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Hollywood Movie Memories » donald crisp

Posts Tagged ‘donald crisp’

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Tagline – The reckless lancers sweep on and on – so that a woman’s heart may not be broken!

Starring – Errol Flynn (Major Geoffrey Vickers), Olivia de Havilland (Elsa Campbell), Patric Knowles (Captain Perry Vickers), Henry Stephenson (Sir Charles Macefield), Nigel Bruce (Sir Benjamin Warrenton), Donald Crisp (Colonel Campbell), David Niven (Captain James Randall).

Released – October, 1936

Directed By – Michael Curtiz

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – This motion picture is loosely based on the famous Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War.

Major Geoffrey Vickers and his brother Captain Perry Vickers are stationed in India with the 27th Lancers of the British Army during the Crimean War. Geoffrey is also engaged to Elsa Campbell the daughter of Colonel Campbell.

Geoffrey and English diplomat Sir Henry Harcourt are away meeting with tribal leader Amir Surat Khan to tell him that the British can no longer provide funds as they had promised. This information angers Khan, but while on a leopard hunt his life is saved by Geoffrey winning his personal loyalty as his anger at the British grows.

Geoffrey returns to Calcutta and learns that, while he was away, Elsa has fallen in love with his brother Perry. This news causes the brothers to quarrel bitterly, but before the problem escalates Geoffrey is sent to battle renegade tribesmen.

After the completion of this mission, Geoffrey moves on to Chukoti where Colonel Campbell and Elsa are not located. Perry has been sent to a nearby base in Lohara. Meanwhile, Surat Khan has been gathering his forces and when Colonel Campbell’s troops are ordered to Lohara on maneuvers Chukoti is left virtually without defense.

Surat Khan attacks and brutally slaughters the inhabitants including Colonel Campbell. Geoffrey and Elsa are spared by Khan as payment for Geoffrey saving Khan’s life. After they flee, Elsa convinces Geoffrey that she truly loves his brother Perry. Geoffrey has no choice but to accept this as fact.

To protect his brother from the next attack, Geoffrey sends him away. Surat Khan has now joined forces with the Russians and Geoffrey is ordered by Sir Charles Macefield, the commander of the British forces in the Crimea, not to attack.

Still enraged by the slaughter at Chukoti, Geoffrey rewrites the orders and leads the Lancers on a death charge against Surat Khan.

NOTABLE: The Charge of the Light Brigade won the Oscar for Best Assistant Director (Jack Sullivan), and was also nominated for Best Music, Score, and Best Sound, Recording.

During the famous charge scene, trip wires were set up on the battlefield to trip up the charging horses. Tragically, depending on which report you choose to believe, 25-200 horses were killed filming this scene. This act of animal cruelty caused the U.S. Congress to enact laws insuring the safety of animals in motion pictures.

A stuntman was also killed during filming, as he fell off his horse onto a broken sword that was wedged in a way that left it’s blade facing upward.

The Charge of the Light Brigade was the second of nine romantic pairings by Warner Brothers for Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.


The Black Pirate

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The Black Pirate [Blu-ray]

Tagline – The Love Story of a Bold Buccaneer

Starring – Douglas Fairbanks (The Duke of Arnoldo/The Black Pirate), Billie Dove (Princess Isobel), Anders Randolf (Pirate Captain), Donald Crisp (MacTavish).

Released – March, 1926

Directed By – Albert Parker

Produced – Elton Corporation

Distributed By – United Artists

Description – Washing ashore on a tiny island are a father and son, the only two survivors of a Spanish ship looted, burned, and sunk by a band of pirates. The son’s father soon dies, but before doing so he gives his son a signet ring.

The Pirate Captain and his Lieutenant also come to the island to bury their stolen loot taken from the Spanish ship. They plan to kill the other pirates and keep everything for themselves. The son, who has vowed vengence for his fathers death, approches the pirates and pretends he wants to join them.

