Posts Tagged ‘columbia pictures’

3:10 To Yuma

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

3:10 to Yuma (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Tagline – Drink the whisky… Love the woman… Try to stay alive till the 3:10 pulls out of town!

Starring – Glenn Ford (Ben Wade), Van Heflin (Dan Evans), Felicia Farr (Emmy), Richard Jaeckel (Charlie Prince).

Released – August, 1957

Directed By – Delmer Daves

Produced By – Columbia Pictures Corporation

Distributed By – Columbia Pictures Corporation

Description – Small-time rancher Dan Evans is struggling, along with his family, to survive. They are in the midst of a serious drought that threatens to wipe out their very existence.

While riding with his two sons they witness a stagecoach robbery, but are powerless to do anything. Outlaw Ben Wade now ups the ante by coldly murdering both the stagecoach driver and one of his own men who the driver was using as a shield.

After the robbery and murder, Wade and his men ride into Bisbee, Arizona and head for the saloon. Not wanting to stay too long, for fear of a posse, the men are ready to leave. Ben decides to stay a little longer in order to romance a barmaid.

The posse does arrive and Ben is captured. His most loyal follower, Charlie Prince, escapes and let’s the other members of the gang know of Ben’s capture. The people of the town are fearful of what the gang might do and come up with a plan to get Ben out of Bisbee. The plan will require the help of two volunteer’s to sneak Wade to the town of Contention and onto the afternoon train… the 3:10 to Yuma.

The stageline owner offers $200. to anyone who will volunteer. After nearly three years of drought, and desperate for the money, Dan Evans volunteer’s. The only other man in town to volunteer is the town drunk.

Their journey begins with a stop at Dan’s ranch where Wade charms Dan’s wife just to get under his skin. After dark, the group head to Contention City arriving at daybreak. They take a room at the hotel and begin the long wait for the train to Yuma.

Here the psychological game begins. Wade reminds Dan of his wife and family and what might happen to them if Dan is killed. He also tries to bribe Dan with enough money to help him save his ranch. Nothing works.

As the hours pass, Wade’s gang arrives in town with the threat that anyone who tries to get Wade on the train will be killed. It’s now 3 o’clock and time to get to the train platform. Fate will dictate the next few minutes and just how much blood will be shed.

NOTABLE: 3:10 to Yuma was filmed at the Columbia/Warner Brothers Ranch in Burbank, California, on location in Arizona, near Elgin, Sedona, Willcox, Texas Canyon and in the Old Tucson historic district.

Glenn Ford was originally offered the role of Dan Evans. He refused, preferring the role of Ben Wade.

The Tall T

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

The Tall T

Tagline – Taut! Torrid! Tremendous! T Is for Terror!

Starring – Randolph Scott (Pat Brennan), Richard Boone (Frank Usher), Maureen O’Sullivan (Doretta Mims), Arthur Hunnicutt, (Ed Rintoon), Skip Homeier (Billy Jack), Henry Silva (Chink).

Released – April, 1957

Directed By – Budd Boetticher

Produced By – Comumbia Pictures Corporation, Scott-Brown Productions, Producers-Actors Corporation

Distributed By – Columbia Pictures

Description – Pat Brennan agrees to bring back some candy for the son of a way station manager when he returns from town. First he stops at a ranch where he formally worked to buy a bull. While there he is goaded into a bet. If he can ride a particular bull, he can have it for free. If he is thrown, he loses his horse.

Thrown from the bull, Pat is now walking home carrying his saddle. While on the road a stagecoach comes along carrying newlyweds Willard and Doretta Mims the daughter of the richest man in the state. Pat knows the driver and is happy to catch a ride.

When the honeymoon coach stops at the way station it is thought to be the regular stage by three outlaws who have already killed the station manager and his son. They had hoped to rob the regular stage.

Afraid of ending up as dead as the station manager, cowardly Willard Mims suggests that the outlaws hold his new wife Doretta for ransom from her father. The ransom amount is $50,000. The ransom note is delivered and Doretta’s father sends a message back that he will get the money together.

No longer needed by the outlaws, Willard is told he can leave. When doing so, he is gunned down by one of the outlaws.

Brennan knows that they will all be killed when the ransom is delivered. There seems to be no way out for the hostages.

NOTABLE: Originally titled “The Captives” (Elmore Leonard’s original story title) and/or “The Tall Rider”. Prior to release, the title was changed to “The Tall T,” the name of the Tenvoorde ranch in the early scene

At 45 Maureen O’Sullivan was considered too old for her character. However, she played the part well and explains her marriage to the younger character Willard as a move of desperation over her character growing old and remaining unmarried.

Columbia Pictures released The Tall T as part of a double bill with Hellcats of the Navy (1957) starring Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.

Personal Note: The Tall T is one of my favorite westerns. One of many that teamed Director Budd Boetticher with, one of the most natural acting western actors ever, Randolph Scott.

Dead Reckoning

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Dead Reckoning

Tagline – He Doesn’t Trust Anyone… especially Women!

Starring – Humphrey Bogart (Capt. Warren “Rip” Murdock), Lizabeth Scott (Coral “Dusty” Chandler), Morris Carnovsky (Martinelli), Charles Cain (Lt. Kincaid).

Released – January, 1947

Directed By – John Cromwell

Produced By – Colombia Pictures Corporation

Distributed By – Colombia Pictures Corporation

Description – Just after the conclusion of World War II, Capt. “Rip” Murdock and Sergeant Johnny Drake are ordered to report to Washington, D. C., where the two are to be honored for their duty to their country. Drake is to receive the Medal of Honor, and Murdock the Distinguished Service Cross.

