Category Archives: Classic

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

Evelyn Prentice (1934)

Evelyn Prentice follows that time-honored tradition of having a comedy team appear in a dramatic vehicle where the most drama you get is in just how bad they are when they are trying to be deadly serious. This domestic/courtroom melodrama is certainly deadly in every aspect of its execution right down to the irritating little kid who gets trotted out whenever they want to make a point about how much the dad is neglecting his family or how mommy should own up to killing the guy she started running around with just because dad was neglecting the family. Continue reading

Dracula (1931)

Were this any other horror movie where the characters stood around and unconvincingly spewed forth lines and plot points while periodically swiping haplessly at oversized rubber bats suspended on wires as visible as in any Godzilla movie, I would complain about problems involving bad acting, unimaginative direction, a barely explained villain, and an actor playing the villain with such laughably exaggerated gestures and mannerisms that you wonder if he thought this was a Mel Brooks comedy and file it away as just another low budget terror flick that had neither the talent nor the inclination to be anything else. Continue reading

Double Wedding (1937)

This is one of the gimpier offerings from William Powell and Myrna Loy, a pair known for their sophisticated brand of comedy that triumphed in such fare as The Thin Man and Libeled Lady. Double Wedding is one of those zany screwball comedies where a wacky guy and an uptight gal have to overcome their natural inclinations to be wacky and uptight before they can admit what we all knew going into things: that they’re really, truly, madly, deeply, in love. Continue reading

Dangerous (1935)

Bette Davis is just fine in the role of Joyce Heath, the talented and self-destructive actress who is brought back from the brink by the creepily-obsessive adulation of architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone). The problem is the herky-jerky and sporadic treatment of the problems that Joyce suffers from, notably alcoholism. She seems to be a heavy drinker just so that she can say she’s a down and out has-been, like it was something to aspire to! 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

Easy Living (1937)

EasyLivingCoverThis is another one of those screwball comedies made in the 1930s where regular folk are thrown into the strange and kooky world of rich folk. I never tire of seeing the filthy rich act like boobs while falling in love with lower class types. This time the results are very satisfying chiefly because of the witty, if mechanical, script from Preston Sturges and the peppy efforts of Jean Arthur.

Ray Milland is also along for the ride as her love interest and watching the young Milland makes you cringe when you remember that thirty years later he would end up in such fare as X – The Man With X-Ray Eyes and Frogs. Cringe because of how long it would take him to get around to making cool movies! Continue reading