women-in-peril golden age classics 

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damsel in distress or persecuted maiden is a classic theme in world literature,art,film and video games. The trope involves a beautiful or innocent woman placed in danger by a villain or monster that requires a knight or hero to rescue her. In movies it has become common trope in storytelling. The golden age of movies turned this trope into a different light by turning it into women-in-peril sub genre of movies that started out in 1940’s as they were a sub genre for horror and thrillers that follows a female protagonist who is subjected to prolonged physical and emotional torture. These tortures are aimed at womanhood or what it means to be a woman. Women portrayed as victims is fertile ground for movies today I talk about movies of this sub genre that are a classics of the golden age of cinema as I talk about these Gothic melodramas or thrillers of the golden age of movies So let’s begin this talk about it.

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So I begin with a review of gaslight(1944) which is a mystery thriller based upon a play that tells a story about a woman whose husband slowly manipulates her into believing she is insane.

Patrick Hamilton’s Angel Street an American stage classic was turned into a classic Gothic melodrama on the screen in 1944 as gaslight. This Gothic melodrama about a woman being driven out of her mind was directed by George Cukor. This film is beloved by film fans all over the world because it holds the viewer interested in watching the psychological drama with echoes of Gothic overtone unfold on the screen. 

Ingrid Bergman plays a wonderful role as  Paula as she  born to play this troubled woman as she truly captures the raw depths of this person perfectly. The movie starts with her as a young girl at the begining of the flim to a blooming woman that is affaid of her own shadow. One look at Ingrid Bergman  you get sense what is in her mind each moment of the movie as she truly gives us one amazing performance. Charles Boyer also makes a great Gregory Anton as he plays the perfect villain as he truly is sly and  duplicitous with a hidden agenda to get whatever he can out of poor Paula. Gregory Anton is an evil man that will go to any lengths to get what he wants.  Its truly a wonderful role. The supporting cast all give out such amazing performances as young  Angela Lansbury stands out among them as a maid. Joseph Cotten gives a good performance.  Dame May Witty truly is a good actress giving us an amazing performance. Gaslight is an excellent Gothic melodrama that you should see today.

House of wax review

Wax sculptor Henry (Vincent Price) is horrified to learn that his business partner, Matthew (Roy Roberts), plans on torching their wax museum to collect on the insurance policy. Henry miraculously survives a fiery confrontation with Matthew and re-emerges some years hence with a museum of his own. But when the appearance of Henry’s new wax sculptures occurs at the same time that a number of corpses vanish from the city morgue, art student Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) begins suspecting wrongdoing.
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Vincent Price was a known caracter actor by time he played Wax sculptor Henry. House of wax. House of Wax was one of the few films made in 3D which was a huge success. It really is likely because of the movies strong acting by its cast.  Vincent Price plays one of his finest villain roles that he gives all his charm as as an actor to the role of  Henry Jarrod, a sweet and dedicated artist who creates lifelike mannequins for a wax museum. He crates wax figures of many people whom he loves like his kids. is partner sets the museum on fire, hoping to collect a tidy sum in insurance money. Henry supposedly perishes in the flames, trying in vain to rescue his beloved wax friends in a scene which is truly heartbreaking as you see him try to save them to be almost burned alive.
Henry reappears, wheelchair bound and just a tad bitter. He has opened a new wax museum which features realistic scenes of murder and horror, many of them taken from current headlines. Unfortunately, some of them are just a little TOO realistic: one looks like Henry’s ex-partner, who was found hanging in an elevator shaft. It really is a very great shift in his persona as this guy now is a wicked villain of charm. Vincent Price played up this role as he really gives out charm in this role.
This is a wonderful, creepy scare-fest with great sets, beautiful colors and strong performances. Vincent Price as Henry Jarrod really is lovable and and horrifying as the kind man driven mad. Charles Bronson, in a very early role, is super freaky as Henry’s mute and morbid assistant. Carolyn Jones. it is really price that steals the show as many scenes he plays up to the camera which was used the 3d effect such as him playing ping pong to the camera that scene you see price’s great charm as an actor come out. Phyllis Kirk is the sensible Sue a slightly uptight but genuinely believable victim that has such charm in her role too.  Vincent Price seems to enjoy playing the villain as he seems to just make it seem like such a joy as he plays it with glee like a school boy. He really loved to play villains he often said as he could have such fun in playing evil. I would love talk about how the wax figures he creates of horror really can creep you out. House of wax is a horror gem that you must see today.

