Friday, May 31, 2019

CAFTAN WOMAN'S CHOICE: ONE FOR JUNE ON TCM


"It hurts to be tricked and cheated by someone you loved and believed in, but that doesn't give you the right to take justice into your own hands, trample on the hearts of others and walk out on life."

Helen Walker

Imagine you are an avaricious and scheming woman like Irene Williams played by Helen Walker (Nightmare Alley). You have succeeded in landing a wealthy husband who worships the ground you walk on, bows to your every whim, and gives you every luxury imaginable. Wouldn't you quit while you're ahead?

Brian Donlevy

Imagine you are the luckiest man in the world, which is how industrialist Walter Williams played by Brian Donlevy (Beau Geste) considers himself, and suddenly you are not. You are a potential murder victim at the hands of your wife and her lover, and after defending yourself, a man with no name or home to call his own.

Ella Raines, Brian Donlevy

Imagine you are a young widow running a small town gas station like Marsha Peters played by Ella Raines (Phantom Lady). Fate hits you with a stranger whose past is definitely mysterious and may be shady. Fate also makes this stranger the fellow you happen to fall in love with, and that is just the beginning of Fate's dirty tricks. Marsha is smack-dab in the middle of the Williams' unfinished business, and it is a matter of life and death.

Ella Raines, Anna May Wong, Charles Coburn

All of those disparate threads come together in a mystery for a veteran cop, Lt. Quincy played with a gentle Irish brogue by Charles Coburn (Has Anybody Seen My Gal). Cops aren't supposed to take sides, but Quincy trusts his instincts as Impact's procedural aspects blend with its intrigue, romance, and courtroom drama. Everything may hinge on Anna May Wong (Shanghai Express).

Produced by Harry and Leo Popkin, businessmen turned movie producers who gave us favourites like And Then There Were None and Champagne for Caesar. Impact joins D.O.A. and The Thief in their crime/noir output. Arthur Lubin, who effortless went between Francis the Talking Mule and Abbott and Costello to Phantom of the Opera and Footsteps in the Fog, directed the Jay Dratler (Pitfall) and Dorothy Davenport (Mrs. Wallace Reid) screenplay.

Rise and shine! TCM is airing Impact at 6 AM on Monday, June 10th. The theme for the day appears to be secret or hidden identities with Hollow Triumph and The Scarlet Pimpernel also among the titles.












27 comments:

  1. Can watch this film any time. Good thriller.

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    1. True. It is a dandy (how my dad would describe noir), and once you spot one scene, you are hooked.

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  2. This is a very good movie. I just had a bit of a problem with Brian Donlevy who for me is not leading man material. He's more of a solid and dependable supporting actor.

    I always love Ella Raines and I realize running a gas station her outfits have to be practical but I like my 40s dames to be more glamorous. Otherwise good film.

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    1. Well, Helen Walker certainly took care of the glamour aspect for us.

      I'm not saying there isn't an adjustment to be made, but I accept Donlevy as leading man a little more readily. I believe it was seeing him as a not-so-bad bad guy in The Great Man's Lady at an early age. His character believed himself to be the leading man despite the presence of Joel McCrea!

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    2. True about Helen Walker. I have yet to see The Great Man's Lady.

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    3. Stanwyck makes it epic. The fourth of five movies with Wild Bill Wellman.

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  3. Speaking of JOEL MCCREA, BRIAN DONLEVY had a part in HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI with JODY MCCREA, the son of JOEL MCCREA & his wife FRANCES DEE. I am a fan of Joel & Frances. I didn't see this movie. I only watched 3 of those beach movies, BIKINI BEACH, BEACH BLANKET BINGO and one that was different, THE GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI. I saw them in the mid-80s. The movies were silly but they were supposed to be. They had a likable cast including JODY MCCRAE. He played his (dumb) character well and I certainly mean that as a compliment!

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    1. We have a fondness for Frances Dee, Joel McCrea and Jody in common. I think he was such a hoot in the Beach Party movies. They kept changing the character's name, but the personality remained goofy to the extreme.

      The Virginian starring Joel McCrea and Brian Donlevy as Trampas is another excellent movie with those two actors.

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  4. Speaking of those beach movies MEREDITH MACRAE was in some of them. So that's 2 people that were second generation actors in them. Meredith was the daughter of GORDON MACRAE. Also Jody and Meredith have the names MCCREA & MACRAE! Also there was ALBERTA NELSON. Do you remember her from her 3 eps of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW as the waitress FLORA that was seeing GOOBER? Earlier she did an ep where she played a different character-the last ep with THELMA LOU(the only color ep that THELMA LOU did).

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    1. I'm afraid I don't have any recollection of Alberta Nelson. However I grew up watching Sheila MacRae on The Honeymooners and her daughter Meredith on Petticoat Junction. I adore watching Gordon MacRae in films and listening to his recordings, especially duets with Jo Stafford.

      Our star in this film, Brian Donlevy is not noted for his musical ability but he did play a trumpet player in Birth of the Blues, 1941.

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  5. Good choice for June, especially with the always fabulous Helen Walker and Ella Raines. Two great queens of noir! Plus Anna May Wong! I hope this film will get the full restoration treatment someday, so we can watch something better than the watery public-domain prints it now exists in.

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    1. Yes! We truly deserve a restoration of this dandy thriller. As you say, Helen, Ella and Anna May are Queens.

