Wednesday, March 11, 2009


*The Lost Weekend starring Ray Milland as the Oscar winning. Don Birnam, a writer whose lust for booze consumes his career, his life, and his loves. The story begins as Don and his brother Wick (Philip Terry) are packing their bags in their New York apartment, preparing for a weekend in the country. Philip, aware of his brother's drinking problem, is keeping an eye of him, making sure he doesn't sneak a drink before the departure of their train. Arriving at the apartment is Don's girlfriend, Helen St. James, played by Jane Wyman, who has tickets to a Carnegie Hall concert that night. Don persuades Wick and Helen to go to the concert without him, hoping to find one of his well-hidden bottles of booze. But when Wick and Helen go to the concert, Don discovers that Wick has gotten rid of the liquor. Don has no money, so he can't visit the neighborhood bar -- that is, until the cleaning lady arrives to reveal money hidden in a sugar-bowl.

Anchors Aweigh, This mammoth musical is at base the story of two sailors on leave in Hollywood. Brash Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly) has promised his shy pal Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra) that he will introduce Clarence to all the glamorous movie starlets whom he allegedly knows so well.

The Bells of St. Mary's,
Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman nominated. Father Chuck O'Malley is assigned as the pastor of an inner-city Catholic school and has to work with the dedicated, but stubborn, principal Sister Mary Benedict. O'Malley and Sister Mary Benedict quarrel frequently and he feels the school should be closed and the children sent to a nearby school with modern facilities but all of the sisters believe that God will provide for them. Specifically, they put their hopes on Horace P. Bogardus, a businessman who has built a modern building right next door to the school and who they hope will donate his new edifice to them.

Mildred Pierce,
Joan Crawford wins best actress while Eve Arden and Ann Blyth are nominated for supporting roles. Pierce plays a tawdry waitress who slept her way to financial security so as to provide a rosy future for her beloved daughter, only to be rewarded by having her true love stolen away by that same daughter. Ranald McDougall's screenplay tones down the novel's sexual content, enhancing its film noir value by adding a sordid murder. The film opens with oily lounge lizard Monte Beragon (Zachery Scott) being pumped full of bullets. Croaking out the name "Mildred", he collapses and dies. Both the police and the audience are led to believe that the murderer is chain-restaurant entrepreneur Mildred Pierce (Crawford), who takes the time to relate her life story. As the flashback begin....

Spellbound, Dr. Anthony Edwardes, sent to replace Dr. Murchison as head of Green Manors mental hospital, is an impostor. When Murchinson calls the police, Edwardes leaves, followed by Dr. Constance Peterson, who has fallen in love with him and wants to treat his amnesia. She believes he is a medical doctor whose name is John. Skiing down a long slope, accompanied by Constance, John relives the memory of his brother being impaled on an iron fence with parallel bars, an accident for which he feels responsible. Stars Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman in lead roles.

The Key of the Kingdom, A young priest, Father Chisholm (Gregory Peck) is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend (Vincent Price), also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a priest in a more Christian area of the world, Father Chisholm struggles

A Song to Remember
, Prof. Joseph Elsner guides his protégé Frydryk Chopin through his formative years to early adulthood in Poland. At a recital in a duke's home Chopin insults the new Russian-installed governor, and must flee the country. The professor takes him to Paris, where he eventually comes under the wing and influence of novelist George Sand and rises to prominence in the music world, to the exclusion of his old friends and patriotic feelings towards Poland. Stars Paul Muni.

Love Letters Alan Quinton, Joseph Cotton, a soldier in Italy during WWII, has been writing letters for his friend Roger Morland a man who admits he "never had any standards, manners or taste." He has never met Victoria Remington, but regards her as a "pin-up girl of the spirit," to whom he can express feelings he's never expressed in person. He realizes that Victoria has fallen in love with the letters and is concerned that Victoria will be disappointed by the real Roger.

When he returns home, Alan learns that Roger has died. When he tries to look up Victoria he is told that she has also died, and he learns that Roger's death was a murder. At a party he meets and falls in love with a mysterious woman named Singleton Jennifer Jones, who may hold the key to these deaths, but is suffering from amnesia. The subsequent plot follows Singleton's effort to regain her past, and Alan's efforts to find out what the real story of the murder was.

Leave Her to Heaven, Writer Richard Harland unhesitatingly marries lovely Ellen Berent. He soon finds his life blighted when tragedies take first his brother then his unborn son from him. He comes to suspect these events are not unconnected with his wife's unreasoning jealousy. This also turns her family from her, and yet another shock awaits them all as Ellen's emotions become uncontrollable. Stars Gene Tierney.

The Corn is Green
, Schoolteacher Lilly Moffat is dismayed by conditions in a Welsh mining town. She sets up a school to teach fundamental education to the villagers. Her housekeeper and daughter oppose the project, as does the local Squire who will not rent her space. Using part of her own home, she goes ahead with Miss Moffat's School. One of her students Morgan Evans turns from bully to brilliant student. Stars Bette Davis.

National Velvet
, Anne Revere as best supporting actress. Also stars Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney in a story about a girl, a horse, and the heart within each of them. After being given her mother's winnings (in gold) from swimming the English Channel for the entry fee, Velvet and Mi take the trip to compete in the race. She gets through the jockeys' changing and weighing rooms, disguised as a Russian jockey, and actually wins the race! Unfortunately, Velvet slips off The Pie after the winning-post due to exhaustion, and her sex is discovered in the first-aid station. The racing world is both dismayed and fascinated by a young girl's winning its toughest race and Velvet and The Pie become a nine-day wonder, with Velvet and her family nearly drowning in notoriety (which echoes her mother's unsought fame after swimming the English Channel). The National Hunt Committee exonerates all involved, and Velvet and her family return to their ordinary lives.

333 made this year include Abbott and Lou Costello.


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