Saturday, December 20, 2008

She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949) by John Ford with John Wayne

and starring Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr.

Plot : On the verge of his retirement, the aging Cavalry Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles (John Wayne) deals with a series of attacks by the Cheyenne following the defeat of George Armstrong Custer. Unwilling to see more lives needlessly taken, Brittles takes it upon himself to try to make peace with Chief Pony That Walks (Chief John Big Tree).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Marx Brothers - At The Circus (1939) by Edward Buzzell

and starring Kenny Baker, Florence Rice, Eve Arden, Margaret Dumont, Nat Pendleton.

At the Circus is a 1939 Marx Brothers comedy film in which they save a circus from bankruptcy. It is notable for Groucho Marx's classic rendition of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady." and co-stars include Margaret Dumont, Eve Arden, and Kenny Baker. Plot : The circus strong man (Nat Pendleton, one of the ringer football players in Horse Feathers), and the midget (Jerry Marenghi, who also appeared in a few Our Gang shorts), are accomplices of the bad guy Carter (James Burke) who is trying to take over the circus. In the animal car, they knock Baker out and steal his $10,000. Groucho, as lawyer J. Cheever Loophole, arrives to handle the situation.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) Otto Preminger with Frank Sinatra Kim Novak

also starring Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang, Darren McGavin and jazz musicians Shorty Rogers, Shelly Manne. Music by Elmer Bernstein.

Plot : Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra) is released from prison with a set of drums and a new outlook on life. A former heroin addict, Frankie became clean in prison. On the outside, he greets friends and acquaintances. Sparrow (Arnold Stang), who runs a con selling homeless dogs, clings to him like a young brother, but Schwiefka (Robert Strauss), whom Frankie used to deal for in his illegal card game, has more sinister reasons for welcoming him back, as does Louis (Darren McGavin), Machine's former heroin dealer. Frankie sees his wife Zosh (Eleanor Parker), who is wheelchair-bound after a car crash some years ago. Zosh smothers her husband and hinders his attempt to make something of himself. He thinks he has what it takes to play drums for a big band. While calling to make an appointment, he bumps into an old flame, Molly (Kim Novak)...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Meet John Doe (1941) by Frank Capra with Gary Cooper Barbara Stanwyck

The film, about a "grassroots" political campaign, created unwittingly by a newspaper columnist and pursued by a wealthy businessman, became a box office hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for best original story (for Richard Connell and Robert Presnell Sr.).

Plot : Infuriated at being laid off from her job as a newspaper columnist, Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) prints a fake letter from the unemployed "John Doe," threatening suicide in protest of society's ills. When the note causes a sensation, the newspaper is forced to rehire Mitchell. Together, the paper and Ann hire John Willoughby (Gary Cooper), a former baseball player and tramp, to play John Doe. The Doe philosophy spreads across the country, developing into a political movement, with financial support from the newspaper's publisher, D.B. Norton (Edward Arnold), who plans to channel the support for Doe into support for his own political ambitions...