Tag Archives: 1940s

Crossroads (1942) Jack Conway

Crossroads (1942)
William Powell plays a dramatic role after years of romantic mysteries, married to the beautiful Hedy Lamarr, is a diplomat being blackmailed by a criminal (Basil Rathbone) and his accomplice (Clare Trevor).
Read More »

Jud Süß (1940) Veit Harlan

Jud Suss (1940)
In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by showering the corrupt duke with treasure and promises of even greater riches. As the Jew’s schemes grow more elaborate and his actions more brazen, the dukedom nearly erupts into civil war. Persuaded by the Jew, the Duke all but scuttles the constitution and alienates the assembly by lifting the local ban on Jews in Stuttgart. In a final outrage, the Jew rapes a wholesome German girl and tortures her father and fiancée. When the Duke succumbs to a sudden heart attack, the assembly of Elders try the Jew and sentence him to death for having “carnal knowledge of a Christian woman”.
Read More »

Louisiana Purchase (1941) Irving Cummings, Bob Hope, Vera Zorina, Victor Moore, Comedy, Musical

Louisiana Purchase (1941)
Graft is rampant in the government of a “mythical” Louisiana, and the arrival of U.S. Senate investigator Loganberry brings panic. The chief miscreants shift the blame on to their innocent tool, Jim Taylor, who to save himself must “compromise” the simon-pure Senator Loganberry. As his instrument, Jim selects Marina Von Minden, beautiful Viennese refugee. But matters become complicated when Jim falls for Marina… and she takes a liking for the Senator.
Read More »

Hold Back the Dawn (1941) Mitchell Leisen, Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard, Drama, Romance

Hold Back the Dawn (1941)
Told in flashback from a preface in which the main character visits Paramount to sell his story! Romanian-French gigolo Georges Iscovescu wishes to enter the USA. Stopped in Mexico by the quota system, he decides to marry an American, then desert her and join his old partner Anita, who’s done likewise. But after sweeping teacher Emmy Brown off her feet, he finds her so sweet that love and jealousy endanger his plans.
Read More »

Boule de suif / Angel and Sinner (1945) Christian-Jaque, Micheline Presle, Berthe Bovy, Louise Conte, Drama

Boule de suif (1945)
This film is an adaptation of two stories by Guy de Maupassant, Tallow Ball and Mademoiselle Fifi. The trip by stagecoach to a frightened group of inhabitants of Rouen. The girl said Rousset, “suet ball” makes them a signal service, she encounters their stupidity and their sufficiency. Later, “suet ball” kills the dreaded Prussian lieutenant that his friends had nicknamed Fifi and shamelessly spread his love of plunder and his sadistic inclinations. It is a very patriotic film, directed to the liberation of France and is far from being detached from the context.
Read More »

Dragon Seed (1944) Harold S. Bucquet, Jack Conway, Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston, Aline MacMahon, Drama, History, War

Dragon Seed (1944)
Ling Tang and his family live on his prosperous farm in rural Southern China and have not yet felt the impact of the Japanese invasion in the North. Tang’s two oldest sons, Lao Ta Tan and Lao Er Tan are married and hard working while youngest son Lao San Tan remains a free spirit. Er’s wife Jade is also willfully unconventional and desires to exercises her literacy skills by reading books, a most unfeminine practice in 1930’s China. Tang’s only daughter is married to Wu Lien, a city merchant who profits from selling Japanese goods. When the dreaded invasion reaches their village, the family is scattered as the sons join the resistance while Wu Lien survives by collaborating with the enemy.
Read More »

Blossoms in the Dust (1941) Mervyn LeRoy, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Felix Bressart, Biography, Drama, Romance

Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
Edna marries Texan Sam Gladney, operator of a wheat mill. Edna discovers by chance how the law treats children who are without parents and decides to do something about it. She opens a home for foundlings and orphans and begins to place children in good homes, despite the opposition of “conservative” citizens, who would condemn illegitimate children for being born out of wedlock. Eventually Edna leads a fight in the Texas legislature to remove the stigma of illegitimacy from birth records in that state, while continuing to be an advocate for homeless children.
Read More »