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11 search results for Claude Rains

  • Bog_home_top_story

    Turner Classic Movies celebrates 70 years of 'Casablanca' with re-release

    Type: Post | Date: Monday, Mar 5, 2012

    The anniverasary event will be held one day only
  • The Invisible Man - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Sunday, Sep 13, 2009

    A mysterious stranger, his face swathed in bandages and his eyes obscured by dark spectacles, has taken a room at a cozy inn in the British village of Ipping. Never leaving his quarters, the stranger demands that the staff leave him completely alone. Working unmolested with his test tubes, the stranger does not notice when the landlady inadvertently walks into his room one morning. But she notices that her guest seemingly has no head! The stranger, one Jack Griffin, is a scientist, who'd left Ipping several months earlier while conducting a series of tests with a strange new drug called monocane. He returns to the laboratory of his mentor, Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers), where he reveals his secret to onetime partner Dr. Kemp (William Harrigan) and former fiancee Flora Cranley (Gloria Stuart). Monocane is a formula for invisibility, and has rendered Griffin's entire body undetectable to the human eye. Alas, monocane has also had the side effect of driving Griffin insane. With megalomanic glee, Griffin takes Kemp into his confidence, explaining how he plans to prove his superiority over other humans by wreaking as much havoc as possible. At first, his pranks are harmless; then, without batting an eyelash, he turns to murder, beginning with the strangling of a comic-relief constable. When Kemp tries to turn Griffin over to the police, he himself is marked for death. Despite elaborate measures taken by the police, Griffin is able to murder Kemp, considerately taking the time to describe his homicidal methods to his helpless victim. After a reign of terror costing hundreds of lives, Griffin is cornered in a barn, his movements betrayed by his footsteps in the snow. Mortally wounded by police bullets, Griffin is taken to a hospital, where he regretfully tells Flora that he's paying the price for meddling into Things Men Should Not Know. As Griffin dies, his face becomes slowly visible: first the skull, then the nerve endings, then layer upon layer of raw flesh, until he is revealed to be Claude Rains, making his first American film appearance. So forceful was Rains' verbal performance as "The Invisible One" that he became an overnight movie star (after nearly twenty years on stage). Wittily scripted by R.C. Sherriff and an uncredited Philip Wylie, and brilliantly directed by James Whale, The Invisible Man is a near-untoppable combination of horror and humor. Also deserving of unqualified praise are the thorouhgly convincing special effects by John P. Fulton and John Mescall. With the exception of The Invisible Man Returns, none of the sequels came anywhere close to the quality of the 1933 original. Trivia alert: watch for Dwight "Renfield" Frye as a bespectacled reporter, Walter Brennan as the man whose bicycle was stolen, and John Carradine as the fellow in the phone booth who's "gawt a plan to ketch the h'invisible man." ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
  • Thor_home_top_story

    'Doctor Who' vet Christopher Eccleston says he's done with ‘Thor’

    Type: Article | Date: Monday, Jul 7, 2014

    The actor is open to returning as Claude Rains in 2015's ‘Heroes Reborn’
  • The Phantom of the Opera - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Sunday, Sep 13, 2009

    This Technicolor retelling of the Gaston Leroux "grand guignol" classic The Phantom of the Opera has a little more opera than phantom, but that's because the stars are soprano Susannah Foster and tenor Nelson Eddy. Claude Rains carries the acting honors on his shoulders, playing a pathetic orchestra violinist who worships aspiring opera-singer Foster from afar. The girl is unaware that Rains has secretly been financing her music lessons with instructor Leo Carrillo. When he runs out of money, Rains attempts to sell the concerto that he's been working on all his life. Mistakenly believing that his precious concerto has been stolen from him, Rains attacks and kills the music publisher he holds responsible. Terrified, the publisher's mistress throws a pan full of acid into Rains' face. Rains runs screaming into the night, and is not heard from for the next reel or so. Soon afterward, the Paris Opera house is plagued by a series of mysterious accidents. The managers are informed via letter that the "accidents" will continue if Foster is not immediately promoted to leading roles. Only after reigning diva Jane Farrar is drugged into incapacitation is Foster given her big break. Farrar accuses Foster's boyfriend, police inspector Nelson Eddy, of doping her in order to advance Foster's career. Farrar is later strangled, and Eddy is accused of the crime. The culprit is, of course, Rains, who now poses as the masked-and-caped "phantom". Maniacally determined that no one will impede Foster's success, Rains causes a huge chandelier to crash down on the opera audience when Foster fails to appear onstage (she'd been kept from performing by police-chief Edgar Barrier, who hoped in this manner to flush The Phantom out of hiding). A chase through the catacombs below the opera house ensues, with Rains holding Foster prisoner. When Rains briefly lets down his guard, the tremulous Foster removes his mask. It's "yecccch," all right, but nowhere near as frightening as the unmasking scene in the silent Lon Chaney version of Phantom of the Opera. The same can be said for the rest of this 1943 remake, though in fairness it appears as though the film wasn't really designed to scare anyone, but instead to serve as a suspense yarn with musical interludes. Hume Cronyn makes his second film appearance in Phantom in a microscopic role. The huge sets designed for this picture were hastily reused for the 1944 Universal melodrama The Climax, starring Boris Karloff and (again) Susannah Foster. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
  • Casablanca - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

