blanche-2

IMDb member since May 1999
    Lifetime Total
    5,000+
    Lifetime Filmo
    50+
    Lifetime Plot
    5+
    Lifetime Bio
    5+
    Lifetime Trivia
    50+
    Lifetime Title
    5+
    Top Reviewer
     
    Poll Taker
    250x
    IMDb Member
    23 years

Reviews

Leverage: The Toy Job
(2012)
Episode 14, Season 5

Absolutely hilarious
This is the best episode of Leverage.

To keep a potentially dangerous toy from hitting the Christmas market, the team offers a doll, Baby Feels A Lot with a smiling face - turn it, and it's an angry face.

The best is Christian Kane reaching out to blogging mothers as a widower, and Gregg Henry as a corporation owner getting the name wrong, Baby Feels So Hot, Baby Feels Me Up, Baby Happy Mad. And the scene where Henry tries to buy the doll is priceless.

The entire cast, Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Aldis Hodge et al. Is great. So happy the show is back on the air as Leverage 2, and its as good as ever.

Ty & Loretta: Sweethearts of the Silver Screen
(2008)

DVD Feature
This is one of the DVD features on the Tyrone Power Matinee Idol DVD collection.

Despite the comments of a reviewer here who seems to have had an agenda, Tyrone Power and Loretta Young were a very popular couple in the beginning of Power's career. And certainly one of the most beautiful.

According to my own interview with Judy Lewis some years ago, Young would have married Power in a heartbeat. This has been verified in several interviews she gave. She disliked Annabella, who married Power after appearing with him and Young in Suez. When she finally told him she had hoped to marry him, he said, "Gretch (her real name was Gretchen) you should have tried harder." Since Zanuck was desperate to break up Power and Annabella, and wound up blacklisting Annabella, he would not have taken kindly to Larreta marrying him either.

I did not find any of this DVD filler inane nor did I think that one of the interviewers had a school girl vocabulary. She is someone I have seen interviewed many times.

This is a DVD set for Tyrone Power fans. If you are not one, I do wonder why you would have bothered to get this set and watch any of the interviews. I don't think it was necessary to be so insulting.

Tyrone Power: Prince of Fox
(2008)

Fun DVD feature
Tyrone Power: Prince of Fox is a feature on the Tyrone Power Swashbuckler Collection. It's an interesting look at one of the most Popular matinee idols in cinema history.

The photos were absolutely stunning. I enjoyed very much listening to Maria Ciaccia, whom I had seen several times on E! Mysteries and Scandals.

The Frightened City
(1961)

Early Connery
Reat evidence of Sean Connery's star power in a film made before he became one, "The Frightened City."

Herbert Lom plays a shrewd accountant who comes up with the idea of combining all of the protection rackets around London into one big one.

Creat evidence of Sean Connery's star power in a film made before he became one, "The Frightened City."

Herbert Lom plays a shrewd accountant who comes up with the idea of combining all of the protection rackets around London into one big one.

Connery plays his muscle, and his charisma, looks, and voice steal the show. His character is ruthless enough, until he realizes it's a little too ruthless and has to make a decision.

Definitely worth seeing for a young Connery, who has star power written all over him.reat evidence of Sean Connery's star power in a film made before he became one, "The Frightened City."

Herbert Lom plays a shrewd accountant who comes up with the idea of combining all of the protection rackets around London into one big one.

Connery plays his muscle, and his charisma, looks, and voice steal the show. His character is ruthless enough, until he realizes it's a little too ruthless and has to make a decision.

Definitely worth seeing for a young Connery, who has star power written all over him.

Fortune Is a Woman
(1957)

good British noir
Jack Hawkins is Oliver, an insurance adjuster who runs into a past love (Arlene Dahl) while on a case in "She Played with Fire."

While checking on a claim of fire in a mansion owned by Tracey Moredon (Dennis Price), he learns that Moredon has married his girlfriend, Sarah, from five years ago.

Later he discovers that a valuable painting ruined in the fire was actually sold to someone else. He later finds Moredon dead and suspects Sarah.

