Friday, December 31, 2021

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

This rather blurry screenshot has a bald-headed man showing bug-eyes to his dance partner. We'll leave it up to you to guess where they are and what they are dancing. That will give you a hint as to which film this may be from. ;-)

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules to the Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game or the prize, click here!


Congratulations to the Tactful Typist for correctly guessing this scene from "Weekend in Havana" ( 1941 ) starring John Payne and Alice Faye. This unknown man is enjoying a samba with one of the show's dancers during the film's finale. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Age of Indiscretion ( 1935 )

Robert Lenhart's ( Paul Lukas ) book publishing business is suffering from a sales slump. He has to cut back on expenses at the office as well as at home to save enough money to pay his creditors, but his young ambitious wife ( Helen Vinson ) is aghast at the thought of wearing yesterday's clothes and leaves him to marry her wealthy lover Felix Shaw ( Ralph Forbes ), willingly leaving behind their son Bill ( David Holt ).

Robert is heartbroken but accepts the divorce. In the coming year, his loyal secretary, Ms. Bennett ( Madge Evans ), steps into his home life and acts as a surrogate mother to Bill. When Felix's mother ( May Robson ) starts yearning for a grandson she decides to use Ms. Bennett as a pawn to help her win custody of Robert's child. 

The Age of Indiscretion was one of many films MGM released in the early to mid-1930s that dealt with divorce, a common practice among society's rich. Lenore Coffee's story paralleled that of a popular news item of the time involving the Vanderbilt family trust. Instead of a grasping grandmother, it was an aunt who instigated the proceedings of a custody battle for young Gloria Vanderbilt and the four-million dollar trust. 

In this film, Mrs. Shaw witnesses an innocent pillow fight involving Ms. Bennett and Robert and uses it as grounds to obtain custody of Bill. May Robson portrays her usual crotchety character of a tough old dog whose bark is worse than her bite. Unfortunately, her scenes are brief and the reasons behind why she wants Bill are not adequately established. Much of the movie suffers from little incidents that are cut abruptly, leaving the audience to wonder what the motives behind certain actions were. This seems more like an editing error than the fault of director Edward Ludwig. 

Overall, The Age of Indiscretion is quite entertaining with the main draw being its winter setting (  Robert and his son rent a cabin in the mountains during the Christmas holiday ) and its principal cast. Paul Lukas gives a top-notch performance as the innocent publisher and Madge Evans is charming as the young secretary who is harboring a secret love for her employer. In one scene, Robert and she are enjoying an evening cocktail by the fireside on Christmas Eve. They discuss his recent divorce and her private life and, influenced by the scotch, she talks a little freer than usual....but never gives a hint of her true feelings. Nevertheless, Robert begins to see a side of her that he never realized she had. He saw her only as an efficient secretary and never imagined what she was like outside of that capacity. Little scenes like this give the film its sparkle. 

David Holt is also engaging as little Bill, even with his puzzling Southern accent. He was intended to be a male version of Shirley Temple but his career never reached such heights. Also in the cast are Shirley Ross, George Irving, and Minor Watson. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas to all our readers! 

We want to wish all of you a very jolly Christmas day and here's hoping 2022 will be a year filled with happiness, good health, and prosperity for you! 

Make sure you have a box of Lucky Strikes in your house because Joan Crawford just may stop by for Christmas dinner! 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Wintry Westerns - 8 Classic Westerns Set in Winter

I love westerns. I don't review them nearly as often as I should but I certainly do watch plenty of them! And, at this time of year, the best westerns to watch are the Wintry Westerns....those that are set in snowy locales. Most westerns take place in dusty desert areas such as Arizona and Texas or in lush green cattle-grazing lands like Wyoming and Colorado so this is a small niche. They are great to watch on a cold winter's day with a cup of hot cocoa, especially when the snow is falling outside.

I'll share with you some of my favorites ( from the oldest to the newest ) and hopefully, you'll share some of your favorite wintry western titles as well. 

THE WILD NORTH ( 1952 ) 

Stewart Granger plays a trapper accused of murdering a man in a Canadian village. He takes refuge in the mountains but can't shake a Mountie ( Wendell Corey ) off his trail. Instead, during a fierce snowstorm, they band together to battle the forces of nature and survive in the "wild North". This is one of my favorites, not only because of the great location scenery of Idaho ( not Canada ) but because of the presence of Stewart Granger and Cyd Charisse as an Indian maiden. 