    One of the most beloved American films, this captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue from director Michael Curtiz defies standard categorization. Simply put, it is the story of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a world-weary ex-freedom fighter who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of WWII. Despite pressure from the local authorities, notably the crafty Capt. Renault (Claude Rains), Rick's café has become a haven for refugees looking to purchase illicit letters of transit which will allow them to escape to America. One day, to Rick's great surprise, he is approached by the famed rebel Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) and his wife, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Rick's true love who deserted him when the Nazis invaded Paris. She still wants Victor to escape to America, but now that she's renewed her love for Rick, she wants to stay behind in Casablanca. "You must do the thinking for both of us," she says to Rick. He does, and his plan brings the story to its satisfyingly logical, if not entirely happy, conclusion. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide
  • Casablanca - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

    One of the most beloved American films, this captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue from director Michael Curtiz defies standard categorization. Simply put, it is the story of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a world-weary ex-freedom fighter who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of WWII. Despite pressure from the local authorities, notably the crafty Capt. Renault (Claude Rains), Rick's café has become a haven for refugees looking to purchase illicit letters of transit which will allow them to escape to America. One day, to Rick's great surprise, he is approached by the famed rebel Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) and his wife, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Rick's true love who deserted him when the Nazis invaded Paris. She still wants Victor to escape to America, but now that she's renewed her love for Rick, she wants to stay behind in Casablanca. "You must do the thinking for both of us," she says to Rick. He does, and his plan brings the story to its satisfyingly logical, if not entirely happy, conclusion. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide
  • Hunted-finale-melissa-george_home_top_story

    'Hunted' creator Frank Spotnitz on the series finale and the future of Sam Hunter

    Type: Post | Date: Friday, Dec 7, 2012

    'Hunted' won't continue, but the character will
  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romance