 Black cat reviewca75bfe0b446b1c7e75b4f3208772409Edgar G. Ulmer’s The Black Cat was released in 1934; it was the first feature film to famed Universal horror actors Bella Lugosi (“Dracula”) and Boris Karloff (“Frankenstein”) in the same film together which may explain why it is one of the beloved cult classics.

Bella Lugosi plays the good guy in this movie.  The role of Dr. Vitus Werdegast is among the finest ever played by Bella Lugosi. it is so much of a departure from many of his other roles it does stand out among his roles.Boris Karloff plays Hjalmar Poelzig, a Satanic architect whom is among one of his finest roles on the screen as he plays a wonderfully creepy role. He plays a devil worshiper that holds black masses and a penchant for the ladies only when they are put to the  devil’s business. He plays it so dark and twisted as this evil devil worshiping priest. He was once friends to Dr. Vitus Werdegast whom he betrayed during the war which led to a long imprisonment.  This bond really plays off well in parts you see shades of the friendship yet you know truth that both men don’t like each other. They play both together in a horror classic in a fine manner as both of the duo really lights up the screen.

Peter Alison (David Manners), a pulp mystery writer, and his newlywed bride, Joan (Julie Bishop,) both plays both roles finely i may add as both really are good at playing off this couple stuck in middle of this game between both men. Julie Bishop of course plays Joan the victim in the middle of it all.She is used as a pawn in Hjalmar Poelzig’s rituals. Both of the couple really stands out as both give out wonderful performances. The Black Cat contains some of the most unsettling scenes of any classic Universal horror film. It is the darkest of them all. I just wonder how it was viewed by audiences in 1934. Two scenes that immediately come to mind are the black mass performed by Karloff and the torture scene at the end of the film. These scenes are not typical of the Universal classics as this is darker than normal universal horror movies.  I adore the darker elements that make this movie really stand out among horror movies of that era. The setting of this movie is different than other universal horror movies as its futuristic house really stands out among universal horror movie movies.  It’s wonderful set design and cinematography and lighting really shines that makes it stand out along with its wonderful acting and makeup work and direction makes this universal classic stand out. This is one classic movie you should see today.

The Canterville Ghost review

The Canterville Ghost is loosely based upon the  a short story by Oscar Wilde starring  Robert Young and  Margaret O’Brien with Charles Laughton as the ghost whom he plays with a delightful charm to the role. It’s a very charming little gem that will make you smile as it’s a very delightful and charming ghost story for the whole family that you will laugh and adore. It’s a classic charming ghost story that is timeless as ever that you should see today.

Gothic Melodrama is a very special brand of the ever popular Melodrama style that emerged in the late 30’s and that featured not only old Gothic mansions, dozens of burning candles, foggy streets illuminated by gaslight, mysteries and haunting family secrets, Victorian ladies walking through dark corridors, Byronic heroes like Orson Welles or James Mason, tall dark villains like Vincent Price and tragic ghost stories. I showed some of these stories today that present as many classics exist in this area you can enjoy many times over and over again i hope you enjoyed my look upon this area today.

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happy birthday Charles Laughton

happy birthday Charles Laughton

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Charles Laughton was born July 1, 1899. The Oscar-winning star of “Witness for the Prosecution and Mutiny on the Bounty among many other classic flims.   A talented and diverse actor  Charles Laughton was a character actor who portrayed a wide variety of roles throughout his career. He also worked as a director, producer and screenwriter. He turns 101 today so  i am honoring this wonderful legend whom was one of best actors ever to grace the screen. 

The Night of the Hunter review
It is a shame that  Charle Laughton, the distinguished actor, didn’t direct more films. As he clearly indicates with The Night of the Hunter”, he had a rare gift for guiding a production into achieving greatness as this flim didnt get the love it deserved when it came out now has turned out to be a classic. Its a children’s fairy-tale story with the horrors of a good fairy-tale with its light touches too of a fairy-tale.
Lillian Gish plays the saintly Ms. Cooper, guardian of unwanted children whom are now in dreamlike place compared to the nightmare of their home before. Charles Laughton’s small town America is a stylized and dreamlike as it would exist in a fairy-tale. Robert Mitchum is the evil Harry Powell. It’s without a doubt, one of Mr. Mitchum’s best screen work ever as he plays one wicked role. This classic is one truly amazing classic with wonderful acting and a wonderful story and direction and wonderful music makes it a very wonderful classic you should see anytime.

