White Christmas (1954) – Episode 94

White Christmas (1954)

 

Welcome to today’s show, White Christmas (1954), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is White Christmas (1954). Don’t ever watch this movie. I only selected it so I could use the von Scherbach quote from Stalag 17 (1953). This film has entirely too much singing even for a musical. The dancing, however, was excellent.

Actors

Bing Crosby played singer Bob Wallace. Crosby was born in Washington in 1903. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University but was more interested in singing in local bands. In 1925, Bing and part of the band left for Los Angles. Bing eventually signed with CBS and was very popular … Continue reading

Forty Essential Film Noir Classics

Double Indemnity - Forty Essential Film Noir Classics

I have trouble stopping at 40 on this Forty Essential Film Noir Classics. I will continue to update the list as more movies are added.

I wanted to add a definition for Film noir, so I went to the great movie critic Roger Ebert.  I have shortened his definitions but included the link below so you can read the complete original.

1. A French term meaning “black film,” or film of the night.

2. Doesn’t mislead you into thinking there will be a happy ending.

3. Locations that reek of the night, of shadows, of alleys, of the back doors of fancy places.

4. Cigarettes. Everybody in film noir is always smoking. The best smoking movie of all time is Out of the Past, in which Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas smoke furiously at each other.

5. Women who would just as soon kill you as love you, and vice versa. This is priceless JEC.

6. For women: low necklines, floppy hats, mascara, lipstick, boudoirs, calling … Continue reading

Brute Force (1947) – Episode 93

Brute Force (1947)

 

Today’s movie is the film noir Brute Force (1947). It tells the tale of a group of prisoners that tell their story using a pin-up picture in their cell. It is noted that the inspiration and violence in this movie is in direct response to the Battle of Alcatraz, May 2-4, 1946[1]. At the federal prisoner in San Francisco Bay, the prisoner fought until their deaths even though their situation was hopeless. Ironically, Burt Lancaster, playing the role of Robert Stroud in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), helped to end the Alcatraz escape attempt. Of course, this part of the movie is not based in historical fact.

The pin-up picture of the woman used in the film is said to be a composite of actresses Yvonne De Carlo, Ann Blyth, and Ella Raines, by painter John Decker[2]. I don’t see it.

Actors

This prison movie had a rather large cast included 10 actors that we have covered previously. So here I go.

Burt … Continue reading

John Carradine – Second Best Dracula

John Carradine

John Carradine is a fantastic American actor that had 321 television and film credits. He was very tall and slim and had a wonderfully deep voice that made him ideal playing horror roles.

John Carradine was born on February 5, 1906, in New York City. When Carradine was two years old his father died. When his mother remarried they moved to Philidelphia. Apparently, his new stepfather treated him brutally. Carradine ran away from home when he was 14 but later returned. For a time he attended Philadelphia’s Graphic Arts Institute. Later he moved to New York and lived with his uncle Peter Richmond. At some point, he studied under a sculptor in Richmond, Virgina. For a time he worked as painter and sketch artist. He eventually ended up in New Orleans in 1925. Remember Lugosi showed up there in late 1920. I believe this is where you go to learn to be a vampire and I think I turned into on one Maudlin Monday night myself. During this travel period, … Continue reading

I Want to Live! (1958) – Episode 92

I Want to Live! (1958)

 

Welcome to today’s show, I Want to Live! (1958), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunesand give me a review.

Today’s movie is I Want to Live! (1958). It is a gritty film noir that focuses almost exclusively on the female part of the story. The main character can be described as a femme fatale as she only brought down herself. This movie is driven by a lively jazz soundtrack. It highlights the differences between sweet jazz and legitimate or swing jazz. The lighting for mood is well done and should be watched carefully. Susan Hayward gives a masterful performance and won a much deserved best actress Oscar.

 Actors

Susan Hayward played the … Continue reading

Laura (1944) – Episode 91

Laura (1944)

 

Welcome to today’s show, Laura (1944), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunesor follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunesand give me a review.

This is a very unusually film that is classified a film noir. The story follows a detective as he falls in love with a murdered woman. Director Otto Preminger added some odd homoerotic tension and many key noir elements are missing.

Let’s jump right in with the actors.