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

    Includes:Now, Voyager (1942) Mogambo (1953) Love in the Afternoon (1957) Splendor in the Grass (1961) Now, Voyager Olive Higgins Prouty's popular novel was transformed into nearly two hours of high-grade soap opera by several masters of the trade: Warner Bros., Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, director Irving Rapper, and screenwriter Casey Robinson. Davis plays repressed Charlotte Vale, dying on the vine thanks to her domineering mother (Gladys Cooper). All-knowing psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains) urges Charlotte to make several radical changes in her life, quoting Walt Whitman: "Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find." Slowly, Charlotte emerges from her cocoon of tight hairdos and severe clothing to blossom into a gorgeous fashion plate. While on a long ocean voyage, she falls in love with Jerry Durrance (Henreid), who is trapped in a loveless marriage. After kicking over the last of her traces at home, Charlotte selflessly becomes a surrogate mother to Jerry's emotionally disturbed daughter (a curiously uncredited Janis Wilson), who is on the verge of becoming the hysterical wallflower that Charlotte once was. An interim romance with another man (John Loder) fails to drive Jerry from Charlotte's mind. The film ends ambiguously; Jerry is still married, without much chance of being divorced from his troublesome wife, but the newly self-confident Charlotte is willing to wait forever if need be. "Don't ask for the moon," murmurs Charlotte as Max Steiner's romantic music reaches a crescendo, "we have the stars." In addition to this famous line, Now, Voyager also features the legendary "two cigarettes" bit, in which Jerry places two symbolic cigarettes between his lips, lights them both, and hands one to Charlotte. The routine would be endlessly lampooned in subsequent films, once by Henreid himself in the satirical sword-and-sandal epic Siren of Baghdad (1953). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Mogambo The 1953 Clark Gable film Mogambo is a remake of Gable's 1932 seriocomic adventure Red Dust. Where the earlier film was lensed on the MGM backlot, Mogambo was shot on location in Africa by director John Ford. Gable is safari leader Victor Marswell, who plays "host" to stranded Eloise Y. Kelly (Ava Gardner, who is no better than she ought to be but is just right for our raffish hero -- the Gardner role was originally played along franker pre-Code lines by Jean Harlow). Anthropologist Donald Nordley (Donald Sinden) hires Victor to lead him into the deepest, darkest jungle. Along for the ride is Donald's wife, Linda (Grace Kelly), outwardly cool as a cucumber but secretly harboring a lust for Victor. Scorned, Kelly tries to kill Victor, but true-blue Eloise takes the blame for the shooting. Reportedly, Grace Kelly carried on an off-camera romance with Clark Gable, which ended when the differences in their ages proved insurmountable. Even so, it is the easy rapport between Gable and Ava Gardner which stole the show in Mogambo. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Love in the Afternoon Gary Cooper more or less repeats his international-roue characterization from 1938's Bluebeard's Eighth Wife for the 1957 romantic comedy Love in the Afternoon (both films were co-scripted by Billy Wilder, who also directed the latter picture). Audrey Hepburn co-stars as the daughter of Parisian private eye Maurice Chevalier. Investigating the amorous activities of Cooper, Chevalier relates what he's discovered to cuckolded husband John McGiver, who declares that he's going after Cooper with a pistol. Overhearing this conversation, Hepburn rushes off to rescue Cooper. She keeps him far away from McGiver by adopting a "woman of the world" pose. Cooper quickly sees through this charade; still, she is fascinated by Hepburn and attempts to relocate her after she disappears. Meeting Chevalier one day, Cooper relates the story of the Mystery Woman, never dreaming that he is describing Chevalier's daughter. Equally in the dark, Chevalier offers to locate the elusive Hepburn. Once he's tumbled to the fact that his quarry is his own flesh and blood, Chevalier advises Hepburn against contemplating a relationship with the much-older Cooper. She, of course, fails to heed this warning, setting the stage for an ultraromantic finale. Love in the Afternoon is highlighted by a superb running gag involving a quartet of gypsy violinists, who insist upon dogging Cooper's trail wherever he goes-including a steam bath. Love in the Afternoon was adapted by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond from the novel Ariane by Claude Anet. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Splendor in the Grass 1961's premiere "date" movie represented the screen debut of Warren Beatty. Set in the 1920s, William Inge's screenplay concerns the superheated romance between working-class high schooler Natalie Wood and rich kid Beatty. Trying their best to keep their relationship from going "all the way," Beatty and Wood go through a series of unsatisfying interim romances. The troubled Wood attempts suicide and is sent to a mental institution, while Beatty impregnates freewheeling waitress Zohra Lampert. Wood and Beatty still carry a torch for one another, but circumstances preclude their getting together -- and besides, Wood suddenly realizes that she's outgrown the still-floundering Beatty. Scriptwriter William Inge shows up as a minister in Splendor in the Grass, while comedienne Phyllis Diller does a cameo as famed nightclub entertainer Texas Guinan; also, keep an eye out for Sandy Dennis, making her first movie appearance. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
  • Hollywood Tough Guys

