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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 education.
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 the shooting.
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 Rosher.

Three on a Match (1932)

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 help her.

The Bribe (1949)

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 Minnelli
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.

Storm Warning (1951) Classic Movie

Storm Warning (1951)
Ginger Rogers, a model, stops in a town to visit her sister (Doris Day) and witnesses a murder by the Klan. 
Starring Ginger Rogers, Ronald Reagan, Doris Day, Steve Cochran
There 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.”
Written 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).

Lady From Shanghai

Lady of Shanghai (1948)

Starring Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders
Directed by Orson Welles
Screenplay by Orson Welles based on a Sherwood King novel, “If I Die Before I Wake.” 
Orson Welles had trouble getting along with Hollywood studios from the beginning of his career.  Lady of Shanghai (1948), was no different.
Studio 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.

Accidents Will Happen (1938)

Director: William Clemens
Writers: George Bricker and Anthony Coldeway (screen play) from a story by George Bricker
Starring: Ronald Reagan, Sheila Bromley, Gloria Blondell, Dick Purcell
Ronald Reagan as an insurance fraud investigator with a greedy wife who gets involved with a big fraud gang.
I 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.

Classic Movie Series

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
Director, Boris Ingster, Writer Frank Partos (story and screenplay)
Starring: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Elisha Cook, Jr.
A 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.
This 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.

Mrs. Danvers

Chapter 14
•        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.

Coastal Georgia Crab Traps

This is our neighbor fishing his crab traps.  Coastal Georgia is beautiful.  
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