Homecoming (1948)

Clark Gable plays a successful surgeon named Ulysses Lee Johnson, but you’ll immediately know him as Ulysses S. Hunk. Anne Baxter plays his wife, Penny and together they lead an existence that is so shallow that not only would Ulysses rather go dancing at his country club than helping out his doctor friend Robert Sunday fight malaria in the bad part of town, he actually tells this to Sunday’s face without a smidgen of guilt! Continue reading “Homecoming (1948)”

Peyton Place (1957)

PeytonPlacePoster2Peyton Place is a laughably silly soaper that dates rather badly with its meager attempts to be risqué by frequently referencing how everyone in town constantly thinks about sex.

For instance, Lana Turner (Cass Timberlane, By Love Possessed) is a pent up cauldron of middle aged lust who just can’t admit that the progressively wimpy new high school principal is all that she needs to unleash her long repressed inner-hellcat. Her lover has been dead for something like sixteen years and she now believes (as she so eloquently put it during a shouting match with Principal Rossi in her kitchen) that men are all about pawing women and only want one thing. She also proclaims that men are “dirty” which is probably true since I thought that scene was pretty freaking hot! Continue reading “Peyton Place (1957)”

Cass Timberlane (1947)

Cass Timberlane is an awful film from the very beginning when we first encounter Spencer Tracy camped out on the bench as the Circuit Judge of Backwoods, Minnesota where he delivers a smug sermon to a couple seeking a divorce about the sanctity of marriage. Easy for him to say, what with his old lady dying in the first year of their marriage.

I will confess that I gave Judge Cass some credit when he thought to himself about how boring it was to be sitting there listening to all these boring cases. But then again, it wasn’t like he had to sit through a movie about it, either. Continue reading “Cass Timberlane (1947)”

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

The shocking conclusion you come to after watching Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Dick Powell, and Barry Sullivan cavort around in one of these typically self-loathing movies about the movies is that no matter how bad someone hosed you in the past, if there’s a hit picture to be made with them again, no professional or personal vendetta you have against him or her is so great that it couldn’t be put aside for at least the duration of shooting.

As Kirk’s reviled producer John Shields tells Dick’s author James Bartlow, some of the best movies have been made by people that hate each other. That’s a fascinating concept and must make for some fun days at work, but I’m not sure that it adds up to much of anything beyond the film industry’s obsession with itself. Continue reading “The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)”

By Love Possessed (1961)

It was the one night stand that made him a better person and fixed all that was wrong in the lives of those closest around him! (Except for his son’s girlfriend who committed suicide, but that was necessary for his personal growth, so that worked out, too!)

Arthur is a lawyer who is partners in a firm with his best friend Julius and his father-in-law, Noah. Arthur is a pillar of the community, a guy who believes in the black letter law of what is right and wrong, even to the point that he would rather get his crazy client acquitted for murder than have her convicted so that she could get mental health treatment! Continue reading “By Love Possessed (1961)”