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009

    Includes:They Made Me a Criminal (1939) The Great Flamarion (1945) Shock! (1946) Borderline (1950) The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) The Second Woman (1951) They Made Me a Criminal They Made Me a Criminal opens in New York, depicting the latest victory in the ring for Johnny Bradfield (John Garfield), a young boxer who seems headed for a championship. When a reporter finds Bradfield drunk and carousing with women, and learns that the squeaky-clean image that he has cultivated is a complete lie, he threatens to blow the lid off the boxer's real life, and is beaten to death by Bradfield's manager. Bradfield, who was in a drunken stupor during the fight, is framed for the killing by his manager, who rolls him for his wallet, watch, and anything else of value, makes a run for it, and is killed in a fiery car accident. As far as the police are concerned, the case is closed, "Bradfield" having been identified in the wreck by the watch he was wearing. But Johnny Bradfield now has to disappear from New York and anyplace else he's ever been seen, in order to stay "dead." He is sent on his way by his crooked attorney with just a few dollars in his pocket, thumbing rides and walking west. Bradfield collapses one day from exhaustion and near starvation outside of a ranch in Arizona. The ranch is run by May Robson as part of a relief effort to help a group of boys from the New York slums -- Tommy (Billy Halop), Spit (Leo Gorcey), Dippy (Huntz Hall), T.B. (Gabriel Dell), Angel (Bobby Jordan), and Milty (Bernard Punsly) -- keep out of trouble. Identifying himself as "Jack Dorney," he first tries to see what he can get in the way of a free ride from the kids and Tommy's sister, Peggy (Gloria Dickson), who doesn't trust Dorney or his influence over the kids. Meanwhile, back in New York, one police detective, Phelan (Claude Rains), is convinced that the body found in the burned wreck of Johnny Bradfield's car wasn't Bradfield. Phelan is an outcast in his department for having once presented "conclusive" evidence in court against a man who was executed for murder, only to discover later that the man was innocent. He sees this as his chance to redeem himself and his career, and he is such a pariah that his chief gives him permission to follow up leads anywhere he needs to. At the ranch, Dorney takes a genuine liking to the kids, and sees Peggy as a kind of woman he's never known, who has no "angles" in her approach to life. The ranch may have to be sold, however, as there is no more money coming from the church in New York to keep it going. In order to save the ranch and set Peggy and the kids up in a roadside business pumping gas -- an idea of Tommy's -- Dorney decides to enter a prize fight for money against a barnstorming boxer. On the eve of the fight, however, Phelan shows up, drawn by a newspaper photo of Dorney, his face obscured but using the same unusual left-handed boxing stance he used as Johnny Bradfield. Dorney goes into the ring, and finds himself up against a brute who has already flattened two opponents in less than one round each, trying to hide his identity by fighting right-handed. He gets savaged, round after round, until Phelan tells him from ringside that he knows who he is. Free to use his left, Dorney saves himself. Phelan confronts him in the dressing room, and Johnny tells him he'll give him no trouble -- they're about to head back east, with Peggy and the kids trying to thank him, and it dawns on Phelan that possibly this is one case that might better be left "solved" officially the way it is already, even though it means the detective going back to his job as a laughing stock. ~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide The Great Flamarion This ambitious independent production was packaged by producer W. Lee Wilder, brother of Billy Wilder, and distributed by Republic. The title character, played with relish (and a bit of mustard) by Erich Von Stroheim, is an arrogant vaudeville artiste specializing in a trick-gunshot act. A dy
  • Hollywood's Biggest Stars

