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The Forgotten: James Whale's "Hello Out There" (1949)

The last film by James Whale (Frankenstein, The Old Dark House) is a forty-minute short based on a one-act play by William Saroyan. Whale had directed the play in 1942 as part of a show to entertain Us troops passing through La. The opportunity to film it arrived through strange circumstances.Millionaire Huntington Hartford loved his wife, Marjorie Steele, who was an actress. He decided to bankroll a series of short films showcasing her talents. Somehow Whale, who was thoroughly retired from film direction, was approached, and he welcomed the idea of adapting Saroyan's lonely parable to the screen. Harry Morgan was recruited as male lead.Like a lot of late works, this one needs approaching with a sympathetic attitude. The play is built around its title, a line shouted like a refrain throughout the piece. For some reason, Harry Morgan shouts every other line too. This was far from Morgan's debut,

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