Saturday, December 16, 2017

1001 NIGHTS AT THE MOVIES: PART 3



                The 1940’s. Old Hollywood’s boom years.  An era teeming with so many titles I love that it’ll take a couple of installments to detail them.
                 First up, the early period,  1940 to 1944. These were, of course, years dominated and defined by World War 2. Even though battles were never fought on North American soil, people were deeply affected on every level.  There was a sense of unity, a willingness (virtually inconceivable nowadays) to make personal sacrifices.  Democracy’s undoubtedly the most enlightened system of government. And – up to a point – the most efficient. An argument could be made that - in early 40’s America - the balance between enlightenment and efficiency was at its most effective. Most people (for better or worse) actually believed in their leaders, believed that people at all levels should be (and were) striving for the common good. With growing awareness of the magnitude of Nazi evil (the camps, the atrocities), people found themselves roused to a very positive sense of righteous outrage.
                There was no internet, no twitter. The public’s visual exposure to news came via cinema newsreels – censored, slanted and presented well after events had transpired. People worked long hours, bought war bonds, accepted rationing and - most seriously of all – many served overseas because they honestly felt it was their patriotic duty. One tends to look back at North America in the war years as one of those best of times, worst of times periods. People were, for the most part, unified - secure in the belief they were on the side of the angels. Yet daily casualty lists burned holes in generations. And there's little doubt the specter of an Axis victory created a huge psychic cloud.
                 The war was won – thank God. But it still took a long time to expose and address the hidden iniquities within the democracy people had fought for. America had - to some extent - been built on the systematic persecution of native people, then the use of slavery. To this day, racial inequities remain a ticking timebomb. Every nation has been guilty of unfair prejudices and exclusionary practices. But not every nation has the words "all men are created equal" ingrained in its constitution.Unity often disguises complacency/complicity in ignoring and/or burying social problems. Not just racial issues, but also robber baron-style business practices and deeply embedded political corruption. The intertwining relationship between democracy and capitalism is complicated – fraught with internal contradictions and problems. Today disillusionment, cynicism, entitlement and reflexive finger-pointing undermine unity. We must be ready to recognize both our rights and our responsibilities. The existence and encouragement of diversity of opinion is a reflection of enlightenment. Something to be desired.  Does it foster efficiency? Possibly - probably - not. But then efficiency is what the Nazis prized most. Can we survive without enlightenment? Can we survive without efficiency? Achieving a just balance between the two is proving more and more difficult. We must be ready to recognize when efficiency turns into ruthlessness. And the moment it does, to put on the brakes. Because democracy remains – compared to every other system – the one most worth perfecting, preserving and protecting.
                Anyway, back to the cinema scene of the early 40’s. Movies were, by that time, an integral part of almost everyone’s lives. And it was no surprise that Hollywood jumped into the war effort full throttle, cooperating with the government to produce films that raised morale and encouraged patriotism. Making sure, of course,  that the propaganda was also entertaining. So there were plenty of war movies, spy movies, movies that glorified every branch of the military. All told with the proper amount of uplift.  Mixed, of course, with pure escapist films (including lots of musicals and comedies). Betty Grable and Abbott & Costello became cultural figureheads. And Hollywood energetically supported the Brits in their war effort. Greer (Mrs. Miniver) Garson ) became the most admired woman in movies, Oscar-nominated every time she lifted a teacup. It wasn’t enough that Sherlock Holmes was British. The Holmes film series (with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce) had started off in its proper Victorian milieu with a couple of 1939 releases. But when it commenced again in ’42, the sleuth was catapulted right into the present day to do his patriotic duty outwitting Nazis and fifth columnists.
It's elementary.
                      
The war years brought movie attendance in North America to record levels. Factories involved in war-related production operated night and day. And to accommodate the various shifts, many cinemas were also open round the clock. Hollywood’s war effort went way beyond just making movies. They sent stars on cross country War Bond Drives and international USO tours. They also initiated and operated the Hollywood Canteen, a servicemen-only center where the enlisted could mix and mingle with movie stars, who staffed the place every night. A soldier could watch Peggy Lee perform, have Dietrich serve him donuts, then dance with Hedy Lamarr. All for free. New York had its own Broadway-based version, the Stage Door Canteen.
                For all their outward patriotism, studio heads, with their eyes always on the bottom line, were not above back room finagling to keep prize male stars out of the military as long as possible.  Still, many actors, inspired by genuine patriotic fervor, enlisted before their studios could get those questionable balls rolling. Among those who racked up outstanding service records were Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, James Stewart and Clark Gable, superstars all.
