Tag Archives: Claude Rains

Four Wives (1939)

A few months after the events of 1938′s Four Daughters, things are as lively as ever at the Lemp household.  All of Adam Lemp’s (Claude Rains) daughters all come back home to help out with his spring cleaning, but they all have other things on their mind.  Emma (Gale Page) thinks she might be expecting her first child and Ann (Priscilla Lane) is now engaged to Felix (Jeffrey Lynn), who has just returned from a concert tour.  However, the mood changes when Emma finds out she isn’t pregnant and will probably never have children.  Ann, on the other hand, is pregnant, but Felix isn’t the father — her recently deceased husband Mickey Borden (John Garfield, footage of him from Four Daughters is used in flashbacks) is.

Everyone thought Ann had moved on from Mickey, including Ann herself, but news of her pregnancy has stirred up a lot of feelings in Ann.  All she can do is think about Mickey and his music.  She can’t stop feeling guilty about the tragic nature of Mickey’s life.  Kay (Rosemary Lane) is worried about her sister and asks Doctor Clint Forrest, Jr. (Eddie Albert) to have dinner at the Lemps’ home that night so he can give Ann some advice.  Well, that and Kay wants to date Clint.  Clint’s best advice to Ann is to move on with her life and not let this tie her to the past.  She takes his advice to heart and decides to quietly elope with Felix.

Thea (Lola Lane) hosts a dinner party for the newlyweds, but also has some news of her own  — she will be adopting a baby!  Even though Ann wants to move on with her life, it’s really hard for her when Felix decides to finish an unfinished piece of music Mickey had written and she breaks down during the party.  The ghost of Mickey continues to come between Ann and Felix, and they get into a big fight just before Felix is to leave on another tour.  Just as he’s about to leave, Ann goes to the train station to stop him, but not only does she miss his train, she starts to go into premature labor.

Four Daughters was one of my favorite discoveries during last year’s Blogging Under the Stars, so naturally, I was very eager to see Four Wives this year.  Four Wives wasn’t quite as good as Four Daughters, but it is a pretty decent sequel nonetheless.  Claude Rains was still perfect as the Lemp family patriarch, but Priscilla Lane proves to be the strongest link in Four Wives.  I’ve really been becoming a big fan of Priscilla Lane lately and her performance here makes me think she is very underrated as an actress.  The strength of her performance really carried the movie through a sometimes-weak screenplay.  Ann’s storyline is pretty compelling, but the subplot about Thea’s adoption process was completely ridiculous and pushed my ability to suspend disbelief to its breaking point.  Plus it is a bit heavy-handed on the sentiment.  But, even for its faults, I still really enjoyed the movie and I’m looking forward to seeing the other sequel Four Mothers sometime.  It’s a really enjoyable film series, I’m not sure why it isn’t better remembered today.

What’s on TCM: August 2012

How is it already time for another round of Summer Under the Stars?!  As usual, TCM has done a great job of coming up with a nice blend of stars who are no strangers to the SUTS schedule and stars who have never been featured before.  The more I look at the schedule, the more excited I get to start my Blogging Under the Stars marathon.

Some of the days I’m most looking forward to are: Myrna Loy (August 2), Marilyn Monroe (August 4), Toshiro Mifune (August 9), Ginger Rogers (August 12), James Cagney (August 14), Lillian Gish (August 15), Jack Lemmon (August 22), Gene Kelly (August 23), Kay Francis (August 21), and Warren William (August 30).  I have seen woefully few Akira Kurosawa films, so I am really looking forward to Toshiro Mifune’s day.  As a fan of silents and pre-codes, I was thrilled to see Lillian Gish, Kay Francis, and Warren William got spots on this year’s line-up.  Lately, I’ve been really getting into Tyrone Power movies, so I’m glad to see he got a day this year.  And since I’ve always wanted to see more Jeanette MacDonald movies, I’ll definitely be tuning in a lot for her day.

The complete Summer Under the Stars schedule is available to be download here.

