it too seriously. But still with enough tension and jump in your seat moments to satisfy the most demanding of horror movie lovers. The director Ron Underwood (CITY SLICKERS) whizzes along balancing the chuckles with the screams. If I have any complaints, it's the stock annoying teen character, here played by Robert Jayne, who I suppose is supposed to be "cool" but I found myself wishing he'd get gobbled up. Reba McEntire (in her film debut) and Michael Gross stand out as a right wing conservative conspiracist couple with an arsenal of weapons. With Finn Carter and Charlotte Stewart.  

A Countess From Hong Kong (1967)

A Russian countess (Sophia Loren) is one of many stateless Russians living in Hong Kong as a result of the country's political turmoil and revolutions. She stows away in the cabin of an American ambassador (Marlon Brando) on a luxury liner headed for America. Needless to say, complications develop. This was Charlie Chaplin's first film in ten years and eagerly anticipated. When it opened, it was both a critical and commercial failure though it fared somewhat better in Europe. The charge most lodged against it was that it was "out of date" and old fashioned. Well, while still a failure, it plays better today than it did in 1967 as almost fifty years have passed and a 1967 film is now an "old" film. Surprisingly for Chaplin, the film isn't very cinematic at all. With most of the action taking place in a ship's state room, it plays out like a filmed play. Brando can do comedy but he isn't a physical comedian and he's awkward here. Brando and Loren look great together but alas, they have zero chemistry. A failure yes but nowhere near as bad as its reputation would suggest. With Tippi Hedren (the only offer Hitchcock would allow her to accept when she was still under personal contract to him), Margaret Rutherford, Sydney Chaplin, Geraldine Chaplin, Angela Scoular and in the film's best performance, Patrick Cargill.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Topper (1937)

A wealthy socialite (Constance Bennett) and her irresponsible husband (Cary Grant) are killed in an auto accident because of her husband's reckless driving. Now ghosts, they decide to do a good deed that will get them into heaven ... encourage their stuffy banker friend Topper (Roland Young) to get some fun out of his rigid life. One of the best of the 1930s screwball comedies, it's hard to resist the silly shenanigans when the two free living imps are played by Bennett and Grant at their most charming. This is the movie where Cary Grant became the Cary Grant and Bennett reminds us why she was one of the most popular actresses of her era. But if the movie belongs to anyone it belongs to Roland Young who gamely tries to keep his sanity as his organized world comes crashing down around him. Two sequels and a TV series followed. Directed by Norman Z. McLeod. With fine support from Billie Burke, Eugene Pallette, Alan Mowbray, Arthur Lake and Hedda Hopper.

The Red Kimona (1925)

After her lover (Carl Miller) abandons her in New Orleans, a young woman (Priscilla Bonner) tracks him down to Los Angeles and shoots him dead. She was a gullible farm girl when he lured her into a life of degradation and forced prostitution. But this is just the beginning of her story and the exploitation isn't over yet. Today, we're used to seeing "Based on a true story" as the movie begins. It was more rare in 1925 and the film opens with the producer Dorothy Davenport telling us what we are about to see is based on an actual documented story. Indeed, the film was done without the woman's permission and since they used her real name, she sued Davenport in court and won damages! The film is notable as being both an early example of the social message film and being female centric as the film was produced by a woman (though amusingly instead of being billed as Dorothy Davenport, she is billed as Mrs. Wallace Reid) and written by a woman, Dorothy Arzner (who would later become a director of note). The film is actually directed by Walter Lang, who would be a house director at 20th Century Fox (STATE FAIR, THE KING AND I). As for the film itself, as cinema it's fluid and the location shooting in Los Angeles (rather than a studio) gives it some grit. But it's still rather heavy handed as we're being lectured that he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Second Chorus (1940)

Going on their seventh year in college, two aging college students (Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith) intentionally fail to graduate in order to prolong their profitable career as a college swing band. But things change when a pretty young secretary (Paulette Goddard) comes into their lives. One of Astaire's weakest musicals, it contains the least amount of on screen dancing in his musical films. With the exception of one toe tapping number, I Ain't Hep To That Step But I'll Dig It, the few musical numbers are a dire lot. But if you're a fan of swing music, there's lots of that courtesy of Artie Shaw. The characters played by Astaire and Meredith are immature jerks who foul things up for Goddard continually so that one wonders why she keeps forgiving them! The film actually makes Astaire unappealing, something I thought I'd never say. As for Goddard's dancing, let's just say among Astaire's screen dancing partners, she's better than Joan Fontaine. Directed by H.C. Potter. With the annoying Charles Butterworth. 