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009

    Includes:Marie Galante (1934) The Amazing Adventure (1936) Great Guy (1936) Made for Each Other (1939), MPAA Rating: NR They Made Me a Criminal (1939) Scarlet Street (1945) The Stranger (1946), MPAA Rating: NR Borderline (1950) The Big Trees (1952) Beat the Devil (1953) Marie Galante Movie newcomer Ketti Gallian plays Marie Gallante, who is abducted by a most ungallant drunken sea captain. He leaves her stranded in Yucatan, where she gets a job as a cafe singer in hopes of paying her way to the Panama Canal zone. While en route, she meets the two-fisted Crawbett (Spencer Tracy), who unlike most of the other men she's encountered believes the kidnapping story. Crawbett, a secret agent, comes to Marie's rescue when she gets inadvertently mixed up in a plot to sabotage the Canal. His job done, Crawbett decides to stick around in Panama for a while when he falls in love with Marie. Based on a novel by Jacques Devel, Marie Gallante was intended to make a star out of Ketti Gallian, but it was the reliable Spencer Tracy who attracted the crowds and earned the critical plaudits. Elements of the film's plotline would later resurface in the 1940 programmer Charlie Chan in Panama. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Amazing Adventure Amazing Quest was the original British release title of the 1937 comedy Romance and Riches (aka Riches and Romance). Making a rare return trip to England, Cary Grant plays the heir to a huge fortune. Alas, Grant is miserable, because he's never worked for his money. Determined to prove his worth, Grant makes a wager than he can earn his keep for a full year without ever touching the family millions. He loses his bet when he must draw upon his money to wed poverty-stricken Mary Brian, the better to save her from an unhappy marriage of convenience. Still, his experiences among the working classes have left an indelible impression; turning his back on his "equals," Grant invites all of his newly acquired lowborn friends to his wedding reception. Like His Girl Friday, Penny Serenade, and Charade, Amazing Quest is one on the ever-growing list of Cary Grant films that have lapsed into public domain, and thus are more readily available than when first released. Amazing Quest was based on a novel by E. Phillips Oppenheim. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Great Guy After retiring from a boxing career, Johnny Cave (James Cagney) accepts an appointment to serve as head of the Bureau of Weights and Measures. However, when he discovers that his organization is full of corruption and lies, he sets out to uncover the scam, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, Janet (Mae Clarke), and his underhanded coworkers. ~ Iotis Erlewine, All Movie Guide Made for Each Other James Stewart and Carole Lombard star in this comedy-drama about the struggles of a young married couple directed by John Cromwell. Stewart and Lombard play a recently married couple, Jane and John Mason. John works as an attorney for the law firm of skinflint Judge Doolittle (Charles Coburn). Doolittle calls John back to work immediately after the wedding ceremony, forcing the couple to abandon their honeymoon. But John is ready to do Doolittle's bidding, since he hopes to become a partner in the firm. Doolittle is openly disappointed at the marriage, hoping John would have instead married his daughter Eunice (Ruth Weston). Eunice eventually marries another lawyer in the firm, Carter (Donald Briggs). John and Jane try to make ends meet and invite Doolittle, Eunice, and Carter to dinner. The dinner turns into a disaster, climaxing with Doolittle informing John he has decided to make Carter a partner in the firm. Crushed, John and Jane work hard but to no avail, sinking deeper and deeper into debt. Jane has a baby, but when the child becomes seriously ill, the only way to save the baby is to have a special serum flown in through a blizzard from Salt Lake City. John needs $5000 to hire a pilot and get the medicine, and his only hope is to beg Judge Doolittle for the money. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide They Made Me a Criminal They Made Me a Criminal opens in New York, depicting the latest victory in the ring for Johnny Bradfield (John Garfield), a young boxer who seems headed for a championship. When a reporter finds Bradfield drunk and carousing with women, and learns that the squeaky-clean image that he has cultivated is a complete lie, he threatens to blow the lid off the boxer's real life, and is beaten to death by Bradfield's manager. Bradfield, who was in a drunken stupor during the fight, is framed for the killing by his manager, who rolls him for his wallet, watch, and anything else of value, makes a run for it, and is killed in a fiery car accident. As far as the police are concerned, the case is closed, "Bradfield" having been identified in the wreck by the watch he was wearing. But Johnny Bradfield now has to disappear from New York and anyplace else he's ever been seen, in order to stay "dead." He is sent on his way by his crooked attorney with just a few dollars in his pocket, thumbing rides and walking west. Bradfield collapses one day from exhaustion and near starvation outside of a ranch in Arizona. The ranch is run by May Robson as part of a relief effort to help a group of boys from the New York slums -- Tommy (Billy Halop), Spit (Leo Gorcey), Dippy (Huntz Hall), T.B. (Gabriel Dell), Angel (Bobby Jordan), and Milty (Bernard Punsly) -- keep out of trouble. Identifying himself as "Jack Dorney," he first tries to see what he can get in the way of a free ride from the kids and Tommy's sister, Peggy (Gloria Dickson), who doesn't trust Dorney or his influence over the kids. Meanwhile, back in New York, one police detective, Phelan (Claude Rains), is convinced that the body found in the burned wreck of Johnny Bradfield's car wasn't Bradfield. Phelan is an outcast in his department for having once presented "conclusive" evidence in court against a man who was executed for murder, only to discover later that the man was innocent. He sees this as his chance to redeem himself and his career, and he is such a pariah that his chief gives him permission to follow up leads anywhere he needs to. At the ranch, Dorney takes a genuine liking to the kids, and sees Peggy as a kind of woman he's never known, who