The Golden Age of Hollywood

Bill's Blog (83)

Orchestra Wives (1942)

There are some good musical numbers in this film as one might expect considering the cast.  First of all 'The Glenn Miller Band' provides many favourites well known to fans of that era.  Included are 'The Modernaires' although Paula Kelly is not among them but her place is taken by Marion Hutton who happens to be Betty Hutton's older sister.  She does a credible job.  Other surprise and uncredited  performers are Dale Evans,  Jackie Gleason, Tex Beneke, Billy May and Dorothy Dandridge…


Added by Bill on October 14, 2011 at 11:09pm — No Comments

The Collector (1965)

This film had 3 Academy Award nominations and also won several other awards.  How I happened to have missed seeing this back when it was released is  bit of mystery to me but nevertheless I have now seen it and enjoyed it very much.  Samantha Eggar was one of the nominees for best actress and she is perfect for this thriller.  IMO, Terrance Stamp who won the best actor award at Cannes should also have been nominated by the academy but was not.  The director was William Wyler (also a nominee)…


Added by Bill on April 1, 2011 at 8:58pm — No Comments

Last Holiday (1950)

It has been quite some time since I posted here but sometimes the demands on my time can be great.

However, I wanted to make mention of the film I recently watched (captioned above) because it seemed like one of those little known films that deserve more attention.  I believe Last Holiday has been one of the Criterion selections that is about to be discontinued and they are selling it now at a discount for a limited time.


The film stars Alec Guiness who always seems to…


Added by Bill on March 15, 2011 at 9:32am — No Comments

The Letter (1929)

I was fortunate to obtain a copy of the 1929 film THE LETTER which stars Jeanne Eagels in the only film in which she appears that is still extant at least as far as I know. She only made one other sound film. Shortly after the film was made she died of a drug overdose.

There is a lot can be said about this relatively short film. I think it is a stand out performance all around and the fact that Eagels was nominated (posthumously) for an Academy award is just one item. She lost to Mary… Continue

Added by Bill on March 16, 2010 at 9:48am — 13 Comments

James Mitchell and Kathryn Grayson

With the recent passing of James Mitchell and the even more recent passing of Kathryn Grayson, I decided to spend some viewing time in a nostalgic look at both these musical stars. James was primarily a dancer and he was an extraordinary one, while Kathryn was a beautiful lyrical soprano. I chose to watch Kathryn in a cameo role appearance in 'Till The Clouds Roll By' in which she sang opposite Tony Martin in a duet from 'Show Boat' which was lavishly staged and beautifully sung… Continue

Added by Bill on February 21, 2010 at 12:59pm — No Comments

Marilyn Miller

After reading a recently published book on Florenz Ziegfeld's life and career, I was delighted to find a bio on his most famous star Marilyn Miller. The book is titled 'The Other Marilyn' and it was not easy to find but fortunately I got the last copy available from an Amazon seller.

I have enjoyed reading this book very much as it renewed information that I had read before but also added a significant amount of interesting trivia that I did not know. As biographies go, this book is well… Continue

Added by Bill on January 23, 2010 at 4:45pm — 5 Comments

The Dance of Life 1929

The next film in a series of films starring Nancy Carroll. This one has Hal Skelly alongside of Nancy and he is a very talented dancer who was a hit on Broadway. This film is based on his Broadway show. 'The Dance of Life' (1929) is the film version of a hit Broadway play called 'Burlesque', which starred Barbara Stanwyck. The original title was considered too racy for movie audiences, so the film producers bought the rights to a best-selling NON-fiction book about sex, 'The Dance of Life',… Continue

Added by Bill on November 24, 2009 at 1:53pm — 2 Comments

Sally 1929

SALLY 1929

After reading

Ziegfeld, The Man Who Invented Show Business I was intrigued by the biggest star on Broadway. It wasn't Eddie Cantor, who owed his stardom to Ziegfeld, and it wasn't Jolson… Continue

Added by Bill on November 24, 2009 at 1:35pm — 4 Comments

The Kiss Before The Mirror 1933

Here we have another pre code movie that would not pass the censors come the second half of 1934. This one stars Nancy Carroll, Paul Lukas, Frank Morgan and Gloria Stuart and is a drama IMO although the IMDB says it is a mystery. There are two aspects to this film that would make the censors nervous. One is the open adultery of not one but two of the leading women featured. The other is the murder which is the main theme of the film. Frank Morgan gives a good performance sans his usual laugh… Continue

Added by Bill on November 23, 2009 at 2:43pm — 3 Comments

The Life of Vergie Winters (1934)

This film was released in June 1934 about one week before the production code clamped down. Had it been left until July it would never have passed the censors in the form it was. Not that it was all that risque certainly by today's standards, but it did cross the standard of the censors by depicting adultery in a sympathetic light. Ann Harding plays the role of Vergie Winters with a special class and John Boles also gives a good performance.