Decent noir with some gothic horror touches, with a nice performance from flirtatious Greta Gynt.

A neat twist at the end. A final note: my friend, Jack Larson, who knew everyone, said that of s the gorgeous women in Hollywood, Dahl was the most stunning.

3 likesJack Hawkins is Oliver, an insurance adjuster who runs into a past love (Arlene Dahl) while on a case in "She Played with Fire."

While checking on a claim of fire in a mansion owned by Tracey Moredon (Dennis Price), he learns that Moredon has married his girlfriend, Sarah, from five years ago.

Later he discovers that a valuable painting ruined in the fire was actually sold to someone else. He later finds Moredon dead and suspects Sarah.

Decent noir with some gothic horror touches, with a nice performance from flirtatious Greta Gynt.

A neat twist at the end. A final note: my friend, Jack Larson, who knew everyone, said that of s the gorgeous women in Hollywood, Dahl was the most stunning.

3 likesJack Hawkins is Oliver, an insurance adjuster who runs into a past love (Arlene Dahl) while on a case in "She Played with Fire."

While checking on a claim of fire in a mansion owned by Tracey Moredon (Dennis Price), he learns that Moredon has married his girlfriend, Sarah, from five years ago.

Later he discovers that a valuable painting ruined in the fire was actually sold to someone else. He later finds Moredon dead and suspects Sarah.

Decent noir with some gothic horror touches, with a nice performance from flirtatious Greta Gynt.

A neat twist at the end. A final note: my friend, Jack Larson, who knew everyone, said that of s the gorgeous women in Hollywood, Dahl was the most stunning.

Pieces of Her
(2022)

a disappointment
I love Toni Colette, and the first part of this series leads one to expect a lot more.

Alas, the story goes on too long. By the final twist you're just glad it's over - at last.

Most aggravating is that the end leaves things up in the air, perhaps for another miniseries.

Bella Heathcote gives a good performance as Colette's long-suffering daughter. The little girl who plays her as a child is gorgeous.

This could have been done in two hours.

Adventure in Diamonds
(1940)

George Brent, Isa Miranda, and diamonds
A pilot (George Brent) is taken in by a beautiful woman (Isa Miranda) who is part of a diamond smuggling ring. She is caught and imprisoned, but the police are more interested in her partner (John Loder).

Consequently, she is released from prison on the condition that she works with the pilot to capture the main guy, who also happens to be her boyfriend. They have to pose as man and wife. Can she be trusted?

Pretty good, but it's a story that has been done before in one form or another.

Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime
(1941)

Bellamy again is Ellery
Ralph Bellamy is again Ellery Queen, this time in Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime.

A crooked stockbroker (Douglas Dumbrille), knowing a project he and his clients have stock in is going down, sells his shares and sells short. He doesn't mention it to his other clients, one of whom (H. B. Warner) bankrupt.

The stockbroker is found dead, and his estranged son (John Beal) is an immediate suspect. It's up to Ellery, his dad, and his sidekick (Margaret Lindsay) to figure out what really went on and who is responsible.

Not bad.

Inventing Anna
(2022)

Another story of a swindler
I actually thought this was very good, and that Julia Garner was excellent. People complain about her voice, but who knows what her accent was - she was Russian, she was German - I think it was fine.

This is a true story and not an unusual one. Someone with confidence and panache fools a bunch of people into giving her millions of dollars. She supposedly has huge money back home about to be released to her. Somehow it never is. She goes on a trip to Morocco and puts her friend in the hole for $67,000.

I'm not sure whether or not we're supposed to be pity Anna. She has a legitimate dream, of building an arts complex, and I suppose if she'd actually gotten the money she might have built it. I don't feel sorry for the banks she tried to swindle; I do feel sorry for her friends. And I don't feel sorry for her.

In one of the courtroom scenes, her friend that was bilked out of all that money (credit cards) is made to look like a fool on the stand because, after not being paid back and losing her job, went on to sell her story and make inroads in journalism. Well, she wouldn't have done any of that if Anna hadn't cheated her.

