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Saturday Night at the Movies


A mixed bag this evening. Some excellent films,critically acclaimed, others may not be seen so favourably, but are typical of the fare often served up at the local ‘fleapit’ in years gone by.

All movie details are from Wikipedia unless otherwise indicated

1 Navy Spy (1937) – Conrad Nagel, Eleanor Hunt

Navy Spy is a 1937 American thriller film directed by Joseph H. Lewis and Crane Wilbur and starring Conrad Nagel, Eleanor Hunt and Judith Allen. It was one of a series of four films featuring Nagel as a federal agent released by Grand National Pictures. In this episode he tackles a gang of international criminals attempting to sabotage the American navy.

2 In A Class Of His Own (1999) – Lou Diamond Phillips

In a Class of his own is a 1999 American made-for-television drama film starring Lou Diamond Phillips. The film originally aired on Showtime on October 17, 1999. A high School janitor must go back to school to get his GED in order to keep his job

3 Speed Limited (1935) – Ralph Graves, Evelyn Brent

Speed Limited is a 1935 American crime film directed by Albert Herman and starring Evelyn Brent. It was made by the low-budget Poverty Row company Regent Pictures

4 City Across The River (1949) – Tony Curtis, Stephen McAnally,Thelma Ritter,Richard Jaeckel, Jeff Corey, Sue England

City Across the River is a 1949 American film noir crime film directed by Maxwell Shane and starring Stephen McNally, Thelma Ritter, Sue England, Barbara Whiting, Luis Van Rooten and Jeff Corey. The screenplay is based on the novel The Amboy Dukes by Irving Shulman.The film is notable as the credited screen debut of Tony Curtis (billed onscreen as “Anthony Curtis”).

The film lacks big stars and consists mainly of unrecognizable actors, possibly making it more convincing. Most importantly, the film emphasizes the terrible consequences of the son’s thoughtless actions for his parents and sister.

The parents, especially the mother (Thelma Ritter), are shown as decent, thoughtful working-class people devoting their efforts to provide their children with an education that will enable both siblings to rise out of the tenements. It is a tragic irony that these efforts mean their supervision and guidance of Frank is neglected.

Although the film does suggest that lack of parental supervision is a reason for juvenile delinquency, it squarely pins the blame on living conditions as the chief cause: squalid and unhygienic surroundings, run-down tenements, cramped living space, overcrowding. The moods of frustration and hopelessness created by such an environment, the movie insists, are the reasons behind juvenile delinquency. City Across the River highlights the parents’ efforts to obtain a good education for their children as a way of uplifting the next generation from a sordid and dangerous environment.

5 Sabotage (1936) – Sylvia Sidney,Oskar Homolka directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Sabotage, also released as The Woman Alone, is a 1936 British espionage thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, and John Loder. It is loosely based on Joseph Conrad‘s novel The Secret Agent, about a woman who discovers that her husband, a London cinema owner, is a terrorist agent. Sabotage should not be confused with Hitchcock’s film Secret Agent, also released in 1936, but based on the stories of W. Somerset Maugham. Also should not be confused with Hitchcock’s film Saboteur (1942) which includes the iconic fall from the torch of the Statue of Liberty which presaged the Mount Rushmore scene in North by Northwest.

The film holds a rare 100% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine saw Sabotage ranked the 44th best British film ever.

6 The Secret of Convict Lake (1951)

The Secret of Convict Lake is a 1951 American black-and-white western film starring Glenn Ford and Gene Tierney. It was directed by Michael Gordon and produced by Frank P. Rosenberg, with music by Sol Kaplan. The film was a critical and commercial success. Ethel Barrymore and Ann Dvorak (in her final film role) co-starred. The story is fiction, based on legends of Convict Lake, located in the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges of northern California.

In 1871, six convicts escape from a Carson City prison. A posse loses them in a mountain blizzard, and after the posse turn back, the convicts continue on foot and one of the fugitives freezes to death. The five remaining are Canfield, Greer, Cockerell, Anderson and Maxwell. They make it to a lake called Monte Diablo, where eight women live in a settlement while their men are away prospecting for silver. Granny is the elder, watching over Marcia, Rachel, Barbara, Susan, Harriet, Mary, and Millie.MORE AT LINK

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