Then something strange happens, Johnny Drake disappears.

His friends disappearance is a total surprise to Murdock and he is determined to find out just what happened and why. With the clues he has, Murdock is able to track Johnny to Gulf City where he learns that Johnny has burned to death in an automobile accident.

Murdock also learns that Johnny had joined the Army using an assumed name in order to avoid a charge of murder. Johnny was accused of killing a Mr. Chandler, a rich older man, because Johnny was in love with Chandler’s younger wife “Dusty.”

Additional information leads Murdock to a local bar wanting to question Louis Ord who had been a witness during the murder trial. Ord tells Murdock that Johnny had given him a letter that he wanted given to him.

While at the club, Murdock also meets “Dusty” Chandler along with club owner Martinelli. During this meeting, Murdock’s drink is drugged and when he wakes up in his hotel room the next morning he has company. The dead body of Louis Ord has been planted there.

Just before the police arrive at Murdock’s hotel room, directed there by an anonymous tip, Murdock is able to conceal the corpse. The police question him and, finding no body, leave.

Determined to find out who killed his friend and who just tried to frame him for the murder of Ord, Murdock teams up with “Dusty.” It is his belief that Martinelli is behind the murders and that he killed Ord hoping to get his hands on the letter.

Murdock breaks into Martinelli’s office looking for the letter only to find Martinelli’s safe already open and empty. After noticing the scent of jasmine perfume in the air, the same kind worn by “Dusty,” Murdock is knocked unconscious.

He awakens in the hands of Martinelli, who has the letter and believes Murdock can understand the code the letter is written in. Luckily, Murdock escapes.

Things continue to get darker and more dangerous for Murdock and there are still a great many surprises to be learned. “Dusty” is now a suspect, but she still claims innocence. While she admits to killing her husband she says it was in self defense and that Martinelli has been blackmailing her ever since.

Things still don’t add up for Murdock when he finds “Dusty” just might be a bigamist and that a large inheritance waits at the end of a murderous rainbow.

NOTABLE: The role of Coral “Dusty” Chandler had originally been intended for Columbia’s top box office draw Rita Hayworth. However, Hayworth was feuding with studio head Harry Cohn and was to be cast in estranged husband Orson Welles picture The Lady from Shanghai.

Lizabeth Scott’s singing was dubbed by Trudy Stevens.

In the train scene, after they discover that Drake is to receive the Medal of Honor, Murdock quips that maybe the president will let Drake “sit on top of his piano”. This is a reference to a then-scandalous photo of Harry Truman playing piano with a leggy blonde on top that was taken at the National Press Club in 1945. . Who was that blonde? The blonde was Lauren Bacall.



The Awful Truth Delights

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

November, 1937Columbia Pictures screwball comedy The Awful Truth has proven to be a tremendous success for Director/Producer Leo McCarey.

As a graduate of the Hal Roach studio, and the man credited with the pairing of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, McCarey uses the screen talents of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne to absolute perfection. The duo play Jerry and Lucy Warriner a married couple who suspect each other of being unfaithful.

But, the big winner may just be Columbia Pictures. No longer will the studio have to depend, almost solely, on Frank Capra for comedy genius. Leo McCarey has demonstrated that he will be more than capable in guiding the production and direction of great comedy.

Impending divorce has never been more funny then in The Auful Truth. And, the supporting cast is pitch-perfect including Ralph Bellamy as Lucy’s post-separation suitor, Alexander D’Arcy as Lucy’s handsome music teacher and possible lover, Cecil Cunningham as Lucy’s Aunt Patsy, and Molly Lamont as heiress Barbara Vance and Jerry’s post-separation suitor.

Jealously rears its ugly head as both Jerry and Lucy will try just about anything to ruin the other’s new romantic interests.

Cary Grant and Irene Dunne skillfully, and very appealingly, play a couple who can’t live with or without each other and will sooner or later have to face The Awful Truth.

The Awful Truth

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The Awful Truth

Tagline – It’s a Glorious Comedy… Uproarious Romance!

Starring – Irene Dunne (Lucy Warriner), Cary Grant (Jerry Warriner), Ralph Bellamy (Daniel Leeson), Alexander D’Arcy (Armand Duvalle).

Released – October, 1937

Directed By – Leo McCarey

Produced By – Colombia Pictures Corporation

Distributed By – Colombia Pictures

NOTABLE: The Awful Truth won the Academy Award for Best Director (Leo McCarey), and was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Irene Dunne), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ralph Bellamy), Best Film Editing, and Best Writing, Screenplay.

In 1996, The Awful Truth was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

This motion picture provided Cary Grant with the opportunity to display his light comedy persona which proved to be the basis for nearly all of his subsequent films. Writer/Director Peter Bogdanovich stated that when it comes to light comedy, “there was Cary Grant and everyone else was an also-ran”.

A great deal of the film was improvised by Director Leo McCarey. So much so that, at one point, Cary Grant tried to get out of the film. However, the picture was loved by the public and got Grant’s career off and running.

In 2006, Premiere magazine voted this motion picture one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies of All Time.”

The fox terrier in the film playing Mr. Smith is actually named Skippy, with the previous credit of having played Asta in the Thin Man movies.

The Awful Truth was the first of three screen pairings of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.