About Jnpickens

Classic film lover and reporter in North Carolina.

Watching 1939: Navy Secrets (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: 
Navy Secrets (1939)

Release date: 
Feb. 8, 1939

Cast: 
Fay Wray, Grant Withers, Craig Reynolds, Wilhelm von Brincken, Robert Frazer, Dewey Robinson, Joseph Crehan, Joseph W. Girard, André Cheron

Studio: 
Monogram Pictures

Director: 
Howard Bretherton

Plot:
After spending his Navy shore leave with Carol Evans (Wray), CPO Jimmy Woodford (Reynolds) is arrested for suspicion of espionage. Not knowing he was arrested, Carol waits to meet Jimmy for a date but is met by his friend CPO Steve Roberts (Withers). While the two spend an evening together, Steve tries to figure out where a suspicious envelope is to be delivered, encountering Navy spies along the way.

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Musical Monday: Here Come the WAVES (1944)

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:
Here Come the WAVES (1944) – Musical #640

Studio:
Paramount Studios

Director:
Mark Sandrich

Starring:
Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Sonny Tufts, Ann Doran, Noel Neill, Gwen Crawford, Catherine Craig, Anabel Shaw (billed as Marjorie Henshaw), Mona Freeman (uncredited)

Plot:
Susan (Hutton) and Rosemary (Hutton) are twin sister singers. Rosemary is more serious, and Susan is a bit more energetic and in love with famous singer Johnny Cabot (Crosby), a crooner who women go crazy for. Susan and Rosemary join the WAVES (the women’s reserve of United States Naval Reserve). Shortly after, Johnny is also drafted into the Navy. When Susan doesn’t want Johnny to be sent for active duty, she hatches a plan.

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Watching 1939: Fast and Furious (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: 
Fast and Furious (1939)

Release date: 
Oct. 6, 1939

Cast: 
Franchot Tone, Ann Sothern, Ruth Hussey, Lee Bowman, Allyn Joslyn, John Miljan, Bernard Nedell, Gladys Blake, Mary Beth Hughes, Margaret Roach, James Burke, Frank Orth, Phillip Terry (uncredited), Claire James (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Busby Berkeley

Plot:
Garda Sloane (Sothern) convinces her husband Joel (Tone) to take a vacation. However, rather than a relaxing trip, they find themselves in Seaside City in the same hotel as a beauty contest with Joel signed up to be a judge to the contest, which he was convinced to invest in by Mike Stevens (Bowman). Garda isn’t pleased with Joel’s task, and Joel realizes something is amiss with the contest, especially when the pageant’s promoter Eric Bartell (Miljan) is murdered.

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Musical Monday: Flower Drum Song (1961)

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:
Flower Drum Song (1961) – Musical #160

Studio:
Universal International Pictures

Director:
Henry Koster

Starring:
Nancy Kwan, James Shigeta, Benson Fong, Jack Soo, Miyoshi Umeki, Juanita Hall, Reiko Sato, Patrick Adiarte, Kam Tong, Victor Sen Yung, Soo Yong, James Hong, Ching Wah Lee, Virginia Ann Lee (uncredited), Cherylene Lee (uncredited)

Plot:
Mei Li (Umeki) and her father (Tong) arrive in San Francisco from Hong Konh. Through traditional customs, Mei Li was selected as a “picture bride” for Sammy Fong (Soo). When they arrive, they find that Sammy wasn’t expecting them and owns a night club and not interested in the bride selected for him, as he is in love with clubs lead performer, Linda Low (Kwan). He knows a family looking for a bride for their son Wang Ta (Shigeta). The story looks at tradition versus living a modern, American life.

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Watching 1939: Bulldog Drummond’s Bride (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 Bride (1939)

Release date: 
July 12, 1939

Cast: 
John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny, E. E. Clive, Elizabeth Patterson, Eduardo Ciannelli, John Sutton

Studio: 
Paramount Studios

Director: 
James P. Hogan

Plot:
On the eve of the wedding of Capt. Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond to Phyllis Clavering (Angel), there is a bank robbery in London involving an explosion. Drummond irritates Colonel Nielson (Warner) and Inspector Tredennis (John Sutton) by trying to solve the case. Unbeknownst to Drummond and Phyllis, the robber hid the money in a radio in Drummond’s new flat. Phyllis takes the radio with her to her aunt’s (Patterson) in a small French village. Drummond follows Phyllis and the radio to solve the case and tie the knot.

