RSS feed for ObscureHollywood.net
  • The Unguarded Hour

    The Unguarded Hour

    ★★★

    Franchot Tone and Loretta Young star as a titled English couple whose happy life is jeopardized when Henry Danielle blackmails Young for love letters that an infatuated college-age Tone wrote to older woman Aileen Pringle. When Pringle is murdered, Tone is the main suspect and must try to clear himself.

    A well done mystery/drama; a filmed play, the action is restricted by adherence to its origins. Tone and Young are supported by first class actors Roland Young, Lewis Stone, Jesse Ralph, Dudley Digges, and Danielle.

  • The Uninvited

    The Uninvited

    ★★★★½

    A delicate young woman (Gail Russell ) is threatened by a lowering ghost, seemingly her own mother. A sympathetic author (Ray Milland) and his sister (Ruth Hussey) help Russell discover the truth about her parentage.

    A well written and nicely acted combination of ghost story and mystery. Cornelia Otis Skinner has a showy part as a strangely protective old friend of the deceased woman.

  • The Great K&A Train Robbery

    The Great K&A Train Robbery

    ★★

    Tom Mix, the best known of the silent westerners, stars in a typical vehicle. Mix does a lot of fast riding, some stunting, and a bit of comedy with his leading lady and a comic side-kick. The plot and characterizations are minimized.

  • The Early Bird

    The Early Bird

    ★★½

    Norman Wisdom’s small dairy is sabotaged by a much larger dairy company. The larger company is attempting to appropriate Wisdom’s customers. Wisdom fights back in his own idiotic, blundering style.

    Sir Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian, starred in a popular series of comedy films, 1953 - 1966. Wisdom’s comedy was of the broad, slapstick style featuring his portrayal of an inept, clumsy, goofball character.

  • Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet

    ★★★

    Norma Shearer wanted to play Juliet, and since her husband Irving Thalberg, was MGM’s top producer, she got her wish.

    The play is nicely adapted to the screen; the production is lavish, and direction (George Cukor) and acting (Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore, Basil Rathbone) are good.

    A major drawback is the age of the actors. Romeo and Juliet are supposed to be teenagers. The actors are too old, especially Leslie Howard at age 42 and John Barrymore at age 56.

  • Operation Amsterdam

    Operation Amsterdam

    ★★★½

    May 1940, English officer Tony Britton and Dutch diamond experts Peter Finch and Alexander Knox enter Amsterdam to collect the diamonds, particularly the industrial diamonds, held by Dutch diamond merchants. The German army is rapidly approaching the city and the English government and the Dutch governmental council in exile want to prevent the Nazis from seizing the diamonds.

    Tense war drama.

  • The Mad Genius

    The Mad Genius

    ★★★½

    Obsessed ballet impresario John Barrymore lives through his protege, premier dancer Donald Cook. Barrymore will not allow anyone, even Cook’s love Marion Marsh, to stand between Cook, (Barrymore’s other self), and the highest levels of achievement in his art.

    Typical scenery-chewing Barrymore performance, stomping about, making all kinds of faces, and overacting to the very edge of caricature.

  • Hungarian Rhapsody

    Hungarian Rhapsody

    ★★★½

    A charming comedy of romantic intrigue among members of the upper and lower classes is set in 19th century Hungary. During the wheat harvest on the fertile Hungarian plains, a lordly estate holds a harvest festival. Impoverished officer Willy Fritsch woos Dita Parlo, daughter of the estate’s foreman, and captivates Lil Dagover, the wife of General Erich Kaiser-Titz.

  • George Washington Slept Here

    George Washington Slept Here

    ★★★★

    Jack Benny likes his apartment in the city, but wife Ann Sheridan prefers a home in the country. Sheridan buys a historic, but dilapidated, farmhouse. She thinks that George Washington slept in it, but her neighbor tells her that the visitor was probably Benedict Arnold.

    The unpainted house has weak floors a leaky roof, and lacks indoor plumbing. A creek some distance away is the nearest water source. Water has to be carried in pails. Benny has to drive cross…

  • For Better, for Worse

    For Better, for Worse

    ★★½

    Gloria Swanson rejects her long time love, Dr. Elliot Dexter, because he chooses to remain at home and administer to the crippled children in whom he specializes rather than join the army and go to war. Gloria marries another man (Tom Forman) who is going to war. Of course, Gloria learns how noble Dr. Dexter really is, and since her husband is believed dead, she can marry the doctor. But no, Forman returns and expects to consummate the marriage. A…

  • Five and Ten

    Five and Ten

    ★★½

    Richard Bennett, the owner of a chain of five-and-ten cent stores, moves his family (Irene Rich, Marion Davies, and Douglass Montgomery) to New York. Bennett neglects his family as he relentlessly pursues his business affairs. His family is falling apart, wife Rich is about to leave him for another man, daughter Davies is unhappy over her failed love affair with Leslie Howard, and son Montgomery is drinking heavily and dangerously depressed. Where will it all end?

    Financed by William Randolph…

  • Dragnet Girl

    Dragnet Girl

    ★★★★

    By 1934 silent films in America, excepting those made by Charlie Chaplin, were things of the past and had been for several years. This was not the case in Japan, as evidenced by Yasujiro Ozu’s silent Dragnet Girl. Such a lurid title might suggest a violent saga along the lines of Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931) or Scarface (1932), all talkies by the way. Such is not the case. The criminals depicted in Dragnet Girl are mostly non-violent…