Category Archives: 1940s

Roxie Hart (1942)

Roxie Hart (Ginger Rogers) was a wannabe show girl whose husband shot and killed a talent scout who was in their apartment making a pass at Roxie. A reporter and another talent scout know what type of town Chicago is – the kind of town where violent chippies like Roxie never swing for killing a man. In fact, they not only beat the rap, but they also become celebrities!

The reporter realizes that with her looks, this could be the biggest story he’s ever covered while the talent scout suddenly realizes that she might have enough talent to be a star. They just need her to admit that she’s the one who killed the guy! Continue reading

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the real deal Santa Claus that for some reason has escaped an old folks home and decided to wreak his holiday brand of havoc on the capitalist pigs at Macy’s, as well as firing up a little girl’s imagination which has been stymied by her divorced workaholic and very sensible mother. He’s also got no use for drunken Santa imposters, pop psychiatry, and doesn’t mind going to trial to prove he is the one and only Santa! Continue reading

Beyond Tomorrow (1940)

Three friends have their Christmas Eve dinner plans canceled so they do what anyone would do under the circumstances – devise a wacky Candid Camera-style stunt by tossing wallets with ten dollar bills and each one of their business cards into the street! Then they wait to see if anyone has the old Christmas spirit in them and returns the wallet with the cash. And anyone who does will be invited to dinner! Continue reading

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Director Frank Capra, known for his movies about the great American underdog, war propaganda films, and for that one where Jimmy Stewart saves Christmas, explores the glorious American family in Arsenic And Old Lace and shows us that the violent, murderous society we pride ourselves on now, isn’t merely some recent invention of the absent parent, video game industry, and liberal media bias. Continue reading

Dead Reckoning (1947)

dead-reckoning-posterHumphrey Bogart plays recently returned war vet Rip Murdock. He’s searching for the truth behind the death of Johnny, his best friend from the service. Rip knows that Johnny was a damn good paratrooper and he deserves his Congressional Medal of Honor, even if it has to be awarded posthumously. That’s not so much to ask for a guy who gave everything he had to kick the Ratzis in their Teutonic nads, is it? Continue reading

The Sea Hawk (1940)

SeaHawkPosterApparently there’s a book called The Sea Hawk. This movie is based on that book and by that I mean that it’s based on that book’s title. The story in this Errol Flynn pirate vehicle is really based on Sir Francis Drake and his crazy adventures with the Sea Dogs. Clearly, a bunch of Sea Hawks is much more manly than the Sea Dogs, which sound more like a group of horny swimmers than charming rogues who delight in putting those Spaniards and their silly helmets in their place. Continue reading

The Spiral Staircase (1945)

SpiralStaircasePosterDo you remember when Snoopy used to sit on top of his dog house and type a story that started “it was a dark and stormy night?” If that dog ever buckled down and got beyond that first phrase, this would have been the movie based on his story. At least it would have been if his dark and stormy night involved a serial killer who was bumping off women with various physical deformities. Continue reading

Reunion in France (1942)

ReunionInFrancePosterDuring World War II, Hollywood eagerly joined up with America and her allies in an effort to whip a little Axis tail and they too wanted to launch their own assaults trumpeting freedom, courage, and sacrifice. But in wartime, you have to be able to think outside the box and come up with that one-two punch the enemy never sees coming! Thus the excruciatingly unsuccessful teaming of Joan Crawford and John Wayne in a movie about occupied France. (Another unpleasant aspect of a wartime movie like Reunion in France is that sometimes the audience suffers a little friendly fire and becomes collateral damage.) Continue reading

Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

HoldBackTheDawnPosterIt’s the age old story of an international playboy who uses a lonely small town school teacher to get himself into the United States so that he and his old dance partner can reunite and take the country (and rich American broads) by storm. Obviously, this film was made before we had a Department of Homeland Security that was specifically designed to prevent these sorts of terror attacks on the hearts of desperate women. Continue reading