Watching 1939: Coast Guard (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.

coast guard21939 film:
Coast Guard (1939)

Release date:
Aug. 4, 1939

Cast:
Randolph Scott, Frances Dee, Ralph Bellamy, Walter Connolly, Warren Hymer, Robert Middlemass, Stanley Andrews, Edmund MacDonald, Ann Doran (uncredited), Craig Stevens (uncredited), Mala (uncredited), Dorothy Comingore (uncredited), Billy Lee (uncredited), J. Farrell MacDonald (uncredited), Marla Shelton (uncredited)

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Edward Ludwig

Plot:
Lt. Ray Dower (Bellamy) and Lieutenant Thomas “Speed” Bradshaw (Scott) are pals in the Coast Guard. Ray commands a cutter and Speed is an ace pilot. After rescuing Tobias Bliss (Connolly), Ray meets his granddaughter Nancy (Dee) and is smitten. However, their early courtship is cut short while Ray has to go on a mission. Speed looks after Nany while he’s away, and also falls in love though announcing that he is not the marrying kind.

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Watching 1939: Thunder Afloat (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: 
Thunder Afloat (1939)

Release date: 
Sept. 15, 1939

Cast: 
Wallace Beery, Chester Morris, Virginia Grey, Douglass Dumbrille, Carl Esmond, Clem Bevans, John Qualen, Regis Toomey, Henry Victor, Addison Richards, Jonathan Hale, Lean Ames (uncredited), Frank Faylen (uncredited), Milton Kibbee (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
George B. Seitz

Plot:
Set during World War I, tugboat owner John Thorson (Beery) has his tug sunk by a German U-boat off the New England coast. Furious about the incident, John enlists in the Navy. Rocky Blake (Morris), who was John’s tugboat rival, is an officer in the Navy and clashes with John, who resists military discipline.

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Watching 1939: Pack Up Your Troubles (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:
Pack Up Your Troubles (1939)

pack up your troubles

Release date:
Oct. 20, 1939

Cast:
Jane Withers, the Ritz Brothers, Lynn Bari, Joseph Schildkraut, Stanley Fields, Fritz Leiber, Edward Gargan, Lionel Royce, Adrienne D’Ambricourt

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
H. Bruce Humberstone

Plot:
When a trio of performer (The Ritz Brothers) can’t find work or pay their bills, they decide to join the Army to serve in World War I. In France, they meet a young orphan girl, Collette (Withers). Her father was serving in the war and was killed … or so she thinks.

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Watching 1939: The House of Fear (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:
The House of Fear (1939)

House-of-Fear-The-main

Release date:
June 30, 1939

Cast:
William Gargan, Irene Hervey, Dorothy Arnold, Alan Dinehart, Harvey Stephens, Harvey Stephens, Walter Woolf King, Robert Coote, Tom Dugan, Jan Duggan, Donald Douglas, Hobart Cavanaugh (uncredited), Milton Kibbee (uncredited), Emory Parnell (uncredited)

Studio:
Universal Pictures

Director:
Joe May

Plot:
After an actor drops dead on stage, his body disappears and police can’t uncover any clues. The once successful theater where he died is now a ghost town and people say the theater is haunted. After the theater is closed for some time, detective Arthur McHugh (Gargan) goes undercover posing as a producer buys the theater to solve the case.

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Watching 1939: Beware Spooks (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.

beware spooks31939 film:
Beware Spooks (1939)

Release date:
Oct. 24, 1939

Cast:
Joe E. Brown, Mary Carlisle, Clarence Kolb, Marc Lawrence, Don Beddoe, George J. Lewis, Robert Sterling (uncredited), Tommy Bupp (uncredited)

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Edward Sedgwick

Plot:
Policeman Roy Gifford (Brown) is newly married to Betty Lou (Carlisle). He is fired and rehired by Commissioner Lewis (Kolb), who thinks Roy isn’t very bright, but also fondly remembers Roy’s deceased father. With gangster Slick Eastman (Lawrence) on the loose, Roy has to postpone his honeymoon with Betty Lou to help crack the case.