ACTORS

Dana Andrews was cast in the role of Det. Lt. Mark McPherson who falls in love with a dead woman. Andrews was first covered in Episode 4 – In Harm’s Way (1965).

Vincent Price played the role of Shelby Carpenter, a southern huckster that was engaged to … Continue reading

Gary Cooper – The High Noon Man

Sergeant York (1941)

Gary Cooper was born in Montana in 1901. Both his parents were English immigrants. The family was well to do and owned a large ranch where Cooper spent a good portion of his youth. Cooper spent a couple of years going to
school in England before returning to Montana.

Cooper was out of school for some time with a hip injury from an auto accident. In 1920, he finally graduated with the help of a teacher that got him interested in drama. Cooper went to college in Iowa but was more successful with painting than drama. He left after about 18 months.

In 1924, he followed his parents to Los Angeles where he eventually got a job as a western stunt rider for a poverty row studio. Cooper didn’t care for the stunt work because it was hard on the body and cruel to the horses. He hired an agent and paid for his own screen test.

He began to get extra work like being a Roman guard in … Continue reading

Double Indemnity (1944) – Episode 90

Double Indemnity (1944)

Welcome to today’s show, Double Indemnity (1944), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is Double Indemnity (1944). This movie is almost always on the list of the top five film noirs of all times. The story is told in a narrative style so you can see how the main character came to be in the circumstance that they are in. The femme fatale for this film is one of the darkest of all. The angles, lighting, and smoking are first-rate. This is the best example of high pants, fast talking 1940-1950s filmmaking

While this is not my favorite film noir, reserving the number one spot for something with Humphrey Bogart … Continue reading

Ace in the Hole (1951) – Episode 89

Ace in the Hole (1951)

 

Welcome to today’s show, Ace in the Hole (19510), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is a film noir classic Ace in the Hole (1951). It is also known as The Big Carnaval (1951). Kirk Douglas plays a down and out newspaper man willing to do anything to get a big story. There are plenty of other corrupt people and a femme fatale.

Kirk Douglas plays down and out newspaperman Chuck Tatum. Douglas was first covered in Episode 4 – In Harm’s Way (1965).

Ray Teal was cast in the role of crooked Sheriff Gus Kretzer. Teal was covered in Episode 60 … Continue reading

Back to the Future (1985) – Episode 88 MPH

Back to the Future (1985)

 

Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is Back to the Future (1985) and why is it episode 88? Well, when this baby hits 88 MPH you’re going to see some serious stuff. Three of the four main actors in this movie have serious television creds and Michael J. Fox really was a great actor when you look at his total body of work.

Actors

Michael J. Fox was cast in the lead role of Marty McFly, a boy with problems. Fox was born in Canada in 1961. Fox began acting in Vancouver and by 15 was on Canadian television shows and … Continue reading

Dracula’s Daughter (1936) – Episode 87

Dracula's Daughter (1936)

 

Welcome to today’s show, Dracula’s Daughter (1936), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is Dracula’s Daughter (1936). This is a simple little tale that picks up where Dracula and Drácula (1931) ended. This brings up a question that has bothered me for some time. Why did Van Helsing remain behind in the dungeon after he killed Dracula? The simplest explanation would be to set up the sequel. Where they thinking that far ahead? Did they know the impact that Dracula (1931) would have? If so, why wait … Continue reading

Dracula (1931) and Drácula (1931) – Episode 86

Dracula (1931)

Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is the classic Universal horror film Dracula (1931). Many of you are probably aware that a Spanish-language version was filmed on the same sets and at the same time as the English-language with Bela Lugosi (1931). They filmed the English-language version during the day and the Spanish-language version was filmed at night. The only difference in title is that the Spanish version has a little mark above the first “a.”

In my opinion, the Spanish-language version is vastly superior to the Lugosi film. I realize this is heresy and Bela Lugosi will always be the only … Continue reading

Tower of London (1939) – Episode 85

Tower of London (1939)

 

Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is Tower of London (1939). This movie was set in 15th Century England. It has a great cast featuring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Barbara O’Neil.

This movie was made by Universal at the same time RKO was making the Hunchback of Norte Dame. It was one of the hottest years on record and the actors in full costumes suffered immensely.

Basil Rathbone plays the role of Richard – Duke of Gloucester. He is bent on killing his way to the English throne. Rathbone was covered in Episode 9 – … Continue reading