Monday, March 9, 2009


*Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains nominated. Michael Curtiz wins supporting actor. One of the all-time great romances, a cynical American (Humphrey Bogart) must choose between the love of his life and a higher cause when his old flame (Ingrid Bergman) shows up and needs him to help her Resistance-fighter husband elude the Nazis at the outset of World War II.

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Gary Cooper nominated are Ingrid Bergman, and Akim Tamiroff. It is a romantic drama set against the turbulent tapestry of the Spanish Civil War. Gary Cooper plays Robert Jordan, an idealistic American fighting with a Spanish guerrilla band. He is assigned to blow up a crucial bridge in order to halt the enemy's progress. He falls in love with Maria, a young peasant girl who's joined the fight after being ill-used by enemy troops. Pablo, the eternally drunken leader of the guerrillas, resents Jordan's attentions toward Maria, and he refuses to help Jordan in his sabotage work. Pablo's wife Pilar takes over command

Heaven Can Wait Henry Van Cleve presents himself at the gates of Hell only to find he is closely vetted on his qualifications for entry. Surprised there is any question on his suitability, he recounts his lively life and the women he has known from his mother onwards, but mainly concentrating on his happy but sometimes difficult twenty-five years of marriage to Martha. Remade in 1978 starring Warren Beatty.

The Human Comedy, Mickey Rooney and Clarence Brown nominated. The coming of age tale focuses on young Homer Macauley, a telegram messenger who is exposed to the sorrows and joys experienced by his family and the residents of his small California town during WWII. Homer's mother Kate is struggling to support her children following the death of her husband, his older brother Marcus is in the army., His teen aged sister Bess daydreams about romance, and his younger brother Ulysses divides his attention between the passing trains and an unrequited desire to know why his father had to die. A musical in a folksy way.

In Which We Serve In the summer of 1939, the Torrin is rushed into commission as the possibility of war becomes a near-certainty. The ship's company spends a relatively quiet Christmas, but in 1940, the Torrin takes part in a naval battle off the coast of Norway, during which the ship is damaged. In this action, one of the sailors runs away from his gun, while another sailor mans a gun alone after his crew is killed. When the ship reaches shore, Captain Kinross notes that of the 243 men in the crew, all but one performed well. When the derelict sailor is brought up on charges, Kinross lets him off with a caution, because he feels as Captain he failed to make the young man understand his duty

The More the Merrier, Charles Coburn wins for this movie. Jean Arthur nominated. it is important to know that, during WW2, there was an acute housing shortage in Washington DC. This is why elderly Benjamin Dingle Charles Colburn is obliged to share a tiny DC apartment with pretty Connie Milligan played by Jean Arthur and handsome Joe Carter plays by Joel McCrea. After nearly two reels of misunderstandings, the trio becomes accustomed to their curious living arrangement. Joe takes a platonic liking to Connie, but she's engaged to stuffy bureaucrat Charles J. Pendergast. Sizing up the situation, foxy Benjamin contrives to bring Connie and Joe together, in spite of themselves. Things get dicey when Joe endeavors to complete a top-secret mission for the Air Force, which leads to all sorts of comic complications and misguided remonstrations.

The Ox-Box Incident The pair lead the posse. Croft, Carter, Davies and others come along with the group to try to keep some level of reason intact. Eventually they encounter a trio sleeping at the Ox-Box, and the posse immediately assumes these three were responsible. They interrogate leader Donald Martin (Dana Andrews) and try to come to conclusions about the incident. Henry Fonda plays the lead role.

The Song of Bernadette, Jennifer Jones wins best actress. a reverent recounting of the life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes. As a teen-aged peasant girl growing up in the tiny French village of Lourdes in the 19th century, Bernadette experiences a vision of the Virgin Mary in a nearby grotto. At least, she believes that she did. The religious and political "experts" of the region cannot accept the word of a silly little girl, and do their best to get her to renounce her claims. Bernadette's vision becomes a political hot potato for many years, with the authorities alternately permitting and denying the true believers' access to the grotto. No matter what the higher-ups may think of Bernadette, there is little denying that the springs of Lourdes hold some sort of recuperative powers for the sick and lame. Eventually, Bernadette dies, never faltering in her conviction that she saw the Virgin Mary.

Watch on the Rhine, Paul Lukas wins best actor. Anne Revere and Charles Bickford nominated for supporting roles. Kurt Muller (Paul Lucas), an anti-fascist fighter flees Europe to the USA with his family in 1940. The family moves in with Muller's wife's mother, in a large house near Washington, D.C. When the family arrives, they find that a Romanian aristocrat and his wife are also staying in the house. The Romanian turns out to be a Nazi sympathizer who attempts to blackmail Muller, threatening to let the Nazis know where he is. To keep him quiet, Muller kills the Romanian, and Muller then heads back to Europe alone to try to save a friend who has been captured by the Nazis. Also stars Bette Davis.

Madame Curie Nominated: Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
Young Polish physics student Marie marries Doctor Pierre Curie, in whose lab she had worked for a while. On their honeymoon they decide to find out what caused the strange effect Prof. Becquerel has noticed with the uranium/thorium stones for her dissertation. After many experiments they find out that there must be more radioactive elements than uranium and thorium, and they try to isolate it. After years of experiments in a makeshift lab at the University, they are able to isolate a few grains of a new element, radium, from 7 tons of raw material, but at the height of their careers Pierre is killed in an traffic accident.

This is also the year of the first Lassie. This one is called Lassie Come Home starring Roddy McDowell and Elizabeth Taylor. Since females shed their coat when they are in heat, all the Lassie's were males. The 1943 movie starred PAL.


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