                Many of the great 30’s icons continued as box office magnets throughout the war years – Cagney, Cooper, Flynn, Tracy.  And some surprising new stars emerged. Humphrey Bogart, a second stringer for years, burst into supernova status in ’41 with the one two punch of “High Sierra” and “The Maltese Falcon”.  Alan Ladd, little more than a bit player since the mid-thirties, created a sensation in 1942’s “This Gun For Hire” and never looked back.
                Women, aside from now being de facto heads of so many households, remained a powerful part of the regular movie-going public. They retained their attachment to the female role models of the thirties - Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert, Loretta Young, Barbara Stanwyck.  Bette Davis, in particular, went from strength to strength. Of course, new comets soared as well – like the wildly popular pinup queens  Betty Grable, Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth. And - among the foreign imports - Ingrid Bergman was embraced by the movie-going public as a new and cherished favorite.
                Bing Crosby slipped comfortably into the role of America’s best loved regular guy (a regular guy who just happened to have a smoothly naturalistic acting style, terrific comedy chops and a million dollar singing voice). Crosby consolidated his standing even more in the series of “Road” comedies he made with Bob Hope. The two were dominant presences in both film and radio – both during and long after the war. Comedies definitely weren’t limited to Abbott & Costello and Crosby & Hope. Director Ernst Lubitsch had the intelligentsia in stitches with “To Be Not to Be” and “Heaven Can Wait”. Both of which leave me cold.  I don’t like the contrived Damon Runyon at the pearly gates whimsy of “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” either. But all three of these were box office hits and remain critical favorites. Early 40’s comedies I do love? “My Favorite Wife”, “The Devil and Miss Jones” “I Married a Witch” the under-rated Irene Dunne/Charles Boyer outing “Together Again” and some of the Preston Sturges films, especially “Christmas in July” and the superbly realized “Sullivan’s Travels”. These were all major studio A’s.  In addition to turning out gleaming super-productions, Warner Brothers operated a great B picture unit, often producing little movies more entertaining than the A’s they supported. Two of their 1940 comedies, “Calling All Husbands” and” Father is a Prince” were especially engaging.  And gave character actors like Grant Mitchell and Nana Bryant the chance to play leads (which they both do beautifully in “Father is a Prince”). Young Warner Brothers contract player George Reeves is on hand – and exceptionally winning – in both films. Now, there’s someone who surely should have been a top leading man in the 40’s. That big movie break just never came.  
George Reeves, the movie star that should have been
                                
                Westerns continued to boom. Roy Rogers eclipsed Gene Autry as King of the B’s. Best of the A's were possibly MGM's "Billy the Kid"(with a subdued  Robert Taylor very effective in the title role), Fritz Lang's rousing "Western Union" and William Wellman's stark, shocking "The Ox-Bow Incident".
                Film noir, which came into its own right after the war, was definitely in a state of rapid development during the early 40’s – from RKO’s “Stranger on the Third Floor” to Paramount’s “This Gun for Hire” and Fox’s “Laura”. Certainly, the faces and personalities of noir character actors like Sydney Greenstreet  and Elisha Cook Jr. have made much more indelible impressions on later generations than some of the stars they supported.
                Possibly the artistic event of the era was Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane”. It arrived as a creative thunderbolt and its effects are still being felt. The picture proved to be the first salvo in Welles’ remarkable film career. Box office success tended to elude him. But an inordinately large percentage of the movies he directed are now accepted as classics of the canon. 
                Welles already enjoyed a considerable cultural reputation when he arrived at RKO. A more surprising source of eloquently inspired cinema was gifted Val Lewton, who produced a group of low budget horror films for that same studio  (“Cat People” “The Seventh Victim,” “Curse of the Cat People”, among others).  Directors changed from picture to picture – but Lewton’s over-riding influence kept the best of these movies enveloped in an atmosphere of hushed existential menace. There’s seldom been a better case for the theory of producer as auteur.  
                War-related complications more or less kept foreign films off the menu. It wasn’t till after the conflict that North American audiences – at least the more adventurous of them -  finally saw intriguing European treasures like “La Corona di Ferro”, “Le Baron Fantome”, “I bambini ci guardano” and  “Ossessione” ( a stunning Visconti adaptation of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” – far superior to the later {albeit quite good} Hollywood version).
