About Jnpickens

Classic film lover and reporter in North Carolina.

Watching 1939: Tell No Tales (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Tell No Tales (1939)

Release date: 
May 12, 1939

Cast: 
Melvyn Douglas, Louise Platt, Gene Lockhart, Douglass Dumbrille, Florence George, Halliwell Hobbes, Zeffie Tilbury, Harlan Briggs, Sara Haden, Hobart Cavanaugh, Oscar O’Shea, Theresa Harris, Esther Dale, Phillip Terry (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Leslie Fenton

Plot:
On the 75th anniversary of The Evening Guardian newspaper, the publisher Matt Cooper (Dumbrille) tells editor Michael Cassidy (Douglas) that the newspaper is being shut down. Cooper also owns a scandal paper that Cassidy thinks is trash. To help prove The Evening Guardian’s value, Cassidy works on solving a prominent kidnapping case by tracing a $100 bill tied to the case. He seeks out Ellen Frazier (Platt), a teacher who was the only witness to the kidnapping. Cassidy and Frazier work together to solve the case so that Cassidy can save the newspaper.

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Musical Monday: As Long As They’re Happy (1955)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
As Long As They’re Happy (1955) – Musical #657

Studio:
Group Films

Director:
J. Lee Thompson

Starring:
Jack Buchanan, Janette Scott, Jeannie Carson, Brenda de Banzie, Susan Stephen, Jerry Wayne, Diana Dors, Hugh McDermott, Norman Wisdom

Plot:
John Bentley (Buchanan) is a stockbroker and his wife Stella (de Banzie) retired from acting to marry him. The Bentleys lead a quiet life in Wimbledon, but their three daughters keep them on their toes:
– 16-year-old Gwen (Scott) is in love with the crying crooner, Bobby Denver.
– Corinne (Stephen) is married to a cowboy(McDermott) and has to wire home so the two can return from Texas.
– Pat (Cason) is married to Peter, a bearded beatnik (Green), and the two live in Paris, where Pat sings in a cafe, where Peter discusses existentialism. The two return home after they get into trouble in a brawl at the cafe.
American singer Bobby Denver (Wayne), known as the crying crooner, ends up staying with a family while visiting England. His stay upsets the whole household, with all the women, including the maid, fall in love with Bobby.

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Watching 1939: Private Detective (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Private Detective (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 9, 1939

Cast: 
Jane Wyman, Dick Foran, Gloria Dickson, John Eldredge, Maxie Rosenbloom, John Ridgely, Morgan Conway, Joseph Crehan, Vera Lewis, Joseph Crehan, Willie Best, Henry Blair, Leo Gorcey (uncredited)

Studio: 
Warner Bros.

Director: 
Noel Smith

Plot:
Ex-husband and wife Millard Lannon (Eldredge) and Mona Lannon (Dickson) are fighting for custody of their son Bobby (Blair), with Millard trying to take the son from his wife. When Millard is killed, Mona is suspected, and private detective Myrna Winslow (Wyman) takes the case to prove she’s innocent. This is to the chagrin of her police officer boyfriend, Jim Rickey (Foran), who just wants to get married.

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Musical Monday: Killer Diller (1948)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Killer Diller – Musical #664

Studio:
All American

Director:
Josh Binney

Starring:
George Wiltshire, Nellie Hill, Butterfly McQueen, Freddie Robinson, William Campbell, Edgar Martin, Sidney Easton, Augustus Smith (as Gus Smith),
Themselves: King Cole Trio, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Dusty Fletcher (as Dusty ‘Open the Door Richard’ Fletcher), the Clark Brothers, Andy Kirk and His Orchestra, The Four Congaroos, Patterson and Jackson, Beverlee White (billed as Beverly White)

Plot:
A theater manager (Wiltshire) gives his girl fiancé Lola (Hill) an expensive string of pearls. Shortly after, a magician (Fletcher) at the theater makes her disappear. As the police search for the pearls and Lola, a show has to go on.
The majority of the film is a variety show of singing, dancing and jokes.

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Watching 1939: King of the Underworld (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
King of the Underworld (1939)

Release date: 
Jan. 7, 1939

Cast: 
Humphrey Bogart, Kay Francis, James Stephenson, John Eldredge, Jessie Busley, Murray Alper, Arthur Aylesworth, Mickey Kuhn (uncredited), Richard Quine (uncredited)

Studio: 
Warner Bros.

Director: 
Lewis Seiler

Plot:
Drs. Niles (Eldredge) and Carole (Francis) Nelson are married doctors who primarily work for a clinic. But the two soon become society doctors after Niles takes a deal with gangster Joe Gurney (Bogart) to help treat other criminals. When Niles is killed in a raid, the district attorney tries to charge Carole with involvement in the gang. Carole moves with her aunt (Busley) to uncover Gurney’s gang and prove her innocence.