These stories always amaze me - Clark Rockefeller, Anna Devry, the Tinder Swindler, Enron, Bernie Madoff, and all these guys in Nigeria who bilk widows out of thousands of dollars - I guess people want to believe the fantasy and don't ask any questions.

The banks, however, in this case did due diligence and in the end didn't give her any money. Unusual for them, since they gave Enron millions when it had no product and a bunch of dummy corporations.

Really makes you wonder.

Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen
(1942)

strange
This was pretty bad.

OMG. William Gargan in this installment is Ellery. I already am blanking on the plot. A person of interest dies at the same time a mummy case is stolen from a museum.

For some reason, Ellery thinks the body is in the cemetery. He and Margaret Lindsay go to a cemetery - don't ask me how they know which one - not only that, but they go directly to a mausoleum where they find the body.

This is a wartime film, so it turns out there's a group of Nazi spies running a health club, and they're after gold which is supposed to help the Dutch Resistance. Gilbert Roland has a miniscule part. I think he's the one who is killed.

Odd. I call it odd.

The Walking Target
(1960)

where's the money?
Ron Foster, Joan Evans, and Merry Anders star in "The Walking Target" a B film from 1960.

Foster is Nick Harbin who, after five years in prison for robbery, is released. However, the money was never recovered. Most people assume that Harbin knows where it is and will eventually go for it. The police plan on watching his every step.

To me this was a faux pas. This was an interstate crime of robbing payroll, meaning that the federal statute of limitations was five years. If they really wanted the money, they should have let him serve three or four years.

But I digress. Nick is extremely jumpy with his girlfriend Susan (Anders) and a friend of hers, a businessman. What he doesn't realize - but figures it out soon enough - is that Susan didn't bother waiting for him; she's in cahoots with her new beau to get the money.

During the robbery, a close friend of Nick's (Norm Alden) was killed running from the cops. Nick is determined to find his widow, Gail (Joan Evans) and give her half of the money. He locates her finally in her home town of Gold City, Arizona. He's followed.

Pretty decent crime drama.

Town on Trial
(1957)

effective drama
John Mills stars in "Town on Trial" from 1957, also starring Charles Coburn and Barbara Bates.

A sexy, flirtatious blond is the talk of an exclusive tennis club, with all the men drooling. However, she's found dead, and it's learned that she was two months pregnant.

The main suspect is Mark Roper (Derek Farr), a married man with whom she was having an affair and is apparently the child's father. Another is a young man (Alec McCowen) labeled schizophrenic by his doctor (Charles Coburn). The doctor himself later comes under scrutiny as well.

Meanwhile, his attractive niece (Bates) is interested in Superintendent Mike Halloran (Mills), the detective assigned to the case. Later, there is another murder of a woman, another flirtatious young woman.

The townspeople are no help, as they all seem to be keeping secrets.

Good movie, with lots of familiar faces: Fay Compton, Geoffrey Keen, Raymond Huntley, and Elizabeth Seal. Mills does a terrific job as a tough detective who doesn't mind ruffling feathers.

The ending is fantastic.

Nightmare
(1942)

Diana Barrymore and Brian Donlevy in British noir
Diana Barrymore and Brian Donlevy star in "Nightmare" from 1942.

Daniel Shane (Brian Donlevy) roams the streets of London, having lost his business in an air raid. He overhears a couple talking about putting a key under the mat as they leave; he lets himself in, finds some eggs, cooks them, and eats.

A young woman, Leslie Stafford (Barrymore) enters, and Daniel explains his predicament. She doesn't want him to leave. He explains he's sailing to America with the shirt on his back to join the war effort. She promises him money and a new suit if he will do her a favor.

She takes him upstairs, and inside a room is a man, head on a desk, knife in his back. She asks Daniel to get rid of the body. It's her husband; she claims she didn't kill him.