The Paradine Case review

It is often considered one of Hitchcock’s lesser movies. Many people dislike it and many people love it and praise it. Its acting is good that is not issue. It has such layers to this movie that it works for some and others it does not work right. The talents of Gregory Peck and Ann Todd and Charles Laughton and Ethel Barrymore and Louis Jourdan and other great talents all make up the cast of this movie. Its moody love story that centers on many of the leads of this movie really does bring some of its layer. One thing this movie misses is the Hitchcock humor does not seem to be in this movie. The acting of everyone is very good. Its Hitchcock’s noir classic in a way. It captures the soul of noir as you have a moody love story mixed with poisoning. It really is a fun noir gem to watch that really is such a fun case of it being a classic that is a mixed bag for many. Watch it today if you want a very good classic gem to delight you.

The Canterville Ghost review

The Canterville Ghost is loosely based upon the  a short story by Oscar Wilde starring  Robert Young and  Margaret O’Brien with Charles Laughton as the ghost whom he plays with a delightful charm to the role. It’s a very charming little gem that will make you smile as it’s a very delightful and charming ghost story for the whole family that you will laugh and adore. It’s a classic charming ghost story that is timeless as ever that you should see today.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame review

This version of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is the finest film version that I’ve ever seen and the critics normally agree that it’s the best screen adaptation of the classic novel. Charles Laughton is simply amazing in his role as Quasimodo as he plays it to the finest level i seen this character played as he truly gives us one wonderful performance. Maureen O’Hara’s  as Esmerelda truly also gives one of her most charming roles as it made her also an icon too as this is one great role for this wonderful legend. Every one of the actors gives us such wonderful performances. It’s a wonderful classic for the ages you should see today.

Island of Lost Souls review

This controversial adaptation of H.G. Wells’ short novel was outlawed in many nations around the globe due to the unpalatable ethical and religious issues it raised at time of release. This version of this classic tale remains to be the finest version of this classic tale ever on the screen. Charles Laughton delivers one of the best performances in the history of horror as the mad Dr. Moreau as he truly gives one amazing performance as one of truly mad man.  Bela Lugosi stands out in his small role which is one of his finest on the screen ever as the sayer of the law. This timeless movie has been neglected for far too long and the time as it’s the best version of this tale as simply few tales of human horror compare to this classic horror gem. It remains one of finest classics that you should see today.

The wonderful Charles Laughton whom was a Tortured but brilliant British actor Charles Laughton’s unique performances made him a compelling performer both on stage and in film as he also was married to Elsa Lanchester whom was one of the finest character actresses of the golden age.  He would star in many classics that remain timeless today such as Witness for the Prosecution and the big clock and Captain Kidd and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as each displayed a small part of this amazing talented man of acting that was one of our finest ever on the screen. I hope you enjoyed my tribute to this wonderful legend.

Island of Lost Souls review

This controversial adaptation of H.G. Wells’ short novel was outlawed in many nations around the globe due to the unpalatable ethical and religious issues it raised at time of release. This version of this classic tale remains to be the finest version of this classic tale ever on the screen. Charles Laughton delivers one of the best performances in the history of horror as the mad Dr. Moreau as he truly gives one amazing performance as one of truly mad man.  Bela Lugosi stands out in his small role which is one of his finest on the screen ever as the sayer of the law. This timeless movie has been neglected for far too long and the time as it’s the best version of this tale as simply few tales of human horror compare to this classic horror gem. It remains one of finest classics that you should see today.

The wonderful Charles Laughton whom was a Tortured but brilliant British actor Charles Laughton’s unique performances made him a compelling performer both on stage and in film as he also was married to Elsa Lanchester whom was one of the finest character actresses of the golden age.  He would star in many classics that remain timeless today such as Witness for the Prosecution and the big clock and Captain Kidd and The Hunchback of Notre Dame among many other classics as each displayed a small part of this amazing talented man of acting that was one of our finest ever on the screen. I hope you enjoyed my tribute to this wonderful legend.

Judy Garland a vaudevillian legend of the screen

Judy Garland a vaudevillian legend of the screen

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So today I honor Judy Garland the woman that began my love for movies. When I was a boy I recall first seeing wizard of oz as she played Dorothy as she entered the world of oz.

Dorothy entering oz began my love for movies as that sparked my love for movies. She was the first icon of stardom that I loved truly as i admired this wonderful woman that managed to take me a new world of magic as she sparked forever my love of movies. So today i am honoring her for her grand tribute to give her due as I feel to honor this wonderful woman that sparked my love for movies. The tribute to Judy garland i is done today for the THE JUDY GARLAND BLOGATHON hosted by my dear friend crystal of in the good days of classic Hollywood thanks to her for hosting this wonderful event. check out other posts form the event for days of the event. So lets begin to honor Judy garland.

