Posts Tagged ‘warner brothers pictures’

Joan Crawford In Possessed

Monday, August 12th, 2013

In this 1947 Warner Brothers film noir, Joan Crawford plays Louise Howell Graham, an unstable woman with an obsession for ex-lover David Sutton, played by Van Heflin, and her resulting madness.

The film begins with Crawford’s character, Louise, dazed and walking the streets of Los Angeles looking for “David.” She enters a diner where she collapses and is taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. In an effort to understand the nature of her problem, Dr. Harvey Willard coaxes Louise to relate her story. How did she end up this way, and what pushed her over the edge?

In the state of Washington, Louise had been working as a nurse caring for the wife of Dean Graham, played by Raymond Massey. Engineer David Sutton, who is both a neighbor and friend of Dean shares a casual relationship with Louise. Casual, that is, to David. However, Louise is completely intoxicated with David and believes herself so in love with him that she feels she will burst if she does not express these feelings along with her desire to marry him. Louise is certain that David must feel the same about her.

He does not. Not only is David not in love with Louise, he is angered by her smothering possessiveness. The rejection shocks Louise who demands that they stop seeing one another for good. Dean has been unaware of the affair between his wife’s nurse and his friend and neighbor. One day David comes over to talk with Dean to ask him for a recommendation as David has an opportunity for a great job in Canada. Louise, unable to control her obsessive feelings toward David, overhears the conversation and begs David to take her with him to Canada. He refuses and leaves without her.

Shortly after, tragedy strikes the Graham family. Mrs. Graham drowns while Louise is away at the local village. Already distraut over David’s leaving, Louise is now racked by guilt over the death of Mrs. Graham. Had she only not gone to the village, the death would never have occurred.

That evening, Dean Graham’s daughter Carol confronts Louise accusing her of having an affair with her father that drove her mother to drown herself. Louise denys the false accusation, but the denial does not satisfy Carol’s suspicions.

Louise’s emotional stability is being pushed to the limit. With David gone, the death of Mrs. Graham, and Carol’s accusation, Louise slips closer and closer to the edge.

As Louise tries to remove David from her life he returns from Canada. His reappearance and actions now seem as though he is taunting her love for him and constantly reminding her that she will never be able to have him in the way that she wants.

Unexpectedly, Dean Graham proposes marriage to Louise. Though she does not love Dean, Carol accepts the proposal believing that this will enrage and make David jealous. David crashes their marriage ceremony and when introduced to the grown up Carol immediately begins to take an keen interest in her. Louise’s plan has backfired. Not only does David not show any jealousy she herself becomes jealous of David’s interest in Carol.

Once the relationship becomes serious between David and Carol, Louise starts to have delusions and hallucinations about the reality that is around her, and often times cannot discern between what is real and unreal.

A final confrontation between David and Louise can only lead to tragedy.

The story of Possessed reveals the agonizing and torturous experience of a scorned lover who is torn apart by the unrequited love of someone who toys with the rejection.

This 1947 film noir was one of Joan Crawford’s finest screen performances earning her an academy award nomination for best actress.


Life With Father – A Delight For All Ages!

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

September, 1947Life With Father has delighted audiences on Broadway for 3,224 performances and now the long-running comedy has come to the big screen.

Warner Brothers has beautifully produced a Technicolor re-creation of the successful stage production that can now be enjoyed by viewers nationwide. Directed, with a light touch, by Michael Curtiz, and starring William Powell , Irene Dunne, and a young Elizabeth Taylor, the completed film is both heartwarming and totally charming.

An 1880’s New York slice-of-life film about the Day family who are led by the headstrong William Powell, his wife played by Irene Dunne and their four children. A budding young romance for the family’s oldest son and the seemingly impossible task of getting the stubborn Mr. Day finally baptized is based on an original series of articles written by Clarence Day, Jr. as a tribute to his father.

The screen version of Life With Father has matched the stage play and is nothing less than a warm, witty, nostalgic, turn-of-the-century pleasure

Life With Father

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Life With Father – 1947 Color (Digitally Remastered Version)

Tagline – Here for all!! All the happiness of the play that ran longer, with the laughs that were louder, than any known before!

Starring – William Powell (Clarence Day, Sr.), Irene Dunne (Vinnie Day), Elizabeth Taylor (Mary Skinner), Edmund Gwenn (Rev. Dr. Lloyd), ZaSu Pitts (Cousin Cora Cartwright).

Released – September, 1947

Directed By – Michael Curtiz

Produced By  – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

NOTABLE:  Life with Father received four Oscar nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role (William Powell), Best Cinematography, Color, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, and Best Music Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.

The film was based on the stage play that ran for 3,224 performances and held the record for the longest non-musical run on Broadway. The play still stands as the sixteenth longest running Broadway production in history.

Silent screen legend Mary Pickford, after a thirteen year absense, was to have made her big screen comeback in the role of Vinnie, but Irene Dunne was given the role due to her current box-office appeal.



Dark Passage

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Dark Passage [Blu-ray]

Tagline – Two of a kind!… Tough!… Torrid!… Terrific!

Starring – Humphrey Bogart (Vincent Parry), Lauren Bacall (Irene Jansen), Bruce Bennett (Bob), Agnes Moorehead (Madge Rapf).

Released – September, 1947

Directed By – Delmer Daves

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – Vincent Parry, convicted of murdering his wife, has just escaped from San Quentin prison by stowing away in a garbage truck. He is out to prove his innocence.