Daniel does what she asks. Only one problem - the body shows up again in exactly the same place! Now they get out, heading for her cousin's in a car that each thinks belongs to the other. It doesn't.

A likeable cast enlivens this film, which has some witty dialogue. Donlevy is terrific as he tries to sort out what he's gotten himself into - unafraid, relaxed, and seeing it all as a challenge.

Diana Barrymore is very good; she was a lovely actress. Unfortunately, her personal problems got in the way, and she was dead by the age of 38. When she was down on her luck, Tyrone Power gave her money. A sad life.

I immediately recognized Hans Conried, Uncle Tonoose from the Danny Thomas Show, in a small role. I'm not sure why I recognized him.

Entertaining film.

Blackmail
(1947)

B movie starring William Marshall and Ricardo Cortez
William Marshall stars with Adele Mara and Ricardo Cortez in "Blackmail," a B movie from 1947.

Marshall plays Daniel Turner, who has been hired by a wealthy man, Ziggy Cranston(Cortez) to obain some photos for him - he's being blackmailed. Things are strange from the beginning. While he is meeting with Cranston, both men are attacked.

The man runs from Cranston's house and winds up dead. Turner believes that Cranston killed him. He calls the police and, when they arrive, guess what, the body has disappeared.

I have to say, William Marshall's private life was much more exciting than his one-note acting. However, that was the style of the detectives in these B movies - a tough, no nonsense voice and attitude.

This film had a couple of fight scenes that were doozies! Big ones that never seemed to end, and quite exciting. Enjoyable film.

The First Time
(1952)

having a baby is no bed of roses
Robert Cummings and Barbara Hale star in "The First Time," a 1952 comedy directed by Frank Tashin.

The story concerns a couple, Joe and Betsy Bennet, preparing for, and finally having, their first child. As they soon learn, it's not paradise - intefering mothers in-laws, a strict nurse, sleepless nights, new expenses, and lots of bills. On top of which - since this is the unenlightened 1950s - Joe expects his wife to take care of the house and look good when he comes home and wants his dinner.

Joe is an architect who has taken a job selling washing machines - and not particuolarly good ones - for his father. He hates it, and he isn't succesful.

On their first night out, Joe goes to pick up a babysitter, waiting at a bus stop, and winds up with a hooker instead.

Humorous and somewhat realistic film for the time, narrated by the darling baby - we know the parents were adjust, and we also know it's slow-going at first. Today the dads help a little more.

So Red the Rose
(1935)

pre-GWTW antebellum
So Red the Rose is yet another civil war drama, this time from Paramount, and starring Margaret Sullavan, Randolph Scott, Elizabeth Patterson, Janet Beecher, Walter Connolly, and Robert Cummings. I guess I never realized that Cummings started out so early, and in small roles. He's not very good.

This family, the Bedfords, has it a little tougher than the Tara group, though what went on in GWTW was pretty harrowing. This film focuses on the loss of family members, and slaves rebelling, although the family is shown here as being loving and supportive.

Their treatment is very typical Hollywood, though it is true that some slaves were well treated, learned to read, etc., which is no justification for it. But they want their freedom, and they hear it's coming. On the day the rebellion was filmed, 500 African Americans were needed. So it was filmed during a city-wide "Maid's Day Off" in Los Angeles.

What Sullavan says to the slaves who want to quit is interesting and actually realistic. Slavery, she says, is at an end, and you'll be free. But what are you free to do? Are you promised land? Freedom means you work for wages or for yourself.

This actually is a good handle on the issues faced during Reconstruction. This topic is not shied away from in "So Red the Rose" at all.

In the beginning, I almost turned this off because it was so over the top. Margaret Sullavan as Vallette flounces around in what looks like a parody of an antebellum gown. And the accents - yikes. Cummings is a friend of Vallette's brother - his performance is just too big.

Randolph Scott plays a distant cousin who objects to the war and refuses to fight. Vallette is in love with him, but he is focused on other things.

All in all, a darker film, though one is less attached to the characters as we are in Gone with the Wind. What I like about both Wind and Rose is that it shows that the way of life of southerners changed within minutes. And they weren't prepared for what it meant.

