Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Loves of Joanna Godden ( 1947 )

"I'll run the farm myself....A farm can't have two masters"

Joanna Godden ( Googie Withers ) is a determined woman. After the death of her father, the townsfolk of Romney Marsh assumed that she would marry her childhood friend and neighbor-farmer Arthur ( John McCallum ), and join her father's farm with his to make it one of the largest in the county. Instead, she boldly declares that she does not wish to marry Arthur and, defying the conventions of the time, wants to run the farm by herself. Her farmhands are none too pleased with the notion of a single woman taking charge of the farm and Arthur is certainly disappointed to hear that she does not wish to marry him. If this wasn't news enough, she announces that she will take her father's pedigree sheep and crossbreed them. "She's a filly that's never been properly broke in, that's what she is!" the farmers exclaim. 

The Loves of Joanna Godden may seem like just another British film about farming and shepherding but it is much more than that. It is the profile of a headstrong young Edwardian woman and the decisions - mainly regrettable ones - that she makes within a several-year span that leads to her growth as a woman. Joanna does indeed take control of the farm as she wanted, but she stubbornly refuses to listen to the admonitions of her neighbor farmers who warn her against crossbreeding sheep and soon regrets not heeding their warning. The new breed of sheep has a coat much too thin to brave the cold wind that blows on the marsh and many of them die. When she does choose to marry a man ( Derek Bond ) that turns out tragic as well. 

Director Charles Frend does an admirable job of creating a unique Edwardian English-country atmosphere for The Loves of Joanna Godden. The only other film that comes close to capturing this setting is 20th Century Fox's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which was released the same year. Both films are similarly themed and focus on a two-year period in the life of a strong-willed Edwardian woman. Widow Mrs. Muir ( Gene Tierney ) wishes to be independent of her in-laws and make her own life in the seaside town of Whitecliff-by-the-sea. 

Joanna Godden is content to stay at her childhood home but wants the freedom to run it as she pleases without taking orders from a man. Eventually, both characters regret not having a husband to "take the helm". If these films were made today, their directors would probably take a more feminist approach and show audiences that a woman can be independent and happy as well, but these old classics reflected Edwardian sentiments and personally, I like that. 

H.E. Bates' screenplay condenses Sheila Kaye-Smith's 1921 novel into a concise 90-minute film without losing any of the major plot points or its biting dialogue. The Loves of Joanna Godden also features a sweeping score by Ralph Vaughn Williams and beautiful cinematography. Oscar-nominated cinematographer Douglas Slocombe ( Dead of Night, The Great Gatsby ) is often considered to be one of the best in the industry. Through his lens, we get to travel to Kent and see the beauty of Romney Marsh throughout the seasons. 

Googie Withers gives a wonderful performance as the headstrong Joanna. She's a stubborn character and she could easily have been a dislikable woman but Googie lets the audience know that beneath Joanna's hard exterior is a soft and vulnerable woman. Arthur knows this already and that makes it painful for him to stand by and witness Joanna shun all help in her attempt to stand on her own feet when he would willingly work beside her. 

John McCallum was a popular and extremely capable actor who made many British films in the 1940s. He and Googie wed shortly after filming was completed on this picture. McCallum later turned to producing ( the Australian children's series Skippy was one of his productions ) and Googie went on to have a long career on stage and television, notably as Governess Fay Boswell in Within These Walls.  

Jean Kent, another popular leading lady in British films, has a supporting role as Joanna's sister Ellen. At first, Ellen is quite a charming young lady but she quickly becomes a conniving and spoiled brat and the cause of ruination for Arthur. Derek Bond gives a good performance as the young aristocrat Martin who sweeps Joanna off her feet, and Australian legend Chips Raffery has a small part as Joanna's looker ( shepherd ). Also in the cast are character actors Henry Mollison and Edward Rigby. 

The Loves of Joanna Godden is available on DVD as one of four films on Network's "Ealing Studios Rarities Collection, Volume 4".

This post is our contribution to the 8th Annual Rule, Britannia blogathon being hosted by A Shroud of Thoughts. This is a jolly good event that allows bloggers to review British films from all eras, so if you want to explore some new-to-you titles, be sure to head on over to the event for a full listing of entries. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

The Sinister Man ( 1961 ) - An Edgar Wallace Mystery

The body of an Oxford professor is found floating in the Thames and Scotland Yard investigator Superindentant Wells ( John Bentley ) is on the job to solve the mystery. The professor was an archeologist assigned to translate a set of three ancient tablet fragments known as the Kytang Wafers. The professor - and the tablets - disappeared from Oxford weeks previously. Wells deduces that whoever murdered the professor stole the tablets and all the evidence points to one of his colleagues. Could it be his assistant, the young Miss Marlowe ( Jacqueline Ellis )? The nosy Dr. Tarn ( John Glyn-Jones )? His rival Dr. Pollard ( Patrick Allen )? Students Mitch Hallem or Johnny Choto? Or was it an outsider? Wells uses good old-fashioned British investigative techniques to uncover the murderer and locate the missing Wafers. 

