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Peck’s Bad Boy (1934)

4.5/5 (2)

“Peck’s Bad Boy” is a 1934 comedy film directed by Edward F. Cline. The film revolves around the misadventures of a mischievous young boy named Bill Peck, nicknamed “Peck’s Bad Boy.”

Bill Peck, played by Jackie Cooper, is a troublemaker known for his pranks and mischief. He lives with his strict but loving father, Henry Peck (played by Thomas Meighan), and his patient and understanding mother, Hilda Peck (played by Dorothy Peterson).

Throughout the film, Bill gets into various scrapes and humorous situations, causing chaos and exasperation for his family and the people around him. His antics include playing practical jokes, skipping school, and causing disruptions wherever he goes.

Despite his mischievous behavior, Bill has a good heart and often learns valuable lessons along the way. He forms a friendship with a new girl in town, Sally (played by Mitzi Green), and together they embark on adventures and get into even more trouble.

As the story progresses, Bill’s antics reach a climax, and he finds himself in a situation that forces him to take responsibility for his actions. Through these experiences, Bill learns the importance of honesty, respect, and understanding.

“Peck’s Bad Boy” is a lighthearted and family-friendly comedy that showcases the spirited adventures of a mischievous young boy. The film highlights the challenges and joys of childhood and the growth that can come from learning life lessons.

The character of Peck’s Bad Boy originated in a popular series of books and became a cultural phenomenon, leading to multiple film adaptations. The 1934 version with Jackie Cooper remains one of the most well-known interpretations, capturing the youthful energy and mischievousness of the beloved character.

Directors:
Edward F. Cline

Writer:
George W. Peck, Bernard Schubert, Marguerite Roberts

Stars:
Jackie Cooper, Thomas Meighan, Jackie Searl

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Behind Green Lights (1946)

3/5 (1)

“Behind Green Lights” is a 1946 film noir directed by Otto Brower. The film follows the story of Police Lieutenant Sam Carson (played by William Gargan) as he investigates a murder case in a corrupt and mysterious city.

The film takes place in a city where the wealthy and powerful hold great influence, and the police force is often compromised. When a prominent socialite named Lois Frazier (played by Carole Landis) is found dead in her apartment, Lieutenant Carson is assigned to the case.

As Carson delves deeper into the investigation, he discovers that Lois had connections to the city’s corrupt underworld and was involved in a blackmailing scheme. He uncovers a web of deception, betrayal, and hidden secrets that involve powerful figures within the city’s elite.

Carson faces numerous obstacles and threats as he seeks to uncover the truth and bring the culprits to justice. He encounters femme fatales, corrupt officials, and dangerous criminals who will stop at nothing to protect their interests.

Throughout the film, Carson’s determination and integrity are tested, as he navigates a treacherous landscape where truth and justice are elusive. He must confront his own vulnerabilities and make difficult choices to solve the case and ensure that justice is served.

“Behind Green Lights” captures the essence of film noir with its atmospheric visuals, morally ambiguous characters, and a gritty depiction of a corrupt city. The film explores themes of corruption, power, and the struggle for justice in a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface.

Overall, “Behind Green Lights” is a captivating and suspenseful film noir that offers an intriguing mystery and an exploration of the human condition in the face of corruption and moral decay.

Directors:
Otto Brower

Writer:
Scott Darling, Charles G. Booth

Stars:
Carole Landis, William Gargan, Richard Crane

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Roar of the Press (1941)

3/5 (1)

“Roar of the Press” is a 1941 comedy-drama film directed by Phil Rosen. The film follows the story of Steve Mathews (played by Wallace Ford), a hardworking and ambitious reporter for a struggling newspaper called The Gazette.

In the film, The Gazette is on the verge of bankruptcy and desperately needs a big scoop to boost its circulation and save the paper from going under. Steve seizes an opportunity when he stumbles upon a murder case involving a wealthy businessman named Robert Grant (played by Jed Prouty). Determined to make a name for himself and save the paper, Steve convinces his editor to let him cover the case.

As Steve investigates the murder, he finds himself in a web of intrigue, corruption, and dangerous situations. Along the way, he teams up with his resourceful girlfriend and fellow reporter, Jane Mallory (played by Rochelle Hudson), to uncover the truth and expose the criminals behind the crime.

