snapshot: Berlin Correspondent (1942)

US / 70 minutes / bw / TCF Dir: Eugene Forde Pr: Bryan Foy Scr: Steve Fisher, Jack Andrews Cine: Virgil Miller Cast: Virginia Gilmore, Dana Andrews, Mona Maris, Martin Kosleck, Sig Ruman, Kurt Katch, Erwin Kalser, Torben Meyer, William Edmunds, Hans Schumm, Leonard Mudie, Hans von Morhart, Curt Furberg, Henry Rowland, Christian Rub, Walter Sande.

Dana Andrews as Bill.

November 1941, and US radio journalist Bill Roberts (Andrews) broadcasts regular reports home from Berlin. Despite being heavily scrutinized by the Nazi censors, these contain coded messages telling the truth about how (badly) things are faring in Germany, and revealing Nazi plans. At the New York Chronicle Bill’s colleague Red (Sande) interprets the codes and writes the stories, to the perplexity of the Gestapo.

Erwin Kalser as Rudolf Hauen.

Bill has been getting his information at a philatelical shop from elderly Rudolf Hauen (Kalser), who has picked it up over the supper table from Continue reading

Bad Girl (1931)

Just how bad was she?

US / 90 minutes / bw / Fox Dir: Frank Borzage Scr: Edwin J. Burke Story: Bad Girl (1928) by Viña Delmar and Bad Girl (1930 play) by Viña Delmar and Brian Marlowe (i.e., Brian Marlow) Cine: Chester Lyons Cast: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell, William Pawley, George Irving, Frank Darien, Louis Natheaux, Billy Watson, Charles Sullivan, Frank Austin, Sarah Padden, Bud Eilers, Sue Borzage.

Bad Girl poster

Based on a novel of, apparently, such unbridled salaciousness that it was—gasp!—briefly banned in Boston, the pre-Code movie Bad Girl tells a story that would have seemed Continue reading

Close-Up (1948)

US / 75 minutes / bw / Marathon (A Harry Brandt Production) Dir: Jack Donohue Pr: Frank Satenstein Scr: John Bright, Max Wilk, Jack Donohue, Martin Rackin Story: James Poe Cine: William Miller Cast: Alan Baxter, Virginia Gilmore, Richard Kollmar, Loring Smith, Philip Huston, Joey Faye, Russell Collins, Michael Wyler, Marcia Walter, Sid Melton, Wendell Phillips, Erin O’Kelly (i.e., Erin Selwyn), Maurice Manson.

After newsreel photographer Phil Sparr (Baxter) and his sidekick Roger (Faye) shoot a fashion sequence outside the Fifth National Bank on NYC’s Madison Square, the film they’ve shot is suddenly in heavy demand. Criminal gang-leader Joe Gibbons (Huston), a one-time actor who had to switch professions because of his drinking, sends a courier to try to pilfer it; when the man fails, Gibbons beats him ruthlessly with his belt. Gibbons next sends his sidekick Beck (Collins) to beg for the film on the pretext that Phil captured Beck in the company of a floozy not his wife. Meanwhile, fresh-faced journalist Peggy Lane (Gilmore) from Snap magazine is attempting to interview Phil.

Close-Up 1948

Phil (Baxter) gives near-femme fatale Peggy (Gilmore) a cigarette as the cops prepare to take her away.

Phil’s boss Harry Avery (Smith), examining the relevant frames, realizes the reason people are after it has nothing to do with Beck or his floozy: Phil inadvertently captured the image of wanted Nazi war criminal Kurt “The Butcher” Bauer (Kollmar) leaving the bank. Continue reading