Major Studio PD Features

The features in this section are a small group of the many American feature-length motion picture photoplays that are in the public domain, which are part of the FATW library.  The major difference between offerings of these titles, is in the technical quality of the mastering; most versions are third or even later generation copies of the original VHS releases.  FATW prides itself on the technical superiority of its versions, which are based on digital restoration masters made from original film elements. All of them will eventually be released on FATW’s video label, Mr. FAT-W Video, available from Amazon.com and other distributors.  This group is entirely separate from the National Film Museum PD titles listed separately.  There are links to those which are available from Amazon.com at the bottom of this page; more titles will be added as film elements are digitally mastered and restored.

A STAR IS BORN
ABRAHAM LINCOLN
ADVENTURES OF GALLANT BESS
AT WAR WITH THE ARMY
BEYOND TOMORROW (a/k/a BEYOND CHRISTMAS)
BIG TREES, THE
BIRD OF PARADISE
BRIDE OF THE GORILLA
CAPTAIN KIDD
CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA
DEMENTIA 13
GIANT GILA MONSTER, THE
LAST TIME I SAW PARIS, THE
LITTLE PRINCESS, THE
MEET JOHN DOE
OTHELLO
PERILS OF PAULINE, THE
STORK CLUB
‘TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY
WHITE ZOMBIE
WHO KILLED DOC ROBIN
WILD WOMEN OF WONGO, THE

A STAR IS BORN

1937; COLOR; 111 mins.

Director:            William A. Wellman, Jack Conway (uncredited);
Cast:                   Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine,
Lionel Stander, Owen Moore, Peggy Wood, Elizabeth Jenns, Edgar Kennedy,
J.C. Nugent, Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams, Jean Acker, Eric Alden, Irving Bacon,
Jane Barnes, Vince Barnett, Clara Blandick, Wade Boteler, Sidney Bracey,
Harry C. Bradley, Lynton Brent, Blanche Bush, Helene Chadwick, George
Chandler, Billy Coe, Virginia Dabney, Billy Dooley, Dora Early, Herbert Evans,
Pat Flaherty, Francis Ford, Trixie Friganza, Jean Gale, etc.

Synopsis:      “Esther Blodgett is just another starry-eyed farm kid trying to break into the movies. Waitressing at a Hollywood party, she catches the eye of alcoholic star Norman Maine, is given a test, and is caught up in the Hollywood glamor machine (ruthlessly satirized). She and her idol Norman marry; but his career abruptly dwindles to nothing.”  Internet Movie Database

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

1930; B&W, 90 Mins. (TCM print; original was 96 mins.)

Director:      D.W. Griffith
Cast:         William L. Thorne, Lucille La Verne, Helen Freeman, Otto Hoffman, Walter Huston, Edgar Dearing, Una Merkel, Russell Simpson, Charles Crockett, Kay Hammond, Helen Ware, E. Alyn Warren, Jason Robards Sr., Gordon Thorpe, Ian Keith, Cameron Prud’Homme, James Bradbury Sr., James Eagles, Oscar Apfel, Frank Campeau, Hobart Bosworth, Henry B. Walthall, etc.;

Synopsis:    “Brief vignettes about Lincoln’s early life include his birth, early jobs, (unsubstantiated) affair with Ann Rutledge, courtship of Mary Todd, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates; his presidency and the Civil War are followed in somewhat more detail, though without actual battle scenes; film concludes with the assassination.” Internet Movie Database

ADVENTURES OF GALLANT BESS

1952; COLOR; 71 mins.

Director:                   Lew Landers
Cast:                          Gallant Bess (The Wonder Horse), Cameron Mitchell, Audrey Long, Fuzzy
Knight, James Millican, John Harmon, Edward Gargan, Cliff Clark, Harry
Cheshire, Evelyn Eaton, Phil Arnold, Mike Donovan, Herman Hack, Robert
Milasch, Jack Tornek

Synopsis:     “Ted Daniels, a ranch hand working for a rodeo, captures a magnificent wild horse that he tames and trains. As Ted is recovering from an accident that happened during a rodeo, the rodeo owner cheats him out of his horse. Ted must decide whether to pursue him and try to recover the horse, or whether to settle down with the doctor’s daughter who is nursing him back to health.”  Internet Movie Database

AT WAR WITH THE ARMY

1950; B&W; 93 mins.