With his quick wit and persistence, Steve manages to outsmart the real culprits and gather the evidence needed to solve the case. His reporting not only brings justice to the murdered man but also leads to the downfall of a powerful criminal organization.

“Roar of the Press” combines elements of comedy, drama, and mystery, offering a fast-paced and entertaining story set in the world of newspaper journalism. The film reflects the challenges faced by journalists and the importance of investigative reporting in uncovering the truth.

Overall, “Roar of the Press” is a lively and engaging film that showcases the power of the press and the dedication of journalists in their pursuit of truth and justice.

Directors:
Phil Rosen

Writer:
Albert Duffy, Alfred Block

Stars:
Jean Parker, Wallace Ford, Jed Prouty

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Impact (1949)

4/5 (1)

“Impact” is a 1949 film noir directed by Arthur Lubin. The film tells the story of a man named Walter Williams (played by Brian Donlevy) whose life takes a dramatic turn after a failed murder attempt.

Walter Williams, a successful industrialist, becomes the target of a murder plot devised by his wife, Irene (played by Helen Walker), and her lover, Jim Torrance (played by Tony Barrett). The plan is for Walter to die in a car accident and make it look like an accident caused by drunk driving.

However, Walter survives the crash and disappears, taking on a new identity in a small town. He falls in love with a kind-hearted woman named Marsha (played by Ella Raines) and begins a new life, working as a garage mechanic.

As Walter settles into his new existence, he becomes determined to seek justice and expose the truth behind the murder attempt. He works with a determined district attorney (played by Charles Coburn) to gather evidence against his wife and her lover.

The film builds tension as the investigation unfolds, leading to a courtroom showdown where the truth is finally revealed. The climax of the film unveils unexpected twists and turns, resulting in a satisfying resolution.

“Impact” is known for its engaging plot, intricate character dynamics, and atmospheric noir visuals. It explores themes of betrayal, revenge, and redemption while keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

Overall, “Impact” is a classic film noir that delivers suspense, mystery, and a compelling story of one man’s fight for justice and a second chance at life.

Directors:
Arthur Lubin

Writer:
Dorothy Davenport, Jay Dratler

Stars:
Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn

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Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

4/5 (1)

“Cyrano de Bergerac” is a 1950 film adaptation of the famous play by Edmond Rostand. Directed by Michael Gordon, the film stars José Ferrer in the titular role and showcases the tragic and romantic story of Cyrano de Bergerac.

The film is set in 17th-century France and follows the life of Cyrano, a talented poet, and swordsman. Cyrano is known for his wit, intelligence, and skill with words, but he is plagued by his unusually large nose, which he believes makes him unworthy of love. Despite this, Cyrano is deeply in love with his cousin, Roxane (played by Mala Powers).

However, Roxane is infatuated with the handsome but dim-witted Christian (played by William Prince). To help Christian woo Roxane, Cyrano offers his own poetic talents, composing love letters and expressing his heartfelt emotions on Christian’s behalf. Through this act, Cyrano pours his own feelings of love into words that Christian cannot articulate.

As Cyrano continues to conceal his true identity and express his love through Christian, he becomes tangled in a web of deception, love triangles, and tragic circumstances. The story explores themes of love, honor, self-sacrifice, and the conflict between inner beauty and external appearance.

The film showcases José Ferrer’s powerful and memorable portrayal of Cyrano, capturing the character’s wit, vulnerability, and internal turmoil. Ferrer’s performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor, making him the first Hispanic actor to win the prestigious award.

“Cyrano de Bergerac” is a poignant and timeless tale of unrequited love and the power of words. It remains a classic adaptation of the original play and is celebrated for its engaging performances and its exploration of themes that resonate with audiences to this day.

Directors:
Michael Gordon

Writer:
Edmond Rostand, Brian Hooker, Carl Foreman

Stars:
José Ferrer, Mala Powers, William Prince

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The Bells of St Mary’s (1945)

4/5 (1)

“The Bells of St. Mary’s” is a 1945 American drama film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. The film serves as a sequel to the 1944 film “Going My Way.” It tells the heartwarming story of Father O’Malley (Crosby) and his interactions with the staff and students at St. Mary’s, a Catholic school facing financial difficulties.

Father O’Malley is assigned to St. Mary’s, where he meets Sister Benedict (Bergman), the strict and dedicated nun who is the school’s principal. While Father O’Malley’s more casual and modern approach clashes with Sister Benedict’s traditional methods, they gradually develop mutual respect and work together to address the school’s challenges.