So Judy garland began preforming as a little girl with her sisters at a very young age as she was always able stand out among them all. She was quite the little charmer as i will show you a clip of her early gum sisters singing now.

You can see the sisters of Judy garland and her preforming together as Judy stands out as she is the little charmer among them all.

Judy garland preformed in Pigskin Parade as she is able to convey such longing and emotion at age 14 is simply amazing. What a powerhouse! and it was just a sample of things to come for her talent. These early samples give you a small taste of the magical charm of this wonderful lady. Babes in Arms begins her larger impact as her charm and wit was starting to be mined.

Babes in Arms review

The struggle of two talented young artists, to make their own way in the show business.(plot form IMDb)

This charming classic is a very fun movie because it’s simply start of a duo that really clicked together. It was made after she shot wizard of oz which would bring her to stardom. She was a bit player and supporting actress to the bigger star of Mickey Rooney at the time. Mickey Rooney was even nominated for Best Actor which was just to put a name on ballot.  A babe in arms is a charming little gem that is fun little musical comedy that really makes both of the stars stand out as their performances are magical together. This classic gem has very good acting and direction with very fun musical numbers very much reflection of the times. It’s a fun movie that you will enjoy to watch anytime.
everybody Sing review
When boisterous Judy Bellaire (Judy Garland) encourages her fellow school chorus members to sing a classical piece with a modern swing beat, her scandalized teacher uses the musical mutiny as an excuse to expel her from the Colvin School for Girls. With the encouragement of Ricky Saboni (Allan Jones), her family’s cook, Judy decides to follow her dream and audition for a stage musical. Meanwhile, Ricky struggles to gain the affections of Judy’s sister, the lovely Sylvia (Lynne Carver).
 (plot form goggle)
Everybody Sing” is a delightful 1938 film filled with music but frankly not Judy’s best with a cast of good stars such as Judy garland and Billie Burke and Fanny Brice and Lynne Carver and Allan Jones as each do a good job with what they are given here. its frankly not their best work by a long shot honestly. Its an okay movie you may enjoy.
wizard of oz introduction 

Wizard of oz was one of first movies I seen as a boy. I recall fondly when she frist enters oz it was a strike like a match to me. I instantly found a new love in my life as my love for movies.

Dorothy entering Technicolor

This scene still makes me feel a smile as i just feel its truly one of the most magical scenes in movie history.  I fondly remember as boy running TV each time it came on TV on CBS. I was so happy it was about to air on TV as it was an event to see wizard of oz. I had the tape too which watched so often as that tape had a feature that i never found ever again about making of wizard of oz which talked about this classic movie. I fondly remember Judy garland being the frist icon i ever loved as a child as an she stood as my favorite actress. The wizard of oz is the most beloved classic all time as billions of people saw this movie. a flim historian said that the magic of wizard of oz touches the child in all of us. I frist saw wizard of oz as boy later I realized this movie is a very special picture.

Wizard of oz review

Wizard of oz was one of first movies I seen as a boy. I really adore this classic so fondly the cast of legends really stands out. Judy garland gives out a wonderful performance in a star making role as Dorthy as she made the movie magical as her charm is what made it click. She sings somewhere over rainbow which may be one of my favorite songs ever as its a song that feels so magical. Frank Morgan played five roles as he played Professor Marvel / The Wizard / Doorman / Cabbie / Guard. one of few actors to play such wonderful range on a movie as he could make each role feel like their own roles as he truly makes each role stand out as he gives out such ranged acting in his wonderful acting in the wizard of oz. Ray Bolger as Hunk/Scarecrow. I would say ray’s main role as scarecrow truly shines as you see such a wonderful performance as he plays a second role as hunk in which he gives same level of wonderful charm.  Bert Lahr as Zeke/Cowardly Lion. Bart lahr as the Cowardly Lion really stands out among the cast as he was a very wonderful character actor. Jack Haley as Hickory Twicker/Tin Man. Jack Haley gives out a very wonderful performance in his acting of his role.

Margaret Hamilton as Miss Gulch/The wicked Witch of West. Margaret Hamilton plays two roles as she plays miss gulch in the intro in which she gives out such a wonderful performance in her role.The main role she plays is the wicked witch role in which she became famous for for many years as she would often come back to this role. Margaret Hamilton plays the wicked witch in such a wonderful way that she makes the wicked witch a very fun villain role that does make you far her.