The Tamarind Seed (1974)

A young widow (Julie Andrews), who works in the British Home Office, is vacationing in the Caribbean when she meets a Soviet military attache (Omar Sharif). A tentative romance develops but while the British government frowns on the relationship, the Soviets urge the attache to procure her to their side. Based on the novel by Evelyn Anthony and directed by Blake Edwards, this is a first rate romantic thriller set against the back drop of the Cold War. Edwards is primarily remembered for his comedies like the PINK PANTHER films but he also did a crackerjack thriller EXPERIMENT IN TERROR and TAMARIND does a wonderful job of balancing the love story without sacrificing the tension of two governments attempting to manipulate the relationship to their own ends. Andrews and Sharif work very nicely together, the Barbados location is beautifully shot by Freddie Young (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) and there's a gorgeous John Barry score to accompany it all. There are also solid subplots that keeps the film on its toes and fine work by a bevy of good supporting players including Anthony Quayle, Dan O'Herlihy, Oskar Homolka, Sylvia Syms and  Kate O'Mara.

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

A young woman (Anne Baxter) receives a letter from her boyfriend, serving in the Army in Korea, writing that he's going to marry someone else. Emotionally distraught, she accepts a date from a lech (Raymond Burr) who gets her drunk and takes her to his apartment. When he attempts to rape her, she hits him on his head with a poker. When his dead body is discovered the next day by the police, she slowly begins to unravel. Based on a story by Vera Caspary (LAURA) and directed by Fritz Lang, this is a rather minor entry in Lang's film noir canon. Oh, it's well done but Charles Hoffman's screenplay never rises above workmanlike and Lang can't quite give it the edge he brought to such classics as SCARLET STREET, THE BIG HEAT or even WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS. But the cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca (CAT PEOPLE) gives the film an ominous sheen and Ann Sothern (as Baxter's room mate) brings some welcome sass to the wisecracking dame role (wasn't Eve Arden available?). With Richard Conte as an opportunistic journalist, Richard Erdman, Jeff Donnell, George Reeves, Celia Lovsky and Nat King Cole who sings the title tune.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Woman Hunter (1972)

Recovering from a serious auto accident in which a man was killed, a wealthy heiress (Barbara Eden) goes to Acapulco with her husband (Robert Vaughn) for rest. But when she meets a mysterious stranger (Stuart Whitman) on the beach, she's attracted to him but also suspicious. Does he want her ...... or her jewels? A standard woman in jeopardy flick that benefits from the gorgeous Acapulco locations as lensed by Gabriel Torres. The director Bernard L. Kowalski (KRAKATOA EAST OF JAVA) doesn't bring more than efficiency (and barely that) to the film. Eden is stunning in her very 1970s wardrobe and, as usual in movies of this sort, gets to indulge in hysterics which she does competently. The plot manages to keep us guessing till the very end which is good since there's not much else to keep us occupied. Unfortunately someone thought it was a good idea to have Whitman shirtless for much of the film which was a mistake since the man boobs were starting to set in. The score is by George Duning (PICNIC). With Sydney Chaplin and Larry Storch.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Small Town Girl (1953)

When a rich playboy (Farley Granger) is arrested for speeding in a small town, the judge (Robert Keith) gives him 30 days in jail. But he didn't count on his daughter (Jane Powell) and the playboy falling in love. This minor musical programmer churned out by the MGM factory is an unexceptional piece of fluff but there are several reasons for it standing out. Busby Berkeley choreographed the musical numbers and there are two memorable highlights: Ann Miller's rendition of I've Gotta Hear That Beat as she taps madly around musical instruments and hands sticking out of the floor is a terrific number and there's the delightful "hopping" number as that underrated dancer Bobby Van hops through the town that's one of a kind. There's also a lovely Oscar nominated ballad My Flaming Heart sung by the great Nat King Cole. All worth sitting through Powell's trills and Granger's charmless personality. Directed by Laszlo Kardos. With Fay Wray, S.Z. Sakall, Billie Burke, Chill Wills and William Campbell.