The film follows the struggles faced by St. Mary’s, including a threat of closure due to financial constraints. Father O’Malley seeks the help of a wealthy businessman, Horace P. Bogardus (Henry Travers), in an attempt to secure funds for the school. Meanwhile, Father O’Malley also forms a bond with a troubled student named Patsy (Joan Carroll), whose troubled home life affects her behavior and academic performance.

As Father O’Malley and Sister Benedict work together, they navigate various obstacles and conflicts while inspiring the students and staff with their compassion and dedication. The film explores themes of faith, love, forgiveness, and the power of community.

In the end, the spirit of unity and the selfless efforts of Father O’Malley, Sister Benedict, and the St. Mary’s community prevail. The film concludes with a heartwarming Christmas pageant that brings joy and hope to all involved, solidifying the bond between the school, its staff, and the community.

“The Bells of St. Mary’s” is known for its uplifting and sentimental portrayal of the Catholic Church and its emphasis on the importance of faith, education, and love in overcoming challenges. The performances of Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman, as well as the film’s timeless themes, have made it a beloved classic.

Directors:
Leo McCarey

Writer:
Dudley Nichols, Leo McCarey

Stars:
Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers

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The Little Match Girl (1928)

4/5 (1)

“La petite marchande d’allumettes” is a 1928 French silent film directed by Jean Renoir, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Little Match Girl.” Here is a summary of the film:

“La petite marchande d’allumettes” follows the story of a young girl named Marie (played by Catherine Hessling) who is forced to sell matches on the streets of Paris on New Year’s Eve. It is a bitterly cold night, and Marie, dressed in tattered clothing, is ignored and mistreated by the passersby.

As Marie struggles to sell her matches, she finds solace and warmth by lighting the matches, which momentarily transport her to imaginary worlds where she experiences joy and comfort. In these moments, she envisions a loving family, delicious food, and a life free from poverty and suffering.

However, as the night progresses, Marie’s matches eventually run out, leaving her alone and exposed to the harsh winter conditions. In a desperate attempt to keep warm, she continues to light the remaining matches, even though they are her only source of comfort.

In the poignant conclusion of the film, Marie’s lifeless body is discovered in the morning, a tragic victim of poverty and neglect. Her spirit ascends to the heavens, where she is reunited with her loving mother.

“La petite marchande d’allumettes” captures the heartbreaking tale of the original story, highlighting the plight of the poor and the power of imagination in the face of adversity. The film explores themes of poverty, compassion, and the struggle for survival in a society that overlooks and mistreats the less fortunate.

Directors:
Jean RenoirJean Tédesco

Writer:
Hans Christian Andersen, Jean Renoir

Stars:
Catherine Hessling, Eric Barclay, Jean Storm

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Scarlet Street (1945)

4.67/5 (3)

“Scarlet Street” is a 1945 film noir directed by Fritz Lang and starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, and Dan Duryea. The film tells the story of a lonely and unappreciated bank cashier named Christopher Cross (Robinson), who falls in love with a beautiful young woman named Kitty March (Bennett).

Kitty is a femme fatale who leads Christopher down a path of deception and betrayal, convincing him to use his meager savings to finance her extravagant lifestyle and her affair with a manipulative and abusive con man named Johnny (Duryea). Christopher becomes so infatuated with Kitty that he takes up painting to impress her, and she eventually persuades him to sell his paintings as her own, taking the credit and the money for herself.

As Christopher’s obsession with Kitty grows, he becomes increasingly desperate to impress her and provide for her. But when Johnny’s criminal activities catch up with him, Christopher is framed for murder, and his life spirals out of control. In the end, he confronts Kitty and Johnny and takes drastic action to try to regain control of his life.

“Scarlet Street” is a haunting and psychologically complex film that explores themes of love, obsession, betrayal, and the human need for validation and recognition. The film is noted for its moody and atmospheric visuals, its stark and uncompromising storytelling, and its powerful performances, particularly from Edward G. Robinson as the tragic protagonist.

Directors:
Fritz Lang

Writer:
Georges de La Fouchardière, André Mouëzy-Éon, Dudley Nichols

Stars:
Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

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Intolerance (1916)

5/5 (1)

“Intolerance” is a groundbreaking silent film directed by D.W. Griffith and released in 1916. It is an epic historical drama that intertwines four separate stories from different time periods to explore the destructive nature of intolerance throughout history.

