Friday, March 6, 2009


* How Green Was My Valley
Donald Crisp, supporting role. One of director John Fords great films, this acclaimed drama follows a close-knit Welsh family through half a century of strife in their small mining town, told from the perspective of its youngest son (Roddy McDowell). Winner of five Oscars in 1941 including Best Picture beating out Citizen Cane.

Citizen Cane, Orson Wells, nominated. The newspaper baron Charles Foster Kane, one of the richest and most powerful men in America if not the world, dies. A newspaperman digs into his past seeking the meaning of his enigmatic last word: "Rosebud." He finds evidence of a child torn away from his family to serve Mammon. Grown into manhood, Charles Foster Kane becomes a newspaperman to indulge his idealism. He marries the niece of the man who will become President of the United States, and gradually assumes more and more power while losing more and more of his soul. Kane's money and power does not bring him happiness, as he has lost his youthful idealism.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Robert Montgomery, nominated. Boxer Joe Pendleton takes a joyride in a small plane, which crashes. His soul is "rescued" by 7013, an officious angel who assumed that Joe could not have survived. Joe's manager, Max Corkle has his body cremated. In the after life records show his death was a mistake; he was supposed to have fifty more years. The angel's superior, Mr. Jordan ( Claude Rains), confirms this, but since there is no more body, Joe will have to take over a newly dead corpse. Mr. Jordan explains that a body is just something that is worn, like an overcoat; inside, Joe will still be himself. Joe insists that it be someone in good physical shape, because he wants to continue his boxing career. Joe keeps saying the body they find "Has to be in the pink", a color that Mr. Jordan finds annoying.

Hold Back the Dawn, Olivia de Havilland, nominated is a 1941 romantic film in which a Romanian gigolo (Charles Boyer), marries an American woman in Mexico in order to gain entry to the USA.

The Little Foxes, Bette Davis, nominated. Playwright Lillian Hellman, first wrote of the horrible Hubbard family in her 1939 play The Little Foxes. In this lavish 1941 film version, Bette Davis takes over for Broadway's Tallulah Bankhead in the role of conniving turn-of-the-century Southern aristocrat Regina Hubbard Giddens. Regina's equally odious brothers want her to lend them 75,000 dollars to help build a cotton mill. To do this, she must make peace with her long-estranged husband, Horace and failing that, she tries to arrange a wealthy marriage between her daughter, Alexandra and her slimy nephew Leo. Horace refuses to give Regina the money, whereupon Leo is pressured by his father (Reid) to steal bonds from the family business. Considered tense and talky.

The Maltese Falcon Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye who’s swept into an international murder plot when he makes the acquaintance of the beautiful Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor) -- who turns out to be a dangerous scoundrel herself. Mayhem and murder follow.

One Foot in Heaven Fredric March stars as Methodist clergy, William Spence, whose calling requires him to move his family from parish to parish on a near-monthly basis. The children resent the fact that they're never able to sustain friendships, while Reverend Spence is equally upset by what he perceives to be encroaching immorality in the early 20th century. Spence's stubbornness loses him as many parishioners as he gains, but he is gradually humanized by a series of random events. In the best of these, the Reverend, who has railed against movies from the pulpit, attends a "scandalous" picture show--and as the picture reaches its climax, he finds himself cheering on the good guys as loudly as everyone else

Sergeant York, Gary Cooper wins best actor, Supporting role, Walter Brennan. When World War I hero Alvin York agreed to sell the movie rights to his life story to Warner Bros., it was on three conditions: (1) That the film contains no phony heroics, (2) that Mrs. York not be played by a Hollywood "glamour girl" and (3) ThatGary Cooper portray York on screen. All three conditions were met, and the result is one of the finest and most inspirational biographies ever committed to celluloid. When the audience first meets young farmer Alvin York , he's the cussin'est, hell-raisin'est critter in the entire Tennessee Valley. All of this changes when York is struck by lighting during a late-night rainstorm. Chalking up the bolt from the blue as a message from God, York does a complete about-face and finds Religion, much to the delight of local preacher Rosier Pile , Walter Brennan, Despite plenty of provocation, York vows never to get angry at anyone ever again, determining to be a good husband and provider for his sweetheart Gracie Williams. When America goes to war in 1917, York elects not to answer the call when drafted, declaring himself a conscientious objector. Forced to go to boot camp, he proves himself a born leader, yet still he balks at the thought of killing anyone. York's understanding commanding officer Major Buxton slowly convinces the young pacifist that violence is sometimes the only way to defend Democracy. Later on, while serving with the AEF in the Argonne Forest, Sergeant York sees several of his buddies, including his Bronxite best pal Pusher Ross killed in an enemy ambush. His anger aroused, York personally kills 25 German soldiers, then single-handedly captures 132 prisoners. As a result, York becomes the most decorated hero of World War One.

Suspicion, Joan Fontaine wins best actress. 'Suspicion' was designed by Hitchcock to be full of argumentum traps: the goal was to fool the viewer in the same way he sees how Lina is being fooled by what's happening. This fact is very important in order to observe the point of view's setting: the story is told continuously from Lina's own point of view, so that we finally come to share her feelings, blaming John for a yet uncommitted murder. Male lead is Cary Grant.

Penny Serenade. Cary Grant nominated. Irene Dunn plays female lead. A must see tragedy. While listening to a recording of "Penny Serenade," Julie Gardiner Adams, Irene Dunne, begins reflecting on her past. She recalls her near-impulsive marriage to newspaper reporter Roger Adams Cary Grant, which begins on a deliriously happy note but turns out to be fraught with tragedy. While honeymooning in Japan, Julie and Roger are trapped in the 1923 earthquake, which results in her miscarriage and subsequent incapability to bear children. Upon their return to America, Roger becomes editor of a small-town newspaper, just scraping by financially. Despite their depleted resources, Julie and Roger want desperately to adopt a child. It seems hopeless until kindly adoption agency head Miss Oliver helps smooth their path. Alas, their happiness is once more short-lived: their new daughter, Trina succumbs to a sudden illness at the age of six.

Another movie from 1941 is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde . Because of the number of times it has been made, it will run tomorrow all by itself!


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