Watching 1939: Tail Spin (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: 
Tail Spin (1939)

Release date: 
Feb. 19, 1939

Cast: 
Alice Faye, Constance Bennett, Nancy Kelly, Joan Davis, Jane Wyman, Charles Farrell, Wally Vernon, Joan Valerie, Edward Norris, J. Anthony Hughes, Harry Davenport

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
Roy Del Ruth

Plot:
Trixie Lee (Faye) and Babe Dugan (Davis) are two financially strapped girls who have joined a cross-country air competition, which goes from Los Angeles to Cleveland. When her plane cracks up, Trixie and Babe stay in Cleveland for their plane to be fixed and join a Powder Puff Flight Race. Their flight rivals include sensitive Lois Allen (Kelly) and socialite Gerry Lester (Bennett), who has her own custom plane.

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Watching 1939: Dust Be My Destiny (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: 
Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

Release date: 
Sept. 16, 1939

Cast: 
John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Alan Hale, Frank McHugh, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan, Charley Grapewin, John Litel, Henry Armetta, Stanley Ridges, Moroni Olsen, William B. Davidson, Ward Bond (uncredited), Chester Clute (uncredited), William Hopper (uncredited)

Studio: 
Warner Bros.

Director: 
Lewis Seiler

Plot:
Joe Bell (Garfield) went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. When the law finds he’s innocent, Joe is released from jail, but trouble follows him. Again ending up at the wrong place at the wrong time, Joe is arrested and sent to a work camp. At the camp he meets Mabel (Lane), the step-daughter of the foreman and the two fall in love. When Mabel’s stepfather dies after attacking her, the two run away knowing they will be accused of murder.

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Watching 1939: The Devil’s Daughter (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 Devil’s Daughter (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 7, 1939

Cast: 
Nina Mae McKinney, Jack Carter, Ida James, Hamtree Harrington, Willa Mae Lang, Emmett ‘Babe’ Wallace

Studio: 
Sack Amusement Enterprises

Director: 
Arthur H. Leonard

Plot:
Sylvia Walton (James) travels from her home in New York to Jamaica, because her father left his banana plantation to her in his will. However, her step-sister Isabelle Walton (McKinney) has already been running the plantation for years. Isabelle goes into hiding in the jungle when Sylvia arrives, and Isabelle conspires with Sylvia’s boyfriend Philip (Carter). In order to get the plantation, Isabelle uses “obeah” (a type of sorcery) to scare Sylvia away for the plantation and for the love of John Loden (Wallace).

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Watching 1939: Double Deal (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: 
Double Deal (1939)

Release date: 
April 2, 1939

Cast: 
Monte Hawley, Jeni Le Gon, Edward Thompson, Florence O’Brien, Freddie Jackson, Buck Woods, Maceo Bruce Sheffield, Juanita Moore (uncredited)
Shelton Brooks as himself

Studio: 
George Randol Productions, released by Sack Amusement Enterprises and Astor Pictures Corp.

Director: 
Arthur Dreifuss

Plot:
Gangster Dude Markey (Thompson) and gambler Jim McCoy (Hawley) are both in love with nightclub performer Nita (Gon). McCoy’s naive younger brother Tommy (Jackson) gets involved in a jewel robbery and someone is killed. Dude ends up with an alibi and tries to pin the crime on Tommy.

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Watching 1939: Midnight Shadow (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:  Midnight Shadow (1939)

Release date:  May 1939 (first date referenced in newspapers)

Cast:  Frances Redd, Buck Woods, Richard Bates, Ollie Ann Robinson, Clinton Rosemond, Jesse Lee Brooks, Edward Brandon, John Criner, Pete Webster, Ruby Dandridge, Napolean Simpson

Studio:  George Randol Productions

Director:  George Randol

Plot:
A traveling mind-reading performer, Prince Alihabad (Criner) courts Margaret Wilson (Redd), who lives in the quiet Oklahoma town that he is performing in. Margaret will receive land in Texas that may have oil on it when she marries. Margaret has other suitors who also want to marry her, including Buster (Brandon). When Margaret finds her father dead and the deed to the land missing, police and two amateur detectives (Bates, Woods) investigate the case.