The film features four distinct narratives set in different eras: the fall of Babylon, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the events surrounding the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in 16th-century France, and a modern-day story about social injustice and capital punishment.

In the Babylonian segment, a tyrannical king exploits and oppresses his people, leading to a rebellion and the eventual fall of the city. The crucifixion segment portrays the story of Jesus Christ, highlighting religious intolerance and persecution. The French segment showcases the religious conflicts and violence during the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, demonstrating the horrors caused by religious intolerance. The modern-day story follows a young couple whose lives are impacted by the injustice of the legal system, emphasizing social and class intolerance.

Through these interconnected stories, Griffith presents a powerful commentary on the destructive consequences of intolerance, exploring themes of social injustice, religious persecution, and the cyclic nature of history. The film emphasizes the need for understanding, empathy, and acceptance in order to break the cycle of intolerance.

“Intolerance” is renowned for its ambitious scope, its innovative storytelling techniques, and its elaborate production design. It remains a significant milestone in cinematic history and a thought-provoking exploration of the timeless issue of intolerance.

Directors:
D.W. Griffith

Writer:
Hettie Grey Baker, Tod Browning, D.W. Griffith

Stars:
Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh

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Battleship Potemkin (1925)

4/5 (1)

“Battleship Potemkin” is a 1925 silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm. The film is a dramatized account of the mutiny that occurred aboard the Russian battleship Potemkin in 1905, during which the crew rebelled against their oppressive officers.

The film is divided into five parts, each depicting a different stage of the mutiny. It opens with the crew’s dissatisfaction with their living conditions, which are portrayed as inhumane and oppressive. When the crew is given maggot-infested meat for their meals, they refuse to eat it, and their leaders are punished.

The situation escalates when the ship’s captain orders the firing squad to execute the mutineers. The crew responds with a mutiny, and the ship’s guns are turned on the officers’ quarters. The mutineers then sail to the port of Odessa, where they are met with support from the citizens, but are subsequently attacked by Tsarist forces. The famous “Odessa Steps” sequence depicts the massacre of innocent civilians by the soldiers.

The film ends with the Potemkin sailing towards the horizon, with the message that the people’s struggle against oppression will continue.

“Battleship Potemkin” is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Soviet cinema, with its use of montage, symbolism, and epic cinematography. The film is often studied for its innovative techniques and its portrayal of revolutionary ideals.

Directors:
Sergei Eisenstein

Writer:
Nina Agadzhanova, Sergei Eisenstein, Grigoriy Aleksandrov

Stars:
Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov

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Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)

4/5 (1)

“Little Lord Fauntleroy” is a 1936 film adaptation of the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The movie tells the story of Cedric Errol (played by Freddie Bartholomew), a young boy from New York who discovers that he is the heir to a British earldom. Cedric is initially excited about his newfound title but soon learns that his grandfather, the Earl of Dorincourt (played by C. Aubrey Smith), is a cold and distant man who disapproves of Cedric’s mother and wants nothing to do with her or her son.

Despite this, Cedric travels to England with his mother (played by Dolores Costello) to claim his title and inheritance. Along the way, he makes friends with several people, including the earl’s kind-hearted gardener, Dick (played by Mickey Rooney), and the earl’s beautiful but unhappy daughter-in-law, Lady Hester (played by Constance Collier).

Cedric’s natural kindness and innocence eventually begin to thaw the earl’s icy demeanor, and he comes to appreciate Cedric’s positive influence on his household. However, when Cedric falls ill with pneumonia, the earl realizes just how much he has come to care for the boy and rushes to his bedside to offer comfort and support.

In the end, the earl decides to rewrite his will to make Cedric his heir, despite the objections of his scheming lawyer, Havisham (played by Guy Kibbee). Cedric’s mother, who had been prepared to leave England with her son if the earl did not accept them, is overjoyed at the turn of events, and Cedric’s new status as the future Earl of Dorincourt is celebrated by all.

Directors:
John Cromwell

Writer:
Frances Hodgson Burnett, Hugh Walpole, John Cromwell

Stars:
Freddie Bartholomew, Dolores Costello, C. Aubrey Smith

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The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

5/5 (1)

“The Passion of Joan of Arc” is a silent film released in 1928, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and starring Maria Falconetti in the title role.