Director:                     Hal Walker
Cast:                            Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Mike Kellin, Jimmie Dundee, Dick Stabile,
Tommy Farrell, Frank Hyers, Danny Dayton, William Mendrek, Kenneth
Forbes, Paul Livermore, Ty Perry, Jean Ruth, Angela Greene, Polly
Bergen, Douglas Evans, Stephen Roberts, Al Negbo, Dewey Robinson, Lee
Bennett,  Joe Gray

Synopsis:     “Alvin Corwin is low man on the totem pole, and goes from one mishap to another at an army training camp in World War II.”  Internet Movie Database

Review:     “From 1949 to 1956, the boisterous team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis starred in 16 feature-length comedies, which vary in quality from undeniably hilarious to absolutely forgettable. AT WAR WITH THE ARMY (1950) falls closer to the latter category. This lackluster effort was their first starring vehicle, released after MY FRIEND IRMA (1949) and MY FRIEND IRMA GOES WEST (1950), in which they had glorified supporting roles. Though released by Paramount Pictures, AT WAR WITH THE ARMY was an independent production, and a threadbare one at that, which explains why, at times, it looks like Dean and Jerry are appearing in someone’s home movie. Based on a stage play-and looking every bit like a dingy, cramped, photographed stage play-this alleged military farce weakens the impact of the nutty duo by continually separating them. The movie springs to life when they’re allowed to sing, dance, and do imitations, but these opportunities are few, as the plot sticks rigidly on its course to Dullsville. There are enough good moments to satisfy their devoted fans (Jerry’s pretty funny on the occasions where he’s allowed to cut loose, and Dean has nice duet with Polly Bergen, “You and Your Beautiful Eyes”), but if you’ve never seen this pair in action, there are far better M&L comedies …” Amazon.com

BEYOND TOMORROW (a/k/a BEYOND CHRISTMAS)

1940; B&W; 84 mins.

Director:                            A. Edward Sutherland
Cast:                                   Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Alex Melesh, Maria
Ouspenskaya, Helen Vinson, Rod La Rocque, Richard Carlson, Jean
Parker, Anthony Hughes, Robert Homans, Virginia McMullen, James
Bush, William Bakewell, Gino Corrado, Nell Craig, Cyril Ring, Gertrude
Sutton, Ruth Warren, Dan White

Synopsis:     “Melton, Chadwick and O’Brien, rich but lonely heads of an engineering firm, invite three strangers to dinner on Christmas Eve. Only two show up, James and Jean, they fall in love and become friends with their three benefactors…until the latter are killed in a plane crash and come back to their old home as ghosts. In the coming months, true love encounters some rough spots; can ghostly O’Brien help the young folks? “

Review:     “How is it possible that I have never seen (or heard of) this movie before?! Thanks to TCM I was able to check it out and I must say – this should be a holiday tradition, shown on TV as regularly as “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Although it’s not quite up to that level of classic perfection, “Beyond Tomorrow” gives one a similarly uplifting feeling. The ending makes you feel glad to be alive…and less afraid of death. I won’t give away the story – just watch. Some may say it’s naive and sentimental, but I feel sorry for anyone who’s such a hard-hearted cynic (and what are you doing watching Christmas movies anyway?) So many movies try to be “heartwarming” and fail, coming off as phoney and emotionally manipulative. It’s good to see one as sincere and genuinely moving as this one… This film deserves to be better known, and should be preserved so that it can be seen…beyond tomorrow.” .Internet Movie  Database

BIG TREES, THE

1952; COLOR; 89 Mins.

