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Too Many Girls (1940), starring Lucille Ball, Richard Carlson, Desi Arnaz, Ann Miller, Eddie Bracken, Frances Langford, Hal Le Roy

Too Many Girls

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Too Many Girls (1940), starring Lucille Ball, Richard Carlson, Desi Arnaz, Ann Miller, Eddie Bracken, Frances Langford, Hal Le Roy

Synopsis

Spoiled heiress Connie Casey (Lucille Ball) goes off to college. Unknown to her, her father secretly sends along four Ivy League football stars as her bodyguards. In no time, they turn tiny Pottawatomie U into a gridiron powerhouse! Fast-paced and funny, Too Many Girls is celebrated for its George Abbott-produced Broadway roots, its buoyant Rodgers and Hart score, and the movie debuts of three talents from the original stage version: Eddie Bracken, Van Johnson and Desi Arnaz. It’s also where Desi met the film’s leading lady, Lucille Ball.

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Dance, Girl, Dance - starring Lucille Ball, Maureen O'Hara, Ralph Bellamy

Dance, Girl, Dance

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Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) starring Lucille Ball, Maureen O’Hara

Dance, Girl, Dance is the story of hard-working ballet dancer Judy O’Brien (Maureen O’Hara). She and her street-wise gal-pal Bubbles (Lucille Ball) work as members of a small-time dance troupe operated by Madame Basilova (Maria Ouspenskaya). The story begins with their dance troupe performing in a seedy nightclub in Akron, Ohio.  A rich young man named Jimmy Harris (Louis Hayward) is there drowning his sorrows — his marriage is falling apart. No sooner do the dancers finish their number when the place is raided by the police for illegal gambling. Jimmy makes eyes at Judy — which irritates Bubbles, since she’s always the first to get a man’s attention. Since Judy reminds him of his wife, however, he goes off with Bubbles. This leaves Judy behind to focus on her true love – ballet dancing.

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Boom Town, starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr, Frank Morgan, Chill Wills

Boom Town [Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy]

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Boom Town (1940), starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr, Frank Morgan, Chill Wills

Synopsis of Boom Town

Boom Town stars Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy as competitive oil prospectors who strike it rich in oil and romance. With screen legend Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr, and Oscar-nominee Frank Morgan.

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I Love You Again (1940) starring William Powell , Myrna Loy , Frank McHugh

I Love You Again

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I Love You Again (1940) starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Frank McHugh

Synopsis of I Love You Again

In I Love You Again, William Powell and Myrna Loy star in this comedy about a seemingly staid married businessman whose recovery from amnesia exposes his past existence as a con artist.

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Flight Command, starring Robert Taylor, Ruth Hussey, Walter Pidgeon

Flight Command

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Flight Command (1940) starring Robert Taylor, Walter Pidgeon, Ruth Hussey, Red Skelton

I originally watched  Flight Command because it was one of Red Skelton‘s earliest movie roles — which is technically true; Red’s in the film as part of the Hellcats squadron, acting as the class clown, but he’s definitely a secondary character.  Flight Command is primarily about a brash young pilot, Alan Drake (played by Robert Taylor) who’s recruited straight out of college to join the premier squad of Navy Hellcats.  He has trouble fitting in at first, although the flight commander (played by a young and dashing Walter Pidgeon) tries to help — as does the commander’s wife (played by Ruth Hussey). There’s a suspected romantic triangle between Drake and the commander’s wife (which was only him trying to console her on the death of her brother) — but all turns out well in the end.

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The Mummy's Hand movie poster

The Mummy’s Hand

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The Mummy’s Hand  (1940) starring Dick Foran, Wallace Ford, Peggy Moran

If there’s one deadly sin committed by  The Mummy’s Hand, it’s that it’s too slow–and I’m not talking about the shambling movement of Kharis the living mummy.   The titular mummy doesn’t make his first appearance until an hour into the movie, which has spent far too long in setting the scene.   For instance, handsome, young archaeologist Steve Banning (Dick Foran) is stuck in Egypt. Without the funds to pursue his archeological dig.   And his friend Babe Jensen (Wallace Ford) is along as comic relief.

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The Invisible Man Returns (1940) starring Vincent Price, Nan Grey, Cedric Hardwicke

The Invisible Man Returns

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The Invisible Man Returns (1940) starring Vincent Price, Nan Grey, Cedric Hardwicke, Cecil Kellaway

The Invisible Man Returns (1940) starring Vincent Price, Nan Grey, Cedric Hardwicke

buy The Invisible Man Returns from amazon.com The Invisible Man Returns is an excellent movie, due to no small degree to the acting skills of Vincent Price. Vincent Price is  Geoffrey Radcliffe, the proverbial “man convicted of a murder that he didn’t commit” — the murder of his own brother. Soon to be executed, he’s given an unexpected last-minute reprieve — but not from the state. He’s visited by Dr. Frank Griffin  (John Sutton), the brother of the original Invisible Man, who offers to inject him with the unstable invisibility formula, warning him of the side effect: gradual insanity. Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, Vincent Price makes Hobson’s choice — and chooses the injection, hoping to find the actual murderer before he’s driven to insanity. At the same time, Dr. Griffin will try to find an antidote for the invisibility formula.

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Abe Lincoln in Illinois, starring Raymond Massey

Abe Lincoln in Illinois

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Abe Lincoln in Illinois is one of the best movie biographies that I’ve ever seen, bar none – a riveting biography, with excellent acting by Raymond Massey, who literally becomes the title character – highly recommended.Read More »Abe Lincoln in Illinois

The Invisible Woman (1940), starring Virginia Bruce, Charles Lane, John Barrymore

The Invisible Woman

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The Invisible Woman (1940), starring Virginia Bruce, Charles Lane, John Barrymore

The original  The Invisible Man was a horror movie, mostly faithful to the original novel by H.G. Wells.   The sequel,  The Invisible Man Returns starring  Vincent Price was equal parts horror movie, romance, and crime story.   In contrast,  The Invisible Woman is a comedy — a very enjoyable comedy.

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