Washington Square (1997)

A plain and awkward girl (Jennifer Jason Leigh) unconditionally adores her father (Albert Finney), a wealthy widower and New York City doctor. But when a handsome but penniless young man (Ben Chaplin) comes courting, a split occurs between father and daughter when the father makes known he would be against marriage to the man and, indeed, disinherit her. Based on the novel by Henry James, this is a more faithful adaptation of the book than the stage version known as THE HEIRESS. Notably in the play's melodramatic ending as opposed to the novel's quiet coda which is replicated here. Jennifer Jason Leigh overdoes Catherine's awkwardness at the beginning but grows into the part as her character matures both emotionally and chronologically. Like Ang Lee and his film of Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, the Polish director Agnieszka Holland brings a much need "outsider" view which prevents this from being yet another stuffy BBC or Merchant Ivory presentation. With Maggie Smith (stealing scenes as usual), Jennifer Garner, Judith Ivey, Betsy Brantley and Arthur Laupus.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Winning (1969)

A professional race car driver (Paul Newman) marries a divorcee (Joanne Woodward) with a 16 year old son (Richard Thomas) after a whirlwind courtship. But life after the honeymoon proves difficult for the driver to adjust to married life. Newman's company produced the film and given his love of the sport of auto racing, it's a pity the film isn't better than it is. As a racing car drama, it's no GRAND PRIX (the benchmark of auto racing movies) as the competitive racing takes a backseat to the mundane domestic relationships. The movie stops dead in its tracks when it dwells on Newman's relationship to his stepson and the trite dialogue between them is deplorable. The young Thomas is playing the sensitive young boy (the kind of parts Brandon De Wilde used to play) and he's so terrible you have to wonder how he ever got a career after this. But to be fair, nobody is at there best here. Sluggishly directed by James Goldstone but there's a nice score by Dave Grusin. With Robert Wagner, Clu Gulager and David Sheiner. 

Red Light (1949)

In prison for embezzlement, a man (Raymond Burr) pays a convict (Harry Morgan) about to be released to kill the brother (Arthur Franz) of the man (George Raft) who sent him to prison. Raft vows vengeance but first he'll have to find out who killed his brother! The film starts off promisingly but then as it nears the finale, it goes all biblical and religious on us as Dimitri Tiomkin's heavenly choir wails on the soundtrack. The only emotion Raft seems to be able to show is a sort of barking anger and his rat-a-tat-tat monotone delivery tires very quickly and he's not a good enough actor to make something of his one note character. Fortunately, an overweight Burr makes for a splendid oily villain. Virginia Mayo is wasted as ..... what? She's certainly not a romantic interest. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. With Gene Lockhart, William Frawley, Movita and Barton MacLane.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Taste Of Evil (1971)

A 13 year old girl (Dawn Frame) is the victim of a vicious rape and is so traumatized, she cannot recall the perpetrator. Now a young woman (Barbara Parkins), she returns home to her mother (Barbara Stanwyck) after seven years away at a Swiss hospital. But soon she begins seeing things. Hallucinations or a devious plot? This inept thriller was directed by TV veteran John Llewellyn Moxey and written by Hammer veteran Jimmy Sangster (BRIDES OF DRACULA). If you've seen GASLIGHT, there are no surprises here. Indeed, we're actually treated to a double does of GASLIGHT as if somehow we were so surprised the first time that we wouldn't recognize what was going on a second time! Even the great Stanwyck is defeated by the material. I don't think I've ever seen her floundering before, even in mediocrity she's always seemed to rise above her material. For the Stanwyck completists only. With Roddy McDowall, Arthur O'Connell and William Windom. 

Claudelle Inglish (1961)

The shy young daughter (Diane McBain) of a Georgia sharecropper (Arthur Kennedy) becomes engaged to a young farm boy (Chad Everett) about to go into the Army. But when she receives a letter that he is marrying someone else, she becomes promiscuous and turns into the town tramp. Based on the Erskine Caldwell (GOD'S LITTLE ACRE) novel, the movie has a generic director Gordon Douglas who hasn't the style to pull something like this off. What it needs is some of the overheated kick of late 1940s King Vidor. Although Caldwell's book was written in 1958, it still has that old musty outlook that deems a woman must pay heavily for becoming a slut. In a rare starring role, Diane McBain (inheriting the role after Carroll Baker and Anne Francis passed) has an opportunity to display some acting chops instead of leaning on her glacial beauty and she's very good. The imitation Max Steiner score is by Howard Jackson and Howard Shoup's plain costumes were inexplicably nominated for a best costume Oscar. With Constance Ford, very good as McBain's unhappily married mother and Will Hutchins, Frank Overton, Claude Akins, Robert Logan and Hope Summers.   

