A wealthy, cheating husband is found murdered in his penthouse apartment. The police soon arrest a suspect, but the victim's downstairs neighbor believes the man is innocent and sets out to... See full summary »
William Collier Jr.,
A sinister character boards the Rome Express on the trail of a valuable Van Dyck painting, recently stolen from a Paris gallery. Much to his annoyance he finds the train populated with a ... See full summary »
Elna Curry, once a concert pianist, develops an unfounded jealousy of neighbor, Trudie Morrow. Elna who suffers from neurasthenia, believes that Trudie is having an affair with her husband,... See full summary »
Kay Murdock (Lynn Bari) strolls into the Dixie Bar in Shanghai on November 1, 1941 and asks the bartender for a letter addressed to Captain Larsen, and is referred to Roy Bonnell (Preston ... See full summary »
Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took ... See full summary »
Artist Jimmy Hudson (Cary Grant) is stuck in Mexico unable to pay his hotel bill. Meanwhile, Louise Fuller (Grace Moore) opera singer is stuck in the same town unable to return to the US ... See full summary »
During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, a few Americans and a Filipino guerrilla unit seize a Japanese jungle base and use the radio transmitter to broadcast anti-Japanese propaganda, prompting retaliatory Japanese attacks.
William K. Howard was given the task of turning a popular radio serial into a movie, and succeeded. A carefully-written script that actually paid attention to the way cases are tried was the first step. Some great support, particularly Skeets Gallegher and the always fascinating Zasu Pitts helps. A restless camera helps keep up speed, and some interesting sets -- particularly the nightclub set -- make this a fine movie, even if the leads, who became lovers more than twenty years later, had no memory of working together on this one.
I wish to call your attention, if you ever have the chance to see this movie -- it is very rare and the one print I saw was a 16 mm. print, blurry as you would expect -- to the swish cuts. A swish cut is when the camera starts to pan away, then the illusion of high speed movement starts and when the camera slows down it is panning into a new shot -- maybe a quarter second elapses. It adds tremendous excitement to a sequence and Howard uses a lot of them here.
Unhappily, a lot of editing techniques for shot changes were on their ways out. By about 1935, Hollywood had settled on the now-standard techniques, except for a few movies which attempt to evoke the older movies. A loss to film grammar, but what can we do about it now, except to enjoy these techniques when we see them?
May 20 2010: I just noticed a modern use of the swish cut: any Doctor Who fan out there should take a look at Season 5 Episode 4 for the use of one, four minutes into the proceedings.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this