Year in Film: 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace

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Reportedly Cary Grant was later unhappy with his acting in this film, thinking it hackneyed and completely over the top. Indeed his performance is over the top, as is nearly everything else in this film. Based on a long-running Broadway play, the overall direction is stagey, all the acting is overdone, the villains are cartoonish, […]

Dark Waters

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Dark Waters is a rather obscure little film noir. Although there are some big names in the cast, this has never had a DVD release, this is a tight plot and some good suspense. The basic story is similar to another film from 1944, Gaslight, as both stories involve young women who are nearly cheated […]

Double Indemnity

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Billy Wilder was a filmmaker who could really do anything he wanted to. When he wanted to write a screwball comedy, he wrote one of the best in the form of Ninotchka in 1933. When he wanted to make a courtroom drama, he made one of the best with Witness for the Prosecution in 1957. […]


Read Gaslight

Today is Angela Lansbury’s 85th birthday, and I thought I would celebrate by watching Gaslight again. I have seen it several times before, mainly enjoying the performances of Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, while thinking that the very American Joseph Cotten was miscast as a Scotland Yard detective. This time, I watched this 66-year-old film […]


Read Laura

After watching Anatomy of a Murder a few days ago, I knew I wanted to see as many Otto Preminger films as possible. It turns out this one is not one of his typical films. First of all, Preminger started the project as a producer, and gave directorial duties to Rouben Mamoulian. It was only […]

Meet Me in St. Louis

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As someone who grew up in St. Louis, I have known about the film Meet Me in St. Louis pretty much my whole life, just as I was forced to learn about the St. Louis World’s Fair from elementary school on. But I actually never saw the film until much later, long after I had […]

Once Upon a Time

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Once Upon a Time starts with a prologue befitting its fairy tale title: Someone told us a story the other day that sounded fantastic. But in a world that is so trouble today and where reality is so grim–fantasy was a welcome relief. Thinking you might feel the same way about it–we are passing this […]

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

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I watched The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek once before around two years ago, when I was trying to watch all of the Betty Hutton movies I could get my hands on, which wasn’t many. Recently, I was reading about Preston Sturges, which made me want to watch some of his movies, and I realized that […]

The Woman in the Window

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Edward G. Robinson is still, more than 35 years after his death, best remembered for his breakout role in Little Ceasar in 1931, which catapulted him to stardom and cemented his screen persona as fast-talking gangster type. Off screen, Robinson was a culture man who could speak seven language, loved classical music. He was a […]

Up in Arms

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Continuing with my own little private Danny Kaye film festival, I watched Up in Arms. Although Kaye is as funny and versatile as always, it immediately becomes clear that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which I watched yesterday, was his best film. The problem is the plot the sting together the comedic scenes is […]

Random Quote

“It's the old, old story. Boy meets girl - Romeo and Juliet - Minneapolis and St. Paul!”
-Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush (Groucho Marx)
from A Day at the Races