Stand In (1937)

When his employer (Tully Marshall) is debating selling a failing film studio he owns in Hollywood, a strait laced New York financial analyst (Leslie Howard) is sent to Hollywood to determine if the failing independent film studio could be made profitable. Since he is naive about the film business, he gets some help from a struggling actress (Joan Blondell) and a hard drinking producer (Humphrey Bogart). For most of its running time, this dizzy comedy is good fun. As directed by Tay Garnett (THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE), it moves cheerfully along poking barbs at the film business. But like too many movies, the writers couldn't come up with a strong ending that complemented the film's first 3/4 and it just falls splat! But it was amusing fun while it lasted. Howard gets to show off his comedy chops, Blondell is adorable and Bogart, not yet a star, offers amiable support. But it's Marla Shelton as a conniving film star that gets as close as anybody to stealing the film. With Jack Carson, Alan Mowbray and C. Henry Gordon. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Whole Truth (1958)

A married film producer (Stewart Granger) is having an affair with a tempestuous Italian actress (Gianna Maria Canale) while making a film in the South of France. He wants to break it off but she threatens to tell his wife (Donna Reed). But when a police inspector (George Sanders) turns up later that evening to tell the producer that the actress has been murdered, everything goes to Hell in a hand basket! This far fetched thriller with comedic overtones tries to be too clever for its own good and ends up falling apart before the conclusion. Based on a play by Philip Mackie, it hides its theatrical roots nicely though I suspect it's been changed a lot. There's never any doubt who the killer is so the suspense, such as it is, is in how our hero is going to clear his name by exposing the real murderer. Reed, in her last film role before turning to TV, looks terrific. Directed by John Guillermin (TOWERING INFERNO) with a nice jazzy score by Mischa Spoliansky played by the Johnny Dankworth orchestra. With Michael Shillo and Carlo Giustini.

La Chambre Bleue (aka The Blue Room) (2014)

As a suspect (Mathieu Amalric, DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY) is being interrogated by the police regarding a murder or murders, we're not sure who the victim(s) is. He has a wife (Lea Drucker), a little daughter (Mona Jaffart) and a mistress (Stephanie Cleau) with a husband (Olivier Mauvezin). But slowly through flashbacks, the story is revealed. But will we ever really know the truth? Based on a novel by the French writer Georges Simenon and directed by the film's star Mathieu Amalric, this is an intriguing dark thriller that zips quickly. It's running time is 1 hour and 15 minutes, remarkably short for a modern film. But we really don't need anymore as Amalric wants enough ambiguity in the film so that we're never quite sure if what we're seeing is factual or filtered through someone's sensibility. We're never really given an answer which can be frustrating to those who want their mysteries clearly solved by the film's end but it's rich in tension and Amalric does an ace job of keeping us on edge. Curiously, Amalric shot the film in the old Academy ratio of 1.37 rather than wide screen. The film has an extremely effective underscore by Gregoire Hetzel.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Limelight (1952)

In 1914 London, a washed up music hall clown (Charlie Chaplin) takes in a young dancer (Claire Bloom) after her suicide attempt. They bond and she falls in love with him but he is wise enough to know that it's more gratitude than love and that her future lies without him. In this valentine to his early days as a performer in Britain's music halls, it's hard to separate Chaplin from his character and I'm not sure we're supposed to. Chaplin sentimentalizes the period but it's an honest sentiment. It's a lovely little tearjerker of a memory piece. There's also the brief (very brief) thrill of seeing cinema's two greatest clowns perform together for the one and only time, Chaplin and Buster Keaton. But it's not entirely Chaplin's show. As the young ballerina, Claire Bloom (the film is often incorrectly called her film debut) provides a strong performance that beautifully complements Chaplin's. Unfortunately, by the time the film opened Chaplin was a controversial figure and refused re-entry into the U.S. and LIMELIGHT only played a few cities on the East Coast. It wasn't until 1972 that it was given a normal release in the U.S. and ironically Chaplin received his only competitive Oscar when his underscore for the film won the 1972 best score Oscar. With Nigel Bruce, Sydney Chaplin, Norman Lloyd, Marjorie Bennett and a very young but easily recognizable Geraldine Chaplin.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Amy (2015)

The British singer songwriter Amy Winehouse was found dead on July 23, 2011 presumably from alcohol poisoning. Her heart just stopped. Asif Kapadia's extraordinary documentary chronicles her life from a young girl abandoned by her father (who would later come back into her life when she found fame) and a mother who let her run wild to an international Grammy winning star unable to fight off her demons nor those leeches who fed off her. It's a painful and heartbreaking watch but Kapadia also celebrates her amazing talent and we actually see her change before our very eyes from the goofy teenage girl to the zonked out diva getting booed off the stage. Friends, family and co-workers share their memories even if some of them were the very ones who led her down the garden path. A film like this is so much preferable and powerful (and truthful) than a Hollywood movie biography starring an actress in an Oscar bait performance. If you've heard Winehouse's remarkable voice and music, you know what a loss this was. If you're unfamiliar with Winehouse, do yourself a favor and see the film.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Making Love (1982)