Perhaps this might not qualify as a western, but it takes place in the 1870s in snowy Alaska, so that's close enough for me. Rock Hudson plays an American sea captain who is taking a cargo of furs down to the states from Canada via dogsled. Contending with the weather is harrowing enough, but Rock also has a broken leg and two dangerous villains on his heels. 

TRACK OF THE CAT ( 1954 ) 

Robert Mitchum stars in this visually striking western as the son of a ranching family who heads out into the snow to track down a panther who is killing the family's livestock. Diana Lynn and Teresa Wright co-star and yes, that's William Hopper Jr. with a beard. Director William Wellman's son stated that his father created the picture as a "black and white film shot in color" with specific pops of color adding a beautiful splash to the overall monochromatic look. 


"A day you'll never forget!" declares the poster to this Robert Ryan film. Unfortunately, I did forget most of this gritty western, but I do remember the winter landscape and Burl Ives cutting a powerful image on horseback. It's about a cattleman trying to save a small frontier town from Burl Ives and his gang of thugs. 

WILL PENNY ( 1967 ) 

This film starts off as a regular "sunny" western but about half way through we see the winter scenes. Will Penny ( Charlton Heston ) is an aging cowboy who gets a line camp job on a large cattle spread and finds that there is a woman ( Joan Hackett ) and her son already living in the cabin he is supposed to occupy by himself. He lets them stay over the winter and protects his "family" when the wicked Quint ( Donald Pleasance ) invades his home. 


Spaghetti westerns are one of those genres that you either love or hate. I could live without them - especially the brutal ones - but I had to include this film because it is set is a snow-covered Utah and is renowned for being one of the best spaghetti westerns ever made. It's about a mute gunfighter who takes it upon himself to defend a group of outlaws from a band of bloodthirsty bounty hunters. Jean-Louis Trintignant, a French actor who couldn't speak a word of English, starred as the mute gunslinger "Silence". 


Warren Beatty and Julie Christie star as a gambler and a prostitute who become business partners in a brothel in a remote mining town. Their business trives until a major corporation comes to buy them out. This film is often cited as one of the first "anti-westerns" because it features no gunfights and no heroes but our purpose it can be classified as a western. McCabe and Mrs. Miller really captures the cold environment of winter and features some beautiful filming from director Robert Altman. 


Robert Redford stars as mountain man Jeremiah Johnson in this outdoorsman's adventure set in the beautiful hills of Utah ( and filmed on Redford's recently acquired Sundance ski area ). Johnson is a  Civil War veteran who abandons mankind and heads for the mountains of Utah to become a trapper. With the help of another grizzled mountain man ( Will Geer ), he learns to live of the land but must contend with hostile natives when he incurs the wrath of a Crow chief. 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

British Pathé : Stained Glass Windows ( 1956 )

The Christmas season is upon us and, for many, that means attending Christmas Eve and Sunday mass services at church. No matter which church you attend, you will probably see a stained glass window somewhere in the building. Have you ever thought about how these windows are made? 

Whether you did or not, it's a fascinating process, and this month's featured British Pathé newsreel gives a glimpse of just how this process is quite tedious! An artist first makes a detailed drawing of exactly how the window will look. This drawing is then enlarged to full size and numbered so that craftsmen can cut and lay pieces of colored glass over the individual segments much like a mosaic. The glass pieces are held together while the artist adds shading to the backside of the glass and then the whole arrangement is secured with lead ( which replaced the use of iron ). 

As usual, we have a few suggested clips to watch if you enjoyed this one and we highly recommend checking them out. Cemented Stained Glass gives a preview of the new style of stained glass windows: cemented glass chunks instead of thin glass panels held by iron, while Stained Glass ( 1963 ) shows a more in-depth view of both of these methods. 

Ready to watch Stained Glass Windows? Simply click on the link below:

Stained Glass Windows ( 1956 ) - 2:24 minutes

Similar British Pathé newsreels:

Cemented Stained Glass ( 1956 ) - 2:28 minutes

Stained Glass ( 1963 ) - 2:55 minutes

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

From the Archives: How to Steal a Million ( 1966 )

We often come across movie stills that feature scenes that were later cut from films. This particular one is from the classic caper How to Steal a Million ( 1966 ) starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. We believe this scene - at an office using IBM machines - may have appeared before Nicole ( Hepburn ) goes on her dinner date with David Leland ( Eli Wallach ). It was probably considered unessential to the story, so instead, we see Nicole simply mentioning to her father that she met an American tycoon who has a computer business. Whether this cut footage exists somewhere or was scraped is a mystery. 

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 :