The Hound of the Baskervilles

April 7, 2016

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce became synonymous with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson after appearing in 14 film versions of various stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yet at the start, neither of them got top billing. Yet now, Rathbone’s look as the famous detective is the iconic look for him. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up this year’s series of films from 1939, commonly called the greatest year of cinema, with Sidney Lanfield’s 1939 version of the famous story.

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Goodbye, Mr. Chips

March 31, 2016

Robert Donat defied the odds and beat both Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart for the Best Actor Oscar in the 1939 Academy Awards with his portrayal of Mr. Chips in Sam Wood’s “Goodbye, Mr. Chips.” It’s a movie that celebrates school heroes everyone had (or should’ve) and connects in its ability to reflect back on the nostalgia of one’s life. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our series on films from 1939 with Wood’s film.

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The Wizard of Oz

March 25, 2016

Victor Fleming didn’t just direct two movies in 1939, he directed two of what many consider to be the greatest films made – ”Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Where the former, though, has more problems to contend with in today’s society, what with its depiction of slavery and race in the South during the Civil War, the latter is nothing but pure cinematic joy. Seen by more people than any other movie, “The Wizard of Oz” has become infused in who we are. Quotes from the movie can pop up in everyday conversation without people even realizing they’re quoting it. The songs – particularly “Over the Rainbow” – have been burned into our brains at an early age. It truly is a shining example of what cinema can be. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our ‘films of 1939’ series with one of the great cinema achievements, Flemings’ “The Wizard of Oz.”

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March 17, 2016

When John Ford decided to helm “Stagecoach” in 1939, he hadn’t done a western since his days in the silent film era. Yet it was this film, along with his relationship with John Wayne, that would lead to him making arguably some of the greatest westerns in cinema. Yet with this film, it was really more of a chance to make a western that could be a bit more serious, not just another b-level shoot-em-up, while still making a movie that was pretty light and entertaining. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our series on films from 1939 with Ford’s “Stagecoach.”

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The Women

March 10, 2016

After getting taken off what ended up being the biggest film of all time – ”Gone With the Wind” – George Cukor was given the adaptation of Claire Boothe’s very popular Broadway play, “The Women,” to direct. For someone called a ‘woman’s director,’ this was a good choice for both movies. That being said, it doesn’t mean Cukor’s film holds up well today. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we head back to our series on the year 1939 to really explore what made it the ‘best year of movies,’ and we kick it off with Cukor’s “The Women.”

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Only Angels Have Wings

July 24, 2015

Howard Hawks and Cary Grant had already given the world the hilarious “Bringing Up Baby” in 1938, and lucky for us, they liked working together. They’d work on four more films together, including their very next one — “Only Angels Have Wings.” Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we finish our series on films from 1939 with Hawks’ and Grant’s second collaboration.

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The Roaring Twenties

July 18, 2015

James Cagney was getting tired of making gangster films for Warner Bros. by the time he starred in Raoul Walsh’s 1939 film “The Roaring Twenties.” After all, he really loved comedy and the song-and-dance too. But he clearly was great as a gangster. Look at him in “The Public Enemy” or “White Heat.” He carried a dark energy that really came across in those films as well as this one. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our series on films from 1939 with Walsh’s “The Roaring Twenties.”

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

July 10, 2015

It’s rare to find a film from 75 years ago that feels relevant still in today’s world, but Frank Capra’s 1939 “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is one of those films. Corruption in the Senate? Check. Corporate interests secretly working their own machinations behind the scenes to get their political puppets to do their bidding? Check. Cynical office staff who are only interested in making a buck? Check. Sad to say that the only thing that doesn’t feel modern is that a politician like James Stewart’s titular character could actually exist. Or at least survive in today’s political world. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue with our great films from 1939 series with Capra’s fantastic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

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July 3, 2015

Taking a completely different turn from last week’s Civil War epic, “Ninotchka” is a very light comedy by Ernst Lubitch dealing with Russians in their post-Revolution society. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our film about the great films of 1939 with Lubitch’s “Ninotchka.”

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Gone With The Wind

June 27, 2015

Considering the racially-charged climate of the US right now, it’s oddly perfect timing that we’re starting our 1939 series with “Gone With The Wind,” a film as technically brilliant to look at as it is hard to watch because of it’s portrayal of slavery and the ‘lost cause’ Southern view of the Civil War. It certainly gives us a lot to talk about in this episode! Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we dive into Victor Fleming’s “Gone With The Wind.”

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