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Musical Monday: Sepia Cinderella (1947)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Sepia Cinderella (1947) – Musical #663

Studio:
Herald Pictures

Director:
Arthur H. Leonard

Starring:
Billy Daniels, Sheila Guyse, Tondaleyo, Ruble Blakey, William Greaves, Jack Carter, Dusty Freeman, George Williams, Harold Norton, Hilda Offley, Sidney Poitier (uncredited)
Specialty Acts and Appearances: Freddie Bartholomew, Deek Watson’s Brown Dot’s, Walter Fuller’s Orchestra, Apus, Estellita, John Kirby Sextet, Leonard and Zolo

Plot:
Bob Jordan (Billy Daniels) is a struggling songwriter. Barbara (Guyse), the adopted daughter of his landlady (Offley), helps him put lyrics to his song, “Cinderella.” Bob’s song becomes a hit, which throws him into society. Bob catches the attention of Vivian (Tondelayo), who owns a nightclub, and replaces her current bandleader (Blakey) with Bob. Vivian’s liking of Bob causes troubles with her fiance and hurts Barbara, as their romance is in the tabloids.

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Musical Monday: Miracle in Harlem (1948)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Miracle in Harlem (1948) – Musical #662

Studio:
Herald Pictures

Director:
Jack Kemp

Starring:
Hilda Offley, Sheila Guyse, Kenneth Freeman, William Greaves, Sybil Lewis (billed as Sybyl Lewis), Creighton Thompson, Laurence Criner, Jack Carter, Stepin Fetchit,
Specialty performers: Juanita Hall, Norma Shepherd, Lynn Proctor Trio, Lavada Carter, Savannah Churchill

Plot:
Aunt Hattie (Offley) and her niece Julie (Guyse) run a small candy store. They have a small location and their only help is Julie’s boyfriend Bert (Greaves) and the handyman, Swifty (Fetchit). Julie and Bert want to expand, but Aunt Hattie resists. Wealthy Albert Marshall (Criner) of the big business Harlem Candy Manufacturers tries to put Julie and Aunt Hattie out of business. Marshall and his son Jim (Freeman) trick Julie out of the candy store, but when Marshall turns up dead, Julie is accused.

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Watching 1939: Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 13, 1939

Cast: 
Walter Pidgeon, Rita Johnson, Henry Hull, Stanley Ridges, Donald Meek, Addison Richards, Sterling Holloway, Frank Faylen, Henry Victor, Milburn Stone, Martin Kosleck, Andrew Tombes (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Jacques Tourneur

Plot:
Undercover detective Nick Carter (Pidgeon) is hired to investigate how top-secret blueprints continuously go missing from the Radex Airplane Factory. The airplane plant is working to develop a high-speed plane for the government, and spies are working to get their hands on the plans.

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Musical Monday: Boy! What a Girl! (1947)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Boy! What a Girl! (1947) – Musical #426

Studio:
Herald Pictures

Director:
Arthur H. Leonard

Starring:
Tim Moore, Elwood Smith, Duke Williams, Alan Jackson, Sheila Guyse, Betti Mays, Sybil Lewis, Warren Patterson
Themselves: Slam Stewart Trio, Deek Watson and the Brown Dots, Big Sid Catlett, Ann Cornell, Gene Krupa, Harlemaniacs

Plot:
Jim Walton (Smith) and Harry Diggs (Williams) are trying to get a show on Broadway but lack the financial backing. Jim hopes that his girlfriend’s rich father, Mr. Cummings (Jackson), will help fund the show. Mr. Cummings will only help fund the show if wealthy French impresario Mme. Deborah Martin pays for half of the show. In her absence, female impersonator Bumpsie (Moore) poses as Mme. Deborah, but the issue is when the real Mme. Deborah (Lewis) arrives.

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Watching 1939: Bulldog Drummond’s Secret Police (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Bulldog Drummond’s Secret Police (1939)

Release date: 
March 24, 1939, in the UK
March 29, 1939, in the US

Cast: 
John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny, E. E. Clive, Elizabeth Patterson, Leo G. Carroll (billed as Leo Carroll), Forrester Harvey, Elspeth Dudgeon

Studio: 
Paramount Pictures

Director: 
James P. Hogan

Plot:
After several failed attempts, Bulldog Drummond (Howard) and his girlfriend Phyllis (Angel) are finally getting married; traveling to an old family mansion in Rockingham for the occasion. However, their nuptial efforts are thwarted when Drummond is informed by guest Professor Downie (Harvey) that there is a fortune buried somewhere on the estate. While he’s curious about finding the money, so is everyone else. In the process, guests are killed as someone inside the house is trying to get the money.

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