Bette Davis’s debut. Sidney Fox plays the titular opportunistic sister in an upstanding Ohio family who falls for a con-man played by Humphrey Bogart. Davis plays her long-suffering sister in a forgettable part. Bogie’s vulpine in his first heel role, but the predictable plot and flat performances from Fox and lead Conrad Nagel sink this effort.
Opera diva Jeanette MacDonald runs roughshod over everyone in her life only to fall for cat-burglar Reginald Denny, who she meets when he burgles her bedroom. Denny, of course, has aspirations of a singing career himself. Continue reading...
Frank Albertson plays a powerful tycoon’s gadabout son who falls for a gangster’s moll and finds himself implicated in a nightclub owner’s murder. Opens strong with Albertson playing an engaging drunk, but devolves into a preachy social outrage melodrama. Bela Lugosi’s small role as the unfortunate nightclub owner proves unremarkable.
Unpolished script suffers from repetitive exposition, forced comedy, and trite plotting. This one needed another year in the oven.
Picks up where part 2 ends. The bigger budget manifests in location photography and formal rigor that match the script’s ambitions. Crowley is a hulking, roaring beast. The script’s usual mix of humor and violence includes some well-timed self-deprecating jabs. A belabored side-plot involving the original films’ heroine and a reporter drags but almost pays off with a laugh-out-loud cameo. Edges the original for my favorite of the series thus far.
Howard Hawks’s second sound picture. A competent prison-reform drama that nevertheless feels like a work-for-hire job. Walter Huston’s electric as a former district attorney turned prison warden, and Boris Karloff maximizes his role as a grudge-bearing convict. But Phillips Holmes doesn’t register as the hard-luck protagonist. Ditto Constance Cummings as his love interest.
A satisfying conclusion to 11-years of Marvel films. The “time heist” plot proves secondary to a series of images and moments recreating the pre-adolescent awe I experienced reading the source comics. Not as resonant as Infinity War, but just as entertaining.
Still no hockey mask, but we have Jason (sporting a burlap sack over his face) stalking a group of camp counselors.
This entry has grown on me. I originally preferred the first film’s dingy atmosphere and documentary style, but I’ve come around to this sequel’s superior execution. The supporting cast proves more memorable, and the script provides the final-girl with real agency.
There’s no hockey mask and no Jason. Yes, an unknown killer picks off young people working to re-open a New Jersey summer camp, but the plot hews closer to a giallo than a modern slasher. Continue reading...
André Morell plays a stiff sergeant leading a group of POWs in a Japanese prison camp ruled by cartoonishly sadistic jailers. There’s a great twist that pits Morell against a ticking clock and propels the film along. This isn’t high drama ala The Bridge on the River Kwai, just well-executed exploitation that delivers the goods thanks to a commanding turn by Morell and director Val Guest’s formal economy.