Poverty row. That phrase gets thrown around a lot but what does it mean? Basically, poverty row studios were smaller concerns that specialized in producing inexpensive motion pictures. Both faded stars and fresh-faced up-and-comers would cycle through, making movies on the quick and cheap.
Here’s a good rule of thumb for all you would-be classic Hollywood heroes: If you are a professional hunter and you run into a dapper fellow who claims to be your biggest fan, run. He will always turn out to be a sociopath bent on hunting… you.
I am very happy to be writing about one of my favorite westerns. I am not an enormous fan of the genre but what I like, I really like.
Welcome to another installment of Silents in Talkies. In this series, I review sound movies that are either about the silent era or that incorporate silent films into their story. I will review the film itself and then briefly discuss whether the film helped or harmed public perception of the silent era.
This time around, Alice Faye and Don Ameche play the leads in movieland’s love letter to itself, Hollywood Cavalcade.
Another little pre-Code wonder is the subject of today’s review. Tell me if this plot sounds familiar:
Boris Karloff is, of course, best known for his monstrous roles in films like Frankenstein and The Mummy. While his big break came in the talkies, Karloff was quite active in silent films as well. The Walking Dead came along after Karloff had found fame playing assorted creepy characters. While not his most famous film, it contains one of his best performances.
Well, this has been on my chest for a while. Welcome to my new series. I am going to be reviewing talking pictures that are either about the silent era or that incorporate silent films into their story. I will review the film itself and then briefly discuss whether the film helped or harmed public perception of the silent era.
What do you think of when you hear the name William Castle? Classic chillers? Clever marketing gimmicks? If you asked a movie-goer in the forties, though, they would have thought of mysteries.
In the forties, Castle was known as a B director who could get films done on-time and on-budget. His output varied during this decade but two series kept cropping up on his resume: The Whistler and The Crime Doctor. Both were low-budget films series involving amateur sleuths and both featured former silent leading men: Richard Dix and Warner Baxter, respectively.
This is wonderfully entertaining film for all the wrong reasons. Here is what we are in for:
Humphrey Bogart plays a zombie doctor who must steal the blood of the living so that he (and his white rabbit!) can survive. Also, he has wire spectacles and a skunk stripe in his hair.
Let’s dust off a pre-Code mad scientist picture. And, as an added bonus, let’s choose one filmed in two strip Technicolor and directed by Michael Curtiz, of Robin Hood, Casablanca and Mildred Pierce fame. Even better, let’s choose one that has horror veteran Lionel Atwill and scream queen Fay Wray.
It’s time to give a little attention to one of my favorite screen teams, a couple so famous in the talkies that most people do not even realize that they started in the silents: William Powell and Myrna Loy.
When you hear about Plan 9 from Outer Space, the first thing you think of is a silent movie, right?
No? Well, keep reading!
Before I get started, I think a little background is in order. Hopalong Cassidy holds a special place in my family. You see, as a kid, my mom had this: