Monthly Archives: October 2019

52 Before 62 – #37 Wuthering Heights (1939)

Wuthering Heights (1939 film).jpgDirected by William Wyler

Screenplay by Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht, from the novel by Emily Bronte

Starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, David Niven, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Flora Robson, Leo G. Carroll

The auteur theory of filmmaking is premised on the notion of a film having a single author.  That despite all other efforts from others contributors, including the screenwriter, there is ultimately just one person who ‘authors’ the film.  Usually, that person is presumed to be the director, because he is the one on set directing the action, placing the camera, and interpreting the script into a form that eventually winds up on film. Continue reading

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52 Before 62 — #36 A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

A letter to three wives movie poster.jpgDirected by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the novel “A Letter to Five Wives” by John Klempner, adaptation by Vera Caspary

Starring Jeanne Crain, Ann Sothern, Linda Darnell, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, and Jeffrey Lynn

Here’s a little ‘behind the curtain’ info on this series – and really, this blog as a whole: I don’t own most of the movies reviewed here.[1]  I also don’t rent them – probably because that’s not a thing anymore.  The usual way I do it is take some from Amazon Prime and Netflix if they have ‘em,[2] then catch the rest either on TCM through Hulu, or from DVD’s I borrow from the library.[3] Continue reading

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52 Before 62 – #35 The More the Merrier (1943)

The More the Merrier - poster.jpgDirected by George Stevens

Screenplay by Richard Flournoy, Lewis R. Foster, Frank Ross, and Robert W. Russell, based on the story “Two’s a Crowd” by Garson Kanin

Starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, and Charles Coburn

War really messed with George Stevens – I’m pretty sure I noted this during my entry on I Remember Mama, but if I didn’t, I’ll say it here for the first time.  And if I did say it there, it’s good to say it again.

War really messed with George Stevens.

Before Stevens went off to work with the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II, he was primarily a director of comedy and lighter fare – he came up through Hal Roach Studios and kept right on doing comedies, with the occasional Gunga Din thrown in for good measure. Continue reading

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52 Before 62 — #34 Stormy Weather (1943)

Stormyposter.jpgDirected by Andrew Stone

Screenplay by H.S. Kraft, story by Jerry Horwin and Seymour B. Robinson

Starring Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, Lena Horne, Dooley Wilson, Cab Calloway, and Fats Waller

Bill Williams (Robinson), returns from WWI determined to make a go in showbiz.  Through a loosely connected series of vignettes, staged as Bill’s memories, and interspersed around a variety of musical numbers, we see his sputtering start as a dancer, his eventual ascent to fame and fortune, and his love with Selina (Lena Horne).

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52 Before 62 — #33 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral film poster.jpegDirected by John Sturges

Written by Leon Uris, based upon a story by George Scullin

Starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, and Rhonda Fleming

Dennis Hopper had a very long career.  In the back of my head I’m always aware of this, because I know he was in Giant (1956), directed Easy Rider (1969), was in Apocalypse Now (1979), was in Blue Velvet (1986), was in True Romance (1993), and was in all kinds of things right up until his death in 2010.  Hell, it’s arguable he was even active after his death, but only on a technicality – he shot his part of The Other Side of the Wind back in the 70’s, even if it didn’t see the light of day until 2018.

Anyway, the point is while I knew he had a long career, I didn’t really make the connection that it was 50 years long until he popped up late in this movie – Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – as one of the Clanton boys, to be shot down at the O.K. Corral.  And the only reason that fact registered on my radar at all was because I’d just seen Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Continue reading

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