John Loder

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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.

Continue reading: Seas Beneath Review

Now, Voyager Review


Good
It's saying something that despite having Bette Davis in the leading role, three Oscar nominations, and one win, Now, Voyager is nonetheless best known for a single scene in which Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes and hands one to Davis.

Just don't blink or you'll miss it. This 1948 meditation on spinsterism is a kind of precursor to Good Will Hunting, giving us an antisocial shut-in (Davis) who suddenly blossoms after a quick spin on the therapist's (Claude Rains) couch. Off come the glasses, up goes the hair (way up -- that coif gives me nightmares now!), and away goes our Charlotte on a pleasure cruise. So comfortable with her new self, Charlotte promptly woos a married man (Paul Henreid) on the boat, falling in love with him.

Continue reading: Now, Voyager Review

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