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Melvyn Douglas

[8] George Stevens (Gunga Din, A Place in the Sun) directs this romanticized tale of an American western legend — Annie Oakley, the woman sharpshooter who could beat any man at gunplay. While the real Annie Oakley was surely rougher around the edges, Barbara Stanwyck carries this first film adaptation of Oakley’s life with strength and compassion. The screenplay centers around Oakley’s romance with a …

[8] Five travelers end up stranded at our title location after a fierce night-time storm makes driving the English hillsides too dangerous. The family that lives there is less than hospitable, with secrets that make the evening increasingly frightening. The Old Dark House is one of the grandfathers of what is now a classic horror sub-genre. Director James Whale (Frankenstein, Waterloo Bridge) makes it a …

[6] Cary Grant and Myrna Loy play parents of two young daughters in a cramped New York apartment who decide to find a bigger place for themselves in the wide-open countryside. But their initial purchase turns out to be a bad investment, forcing them to tear it down and build a new house from scratch. As the bills pile up, Grant also becomes suspicious that …

[8] George C. Scott stars in this creepy ghost story about a grieving widower who moves into a historic mansion where a young child was murdered over seventy years ago. As the child’s spirit communicates with Scott’s character, he’s able to begin an investigation into who the child was and why they were killed. Only then will the haunting cease! The Changeling is one of …

[8] Peter Ustinov directs and co-stars in this adaptation of Herman Melville’s unfinished novel of the same name. Ustinov plays the captain of a British ship sailing to battle against France. His master-at-arms, John Claggart (The Wild Bunch‘s Robert Ryan), is a sadistic man who entraps the ship’s crew in criminal charges and lies about allegations. When a new, doe-eyed recruit named Billy Budd (Terence …

[5] Jean Arthur finds herself with two husbands after her first, presumed dead at sea, turns out to be very much alive. The genders are reversed, but the story is very similar to My Favorite Wife, a better film released the same year. Jean Arthur, Fred MacMurray, and Melvyn Douglas are usually reliable, but I didn’t care for their chemistry. I also had a hard …

[7] Four old men and their families are haunted by the ghost of a woman the men accidentally killed decades ago in this John Irvin film of the Peter Straub story. It could have benefited from a more visionary director, because it really only taps the surface of its atmospheric potential but Ghost Story is otherwise a solid spook tale of ghostly revenge that kept …

[7] It’s fun to watch Greta Garbo defrost in Ninotchka.  She plays an oh-so-serious Russian sent to Paris to straighten out the sale of some allegedly stolen jewels. Melvyn Douglas gets in her way. At first, he’s an annoyance, but a curious one. Her no-nonsense attitude toward him makes for a unlikely cinematic romance. The highlight of their courtship is a restaurant scene where Douglas …