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  • The Holiday

    The Holiday

    ★★★

    I don't understand how a film of this nature could cost $85 million in 2009. Certainly no one expected it to make money with it costing so much. At a normal budget of, say, 20 or 30 million, it would have made quite a bit. As it is, it made $63 million in the U.S. and $141 million overseas - and using the old calculation of a film having to make back three times its cost before it's profitable -…

  • Agatha and the Truth of Murder

    Agatha and the Truth of Murder

    ★★★½

    There have been several takes on what happened to Agatha Christie when she disappeared for 11 days after her husband asked her for a divorce. All have been interesting. The most factual was the film Agatha starring Vanessa Redgrave. In that film, Christie, using the name of her husband's girlfriend, goes to a spa. With her vivid imagination it's likely she enjoyed being incognito, or it could have been the result of a psychotic break.

    This particular film makes a…

  • Fractured

    Fractured

    ★★★½

    Lily Rabe and Sam Worthington star in "Fractured" from 2019, directed by Brad Anderson. When his daughter has an accident at a construction site, Ray Monroe (Worthington) and his wife Joanne (Rabe) take their little girl to a hospital. The doctor suggests a CT scan. Ray waits and waits - but his daughter and wife never return from the CT lab. He becomes convinced something nefarious is going on at the hospital.

    This is a film in the vein of…

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★½

    I won't go through the plot. I will say it was a joy to see Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino. Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale and others in "The Irishman." There are many reasons to praise Scorsese's work but I think for a film to last nearly 3-1/2 hours and move so quickly is amazing and a tribute to his artistry.

    The acting is superb. The three stars manage to create characters that are completely fleshed out. In many ways it's a…

  • The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance

    The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance

    ★★★

    Seeing a black cat with a string of pearls as a collar, "The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance" begins with the Lone Wolf -- Michael Lanyard -- and Jamison (Eric Blore) chasing it and getting caught caged at the entrance of a bank.

    The detective (Thurston Hall) at the scene bets Lanyard two month's salary that the Wolf can't stay out of trouble. About ten minutes later, a man is shot in front of Lanyard's hotel window and falls to…

  • Loophole

    Loophole

    ★★★

    Mike Donovan (Barry Sullivan) is a teller with a problem - a $49,900 shortage (the equivalent of $466,000 in today's money) in his cash for one day. Gus Slavin (Charles McGraw) from the bonding company is sent to investigate. Slavin is sure Mike stole the money, so he's arrested. The cops believe he had a female accomplice.

    Everyone believes Mike except Slavin, so the bond company revokes his bond, and he is fired. Slavin also keeps him from keeping other…

  • 20,000 Years in Sing Sing

    20,000 Years in Sing Sing

    ★★★

    Spencer Tracy is on death row in "20,000 Years in Sing Sing," a 1932 film from Warner Brothers. Tracy here plays Tom Connors, basically a Cagney role, an arrogant tough guy who plans on taking over the prison. He soon learns that he can't.

    When he finds out that his girlfriend (Davis) is in critical condition after a car accident, the warden risks his reputation by letting Tom out to see her. The warden is sure that he'll return. But…

  • Accused of Murder

    Accused of Murder

    ★★★

    A nightclub singer , Ilona Vance (Vera Hruba Ralston) is "Accused of Murder" in this 1956 Republic movie filmed in "Naturama." A shady lawyer (Sidney Blackmer) is in love with Ilona. After she rejects him, he winds up murdered in his car.

    Police Lt. Hargis (David Brian) doubts that Ilona is the killer - he's a little smitten with her. A hostess at the club (Virginia Grey) sees a man near the murder scene and tries to blackmail him (Warren…

  • The Strange Mr. Gregory

    The Strange Mr. Gregory

    ★★½

    Edmund Lowe plays a magician, Mr. Gregory in "The Strange Mr. Gregory" from 1945. This is a programmer from Monogram Studios and also features Jean Rogers, Marjorie Hoshelle (Mrs. Jeff Chandler), Donald Douglas, and Jonathan Hale.

    Mr. Gregory is a strange man, with hypnotic eyes, and he's a man cloaked in mystery. Upon meeting John Randall (Douglas) and his wife, Ellen (Rogers), he falls madly in love with her and decides he must have her.

    He comes up with a…

  • The Unsuspected

    The Unsuspected

    ★★★½

    A terrific cast is on board for "The Unsuspected," a 1947 film starring Joan Caulfield, Claude Rains, Audrey Totter, Hurd Hatfield, and Constance Bennett.

    Rains plays a crime show radio host, Victor Grandison. He arrives home to his surprise birthday party and is upset. After all, his heiress/niece and ward Matilda (Caulfield) was killed in a boating accident several days earlier, and his secretary Roslyn has committed suicide.

    Grandison finds a celebration macabre given what's happened. It becomes more macabre…

  • The Unguarded Hour

    The Unguarded Hour

    ★★★

    Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Lewis Stone, Roland Young, and Henry Daniell are all involved in "The Unguarded Hour," a 1936 film directed by Sam Wood.

    Young plays Lady Dearden, a newlywed whose husband's (Tone) promising career as a prosecutor is threatened by letters he wrote to another woman before he was married. The blackmailer (Daniell) gives Lady Dearden some complicated instructions by which to deliver the money to him.

    Lady Dearden follows his instructions but in doing so, she becomes…

  • The Third Secret

    The Third Secret

    ★★★

    "The Third Secret" from 1964 is a British film starring Stephen Boyd, Pamela Franklin, and Diane Cilento as well as a few stars in small roles: Richard Attenborough, Jack Hawkins, Rachel Kempson, and Nigel Davenport. Judi Dench has a small role -- she was just coming up the ladder.

    Boyd plays a television journalist, Alex Stedman, who also happens to be the patient of psychiatrist Leo Whitset. When Whitset is found dead, it's an apparent suicide.

    Whitset's teenage daughter (Franklin)…