Director:                         Felix E. Feist

Cast:                                Kirk Douglas, Eve Miller, Patrice Wymore, Edgar Buchanan, John
Archer, Alan Hale Jr., Roy Roberts, Charles Meredith, Harry Cording,
Ellen Corby, Mel Archer, Lilian Bond, Sue Casey, William Challee, Lane
Chandler, Frank Hagney, Kathy Marlowe, Michael McHale, Bill McLean,
Art Millan, Vicki Raaf, Lester Sharpe, Elizabeth Slifer, Ann Stuart, Duke
Watson

Synopsis:     “In 1900, unscrupulous timber baron Jim Fallon plans to take advantage of a new law and make millions off California redwood. Much of the land he hopes to grab has been homesteaded by a Quaker colony, who try to persuade him to spare the giant sequoias…but these are the very trees he wants most. Expert at manipulating others, Fallon finds that other sharks are at his own heels, and forms an unlikely alliance. “ Internet Movie Database

BIRD OF PARADISE

1932; B&W; 80 mins.

Director:                           King Vidor
Choreog.:                          Busby Berkely (his only non-musical)
Cast:                                  Dolores del Rio, Joel McCrea, John Halliday, Richard ‘Skeets’
Gallagher, Bert Roach, Lon Chaney Jr., Wade Boteler, Arnold Gray,
Reginald Simpson, Napoleon Pukui, Agostino Borgato, Sofia Ortega

Synopsis:     “A young man falls overboard and is saved by a beautiful Polynesian girl. They fall in love, but their idyll is smashed when the local volcano begins to erupt. The man discovers that the local custom is to sacrifice a young woman to the volcanic gods. They try to escape but realize that “east is east and west is west, and never the twain shall meet.” Internet Movie Database

BRIDE OF THE GORILLA

1951; B&W; 70 mins.

Director:                          Curt Siodmak
Cast:                                  Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney Jr., Raymond Burr, Tom Conway, Paul
Cavanagh, Gisela Werbisek, Carol Varga, Paul Maxey,Woody Strode,
Martin Garralaga, Felippa Rock, Moyna MacGill

Synopsis:     “Deep in the South American jungle plantation manager Barney Chavez (Raymond Burr) kills his elderly employer in order to get to his beautiful wife (Barbara Payton). However, an old native witch witnesses the crime and puts a curse on Barney, who soon after finds himself turning nightly into a rampaging gorilla. But is his transformation real or is it all in his head? “ Internet Movie Database

CAPTAIN KIDD

1945; B&W; 90 mins.

Director:                           Rowland V. Lee
Cast:                                  Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, John Carradine,
Gilbert Roland, John Qualen, Sheldon Leonard, William Farnum, Henry
Daniell, Reginald Owen, Abner Biberman, Clifford Brooke, Harry
Cording, James Dime, Lumsden Hare, Al Hill, Keith Hitchcock, Frank
Mills, Edgar Norton, Reginald Sheffield, Ray Teal, Eric Wilton,
Frederick Worlock

Synopsis:     “In this unhistorical account, Capt. William Kidd is already a clever, ruthless pirate when, in 1699, he tricks the king into commissioning him as escort for a treasure ship from India. He enlists a crew of pardoned cutthroats…and Orange Povey, whom Kidd once abandoned on a reef and hoped never to see again. Of course, Kidd’s intentions are treacherous. But there’s more to gunner Adam Mercy than meets the eye. “ Internet Movie Database

CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA

1961; B&W; 63 mins.

Director:                            Roger Corman
Cast:                                   Antony Carbone, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Robert Towne, Beach
Dickerson, Robert Bean, Esther Sandoval, Sonia Noemí González,
Edmundo Rivera Álvarez, Terry Nevin, Elisio Lopez, Tanner Hunt,
Blanquita Romero,Armando Rowra, Jaclyn Hellman, Kay Jennings,
Richard Sinatra

Synopsis:     “American crook Renzo Capetto sees a chance to make a bundle when a Caribbean island has a revolution. He plans to help loyalists (and the national treasury) escape on his boat, then kill the men and blame their deaths on a mythical sea monster. Trouble ensues when the “real” monster shows up!”  Internet Movie Database

DEMENTIA 13

1963; B&W; 65 mins.

