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Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), starring Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains, James Gleason, Edward Everett Horton

Here Comes Mr. Jordan

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Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), starring Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains, James Gleason, Edward Everett Horton

I recently saw Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and I can say that I truly enjoyed it, with wonderful performances all around. It’s a movie that clearly deserved it’s Oscars. Here’s why:

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Casablanca (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, Sidney Greenstreet

Casablanca

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Movie review of the classic Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, – one of the most iconic movies of all time.

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Citizen Kane, by Orson Welles

Citizen Kane

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Citizen Kane, by Orson Welles

DVD review of Citizen Kane, one of the great movies of the 20th Century, starring, produced and written by Orson Welles

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The Caine Mutiny (1954) starring Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray

The Caine Mutiny

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The Caine Mutiny (1954) starring Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray

Buy from Amazon The Caine Mutiny is one of those movies where several elements work together to make an incredible film.   The acting is top-notch, with all of the actors at their peak.   Humphrey Bogart is believable, despicable, and, in the end, pitiable as the obsessive, controlling, paranoid Captain Queeq.   Van Johnson is utterly believable as the loyal, upright, by-the-book officer.   Fred MacMurray is absolutely unrecognizable, and I mean that in the best way possible.   He is not the loving, gentle patriarch of My Three Sons. Neither the likable father figure of various Walt Disney movies.  He is Iago, a little man who manipulates others into doing what he himself is unable and unwilling to do.   Jose Ferrer shines as the defense attorney in the court-martial.

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Key Largo, starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore

Key Largo

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movie review of the classic film Key Largo, where a gangster (Edward G. Robinson) breaks into a hotel during a storm, taking the innkeeper (Lionel Barrymore) and his daughter-in-law (Lauren Bacall) – who’s only hope is the returned G.I. (Humphrey Bogart) who can stand up to the gangster; if he can find his courage again.

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To Have and Have Not, a Howard Hawks film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

To Have and Have Not

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movie review of To Have and Have Not (1944) starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan

Help the Free French? Not world-weary gunrunner Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart). But he changes his mind when a sultry siren-in-distress named Marie asks, “Anybody got a match?” That red-hot match is Bogart and 19-year-old first-time film actress Lauren Bacall. Full of intrigue and racy banter (including Bacall’s legendary whistling instructions), this thriller excites further interest for what it has and has not.

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Cannily directed by Howard Hawks and smartly written by William Faulkner and Jules Furthman, it doesn’t have much similarity to the Ernest Hemingway novel that inspired it. And it strongly resembles Casablanca: French resistance fighters, a piano-playing bluesman (Hoagy Carmichael) and a Martinique bar much like Rick’s Cafe Americaine. But first and foremost, it showcases Bogart and Bacall, carrying on with a passion that smolders from the tips of their cigarettes clear through to their souls.

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The African Queen - Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart

The African Queen

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At the start of World War 1, German imperial troops burn down Reverend Samuel Sayer’s mission in Africa. He is overtaken with disappointment and passes away. Shortly after his well-educated, snooty sister Rose Sayer (Hepburn) buries her brother, she must leave on the only available transport, a tired river steamboat The African Queen manned by the ill-mannered bachelor, Charlie Allnut (Bogart). Together they embark on a long difficult journey, without any comfort. Rose grows determined to assist in the British war effort and presses Charlie until he finally agrees and together they steam up the Ulana encountering an enemy fort, raging rapids, bloodthirsty parasites and endlessly branching stream which always seem to lead them to what appear to be impenetrable swamps. Despite opposing personalities, the two grow closer to each other and ultimately carry out their plan to take out a German warship.

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Knock on Any Door (1949), starring Humphrey Bogart and John Derek

Knock on Any Door

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Knock on Any Door (1949) starring Humphrey Bogart, John Derek

I’m a large fan of Humphrey Bogart, and I fully expected to enjoy watching Knock on Any Door. But, unfortunately, I didn’t. It’s the story of an underprivileged young man, a product of the slums, who becomes bitter after his father’s death.

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The Big Circus (1959) starring Victor Mature, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Red Buttons

The Big Circus

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The Big Circus (1959) starring Victor Mature, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Red Buttons

While flipping through channels, I saw The Big Circus on Turner Classic Movies as part of a marathon of circus movies.   Despite my love of the circus, I almost went past until I saw Vincent Price as the ringmaster.   I’m a long-time fan of Vincent Price.  He’s one of the small fraternity of actors who never turn in a poor performance.   Another member of that fraternity is Peter Lorre, who also co-stars here as one of the circus clowns.   I’m glad that I stayed to watch — The Big Circus is an entertaining, although not dreadfully original, movie.

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Advise and Consent (1962) starring Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon, Burgess Meredith, Gene Tierney, Peter Lawford

Advise and Consent

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In short, Advise and Consent is one of the best political intrigue movies that I’ve ever seen.   The basic plot involves a very ill President of the United States (Franchot Tone) who wants to nominate for Secretary of State a senator.  A man with a small secret in his past (played beautifully by Henry Fonda – a great performance).   The Senate Majority Leader (a wonderful performance by Walter Pidgeon) tries to line up the votes.  But he’s being undercut by a zealous young senator (Don Murray).  And, on the “other side of the aisle” by a Southern senator (played by Charles Laughton in his final performance), a man who views himself as a kingmaker, using the other senators and people like pawns on a chess board.

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