The film tells the story of Joan of Arc, a young French woman who led the French army to several victories during the Hundred Years’ War. After being captured by the English and sold to the Church, Joan is put on trial for heresy.

Through a series of intense and emotional scenes, the film depicts Joan’s struggles to maintain her faith and defend herself against accusations of witchcraft and treason. The trial is presided over by a group of clerics who are determined to break her spirit and force her to renounce her beliefs.

Despite the immense pressure and emotional toll of the trial, Joan remains steadfast in her faith and refuses to give in to the demands of her accusers. Ultimately, she is sentenced to death and burned at the stake.

“The Passion of Joan of Arc” is known for its powerful performances, emotional intensity, and innovative cinematography. The close-up shots of Falconetti’s face convey a range of emotions with remarkable depth and subtlety, making the film a masterful work of silent cinema. Its themes of faith, persecution, and the struggle for justice and truth make it a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today.

Directors:
Carl Theodor Dreyer

Writer:
Joseph Delteil, Carl Theodor Dreyer

Stars:
Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley

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The Intruder (1962)

5/5 (1)

“The Intruder” is a drama film released in 1962, directed by Roger Corman and starring William Shatner, Frank Maxwell, and Beverly Lunsford.

The story takes place in a small southern town, where a white supremacist named Adam Cramer (William Shatner) arrives to stir up racial tension and prevent the integration of the town’s schools. Cramer’s tactics include intimidating locals, inciting violence, and spreading propaganda through a newspaper he has started in the town.

As the tension in the town continues to rise, Cramer’s true motives and intentions are revealed. Through a series of confrontations, the characters grapple with issues of racism, hatred, and morality.

Ultimately, the townspeople are able to come together and confront Cramer, exposing his true nature and bringing an end to his attempts to sow division and hatred.

Overall, “The Intruder” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores the destructive nature of racism and the importance of standing up against hate and prejudice. Its themes are still relevant today, and the film serves as a powerful reminder of the need for unity and tolerance in our communities.

Directors:
Roger Corman

Writer:
Charles Beaumont

Stars:
William Shatner, Frank Maxwell, Beverly Lunsford

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12 Angry Men (1957)

4.67/5 (3)

“12 Angry Men” is a drama film released in 1957, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, and Jack Warden.

The story centers around twelve jurors who are tasked with deciding the fate of a young man accused of murdering his father. At the start of the film, the jury is deadlocked, with eleven jurors convinced of the young man’s guilt and only one juror, Juror 8 (Henry Fonda), holding out for a not guilty verdict.

As the jurors debate and argue over the evidence, biases, and prejudices are brought to light, and tensions rise among the group. Through a series of intense and emotional conversations, Juror 8 slowly persuades the other jurors to reconsider their positions and to take a closer look at the evidence.

As the deliberations continue, it becomes clear that there are flaws in the prosecution’s case, and that the young man may not be guilty after all. Ultimately, the jurors are able to reach a unanimous decision, and justice is served.

Overall, “12 Angry Men” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores themes of justice, prejudice, and the importance of critical thinking. Its focus on the dynamics of group decision-making and the complexities of the legal system make it a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today.

Directors:
Sidney Lumet

Writer:
Reginald Rose

Stars:
Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam

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The Zero Hour (1939)

3/5 (1)

“The Zero Hour” is a crime drama film released in 1939, directed by Sidney Salkow and starring Otto Kruger, Karen Verne, and Cedric Hardwicke.

The story centers around a wealthy businessman named John Ashmore (Otto Kruger), who is kidnapped by a group of criminals led by a man named Steve (Cedric Hardwicke). The kidnappers demand a ransom of $500,000, and threaten to kill Ashmore if their demands are not met.

As the police race against time to locate the missing businessman, Ashmore’s wife Sylvia (Karen Verne) takes matters into her own hands and hires a private detective named McBride (Ralph Bellamy) to help her track down her husband.

Through a series of twists and turns, the characters eventually uncover the truth behind the kidnapping and work together to bring the criminals to justice.

Overall, “The Zero Hour” is a suspenseful and well-crafted crime drama that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. Its themes of greed, deception, and redemption make it a compelling and thought-provoking film that still resonates with audiences today.

Directors:
Sidney Salkow

Writer:
Garrett Fort

Stars:
Frieda Inescort, Otto Kruger, Adrienne Ames

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