                For whatever reason, the kind of sci fi  involving interplanetary adventure played virtually no part in 40’s cinema. Mad doctors daring Mother Nature with their in-lab puttering  pretty much defined  the 40’s sci-fi scene. And like the outer space sagas, Biblical spectacles would have to wait till the 50’s to flex their box-office muscles. Closest 40’s equivalents were the Maria Montez Arabian Nights epics that packed cinemas throughout the war years.
                Having lost the European market for the duration, Hollywood courted Latin America assiduously.  With the full encouragement of the U.S. government, eager to ward off Axis influence in that area. Latin American performers scooped up by American studios included Carmen Miranda(Brazilian bombshell actually born in Portugal), Arturo de Cordova(Mexican) and Maria Montez(from the Dominican Republic). All made bids for Hollywood stardom – with varying degrees of success.
                Musicals were entering the peak years of their popularity. Although, without Astaire and Rogers, RKO just couldn’t summon up much in the way of movie musical artistry. And post Busby Berkeley, Warner Brothers lost its edge in the field as well. Paramount had Bing and virtually anything he sang in made money. Technical advances made movies more polished than ever. And Technicolor films, though still something of an event, became more prevalent – especially when it came to musicals. No studio used color more aggressively or more lucratively than 20th Century Fox. The vibrant lollipop hues of their popular Betty Grable and Alice Faye musicals were never less than eye-popping; the Fox palette seemed specifically calibrated to celebrate the colors of Carmen Miranda’s towering fruit salad hats. The early 40’s witnessed  the heyday of the big band phenomenon, greatest single force in the era’s popular music.  Fox skating star Sonja Henie prolonged her popularity by buttressing her film musicals with name bands. And they weren’t just added attractions in the lady’s extravaganzas; their presence practically drove the storylines in wartime Henie hits like “Sun Valley Serenade”(Glenn Miller),  “Iceland”(Sammy Kaye) and “Wintertime”(Woody Herman).
Sonja, Queen of the Ice.

 Song-filled Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney films made millions for MGM during the war years. But it wasn’t till Vincente Minnelli directed Judy in the wonderfully crafted “Meet Me in St. Louis” that the Metro musical really moved into its rapturous golden age.
                Acknowledged classics of the period you won’t find on my list: “Casablanca”(it took me several attempts to finish it without falling asleep).  Appeal of its script, its performances, its skin-deep character entanglements  - all elude me. Maybe I was inoculated against its charms as a baby. Also put me down as a stubborn non-fan of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, “Arsenic and Old Lace” “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and Bette Davis’ phony baloney “Now Voyager”.  And  phooey on Ginger Rogers’ whole 40’s career.  Watching Astaire’s delightful 30’s partner  – a bewitching combination of the down to earth and the divine – change course in the 40’s was a decade long downer. I hated seeing her parade around self-importantly under a series of elaborate and ever more unbecoming hairdos. I’m tempted to blame the change on that 1940 Oscar she snatched away from any number of more deserving candidates.  From then on, at least through the ensuing decade, she always gave me the impression of someone who smugly expected another to be handed to her at any moment.