The Sinister Man was the 14th film in the Edgar Wallace Mystery film series. This series of British mysteries were produced by Merton Park Studios between 1960 and 1965, with an output of almost one per month. A total of 47 mystery films were made, all of which were loosely based on stories by Edgar Wallace and all running just a little under one hour. This made them suitable B-features and also great films for re-release on television, where they began airing on ITV in 1968 under the title "Tales of Edgar Wallace".

The film is an engaging little whodunnit even though the audience is given very few clues to solve the mystery by themselves. The location scenes around Oxford and the Thames river are nice to look at and, like most of the Edgar Wallace Mysteries, there is a bevy of familiar British character actors to be seen. 

The handsome John Bentley stars as the Scotland Yard investigator Wells. He is probably best known for a supporting role in The Happiest Days of Your Life but I enjoyed him best in another British mystery - Double Exposure ( 1954 ). Patrick Allen was a very familiar face on British television, as was William Gaunt who played one of the crimebusters in The Champions ( 1968-1969 ). And then there are character actors Wilfred Brambell, John Horsley, and Edward Atienza. 

While the mystery itself is not overly mind-engaging, The Sinister Man is still worth a look at if you have an hour to spare. It will pique your interest in exploring the other Edgar Wallace titles, if nothing else. 

This post is our contribution to the 8th Annual Rule, Britannia Blogathon being hosted by A Shroud of Thoughts. Be sure to head on over to the site to explore more essays and reviews of films from across the pond. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

 

Soldiers playing toy soldiers...or, as it is officially termed, "strategic planning". Can you recognize these beautiful uniforms and thereby identify the film this screenshot is from? It's a tricky one!

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules of the game or the prize, simply click here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Let's Fall in Love ( 1933 )

Edmund Lowe is a name that is instantly recognizable and yet, even among classic film fans, he is often overlooked as an actor. This gentleman was a leading player in numerous silent films and, after having successfully transitioned to talking pictures, continued to be a big player up until the mid-1930s, when he began to take on more supporting roles. He is best remembered for playing Sergeant Quirt in the 1926 drama What Price Glory? and for his role as Dr. Talbot in Dinner at Eight ( 1933 ). Lowe had great range as an actor and could play romantic parts, dramatic roles, or comedic roles equally well. 

I enjoy him best when he plays a romantic role and one such movie that highlights his light but deft touch as an actor is Let's Fall in Love, a wisp of a musical from Columbia Pictures studio. This film has a simple script that was probably written just to highlight and promote its theme song by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. The tune is quite memorable and very lovely to listen to, especially when it is performed by singer/actress Ann Sothern who had a fine soprano voice ( she sang with Artie Shaw and his Orchestra before becoming an actress ). 

Edmund Lowe plays Kenneth Lane, a director who is anxious to make a film with the Swedish sensation that he had helped mold as a Hollywood star ( sound familiar? ). Unfortunately, stardom went to her head and she becomes so demanding that he fires her from the film. Now, in search of a fresh new face, he puts ads in national papers calling for any and all Swedes to make a screen test. His search comes to an abrupt end when he goes to a traveling carnival and discovers Jean ( Ann Sothern ), a fetching young woman who isn't Swedish at all. He likes her and wants her to be the leading lady in his latest film. But since everyone, including his boss Max ( Gregory Ratoff ) knows he is searching for a Swede he decides to masquerade her as a visiting Swedish model, a plan that backfires on him when his jealous fiancee Lisa ( Betty Furness ) blurts out the truth. 

Let's Fall in Love is just a little over an hour-long but manages to pack in a number of entertaining scenes including some musical numbers. Lowe is wonderful as usual with his expressive features ( carried over from his silent-era days ), Sothern is sweet making googly eyes at him, and Gregory Ratoff is excellent as Max, head of Premier Studios. He later famously played another producer named Max in All About Eve ( 1950 ).  


Also in the cast is Greta Meyer as a jolly Swedish woman, Miriam Jordan, and tenor Arthur Jarrett. The film was remade in 1949 as Slightly French with Don Ameche and Dorothy Lamour playing the leads. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

British Pathé: Globe Making - How the World is Made

If you ever wondered how a world is made, then you have to check out this British Pathé news clip that gives you the scoop on just how one goes about creating a globe. A tabletop globe, that is. 

“While the rest of the mankind does its best to blow the world up, they like building a new one.”

The filmmakers from British Pathé share with us a fascinating look at the inside of a globe factory in 1955. The narrator tells us that these workers are from a North London firm of geographers, so most likely this is the factory of the old firm of George Philip and Son, Ltd. which was located in Willesden Junction in London, England. 

The globe makers start by applying thick brown strips of paper around a wooden ball to create the shell. And then they slather up to nine layers of wet plaster over the shell to smooth out the entire globe. This is prep work for the six-hour process of building the mountains and ridges that will give the globe a realistic texture. Once dry gores of paper are carefully cut out ( be careful! ) and pasted on the globe “The covering process calls for a keen eye and a steady hand,” the narrator says. “A fraction of an inch out will put the world miles out of joint.” 

These talented craftspeople make the work look so simple but one can only imagine what patience it must take to work in a factory like this. It isn't easy building a world. 

Ready to watch Globe Making? Simply click on the link below:

Globe Making - How the World is Made ( 1955 )  

Other similar British Pathé clips: 

Map Making ( 1952 ) - 3:00 minutes

Globe Making ( 1949 ) - 2:49 minutes

Globe Map for the Blind ( 1939 ) - 1:39 minutes


Saturday, September 11, 2021

From the Archives: The Unsinkable Molly Brown ( 1964 )

 

Debbie Reynolds starred as Molly Brown in one of her favorite films - The Unsinkable Molly Brown ( 1964 ). Her character transformed from a wild country girl into a tough high society dame....and all along the way she had her true love, her husband Johnny Brown ( Harve Presnell ) by her side. In this miniature color lobby card, they are pictured in their youth when he was lernin' her to read and write. 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store : http://stores.ebay.com/Silverbanks-Pictures

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

 
This young lady is simply aghast about something... or someone. We're not asking you to guess who or what it is, your task is just to identify the film that this screenshot came from. We'll give you three guesses..or four...or five. In fact, there's no limit to the number of times you can guess!

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules of the game or the prize, simply click here.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Flight That Disappeared ( 1961 )

Terror in the Sky....beyond known flight!

Just when you thought you explored all the sci-fi films of the 1960s, "new" titles appear in a book or while browsing online. For us, it was The Flight that Disappeared that magically appeared. If the title is new to you, too, it is probably because it was never released on VHS or DVD....and because it was produced by a not-so-famous independent production company: Harvard Film Corp. 

Today, it is available for viewing on Youtube and through streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Sling TV. The film is not worth going out of your way to track down but if it is easily accessible then give it a peek, you'll find it to be better than most B-films. 

The movie begins on a jetliner en route to Washington D.C. Onboard is a nuclear physicist, a rocket expert, and a mathematical genius ( Craig Hill, Dayton Lummis, Paula Raymond ) who are all going to attend a conference at the Pentagon. Also onboard is a blind woman and her rather crazy husband ( Meg Wyllie and Harvey Stephens ), a pretty stewardess ( Nancy Hale ), and a handsome Dick Tracy-ish pilot ( John Bryant ). The flight begins smoothly until a mysterious force takes over the controls from the pilot and he finds the plane climbing on its own. It keeps right on climbing and climbing and climbing, even beyond the altitude that the jet was capable of withstanding. As the poster proclaims....What mysterious force took over the controls? 

It is at this point in the script that the film moves from an airplane adventure theme to science-fiction. Its plot may be a bit far-fetched for some, but there is a nice twist at the end that helps to ground it a bit more. 

The Flight that Disappeared has a runtime of only 72 minutes so it is a breeze to watch and the film features a great cast of B-actors. Craig Hill did a small number of films in the 1950s before he moved to Spain and became a lead actor in spaghetti westerns. He is best known for playing P.T. Moore in the television series The Whirlybirds ( 1957-1960 ). Paula Raymond had a long career in film and television but had few leading roles. Instead, she is best known for her appearances on Perry Mason ( and oddly enough, she resembles Della Street in this film ). 

John Bryant was also a frequent guest star on Perry Mason, but he is best known for playing Mark Fleming, the nephew of bank president John Fleming in the Vincent Price horror classic The Bat ( 1959 ) which, like this film, was released by Allied Artists. Interestingly, Harvey Stephens, who played John Fleming in The Bat, has a small part in this film, too. And lastly, there is Dayton Lummis, a very recognizable character actor who should have been given better parts than what he usually played. Right after filming wrapped on The Flight that Disappeared, Lummis teamed up with Craig Hill for another Harvard Film Corp. production - the drive-in classic Deadly Duo

Ready to take a look at The Flight that Disappeared? Grab yourself some popcorn and sit back and enjoy it right here

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Mae West Singing "Light My Fire"

"There are no good girls gone wrong...just bad girls found out"

This sounds like the lyrics of a rock song, but instead, these are words from the tongue of Mae West, one of the most famous actresses of the 1930s. This sassy bombshell certainly knew how to play the bad girl, both onscreen and off. With her hefty bosom and her opulent hips, she knew how to sashay around a room and magnetically attract men to herself. Mae West was a refreshing sensation in the 1930s and 1940s, and as she got older, she didn't let her age stop her from enjoying life to its fullest. 

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough" she famously said. She opened up her own one-woman show in Las Vegas where she surrounded herself on stage with wall-to-wall muscle men, invested in real estate, wrote several books, and also recorded two rock-n-roll albums. Her first album, cleverly titled "Way Out West" ( 1966 ), became a surprise chart topper and a few crazy teens actually danced to Mae singing such pop hits as "Twist and Shout", "Shakin' All Over" and "Day Tripper". But even more extraordinary was Mae's follow-up album ( released six years later ) called "Great Balls of Fire". This rad album featured Mae singing such rock songs as "Rock Around the Clock", "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", "The Naked Ape" and her very own version of The Doors' classic "Light My Fire". Rock on, Mae! 

Check it out here! 

Mae West's Great Balls of Fire Album

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Watching Free Classic TV on Roku

Last month my sister and I bought ourselves a Roku and we have just begun to explore the classic movie and TV treasures to be found with this device. We first discovered the apps and then started unearthing all the channels within the Live TV stations....there are hundreds of them! 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a Roku is, it is a small device that you place near your television set and it allows you to stream films, tv shows, and live TV channels through your internet connection. Many new smart television sets come with Roku already installed, but since we own an older "dumb" television we bought a Roku Express player ( $24.99 ). You simply plug it into a power outlet and then attach the HDMI cable to your TV and presto! you'll have a neverending supply of stuff to watch. 

As with most streaming services, the films and tv series that are offered are not permanent. For example, Green Acres may be available for the spring/summer season and then it gets replaced with The Waltons. Right now, many of the apps are offering mystery/horror-themed films for the Halloween season. We won't even touch on the films, right now we want to share a list of what apps feature what television series to make it a little bit easier for you to navigate if you happen to have a Roku - or are thinking of buying one. 

Note: We missed a number of series, so we'll update this post as we come across "new" titles. 


Classic TV Series You Can Watch with No Subscription Services


PEACOCK TV 


Peacock is the new kid on the block direct from NBC but has a really nice selection already. It features some shows that other streaming apps don't offer so it is well worth adding to your homepage. 

1950s Series

  • Father Knows Best
  • Dennis the Menace

1960s Series

  • The Munsters
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents
  • Alfred Hitchcock Hour
  • Leave it to Beaver

1970s Series

  • The Carol Burnett Show
  • The Rockford Files
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Columbo
  • Good Times

1980s Series

  • Unsolved Mysteries
  • Cheers
  • Highway to Heaven
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • The Ray Bradbury Theater
  • Saved by the Bell
  • Punky Brewster
  • Cheers

1990s Series

  • Sliders
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Frasier
  • Everybody Loves Raymond
  • The Jeff Foxworthy Show


THE ROKU CHANNEL


The Roku Channel has a very large selection of programs as well as some great movies to watch. And if you don't feel like watching a program "on demand" you can tune into its Live TV app and browse nearly 200 channels such as the Western channel, the Sci-Fi channel, the Classic TV channel and even The Carol Burnett Show Channel. If you want to watch it right now ( even without buying a Roku ) just head on over to their website: https://therokuchannel.roku.com/

1950s Series

  • Father Knows Best
  • The Rebel
  • Car 54, Where are You
  • The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
  • Fury
  • The Lone Ranger
  • The Cisco Kid
  • Annie Oakley
  • Tombstone Territory
  • Tales of Wells Fargo
  • Dick Tracy
  • Decoy
  • Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

1960s Series

  • Dennis the Menace
  • Bewitched
  • The Real McCoys
  • The Munsters
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents
  • Alfred Hitchcock Hour
  • Leave it to Beaver
  • Peter Gunn
  • Danger Man
  • The Patty Duke Show
  • Green Acres
  • Flipper
  • The Donna Reed Show
  • Peter Gunn
  • The Outer Limits
  • The Saint
  • Route 66
  • The Beverly Hillbillies
  • The Flying Nun
  • That Girl
  • The Naked City
  • My Favorite Martian
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • The Rifleman
  • Petticoat Junction
  • Hazel
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • Thunderbirds
  • Supercar
  • The Addams Family

1970s Series

  • The Carol Burnett Show
  • The Rockford Files
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Thriller
  • Starsky and Hutch
  • S.W.A.T
  • Magnum P.I
  • Charlie's Angels
  • Benson
  • The A-Team
  • Movin' On
  • UFO

1980s Series

  • Unsolved Mysteries
  • Xena
  • Highway to Heaven
  • Hart to Hart
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • The Ray Bradbury Theater
  • Saved by the Bell
  • The Johnny Carson Show
  • Hunter
  • Cagney and Lacey
  • Silver Spoons
  • Quantum Leap
  • Alf
  • Airwolf
  • The Greatest American Hero
  • T.J. Hooker
  • The Facts of Life
  • Coach

1990s Series

  • Touch by an Angel
  • Hawkeye
  • Sliders
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Frasier
  • Beyond Belief
  • Mr. Bean
  • Cybill



TUBI

Tubi is one of the mega-players and offers over 20,000 episodes of classic shows to watch, all for free ( there are commercials of course but not nearly as many as you'll find watching MeTV or Antenna TV ). 


1950s Series
  • Four Star Playhouse
  • Foriegn Intrigue
  • Adventures of Jim Bowie
  • Our Miss Brooks
  • Mister Peepers
  • Tales from Wells Fargo
  • The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
  • Lights Out
  • The Life of Riley
  • Date with the Angels

1960s Series

  • Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
  • Thriller
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • The Donna Reed Show
  • The Flintstones
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • Family Affair
  • My Living Doll
  • The French Chef
  • The Adventures of Batman ( animated series )
  • Petticoat Junction
  • The Mothers-in-Law
  • The Prisoner
  • Bewitched
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Underdog
  • My Favorite Martian
  • The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Gidget
  • Route 66
  • The Saint
  • Pippi Longstocking
  • The Flying Nun
  • The Doris Day Show
  • Secret Agent Man
  • Stingray
  • The Dick Cavett Show
  • Professor Balthazar
  • Captain Scarlett and the Mysterions
  • Fireball XL5
  • The Lucy Show
  • At Last the 1948 Show
  • Davey and Goliath
  • The Merv Griffin Show
  • Ultraman
  • The Glen Campbell Hour
  • The Westerner
  • The Joey Bishop Show
  • The New Three Stooges
  • Cool McCool
  • Joe 90
  • Tate
  • The Secret Service
  • Krazy Kat

1970s Series

  • The Partridge Family
  • Sapphire and Steel
  • Charlies Angels
  • Fantasy Island
  • Dark Shadows
  • Archie
  • Hammer House of Horror
  • Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
  • The Addams Family ( animated series )
  • Space: 1999
  • Soap
  • Tales of the Unexpected
  • Emmerdale
  • The Sandbaggers
  • The New Adventures of Flash Gordon
  • Police Woman
  • CPO Sharkey

1980s Series

  • The New Scooby Doo Mysteries
  • Designing Women
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Jem
  • Ace Crawford, Private Eye
  • Tim Conway Comedy Hour
  • Mr. T
  • Family
  • Hart to Hart
  • Columbo
  • Alf
  • The Transformers


1990s Series

  • Hercules
  • Xena
  • Mr. Bean ( animated series )
  • Zorro
  • The Nanny

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Just Like the Saint! - Roger Moore Off Screen

He's six foot two, fair-haired, and fabulously handsome. He's one of the world's best-dressed men and he's tough. He drives a racy, 100 mile-an-hour-plus sports car and travels internationally. He's outside the law, but he always gets his man - and his girl. He's The Saint. The man who plays him on the TV screen is of course Roger Moore. And all the things The Saint is you can say Roger Moore is - well practically all the things. 

Roger, born in London, travels the world. He tends to regard Rome as his home. But once it was California that was home to him. 

In his early days, Roger mainly played French parts and, thorough in everything he does, he went to France to learn the language and customs. He now speaks perfect French, German, and Italian - as does The Saint, who adds Portuguese and Russian to his list of languages! 

The Saint, created by Leslie Charteris 30 years ago, has always been a favourite with Roger Moore. 

"I feel I've known him, admired him, and understood him all my life," he says. Before he landed the role, he was so keen to play the part that he tried to buy the TV rights of The Saint books - all 110 of them! 

Roger began acting when he was 16. His first part after training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art was as a gendarme. He says: "I was stuck under a gendarme's hat and my parents who came to see the show didn't recognize me!"

After that, nearly all his roles were in costume. In repertory it was all tennis shorts and big brass hats. In Hollywood - and films - he wore "long wigs, tin armour, more helmets, tropical gear, long hair and beards, togas, more armour and army rig."

On TV there was the Ivanhoe series with chain mail and lots of lusty sword-play; The Alaskans series which called for parkas and furs; and the Maverick series in which he wore the fancy and elegant suitings of Beau. 

Now the clothes Roger needs for his part as Simon Templar, the Saint, he supplies from his own extensive and expensive wardrobe. "It's nice to know the socks I choose in the morning can stay on all day," he says. 

Roger is the tenth actor to play The Saint, though the first on TV. The other nine were Louis Hayward, George Sanders, Hugh Sinclair, Felix Marten - in French films only, Edgar Varrier - on American radio, Tom Conway, Vincent Price, Brian Aherne and Barry Sullivan. 

Looking back on his career so far, Roger Moore says, "I don't think I've really done anything I can be proud of. The worst part in the world is a hero. In reality, heroes are highly improbable - they always win. I think I would enjoy acting more if I played villains. They are more meaty roles, even if they are often smaller. And they are much nearer life as it really is."

Roger has plans to start a company for independent film productions. "The days of the big studios are numbered," he says. "TV has taken over but there is still scope for good films. I'd like to make some."

As The Saint, Roger tries to show that everyone - including Simon Templar - is human. "I try to be as real and honest as possible," he says. "That is why The Saint TV series has changed from the normal cops-and-robbers style of thing. I am trying to show a man who though almost a superman at times is very much a human being in reality."

However, for the moment, the role of the Saint - the man with all the time in the world on his hands- keeps Roger Moore pretty busy. He doesn't even get much chance for a social life. 

Still, Roger - son of a London policeman - seems to get a mighty big kick out of whatever he's doing, wherever he happens to be. 

Just like The Saint, in fact! 

This article originally appeared in STAR T.V. and Film Annual 1967 published by Odhams Books Ltd. Movie Magazine Articles, another one of our ongoing series, feature articles like this reprinted for our reader's entertainment. Click here to find more posts in this series!

Note: The article neglected to point out that Roger also had a hand in directing many of The Saint episodes. And it is interesting that Roger Moore thought he had not done any roles that he could be proud of, for after The Saint his career really took off and he had some smashing good parts. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

From the Archives: The Hasty Heart ( 1949 )

 

Ronald Reagan was not only a great president but a great actor, too. His most recognized film is King's Row ( 1942 ) but we think The Hasty Heart ( 1949 ) ranks up there right along with it. Ronald gave a standout performance as a dying soldier in this wartime drama that also starred the beautiful Patricia Neal.

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store : http://stores.ebay.com/Silverbanks-Pictures

Saturday, July 31, 2021

After Office Hours ( 1935 )

Clark Gable and Constance Bennett, two of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the early 1930s, teamed up only once for a fast-paced mystery/drama called After Office Hours ( 1935 ). 

This MGM release featured the King of Hollywood in a typical Gable-like role as Jim Branch, a hard-hitting New York news reporter who would do anything to scoop the headlines from his rival newspaper. The latest sensation is a rumor that Tommy Bannister ( Harvey Stephens ) is having an affair with the wife of millionaire Henry King Patterson ( Hale Hamilton ). Jim wants the dirt about the story but Henry King's circle of friends is strictly society grade. Luckily, he has Sharon Norwood ( Constance Bennett ) on his staff. She happens to be a socialite who is playing a working gal for a lark. She also happens to be good friends with Tommy Bannister. Jim decides to use her to get the inside story but falls in love with her in the process!

After Office Hours was clearly MGM's attempt to capitalize on the success of Columbia Studios' It Happened One Night ( 1934 ). Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had loaned Gable out to Columbia as punishment for his affair with Joan Crawford. Frank Capra cast him as the cocky reporter in that film and it turned out to be a box-office smash, raking in nearly $2.5 million. When MGM received their golden boy back they quickly cast him in a film with a similar story. He's not chomping on a carrot in this film but his Bugs Bunny mannerisms are on display just like they were in It Happened One Night

The only thing After Office Hours lacked was the presence of a comedienne like Claudette Colbert. Ms. Bennett resembled a porcelain doll and was just as fragile. Herman Mankiewicz wrote a script packed with clever verbal repartee but Bennett lacked the ability to give her dialogue a humorous touch hence there was no zest in their interchanges. An actress like Claudette Colbert or Loretta Young would have made the film much more entertaining. 

Nevertheless, if you want a fast-paced mystery with some top-notch talent, then it is well worth checking out After Office Hours. Robert Z. Leonard did a great job of directing the film and MGM would later recognize his talents and give him big-budget assignments such as The Great Ziegfeld, Pride and Prejudice, and the Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald films. 

Also in the cast is Billie Burke, Stuart Erwin, Henry Travers, and Katharine Alexander. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Boys and Girls Film Book ( 1952 )

For the latest post in our new series covering movie memorabilia, we are putting the spotlight on a wonderful issue of the Boys' and Girls' Film Book from 1952. 

Unlike most American magazines that released issues monthly, Great Britain had a number of publishing companies that issued "annuals". The Boys' and Girls' Film Book was one such publication. It was published by the Heirloom Library of London and features some really good articles on both American and British films and the stars of 1952. 

Since this was a book aimed for juvenile audiences most of the films are suitable for boys and girls of all ages. These include Where's Charley? ( Ray Bolger ), Ivanhoe ( Robert Taylor ), The Sound Barrier ( Nigel Patrick ), The Crimson Pirate ( Burt Lancaster ), Worm's Eye View ( Robert Shiner ), Scaramouche ( Stewart Granger ) and Twice Upon a Time ( an early UK version of The Parent Trap ). 

There are articles about stuntmen, animal actors, comedy teams, and stars' pets as well as features on Tarzan, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, Janette Scott and Norman Wisdom. Also snuck in between the pages are full-color photos to pin on a wall and trivia pages. All in all, a great book for children ( and adults! ). 

The Boys' and Girls' Film Book is a hardcover book, clothbound with heavy boards. Issues like this sell at antique stores and auction sites for $6-20 each, depending on their condition. 