You and Me
(1938)

Sidney and Raft play two ex-cons
Sylvia Sidney and George Raft star in "You and Me," a 1938 film.

The owner of a large department store believes in second chances, so some of his staff are ex-cons, Joe Dennis (Raft) being one. His parole is almost over, and he's determined to keep his nose clean, despite former gang members trying to get him back in with them.

Joe has a friendly relationship with a woman who works at the store, Helen Roberts (Sidney). When he's about to leave town to get away from bad influences, he realizes he loves Helen, gets off the bus, and the two marry and move into Helen's apartment house.

Helen tells Joe that the boss at their store does not want his employees married to one another, so they have to keep quiet about it. The truth is that Helen is an ex-con as well, on parole, and forbidden to marry, although she does not admit this to Joe and continues to hide it.

When Joe learns she has been lying to him, he leaves her and returns to his old friends, who want to rob the store.

Interesting movie, due to a "cell block tango" that the criminals do - where they speak in unison, in hushed voices, using a sing/talk rhythmic technique, by Kurt Weill.

Sidney and Raft are terrific, and you are really pulling for them. The denoument is wonderful and the ending is sweet.

The Barefoot Mailman
(1951)

love that Bob
Robert Cummings, Terry Moore, and Jerome Courtland star in "The Barefoot Mailman" from 1951.

Cummings is Sylvanus, who blows into town after inheriting some land. The land turns out to be a swamp. He also learns that the townspeople have been socking away their money because they don't have much to spend it on. Sylvanus lets it be known he wants to build a railroad and is ready to invest. He goes into partnership with Dan Paget (Will Geer).

Sylvanus needs to travel, so he signs on as foot traffic with the mailman (Courtland) who follows a dangerous route that often includes robber interference, led by John Russell. A 12-year-old runaway (Moore) is desperate to get to her father and begs to be taken along. They agree, not realizing she is a beautiful 19-year-old. Both men become interested in her, which sets up a rivalry.

Sylvanus' plan is to collect everyone's money, split it with Paget, and leave town. Before he can do that, problems ensue.

Cummings plays a Music Man/Harold Hill type conman. He does a good job. Terry Moore is adorable. I love when she comes crashing into the bedroom in a blue, off the shoulder dress, surprising the woman who is helping her unpack and can't understand what a 12-year-old is doing with such sexy clothes.

All in all, pleasant film.

The Last Train from Madrid
(1937)

Remember Casablanca? Now it's Madrid.
Why Hollywood placed a story amid the Spanish Civil War is beyond me. They couldn't commit to either side; consequently, we don't know who is on whose side or what the sides are. Pathetic.

The Loyalists occupy Madrid, but you won't get that from the movie. They surrendered Madrid and the Nationalists won. You won't get that either

The Last Train From Madrid concerns the last train leaving the city before the tracks are destroyed. You need a pass in order to board. And people are desperate to get them.

An incredibly young Anthony Quinn plays Alvarez, who helps a friend, de Soto, to escape capture. De Soto is apparently on the opposite side that Alvarez is supposed to be on. Alvarez is then accused of being a traitor by his superior, Col. Vigo (Lionel Atwill).

De Soto runs to the home of his former lover Carmelita (Dorothy Lamour), only to learn that she is otherwise engaged and not leaving Madrid alone. He then has to find another way to escape.

Cummings plays a young soldier, Ramos, who can't bring himself to execute a man; when he is transferred to the front line, he deserts. Lew Ayres plays a newspaperman who gives a female hitchhiker, Maria (Olympe Bradna) a ride - she's also a deserter. De Soto's pass finally comes from a woman (Karen Morley) who pays a high price for getting him one.

Someone compared this to Grand Hotel. In a way, yes, with a war as the background, albeit a confusing one.

The Lost Moment
(1947)

based on a story by Henry James
Robert Cummings and Susan Hayward star in "The Lost Moment" also starring Agnes Moorhead, Joan Lorring, and Eduardo Cianelli.