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Watching 1939: Fangs of the Wild (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: 
Fangs of the Wild (1939)

Release date: 
July 1939

Cast: 
Dennis Moore, Luana Walters, Tom London, Ted Adams, Mae Busch, Rin Tin Tin Jr., Martin Spellman, Jimmy Aubrey, George Chesebro, Bud Osborne, Frank LaRue

Studio: 
Metropolitan Pictures Corporation

Director: 
Raymond K. Johnson

Plot:
Foxes are stolen from a fox farm and police cannot crack the case. Don Brady (Moore) is brought in to investigate undercover. Don pretends to be on summer vacation in Summer Valley with his nephew Buddy (Spellman) and his German Shepherd dog Rinty (Rin Tin Tin Jr.). There is a case of mistaken identity when another German Shepherd gets involved in the case.

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Watching 1939: Charlie Chan in Reno (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: 
Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)

Release date: 
May 31, 1939

Cast: 
Sidney Toler, Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks, Slim Summerville, Kane Richmond, Pauline Moore, Kay Linaker, Louise Henry, Victor Sen Yung (billed as Sen Yung), Charles D. Brown, Iris Wong, Robert Lowery, Virginia Sale (uncredited)

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
Norman Foster

Plot:
Mary Whitman (Moore) heads to Reno for a divorce and stays in a hotel for women waiting on their divorce run by Vivian Wells (Brooks) and Dr. Ainsley (Cortez). Upon arrival, Mary encounters Jeanne Bently (Henry), who has broken up Mary’s marriage and will be marrying her ex-husband. That night, Jeanne is found dead, and Mary is accused. Mary’s soon-to-be ex-husband Curtis (Richmond) calls their friend detective Charlie Chan (Toler) to help investigate the case.

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Watching 1939: Stronger Than Desire (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: 
Stronger Than Desire (1939)

Release date: 
June 30, 1939

Cast: 
Virginia Bruce, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Bowman, Ann Dvorak, Ilka Chase, Ann E. Todd (billed as Ann Todd), Rita Johnson, Richard Lane, Paul Stanton, Ferike Boros, Barbara Bedford (uncredited), Tom Neal (uncredited),

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Leslie Fenton

Plot:
Elizabeth Flagg (Bruce) is the wife of successful lawyer Tyler Flagg (Pidgeon). Tyler stays busy with his cases and Elizabeth gets bored. To pass the time, she is courted by Michael McLain (Bowman). On the eve of traveling to Europe with her family, Michael blackmails Elizabeth for letters she wrote him. She shoots him, but Michael’s wife Eva (Dvorak) is accused of killing her husband.

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Watching 1939: On Trial (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:  On Trial (1939)

Release date: 
April 4, 1939

Cast: 
Margaret Lindsay, John Litel, Edward Norris, Janet Chapman, James Stephenson, Larry Williams, Nedda Harrigan, John Ridgely (uncredited)

Studio: 
Warner Bros.

Director: 
Terry O. Morse

Plot:
Robert Strickland (Litel) is on trial for killing Gerald Trask (Stephenson), who was his best friend. Stickland’s attorney is young and inexperienced Arbuckle (Norris), who took the case to further his career. The film follows the testimonies of Trask’s wife (Harrigan), Trask’s assistant (Williams), Strickland’s six-year-old daughter (Chapman), and Strickland’s wife (Lindsay).

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Watching 1939: The Saint Strikes 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:  The Saint Strikes Back (1939)

Release date:  March 8, 1939

Cast:  George Sanders, Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale, Jerome Cowan, Barry Fitzgerald, Neil Hamilton, Robert Elliott, Russell Hopton, Edward Gargan, Nella Walker, James Burke, Willie Best

Studio:  RKO Radio Pictures

Director:  John Farrow

Plot:
On New Year’s Eve in San Francisco, an underground leader is killed at a nightclub celebration. Simon Templar, the Saint, (Sanders) and Val Travers (Barrie) are both connected to the killing and were seen by witnesses. New York police inspector Henry Fernack (Hale) is enlisted to help solve the gangland crime. Templar works with Inspector Fernack to solve the crime and clear Travers’ name.

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