                But enough with the gripes. Here’s the list of early 40’s films for which I feel nothing but love:


                   PART 3:  1940-1944

288. the Ape(’40)                       William Nigh
              Boris Karloff,Maris Wrixon
289. Bandwaggon(’40)                Marcel Varnel
              Arthur Askey,Richard Murdoch,Moore Marriott
290. Bitter Sweet(’40)               Victor Saville
              Jeanette MacDonald,Nelson Eddy,George Sanders
291. Black Friday(’40)                Arthur Lubin 
              Stanley Ridges,Boris Karloff,Bela Lugosi,Anne Nagel
292. Brigham Young(’40)             Henry Hathaway
              Tyrone Power,Linda Darnell,Dean Jagger,Vincent price
293. Broadway Melody of 1940(’40)     Norman Taurog
              Fred Astaire,Eleanor Powell,George Murphy
294. Calling All Husbands(’40)     Noel Smith
              George Tobias,Florence Bates,George Reeves
295. the Carson City Kid(’40)       Joseph Kane
              Roy Rogers,Pauline Moore,Bob Steele
296. Charlie Chan in Panama(’40) Norman Foster
              Sidney Toler,Victor Sen Yung,Jean Rogers,Mary Nash
297. Christmas in July(’40)          Preston Sturges
              Dick Powell,Ellen Drew,Raymond Walburn
298. the Devil Bat(’40)               Jean Yarbrough
              Bela Lugosi.Dave O’Brien,Suzanne Kaaren
299. Escape(’40)                        Mervyn LeRoy
              Norma Shearer,Robert Taylor,Conrad Veidt,Nazimova
300. Father is a Prince(’40)        Noel Smith
              Grant Mitchell,Nana Bryant,George Reeves
301. Foreign Correspondent(’40)   Alfred Hitchcock
              Joel McCrea,Laraine Day,Herbert Marshall
302. I Love You Again(’40)         W.S. Van Dyke
              William Powell,Myrna Loy,Frank McHugh
304. I Take This Woman(’40)              W.S. Van Dyke
              Spencer Tracy,Hedy Lamarr,Verree Teasdale
305. Kit Carson(’40)                  George B. Seitz
               Jon Hall,Lynn Bari,Dana Andrews
305. Kora Terry(’40)                 Georg Jacoby
              Marika Rokk,Will Quadflieg
306. Law and Order(’40)            Ray Taylor
              Johnny Mack Brown,Nell O’Day,Fuzzy Knight
307. the Letter(’40)                   William Wyler
              Bette Davis,Herbert Marhsall,James Stephenson
308. Lucky Cisco Kid(’40)           Bruce Humberstone
              Cesar Romero,Mary Beth Hughes,Dana Andrews
309. the Man with Nine Lives(’40)  Nick Grinde
              Boris Karloff,Roger Pryor,Jo Ann Sayers
310. the Mark of Zorro(’40)        Rouben Mamoulian
              Tyrone Power,Linda Darnell,Basil Rathbone
311. My Favorite Wife(’40)          Garson Kanin
              Irene Dunne,Cary Grant,Randolph Scott
312. Pride and Prejudice(’40)        Robert Z. Leonard
              Laurence Olivier,Greer Garson,Maureen O’Sullivan
313. Ragtime Cowboy Joe(’40)             Ray Taylor
               Johnny Mack Brown,Nell O’Day,Fuzzy Knight
314. Remember the Night(’40)             Mitchell Leisen
              Barbara Stanwyck,Fred MacMurray,Elizabeth Patterson
315. Return to Yesterday(’40)     Robert Stevenson
              Clive Brook,Anna Lee,Dame May Whitty,Garry Marsh
316. Santa Fe Trail(’40)                    Michael Curtiz
              Errol Flynn,Olivia de Havilland,Raymond Massey
317. the Sea Hawk(’40)               Michael Curtiz
              Errol Flynn,Brenda Marshall,Flora Robson,Henry Daniell
318. Star Dust(’40)                   Walter Lang
              Linda Darnell,John Payne,Mary Beth Hughes
319. Stranger on the Third Floor(’40)  Boris Ingster
              John McGuire,Peter Lorre.Margaret Tallichet
320. Strike Up the Band(’40)              Busby Berkeley
              Mickey Rooney,Judy Garland,Paul Whiteman,Larry Nunn
321. Tear Gas Squad(’40)            Terry Morse
              Dennis Morgan,John Payne,George Reeves,Gloria Dickson
322. the Thief of Bagdad(’40) Michael Powell,Tim Whelan,Ludwig Berger
              Sabu,Conrad Veidt,John Justin,June Duprezs
323. ‘Til We Meet Again(’40)             Edmund Goulding