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What’s on TCM: November 2011

If you’re a fan of blonde bombshells, this is the month for you!  Rather than having just one star of the month, TCM will be spotlighting two classic blondes every Monday and Wednesday this month.  All the classic blondes like Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner, Jean Harlow, and Jayne Mansfield (just to name a few) will be getting their time to shine.  And in preparation for the TCM Classic Film Cruise, they’ll be playing a night of movies set on ships every Thursday.  Lots of fun stuff to look forward to, so let’s get to my picks for the month:

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Four Daughters (1938)

The Lemp family is a family of musicians.  Adam (Claude Rains), the family patriarch, is a music professor and his daughters Emma (Gale Page), Ann (Priscilla Lane), Kay (Rosemary Lane), and Thea (Lola Lane) are all talented musicians as well.  But despite all the talent the daughters have, Kay is the only one truly interested in pursing a career in music.  Thea has her sights on marrying Ben Crowley, who she is only marrying for his money.  She swears up and down that marrying for love is overrated, but we soon see that she’s having a hard time making herself believe that.  Emma has been seeing a guy named Ernest, but doesn’t appear to be in any rush to get married.  Then there’s Ann, who just doesn’t get the appeal of marriage and makes a pact with Emma that neither of them will ever get married and they’ll be a couple of old maids together.

Ann starts singing a different tune when she meets Felix Deitz (Jeffrey Lynn), a young composer who has come to town for a music competition.  All the girls in the family have a bit of a crush on Felix, but Felix and Ann quickly fall in love with each other.  Things get even stickier when Felix’s friend Mickey Borden (John Garfield) comes to town to help him work on his music.  Mickey’s a pretty rough guy, but Ann realizes he’s not a bad guy underneath it all.  She manages to break through his tough exterior and a mutual attraction builds between the two of them.  But despite her new attraction to Mickey, she accepts Felix’s marriage proposal.

When Mickey hears the news, he’s heartbroken and tries telling Ann that he thinks Emma is in love with Felix.  She doesn’t believe it at first, but on the night before their wedding, Ann spies on Emma and Felix through a window and worries that Mickey was right.  After giving it some thought, Ann decides the best thing she can do is marry Mickey instead and let Emma have Felix.  Mickey and Ann move to New York, but married life isn’t everything they thought it would be.  When they go back to the Lemp homestead for Christmas, they find Felix is also visiting for the holiday.  Ann also finds out that Emma is engaged to Ernest, not Felix and Mickey realizes that there are still feelings between Ann and Felix.  Feeling guilty for what he’s done, Mickey offers to give Felix a ride to the train station and on the way back, drives into a tree.  Mickey doesn’t survive, but a few months later, Felix comes back to start again with Ann.

Four Daughters is the kind of movie that made me glad I decided to make myself watch something new every day during Summer Under the Stars this year.  I don’t know if I would have watched it if it weren’t for this scheme, but I am so happy I did watch it.  Even though this was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, it’s not a very talked about movie and that’s really too bad because it’s fantastic.  I loved the writing, it’s got plenty of drama but it’s also got just the right amount of humor.  The cast is just top-notch.  Claude Rains made the perfect patriarch, Jeffrey Lynn was totally endearing, and John Garfield was a flawless choice for the part of Mickey.  Four Daughters was actually John Garfield’s first movie and he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance.  I just loved every minute of it.  If you’ve never seen it before, keep an eye out for it on TCM.  It’s one of those totally underrated gems that really delivers.

Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

When Julius Caesar (Claude Rains) comes to visit Alexandria, one of the first things he does is see the Sphinx.  While basking in the Sphinx’s glory, he meets a strange, silly young girl who urges him to hide before the Romans find and eat him.  After talking to this girl for a few minutes, he finds out that she is Princess Cleopatra (Vivien Leigh).  At first, she doesn’t realize who he is, or even that he’s Roman.  When she does, she’s initially afraid, but he quickly wins her over.  Caesar takes Cleopatra under his wing and the two of them develop a close friendship.  He helps her find her confidence, teaches her how to act like royalty, and helps her to get power away from her brother.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Caesar and Cleopatra.  Historical dramas, for the most part,  aren’t really my thing.  Generally, I think they’re stiff and humorless and usually go on for way too long.  So I was very pleased to find that Caesar and Cleopatra was actually pretty lighthearted.  I thought Netflix had made a mistake when they described it as “witty,” but there was no mistake.   Vivien Leigh’s Cleopatra has a lot Scarlett O’Hara’s steely will and determination, but has a much more playful side.  I really wasn’t expecting to see Vivien Leigh and Claude Rains being so funny and playful.  But what a wonderful surprise it was because Vivien was an absolute delight to watch in her comical scenes.  Actually, I think I liked her better in her funny scenes than in her more Scarlett O’Hara-esque scenes.