Cummings plays Lewis Venable, a New York publisher visiting Venice with the goal of getting his hands on the love letters of a poet from the 19th Century, Jeffrey Ashton. The passionate letters were betwen Ashton and Juliana Bordereau.

Venable, under an assumed name, rents a room in the Bordereau house, a kind of grand guignol, dark place. Juliana (Moorhead) by this time is 105 years old and a recluse. She is being cared for by a niece, Tina, a woman who never smiles and is very strict. She obviously does not want Venable in the house. However, the family needs the money.

One night he hears music from somewhere in the house. Walking through the garden, he finally traces it to the embodiment of the young Juliana, a graceful woman with beautiful red hair falling around her shoulders, and she is wearing a beautiful gown It's Tina, who somehow steps into the past and becomes Juliana when she enters the room. To her, he is Jeffrey.

The family priest (Cianelli) warns Venable to ne careful rather than distroy Tina's loose hold on reality. But Venable wants those letters; he wants to know where they're hidden, and he plans on taking them.

I really enjoyed this. Robert Cummings is a lightweight and wrong for this - I would have loved to have seen Tyrone Power do it - but Susan Hayward was excellent in a dual role, and very beautiful.

Rio
(1939)

a formerly wealthy man winds up at Devil's Island
In Rio, Basil Rathbone is Paul Reynard, a wealthy man seeking a loan from several banks. Actually, it transpires that he has given them all a lot of fraudulent bonds as collateral.

On his anniversary, he's arrested and shipped to Devil's Island. He makes his sidekick Dirk (Victor McLaglen) promise to keep an eye on his lovely wife Irene (Sigrid Gurie). Broke, Irene returns to her career of singing.

She then meets Bill Gregory (Robert Cummings), an engineer who was involved in a bridge that collapsed due to faulty materials - not his fault, but he is blamed. The two fall in love, although she stays loyal to her husband.

Reynard, however, escapes. There the trouble begins.

This is an odd, dark film, with some excellent performances. There are some good scenes - Reynard escaping through the swamp, Rio at Carnivale, and the nightclub scenes.

Not as good as the director's (John Brahm) other films, but recommended for fans of Rathbone and for the performances and atmosphere.

Let's Live a Little
(1948)

Boy, Inspector Henderson was in a lot of films!
"Let's Live a Little" from 1948 stars Robert Cummings, Hedy Lamarr, Anna Stenn, and Robert Shayne. Baby boomers will recognize Shayne by voice alone as Inspector Henderson on TV's Superman from the '50s. This is the largest role I've seen him do.

Robert Cummings plays Duke Crawford, an advertising executive with too much work, too much pressure, and an ex-fiancee client Michelle Bennett (Anna Stenn) who is driving him insane. His boss expects her to sign a $100,000 renewal contract so they can advertise her beauty products, but she's leading them on, making demand after demand.

His boss suggests that he stop working on the Bennett campaign and turn to something else - getting press for a new book by a psychiatrist, Dr. J. O. Loring (though at one point she's also described as a neurologist). When he goes to her office, he discovers that she's a woman. And not just any woman - the amazing looking Hedy Lamarr!

In truth Duke does seem like he's losing his mind. He's very confused, and when he sees J. O., he becomes more confused. She becomes concerned. Both become infatuated.

J. O. Shares her office with a surgeon, Richard Field (Shayne) whom she is dating. When J. O. finds out that Duke goes to a particular nightclub, she suggests to Richard that they go there to see what it's like. Duke, of course, is there with Michelle, who becomes instantly jealous. The evening doesn't end well.

Pleasant but not a rip-roaring comedy. One of those '40s comedies that just doesn't come off. The stars are very likeable, though, and Hedy is stunning.

Circle of Danger
(1951)

Ray Milland as an American in England, Scotland, and Wales
Ray Milland stars with Patricia Roc and Marius Goring in "Circle of Danger" from 1951.