        Merle Oberon,George Brent,Pat O’brien
324. Tin Pan Alley(’40)                     Walter Lang
              Alice Faye,John Payne,Betty Grable,Jack Oakie
325. Triple Justice(’40)               David Howard
              George O’Brien,Virginia Vale
326. Viva Cisco Kid(’40)                    Norman Foster
       Cesar Romero,Jean Rogers,Chris-Pin Martin
327. When the Daltons Rode(’40) George Marshall
               Randolph Scott,Kay Francis,Brian Donlevy,Mary Gordon
328. a Window in London(’40)      Herbert Mason
              Michael Redgrave,Sally Gray,Patricia Roc,Paul Lukas
329. You’ll Find Out(’40)            David Butler
              Kay Kyser.Boris Karloff,Bela Lugosi,Helen Parrish
330. Among the Living(’41)          Stuart Heisler
       Albert Dekker,Susan Hayward,Frances Farmer
331. Bahama Passage(’41)             Edward Dmytryk
              Madeleine Carroll,Sterling Hayden,Cecil Kellaway
           
Yes, Sterling started out as Stirling
      

332. Belle Starr(’41)                 Irving Cummings
               Gene Tierney,Randolph Scott,Dana Andrews
333. Billy the Kid(’41)               David Miller
              Robert Taylor.Brian Donlevy,Mary Howard,Ian Hunter
334. Blood and Sand(’41)            Rouben Mamoulian
              Tyrone Power,Linda Darnell,Rita Hayworth,Laird Cregar
335. Citizen Kane(’41)                 Orson Welles
              Orson Welles,Joseph Cotten,Dorothy Commingore,Ray Collins
336. the Cowboy and the Blonde(’41)     Ray McCarey
              George Montgomery,Mary Beth Hughes
337. Crook’s Tour(’41)               John Baxter
              Basil Radford,Naunton Wayne,Greta Gynt
338. the Devil and Miss Jones(’41)  Sam Wood
              Jean Arthur,Charles Coburn,Spring Byington,S.Z. Sakall
339. Footsteps in the Dark(’41)    Lloyd Bacon
              Errol Flynn,Brenda Marshall,Ralph Bellamy,Lee Patrick
340. Freedom Radio(’41)              Anthony Asquith
              Clive Brooks,Diana Wynyard,Raymond Huntley
341. Hellzapoppin(’41)                H.C. Potter
              Ole Olsen,Chic Johnson,Martha Raye
342. High Sierra(’41)                 Raoul Walsh
              Humphrey Bogart,Ida Lupino,Joan Leslie,Henry Travers
343. Invisible Ghost(’41)                    Joseph H. Lewis
              Bela Lugosi,Polly Ann Young,John McGuire,Clarence Muse
344. LA Corona di Ferro(’41)        Alessandro Blasetti
              Massimo Girotti, Elisa Cegani,Gino Cervi
345. Ladies in Retirement(’41)             Charles Vidor
              Ida Lupino,Louis Hayward,Isobel Elsom,Evelyn Keyes
346. Love Crazy(’41)                  Jack Conway
              William Powell,Myrna Loy,Gail Patrick,Jack Carson
347. Man-Made Monster(’41)        George Waggner
              Lon Chaney Jr.,Lionel Atwill,Anne Nagel
348. Never Give a Sucker an Even Break(’41)       Edward F. Cline
              W.C. Fields,Gloria Jean
349. Silver Stallion(’41)                    Edward Finney
              David Sharpe,Chief Thundercloud,LeRoy Mason
350. Singapore Woman(’41)          Jean Negulesco
              Brenda Joyce,David Bruce,Jerome Cowan
351. Sis Hopkins(’41)                  Joseph Santley
              Judy Canova,Bob Crosby,Susan Hayward
352. Sullivan’s Travels(’41)          Preston Sturges
               Joel McCrea,Veronica Lake
353. Sun Valley Serenade(’41)      Bruce Humberstone
              Sonja Henie,John Payne,Glenn Miller,Lynn Bari
354. Sunny(’41)                         Herbert Wilcox
              Anna Neagle,John Carroll,Ray Bolger
355. Swamp Water(’41)               Jean Renoir
               Walter Brennan,Walter Huston,Dana Andrews
356. That Night in Rio(’41)         Irving Cummings
              Alice Faye,Don Ameche,Carmen Miranda
357. They Died with ther Boots On(’41)       Raoul Walsh
              Errol Flynn,Olivia de Havilland
358. Two-Faced Woman(’41)         George Cukor
              Greta Garbo,Melvyn Douglas,Constance Bennett
359. Week-end in Havana(’41)      Walter Lang
              Alice Faye,John Payne,Carmen Miranda,Cesar Romero
