Watching 1939: Sorority House (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: 
Sorority House (1939)

Release date: 
May 5, 1939

Cast: 
Anne Shirley, James Ellison, Barbara Read, Pamela Blake (billed as Adele Pearce), J.M. Kerrigan, Helen Wood, Doris Davenport (Doris Jordan), June Storey, Elisabeth Risdon, Margaret Armstrong, Selmer Jackson, Chill Wills, Marge Champions (uncredited), Frank Sully (uncredited)

Studio: 
RKO Radio Pictures

Director: 
John Farrow

Plot:
Alice Fisher (Shirley) is a smalltown girl who helps her father (Kerrigan) at his grocery store. Nearly thinking she won’t be able to attend Talbot College, her father makes financial sacrifices by using his life savings so that she can attend college. Upon arriving, Alice learns of sororities and is eager to join, as all the girls excitedly discuss rushing. While not wanting to be a social pariah, Alice has to determine if joining the exclusive (and expensive) groups is worthwhile.

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Watching 1939: Dancing Co-Ed (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: 
Dancing Co-Ed (1939)

Release date: 
Sept. 29, 1939

Cast: 
Lana Turner, Ann Rutherford, Richard Carlson, Roscoe Karns, Lee Bowman, Thurston Hall, Monty Woolley, Leon Errol, Mary Field, Walter Kingsford, Mary Beth Hughes, June Preisser, Chester Clute, Edward Arnold Jr. (uncredited), Robert Walker (uncredited), Lynn Lewis (uncredited)
Himself: Artie Shaw and his Orchestra

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
S. Sylvan Simon

Plot:
Before starring in another film together, husband and wife dancing duo Freddy (Bowman) and Toddy Tobin (Hughes) discover they are going to have a baby and Toddy has to be replaced in their upcoming film, “Dancing Co-Ed.” In a publicity stunt, the studio announces that they are going to have a contest at colleges across the country to find a dancing student. The only thing is that dancer Patty Marlow (Turner) has already been planted at Midwestern College to win the contest. School newspaper reporter Pug Braddock (Carlson) suspects that the contest is phony and tries to uncover a plant.

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Watching 1939: Raffles (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: 
Raffles (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 29, 1939

Cast: 
David Niven, Olivia de Havilland, Dame May Whitty, Dudley Digges, Douglas Walton, E.E. Clive, Lionel Pape, Peter Godfrey, Margaret Seddon

Studio: 
Samuel Goldwyn Productions

Director: 
Sam Wood

Plot:
Charming cricket player A. J. Raffles (Niven) leads a double life. One of an athlete who is invited into high society circles, and another as a jewel thief. Raffles steals jewels and priceless art and gives it to those who are financially in need and could benefit from the reward offered for the item. Raffles’s illegal activities complicate his relationship with his girlfriend Gwen (de Havilland), especially when her brother Bunny (Walton) runs into financial issues, and Raffles plans to steal a priceless necklace to help him out.

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Watching 1939: Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (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: 
Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939)

Release date: 
Nov. 3, 1939

Cast: 
Jean Rogers, Raymond Walburn, Marjorie Rambeau, Glenn Ford, Richard Conte (billed as Nicholas Conte), Eddie Collins, Ward Bond, Irving Bacon, Kay Linaker

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
Ricardo Cortez

Plot:
Joe Riley (Ford) leaves New York City to hitchhike across the United States to a 20-acre ranch he bought in Arizona. Along the way he meets drifter Tony Casselli (Conte) who convinces Riley to ride the rails with him. They also meet Spanish refuge Anita Santos (Rogers), who is trying to find her uncle in California. The trio also picks up Prof. B. Townsend Thayer (Walburn) who joins the group as they travel to Arizona. They experience tragedies along the way, and the ranch isn’t quite what Joe expected.

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Watching 1939: Drums Along the Mohawk (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: 
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Release date: 
Nov. 2, 1939

Cast: 
Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins, John Carradine, Jessie Ralph, Arthur Shields, Ward Bond, Russell Simpson, Francis Ford, Kay Linaker, Chief John Big Tree, Eddie Collins, Dorris Bowdon, Beulah Hall Jones, Charles Tannen

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
John Ford

Plot:
Set in 1776, wealthy, Albany, NY, woman Lana (Colbert) marries frontiersman Gilbert Martin (Fonda). The two set out to Gil’s farm in Deerfield in the Mohawk Valley of central New York. Lana has a difficult time adjusting to frontier life, but soon the settle into farm life. However, the American Revolution disrupts their lives.

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Watching 1939: The Bronze Buckaroo (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 Bronze Buckaroo (1939)

Release date: 
1939

Cast: 
Herb Jeffries (as Herbert Jeffrey), Lucius Brooks, Artie Young, F.E. Miller, Spencer Williams, Clarence Brooks, Lee Calmes, Earle Morris
Themselves: The Four Tones

Studio: 
Sack Amusement Enterprises

Director: 
Richard C. Kahn

Plot:
Bob Blake (Jeffries/Jeffrey) receives a letter from his friend Joe Jackson asking for him to come to visit and to help him. When Bob arrives he meets Joe’s sister Betty (Young) who is shocked that Bob received a letter from her brother. Her brother Joe has been missing for a month after Joe and Betty’s father was killed. Bob sets out to figure out what happened to Joe.

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Watching 1939: Navy Secrets (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: 
Navy Secrets (1939)

Release date: 
Feb. 8, 1939

Cast: 
Fay Wray, Grant Withers, Craig Reynolds, Wilhelm von Brincken, Robert Frazer, Dewey Robinson, Joseph Crehan, Joseph W. Girard, André Cheron

Studio: 
Monogram Pictures

Director: 
Howard Bretherton

Plot:
After spending his Navy shore leave with Carol Evans (Wray), CPO Jimmy Woodford (Reynolds) is arrested for suspicion of espionage. Not knowing he was arrested, Carol waits to meet Jimmy for a date but is met by his friend CPO Steve Roberts (Withers). While the two spend an evening together, Steve tries to figure out where a suspicious envelope is to be delivered, encountering Navy spies along the way.

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Watching 1939: Fast and Furious (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: 
Fast and Furious (1939)

Release date: 
Oct. 6, 1939

Cast: 
Franchot Tone, Ann Sothern, Ruth Hussey, Lee Bowman, Allyn Joslyn, John Miljan, Bernard Nedell, Gladys Blake, Mary Beth Hughes, Margaret Roach, James Burke, Frank Orth, Phillip Terry (uncredited), Claire James (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Busby Berkeley

Plot:
Garda Sloane (Sothern) convinces her husband Joel (Tone) to take a vacation. However, rather than a relaxing trip, they find themselves in Seaside City in the same hotel as a beauty contest with Joel signed up to be a judge to the contest, which he was convinced to invest in by Mike Stevens (Bowman). Garda isn’t pleased with Joel’s task, and Joel realizes something is amiss with the contest, especially when the pageant’s promoter Eric Bartell (Miljan) is murdered.

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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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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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