After eight years of marriage, a young doctor (Michael Ontkean, TWIN PEAKS) finds it impossible to suppress his gay urges any longer. But he soon discovers trying to balance a wife (Kate Jackson) who's kept in the dark and a male lover (Harry Hamlin) who isn't interested in a relationship isn't going to work. As the first mainstream Hollywood movie to deal directly with homosexuality, Arthur Hiller's film gets an A for effort while phrases like "well intentioned" and "noble failure" come to mind. The truth is ... it's just not very good. If one compares it to, say, a film like SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY from 1971, the difference in quality is incomparable. But somebody had to do it and it was a start. Unfortunately, while Jackson barely squeaks by, the two male leads are weak. Ontkean's wishy washy character becomes irritating after awhile and Hamlin's narcissistic character is simply unlikable. The film plays out like a soap opera complete with Leonard Rosenman's syrupy score. The film's title song written by Burt Bacharah and sung by Roberta Flack was a top 40 hit however. With Wendy Hiller, Nancy Olson and Arthur Hill who are all wasted and underused. 

Land Of The Pharaohs (1955)

In the 26th century B.C., the pharaoh Khufu (Jack Hawkins) is consumed with building a burial tomb that will protect him and his treasure after death from invaders and looters. He commands an engineer (James Robertson Justice), one of the conquered people of the pharaoh's latest war, to design an impregnable tomb, one that will literally take many years to build. One of the most spectacular of the 1950s epics, the director Howard Hawks (BRINGING UP BABY) would seem out of his element, DeMille he's not. Working from a rather heavy handed script (William Faulkner was one of the writers), there's not much he can do with story but there's no denying that visually, it's quite impressive. Whatever one's thoughts about these biblical or ancient "epics", there's something rather thrilling about the massive credible sets populated by (literally) a cast of thousands and the authentic Egyptian locations (interiors were filmed in Rome). It's the kind of film making we'll never see again though to many, that's a good thing. There is one genuinely great feature in the film and that's Dimitri Tiomkin's awesome underscore. With Joan Collins as the pharaoh's evil second wife, Dewey Martin, Alexis Minotis, Kerima and Sydney Chaplin (yes, Charlie's son).

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sasame Yuki (aka The Makioka Sisters) (1983)

Set in Osaka, Japan in the years immediately preceding WWII. The two eldest sisters (Keiko Kishi, Yoshiko Sakuma) of the surviving Makioka clan attempt to find a suitable husband for the third sister (Sayun Yoshinaga) which proves difficult because of a family scandal involving the youngest sister (Yuko Kotegawa). Based on the novel by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Kon Ichikawa's lovely film focuses on tradition and family pride which will all soon change as the specter of WWII hovers over the story as post war Japan will bring major changes in the Japanese lifestyle. While perhaps not as affecting as one would like, Ichikawa brings a ceremonial grace to the narrative as well as a visual sumptuousness. At first, I had some difficulty keeping the sisters straight but the wonderfully detailed performances of the four actresses soon brought a clarity that made it easy to follow. Only one complaint and that is the appalling (and I mean hideous) synthesizer score that demeans the film. With Juzo Itami, Koji Ishizaka and Yukari Uehara. 

Loser Takes All (1956)

An accountant (Rossano Brazzi) is encouraged to have his wedding and honeymoon in Monte Carlo by his boss (Robert Morley) at the company's expense. But when he and his fiancee (Glynis Johns) arrive in Monaco, things don't quite go the way they were planned especially after the groom becomes obsessed with the gambling tables. Based on an original screenplay by Graham Greene (THE THIRD MAN), this lightweight romantic comedy benefits from the handsome Monaco locations shot in color and CinemaScope by Georges Perinal (THIEF OF BAGDAD). But just because Greene's name is attached don't expect anything special, it's quite average. Brazzi is not normally an actor one associates with comedy and his weak performance here only accentuates why. Fortunately, there's Johns (an expert comedienne) as well as Robert Morley (who the film could have used more of) to squeeze whatever wit they could from the dialogue. Directed by Ken Annakin (THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES). With Tony Britton, Joyce Carey, Geoffrey Keen, Felix Aylmer, Mona Washbourne and Shirley Anne Field.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Fantasticks (2000)