Eluding police, Parry hitches a ride with a man named Baker. While driving, a radio broadcast announces the escape and Baker realizes that he may have given a lift to the escaped convict. His suspicions provoke Parry into knocking him out and stealing his clothes. While attempting to hide the unconscious Baker, and planning to steal his car, another motorist stops.

Painter Irene Jansen, who somehow knows Parry’s name, offers to help him. She brings Vincent to her San Francisco apartment and tells him that she had followed his trial very closely and believes him to be innocent. She goes on to tell him that her father was also wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder and ended up dying in prison.

Irene goes out to buy some new clothes for Vincent while he remains in her apartment. There is a knock at the door and a woman asks for Irene. Vincent, without opening the door, tells her that Irene is not home. This, however, was not just any woman’s voice. Vincent recognizes the voice to be Madge Rapf, a former flame, who testified against Vincent at his trial. This coincidence is more than a little too suspicious.

When Irene returns, Vincent asks about her relationship with Madge. Irene tells him that she is dating Madge’s former friend Bob. This explanation raises more questions then it answers for Vincent.

Later that evening, Vincent leaves Irene’s apartment to begin his search for evidence that might help clear him. He is picked up by a taxi driven by a man named Sam who also recognizes Vincent and is sympathetic to his situation.

Sam tells Vincent that he can’t successfully search to clear his name with a face that just about anyone in the city will know. He suggests Vincent see Dr. Walter Coley, a plastic surgeon, who can alter his appearance.

Vincent agrees to the idea and arranges to stay with his only friend George Fellsinger while he heals from the surgery. Dr. Coley performs the operation and Vincent, with his face wrapped in bandages and unable to speak, returns to George’s apartment. When arriving he finds his friend dead.

Vincent returns to Irene’s apartment noticing Baker’s car parked outside. Too weak to think of this as anything other than a coincidence he collapses at her door. Irene brings him inside and begins to nurse him back to health.

It isn’t long before Vincent and Irene learn that he is now suspected of murdering George Fellsinger.

Once healed, Vincent checks into a hotel using the name Alan Lynell. He has been followed and is soon accosted by Baker who demands $60,000 in blackmail money to keep quiet. Vincent tells Baker that he has no money, but Baker informs him that Irene is wealthy and he can get the money from her. If Vincent does this, Baker will get him a fake passport.

While driving to Irene’s apartment, Vincent overcomes Baker and questions him. Baker tells him that he was followed by someone in an orange convertable when Vincent went to his friend George’s apartment.

Another struggle ensues between the two men and Baker falls over a cliff to his death. Now, not only will Vincent have to prove himself innocent of killing his wife, but also innocent of George’s murder, and now Baker.

It’s beginning to look as if Vincent was better off in San Quentin. And as for Irene Jansen, her sympathy for Vincent’s dilemma is a mask for an agenda all her own.

NOTABLE: Dark Passage was the third of four films made by husband and wife Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

This was the first motion picture where Humphrey Bogart would wear a full hairpiece. Bogart’s hair, at this time, was rapidly falling out due to a severe vitamin deficiency.

Dark Passage is notable for the first third of the film being shot from the point of view of Bogart’s character. His unseen face is not seen clearly until the scene where he removes the bandages from his character’s plastic surgery and looks into a mirror.

At the time of the films production, Humphrey Bogart was Hollywood’s highest-paid actor earning in the neighborhood of $450,000 a year.



Kid Galahad

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Kid Galahad

Starring – Edward G. Robinson (Nick Donati), Bette Davis (Louise “Fluff” Phillips), Humphrey Bogart (Turkey Morgan), Wayne Morris (Ward Guisenberry).

Released – May, 1937

Directed By – Michael Curtiz

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – Ward Guisenberry is a quiet and shy young man who, as we will soon find out, packs quite a punch. It is his hope to save enough money to buy a small farm.

He takes a position as a bellhop and his first night on the job will drastically change his modest ambition. While doing a little extra work mixing drinks at a party thrown by boxing manager Nick Donati, Ward comes to the rescue of a woman who is being insulted.

Unknown to Ward is the fact that the woman is the girlfriend of Donati, Louise “Fluff” Phillips. The guy doing the insulting is Sam McGraw a fighter owned by gangster Turkey Morgan. The confrontation is short as Ward knocks the professional fighter out cold.

Now, Nick Donati knows a good thing when he sees it and wants Ward to become a fighter. Donati promises Ward that this will be a quick way to earn the money he needs to buy that farm.

Ward agrees and, although Fluff tries to talk him out of getting involved in the fight game, Kid Galahad is born.

Embarrassed by his fighter being knocked out by a nobody, Turkey insists on a rematch between Ward and McGraw. The fight is held and Kid Galahad, to the surprise of most, wins again. However, he better hold off on the celebration. Turkey’s men are now looking for him with violent revenge on their mind.

Fluff sends the kid to Nick’s family farm to hide out in spite of Nick’s rule to never involve his family with the boxing game. While there, Ward easily charms Nick’s mother and kid-sister Marie. When Nick learns that Ward is hiding at his family’s farm he is furious and immediately brings him back to the city.

Nick protects Ward from Turkey’s gang and the young fighter begins a successful career as Kid Galahad. This is where things begin to get complicated. During this time, Nick’s girlfriend Fluff, and his kid-sister Marie, have both fallen for Ward. A situation that infuriates Nick.

To get back at Ward, Nick arranges a championship fight for the young man. A fight that he is not ready for. Disaster and a murderous confrontation will soon follow.