Site Under Reconstruction

1942

[5] Jon Hall plays the grandson of the original Invisible Man, played by Claude Rains in 1933. In this third sequel, Hall is pressured to take his grandfather’s transparency potion to serve the United States as a secret agent in Nazi Germany. Once there, Hall falls in love with a fellow agent (Ilona Massey) and tries to obtain information on a rumored German invasion of …

[3] Vying with Nazi Germany to create ties in South American countries during World War II, the U.S. government guaranteed Walt Disney federal loans to produce animated films celebrating South American culture. Saludos Amigos is the first resulting film from this strategic effort (the second would be The Three Caballeros). It would also be the first of Disney’s “package” features — combinations of short subjects …

[6] An American (John Shepperd) visits his fiancĂ©e (Lynne Roberts) and her father in their rural chateau at the same time a series of murders begins. The father’s brutish gardener with a criminal past is a prime suspect. And so is his socially awkward servant, an immigrant from Java who holds a childlike adoration for the bride-to-be. Dr. Renault’s Secret is Twentieth Century Fox’s attempt …

[7] Maltese Falcon cast mates Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet reunite with director John Huston for this wartime espionage flick. Bogart plays a dishonorably discharged army captain who catches passage on a Japanese steamboat headed for the Panama Canal. While on board, Bogey strikes up interesting and entertaining relationships with two other passengers played by Astor and Greenstreet. None of the characters seem …

[7] Bette Davis stars as Charlotte Vale, a nervous young woman whose emotionally abusive mother (Gladys Cooper) causes her to submit herself to a sanitarium. Under the care of her doctor (Claude Rains), Charlotte begins to gain the confidence to stand up for herself and appreciate her self worth. On an ocean-liner cruise she meets a man named Jerry (Casablanca‘s Paul Henreid) and falls in …

[6] Fay Bainter (The Children’s Hour) stars in this ‘war at home’ drama about a wealthy widow who ignores the effects of WWII even as her son (Mrs. Miniver‘s Richard Ney) is drafted into service. Her stubborn refusal to deal with reality causes a rift between her suitor (Edward Arnold), her daughter (Jean Rogers), and her dim-witted socialite friend (Spring Byington). As you might expect, …

[4] Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara star in this seafaring tale of a plundering buccaneer who considers changing his ways once he becomes smitten with an aristocratic lady. At times a very beautiful film, The Black Swan fails on the most critical aspect of the ‘love relationship’. Tyrone Powers may look dashing, but I didn’t find him very charismatic. And Maureen O’Hara is pretty awful. …

[7] After his bomber crew crash behind enemy lines, Errol Flynn leads an ever-shrinking number of men out of Nazi Germany, carrying information that will help turn the tide of war. Desperate Journey often plays like a comic-book rendition of WWII, and yes, it’s Hollywood propaganda (the last line is, “Now, let’s go get those Japs!”) But it’s got Gunga Din‘s spirit of camaraderie and …

[6] Katharine Hepburn plays a journalist who bad-mouths sports in her widely-read column. Spencer Tracy plays a sportswriter who publishes a rebuttal. The two continue sparring publicly until they meet in person… and start to fall in love. Now don’t get me wrong — I love it when Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy spar and make up, but this (their first pairing) is not among …

[6] Part ghost story, part wartime propaganda flick, this heady British production is truly an unusual find. Michael Redgrave plays an American lighthouse keeper who has withdrawn from the world. Having lost all faith in humanity, especially in light of the imminent Nazi blitzkrieg, it’s up to the deceased crew of a sunken ship to restore the lighthouse keeper’s faith. Thunder Rock is a very …

1 2