Friday, July 23, 2021

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

 

This looks like a fun group of people. You don't have to guess who they are or what they are doing, just tell us which film this is a screenshot from and you can win a prize!

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules of the game or the prize, simply click here.

GAME OVER

Congratulations to Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous for correctly identifying this screenshot from The Best of Everything ( 1959 ). The employees of Fabian Publishing Company were enjoying the shenanigans of the young woman with the red sweater while on their way to the company's annual summer picnic. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Cone of Silence aka Trouble in the Sky ( 1960 )

Captain Gort ( Bernard Lee ) has just been on trial for crashing one of the new Pheonix jets on takeoff. The verdict was pilot's error. Gort is in disbelief, as is his daughter Charlotte ( Elizabeth Seal ) who knows that her father always flies "by the book" and would never endanger the passengers or crew. Both believe that there was a fault with the new aircraft but the scientists investigating the crash are not convinced. After several months, Gort is allowed to return to his regular flight schedule but his flying ability is once again called into question when he has another low take-off in a Pheonix jet. This time, Captain Dallas ( Michael Craig ) begins to question the safety of the aircraft and investigates the matter, hoping to uncover the cause before another crash takes place. 

Cone of Silence is one of a multitude of aircraft-disaster pictures that were filmed in the 1960s. It seems like a film that Jack Hawkins would have starred in but instead it featured Bernard Lee ( best known for playing M in the James Bond films ). He does a great job of playing the dishonored pilot.

The script was based on the 1959 book of the same name by author David Beaty, which was loosely based on the de Havilland Comet crashes, much like the superior No Highway in the Sky ( 1951 ). 

Cone of Silence has some moments of excitement but overall it is more dramatic than adventerous. Michael Craig himself commented that "it wasn't much of a film and did nothing for anyone's career". However, it is worth checking out just to see the cast which was composed of a bevy of famous Brit actors. George Sanders portrays the prosceuting attorney at the trial, Charles Tingwell ( Murder She Said ) is a fellow pilot, as is Peter Cushing and Gordon Jackson; Andre Morrell and Geoffrey Bayldon have brief parts, and there is a small part for the beautiful Delphi Lawrence as well. 

The film was issued as Trouble in the Sky in the United States, but both titles have little to do with the story because most of the trouble is on the landing field at takeoff! Quite frankly, a film about Get Smart's "Cone of Silence" would be much more entertaining to watch.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

British Pathe: Wimbledon Finals ( 1964 )

Since the Wimbledon tennis finals are taking place this weekend, what better time to share this fascinating clip from the 1964 Wimbledon tournament? In this 5:09 minute British Pathé newsreel we see highlights from the men's, doubles, and women's competitions.

Fred Stolle and Roy Emerson ( both from Australia ) were competing for the coveted trophy in the men's finals while Maria Bueno ( of Brazil ) and Margaret Smith ( of Australia ) were competing for the women's title. Interestingly, both Stolle and Emerson were also in the doubles' finals. Most of the players throughout the tournament that year were from Australia.

This was during a period when tennis was played close to the net ( today's players favor distance shots ) and when it was perfectly respectful to throw your racket up in the air - either victoriously or in anger!


In the Royal Box, you can see Princess Margaret of Great Britain, Princess Marina of Greece - who also presented the cup to Emerson - and Princess Alexandra of Great Britain.

Ready to watch some tennis? Just click on the link below! 

1964 Wimbledon Finals 

Similar British Pathé newsreels: 

Wimbledon Finals ( 1954 ) - 2:56 minutes

Wimbledon Finals ( 1968 ) - 3:27 minutes

Thursday, July 8, 2021

From the Archives: The Egg and I ( 1947 )

 
Betty MacDonald ( Claudette Colbert ) is looking surprised at the hen perched on Pa Kettle's shoulder in this photo from a deleted scene from The Egg and I. Pa ( Percy Kilbride ) explained that his pet hen took a fancy to him and "been followin' me ever since, can't figger it out". 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store : http://stores.ebay.com/Silverbanks-Pictures

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Two Guys from Texas ( 1948 )

Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson were great pals off-screen and they had the good fortune to play together on-screen in 11 films released throughout the 1940s. Most of these were simple comedies in the vein of the popular Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Road pictures that Paramount was issuing. In 1946, Morgan and Carson made a film called Two Guys from Milwaukee which turned out to be a hit for the fellows and so, two years later, they banked on its success and came back with Two Guys from Texas, even though none of the characters are the same. 

In this fun outing, they play Steve Carroll and Danny Foster, two song and dance men. Their act bombed in the East so they are heading West to try their luck in California. Their car breaks down in the Texan desert en route and they take refuge at a dude ranch run by Joan Winston ( Dorothy Malone ) who, in exchange for room and board, employs them to entertain her guests. This they willingly do and they also bring a little romance to the ranch with Steve falling for Joan and Danny being pursued by Maggie ( Penny Edwards ). 

