Dudley Nichols

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Seas Beneath Review


OK
John Ford directed this early sound film programmer that is short on any kind of plot that makes sense but crackles with high seas action.

In this World War I yarn, unflinching U.S. Navy Captain Bob Kingsley (George O' Brien -- all smugness and self-assurance) is in charge of a "mystery ship" -- a schooner posing as a merchant vessel decked out with an immense cannon hidden in a giant box -- sent out to hunt down notorious German U-Boat 172 and its dashing commander Franz Schiller (John Loder). It's not much of a secret since when they land in a Spanish port riddled with undercover German spies -- including the luscious blonde Anna Maria (Marion Lessing), who takes a liking to Bob but also happens to be Schiller's sister -- Schiller is there with his boat refueling. Nevertheless, Bob and Schiller continue with the gentlemanly art of war and when they run into each other in a cantina they toast each other with Schiller exiting with, "Until our next meeting." Meet they do, in a rousing battle on the open seas, submarines and ships sinking along with the plot.

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Stagecoach Review


Very Good
Stagecoach is the archetypical Western -- a stagecoach full of crazies has to make it through Indian country in one piece. Though it was his 80th film (of nearly 200), Stagecoach made John Wayne into the superstar he eventually became. Mitchell won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the drunken Doc Boone, and the rest of the cast, notably Trevor as a hooker being run out of town, are memorable. The film has some amazing gaffes, including guns that kick but don't actually go "bang" and, again most notably, one rear-projected shot from the stagecoach where the Indian outside is riding the wrong way. Classic, yet hopelessly dated.

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Bringing Up Baby Review


Weak
Screwball comedy is, in some sense, the most difficult of all types of comedy. Unlike physical comedy and straight farce, there's no real safety net, if the audience just doesn't follow or care about all the carrying-on displayed on screen, no matter how talented the performers or frantic the action, there just won't be much of anything that they'll find funny. Thusly does Bringing Up Baby fall flat on its face - not for lack of talent or effort, but for want of any good reason to exist.

Long before Hollywood suits thought it was a good idea to hide Freddie Prinze Jr.'s hottitude under a pair of spectacles (see Boys and Girls, if you dare), it was decided that for a change of pace, Cary Grant should be similarly four-eyed and socially reticent. And so he was cast in Bringing Up Baby as Dr. David Huxley, a nebbish scientist about to marry his icy prig of a colleague and who's been roped into wooing a rich potential donor to their museum. It's not that Grant can't play this guy, he pulls off the role just fine, but the whole enterprise seems reminiscent of covering a fine antique in layers of shellac or casting George Clooney as an antisocial computer hacker with poor fashion sense. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should.

Continue reading: Bringing Up Baby Review

Stagecoach Review


Very Good
Stagecoach is the archetypical Western -- a stagecoach full of crazies has to make it through Indian country in one piece. Though it was his 80th film (of nearly 200), Stagecoach made John Wayne into the superstar he eventually became. Mitchell won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the drunken Doc Boone, and the rest of the cast, notably Trevor as a hooker being run out of town, are memorable. The film has some amazing gaffes, including guns that kick but don't actually go "bang" and, again most notably, one rear-projected shot from the stagecoach where the Indian outside is riding the wrong way. Classic, yet hopelessly dated.

For Whom The Bell Tolls Review


Weak
A stultifying bore, this imitation of Bridge on the River Kwai would have been long forgotten but for the fact it contains an Oscar-winning performance, with Katina Paxinou's gritty guide handily earning her award. The film earned a surprising nine nominations total, winning just the one. The film is an adaptation of Hemingway's book set during the Spanish Civil War, here with a wooden Gary Cooper sitting around in a cave while he waits to blow up a bridge. Meanwhile, he falls in love with Ingrid Bergman's communist refugee, before the fateful bell tolls. Alas, it takes nearly three hours for that to happen, with little to entertain us along the way.
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Bringing Up Baby Movie Review

Bringing Up Baby Movie Review

Screwball comedy is, in some sense, the most difficult of all types of comedy. Unlike...

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