Posts Tagged ‘spencer tracy’

Desk Set

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Desk Set [Blu-ray]

Tagline – Make the office a wonderful place to love in!

Starring – Spencer Tracy (Richard Sumner), Katharine Hepburn (Bunny Watson), Gig Young (Mike Cutler), Joan Blondell (Peg Costello), Dina Merrill (Sylvia Blair).

Released – May, 1957

Directed By – Walter Lang

Produced By – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Distributed By – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Description – Engineer Richard Sumner is on a secret mission. Espionage? Nope. Richard is “casing” the Federal Broadcasting Network for the installation of a new computer system of operation.

Why the cloak and dagger stuff? A secret merger with another large company will bring with it a great deal of additional work for the current staff. In order to not alarm the staff before the merger, Richard has been assigned to structure the introduction of two computers to help with the increased work load.

The use of two ‘electronic brains’ just may cause the loss of some jobs. One job belongs to Bunny Watson. Bunny is in charge of reference and research and also the sweetheart of rising company executive Mike Cutler.

Things get considerably more complicated as Richard begins to take a romantic interest in Bunny. Although in a relationship with Mike, Bunny realizes that he may not be interested in any kind of long-term pairing. Such as marriage.

With Richard’s new attention causing Bunny to be more and more interested in the possibilities with him she still has doubts regarding his sincerity. It is Bunny’s fear that Richard is, and will always be, more interested in the new computer system than in her.

How to find out requires just one simple test. Bunny will set the new computer system to self-destruct and see how Richard reacts to the news.

NOTABLE: Desk Set is based on a William Marchant play and the character of Bunny Watson on librarian Agnes E. Law, who had built up the CBS network’s research library.

Desk Set was the first film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn to be filmed in color.

Captains Courageous

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Captains Courageous (1937)

Tagline – The Most Exciting Picture Since “Mutiny on the Bounty”!

Starring – Spencer Tracy (Manuel Fidello), Freddie Bartholomew (Harvey Cheyne), Lionel Barrymore (Disko Troop), Melvyn Douglas (Frank Burton Cheyne).

Released – May, 1937

Directed By – Victor Fleming

Produced By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer

Description – Again – as in the stirring Mutiny On the Bounty – you live the roaring drama of men against the sea. You share the struggles, the heartaches, and the laughter, of courageous souls who leave the women they love to dare the wrath of the angry waves.

Harvey Cheyne is the spoiled son of his business tycoon and absentee father Frank Burton Cheyne. Shipped off to a private school, where he is shunned by his classmates, young Harvey is suspended due to his bad behavior.

Realizing that his son needs closer attention, his father decides to take Harvey along on a trans-Atlantic business trip. During the voyage Harvey displays arrogance to all around him, and during a prank gone wrong falls overboard off the coast of Newfoundland.

He is rescued by Portuguese-American fisherman Manuel Fidello and taken aboard the fishing schooner. Harvey tries to convince the captain of the schooner, Disko Troop, that he is wealthy and should immediately be taken to shore.

Captain Troop, not believing his story, refuses and puts Harvey to work at a low paying job for the three month duration of the voyage. Also on the schooner is the captain’s son Dan who gradually develops a friendship with Harvey as the young man begins to learn the ways of working on a ship.

With the guidance of Manuel, and the influence of the other tough crew-mates, young Harvey begins to learn a hard lesson. His former habits of demanding special treatment, lying, cheating, and whining to get what he wants are of no value at sea where every man, young or old, must pull their own weight.

Slowly, Manuel begins to become the father figure that Harvey had always wanted and needed. But, the hardest life-lesson is yet to be learned as tragedy looms in the near future for young Harvey.

NOTABLE: Captains Courageous received an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Spencer Tracy), and was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Writing, Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

This motion picture would become the first MGM film to be shown on television, in 1955.

Spencer Tracy hesitated before finally accepting the role of Manuel Fidello because the role required him to sing in several scenes and to have his hair curled. Tracy’s new hairdo prompted a great deal of kidding from his actor friends with Joan Crawford referring to him as Harpo.

Captains Courageous was one of Lionel Barrymore’s last films. Degenerative arthritis was beginning to cripple him. The next year in You Can’t Take it with You, Barrymore hobbled around with crutches, and shortly after that film was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

When Spencer Tracy was presented his Oscar for this film he was shocked to find that the statue was inscribed to Dick Tracy. The very embarrassed Academy replaced the statuette.



Libeled Lady

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Libeled Lady

Starring – Jean Harlow (Gladys), William Powell (Bill Chandler), Myrna Loy (Connie Allenbury), Spencer Tracy (Warren Haggerty), Walter Connolly (Mr. Allenbury).

Released – October, 1936

Directed By – Jack Conway

Produced By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

NOTABLE – Libeled Lady received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Coincidentally, the Best Picture winner that year was The Great Ziegfeld also starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

After completing Libeled Lady, the very popular Jean Harlow would make only two more pictures before her untimely death at the age of 26. When Harlow was entombed in Forest Lawn Cemetary she was dressed in a gown she wore in this film.