Two Guys from Texas is rather slim on plot but packed with entertainment. Morgan and Carson were a great duo and their characters were known for constantly ribbing each other. They had some excellent banter in It's A Great Feeling ( their last pairing ) and they have some funny quips in Two Guys as well. 

There is a good running subplot about Danny's ( Jack Carson ) terrible fear of animals ( even a squirrel sends him into a fit ) and another about a bank robbery in town which the boys are accused of. The grand finale takes place at the annual rodeo where Danny and Steve attempt to capture the real crooks in order to clear their names and win back their gals. This finale was later used again in Here Come the Nelsons ( 1952 ) with Ozzie Nelson riding a wild bronco while his boys set out to foil bank robbers at the rodeo. 

Two Guys from Texas was filmed in vibrant Technicolor and was directed by David Butler who always did fine work. It features some great musical numbers penned by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn ( notably Everyday I Love You Just a Little Bit More and I Want to be a Cowboy in the Movies ) and it also boasts a great supporting cast of characters including Fred Clark, Forrest Tucker as an inept Texan sheriff, Monte Blue, John Alvin, Gerard Mohr and even an appearance by Bugs Bunny! 

If you are looking for light-hearted good-natured fluff for entertainment, what more can you ask for? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

After Indiana Jones retired, he manned the switches. That is....it looks like the old explorer but what can he be doing? If you've seen the film this screenshot is from, you may be able to recognize it right away - or you may not! Give it a try anyway and drop your guess in the comment box below. 

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules of the game or the prize, simply click here.

GAME OVER. 

Congratulations to Elizabeth for identifying this screenshot from The Band Wagon ( 1953 ). This adventurous looking man was operating the lights during the performance of Jeffrey Cordova's Oedipus Rex. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Charlton Heston - Mister Epic

His close friends call him "Chuck". But to filmgoers all over the world he is known as Charlton Heston, a six-foot two-inch giant of a man and the star of such mighty epics as The Greatest Show on Earth, The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and El-Cid. 

Heston was recently asked why it was that he always appeared in big-budget films. "It's a matter of faces," he smiled. "I guess I just have to face the fact that I have a thousand-year-old face. I seldom get the chance to wear a modern-day suit. I spend most of my life in a toga.

"But I am worming my way back into the 20th century. I made a movie in Italy early this year titled The Pigeon That Took Rome. I'm playing the part of a U.S. Navy spy sent to the Eternal City in advance of its liberation by Allied Forces during the last war. Then after this, I really came up to the present day with a part in Diamond Head which we made in Hawaii. Then it was back to Madrid to start work on 55 Days at Peking with Ava Gardner and David Niven. It's the story of the Boxer Uprising in 1900, guess I'm heading back to those biblical days again," he laughed. 

Does he enjoy working on large-scale pictures?

"Yes, I do very much," he said. "But believe me they're hard work. I sweated out nine months working on Ben-Hur. It was a tough assignment. One of the most exacting roles I've ever played. I had to be 100% fit all the time. But I feel we came up with a worthwhile picture. It was all worth it."

Charlton is an actor who believes in almost living with the character he portrays. 

"I often take the character home with me after I've finished a day's shooting, " he says. I'm moody when I get home. But if my family are with me, they understand what has brought on the mood. It takes me a couple of hours to become Charlton Heston again. Any actor worth his salt tries to believe in the events which he is trying to portray. In fact, while I was working on The Ten Commandments in the part of Moses, I actually felt at times that I had become Moses. Before I started work on the picture I read through twenty-two volumes on the life of Mose. It was a fascinating experience. I always believe in conducting thorough research on the characters I'm asked to play. I like to get underneath their skins, discover what kind of person they really are."

Heston himself is a man of many controversial opinions. He speaks his mind whenever he wants to. Once he criticized a number of leading feminine Hollywood stars. "Some of them," he said "are very unprofessional in their attitude. They don't care very much about what they're doing. They're too disenchanted by the movie star bit and tend to regard it as a social engagement. The industry has created its own monsters and they're all feminine."

In Charlton Heston, Hollywood has created an actor of great talent, an actor who is admired and respected throughout the entire industry. 

This article originally appeared in the 1962 edition of Film Show Annual. Movie Magazine Articles, another one of our ongoing series, feature articles like this reprinted for our reader's entertainment. Click here to find more posts in this series!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

From the Archives: Four Wives ( 1939 )

 

Now here's a good-looking foursome...Rosemary Lane ( or is that Lola Lane? ) is standing with Jeffrey Lynn while Eddie Albert and Priscilla Lane have a seat on the bench. In this sequel to Four Daughters ( 1938 ), Priscilla was still grieving the death of her lover ( John Garfield ) but was happy to have an old beau - Jeffrey Lynn - come back into her life. 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store : http://stores.ebay.com/Silverbanks-Pictures