A boy (Joey McIntyre) and a girl (Jean Louisa Kelly) are next door neighbors and in love. But they have to keep it a secret as her father (Joel Grey) and his father (Brad Sullivan) are bitter enemies. What they don't know is that their fathers are in cahoots figuring that if they are against each other it will bring their children together ... which is what they want. THE FANTASTICKS opened off Broadway in 1960 and played for 42 straight years! It was a minimalist musical with no sets and an "orchestra" consisting of 2 people (some productions use just a piano) and usually played in very small theaters. Transferring it to film would automatically eliminate the intimacy of the piece and it's tricky in finding a cinematic equivalent. The Michael Ritchie (DOWNHILL RACER) film version was made in 1995 but stayed on the shelf for five years until a very limited 2000 release. It was also shorn of 22 minutes from the original cut. I'm not particularly attached to the show (I've only seen it once years ago) so I rather enjoyed the film. However, I did watch the original longer cut which works better. The show's signature song Try To Remember was saved for the film's end in the 2000 cut which was a mistake since it sets the tone for what follows. The uncut version restores the opening song as well as re-instating another song Plant A Radish which was also cut. Ritchie is too literal minded in some of the numbers making them way busier than they need to be. But the show's essential charm remains. With Jonathon Morris as El Gallo.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Marie Antoinette (1938)

In Austria, the young Marie Antoinette (Norma Shearer) is told she will marry the dauphin Louis XVI (Robert Morley) and eventually become the Queen of France. At first, she is shunned at court mainly due to the machinations of Louis XIV's (John Barrymore) mistress, the notorious Madame DuBarry (Gladys George). But that will soon change as she rises to the throne of France but her downfall is not far behind. This extravagant (a near 2 million budget) highly fictionalized view at the life of Marie Antoinette is very loosely based on an autobiography by Stefan Zweig. No expense was spared to build Versailles on the sound stages of MGM courtesy of art director Cedric Gibbons nor the detailed authentic period costumes by Adrian. But they forgot a decent script! Reputedly 11 writers (including F. Scott Fitzgerald) worked on the screenplay but I doubt any of the writers would want to take claim for the rancid dialogue! Tyrone Power was borrowed from Fox to provide some romance in what is essentially a supporting role. This is Norma Shearer's show and to give her credit, she actually has some good moments like the scene where she and Morley realize the King is dying and what lies before them and her final moments are quite effective. But for the most of the film, she's fluttery girlish though she looks matronly or unconvincingly imperious. Worst of all, Marie Antoinette is portrayed as an innocent victim of circumstance (she's not even allowed to say "Let them eat cake!") rather than a deluded monarch. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. With Anita Louise, Joseph Schildkraut, Joseph Calleia, Alma Kruger and Reginald Gardiner loitering among the cast of thousands.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Vampire Lovers (1970)

A Countess (Dawn Addams) leaves her daughter (Ingrid Pitt) in the care of a former General (Peter Cushing) and his family due to a supposed family emergency. In reality, the daughter is a vampire and there to carry the bidding of her vampire master (John Forbes Robertson). The J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella CARMILLA has been adapted for film and television many times though not necessarily credited. Most notably Dreyer's VAMPYR (very loosely and without the lesbianism) and Roger Vadim's BLOOD AND ROSES. Roy Ward Baker's film of Le Fanu's novella is probably the closest a film has come to sticking with the book's plot though the lesbian angle is pushed to the forefront. In fact, it's almost amusing how the film tries to get its actresses to shed their clothes so frequently to the point that it almost feels like girl on girl softcore porn! The 30ish Pitt isn't the teenaged girl of the book but she makes for a most seductive vampire yet there's a sadness and an air of regret about her that suggests that she can't help what she's doing. Not high art but as far as vampire movies go, this is quite good. With Jon Finch (Polanski's MACBETH), Kate O'Mara, George Cole, Madeline Smith and Ferdy Mayne.

The Chase (1946)

A down on his luck WWII vet (Robert Cummings) is hired by a gangster (Steve Cochran) as a chauffeur. A romance begins between him and the gangster's unhappy wife (Michele Morgan) and they plan to run off together. But it isn't as easy as they had planned. Based on Cornell Woolrich's novel BLACK PATH OF FEAR, as directed by Arthur Ripley, the film is thick with noir atmosphere. But the narrative is over complicated in its structure and stretches believability. Worse still, Cummings is totally unable to project passion and poor Morgan is left adrift in her love scenes with him. Cummings is a liability to the film (isn't he in most films?) which leaves the rest if the cast to pick up the pace and thankfully they do. Cochran in one of his best roles has the magnetism Cummings lacks and if he weren't so good I'd suggest switching roles with Cummings might have helped. Then there's Peter Lorre as Cochran's right hand thug oozing with malice! I don't want to be too hard on it, there's much to like but principally because of the atmosphere and supporting cast. With Alexis Minotis and Lloyd Corrigan. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Murder Of A Cat (2014)