360. Western Union(’41)                     Fritz Lang
              Robert Young,Randolph Scott,Virginia Gilmore
361. You’ll Never Get Rich(’41)    Sidney Lanfield
              Fred Astaire,Rita Hayworth,Robert Benchley
362. Ziegfeld Girl(’41)                Robert Z. Leonard
              Lana Turner,Judy Garland,Hedy Lamarr,James Stewart
363. A-Haunting We Will Go(’42) Alfred L. Werker
               Stan Laurel,Oliver Hardy,Sheila Ryan
364. Arabian Nights(’42)             John Rawlins
              Maria Montez,Jon Hall,Sabu,Turhan Bey
365. Captains of the Clouds(’42)  Michael Curtiz
               James Cagney,Brenda Marshall
366. Cat People(’42)                  Jacques Tourneur
              Simone Simon,Kent Smith,Jane Randolph,Tom Conway
367. Desperate Journey(’42)         Raoul Walsh
               Errol Flynn,Raymond Massey,Ronald Reagan,Nancy Coleman
368. Die Grosse Liebe(’42)           Rolf Hansen
              Zarah Leander,Viktor Staal
369. Hab Mich Lieb(’42)              Harald Braun
              Marika Rokk,Viktor Staal
370. Halalos Csok(’42)               Laszlo Kalmar
              Katalin Karady,Istvan Nagy
371. Holiday Inn(’42)                 Mark Sandrich
       Bing Crosby,Fred Astaire,Marjorie Reynolds,Virginia Dale
372. I Married a Witch(’42)        Rene Clair
              Fredric March,Veronica Lake,Susan Hayward,Cecil Kellaway
373. I Married an Angel(’42)              W.S. Van Dyke
              Jeanette MacDonald,Nelson Eddy
374. Iceland(’42)                       Bruce Humberstone
              Sonja Henie,John Payne,Osa Massen
375. In Old California(’42)          William McGann
              John Wayne,Binnie Barnes,Helen Parrish,Edgar Kennedy
376. In This Our Life('42)              John Huston
              Bette Davis,Olivia de Havilland,Dennis Morgan 
377. Journey into Fear(’42)         Norman Foster
              Joseph Cotten,Dolores de Rio,Orson Welles
378. Let the People Sing(’42)             John Baxter
              Edward Rigby,Patricia Roc,Alastair Sim
379. the Magnificent Ambersons(’42)             Orson Welles
              Tim Holt,Joseph Cotten,Anne Baxter,Ray Collins
380. the Man Who Wouldn’t Die(’42)    Herbert I. Leeds
              Lloyd Nolan,Marjorie Weaver,Helene Reynolds
381. Man With Two Lives(’42)      Phil Rosen
              Edward Norris,Margo Dwyer
82. Moontide(’42)                     Archie Mayo
              Jean Gabin,Ida Lupino,Thomas Mitchell,Helene Reynolds
383. Night Monster(’42)                    Ford Beebe
              Bela Lugosi,Lionel Atwill,Irene Hervey,Janet Shaw
384. Noi Vivi(’42)                      Goffredo Alessandrini
              Alida Valli,Rossano Brazzi
385. Orchestra Wives(’42)          Archie Mayo
              George Montgomery,Ann Rutherford,Lynn Bari
386. the Palm Beach Story(’42)     Preston Sturges
              Claudette Colbert,Joel McCrea,Rudy Vallee
387. Ride ‘Em Cowboy(’42)          Arthur Lubin
              Bud Abbott,Lou Costello,Dick Foran,Anne Gwynne
388. Secret Enemies(’42)                    Ben Stoloff
              Craig Stevens,Faye Emerson,Robert Warwick
389. Spy Ship(’42)                     B. Reeves Eason
              Irene Manning,Craig Stevens,Maris Wrixon
390. Syncopation(’42)                William Dieterle
               Jackie Cooper,Bonita Granville,Adolphe Menjou
391. This Gun for Hire(’42)         Frank Tuttle
              Veronica Lake,Alan Ladd,Robert Preston,Laird Cregar
392. Went the Day Well?(’42)     Cavalcanti
              Leslie Banks,David Farrar,Muriel George
393. Who Done It(’42)               Erle C. Kenton
              Bud Abbott,Lou Costello,William Bendix,Louise Allbritton
394. Wir machen Musik(’42)        Harold Kautner
              Ilse Werner,Viktor de Kowa
395. Behind the Rising Sun(’43)    Edward Dmytryk
              Tom Neal,Margo,Gloria Holden,J. Carrol Naish,Don Douglas
396. Crime Doctor(’43)               Michael Gordon
              Warner Baxter,Margaret Lindsay,John Litel
397. Der Weisse Traum(’43)         Geza von Cziffra
