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  • Fall Guy

    Fall Guy

    ★★★

    Clifford Penn, incoherent and holding a bloody knife, collapses in the street. In the drug ward, he tests positive for cocaine and alcohol. He flees the drug ward and rushes home. At home he tells his brother-in-law, Robert Armstrong, that he has probably killed a woman but does not know why or where. He remembers a few events of the evening. A “pal” took him to a party where a pretty blond singer (Virginia Dale) invited him to drink with…

  • Dirigible

    Dirigible

    ★★★★

    Jack Holt and Ralph Graves are Navy airmen, Holt in an airship and Graves in a plane. Graves is a daring pilot, whose frequent absence and dangerous stunts frustrate and terrify his wife, Fay Wray.

    The Navy agrees to send Holt and the airship on an expedition to the South Pole with adventurer Hobart Bosworth. Holt plans to bring a plane to fly over the Arctic and asks Graves to be the pilot. However, Wray, feeling neglected, begs Holt to…

  • The White Cockatoo

    The White Cockatoo

    ★★★

    In an isolated Spanish inn, Jean Muir waits to meet her brother who she has not seen since childhood. Several mysterious individuals threaten Muir, who expects to share a large inheritance with her brother. After several murders, Ricardo Cortez determines that the proprietors of the inn and a representative of Muir’s brother are trying to kill Muir and claim her inheritance.

    Cortez is a handsome and personable hero. Muir, however, is a weak and colorless heroine. The cast includes several…

  • She

    She

    ★½

    By 1925 silent films were reaching an apex in storytelling, cinematography, and acting. None of that high quality is present in this film. Even if the movie was intact, the story still would be confused, slow moving and boring. After the first scene, close-ups are lacking, every scene is filmed in medium range or farther from the actors. Much of the acting is terrible, of the ridiculous waving arms, pop-eyed style that had been largely abandoned by 1910.

  • Gold Diggers in Paris

    Gold Diggers in Paris

    ★★★

    Rudy Vallee and Allen Jenkins have a popular nightclub in New York, but they are in debt and losing money. The confused representative of the Paris dance festival (Hugh Herbert) mistakes their club for a ballet society and signs their entire cast, including love interest Rosemary Lane, to appear at the festival. In Paris, Melville Cooper, the director of the festival, realizes the error and tries to prevent their appearance. Dodging the gendarmes, they manage to perform their jazzy song…

  • Dead Ringer

    Dead Ringer

    ★★★½

    Margaret DeLorca and Edith Phillips (both Bette Davis), identical twins, meet for the first time in ten years at the funeral of Margaret’s husband, Frank. Twenty years earlier, Margaret had taken Frank away from Edith who remains bitter towards her sister. Margaret’s marriage made her wealthy, but Edith only owns a small restaurant. When Margaret visits Edith, Edith kills her and switches identities. Everyone, including Edith’s boyfriend, Detective Jim Hobbson (Karl Malden), accepts the Margaret identity and believes that Edith…

  • A Study in Scarlet

    A Study in Scarlet

    ★★½

    Sherlock Holmes (Reginald Owen) investigates the murders of members of the Scarlet Ring, a secret society. Alan Dinehart, a criminal lawyer who handles the business of the society, has sold many valuable items that the society had acquired mysteriously. The proceeds from the sales are shared equally among all surviving members. One of these members is reducing the number of survivors. The murder investigation leads Holmes and Watson (Warburton Gamble) to a dark, old house that belongs to Anna May…

  • Moonlight Murder

    Moonlight Murder

    ★★½

    Aging operatic tenor Leo Carrillo dies on stage at the Hollywood Bowl during a perforance of Il Trovatore. Several people, including Duncan Renaldo, J. Carrol Naish, and H. B. Warner, had motive and opportunity to kill him. Detective Chester Morris, aided by Madge Evans, investigates.

    Typically for a '30s seriocomic murder mystery, the suspects and their motivations for murder are introduced before the deed. The bumbling detectives question everybody and arrest a suspect on slim evidence, before Morris deduces the…

  • Backfire

    Backfire

    ★★★½

    In a Veteran’s Hospital, Gordon MacRae has had multiple surgeries for a back injury. MacRae and fellow veteran Edmond O’Brien are waiting for MacRae’s recovery to buy their long planned ranch. On Christmas Eve, a mysterious woman, Viveca Lindfors, visits MacRae and tells him that O’Brien has been grievously injured and is so debilitated that he wants to die. MacRae sends a message to O’Brein: don’t give up.

    Early in the new year, MacRae leaves the hospital and is immediately…

  • While the Patient Slept

    While the Patient Slept

    ★★★

    In the bedroom of his gloomy mansion, a unconscious man rests after a stroke. Nurse Aline MacMahon cares for him. The members of his less-than-congenial family linger in the house. Inspector Guy Kibbee comes into the house to investigate the murder of the millionaire’s unpleasant son, Robert Barrat, who was generally disliked by the other family members. The butler, Brandon Hurst, is the second victim. Kibbee suspects Patricia Ellis, the millionaire’s granddaughter, but MacMahon does not agree. Kibbee lays a…

  • The Skin Game

    The Skin Game

    ★★★

    The Skin Game originated as a stage play (1931) written by John Galsworthy. The film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is a mostly faithful version of the play: a newly rich, somewhat boorish, industrialist (Edmund Gwenn) clashes with a country gentleman and his wife (CV France and Helen Haye). The industrialist is building factories in the neighborhood and disrupting the traditional ways of the long settled, old-fashioned, upper class family. Their disagreements come to a head when the industrialist wants to…

  • Iphigenia

    Iphigenia

    ★★★★★

    This film is an faithful adaptation of Iphigenia In Aulis, a play from
    the 5th Century BCE by Euripides.

    The Greek army, headed for Troy, is encamped by the sea.  Their ships
    are ready to sail, but the winds won’t blow. The goddess Artemis has
    been offended and the fleet will remain becalmed until a sacrifice is
    made. Speaking through her head priest Artemis demands  that
    Agamemnon, the leader of the army, sacrifice his eldest child,
    Iphigenia. The king is…