He claims he will fight the most dangerous of the pirates to prove his worth. The Pirate Captain takes him up on the challange and is killed in the fight. The Pirate Lieutenant, now in charge, is not satisfied with just swordplay, and the son says he will single-handedly capture the next ship to pass.

A merchant ship passes and the son does capture the ship earning himself the name, “The Black Pirate.” As the pirates begin to loot the ship and its passengers, planning to sink and burn the merchant ship, The Black Pirate notices some of the other pirates drawing lots for a beautiful woman that has been captured.

To stop this, The Black Pirate convinces the Pirate Lieutenant that they should hold both the merchant ship and the woman, who The Black Pirate recognizes as royalty from the jewelry she wears, for a kings ransom.

The woman is a princess and The Black Pirate has fallen in love with her at first sight. An escape attempt follows and The Black Pirate is caught and forced to walk the plank.

It now appears as though the Princess’ only hope for rescue has drowned.

NOTABLE: In 1993, The Black Pirate was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

The Black Pirate was the third motion picture to be filmed using the early two-toned Technicolor process developed in 1922.

During filming, actress Billie Dove used a kissing-stand-in. The woman actually kissing Fairbanks is Mary Pickford.

An extra in the film, Nino Cochise, was a grandson of Apache Chief Cochise, and had also worked as an extra in Fairbank’s Robin Hood.


The Man From Laramie

Monday, August 1st, 2011

The Man from Laramie

Tagline – THE MAN You’ll Never Forget!

Starring – James Stewart (Will Lockhart), Arthur Kennedy (Vic Hansbro), Donald Crisp (Alec Waggoman), Cathy O’Donnell (Barbara Waggoman).

Released – August, 1955

Directed By – Anthony Mann

Produced By – Columbia Pictures Corporation, William Goetz Productions

Distributed By – Columbia Pictures Corporation

Description – Will Lockhart is a man on a dual mission. He is delivering supplies from Laramie to the isolated western town of Coronado while, at the same time, searching for information that will lead him to whoever is responsible for selling repeating rifles to the Apaches.

It was one of these rifles that killed his Army cavalry trooper brother during an Apache attack at Dutch Creek.

Things get off on the wrong foot in Coronado as Lockhart tangles with Dave Waggoman, the son of Alec Waggoman, the towns most influential rancher. After delivering the supplies, and his trouble with Dave Waggoman, Lockhart decides to stick around town as he believes he may find information regarding the illegal sale of the rifles.

Cattle baron Alec Waggoman, in addition to his son Dave, has a daughter Barbara who has befriended Lockhart. Alec Waggoman is gradually losing his eyesight and is tormented by dreams of a man who is coming to kill his son Dave. Also troubling Alec is the fact that Dave is not suited to run the ranch when Alec can no longer do so.

Barbara Waggoman offers Lockhart free salt to haul away for freight, but Dave uses this as an excuse to accuse Lockhart of stealing. He kills twelve of Lockhart’s mules and burns his wagons. When Lockhart returns to town and finds out what has happened he confronts both Dave and ranch foreman Vic Hansbro, who considers himself a second son to Alec and is engaged to marry Barbara.

When Alec Waggoman hears of this incident he offers Lockhart restitution for his lost property further enraging his son Dave and Vic, as Alec holds Vic responsible for the damage caused by Dave and threatens to take the damages from Vic’s pay.

Vic goes looking for Dave and finds him on his way to sell additional rifles to the Apaches. They argue and Vic kills Dave and tells Alec that is was Lockhart that did the killing.

His story begins to fall apart and Vic attempts to also kill Alec. Vic is after everything for himself, the ranch, the lucrative deal of selling guns to the Apache, and Barbara, who has begun to have feelings for Lockhart.

Only one thing remains for Vic… to kill Will Lockhart.

NOTABLE: The Man From Laramie is the fifth and final Western collaboration between James Stewart and Anthony Mann. All are considered classic Western films and also include Winchester ’73 (1950), Bend of the River (1952), The Naked Spur (1953), and The Far Country (1954).

