Year in Film: 1947

Blondie in the Dough

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The 21st film in the Blondie series was written by Arthur Marx, son of Groucho, who had already had one successful career as a tennis player, and was just starting a second career as a screenwriter. Marx’s presence seems to have helped, as the script in the film is better than many of the other […]


Blondie’s Anniversary

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The 22nd installment in the Blondie series follows the familiar pattern of Dagwood losing his job and Blondie coming up with a scheme to win it back, but this one is not nearly as funny as some of the earlier entries. The plot revolves around Dagwood and his boss trying to win a contract to […]


Blondie’s Big Moment

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The Bumstead return from a two-week vacation, and Dagwood is feeling on top of the world. Things quickly start to go downhill, though, as he makes his way to his first day back at work. Trying to a jelly doughnut on a crowded commuter bus, Dagwood gets jelly all over the suit of a high-strung […]


Blondie’s Holiday

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I’ve gotten up to the 20th installment in the Blondie series. At this point, the movies are more than predictable, and somewhat less than funny, but I am a completist and want to watch the whole series straight through. But I find even the poorest Blondie films mildly entertaining. It is not really clear what […]


Born to Kill

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Robert Wise is not primarily known for his contributions to film noir, but his 1949 film The Set-Up, a tense noir set in in a real-time narrative is fantastic. So I had high expectations for Born to Kill, his first film noir, made after working as an editor on Citizen Kane and developing his directorial […]


Daisy Kenyon

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I saw this film once last year, when I was on a Joan Crawford kick. Now I am trying to see every Otto Preminger film that I can find. It is strange how you can see the same film in a different way when you watch it for different reasons. As a Crawford vehicle, this […]


Dishonored Lady

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Dishonored Lady is an interesting film in that, long ahead of its time, it confronts head-on the problems professional women face, at the same time revealing how hypocritical morality was in the post-war era. Hedy Lamar plays Madeline, an art director at a high profile magazine. Her female subordinates gossip about her dates with numerous […]


Miracle on 34th Street

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Although I got into the yuletide slasher flick Silent Night, Deadly Night yesterday and plenty of more Christmas horror lined up, today I actually wanted to watch something cheery and not even in an ironic way. Although It’s A Wonderful Life will always be my favorite Christmas movie, and one of my favorite movies period, […]


Monsieur Verdoux

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Monsieur Verdoux was reportedly a huge financial and critical flop when it was first released in 1947. It was only Chaplin’s second talkie, and the first film since his very first in which he appears as a character not resembling his famed Little Tramp. Also, the theme of a man who methodically marries and murders […]


My Favorite Brunette

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Like many Woody Allen fans, I was surprised to find out that he is a life-long fan of Bob Hope, who also seemed to me, from the TV specials I had seen as a kid, very unfunny. In the 2002 TV special “Woody Allen: A Life in Film,” the Woody admits, “I do Bob Hope […]


Possessed

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In Possessed Joan Crawford gives a strong and unsettling performance as a nurse who is obsessed with a former lover, David (Van Heflin), and can’t let go even after she marries the her employer (Raymond Massey), who had hired her to take care of his mentally unstable wife. When David begins dating her new daughter-in-law, […]


The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

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This film opens with one of the great cinematic reveals of the ’40s. Domestic servant Bessie (Lillian Randolph, who made a lasting impression with her small role as Annie in It’s a Wonderful Life), wakes up high school student Susan (Shirley Temple), who doesn’t want to get up as she feels “sklunklish.” When Bessie threatens […]


The Bishop’s Wife

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The Bishop’s Wife tries hard to be an uplifting Christmas film like another post-war drama, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), but falls a bit short in its attempt to pull at the heartstrings. The script is not as tight, and the direction not as consistent as Capra’s perennial holiday favorite, but there is enough here […]


The Lady From Shanghai

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Orson Welles famously directed The Lady From Shanghai for a quick paycheck. A really quick paycheck. Welles was producing a musical stage version of Around the World in 80 Days and had a lot of his own money was invested in the production when the costumes were impounded pending payment of $55,000 to cover debts. […]


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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As I have been watching a lot of Danny Kaye movies for the first time this year, I have realized that “A Danny Kaye Picture” involves him playing both a mild-mannered character and an outrageous one that uses outlandish behavior to get out of untenable situations. In The Inspector General he is a pauper mistaken […]


The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

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Harold Lloyd was never my favorite silent film star. I always preferred Chaplin and Buster Keaton, as something about their small stature makes them sympathetic, while Lloyd always seemed rather average to me. So I was not expecting much from Lloyd in his last film, a talkie made after a hiatus of 9 years from […]


Random Quote

“I'm in this for all I've got.”
-David Frost (Michael Sheen)
from Frost/Nixon