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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Musical Monday: Under Western Stars (1938)

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:
Under Western Stars (1938) – Musical #608

Studio: Republic Pictures

Director: Joseph Kane

Starring: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Smiley Burnette, Carol Hughes, Guy Usher, Tom Chatterton, Kenneth Harlan, Stephen Chase, Dick Elliott, Dora Clement, George Montgomery (uncredited)
Themselves: Maple City Four

Plot:
Conditions for farming are terrible for ranchers due to the Dust Bowl and drought. Roy (Rogers) runs for Congress in order to get more federal help for ranchers and cowboys.

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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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Musical Monday: Broadway Hostess (1935)

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:
Broadway Hostess (1935) – Musical #266

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Frank McDonald

Starring: Wini Shaw (billed as Winifred Shaw), Genevieve Tobin, Lyle Talbot, Allen Jenkins, Phil Regan, Marie Wilson, Joe King, Donald Ross, Frank Dawson, Spring Byington, Ward Bond (uncredited), Dennis O’Keefe (uncredited), Mary Treen (uncredited), Jane Wyman (uncredited)

Plot:
Winnie (Shaw) wins a popularity contest back home in Ohio and travels to New York to start a singing career. She makes it big in New York as a torch singer, but falls in love with her business manager Lucky (Talbot), who unfortunately is strictly business.

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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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Musical Monday: Red, Hot and Blue (1949)

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:
Red, Hot and Blue (1949) – Musical #362

Studio: Paramount Studios

Director: John Farrow

Starring:
Betty Hutton, Victor Mature, William Demarest, June Havoc, Jane Nigh, Frank Loesser, William Talman, Raymond Walburn, Onslow Stevens, Art Smith, Barry Kelley, Julie Adams (uncredited), Noel Neill (uncredited)

Plot:
Eleanor Collier (Hutton) lives in New York City and is desperate to become an actress. She will do anything to be discovered and for publicity from going to dinner with rich men to modeling to going by the name “Yum Yum.” Eleanor clashes with her boyfriend Danny (Mature), who disapproves of her career gaining methods because he wants to direct serious plays. While trying to get ahead, Eleanor goes on a date with gangster Bunny Harris (Talman), believing he is producing a show when he gets shot. Gangsters kidnap her believing she witness the shooting.

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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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