Caesar and Cleopatra was a box office failure when it was first released, and it’s still a movie I don’t hear discussed very often.  Maybe it gets overshadowed by Elizabeth Taylor and Claudette Colbert’s turns as Cleopatra, but Caesar and Cleopatra deserves to be re-evaluated a little bit.  It’s not one of the all-time greats, but it’s still very enjoyable fun and not dragged out at all.  Totally unlike any other historical drama I’ve ever seen.  I’m really glad I decided to take a chance on this one.

For more blogathon contributions (and for all other things Viv and Larry related), please visit vivandlarry.com!

Live Post: The Debbie Reynolds Auction

Even though I’m broke and can’t afford to actually bid on anything in today’s auction, there’s so much amazing stuff up for sale today that I can’t resist trying to follow the auction as best I can.  So I figured I’d try my hand at live blogging and cover the auction the best I can as it happens.  I’m not going to cover every single item up for sale, but I’ll try to keep you updated about some of the more noteworthy items.  So stay tuned, sit back, relax, and live vicariously through other people who can afford to spend insane amounts of money on movie memorabilia.  And I’m just putting it out there right now: I would not be even remotely surprised if Hugh Hefner buys Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch.  A million dollar absentee bid has already been placed on it, so it will definitely be sold for at least that much today.

If you want to follow along with the auction live, just go here, click on “Live Bidding”, then click the option to just watch the auction. There is a live video stream, but no audio.

Updates:

Note – The selling prices I list here don’t include the buyer’s premium.  If you see articles about Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz test costume selling for more than a million, that source factored in the buyer’s premium.

3:12 PM – The first lot, a 1915 35mm Bell and Howell camera just sold for $32,500!

3:16 PM – Rudolph Valentino’s matador suit from Blood and Sand just went for $210,000.

3:19 PM – Mary Pickford’s headpiece from Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall went for $3,250.

3: 21 PM- Francis X. Bushman’s charioteer helmet from 1925′s Ben Hur sold for $30,000!

3:26 PM – Harold Lloyd’s suit and hat went for $4,000!

3:34 PM – Mary Pickford’s gown from The Taming of the Shrew sold for $17,000.

3:36 PM – Lots 17 and 18, both Douglas Fairbanks costumes from The Taming of the Shrew sold for $20,000 and lot 18 didn’t sell.

3:38 PM – One of Charlie Chaplin’s infamous hats went for $110,000!

3:40 PM – A Model T used by Laurel and Hardy sold for $32,500 and a pair of their suits went for $16,000.

3:42 PM – Carole Lombard’s gown from No Man of Her Own sold for $11,000.

3:47 PM – Claudette Colbert’s Cleopatra gown went for $40,000.

3:52 PM – Greta Garbo’s gown from Anna Karenina also sold for $40,000!

3:53 PM – Harpo Marx’s hat and wig went for $45,000!

4:10 PM – Lots 42, 43, and 44 are the paintings commissioned by Marion Davies and respectively went for $10,000, $11,000, and $17,000.  These really got the bidders going.

4:17  PM – W.C. Fields’ joke box sold for $35,000.

4:39 PM – Norma Shearer’s purple gown from Romeo and Juliet went for $20,000.

5:04 PM – Now we’re into stuff from The Good Earth and people went nuts for some of the furniture!  The pair of chairs went for $20,000, the opium bed for $20,000, two Paul Muni robes for $4,000 each, Luise Rainer’s shirt for $2,000, the lot of stands and other furniture for $3,500, and Luise Rainer’s jacket for $3,000.

5:13  PM – A gown worn by Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette and Lucille Ball in Du Barry was a Lady sold for $11,000.

5:44 PM – Oh, now we’re into a busy bunch of lots!  First up was Marlene Dietrich’s outfit from “The Boys in the Backroom” number in Destry Rides Again, which went for $8,000, one of Judy Garland’s test costumes from The Wizard of Oz went for $910,000, a test pair of the ruby slippers sold for $510,000, an extra’s jacket from the Emerald City scenes of the Wizard of Oz sold for $22,500, Clark Gable’s dressing robe from the production of Gone With the Wind went for $10,000, and Basil Rathbone’s famous Sherlock Holmes caped overcoat sold for $50,000!

5:54 PM – Vivien Leigh’s suit from Waterloo Bridge sold for $16,000.

6:09 PM – Gary Cooper’s military uniform from Sergeant York went for $55,000.

6:16 PM – A couple of costumes worn by James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, the satin jockey shirt went for $27,500 and the clown outfit sold for $15,000.

