Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nugget Reviews - 9

Daisy Kenyon ( 1947 ) 24k

A fashion illustrator loves a married lawyer but when he refuses to get a divorce she marries a returning soldier and thinks her life is perfect until the lawyer decides he wants her afterall.  Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda, Ruth Warrick. 20th Century Fox. Directed by Otto Preminger.

A golden nugget for sure! Daisy Kenyon is one of those films that if you catch a glimpse of it on late-night television you can't tear yourself away from it. Its been-filmed-a-hundred-times-before plot somehow becomes amazingly fresh in Preminger's hands. It's obviously Joan Crawford's picture but our two leading man vie for the spotlight in every scene they are in which only adds to the excellent dramatic acting. 


Peter Ibbetson ( 1936 ) 18k

Two childhood sweethearts become separated and meet again years later - one a rising architect, the other a Duchess. Gary Cooper, Ann Harding, Ida Lupino, Douglas Dumbrille, John Halliday, Virginia Weidler, Dickie Moore. Paramount Pictures. Directed by Henry Hathaway.

This movie started off simply superb - fantastic settings, great actors, and magnificent cinematography. We were sure it was a 24k gold nugget, but mid-way through it took a turn into the realm of mystic fantasy and became quite somber in tone. That's our only beef with it. Well...that and Gary Cooper's western accent. A beautiful and haunting film otherwise. 


Three Wise Fools ( 1946 ) 14k

Three men who all love the same pretty girl are given a curse by the Irishman who whisks her away. Years later, as old bachelors, her granddaughter comes to live with them and softens the old fools' hearts. Margaret O'Brien, Thomas Mitchell, Edward Arnold, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone. MGM. Directed by Edward Buzzell.

Margaret O'Brien is adorable in this film with her masterly airs and her Irish brogue and we've come to appreciate Thomas Mitchell more and more with every film we see him in. Our "three wise fools" seem like they are a bit embarrassed to be in the picture and wish they were doing something else. Did Louis Mayer give them these roles for punishment perhaps? Hmmm.... Nevertheless Lionel Barrymore is delightful with his curmudgeonly manner.


Fiend without a Face ( 1958 ) Elctr. 

Several recent strangulation deaths in a small Canadian village have been attributed to the US Air Force bases nuclear power output but then the people SEE the real culprit behind the deaths. Marshall Thompson, Kynaston Reeves, Kim Parker, Terry Kilburn. Amalgamated Productions. Directed by Arthur Crabtree. 

Oh dear. This film was a doozy. "Fiends take form before your very eyes" reads the poster. And by golly, its right. That "fiend" you see in the poster is what you get in the flick. A brain with antennae. Obviously, this was the Brits version of The Tingler. The old professor is the real kicker in the movie....he got a basement full of neato gadgets and managed to figure out a way to make thoughts take form. Scientists the world over have not been able to do this, but this old man figured it out in his basement...with a simple headband. Terry Kilburn, an MGM child star, makes an appearance as one of the Air Force men. 


Stolen Hours ( 1963 ) 14k 

A jet-setting party-loving woman discovers she has a brain tumor and turns her life around before she dies. Susan Hayward, Michael Craig, Edward Judd, Diane Baker. Mirisch Corporation. Directed by Daniel M.Petrie.

Stolen Hours, also known as Summer Flight, was one of those 1960s Delbert Mann/Ross Hunter style soap operas. It was a ( rather inferior ) remake of Dark Victory starring Bette Davis ( Davis said after this film was released, "Some pictures should never be remade" ). Hayward is supposed to be a 30-year-old-something woman but looks more like the 46 year old woman that she is. Despite the mushy plot, the film boasts some great color locale shots of the coast of England and really swell art direction. 

1 comment:

  1. Peter Ibbetson is a fantasy novel; consequently, so is the movie. I don’t hear Gary’s ‘western voice” here.