Director:                          Francis Ford Coppola
Cast:                                 William Campbell, Richard Haloran, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary
Mitchel, Patrick Magee, Eithne Dunne, Peter Read, Karl Schanzer, Ron
Perry, Derry O’Donavan, Barbara Dowling

Synopsis:     “John Haloran has a fatal heart attack, but his wife Louise won’t get any of the inheritance when Lady Haloran dies if John is dead. Louise forges a letter from John to convince the rest of his family he’s been called to New York on important business, and goes to his Irish ancestral home, Castle Haloran, to meet the family and look for a way to ensure a cut of the loot. Seven years earlier John’s sister Kathleen was drowned in the pond, and the Halorans enact a morbid ritual in remembrance. Secrets shroud the sister’s demise, and soon the family and guests begin experiencing an attrition problem. “ Internet Movie Database

GIANT GILA MONSTER, THE

1959; B&W; 74 mins.

Director:                            Ray Kellogg
Cast:                                   Don Sullivan, Fred Graham, Lisa Simone, Shug Fisher, Bob Thompson,
Janice Stone, Ken Knox, Gay McLendon, Don Flournoy, Cecil Hunt,
Stormy Meadows, Howard Ware, Pat Reeves, Jan McLendon, Jerry
Cortwright, Beverly Thurman, Clarke Browne, Grady Vaughn,
Desmond Doogh, Ann Sonka, Yolanda Salas, Jim Andrews, Patricia
Simmons, Angus G. Wynne III

Synopsis:       “A couple of teenagers are reported missing in a small Texas town, and it is thought they eloped until their bodies are found in a ravine. Sheriff Jeff turns to his friend, Clarence Winstead, a garage mechanic and leader of a hot-rod gang for help. A series of tragic motor accidents occur and it becomes apparent that a giant gila monster is roaming the area and depleting the town of its hot-rodding teen-agers. And might have plans on attending the BIG record-hop party.”  Internet Movie Database

“The tranquility of a small Texas town is ruined when an enormous rear-projection lizard begins to terrorize the place! At first, the adults dismiss the kids’ hysterics as nonsense. The sheriff is helpless and the adults fail miserably to defeat the thing, so it’s up to the teenagers to take it on. Though this movie relies a little too heavily on plot and characters and not enough on giant lizards, it’s still a fun slice of ’50s camp. The lead character (played by Don Sullivan) sings some wildly inappropriate and goofy songs for some unintended comic relief. Rock & roll, hot rods, teenagers, huge monsters… all the elements are in place for this faintly ridiculous ’50s funfest.” Amazon.com

LAST TIME I SAW PARIS, THE

1954; COLOR; 116 mins.

Director:                               Richard Brooks
Cast:                                      Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed, Eva
Gabor, Kurt Kasznar, George Dolenz, Roger Moore, Sandy Descher,
Celia Lovsky, Peter Leeds, John Doucette, Odette Myrtil, Jacqueline
Allen, Max Barwyn, Peter Bourne, Tim Cagney, Peter Camlin, Ann
Codee, Harry Cody, Louise Colombet, Gene Coogan, Gábor Curtiz,
Albert D’Arno, John Damler, Marcel De la Brosse, Josette Deegan,
Jean Del Val, Paul Dubov, Arthur Dulac, Norman Dupont, Richard
Emory, John Charles Farrow, Gilda Fontana, Alvin Greenman, Mary
Ann Hawkins, Jean Heremans, Ed Hinton, James Hyland, Don
Kennedy, Paul McGuire, Louis Mercier, Steve Mitchell, Matt Moore,
Alberto Morin, Leonidas Ossetynski, Manuel París, Christian Pasques,
Danik Patisson, Tao Porchon, Paul Power, Fay Roope, Joe Rubino,
Loulette Sablon, Dick Simmons,Angela Stevens, Lomax Study, Luis
Urbina, Maya Van Horn, Bruno VeSota, Steve Wayne

