• Stage Fright

    Stage Fright

    ★★★★

    One of my favorite Hitchcocks...I’m on board for the superb British humor, the priceless supporting cast, and Dietrich. I still think “the cheat” everyone groans about was a stroke of genius... and not a liability.

  • Under Capricorn

    Under Capricorn

    Finally got to see a beautiful Technicolor print of this, instead of the public domain messes out there.

    Yup. Still his worst American film.

  • Army of Shadows

    Army of Shadows

    ★★★★★

    Takes a lot to floor me. This floored me.

    Essential viewing.

  • Tomorrow Is Another Day

    Tomorrow Is Another Day

    ★★★★

    Great, paranoid thriller with hunky Steve Cochran as an ex-con and a shockingly good Ruth Roman (who was such a drip in “Strangers on A Train”) as the smart-ass dancehall girl he gets mixed up with.

    Ending is letdown but not ruinous.

  • The Man I Love

    The Man I Love

    ★★★½

    There’s a couple of first rate musical numbers here...the whole smoky, booze-soaked nightclub scenes of this movie are to die for.

    There’s a little too many story threads for its own good (not all of them very compelling). Ida Lupino tho...a force of nature. What a powerful, no-bullshit actress. Always worth watching.

  • Bad Girl

    Bad Girl

    ★★★½

    Sally Eilers is enchanting...her acting isn’t very “1931”...she avoids many of the affected tropes that befell her contemporaries. Even Minna Gombell...who could chew scenery to shreds (The Thin Man comes to mind) is superbly naturalistic here. I guess a lot of this has to do with Borzage.

    The movie is uneven, but quite touching and mature. The poster is a masterpiece of false advertising.

  • The Hard Way

    The Hard Way

    ★★½

    What’s your Jack Carson/Dennis Morgan threshold? Mine is low. Feels like they were in every Warner Brothers movie for 10 years.

    Ida Lupino carries the film, swaggering through James Wong Howe’s luscious B&W photography. Her brief scene with Gladys George is one of the few moments in the film that ring true.

  • Follow Me Quietly

    Follow Me Quietly

    ★★★½

    What a genuine atmosphere of dread in this little RKO police procedural, with Zodiac-like killer strangling victims in the rain and leaving taunting notes behind for the cops.

    Won’t spoil it...there’s a quiet, stomach-dropping scene in here...you’ll know it when you see it.

    Cast is OK (William Lundigan has really good hair). Ace direction from Fleischer (especially the finale).

  • The Devil Thumbs a Ride

    The Devil Thumbs a Ride

    ★★★½

    Betty Lawford, peroxide'd to within an inch of her life and mouthing off with the 40's wisecracks, almost steals this movie from marvelous ticking time bomb Lawrence Tierney.

    Fast-paced RKO "B" with a sweet beach house and the accustomed rejection of logic and believability.

  • The Threat

    The Threat

    ★★★½

    You: I’m in the mood to watch Charles McGraw smack the shit out of everyone for an hour.

    Me: The Threat.

  • Repeat Performance

    Repeat Performance

    ★★★★

    Whoa...who knew that Joan Leslie could act?

    Excellent minor noir/melodrama with a touch of the supernatural, and a lovely pre-All About Eve backstage atmosphere.

    Avoid any plot synopsis before watching...just go in cold.

  • The Big Country

    The Big Country

    ★★★★★

    The best western to show to People Who Hate Westerns.