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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Watching 1939: Convict’s Code (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.

Convict's-Code-1939-Poster1939 film:
Convict’s Code (1939)

Release date:
Jan. 18, 1939

Cast:
Robert Kent, Anne Nagel, Sidney Blackmer, Victor Kilian, Norman Willis, Maude Eburne, Ben Alexander, Pat Flaherty, Harry Strang

Studio:
Monogram Pictures Corp.

Director:
Lambert Hillyer

Plot:
Former football hero Dave Tyler (Kent) was just released after serving a stretch in jail for a crime he was framed for. When he’s released on parole, he is determined to find who framed him and prove his innocence. All the while he’s working for Gregory Warren (Blackmer) at an investment firm who may know something about Tyler’s arrest.

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Watching 1939: The Man Who Dared (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 Man Who Dared (1939)

man who dared

Release date:
April 4, 1939

Cast:
Jane Bryan, Henry O’Neill, Charley Grapewin, Johnny Russell, Elisabeth Risdon, James McCallion, Dickie Jones, Frederic Tozere, John Gallaudet, Grace Stafford, Tommy Bupp (uncredited)

Studio:
Warner Bros.

Director:
Crane Wilbur

Plot:
When their neighbors are killed in an explosion, the Carter family witnessed the event and can identify the criminals. When Matthew Carter (O’Neill) speaks to the police to try and identify them, his family faces consequences. The whole family refuses to speak in court for their own safety, but their grandfather (Grapewin) isn’t afraid to speak up — especially when one of their children is kidnapped.

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Watching 1939: Boy Friend (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.

boyfriend21939 film:
Boy Friend (1939)

Release date:
May 19, 1939

Cast:
Jane Withers, Arleen Whelan, Richard Bond, George Ernest, Douglas Fowley, Warren Hymer, Minor Watson, Robert Shaw, Robert Kellard, Robert Shaw, Ted Pearson, William Conselman Jr., Myra Marsh, Edward Gargan (uncredited), Lillian Yarbo (uncredited)

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
James Tinling

Plot:
Jimmy Murphy (Bond) is in police school. He disappoints everyone when he quits to go work for a gang. When one of Jimmy’s friends and former classmates, Tommy (Kellard) is killed in a robbery, Jimmy’s sister Sally (Withers) and Tommy’s brother Billy (Ernest) try to get to the bottom of it.

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Watching 1939: Tarzan Finds a Son! (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:
Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939)

tarzan finds a son

Release date:
June 16, 1939

Cast:
Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Sullivan, Johnny Sheffield, Ian Hunter, Frieda Inescort, Henry Stephenson, Henry Wilcoxon, Laraine Day, Morton Lowry

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Richard Thorpe

Plot:
When a plane crashes in the jungle, Cheetah the Ape finds there is a baby on board. Bringing the baby to Tarzan (Weissmuller) and Jane (O’Sullivan), they raise the child as their own in the jungle. When five years pass, relatives of the baby bring a search party (Hunter, Inescort, Stephenson) to find survivors of the crash, because an inheritance is at stake.

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Watching 1939: Within the Law (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.

within the law1939 film:
Within the Law (1939)

Release date:
March 17, 1939

Cast:
Ruth Hussey, Tom Neal, Paul Kelly, William Gargan, Paul Cavanagh, Rita Johnson, Samuel S. Hinds, Lynne Carver, Sidney Blackmer, James Burke, Frank Orth,

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Gustav Machatý

Plot:
Mary Turner (Hussey) is falsely accused of grand larceny when stolen goods are planted on her. She’s sent to jail for a three year stretch, and while she’s there, she studies law books. When she gets out, she learns how to break the law … but within the law.

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