Synopsis:     “Charles returns to Paris to reminisce about the life he led in Paris after it was liberated. He worked on “Stars and Stripes” when he met Marion and Helen. He would marry and be happy staying in Paris after his discharge and working for a news organization. He would try to write his great novel and that would come between Charlie, his wife and his daughter. “

Review:      “Here in The Last Time I Saw Paris an interesting thing happens. Elizabeth Taylor becomes a woman. Before this picture there were really only two other outstanding performances by Miss Taylor. Or I should say where she was allowed to rise above the material. The first being of course the rhapsodic National Velvet and the second the astonishing A Place In The Sun. The films in between those and The Last Time I Saw Paris were mostly along the `Isn’t she beautiful?’ line of movie making, and, why not? That was the main engine of most Hollywood star vehicles of the day. A Star didn’t have to be a talent. But it was essential to possess a presence that reached out from the screen and touched the audience in a primal way. Miss Taylor had that in spades but she had much more that was often eclipsed in the dazzling explosion of her extraordinary almost alien beauty. But here in the hands of director Richard Brooks (who would later lead her to her triumph in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof) Miss Taylor finds a new level in her abilities as an actress. Her Helen is a woman of many layers and dark corners, of mercurial flights and deep sadness. Elizabeth at the tender age of 22 grasps all the aspects of this tragic woman and illuminates not only the screen with them but the whole enterprise as well. She shows us where she, as an actress is going in the future. And who she will become in her later films, one of the best screen actresses of the twentieth century. This is the real beginning of the Elizabeth Taylor of legend. She fills the role as no one of her generation could. Never again after this film would she sleepwalk through a film, a beautiful shadow to dream over. She is aided in what is perhaps one of Van Johnson’s best performances. Donna Reed scores high in the role of Helen’s bitter sister and Walter Pidgon is a delight as her roguish father. A standout cameo is presented by Eva Gabor, (not Zsa Zsa) the only one of the famous sisters who had any real talent. The only false performance in the film comes from child actress Sandy Descher. When you compare her forced and overly cute performance to that of the child Elizabeth Taylor in `Jane Eyre’ then you see what a treasure Miss Taylor has always been. There is something so essentially wonderful in this gem from MGM and it is this. The Last Time I Saw Pairs is the perfect example of the last flowering in the 50’s of the `woman’s picture’. Films where women could be multi faceted and complex and drive the story on under their own steam as whole human beings. This is a window to the 50’s and a style of filmmaking that seems gone forever, great stories of strong women who fill the screen with power and grace. But with `Far From Heaven’ and `The Hours’ I may be wrong about forever. I recommend this admittedly dated but charming film for anyone who wants to see what screen acting is all about. It is about thinking and Miss Taylor is a master at the craft. “ Internet Movie Database

LITTLE PRINCESS, THE

1939; B&W; 93 Mins.

Director:                           Walter Lang, William A. Seiter (uncredited)
Cast:                                  Shirley Temple, Richard Greene, Anita Louise, Ian Hunter, Cesar
Romero, Arthur Treacher, Mary Nash, Sybil Jason, Miles Mander,
Marcia Mae Jones, Beryl Mercer, Deidre Gale, Ira Stevens, E.E. Clive,
Eily Malyon, Clyde Cook, Keith Hitchcock, Will Stanton, Harry Allen,
Holmes Herbert, Evan Thomas, Guy Bellis, Kenneth Hunter, Lionel
Braham, Frank Baker, Sidney Bracey, Robert Cory, Herbert Evans,
Olaf Hytten, Lilyan Irene, Charles Irwin, Patrick X. Kerry,
Morton Lowry, Jean Manners, Vesey O’Davoren, Antonia Oland, Rita
Page, Hilda Plowright,Gerald Rogers, Leslie Sketchley, David Thursby,
Clare Verdera