An immature young man (Fran Kranz), a case of arrested development, lives in his mother's (Blythe Danner) basement with his pet cat. When the cat is murdered and the police don't give it the priority he wants, he decides to find the killer himself. What he finds is that his cat was leading a double life and that his killing is only the tip of a very dangerous iceberg. This oddity of a film can't quite seem to get a handle on what it wants to do: partly comedy, partly thriller, partly quirky romance. Kranz's character is a real idiot and more than a little annoying so its hard to get much sympathy for him. If only an actor with some charm had played the protagonist. Indeed, all the sympathy goes to Danner as his mother for having to put up with this overgrown baby. The motive for the cat murder is fairly easy to guess but to the film's credit, it keeps twisting and turning before we get the full reveal. Not a bad little movie as such but falling far short of its potential. The writing is there but the execution is bumpy. The feature film debut of director Gillian Greene, who happens to be the wife of Sam Raimi (SPIDER MAN) who co-produced the movie. With J.K. Simmons, Greg Kinnear and Nikki Reed. 

The Sound Of Music (1965)

A young postulant (Julie Andrews) has trouble adjusting to life in a convent. The Abbess (Peggy Wood) of the nunnery suggests she try life outside the abbey for awhile. To this end, the girl is sent to work as a governess to the seven children of a widowed sea captain (Christoper Plummer). One of the highest grossing and most popular films in movie history, THE SOUND OF MUSIC receives much hate as sentimental twaddle. Well, if this be twaddle, give me more of it! Sentimental? Well, yes. Manipulative? Most certainly. Hopelessly optimistic? Perhaps. But when it's done with such skill (both in front and behind of the camera), those irresistible Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, the breathtaking Salzburg locations and the great Julie Andrews at the center of it all, this is simply one of the most enjoyable movie musicals ever made. So sue me! The screenwriter Ernest Lehman and the director Robert Wise had removed much of the treacle of the 1959 Broadway show and with Plummer's acidic performance and Andrews' spunk and grit, it avoids the pitfalls of what could have been. Kudos to Irwin Kostal whose orchestrations and arrangements of the R&H score shimmers. With Eleanor Parker, who brings a pathos to her "other woman" when a lesser actress might have played her as a bitch. Also Richard Haydn, Charmian Carr, Norma Varden and Anna Lee. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

An Innocent Affair (1948)

When her advertising executive husband (Fred MacMurray) starts coming home in the wee hours of the morning, his wife (Madeleine Carroll) suspects another woman. When she hires an actor to make her husband jealous, things go terribly wrong and mixed signals and misunderstanding follows. Directed by the veteran Lloyd Bacon (42ND STREET), the film attempts do to a marital comedy in the style of the classic THE AWFUL TRUTH. TRUTH is a benchmark in the annals of screwball comedy so they've set the bar impossibly high. What we end up with is a modestly amusing comedy that might not have made me laugh out loud but I grinned a lot. MacMurray is at his most boyishly charming which compensates for Carroll's rather rigid performance. It's the kind of movie fantasy where struggling ad execs live in huge New York apartments with gorgeous skylines and go to fancy nightclubs. Innocuous fun. With Charles "Buddy" Rogers (WINGS), Rita Johnson, Louise Allbritton and in the film's funniest sequence, Alan Mowbray as a hapless man paid to impersonate Allbritton's husband. 

Bonjour Tristesse (1958)

A single father (David Niven) and his 17 year old daughter (Jean Seberg) are spending the summer on the French Riviera. The wealthy father changes mistresses on a regular basis and they both lead idle lives of parties, nightclubbing, drinking and casinos. But when a mature woman (Deborah Kerr) comes into their lives, the daughter sees it as a threat to their lifestyle. Based on the novel by Francoise Sagan, Otto Preminger's film was unenthusiastically received (at least in English speaking countries) when first released. Fortunately, time has been kind to the film and its reputation has been considerably enhanced in the ensuing years. It's a darkly poignant tale about narcissism and how the "me" lifestyle of its two self centered protagonists leads to tragedy when they play with an innocent bystander who doesn't play by their rules. After the disastrous SAINT JOAN, this was the film that showed that Seberg was indeed an actress and this film was instrumental in Godard casting her in BREATHLESS. The film is in CinemaScope and color but Preminger frames the story in B&W. With Mylene Demongeot, Georffrey Horne, Juliette Greco, Walter Chiari, Martita Hunt, Roland Culver and Jean Kent.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Touche Pas A La Femme Blanche (aka Don't Touch The White Woman) (1974)