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Musical Monday: Delightfully Dangerous (1945)

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:
Delightfully Dangerous (1945) – Musical #638

Studio:
United Artists

Director:
Arthur Lubin

Starring:
Ralph Bellamy, Constance Moore, Jane Powell, Louise Beavers, Arthur Treacher, Ruth Tobey, Christian Drake (uncredited), Bess Flowers (uncredited), Harold Miller (uncredited)
Himself: Morton Gould

Plot:
Sherry Williams (Powell) is in school studying to be an opera singer. Sherry believes that her older sister Josephine (Moore) is a musical comedy star on Broadway. When Sherry travels to New York City to see her sister’s show, Josephine’s stage career isn’t quite what she expected.

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Watching 1939: Another Thin Man (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: 
Another Thin Man (1939)

Release date: 
Nov. 17, 1939

Cast: 
William Powell, Myrna Loy, Asta, Virginia Grey, Otto Kruger, C. Aubrey Smith, Ruth Hussey, Nat Pendleton, Patric Knowles, Tom Neal, Phyllis Gordon, Don Costello, Harry Bellaver, William A. Poulsen, Muriel Hutchison, Marjorie Main, Abner Biberman, Dick Elliott (uncredited), Shemp Howard (uncredited), Carmen D’Antonio (uncredited), Miguel Fernández Mila (uncredited),

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
W.S. Van Dyke

Plot:
Nick (Powell) and Nora (Loy) Charles return to New York after a vacation with their dog Asta and their one-year-old baby Nickie, Jr. (Poulsen). An old family friend, Colonel MacFay (Smith) calls them to his home, because he believes there is a threat on his life as he receives threats. When he is killed, Nick and Nora investigate the murder. Suspects include the Colonel’s adopted daughter (Grey), a strange nurse (Hussey), the daughter’s boyfriend (Neal) and the person sending threats to the Colonel, Phil Church (Leonard).

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Musical Monday: Lillian Russell (1940)

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:
Lillian Russell – Musical #633

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Irving Cummings

Starring:
Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda, Edward Arnold, Warren William, Leo Carrillo, Helen Westley, Dorothy Peterson, Ernest Truex, Nigel Bruce, Lynn Bari, Eddie Foy Jr., Una O’Connor, Elyse Knox, Joan Valerie, Alice Armand, Irving Bacon, Diane Fisher, Joseph Cawthorn, Lew Fields, Joe Weber

Plot:
In a biographical musical of performer Lillian Russell (Faye), the story follows Helen Louise Leonard and her transformation to the big star Lillian Russell. After she is discovered in 1890 by Tony Pastor (Carrillo), Russell is rises to fame and has many suitors including Diamond Jim Brady (Arnold), Jesse Lewisohn (William), Alexander Moore (Fonda) and Edward Solomon (Ameche).

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Watching 1939: Beau Geste (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: 
Beau Geste (1939)

Release date: 
July 24, 1939

Cast: 
Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward, J. Carrol Naish, Albert Dekker, Broderick Crawford, George P. Huntley, James Stephenson, Albert Dekker, Charles Barton, James Burke, Heather Thatcher, Henry Brandon, Harold Huber, Harvey Stephens
Leads as children: Donald O’Connor, Billy Cook, Martin Spellman, Ann Gillis, David Holt

Studio: 
Paramount Pictures

Director: 
William A. Wellman

Plot:
Three brothers Beau Geste (O’Connor/Cooper), Digby Geste (Spellman/Preston) and Michael Geste (Cook/Milland) were orphans, adopted and raised by their aunt Lady Patricia Brandon (Thatcher). Lady Brandon also raises her nephew bratty (Holt/Huntley) and her ward Isobel (Gillis/Hayward). Augustus Part of the Brandon family fortune is a large sapphire, the Blue Water. Lady Brandon is going to have to sell the Blue Water to give money to her absent husband. But before it could be sold, one of the young adults steals the Blue Water. Beau and Digby both leave that same night to join the French Foreign Legion, and upon discovering, Michael follows his brothers to Algeria. There the brothers and the rest of the legionnaires suffer under the sadistic and abusive Sergeant Markoff (Donlevy). Markoff targets the brothers after Markoff’s stooge Rasinoff (Naish) overhears the brothers talking about the sapphire.

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Musical Monday: The Belle of New York (1952)

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:
The Belle of New York (1952) – Musical #239

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Charles Walters

Starring:
Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, Marjorie Main, Keenan Wynn, Alice Pearce, Clinton Sundberg, Gale Robbins, Lyn Wilde (uncredited)

Plot:
Set in the early 1900s, Charlie Hill (Astaire) is a wealthy playboy who is often engaged but never married. Angela Bonfils (Ellen) works at a mission house, which is run by Charlie’s aunt (Main). When Charlie meets Angela, he falls in love and finds himself floating in the air. Anglea soon too finds herself floating on air (literally). As the two make plans to marry, Charlie worries he isn’t good enough for Angela.

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