Synopsis:     “When her father, Captain Crewe, goes off to fight in the Boer War, young Sara Crewe is placed into the care of Amanda Minchin, the head of an exclusive private school for girls. Sara lives a wonderful life of a privileged child and is quite happy in her surroundings. When her father is listed as missing in action however, her life goes from one of plenty to that of a poor house maid. Mrs. Minchin agrees to keep her on at the school, but in the absence of her tuition payments, she has to work for her keep. She is soon cleaning out the fireplace and scrubbing floors and is dubbed the little princess by her former schoolmates. She also refuses to accept that her father is dead and prowls the hospitals in the hope of locating him. Luck – and Royal intervention – assist her in her quest.”

Review:     “While American audiences loved this and all the other Shirley Temple vehicles, across the Pond this story of a young girl refusing to accept reports of her father’s death in combat must have struck a responsive chord with war-weary Brits who could easily identify with her troubles. Although the Hollywood film industry has always come under some well-deserved criticism for twisting history and other literary sources in its screenplays, they do get it right at times. The largely British cast and English setting give the classic story the right look and feel, and the romance and song-and-dance numbers don’t take anything away from the main storyline. Shirley is even reunited with some of her co-stars from other films. (This includes Cesar Romero as a servant here. 8 of his next 11 films were westerns, a genre he’d never tackled, including a pairing with Randolph Scott as Doc Holliday to Scott’s Wyatt Earp and a starring role in a handful of Cisco Kid features. Much later would come famous movie and TV roles as Kurt Russell’s nemesis A.J. Arno in several Disney comedies in the 70’s, and his most famous part, the Joker, in BATMAN.) In a year when so many great films appeared that were taken from the pages of popular books (GONE WITH THE WIND, THE WIZARD OF OZ, THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME,GUNGA DIN, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS,THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, TARZAN FINDS A SON, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK) you can add THE LITTLE PRINCESS. If you never get to read any or all of these books, at least watch the films derived from them. You won’t regret it.”    Internet Movie Database

MEET JOHN DOE

1941′ B&W; 122 Mins.

Director:                        Frank Capra
Cast:                               Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Ann Mitchell, Edward Arnold, Walter
Brennan, Spring Byington, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart, Rod La
Rocque, Irving Bacon, Regis Toomey, J. Farrell MacDonald, Warren
Hymer, Harry Holman, Andrew Tombes, Pierre Watkin, Stanley
Andrews, Mitchell Lewis, Charles C. Wilson, Vaughan Glaser, Sterling
Holloway, M.J. Frankovich, Knox Manning, John B. Hughes, etc.

Synopsis:     “As a parting shot, fired reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from unemployed “John Doe,” who threatens suicide in protest of social ills. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires John Willoughby to impersonate “Doe.” Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story for all it’s worth, until the made-up “John Doe” philosophy starts a whole political movement. At last everyone, even Ann, takes her creation seriously…but publisher D.B. Norton has a secret plan.” Internet Movie Database

OTHELLO

1922; B&W; 79 Mins.

FAMED SILENT FILM, WITH NEW MUSIC SCORE, licensed to Lions Gate for DVD

Director:                          Dimitri Buchowetzki
Cast:                                  Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss, Ica von Lenkeffy, Theodor Loos,
Ferdinand von Alten, Friedrich Kühne, Magnus Stifter, Lya De Putti,
Ludwig Rex

Synopsis:     “Based on Shakespeare’s play: As Venice welcomes their victorious general, Othello the Moor, back to the city, some of them are waiting for Othello to choose his new lieutenant, while others are busy courting the popular Desdemona, the daughter of a Senator. Othello chooses the loyal Cassio as his lieutenant, arousing bitter jealousy in Iago, another soldier, who vows to scheme against his general. That same night, Othello elopes with Desdemona. Othello is soon sent to Cyprus to repel a Turkish invasion, and he arranges for Iago and his wife to bring Desdemona with them to Cyprus. When Iago’s wife learns of a treasured handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona, this provides Iago with an idea that he hopes will destroy Othello by provoking him to jealousy.”  Internet Movie Database

PERILS OF PAULINE, THE

1947; COLOR; 96 Mins.