A group of economists who are the" behind the scenes" men who run the country decide that the undesirables which are destroying the foundation of U.S. society must be eliminated. Since the undesirables consist of tribes like the Sioux, Cheyenne and Algerians (sic), they turn to Colonel George Armstrong Custer (Marcello Mastroianni) to do the job for them. Marco Ferreri's unsubtle political satire is a misfire. The setting is the United States, Richard Nixon is the president but the film is obviously set in Paris! As Indians leave their reservation, they march through the streets of Paris as do Custer's soldiers among the parked automobiles. What can one say about a film where the leading man is Italian speaking French playing an American legend? To be fair, I don't think it was Ferreri's intent to fool anyone. It's clearly an allegory on America's (then) involvement in Vietnam. But it just doesn't work, it's too obvious and heavy handed. With Catherine Deneuve as the white woman of film's title, Michel Piccoli as Buffalo Bill (and the only one who attempts an American accent), Ugo Tognazzi, Philippe Noiret, Alain Cuny as Sitting Bull and Serge Reggiani.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

Set in the coal mine regions of Kentucky, a 15 year old girl (Sissy Spacek) marries a 22 year old ex-GI (Tommy Lee Jones). Their marriage gets off to a rocky start but his confidence in his wife's singing talent pushes him into making her a country star. But when they achieve that goal, their troubles don't end. Based on the autobiography of country legend Loretta Lynn, the film starts off a little differently than most movie bios before settling in the tried and true path of the genre. As with most films of this kind, the film rises or falls on the actor playing the protagonist and fortunately Spacek more than rises to the occasion. Not only does she do her own singing but Spacek, who was 30 years old at the time of filming, is entirely believable as a 13 year old country girl. Ironically, it's only when she plays her own age where her performance sometimes feels strained. But as good as she is (she won the Oscar for this), she's not the whole show. She receives terrific support from Jones as her husband, matching her every step of the way. The film doesn't exaggerate or take much dramatic license which gives it a simple authenticity than most movie bios. Nicely directed by Michael Apted. With Beverly D'Angelo (excellent) as Patsy Cline, Levon Helm and Phyllis Boyens.

The Crusades (1935)

To avoid marriage to a French princess (Katherine DeMille), King Richard (Henry Wilcoxon) goes to the Middle East as part of the Third Crusade to liberate Jerusalem from Islamic rule. On his way, he just happens to marry another French princess (Loretta Young) and takes her with him to the Holy Lands. Though not officially a "Biblical" epic, Cecil B. DeMille's highly romanticized view of the 12th century Crusades is his most sanctimonious of his religious films. You couldn't do worse if you attended an all day revival meeting! The scene where the Crusaders line up to see the cross on which Jesus was crucified has to be seen to be believed. It's cringe inducing! It's pious sincerity is nowhere near as fun as his gaudy Biblical efforts which at least have entertainment value. That being said, the siege of Acre is very well done, there's a nice performance by Ian Keith as Saladin and the dewy faced Young had not yet transformed herself into screen nobility. With Joseph Schildkraut, Alan Hale, Montagu Love and C. Aubrey Smith who has the worst speeches as a Holy Man.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Delicate Delinquent (1957)

After he is mistakenly arrested as a juvenile delinquent, a janitor (Jerry Lewis) is taken under the wing of a cop (Darren McGavin) who has hopes of "rehabilitating" him. This was to have been the 17th film for the comedy duo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis but by the time it was ready to be filmed, they had split. Martin was replaced by Darren McGavin. I don't know how much of Martin's role was re-written for DELINQUENT because this is clearly a vehicle for Jerry Lewis. As such, it provides Lewis with an opportunity to focus on what he does well and there are many funny moments, both large (his wrestling with a Japanese sumo champion) and subtle (his reluctant "running" from the police). The writer Don McGuire directs from his own screenplay and the best that can be said of the direction is that he stays out of Lewis's way. Not as inspired as his Frank Tashlin vehicles or the films he directed himself but Lewis fans will have a good time. There's a nice jazz infused underscore by Buddy Bregman. With Martha Hyer (wasted as McGavin's romantic interest), Horace McMahon, Frank Gorshin, Mary Webster and Robert Ivers.

Angel And The Badman (1947)

A wounded gunfighter (John Wayne) is taken in and nursed by a Quaker family that doesn't believe in violence. He finds himself falling in love with the daughter (Gail Russell) which causes a conflict as she disapproves of his lifestyle. Wayne was the driving force behind the movie, he produced it and allowed the film's screenwriter James Edward Grant to direct for the first time. It's unusual among the Wayne westerns in that it's essentially a love story which ends with a tamed Wayne. The film was not a success which might explain why Wayne stuck (for the most part) to the tried and true and didn't play around with his image much. The lovely Russell has a sweetness to her and the contrast between her and Wayne makes for an attractive and believable screen coupling. It's a minor western to be sure and it doesn't rank with best of the Wayne classics but it's easy to fall a little bit in love with it. With Bruce Cabot, Harry Carey, Irene Rich and Stephen Grant.