James Cagney: A Great, Unappreciated Musical Talent of the 1930s

James Cagney was one of Warner Bros. Studio's primary “tough guy” actors in the 1930s. His huge success as Tom Powers in The Public Enemy from 1931 secured his image as an excellent gangster actor. In the four or five films he made before this, he usually played a criminal's assistant, some type of hoodlum, … Continue reading James Cagney: A Great, Unappreciated Musical Talent of the 1930s

“The Pirate:” A Tale of a Romantic Spanish Maiden and a Swashbuckling Caribbean Actor

This article is part of the Swashathon at Movies Silently: http://moviessilently.com/2017/07/14/the-swashathon-is-here/ Many classic films contain great dancing, others contain exotic period settings, and still others contain exciting adventure with swashbuckling drama. Not many pictures contain all three, but The Pirate from 1948 does! When I decided to join the Swashathon at Movies Silently, I knew … Continue reading “The Pirate:” A Tale of a Romantic Spanish Maiden and a Swashbuckling Caribbean Actor

Breening Thursdays: 3. “Flying Down to Rio” from 1933

For my third Breening Thursday article, I present another pre-Code film, Flying Down to Rio from 1933. This was the first teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as well as the film debut of the former, but it stars Dolores del Rio and Gene Raymond. This elaborate, carefree musical from RKO Pictures brings the … Continue reading Breening Thursdays: 3. “Flying Down to Rio” from 1933

Saturdays of the Future: 6. Opera, the Treble Clef in PEPS

From now on, I am going to alternate between Thursday and Saturday articles. One week I will write a Breening Thursday article, and the next I will write a Saturday of the Future article. For this week, I am going to discuss my love of opera, my concern for its future, and how PEPS aims … Continue reading Saturdays of the Future: 6. Opera, the Treble Clef in PEPS

“Yankee Doodle Dandy:” Happy Independence Day!

What makes America great? It is the fact that many nations merged in one New World to make a city on a hill. Over two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers created a new nation based on liberty and equality. Our motto, E pluribus unum, expresses the fact that one new people was created out … Continue reading “Yankee Doodle Dandy:” Happy Independence Day!

“Strawberry Blonde:” ‘Zactly.

This article is part of the Second Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon: https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/announcing-the-second-annual-olivia-de-havilland-blogathon-errol-flynn/ When I first saw the announcement for the Olivia de Havilland + Errol Flynn blogathon, I realized that I had seen neither of them in a film. Later that day, I accidentally encountered a review of Strawberry Blonde from 1941; I had … Continue reading “Strawberry Blonde:” ‘Zactly.

Breening Thursdays: 2. “High Society” from 1956

For the second Breening Thursday article, I am going to breen an early Shurlock era film, High Society from 1956. This film is part of the large, interesting genre of 1950s musical remakes of 1930s and early 40s screwball comedies. This particular film is a remake of The Philadelphia Story from 1940 with Katharine Hepburn, … Continue reading Breening Thursdays: 2. “High Society” from 1956

1941-1942: A Crack in the Code

  Why was there a period of un-Codish films in 1941 and 1942? From 1934 to 1954, films could generally be considered proper because of complete adherence to the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930. There were occasional, small breaches when Joseph Breen, the director, was on vacation, in the hospital, or when he chose … Continue reading 1941-1942: A Crack in the Code

Jerry Flynn, The “King of the Newsboys” in 1938

This article is part of the Reel Infatuations blogathon: https://silverscreenings.org/2017/06/20/reel-infatuation-blogathon-starts-friday/ 1938 was a big year for Lew Ayres. His third film that year was Holiday at Columbia, which also featured Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and was directed by George Cukor. It brought him to MGM's attention, and they signed him to a contract. This … Continue reading Jerry Flynn, The “King of the Newsboys” in 1938