Director:       George Marshall
Cast:          Betty Hutton, John Lund, Billy De Wolfe, William Demarest, Constance Collier, Frank Faylen, William Farnum, Chester Conklin, Paul Panzer, ‘Snub’ Pollard, James Finlayson, Creighton Hale, Hank Mann, Francis McDonald, Bert Roach, Heinie Conklin

Synopsis:     “Funloving Pearl White, working in a garment sweatshop, gets her big chance when she “opens” for a delayed Shakespeare play…with a comic vaudeville performance. Her brief stage career leads her into those “horrible” moving pictures, where she comes to love the chaotic world of silent movies, becoming queen of the serials. But the consequences of movie stardom may be more than her leading man can take.”  Internet Movie Database

SIGN OF FOUR: SHERLOCK HOLMES’ GREATEST CASE, THE

1932; B&W; 74 Mins.

Director:                     Graham Cutts
Cast:                            Arthur Wontner, Isla Bevan, Ian Hunter, Graham Soutten, Miles Malleson,
Herbert Lomas, Gilbert Davis, Margaret Yarde, Roy Emerton, Charles
Farrell, Clare Greet, Moore Marriott, Edgar Norfolk, Kynaston Reeves,
Ernest Sefton, Togo

Synopsis:     “A young woman turns to Sherlock Holmes for protection when she’s menaced by an escaped killer seeking missing treasure. However, when the woman is kidnapped, Holmes and Watson must penetrate the city’s criminal underworld to find her.”

Review:     “….I found myself mesmerised by many of the set-ups especially the London-Years Later scene as the man who killed his partner for the treasure confesses to his two sons about what he did with his fear of the one-legged man he betrayed coming to get him having just broken out of prison. Great use of sound effects here to convey possible sounds of a wooden leg off screen. The rest of the film hardly comes close to that in effectiveness but by that time Wontner and Ian Hunter as Watson are on screen with their entertaining banter of Holmes’ powers of deduction. There’s also a pretty entertaining chase scene at the end. Worth a look for Holmes fans…”  Internet Movie Database

STORK CLUB

1945; B&W; 98 Mins.

Director:       Hal Walker
Cast:          Betty Hutton, Barry Fitzgerald, Don DeFore, Andy Russell, Robert Benchley, Bill Goodwin, Iris Adrian, Mary Young, Charles Coleman, Perc Launders, Mikhail Rasumny, Catherine Craig, Audrey Young, etc.

Synopsis:     “A hat-check girl at the Stork Club (Hutton) saves the life of a drowning man (Fitzgerald). A rich man, he decides to repay her by anonymously giving her a bank account, a luxury apartment and a charge account at a department store. When her boyfriend (DeFore) returns from overseas, he thinks she is a kept woman.”  Internet Movie Database

‘TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY

1946; COLOR; 132 Mins.

Director:                           Richard Whorf, Vincente Minnelli (Judy Garland numbers), George
Sidney (Hollywood finale sequence)
Cast:                                  June Allyson, Lucille Bremer, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Van
Heflin, Lena Horne, Van Johnson, Tony Martin, Dinah Shore, Frank
Sinatra, Robert Walker, Gower Champion, Cyd Charisse, Harry
Hayden, Paul Langton, Angela Lansbury, Paul Maxey, Ray McDonald,
George Budd, Mary Nash, Virginia O’Brien, Dorothy Patrick, Caleb
Peterson, William ‘Bill’ Phillips, Joan Wells,   The Wilde Twins, etc.

Synopsis:     “Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of his most famous: ‘Showboat’ .” Internet Movie Database

WHITE ZOMBIE

1932; B&W; 69 mins.

