Tag Archives: 1940s

Best Man Wins (1948) John Sturges, Edgar Buchanan, Anna Lee, Robert Shayne, Drama

Best Man Wins (1948)
Edgar Buchanan stars as a man who abruptly leaves his wife (Anna Lee) to “find himself”. When he returns, he discovers that wifey has divorced him and has married stuffy Robert Shayne (later “Inspector Henderson” on the Superman TV series). Buchanan and Lee’s son Gary Gray helps reunite the couple, which is bad news for those in the audience who’ve warmed up to Shayne. Question: How could The Best Man Wins be adapted (as it says in the credits) from Mark Twain’s “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County?” Answer: Because frog-jumping was what Edgar Buchanan was up to when he was off finding himself. One wonders if director John Sturges ever looked fondly back to the complex profundities of The Best Man Wins while he was directing such trifles as Bad Day at Black Rock (54) and The Great Escape (63).

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Katakomby / Catacombs (1940) Martin Fric, Vlasta Burian, Jaroslav Marvan, Cenek Slégl, Comedy

Catacombs (1940)
An older clerk Mr. Borman works in basement offices of the Land Registry which are cakke Catacombs by employees. He has a young colleague Doctor Marek, who falls in love with Nastya, a girlfriend of the Director Krystof. Marek is visited by his friend Rudik, who is arranged to marry Irene, a daughter of the Director. They meet at Catacombs without knowing each other, so Irene thinks he is some ordinary clerk, even though she likes him. At the firm party they meet again and Irene find out, who is the one she supposed to marry. She changes her mind and agrees with the marriage, which she refused before. Because there are not enough men for a dance at the party, even clerks from catacombs are invited. The President of company is used to play whist at the party but there is missing one man for a game. Thus they invite Mr. Borman who is a very good player. Although he is told to let the President win, he completely beats him and moreover he frankly tells him how bad player he is.

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Jackass Mail (1942) Norman Z. McLeod, Wallace Beery, Marjorie Main, J. Carrol Naish, Romance, Western

Jackass Mail (1942)
Tiny Tucker delivers mail and attracted to her, Just Baggot becomes her new carrier. When he kills a man in a gunfight, the man’s son joins him in the deliveries and they become good friends. But Baggot has two problems, alcohol and the urging of his friend Signor to rob the mail shipments. When the boy learns Baggot killed his father and leaves him, Baggot decides to join Signor in a train robbery. When other outlaws beat them to it, they have a chance to become heroes.

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The Impatient Years (1944) Irving Cummings, Jean Arthur, Lee Bowman, Charles Coburn, Comedy, Romance, Drama

The Impatient Years (Irving Cummings, 1944)
Standing before a divorce court judge are Sergeant Andy Anderson and Janie Anderson asking him to dissolve their marriage. Janie’s father, William Smith, objects and the judge allows him to give his version of their story. They had met in San Francisco fifteen months earlier and, after knowing each other only three days, had gotten married. Andy was sent overseas the day after the wedding and when he returns and despite the fact that Janie had borne him a son, they find they are almost strangers. Mr. Smith suggests, and the judge orders, that if they retrace their actions over the four days they knew each other they would regain their love. They return to the coffee counter where they met and, later, their actions and conversations in the hotel where they register in separate rooms arouses the suspicions of the hotel clerk and the old, ubiquitous wartime “bellboy” who set themselves up as Janie’s guardian.

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Les parents terribles / The Storm Within (1948) Jean Cocteau, Jean Marais, Josette Day, Yvonne de Bray, Drama

The Storm Within (1948)
When Michel, who’s 22, tells his parents he is in love, his mother Yvonne is distraught, believing she will lose his love (which is the center of her life), and his father Georges is distressed because it is Georges’ mistress, Madeleine, whom his son loves. Yvonne and Georges financially and emotionally depend on Michel’s maiden aunt, Léo, who was once engaged to Georges but gave him up to her sister. Léo resolves to help them separate Michel and Madeleine, choreographs an elaborate meeting at Madeleine’s flat where Georges concocts a lie that Madeleine feels she must embrace, and the lovers part. Aunt Léo then has a change of heart and tries to put everything right.

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Irene (1940) Herbert Wilcox, Anna Neagle, Ray Milland, Roland Young, Comedy, Musical, Romance

Irene (Herbert Wilcox, 1940)
Sent by her employers on an errand to the home of the wealthy Mrs. Vincent, Irene O’Dare meets Don, a friend of Bob, Mrs. Vincent’s son. Attracted to Irene, Don decides to invest some money in Bob’s latest venture, the “Madame Lucy” dress shop, in order to give Irene a job there as a model. She is very successful and Bob also becomes attracted to her. Smith, the manager assigns Irene and other models to display gowns at Mrs. Vincent’s charity ball, but Irene ruins the gown she was to wear, and appears instead in a quaint blue dress that had belonged to her mother… and it is a big hit. A guest, Princess Minetti, places her as the niece of Ireland’s Lady O’Dare, and Irene does not deny the relationship. Smith decides to set her up in a Park Avenue suite as the niece of Lady O’Dare, so that she can attend socially important gatherings wearing and displaying, of course, Madame Lucy gowns. A jealous model tells the truth to a newspaper columnist who writes an expose, which somewhat …

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Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942) John Cromwell, Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders, Adventure, Drama, Romance

Son of Fury The Story of Benjamin Blake (John Cromwell, 1942)
Sir Arthur Blake has inherited title and lands from his brother. He also has his orphaned nephew Benjamin working for him as a bonded servant. While he believes the lad was born out of wedlock and so cannot claim the inheritance, he is taking no chances. Benjamin eventually rebels against his uncle and sets sail to try and make his fortune. This may enable him to return to prove his claim to being the rightful heir to the estate.

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The Mark of Zorro (1940) Rouben Mamoulian, Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Action, Adventure, Romance

The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Tired of Governor Quintero’s (J. Edward Bromberg) exploitation of poor Californians, Don Diego (Tyrone Power) decides to fight back and assumes the identity of Zorro. A masked hero with a sword, Zorro fights on behalf of the people against the corrupt Quintero and his wicked assistant, Captain Pasquale (Basil Rathbone). At the same time, Diego falls for Lolita (Linda Darnell), the governor’s niece, and he pursues her while constantly battling to oust Quintero from power.

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