Billie Burke plays Glinda the Good Witch. Billie Burke gives out such a wonderful perfomance that really is so sweet and charming as she helps make us feel happy. She always adored the role as it felt closest to her roles on the stage. Pat Walshe as Nikko may be one of the other stand out roles as he has look like a wicked monkey for movie as he truly makes us fear him but also plays the sidekick to our villain. Charley Grapewin plays Uncle Henry and Clara Blandick plays Aunt Em both of them give such good performances.

The whole cast of oz all give out such good acting. Its charm does mainly come from its musical numbers as a few were cut from the film which are all famous little songs that stood out like the jitterbug and scarecrow’s song that was cut. The movies story connects to us via a dream is how Dorothy connects to us as she faces a crisis in her life that ends her up dreaming about oz. The movie has a magical charm that always touched my heart. The ending has always seemed very wonderful to me as its ending does have a feeling that you fell like oz is what we wish upon as the farm or home may not feel as magical at times yet as it says there is no place like home in the end.

The wizard of wizard offers the cinema lover looking for magic everything they want, it’s all here, in about two hours of pure entertainment in every way from its wonderful casting to wonderful score it’s lovely sets and makeup design that’s rich and detailed and its costumes that are so amazing too. It’s wonderful in every way. Its a wonderful classic that is timeless classic you can watch anytime

The Ruth rating:

This was Judy Garland’s first young adult movie role after starring role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. It is among one of her best roles. I can say her as Nellie Kelly as a feisty whom feels very modern. It is Judy’s charm that gives out one of her finest roles.The cast all give out very good acting. Its a very good classic you should see today.

THE HARVEY GIRLS is one of my favorite Judy Garland movies all time. Judy Garland stars as Susan Bradley, an impressionable and very naive young woman on her way west by train, as a mail order bride. On board the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe she meets a bunch of other equally young and naive young women heading west to work as Harvey Girls. Judy plays the role with such a charm and power. She shines in this role. The cast all do a good job here. This movie is a fun little musical gem you will enjoy anytime.

Don’t you just love those old 40’s musicals? Easter Parade is certainly one of the best musicals all time. It is a classic gem that has Fred Astaire and Judy garland both together giving out their finest acting and charm to boot. It is just a charming magical duo that shines. This is one of my favorite Judy garland movies.

Fred Astaire Judy Garland Vaudeville Medley really has to be among one of my favorite musical numbers it is just pure magic and charm to watch them do this number together.

This charming beat is just a fun little beat that i just adore. I can say it is truly one of those wonderful charming song beats.

The year 1954 proved to be one of the professional best for Judy Garland as she gave out one of her finest hours on the screen. She truly shines in this role. The quintessential story of a couple, one who’s career is on the rise, the other on the decline is made extraordinary by the performances by its talents. It is just a gem to watch.

Two tragic wonderful performers, Robert Walker and Judy Garland, star as a soldier and the girl he meets in The Clock. I would say that Judy Garland shines in her finest dramatic performance as she truly gives out one of her finest hours on the screen. Robert Walker shines in his wonderful role on the screen too. This movie truly is one classic that i do love truly so much with its wonderful acting that makes it stand out. It’s a timeless classic love story you will enjoy anytime.

Vincent Minnelli makes sumptuous use of color, costumes and settings in this lush MGM musical teaming Judy Garland and Gene Kelly in their prime in this wonderful classic with wonderful songs by Cole porter produced by the Arthur freed of the MGM unit. Its cast all give out such good acting. It’s very good musical numbers all stand out. It’s truly a classic you should watch today.

A star is born was a comeback picture for Judy garland as she truly managed to give out a role that almost earned her an Oscar as she truly is one wonderful actress in this role. James mason stands out by giving a wonderful performance. The whole cast all stand out by giving out such wonderful performances. Its songs in this classic all feel natural to each part of the movie as it’s very much a reflection into a star’s life. This classic is one wonderful classic that shines among movies that you will enjoy anytime.

Judy garland will always remain in my fond heart as since a boy to now i just adore and love her truly. I can say that she had that magical charm to her that many talents today cannot match ever. She was an amazing and talented lady that could really give out such great and charming performances. She is a magical legend for all time. I am highly in love with this legend as she will forever remain in my heart as one of a kind in legends as no legend seems compare to her. Thanks for joining me in honoring this legend today for the THE JUDY GARLAND BLOGATHON hosted by my dear friend crystal of in the good days of classic Hollywood thanks to her for hosting this wonderful event. Check out other posts form the event for days of the event. Thanks for joining me in honoring this legend today.