Director:                            Victor Halperin
Cast:                                   Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer, Charles
Beaumont, John Harron, Brandon Hurst, George Burr Macannan,
Frederick Peters, Annette Stone, John Printz, Dan Crimmins, Clause
Morgan, John Fergusson, Velma Gresham, Clarence Muse

Synopsis:     “Young couple Madeleine and Neil are coaxed by acquaintance Monsieur Beaumont to get married on his Haitian plantation. Beaumont’s motives are purely selfish as he makes every attempt to convince the beautiful young girl to run away with him. For help Beaumont turns to the devious Legendre, a man who runs his mill by mind controlling people he has turned into zombies. After Beaumont uses Legendre’s zombie potion on Madeleine, he is dissatisfied with her emotionless being and wants her to be changed back. Legendre has no intention of doing this and he drugs Beaumont as well to add to his zombie collection. Meanwhile, grieving ‘widower’ Neil is convinced by a local priest that Madeleine may still be alive and he seeks her out.” Internet Movie Database

WHO KILLED DOC ROBIN

1948, B&W, 55 mins.

Director:                             Bernard Carr
Cast:                                    Larry Olsen, Eilene Janssen, Peter Miles, Ardda Lynwood, Dale
Belding, Virginia Grey, Don Castle, George Zucco, Paul Hurst,
Whitford Kane, Wilton Graff, Claire Du Brey, Rene Beard, Donald King,
Grant Mitchell, Steve Carruthers, James Conaty, William Forrest Jr.,
Charles Gemora, Allen Mathews, Frank O’Connor, William Ruhl,
Marshall Ruth, Brick Sullivan;

Synopsis:     “When Dr. Hugo Robbin’s laboratory is blown up, his nurse Ann Loring is charged with murdering the doctor. During her trial, a group of children continually disrupts the courtroom, claiming to have important evidence. The children are finally allowed to testify, but as a result of their testimony, their friend Dan, who runs a repair shop, is now charged with the crime instead of the nurse. The children are now determined to prove Dan’s innocence, and they go to the abandoned laboratory to look for evidence, leading to a series of hazardous adventures.” Internet Movie Database

WILD WOMEN OF WONGO, THE

1958; COLOR; 72 Mins.

Director:                              James L. Wolcott
Cast:                                     Jean Hawkshaw, Mary Ann Webb, Candé Gerrard, Adrienne
Bourbeau, Marie Goodhart, Michelle Lamarck, Joyce Nizzari, Val
Phillips, Jo Elaine Wagner, Pat Crowley, Ray Rotello, Billy Day, Burt
Parker, Robert Serrecchia, Whitey Hart, Barbara Lee Babbitt,
Bernadette, Elaine Krasher, Lillian Melek, Iris Rautenberg, Roberta
Wagner, Johnny Walsh, Roy Murray, Ed Fury, Steve Klisanin, Walter
Knoch, Ronald Mankowsk, Gerry Roslund, Varden Spencer, Kenneth
Vitulli, Rex Richards, Burt Williams, Zuni Dyer, Olga Suarez

Synopsis:     “On the tropical island of Wongo, a tribe of beautiful women discover that the other side of the island is inhabited by a tribe of handsome men. They also discover that a tribe of evil ape men live on the island, too, and the ape men are planning a raid on the tribe in order to capture mates.”  Review: “This 1950s bad movie classic takes us to Wongo, a tropical place (shot in Florida) where the women of Wongo have trouble with their men. When a very, very handsome stranger tells them about a place called Goona only a few miles away, where very, very handsome men are looking for beautiful companions, they are quick to consider their options…I think the scene when the daughter of the king pretends to be engaged in a “life-or-death struggle” with a small rubber crocodile must have been worth the admission fee alone, although the talking parrot made me cringe every time… must be on screen every 5 minutes at least. The “leopard skin” jungle outfits of the 1950s are naturally nowhere near what Tanya Roberts was allowed to almost wear in the 1980s, so I wonder how hot “Women of Wongo” really seemed in the 1950s? As far as the male models (the word “actor” would be out of place) are concerned, one of them actually rose to stardom afterwards: Ed Fury became Ursus in the Italian cinema series.”  Internet Movie Database