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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

O. Henry's Full House (1952)

Five of O. Henry's short stories brought to the screen by five directors with an introduction to each story by John Steinbeck in a rare on camera appearance: 1. A homeless man (Charles Laughton) plots to get himself arrested so he can spend a cold winter in a warm jail. Directed by Henry Koster and co-starring Marilyn Monroe and David Wayne. 2. A police detective (Dale Robertson) attempts to arrest an old pal (Richard Widmark) for murder but he owes the killer a big time favor. Directed by Henry Hathaway. 3. A young girl (Anne Baxter) is convinced as a dying ivy on a wall outside her window loses its leaves that she will die when the last leaf is shed. Directed by Jean Negulesco and co-starring Jean Peters, Gregory Ratoff and Warren Stevens. 4. Two con men (Fred Allen, Oscar Levant) kidnap a little boy (Lee Aaker) for ransom. Problem is that nobody wants him back! Directed by Howard Hawks and co-starring Kathleen Freeman. 5. A young married couple (Jeanne Crain, Farley Granger) find themselves penniless at Christmas. Directed by Henry King. All the stories are very well done with LAST LEAF (Baxter) and GIFT OF THE MAGI (Crain, Granger) standing out. A quality anthology film with a lovely score by Alfred Newman. 

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