Edmund Gwenn

Edmund Gwenn

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The Devil And Miss Jones Review


Excellent
Wow, that title sure sounds like a porn movie, doesn't it? (The Devil in Miss Jones came out in 1972.) Of course, this one isn't adult fare, and in fact the devil doesn't even make an appearance in the film. The misleading title actually refers to a department store owner, J.P. Merrick (a masterful Charles Coburn, who never really got his due), who goes undercover in his own store to root out union organizers. Along the way he finds love, friendship (with Jean Arthur's Mary Jones), and a surprisingly funny series of events. The sole dud in the film: Robert Cummings, as Mary's boyfriend/union ringleader, whose whining and soul-searching nearly wreck the whole thing. It's supposed to be a comedy, Bob!

Between Two Worlds Review


OK
This innovative drama earns points for originality, but bungles the execution: A group of British travelers have all been killed during World War II... and they all find themselves on a cruise ship headed... where? The catch: Some know they're dead, and some don't. The film's conflict comes from arguments between these two groups. What could have been a proto-version of The Sixth Sense instead becomes a rather dull bit of preachiness where little ends up happening. The film is based on the play Outward Bound (which will forever taint the name of the organization by the same name for me), which was a flop on Broadway.

Miracle On 34th Street Review


Excellent
Santa on trial! This Christmas classic has the inimitable Edmund Gwenn (who won an Oscar for his role) in full Santa regalia, wandering through Manhattan and telling a storefront setup guy he's got the reindeer out of order in the window display. The lighthearted comedy continues as Kris Kringle gets a job a Macy's department store... where he promptly begins sending customers elsewhere. This in turn lands him in a shrink's office and en route to a sanitarium. That's right: Good customer service is completely insane! The third act of the film gives it its rousing core, as Kringle is seated before a judge to prove he isn't crazy. The outpouring of support for him (including nonbeliever Maureen O'Hara and daughter Natalie Wood) makes the movie utterly priceless and unforgettable. You want the spirit of Christmas? It's all right here.

Continue reading: Miracle On 34th Street Review

Them! Review


Good
Who doesn't love a giant ant movie? Who? Them! is at once high camp and a decent monster flick, thanks to a good-sized budget for sets and the dulcet voice of Edmund Gwenn, as a scientist who's on hand to explain to the military -- with educational films, even -- why ants in the New Mexico desert have suddenly grown to a thousand times their normal size. (Hint: A-bombs!) Eventually we know they'll have to go after the queen, just another big puppet that looks hysterically bad (and is really the only bad special effect in the film). But along the way we are treated to Gwenn, screaming at a cop with a machine gun to "Get the antennas! He's helpless without them!" Priceless.

Foreign Correspondent Review


Very Good
In its day, Foreign Correspondent was more than just a good movie (it earned six Oscar nominations), it was also the beginning of Hitchcock's propaganda films, as he (along with many European filmmakers) made movies to compel the U.S. to enter WWII.

Correspondent has intrigue, adventure, charisma, and romance, but it sadly never makes it to classic status. The story is globetrotting tale of an American reporter (Joel McCrea) who heads to London to expose a spy ring. En route he falls in love and is drawn into a major drama with international ramifications.

Continue reading: Foreign Correspondent Review

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