Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp Minor (Little Neal Dancing in my
This solo piano piece was composed by Chopin in 1930 and
dedicated to his older sister. It was
not pubished until 1870, 21 years after the composer’s death.
The piece was played by Holocaust survivor Natalia Karp for
the Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth while she was imprisoned in
Plaszow concentration camp in Poland.
Karp was ordered to play and she chose this piece because it was
EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE (1949) JAMES MASON:
James Mason (1909-1984).
James Mason did not train as an actor. He took it up as an aside during his
In 1933, Mason was given a small film role by Alexander
Korda in “The Private Life of Don Juan,” but Korda sacked him three days into
In 1935, on the set of his second film, “Troubled Waters”
Mason met Pamela Kellino. Pamela’s
husband, Roy, was the cinematographer on the film. Mason not only became fast friends with Pamela,
he moved in with Pamela and her husband and collaborated with them on several
stage and screen plays.
EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE (1949)
It’s always such a pleasure to come across a black and white
movie I haven’t seen. “East Side, West
Side” is one of them.
The cast itself is enough reason for watching. Barbara Stanwyck, James Mason, Van Heflin,
Ava Gardner (looking absolutely stunning), Cyd Charisse, Nancy Reagan, Gale
Sondergaard, William Conrad, and William Frawley among other faces familiar
from later television programs.
The music is by Miklos Rozsa, cinematorgraphy by Charles
Three on a Match (1932)
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Starring - Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, Lyle Talbot, Humphrey
Bogart, Allen Jenkins, Edward Arnold, Warren William
Glenda Farrell plays a small part which is uncredited as
Vivian’s friend in prison. Jack La Rue,
Ann Shirley and Jack Webb are also in the film in small parts.
Gowns by Orry-Kelly
The little girl with the best grades winds up in the worst circumstance
in later life. Her two friends try to
The Bribe (1949)
Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price,
John Hodiak, Samuel S. Hinds (doctor)
Directed y Robert Z. Leonard and uncredited Vincente
Based on a short story by Frederick Nebel. Screenplay by Marguerite Roberts.
Despite the stellar cast, this film was not a hit with the
public or the critics when it came out. Bosley
Crowther called the film “…as lurid as it is absurd.” Crowther argued that if the film didn’t have
big name stars in it, it would be low man on a “grind house triple bill.
Rogers, a model, stops in a town to visit her sister (Doris Day) and witnesses
a murder by the Klan.
Ginger Rogers, Ronald Reagan, Doris Day, Steve Cochran
is a lot in this script to remind you of “Streetcar Named Desire.” Sister arrives in town to discover secrets
involving her sister and the sister’s husband.
It’s described as a “noir thriller.”
by Daniel Fuchs and Richard Brooks (Looking for Mr. Goodbar, In Cold Blood,
Lord Jim, Sweet Bird of Youth, Elmer Gantry (screenplay), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
(screenplay), Any Number Can Play (screenplay), Key Largo (screenplay).
of Shanghai (1948)
Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders
by Orson Welles
by Orson Welles based on a Sherwood King novel, “If I Die Before I Wake.”
Welles had trouble getting along with Hollywood studios from the beginning of
his career. Lady of Shanghai (1948), was
head Harry Cohn was so obsessed with Rita Hayworth he had her wiretapped. When the studio gave Welles Hayworth to
develop “Lady of Shanghai” around, they evidently wanted something like “Gilda.
WILL HAPPEN (1938)
George Bricker and Anthony Coldeway (screen play) from a story by George
Ronald Reagan, Sheila Bromley, Gloria Blondell, Dick Purcell
Reagan as an insurance fraud investigator with a greedy wife who gets involved
with a big fraud gang.
had no idea Joan Blondell even had a sister until I happened on this film. The lesser-known sister, Gloria, made
something like two dozen Hollywood features.
on the Third Floor (1940)
Boris Ingster, Writer Frank Partos (story and screenplay)
Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Elisha Cook, Jr.
reporter is a witness in a murder trial and then starts to wonder if he did the
right thing. Haunting photography and dream
sequences that show the influence of German expressionism.
is a surprisingly engaging film for a 1940 B picture. B pictures were lower-budget features between
50 and 77 minutes, using second level actors, or ex-stars on their way down.
• Chapter 14 contains the iconic
confrontation between Mrs. Danvers and the narrator in Rebecca’s bedroom.
• Rather than being covered with drop
cloths, she finds the room “fully furnished, as though in use.” There are flowers, Rebecca’s personal items
like brushes and combs.
• There is the scent of white azalea and a
dressing gown that “had not been touched or laundered since it was last worn.