Tag Archives: 1940s

Little Women (1949) Mervyn LeRoy, June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O’Brien, Drama, Family, Romance

Little Women (Mervyn LeRoy, 1949)
Louisa May Alcott’s autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord Mass in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the civil war, the sisters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth are at home with their mother – a very outspoken women for her time. The story is of how the sisters grow up, find love and find their place in the world.
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Thieves’ Highway (1949) Jules Dassin, Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

Thieves' Highway (1949)
The soldier Nick Garcos returns back home from the war very happy with gifts for his parents Yanko and Parthena Garcos and money in his pocket to open a business and get married with his girlfriend Polly Faber. Out of blue, Nick realizes that his father lost both legs and Yanko, who was a truck driver, tells that he was cheated by the dealer Mike Figlia in the San Francisco’s market when he delivered a truckload of tomatoes and was not paid. He believes that his accident was provoked by Figlia’s gangsters. He also tells that he sold the truck to a driver named Ed Kinney that has not paid him. Nick meets Ed and tells that he will bring the truck back, but Ed proposes a deal with apples, where they may earn a great amount. Nick invests his savings in another truck and buys apples from a Polish farmer. They need to drive directly to the market in San Francisco without sleeping to keep the fruits fresh, but Ed’s truck has problem on its axle and Nick arrives first.
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Jour de fête / Holiday (1949) Jacques Tati, Guy Decomble, Paul Frankeur, Comedy

Jour de fete (Jaques Tati, 1949)
Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town ‘Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre’. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the flagstaff under his direction nearly leads into a catastrophy – but everybody tells him, how important his work is. Sneering up Francois continues in the evening of the festive day. Made drunk, some ‘friends’ persuade him to watch a short-movie in a tent. This film is a stunt-show, covered as ‘The modern delivery-techniques of the US-post. Francois takes it serious, not recognizing being teased. Next day, after getting sober in a goods wagon, he reorganizes his own delivery-methods. He has not the equipment, as his ideals in the short-movie have, but using only his bicycle, he makes good, funny progresses.
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Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) Gabriel Pascal, Claude Rains, Vivien Leigh, Stewart Granger, Biography, Comedy, Drama

Caesar and Cleopatra (Gabriel Pascal, 1945)
Cleopatra hasn’t been on the throne of the pharoahs of Egypt very long when Julius Caesar pays a visit. Caesar finds the prospect of romance more tempting than he expected, since Cleopatra is a rare woman who is bright as well as beautiful. And for Cleopatra, a friendly relationship with the most powerful man in the world may pay dividends in the future.
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We Were Dancing (1942) Robert Z. Leonard, Norma Shearer, Melvyn Douglas, Gail Patrick, Comedy, Romance

We Were Dancing (Robert Z. Leonard, 1942)
Princess Victoria ‘Vicki’ Wilomirska and Baron Nicholas Eugen August Wolfgang ‘Nikki’ Prax are expatriate European nobles with no assets or property except their aristocratic pedigrees. They have become professional house guests at homes of socially ambitious nouveau riche Americans who want the prestige of playing hosts to these titled spongers. However, when Vicki and Nikki want to get married, they find that married royals are not in demand as eligibly unmarried ones. Ultimately one of these socially attractive, unambitious bluebloods will have to do the unthinkable and actually get a job.
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The North Star (1943) Lewis Milestone, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Drama, Romance, War

The North Star (Lewis Milestone, 1943)
In a peaceful Ukrainian village, the school year is just ending in June 1941. Five young friends set out for a walking trip to Kiev, but their travels are brutally interrupted when they are suddenly attacked by German planes, in the first wave of the Nazi assault on the Soviet Union. When the village itself is attacked and occupied, most of the men flee to the hills to form a guerrilla unit. The others resist the Nazis as well as possible, but soon the village is placed under the command of a Nazi doctor who begins using the town’s children as a source of constant blood transfusions for wounded German soldiers. Meanwhile, the small group of young persons tries desperately to take a supply of firearms to the guerrillas.
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Gypsy Wildcat (1944) Roy William Neill, Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Peter Coe, Adventure

Gypsy Wildcat (Roy William Neill, 1944)
In an unspecified Renaissance kingdom, no sooner has Anube’s gypsy tribe encamped near Baron Tovar’s village when Count Orso is found murdered. The wicked baron blames the gypsies and imprisons them all in his castle. Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger on a white horse has hidden the murder arrow and won the heart of gypsy belle Carla, to the discomfiture of her erstwhile fiancée Tonio. Baron Tovar is also fascinated by Carla…especially when he notices her heraldic pendant.
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Busman’s Honeymoon / Haunted Honeymoon (1940) Arthur B. Woods, Richard Thorpe, Robert Montgomery, Constance Cummings, Leslie Banks, Comedy, Drama, Mystery

Haunted Honeymoon 1940
Lord Peter Wimsey is an amateur detective. He is to be married to Harriet Vane, who writes crime novels, at a big Society wedding. Harriet has little charms made so that they both promise not to get involved with any more crimes as they are ‘retired’. As a wedding present, Peter purchases the old Jacobean home, where Harriet grew up, called Tall-boys. After the marriage, they go to their new house to get the keys from the previous owner named Noakes. Noakes, who now has money, has no intention of paying wages or any debts that he owes. Upon arriving at the house, Lord and Lady Wimsey find no one at home and finally borrow a key to get in. They have supper and retire for their honeymoon. The next day, people are brought in to clean the house, the chimneys and the grounds and they find the body of Noakes in the cellar. Lord and Lady Wimsey try to stay out of this murder as they promised, but that may not be so easy after all.
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Steel Against the Sky (1941) A. Edward Sutherland, Lloyd Nolan, Alexis Smith, Craig Stevens, Action, Adventure, Comedy

Steel Against the Sky 1941
Rough-hewn Rocky Evans has two great loves–his job building bridges and beautiful Helen Powers, his boss’ daughter. But it’s Rocky’s shiftless brother Chuck who wins Helen’s affections. Chuck even takes a job on Rocky’s bridge-building crew to woo Helen, but the two brothers soon find themselves clashing over work and love.
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The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946) Jean Renoir, Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, Hurd Hatfield, Drama, Romance

The Diary of a Chambermaid (Jean Renoir, 1946)
Celestine, the chamber-maid, has a new job in the country, at the Lanlaires. She has decided to use her beauty to seduce a wealthy man, but Mr. Lanlaire is not a right choice: the house is firmly controlled by Madame Lanlaire, helped by the strange valet Joseph. Then she tries the neighbour, former officer Mauger. This seems to work. But soon the son of the Lanlaires comes back. He is young, attractive and does not share his mother’s antirepublican opinions. So Celestine’s beauty attracts Captain Mauger, young Georges Lanlaire, and Joseph. Three men, from three different social classes, with three different conceptions of life. Will Celestine be able to convince Georges of her sincerity? Will sinister and inflexible Joseph let his views on Celestine be ruined? A quite disillusioned depiction of humanity.
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