6:19 PM – Not so fast, Louis!  A suit worn by Claude Rains in Casablanca sold for $55,000!

6:53 PM – Took a dinner break and missed another busy bunch of lots!  Elizabeth Taylor’s riding outfit from National Velvet went for $60,000, Judy Garland’s “Under the Bamboo Tree” dress from Meet Me in St. Louis sold for $16,000, Judy’s dress from the snowman building scene in Meet Me in St. Louis went for $10,000, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra’s sailor suits from Anchors Aweigh went for $27,500 and $15,000 respectively.

7:00 PM – $22,500 for Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from Mildred Pierce and $5,000 for Ann Blyth’s Mildred Pierce suit.

7:05 PM – Edmund Gwenn’s Santa suit from Miracle on 34th Street just sold for $22,500.

8:12 PM – The gold lame dress worn by Ginger Rogers in The Barkleys of Broadway went for $8,000.

8:51 PM – The chiffon robe worn by Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire sold for $18,000.  Then it went into a bunch of items from An American in Paris with Leslie Caron’s peacock dress from the fantasy ballet number for $15,000, Nina Foch’s white halter gown from a party scene for $3,000, and a showgirl costume from the Stairway to Paradise number for $1,100.

9:05 PM – We have reached the Singin’ in the Rain part of the auction.  First were the green and white checked suits worn by Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly, $8,000 and $14,000 respectively.  Jean Hagen’s Marie Antoinette-esque dress sold for $5,500 and Gene Kelly’s period costume went for $9,000.  Debbie’s green and white leaf print dress went for $15,000, Gene Kelly’s jacket from the Broadway Melody Ballet number went for $6,500, Jean Hagen’s black and white fur coat went for $6,000, Donald O’Connor’s “Good Morning” suit didn’t sell, Cyd Charisse’s white Broadway Melody Ballet outfit for $7,000, and Debbie’s “Good Morning” dress went for $27,500.  A pink dress worn by Gwen Carter sold for $3,750, and a bunch of costumes from the “Beautiful Girl” montage brought $5,500.

9:22 PM – Now we’re getting into some of the Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn-related items.  First up is Marilyn’s red “Two Little Girls from Little Rock” dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which brought $1.2 million!  Then came the feathered hat worn by Jane Russell when she impersonates Loreli Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, that sold for $4,250.  Lauren Bacall’s wedding dress from How to Marry a Millionaire went for $8,000 and the car used by Marilyn and Cary Grant in Monkey Business sold for $210,000.

9:48 PM – A lot of two safari outfits worn by Grace Kelly in Mogambo sold for $47,500.  A Winchester rifle used by Clark Gable in Mogambo brought in $15,000.

10:00 PM – A couple more from Marilyn Monroe.  The gold dress from River of No Return went for $510,000 and her costume from the “Heat Wave” number in There’s No Business Like Show Business brought in $500,000!

10:52 PM – After a little break, we’re back with the dress everyone’s been waiting for — the infamous Marilyn Monroe white subway dress from The Seven Year Itch.  I fully expected bidding to be out of control for this one and I wasn’t disappointed.  It brought in an astonishing $4.6 million!

11:03 PM – Now we’ve got a couple from To Catch a Thief.  A coat worn by Cary Grant brought in $15,000 and an outfit worn by Grace Kelly earned a jaw dropping $450,000!

11:41 PM – A couple of dresses worn by Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember brought in $6,000 and $11,000.

12:17 AM – One of Lana Turner’s dresses from Peyton Place sold for $4,250.

12:22 AM – Lot number 407 is rather unique because it includes things worn by both Kim Novak and Rita Hayworth in Pal Joey.  It went for $6,500.

12:29 AM – Leslie Caron’s iconic plaid schoolgirl outfit from Gigi went for $65,000.

12:40 AM – Charlton Heston’s tunic and cape from Ben Hur could have been yours for the low, low price of $320,000!

1:32 AM – Marlon Brando’s naval outfit from Mutiny on the Bounty just brought in $90,000!

2:12 AM – Elizabeth Taylor’s famous headdress from Cleopatra went for $100,000 and Richard Burton’s tunic, cape, and sword brought in $85,000.

Oh, who cares what time it is anymore?  Yes, I’m still going!  Aren’t these people tired and broke yet?!  Janet Leigh’s yellow fringed dress from Bye Bye Birdie fetched $3,750 and Bette Davis’ blood stained dress from Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte sold for $11,000.