There are two common characteristics to the Stewart/Mann westerns. They are that James Stewart plays a man, in some way, haunted by the past, and the groundbreaking use of landscape to portray a character’s feelings.

The Man From Laramie has been described as a western version of King Lear.

Personal Note: A taut tale of revenge that offers possibly James Stewart’s finest western performance, and must be listed as one of Anthony Mann’s finest directorial efforts.

The Long Gray Line

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Long Gray Line

Tagline – Warms your heart! Stirs your blood! Fires your imagination!

Starring – Tyrone Power (Martin ‘Marty’ Maher), Maureen O’Hara (Mary O’Donnell), Robert Francis (James N. Sundstrom, Jr.), Donald Crisp (Old Martin), Ward Bond (Capt. Herman J. Kohler).

Released – February, 1955

Directed By – John Ford

Produced By – Columbia Pictures Corporation, Rota Productions

Distributed By – Columbia Pictures

Description – Based on the true story of Irish immigrant Marty Maher’s 50 year career at West Point. Maher’s dedicated career took him from servant to leader and teacher.

Arriving from County Tipperary, Ireland, Marty Maher reports to West Point for work as a dishwasher. His pay proves insufficient and Maher decides that enlisting would provide a better life.

A mistaken impression provides a rough start and a resulting fight gains him only a stint in the guardhouse. Upon his release, Marty finds that Capt. Kohler, although upset with the fight, believes Marty has enough boxing skill to be an instructor.

His new duties allow for Marty to meet fellow immigrant Mary O’Donnell from County Donegal. Mary works as the cook for Capt. Kohler and their meeting is love at first sight for Marty. Mary, however, refuses to speak with him following the advice of Capt. Kohler that a conversation with the headstrong Irishman would only lead to an argument.

In spite of this, Marty remains persistent. It isn’t long before they speak, they do fight, she falls for him, and they marry.

This warm and sentimental human story continues with their life experiences, and their relationships formed during Marty’s long and distinguished career at West Point. The story of Marty Maher is not all smooth sailing, as a cheating scandal, and racial bigotry make for some rough times.

NOTABLE: Actor Harry Carey, Jr. makes a brief appearance as young cadet Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The Long Grey Line was the last film for actor Robert Francis who would suffer an untimely death at age 25.

Location shooting was done at West Point during the summer months in order to not disrupt normal activities.

John Ford originally wanted to cast John Wayne as Marty Maher.


The Navigator

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The Navigator: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray]

Starring – Buster Keaton, Kathryn Mcguire, Frederick Vroom

Released – October, 1924

Directed By – Donald Crisp, Buster Keaton

Produced By – Buster Keaton Productions

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description – Wealthy, but lonely, Rollo Treadway witnesses a young couples loving embrace and decides to propose marriage to, the also wealthy, Betsy O’Brien who lives across the street.

His plan is to marry Betsy and sail to Honolulu. However, things don’t always work out as planned. Betsy refuses Rollo’s marriage proposal and in an effort to recover from her rejection he decides to sail alone.

His emotional distraction causes Rollo to board the wrong ship. Instead of the cruise ship, he mistakenly boards ‘The Navigator’ a ship owned by Betsy’s father John O’Brien. Soon Betsy also boards the ship looking for her father who seems to be missing.

Missing he is, as he has been captured by spies who have now cut the ship loose to drift away. As the ship begins to drift, neither Rollo or Betsy are aware that the other is on board. Eventually, the pair find each other on the otherwise deserted ship and have a great deal of initial difficulty fending for themselves.

As time passes they are able to take care of each other onboard ship, but continue to drift for weeks until they finally come to an island. Salvation… with one big problem, this island is inhabited by cannibals.

NOTABLE: The Navigator proved to be Buster Keaton’s biggest commercial success and includes some of his most memorable gags.

Buster Keaton got the idea for this film after hearing of a large passenger ship that was due to be scrapped. He bought the ship for a very low price and used it as a large prop.