It is interesting to see some of the… Continue

Added by Bill on November 6, 2009 at 11:23pm — 1 Comment

The Floradora Girl (1930) addendum

Well I managed to get a copy of this 1930 film. There are a couple of significant events involving this movie.

The first is this was the first film which opened the famous Pantages Theater at Hollywood and Vine in May 1930. Secondly, the final 7 minutes of the film are shot in Technicolor (2 strip) demonstrating the advance of the colour process to that date. It is clearly a successful step in the history of film for both of those events.

Marion Davies does a good job of showing… Continue

Added by Bill on August 14, 2009 at 8:19pm — No Comments

The Floradora Girl (1930)

Has anybody seen this film? It stars Marion Davies and some say it was her best film. I am looking to get this one somehow. I did have a trade lined up but the lady has disappeared.

~ Bill

Added by Bill on August 7, 2009 at 10:14am — No Comments

The Judge Steps Out (1949)

This movie stars Alexander Knox and Ann Sothern. Although it was released in 1949 it was actually filmed in early 1947. It is a comedy which I found very pleasant viewing and Ann Sothern was pleasing to see as well. Alexander Knox is probably best known for his role in 'Wilson' and was often cast as a supporting player. In this film he also was a writer of the screenplay along with Boris Ingster who was the author of the story and the director.

As I mentioned, I found the film to be… Continue

Added by Bill on August 1, 2009 at 8:24am — No Comments

If I Had A Million (1932

Here is a film that has a lot of unique things going for it. It has eight directors, one for each segment including Ernst Lubitsch who is one of my favourites.

I guess it is primarily a comedy but it is also a drama, and what a variety of stars. Gary Cooper, George Raft, Charles Laughton, Charles Ruggles, Jack Oakie, W.C. Fields, May Robson, Gene Raymond and many more.

Hard to say what segment is most interesting and entertaining but I would have to say the W.C. Fields,… Continue

Added by Bill on July 27, 2009 at 5:53pm — 4 Comments

Applause (1929)

Almost eighty years ago, Paramount released 'Applause' starring Helen Morgan. Directed by Rouben Mamoulian this film proved to be more than I expected for such an early musical and talkie. Admittedly, the acting is a bit weak in some scenes but after all, it is a very early talkie. The thing that surprised me was the innovative filming techniques such as shadows a la noir and varying depth of field focus and camera angles not often seen in 1929 films.

The copy of the film which runs for 80… Continue

Added by Bill on July 22, 2009 at 5:49pm — 3 Comments

A Stolen Life (1946)

This movie stars Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Dane Clark, Water Brennan and Charles Ruggles. Davis plays twins, one good and one evil, and they are both in love with the same man!

Although I have collected most of Bette's screen performances, I am not always that impressed with her but this is one movie that I liked. A good story and a good cast go together with fine direction to make a hit movie.

The special effects caught my attention as well since the scenes where Bette was playing the… Continue

Added by Bill on June 22, 2009 at 10:32pm — No Comments

Indiscreet (1931)

Most film fans are familiar with the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film 'Indiscreet' but there is another film by that name and it was released 27 years earlier. This one stars Gloria Swanson whom I have only seen a few times and most notably in 'Sunset Boulevard'

I didn't expect much from this 1931 effort and its beginning was a bit wooden and poorly directed IMO. However, as the film progressed I began to see why Miss Swanson had so many fans. She was witty, acted very well and even sang… Continue

Added by Bill on June 16, 2009 at 12:32pm — 2 Comments

House of Strangers (1949)

House of Strangers is a better than average film noir starring Eddie Robinson, Susan Hayward and Richard Conte. The Italian family which is the centre of the story, gives the film a flavour evocative of 'The Godfather'. Indeed Eddie Robinson creates the ideal image of a godfather type and his four sons provide a reminder of the later film classic. Again, I will not go into a detailed description of the film since that is available on the IMDB but suffice to say that it is a good one and not… Continue

Added by Bill on June 15, 2009 at 9:04am — No Comments

Hangover Square

Last night I watched 'Hangover Square' the final picture made by Laird Cregar whose life was cut to a short 31 years by his attempt to crash diet. His most famous role was in 'The Lodger' in 1944 and this final picture was also shot in 1944 and released after his death in 1945. I was not aware that the film was his last, but I soon suspected it since I knew how he had died and it was obvious that he had lost a great deal of… Continue

Added by Bill on May 31, 2009 at 12:20pm — 3 Comments

Graphical Lists

Here are five graphical lists in my collection of some of my favourite stars.

Kay Francis

Barbara Stanwyck

Joan Blondell

Cary Grant…


Added by Bill on May 16, 2009 at 12:06pm — 1 Comment

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On November 1, 2017 FilmStruck’s blog, StreamLine, moved to Tumblr. This archive will remain active for anyone looking to access older content, but going forward our daily posts dedicated to cinema will appear on FilmStruck’s Tumblr page. See the the link below to be redirected to our new location.  

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