Category Archives: Classic

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

The Black Room (1935)

The Black Room PosterThe Black Room is a slight, but effective little horror film that gives us the pleasure of seeing Boris Karloff as twin noblemen. When there are twins in the movies, one of two things will happen. Either both are really evil (like twins in real life) or there is one that’s evil and one that’s a pretty good guy. When you have one of each, it allows lots of cool stuff to go on, usually involving the bad twin impersonating the good twin so that he can do twice the bad things in half the time. 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

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