Watching 1939: At the Circus (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:  “At the Circus” (1939)
Musical No. 611

Release date:  Oct. 20, 1939

Cast: 
Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kenny Baker, Florence Rice, Eve Arden, Margaret Dumont, Nat Pendleton, James Burke, Fritz Feld, Jerry Maren (as Jerry Marenghi), Dudley Dickerson

Studio:  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:  Edward Buzzell

Plot:
Jeff Wilson (Baker) runs a circus and has been disinherited by his wealthy aunt (Dumont). When Jeff’s circus finally turns a profit, he plans to marry performer Julie Randall (Rice), but some of the other performers steal the money. Circus performers Antonio Pirelli (Chico Marx) and Punchy (Harpo Marx) hire lawyer Loophole (Groucho Marx) to try to find the money and save the circus.

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Watching 1939: Five Came Back (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:  Five Came Back (1939)

Release date:  June 23, 1939

Cast: 
Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Wendy Barrie, John Carradine, Allen Jenkins, Joseph Calleia, C. Aubrey Smith, Kent Taylor, Patric Knowles, Elisabeth Risdon, Casey Johnson, Dick Hogan, Pedro de Cordoba, Frank Faylen

Studio:  RKO Studios

Director:  John Farrow

Plot:
A Coast Airlines flight from the United States takes off to Panama with 12 passengers. The plane crashes in the jungle, because of a storm. Piloted by Bill (Morris) and Joe (Taylor), the plane is filled with several personalities:
• An elderly couple (Smith, Risdon)
• A wealthy man eloping with his secretary (Barrie, Knowles)
• A police officer (Carradine) with an anarchist prisoner (Calleia)
• A woman with a past (Ball)
• A gangster (Jenkins) chaperoning the child (Johnson) of his boss
• Larry (Hogan) the steward
Of the survivors, the plane can only take off with five passengers. The survivors have to decide who returns and who stays in the jungle, which is inhabited by head hunters.

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Watching 1939: Naughty But Nice (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:  Naughty But Nice (1939)
Musical No. 610

Release date:  July 1, 1939

Cast: 
Ann Sheridan, Dick Powell, Gale Page, Helen Broderick, Zasu Pitts, Ronald Reagan, Allen Jenkins, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jerry Colonna, Luis Alberni, Vera Lewis, Elizabeth Dunne, William B. Davidson, Halliwell Hobbes, Granville Bates, Hobart Cavanaugh (uncredited), John Ridgely (uncredited), Peter Lind Hayes (uncredited), Daisy Bufford (uncredited)

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Ray Enright

Plot:
Music Professor Donald Hardwick teaches at Winfield College and is opposed to swing and jazz music. Donald travels to New York to publish a symphony and stays with his Aunt Martha (Broderick), who is the black sheep of the family because she married a jazz saxophone player. Donald falls out of favor with his dean (Hobbes) when he’s tricked by lyricist Linda McKay (Page) and singer Zelda Manion (Sheridan) to write swing music.

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Watching 1939: Only Angels Have Wings (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:  Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Release date:  May 12, 1939

Cast: 
Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess, Thomas Mitchell, Allyn Joslyn, Sig Ruman, John Carroll, Noah Beery Jr., Milisa Sierra, Pat Flaherty, Don ‘Red’ Barry (billed as Donald Barry), Victor Kilian

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Director:  Howard Hawks

Plot:
Barranca Airways is run by Geoff Carter (Grant) in South America. Geoff and his pilots fly hazardous missions over mountains and in bad weather to carry air mail in and out of South America. His closest friend is veteran flyer Kid Dabb (Mithcell). Performer Bonnie Lee (Arthur) gets off a boat one night and meets Geoff and some of the fliers while waiting for her next boat. She ends up staying; intrigued by the flying business and Geoff. The business is complicated when Bat MacPherson (Barthelmess) and his wife Judy (Hayworth) arrive. Bat previously bailed out of a crashing plane which had the brother Kidd (Mitchell), and Bat’s wife is also Geoff’s old flame.

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Watching 1939: The Saint in London (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 Saint in London (1939)

Release date:  June 30, 1939

Cast:  George Sanders, Sally Gray, David Burns, Gordon McLeod, Henry Oscar, Athene Seyler, John Abbott, Ralph Truman, Charles Carson

Studio:  RKO Radio Pictures

Director:  John Paddy Carstairs

Plot:
Simon Templar (Sanders) is keeping an eye on businessman Bruno Lang (Oscar), as he suspects him for leading a counterfeiting ring. Socialite Penny Parker (Gray) tags along on Templar’s investigations for excitement, and an American pickpocket Dugan (Burns) helps out Templar on the case.

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Watching 1939: The Hardys Ride High (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. 

THE HARDYS RIDE HIGH, Mickey Rooney, Ann Rutherford, Cecilia Parker, Lewis Stone, Fay Holden, Sara Haden, 1939

1939 film: The Hardys Ride High (1939)

Release date:  April 21, 1939

Cast: 
Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker, Fay Holden, Ann Rutherford, Sara Haden, Virginia Grey, Minor Watson, John ‘Dusty’ King, Marsha Hunt, Donald Briggs, William T. Orr, John T. Murray, Halliwell Hobbes, George Irving

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:  George B. Seitz

Plot:
Judge Hardy (Stone) learns he is the heir to 2 million dollars. The Hardy family travels to Detroit to prove and claim the inheritance. The disinherited Philip ‘Phil’ Westcott (King) puts up a fight for the money, especially because he has to leave the family mansion.

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Watching 1939: No Place to Go (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:  No Place to Go (1939)

Release date:  Sept. 23, 1939

Cast:  Dennis Morgan, Gloria Dickson, Fred Stone, Sonny Bupp, Aldrich Bowker, Charles Halton, Georgia Caine, Frank Faylen, Dennie Moore, Bernice Pilot, Greta Meyer (uncredited), Tommy Bupp (uncredited),

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Terry O. Morse

Plot: Joe Plummer (Morgan) worries about his father Andrew (Stone) who lives in an old soldier’s home. Joe worries about his father and invites him to live with him and his wife. However, Joe’s wife, Trudy (Dickson) isn’t as keen on the idea.

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