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  6. ALBERTA NELSON, a tall blonde, played one of the comic villains with HARVEY LEMBECK in the beach movies. According to WIKI Alberta was the only person to be in all of those movies. Were there 7 or 9 of them? Also Alberta (Aug.14, 1937-Apr. 29, 2006) did an episode of THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW about the birds and the bees as the teacher of RITCHIE PETRIE. There are 4 pictures of Alberta on her imdb page. The first picture is a good one which also has Lembeck and a brunette named Linda Rogers(I believe). The second one has ANDY & GOOBER. She only has 20 credits on imdb but she was in popular shows and movies. So she got to work with Andy Griffith AND Dick Van Dyke!

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    1. Now that you describe her I certainly remember her as one of the "Mice". I'm just not that familiar with The Andy Griffith Show.

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  7. P.S. It says the character that ELLA RAINES played ran a small-town gas station. Flora was working at Wallys gas station on an ep of ANDY. The first one was where she was new in town and Goober has a crush on her but she likes Andy who is seeing Helen. I really like that episode. The second one is where she takes over at Wallys when Goober is on vacation. The third one is about where Emmitt Clark wants to buy a mink coat for his wife Martha. All of these episodes were after DON KNOTTS left the show.

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    1. I like seeing businesswomen portrayed on the shows of the past. It should make folks realize that it is nothing new in the scheme of things.

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  8. Do you like Brian Donlevy best as the good guy, bad guy or both equally? What are some of your favorite movies he did? I read that he did THE GLASS KEY with ALAN LADD. I am a big fan of Alan. By the way, that is a good picture of Brian with ELLA RAINES.

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    1. I'm a Donlevy fan who likes him when he's nasty, when he's nice, and when he is funny. The Great McGinty is one of my all-time-faves. He is adorable as the ghost of Andrew Jackson in The Remarkable Andrew with William Holden.

      It is a nice picture, isn't it. Impact is a good movie. The Glass Key is one of my favourites. It was made earlier with George Raft in the Ladd role and Edward Arnold in the part later played by Donlevy.

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  9. Some of the TV work that Brian Donlevy did was WAGON TRAIN, PERRY MASON(playing a General) and FAMILY AFFAIR in a story with Jody(JOHNNIE WHITAKER). The ep also had WILLIAM BOYETT-from your DRAGNET page. So that episode had two actors named BRIAN, DONLEVY & BRIAN KEITH, the star of FAMILY AFFAIR. I am a big fan of Brian Keith. He did the first ep of MURDER, SHE WROTE (2 hrs.) and also a PERRY MASON movie, THE CASE OF THE LETHAL LESSON. It was the first one with WILLIAM R. MOSES as KEN MALANSKY. Do you know the work of Brian Keith very well?

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    1. I'll admit to being crazy for Brian Keith. I grew up watching Family Affair and later discovered his short-lived series The Westerner. Movies as diverse as Tight Spot and The Parent Trap will draw me to them because of Keith.

      A few years ago Family Affair was a lunchtime rerun staple in this area. I had forgotten about Donlevy appearing on the show so on the day I watched that story about Jody and his new friend I thought I'd better stick around to see if it was someone I "knew." I was overcome to see Brian Donlevy and I realized I was a really big fan.

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  10. I noticed on imdb that Brian did a movie with FRANCES DEE also. It is titled HALF ANGEL and Brian plays a reporter who has faith in the innocence of Dees character. She had been charged with poisoning her father. I think it came out in 1935 or 1936.

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    1. That sounds interesting. I'll have to put it on the every-growing, never-ending, watch list.

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  11. Two of the movies I saw FRANCES DEE in are THE SILVER CORD(1933) which starred IRENE DUNNE & JOEL MCCREA. This is when Frances met Joel. They wed later that year and were married until Joels passing in 1990. Their marriage lasted 57 years! Another movie-much later- was GYPSY COLT(1954) about a girl and her horse. Besides Miss Dee there was WARD BOND-they played a married couple-and their daughter was played by DONNA CORCORAN. Her brother was KEVIN CORCORAN who was known for DISNEY movies including OLD YELLER and POLLYANNA.

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    1. The Silver Cord is a lesson on how not to treat your family.

      I remember The Gypsy Colt, and all those Corcoran kids, from my childhood. The Gypsy Colt is basically Lassie Come Home with a horse and it is recalled fondly.

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  12. I haven't seen the movie, but I will after this great write-up. And I was going to keep my mouth shut about Brian Kieth and Family Affair - but I can't help it.. I loved his show as a very little kid, because Keith looks just like my father. In fact, we'd kid him about it. And I loved Mr. French, Sissy, and Buffy. But "Jody" was a wimp! He letdown little boys everywhere. OK, too much information. Sorry.

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    1. I hope you enjoy the movie.

      I don't recall ever looking at Jody in that light. However, I will add my point of view that they really didn't know how to write for little girls. They wouldn't let Buffy grow up, and it carried over to poor Dodie on My Three Sons. Nonetheless, I was crazy about the show too. They captured some sort of a lightning in a bottle.

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  13. I loved the way you presented this movie...it's been a few years since I saw it and it made me want to watch it again!

    I've really come to enjoy Brian Donlevy, who this year seems to pop up weekly in my viewing. :) Excited about Brian Donlevy day on TCM in August!

    Best wishes,
    Laura

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