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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Watching 1939: Beauty for the Asking (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: 
Beauty for the Asking (1939)

Release date: 
Feb. 10, 1939

Cast: 
Lucille Ball, Patric Knowles, Donald Woods, Frieda Inescort, Inez Courtney, Leona Maricle, Frances Mercer, Whitney Bourne, Kay Sutton, Ann Evers, Charles Coleman (uncredited), Leon Belasco (uncredited)

Studio: 
RKO Radio Pictures

Director: 
Glenn Tryon

Plot:
Jean Russell (Ball) is jilted by her fiancée Denny Williams (Knowles), when he marries $10 million heiress Flora Barton-Williams (Inescort). After also losing her job, Jean tries to focus on marketing a cold cream that she has been developing in her kitchen. Jean becomes a successful cosmetic entrepreneur with a cold cream and beauty salon with Denny and his wife as an investor in the business, with Denny trying to get back in Jean’s good favors.

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Musical Monday: Time Out for Rhythm (1941)

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:
Time Out for Rhythm (1941) – Musical #420

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Sidney Salkow

Starring:
Rudy Vallee, Ann Miller, Rosemary Lane, Allen Jenkins, Richard Lane, Stanley Andrews, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curley Howard, Blanche Stewart, Elvia Allman, Alan Hale Jr. (uncredited), Alex Romero (uncredited), Bess Flowers (uncredited)
Themselves: Joan Merrill, Glen Gray and His Casa Loma Orchestra, Eddie Durant’s Rhumba Orchestra, Six Hits and a Miss

Plot:
Danny Collins (Vallee) and Mike Armstrong (Lane) meet at random in a nightclub. Danny is a Harvard grad and Mike the agent of singer Frances Lewis (Lane), and Danny critiques Frances’s voice as she performs in the nightclub. Danny and Mike form a successful New York talent agency in an effort to make Frances a star, but she gets married and briefly leaves show business. Danny and Mike start rehearsing a groundbreaking television hour with Joan Merrill and jazz bands performing. But when Frances gets divorced, Mike wants the whole show reworked to star her, causing a rift between Danny and Mike.

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Watching 1939: Lucky Night (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: 
Lucky Night (1939)

Release date: 
May 4, 1939

Cast: 
Myrna Loy, Robert Taylor, Joseph Allen, Henry O’Neill, Douglas Fowley, Charles Lane, Bernard Nedell, Gladys Blake, Marjorie Main, Bernadene Hayes, Irving Bacon, Frank Faylen (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Norman Taurog

Plot:
Cora Jordan (Loy) is rich and doesn’t know what she wants out of life. After jilting her suitor, she decides to break free from her rich father (O’Neill) to see if she can find what she’s looking for. While unsuccessfully looking for a job, she meets unemployed Bill Overton (Taylor). The two team up for a lucky evening of gambling. The fun is complicated when they marry when Bill wants to keep having fun and Cora feels they should be more serious.

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