This motion picture was the fifth of fourteen films pairing William Powell with Myrna Loy.


San Francisco

Monday, October 24th, 2011

San Francisco

Tagline – It Started Out Like Any Other Day!

Starring – Clark Gable (‘Blackie’ Norton), Jeanette MacDonald (Mary Blake), Spencer Tracy (Father Tim Mullin), Jack Holt (Jack Burley), Jessie Ralph (Mrs. Burley).

Released – June, 1936

Directed By – Woody Van Dyke, D. W. Griffith

Produced By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description – Mary Blake has come from Colorado, to the Barbary Coast area of San Francisco, looking for work as a singer. Although classically trained, she is seriously impoverished and will try her luck applying at the Paradise Club.

The club is owned by gambler ‘Blackie’ Norton and, although Mary is not the usual type of woman he would hire, he decides to give her a chance. After all, she sings pretty well and has great legs.

It doesn’t take long before Mary becomes a big hit at the club and draws the attention of socialite Jack Burley and Maestro Baldini of the Tivoli Opera House. The Maestro offers Mary an audition to possibly sing at the opera house. However, ‘Blackie’ refuses to let Mary go and will not release her from her contract.

One evening, ‘Blackie’ sends Mary to sing at the church of his boyhood friend Father Tim Mullin where the church is celebrating the acquisition of a new organ. Father Mullin talks with Mary about his wish that ‘Blackie’ will one day clean up his life and become a more responsible part of the community.

Jack Burley offers to buy out Mary’s contract, with the Paradise Club, so that she can become part of the opera, but she decides to stay with ‘Blackie’ out of loyalty as a result of his giving her a job. To celebrate her decision, ‘Blackie’ decides to throw a party and even to propose marriage.

Thinking this proposal through, Mary realizes that she will just be another conquest on a long list of conquest’s by ‘Blackie,’ and that this would not be the kind of marriage she would like. She decides to leave for the opera.

On her opening night at the opera house Mary thrills the crowd and is proposed to again, this time by Jack Burley. She refuses and this refusal angers Jack who now decides to destroy ‘Blackie’ Norton and the Paradise Club.

Just as the trouble centering around affairs of the heart threaten to get out-of-hand, the ground begins to shake.

It is 5:30 a.m. on the 18th of April, 1906, the great San Francisco earthquake begins and the fires start to blaze.

NOTABLE: San Francisco won the Oscar for Best Sound, Recording, and received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Spencer Tracy), Best Director (W. S. Van Dyke), Best Assistant Director (Joseph M. Newman), and Best Writing, Original Story.

San Francisco was the top grossing movie of the year.

One of the gowns worn by Jeanette MacDonald would be worn again by Glinda, the good witch, in The Wizard of Oz.

Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald could not have had personalities that were farther apart. During filming the pair totally avoided each other when not on the set.

Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy also appeared together in Test Pilot (1938) and Boom Town (1940).



Thursday, October 20th, 2011


Tagline – Two Lovers…Victim’s of Mob Violence!

Starring – Sylvia Sidney (Katherine Grant), Spencer Tracy (Joe Wilson), Walter Abel (District Attorney), Bruce Cabot (Kirby Dawson).

Released – May, 1936

Directed By – Fritz Lang

Produced By –  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description – Joe Wilson is in the wrong place at the wrong time. A child has been kidnapped from a town that Joe is passing through on his way to meet his fiance Katherine Grant. As a stranger to the area, with a small shred of circumstantial evidence pointing his way, Joe is arrested for the crime.

The town is buzzing about the stranger in their jail and rumors surrounding the story are getting more exaggerated as they spread. It isn’t long before a mob gathers in front of the jail demanding the prisoner. They intend to hang him.

When the sheriff refuses to turn Joe over to the angry mob they decide to burn the building. It is believed that Joe has died in the fire.

Enraged at the mob’s lawlessness, the district attorney is determined to bring them to justice. Although no one will come forward to identify the members of the mob and the case against them seem hopeless.

Then there is a major break. The prosecutor obtains newsreel footage that clearly displays twenty-two members of the mob. The defense counters that there is no solid proof that Joe was killed in the fire as no burned body was found.

But, there is one piece of defense evidence that troubles Katherine. An anonymous letter has been received with a partially melted ring worn by Joe. The letter has a misspelled word. Misspelled the same way Joe used to misspell it.

It seems to Katherine that Joe may somehow be still alive. Katherine learns that Joe and his brothers have a plan for revenge. The once civilized man is now angry, bitter, and determined to make his would-be killers pay.

NOTABLE: Fury received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Story.

In 1995, Fury was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

This film was director Fritz Lang’s first American picture as well as a departure from the usual film’s being produced by MGM at the time. The studio was primarily making lavish musicals and dramas.

The dog taken out of the rain by Spencer Tracy in the beginning of the film to become his traveling companion was named Terry. He would become familiar to everyone in a few years as Toto from The Wizard of Oz.

The script was loosely based on the 1933 real-life kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart in San Jose, California. The two suspects in the crime were pulled from jail by a mob who dragged them across the street and lynched them.