Milland plays an American, Clay Douglas, who travels to England in the hopes of finding out what happened to his younger brother during World War II - his brother had gone to England when war broke out to get in on the action. Supposedly, he was killed in action, but during this particular offensive, he was the only one who died.

Clay tracks down the soldiers who are still alive, and as he does, his brother's death becomes more mysterious. There is a reluctance of people to talk. When he learns what he thinks is the truth, he's ready to take action.

Good movie with a nice performance by Patricia Roc as the love interest of one of the ex-soldiers, Hamish (Hugh Sinclair), whom Clay falls for. Excellent denoument. Recommended.

Paid in Full
(1950)

turgid drama
Boy what a potboiler.

Robert Cummings stars with Lizabeth Scott and Diana Lynn in "Paid in Full" from 1950.

Cummings plays Bill Prentice, who works side by side with Jane (Scott) in the advertising section of a department store. She's in love with him, but he is in love with her gold-digging sister, Nancy (Diana Lynn). He has bought an engagement ring for Nancy and wants to propose.

If you thought Veda Pierce was bad, Nancy has her beat. Right after a millionaire gives her the kiss-off, Bill proposes, and Nancy accepts. You can tell right away there are going to be problems - he wants a wedding with just Jane and a couple of other people present. She wants a $500 wedding gown (almost 6,000 in today's money) that her sister gets for her. The wedding turns into a packed church affair with bridesmaids.

Nancy is terribly unhappy - Bill doesn't pay enough attention to her. She makes him miserable. Jane, meanwhile, still in love with Bill, is dating. Since her mother died giving birth, there's apparently a genetic problem, and Jane won't be able to have children. It is her great sorrow.

Nancy has a baby but is jealous of the attention Bill gives her, is angry with Jane for decorating the nursery, and winds up cutting off Jane and doing what she can to keep her husband away from the baby.

I won't tell you the rest - it's the stuff of soap operas. Lizabeth Scott is lovely, but no one is that good a person. Diana Lynn plays her role beautifully, she's a terror. Cummings, as the man in the middle, doesn't have much to do, but he's always likeable. Eve Arden, as a coworker of Jane's and Bill's, is an outspoken riot.

This is a woman's picture, all right, the kind Kay Francis did in the early '30s.

Action of the Tiger
(1957)

gorgeous scenery the highlight of this color film
Van Johnson stars with Martine Carol and Herbert Lom in "Action of the Tiger" from 1957. Sean Connery has a small role.

Johnson plays Carson, an American contraband runner in Greece who is approached by a beautiful woman, Tracy (Carol) who wants to pay him to take her to Communist Albania. She will only say she has to see someone there. He is categorically not interested. His conscience won't let him - even if she arrives there, she won't get out alive.

Later, Carson and his buddy Mike have to flee the police when they become involved in a drunken brawl. They board Carson's boat - and there is Tracy. They finally agree on a $10,000 price to leave her ashore in Albania. He has to return with cargo - perishable, he says, so he can't be there for long.

In Albania, Carson arranges to meet his contact there, Kol (Jose Nieto). Tracy admits she wants to see her brother, and if he will agree to take him back to Greece with them, she will pay him extra. Her brother is a French diplomat, and the Communists won't want him to leave. Again, Carson says no way - just see him and get out. Later, Kol agrees to take her to see him, due to her brother's condition.

It turns out the perishable cargo is children whose parents are paying to get them out of the country. Before Carson knows it, he's stuck with Tracy, her blind brother, his girlfriend, and a bunch of kids. They then make their way back to the border, and it's treacherous.

I see this film has been roundly criticized as an average adventure film - I actually don't see many of these, and I found this one absorbing and the ending quite sweet. Van Johnson was a great asset for MGM - he was charming and goodlooking for lighter fare, but could do serious drama as well. Here he's actually sexy at times.

Carol said later the part would have been played better by Sean Connery, who was as yet not a name. I'm sure Connery would have been fantastic. Johnson did well nonetheless.

The color and scenery are beautiful.

See all reviews