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Watching 1939: Jamaica Inn (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.

jam inn1939 film:
Jamaica Inn (1939)

Release date:
May 12, 1939

Cast:
Charles Laughton, Robert Newton, Maureen O’Hara, Leslie Banks, Marie Ney, Emlyn Williams

Studio:
Production company: Mayflower Pictures Corp.
Distribution company: Paramount Pictures

Director:
Alfred Hitchcock

Plot:
With both of her parents dead, Mary Yellan (O’Hara) travels to a coastal Cornish village to live with her aunt (Ney) who lives at Jamaica Inn. When Mary arrives, she realizes that her uncle (Banks) is involved in a group of criminals who cause ships to wreck so they can can rob them. Mary rescues Jem Trehearne (Newton) and she turns to the town squire Sir Humphrey Pengallan (Laughton) for help. This may or may not be a good idea.

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Watching 1939: Mystery of the White Room (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.

Mystery-of-the-White-Room-19391939 film:
Mystery of the White Room (1939)

Release date:
March 17, 1939

Cast:
Bruce Cabot, Helen Mack, Joan Woodburry, Constance Worth, Tom Dugan, Mabel Todd, Thomas E. Jackson, Addison Richards, Roland Drew, Frank Reicher, Frank Puglia, Don Porter

Studio:
Universal Pictures

Director:
Otis Garrett

Plot:
During a surgery in a hospital, the lights shot off and when they are turned back on, a high profile physician is dead. Dr. Bob Clayton (Cabot) helps Sgt. Spencer (Jackson) unravel the case.

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Watching 1939: Daughters Courageous (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:
Daughters Courageous (1939)

Release date:
June 23, 1939

Cast:
Fay Bainter, Claude Rains, John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, Gale Page, Jeffrey Lynn, May Robson, Dick Foran, Frank McHugh, George Humbert

Studio:
Warner Bros.

Director:
Michael Curtiz

Plot:
After her husband left 20 years ago, Nan Masters (Bainter) has been raising her four daughters on her own ever since: Tinka (Rosemary Lane), Linda (Lola Lane), Cora (Page) and Buff (Priscilla Lane). The sisters are high spirited, adore their mother and have fun with their boyfriends (Lynn, Foran, McHugh). Nan decides to remarry and gets engaged to her Sam Sloane (Crisp), who has been a fixture in the family for 12 years. Shortly after their engagement, Nan’s ex-husband Jim Masters (Rains) turns up in the home; turning the household upside down.

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Watching 1939: Boys’ Reformatory (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:
Boys’ Reformatory (1939)

Release date:
May 1, 1939

Cast:
Frankie Darro, Grant Withers, Lillian Elliott, Frank Coghlan Jr., David Durand, Warren McCollum, Ben Welden, Pat Flaherty, George Offerman Jr.

Studio:
Monogram Pictures

Director:
Howard Bretherton

Plot:
Tommy Ryan (Darro) has lived with the O’Mearas most of his life since becoming an orphan. He views Mrs. O’Meara (Elliott) as his mother and thinks of Eddie O’Meara (Coghlan Jr.) as his brother. When Eddie gets mixed up with a group of rough teenagers and goes in on a fur theft job, Tommy takes the blame, not wanting to break the heart of Mrs. O’Meara. Tommy is sentenced with serving time in reform school until he’s 21 years old, and he makes Eddie promise that he has to stay out of trouble as a trade. However, Eddie also ends up in the reformatory.

boys reformatory2

Frank Coghlan Jr., Frankie Darro and David Durand

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Watching 1939: Back Door to Heaven (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.

back door to heaven1939 film:
Back Door to Heaven (1939)

Release date:
April 19, 1939

Cast:
Wallace Ford, Aline MacMahon, Jimmy Lydon, Stuart Erwin, Van Heflin, Patricia Ellis, Iris Adrian, Kent Smith, Anita Magee, Bert Frohman, William Redfield, Raymond Roe, Georgette Harvey, Bruce Evans, William Harrigan, Jane Seymour

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
William K. Howard

Plot:
Frankie Rogers (Lydon as child, Ford as adult) had a tough upbringing and his grade school teacher Miss Williams (MacMahon) is the only one who believed in him. After his grade school graduation, Frankie is sent to reform school and then continues to move in and out of prison. When he’s released with two of his prison mates (Stuart, Frohman), Frankie returns back home to find things changed and that his criminal past is never far behind him.

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