Watching 1939: Mad Youth (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:  Mad Youth (1939)

Release date:  July 1939

Cast:  Mary Ainslee, Betty Compson, Willy Castello, Betty Atkinson, Tommy Wonder, Lorelei Readoux, Margaret Fealy, Donald Kerr
Jitter Bugs: Ray Hirsch, Patty Lacey, Eugene Taylor, Aileen Morris, Maxine Taylor, Pearl Tolson

Studio:  Willis Kent Production

Director:  Melville Shyer

Plot:
Lucy Morgan (Compson) hires a male escort, Count DeHoven (Castello). While her mother is away, teenage Marian Morgan (Ainslee) has a big party while her mom was away, which includes jitterbug dancing and strip poker. When Lucy returns home with the Count, he falls for Marian. When Marian and Lucy have a falling out over the Count, Marian decides to go live with Helen, which ends up being a marriage-for-hire and sex trafficking organization.

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Watching 1939: Confessions of a Nazi Spy (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:  Confessions of a Nazi Spy

Release date: 
April 27, 1939

Cast: 
Edward G. Robinson, George Sanders, Francis Lederer, Paul Lukas, Henry O’Neill, Dorothy Tree, Lya Lys, Sig Ruman, Joe Sawyer, Grace Stafford, Ward Bond (uncredited), Regis Toomey (uncredited), John Ridgely (uncredited)

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Anatole Litvak

Plot:
Dr. Kassell (Lukas) travels from Germany to the United States to rally support for the Nazi party with German Americans. As support and spy activity grows in the United States, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation investigates Nazi activity in the U.S., led by Agent Ed Renard (Robinson).

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Watching 1939: At the Circus (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:  “At the Circus” (1939)
Musical No. 611

Release date:  Oct. 20, 1939

Cast: 
Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kenny Baker, Florence Rice, Eve Arden, Margaret Dumont, Nat Pendleton, James Burke, Fritz Feld, Jerry Maren (as Jerry Marenghi), Dudley Dickerson

Studio:  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:  Edward Buzzell

Plot:
Jeff Wilson (Baker) runs a circus and has been disinherited by his wealthy aunt (Dumont). When Jeff’s circus finally turns a profit, he plans to marry performer Julie Randall (Rice), but some of the other performers steal the money. Circus performers Antonio Pirelli (Chico Marx) and Punchy (Harpo Marx) hire lawyer Loophole (Groucho Marx) to try to find the money and save the circus.

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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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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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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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Watching 1939: No Place to Go (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:  No Place to Go (1939)

Release date:  Sept. 23, 1939

Cast:  Dennis Morgan, Gloria Dickson, Fred Stone, Sonny Bupp, Aldrich Bowker, Charles Halton, Georgia Caine, Frank Faylen, Dennie Moore, Bernice Pilot, Greta Meyer (uncredited), Tommy Bupp (uncredited),

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Terry O. Morse

Plot: Joe Plummer (Morgan) worries about his father Andrew (Stone) who lives in an old soldier’s home. Joe worries about his father and invites him to live with him and his wife. However, Joe’s wife, Trudy (Dickson) isn’t as keen on the idea.

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