has no "angles" in her approach to life. The ranch may have to be sold, however, as there is no more money coming from the church in New York to keep it going. In order to save the ranch and set Peggy and the kids up in a roadside business pumping gas -- an idea of Tommy's -- Dorney decides to enter a prize fight for money against a barnstorming boxer. On the eve of the fight, however, Phelan shows up, drawn by a newspaper photo of Dorney, his face obscured but using the same unusual left-handed boxing stance he used as Johnny Bradfield. Dorney goes into the ring, and finds himself up against a brute who has already flattened two opponents in less than one round each, trying to hide his identity by fighting right-handed. He gets savaged, round after round, until Phelan tells him from ringside that he knows who he is. Free to use his left, Dorney saves himself. Phelan confronts him in the dressing room, and Johnny tells him he'll give him no trouble -- they're about to head back east, with Peggy and the kids trying to thank him, and it dawns on Phelan that possibly this is one case that might better be left "solved" officially the way it is already, even though it means the detective going back to his job as a laughing stock. ~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide Scarlet Street Masterfully directed by Fritz Lang, Scarlet Street is a bleak film in which an ordinary man succumbs first to vice and then to murder. Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson) is a lonely man married to a nagging wife. Painting is the only thing that brings him joy. Cross meets Kitty (Joan Bennett) who, believing him to be a famous painter, begins an affair with him. Encouraged by her lover, con man Johnny Prince (Dan Duryea) Kitty persuades Cross to embezzle money from his employer in order to pay for her lavish apartment. In that apartment, happy for the first time in his life, Cross paints Kitty's picture. Johnny then pretends that Kitty painted to portrait, which has won great critical acclaim. Finally realizing he has been manipulated, Cross kills Kitty, loses his job, and because his name has been stolen by Kitty, is unable to paint. He suffers a mental breakdown as the film ends, haunted by guilt. Kitty and Johnny are two of the most amoral and casual villains in the history of film noir, both like predatory animals completely without conscience. Milton Krasner's photography is excellent in its use of stark black-and-white to convey psychological states. Fritz Lang is unparalleled in his ability to convey the desperation of hapless, naïve victims in a cruelly realistic world. ~ Linda Rasmussen, All Movie Guide The Stranger The Stranger is often considered Orson Welles' most "traditional" Hollywood-style directorial effort. Welles plays a college professor named Charles Rankin, who lives in a pastoral Connecticut town with his lovely wife Mary (Loretta Young). One afternoon, an extremely nervous German gentleman named Meineke (Konstantin Shayne) arrives in town. Professor Rankin seems disturbed--but not unduly so--by Meineke's presence. He invites the stranger for a walk in the woods, and as they journey farther and farther away from the center of town, we learn that kindly professor Rankin is actually notorious Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler. Conscience-stricken by his own genocidal wartime activities, Meineke has come to town to beg his ex-superior Kindler to give himself up. The professor responds by brutally murdering his old associate. If Kindler believes himself safe--and he has every reason to do so, since no one in town, especially Mary, has any inkling of his previous life--he will change his mind in a hurry when mild-mannered war crimes commissioner Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) pays a visit, posing as an antiques dealer. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Borderline This crime melodrama with humorous undertones involves the investigation of dope smugglers on the Mexican border. Americans Fred MacMurray and Claire Trevor enter the scene and find themselves embroiled in the illicit activities. Both are government agents, but each one thinks the other is a crook. The real bad guy is Raymond Burr, head of the smuggling ring. At one point, MacMurray and Trevor must pretend to be husband and wife, which weakens their mutual mistrust. Eventually, MacMurray and Trevor sort out the heroes from the villains, and the dope ring is scuttled...at least for the time being. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Big Trees Ever since slipping into Public Domain, The Big Trees has become one of the most accessible and oft-televised of Kirk Douglas' pictures. Douglas plays an unscrupulous lumberjack who covets the land owned by a religious sect. All that's saving him from being the film's main villain is the fact that there's an even nastier contingent out to claim the sect's territory. His greed tempered by the love of pious Eve Miller, Douglas turns out to be a good guy after all in the film's climax. Watch for Alan Hale Jr. as "Tiny," doubling for his own father, who appears in long-shot in the stock footage. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Beat the Devil Humphrey Bogart stars as one of five disreputable adventurers who are trying to get uranium out of East Africa. Bogart's associates include pompous fraud Robert Morley, and Peter Lorre as the German-accented "O'Hara", whose wartime record is forever a source of speculation and suspicion. Becoming involved in Bogart's machinations are a prim British married couple (Edward Underdown and blonde-wigged Jennifer Jones). As a climax to their many misadventures and double-crosses, the uranium seekers end up facing extermination by an Arab firing squad. The satirical nature of Beat the Devil eluded many moviegoers in 1953, and the film was a failure. The fact that the picture attained cult status in lesser years failed to impress its star Humphrey Bogart, who could only remember that he lost a considerable chunk of his own money when he became involved in the project. Peter Viernick worked on the script on an uncredited basis. Beat the Devil eventually fell into public domain, leading to numerous inferior editions by second and third-tiered labels. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
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