Another big item to watch tonight was Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from My Fair Lady.  I fully expected it to exceed the $200,000-$300,000 and it sure did.  It went up to $3.7 million!

I would say that the hills are alive with the sound of music, but at this time of night, I’m pretty sure that’s a noise ordinance violation.  Julie Andrews’ guitar went for $140,000, her jumper from the “Do Re Mi” number for $550,000, her turquoise and green dress for $45,000, the peasant dress went for $42,500, and a pair of the Trapp children’s outfits sold for $35,000.

And at long last we have reached the Barbara Streisand part of the auction.  First from Funny Girl is her costume from “I’d Rather Be Blue” for $65,000, a lot of the other roller skating costumes for $2,500, the black velvet dress from “My Man” for $16,000, a bunch of stuff worn by the Ziegfeld girls in the “His Love Makes Me Beautiful” number for $7,500, Anne Francis’ silk dress for $1,800, and Kay Medford’s beaded shawl for $1,400.

A jacket worn by Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid brought $8,500 and a dress worn by Katharine Ross went for $16,000.

And back to Streisand.  The purple Hello, Dolly dress went for $55,000 and the gold dress for $100,000.  Surprised the gold dress went for that little, that’s how much it cost to make that dress back in the day.

You’ll be fascinated to know that a shirt worn in the cinematic masterpiece known as Grease 2 sold for $475.

We have finally made it to the final segment of posters/portraits!  The title cards for Blind Husbands fetched $2,000, the lot of three Gloria Swanson title/lobby cards sold for $1,200, the portrait of Gloria Swanson went for $8,500, the lot of two Mabel Normand lobby cards for $800, the pair of silent title/lobby cards for $1,600, the lobby card for Lon Chaney’s The Penalty for $1,700, and the lobby card for Chaplin’s The Idle Class for $1,600.  The portrait of Jean Harlow went for $11,000!

Now it’s high time I called it a night!  Good night everybody!

Kings Row (1942)

Back at the turn of the last century, Kings Row was thought to be a picture-perfect small town.  But just like Peyton Place and Twin Peaks, Kings Row has got a very dark side.  The movie begins in 1890 when all the main characters are just children.  Parris Mitchell (Robert Cummings) and Drake McHugh (Ronald Reagan) are best friends and some of the rich kids in town.  Parris wants to be a doctor when he grows up and is sweet on Cassandra Tower (Betty Field).  Cassandra is the daughter of Dr. Alexander Tower (Claude Rains), who pulls her out of school under very mysterious circumstances.  Parris doesn’t see her again until he returns to Kings Row as an adult to study medicine with her father, but he never forgets her.

When he returns to Kings Row, he’s also reunited with his old best friend, Drake.  Drake is ready to propose to Louise Gordon (Nancy Coleman), daughter of the town’s other doctor, Henry Gordon (Charles Coburn).  However, Dr. Gordon refuses to let him marry Louise, which absolutely devastates Louise.  However, Drake quickly finds solace in another childhood friend, Randy Monaghan (Ann Sheridan).  Meanwhile, Parris has been quite busy.  His studies have been going very well and he’s set to be going to medical school in Vienna soon.  He’s also started a secret affair with Cassandra, but he’s also had to deal with his grandmother dying of cancer.  Before he leaves for Vienna, Cassandra begs him to take her with him, but there’s nothing romantic about it, she seems terrified of something.  The next day, both Cassandra and Dr. Tower are dead.  After Parris starts reading Dr. Tower’s notebook, he finally finds out why she was pulled out of school all those years ago.

Parris leaves for Vienna and life is great for him there.  He decides to go into psychiatry and he proves to be a first-rate student.  When he’s done with school, he’s offered a job with the school.  But things haven’t been so great for Drake.  He lost all his money in a bank scandal and the only job he could get was at the railroad yard.  Unfortunately, he is injured in an accident and Dr. Gordon amputates both of his legs.  Drake becomes deeply depressed, but at least he’s got a good caretaker in Randy, who never leaves his side.  She even marries him after the accident.  When Parris finds out about the accident, he takes a leave of absence to return to Kings Row.  As soon as he gets back to town, he is called to Louise’s house by her mother.  Her mother is concerned about her mental state, but when he talks to Louise, he finds out some very disturbing details about her father.  Details that directly relate to Drake’s accident.  Now Parris is stuck in an ethical quandary.  If Drake found out the truth, it could potentially destroy him even further.  But the only way he could make sure the truth would never come out would be to have Louise committed to a mental institution, where she’d surely face a lifetime of horrid conditions.

If you liked Peyton Place, then Kings Row is right up your alley.  They’re both all about exploring the darker side of seemingly idyllic small towns, only Kings Row focuses on a male friendship instead of a mother-daughter relationship.  I didn’t have particularly high hopes for Kings Row just because I’ve always been pretty “meh” about Ronald Reagan as an actor.  But I’ve got to admit that I loved this movie.  The whole cast is fantastic; I even actually really liked Ronald Reagan in it.  But the most surprising performance to me was from Charles Coburn.  I always associate Coburn with more lighthearted roles like the ones he had in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The More the Merrier, so seeing him playing an incredibly dark, sinister character was definitely a change, but he sure was amazing.  He doesn’t get a lot of screen time in this movie, but he made the most of the time he did get.  I’d say this is a “must see” kind of movie.

They Won’t Forget (1937)

In one small Southern town, the day starts out looking like it’s going to be just another typical Confederate Memorial Day.  For students at the local business college, this means they get a half day of classes and Mary Clay (Lana Turner) has plans to go get a soda with a friend before meeting her date for the day.  But when they get to the soda shop, Mary realizes she left her compact at school, so she goes back to get it.  When she gets to the school, she finds her compact in the classroom, but doesn’t come back out of the building alive.  When a janitor finds her murdered corpse in the basement, the town is rocked by scandal.

For District Attorney Andy Griffin (Claude Rains), he sees this case as an opportunity for him to land the Senate seat he’s been eyeing.  He knows that the whole town wants Mary’s murderer to be caught and if he’s the one catch him, he’s sure to be elected to the Senate.  Andy is so determined to get someone, anyone, behind bars that he’s not terribly concerned about having hard evidence, circumstantial is good enough for him.  He sets his sights on Mary’s teacher Robert Hale (Edward Norris), who is originally from New York.  All the evidence that Andy has against Robert is pretty flimsy at best, but Andy uses the media to work the entire country into a frenzy.  Even though the country as a whole is pretty divided on the whole issue, virtually the entire town is convinced Hale is guilty.  The few people who could stand up for Hale back down because they can’t bear the thought of what would happen to them if Hale went free.  In the end, Hale is sentenced to death.  Hale’s only hope is the governor, who recognizes how terribly the trial was carried out, and commutes his sentence to life in prison.  People were so furious over the governor’s decision that a mob goes after Hale to enact some vigilante justice.  Hale dies at the hands of the angry mob.  In the final scene, Hale’s widow Sybil (Gloria Dickson) goes to see Andrew and makes a speech to him about how he’s the real murderer.

They Won’t Forget features a couple of memorable performances from Lana Turner and Claude Rains.  This was Lana Turner’s film debut, and even though she has a small part, she makes the most of her time.  Her Southern accent wasn’t the greatest, but she did have a lot of screen presence.  Claude Rains made quite a believable corrupt politician.  I really didn’t care much about Gloria Dickson’s character throughout the movie, but in her final scene, she came in and completely nailed it with her powerful speech to Andy.  The writing is an absolutely scathing look at small town politics, prejudices, and media manipulation.  It was probably the most scathing indictment of the justice system to come out after I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang.  Very bleak, but very compelling.  They Won’t Forget was a perfect name for this movie because it really is pretty unforgettable!

What’s on TCM: November 2010

Site news time!  As you may or may not know, November is NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month.  And because I love a challenge, I’ve decided to take a shot at participating.  That’s right, I’m going to try to update the blog every single day in November!   To make things a little more interesting, I’ve given myself a theme to work with: pre-codes.  30 days, 30 pre-code classics!  Here’s hoping I can pull it off!  Now, onto the TCM schedule…


Wow!  This could quite possibly be one of my favorite months ever on TCM!  Fans of silent films, rejoice!  This month, TCM is starting its documentary series Moguls and Movie Stars.  A new episode premieres every Monday at 8:00 PM and is followed by a night of movies related to that night’s episode.  Every Wednesday night is also devoted to Moguls and Movie Stars with more related movies and an encore of that week’s episode.  This is particularly wonderful news for fans of silents because a few episodes of Moguls and Movie Stars are dedicated to the silent era, so they’ll be airing movies from people like Mary Pickford (who I always thought has been very underrepresented on TCM), Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino, Georges Melies, and D.W. Griffith.  In addition to that, Ava Gardner is the star of the month!  I dig Ava Gardner, so I’m going to be watching a whole lot of TCM this month.

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