              Olly Holzmann,Wolf Albach-Retty
398. Ghost Ship(’43)                  Mark Robson
              Richard Dix,Russell Wade,Edith Barrett,Skelton Knaggs
399. the Hard Way(’43)               Vincent Sherman
               Ida Lupino,Dennis Morgan,Joan Leslie,Jack Carson
400. Headin’ for God’s Country(’43)     William Morgan
              William Lundigan,Virginia Dale,Harry Davenport
401. Hitler’s Children(’43)           Edward Dmytryk
              Bonita Granville,Tim Holt,Kent Smith
402. Jitterbugs(’43)                   Malcolm St. Clair
              Stan Laurel,Oliver Hardy,Vivian Blaine,Lee Patrick
403. L’Eternel Retour(’43)          Jean Delannoy
              Jean Marais,Madeleine Sologne,Pieral
404. Le Baron Fantome(’43)        Serge de Poligny
              Alain Cuny,Gabrielle Dorziat,Jany Holt
405. the Leopard Man(’43)           Jacques Tourneur
              Dennis O’Keefe,Jean Brooks,Margo,James Bell
406. the Mad Ghoul(’43)                    James Hogan
              David Bruce,Evelyn Ankers,George Zucco
407. the Man in Grey(’43)            Leslie Arliss
              James Mason,Phyllis Calvert,Margaret Lockwood
408. Millions Like Us(’43)           Sidney Gilliat,Frank Launder
              Patricia Roc,Gordon Jackson,Moore Marriott
409. North Star(’43)                 Lewis Milestone
              Anne Baxter,Dana Andrews,Farley Granger,Walter Huston
410. Ossessione(’43)                   Luchino Visconti
              Massimo Girotti,Clara Calamai,Elio Marcuzzo
411. the Ox-Bow Incident(’43)        William Wellman
               henry Fonda,Dana Andrews,Jane Darwell
412. the Peterville Diamond’43)     Walter Forde
              Anne Crawford,Donald Stewart,Renee Houston
413. the Phantom of the Opera(’43)        Arthur Lubin
              Nelson Eddy,Claude Rains,Susanna Foster,Edgar Barrier
414. Return of the Vampire(’43)   Lew Landers
               Bela Lugosi,Frieda Inescort,Nina Foch
415. the Seventh Victim(’43)         Mark Robson 
               Kim Hunter,Jean Brooks,Hugh Beaumont,Tom Conway
416. Shadow of a Doubt(’43)              Alfred Hitchcock
              Joseph Cotten,Teresa Wright
417. Son of Dracula(’43)            Robert Siodmak
              Lon Chaney Jr.,Louise Allbritton,Robert Paige,Evelyn Ankers
418. the Song of Bernadette(’43)   Henry King
              Jennifer Jones,Charles Bickford,Vincent Price,Gladys Cooper
419. Stormy Weather(’43)           Andrew L. Stone
              Bill Robinson,Lena Horne,Dooley Wilson,Emmett Wallace
420. the Sultan’s Daughter(’43)    Arthur Dreifuss
              Ann Corio,Tim Ryan,Edward Norris,Irene Ryan
421. Swing Fever(’43)                 Tim Whelan
              Marilyn Maxwell,Kay Kyser,William Gargan,Lena Horne
422. Thank Your Lucky Stars(’43)              David Butler
              Eddie Cantor,Dennis Morgan,Joan Leslie,Bette Davis,Errol Flynn
423. Thursday’s Child(’43)           Rodney Ackland
              Sally Ann Howes,Wilfred Lucas,Stewart Granger
424. Wintertime(’43)                  John Brahm
              Sonja Henie,Cornel Wilde,Cesar Romero,Helene Reynolds
425. Yellow Canary(’43)             Herbert Wilcox
              Anna Neagle,Richard Greene
426. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves(’44)     Arthur Lubin
              Maria Montez,Jon Hall,Turhan Bey
427. Bluebeard(’44)                   Edgar G. Ulmer
              John Carradine,Jean Parker,Nils Ssther,Henry Kolker
428. Can’t Help Singing(’44)        Frank Ryan
              Deanna Durbin,Robert Paige,Akim Tamiroff
429. a Canterbury Tale(’44)    Michael Powell,Emeric Pressburger
              Eric Portman,Sheila Sim,Dennis Price
430. Die Frau meiner Traume(’44)   Georg Jacoby
               Marika Rokk,Wolfgang Lukschy
431. Don’t Take It to Heart(’44)  Jeffrey Dell
              Richard Greene,Patricia Medina,Moore Marriott
432. Dragon Seed(’44)         Harold S. Bucquet,Jack Conway
              Katharine Hepburn,Turhan Bey,Walter Huston
433. Frenchman’s Creek(’44)  Mitchell Leisen
              Joan Fontaine,Arturo de Cordova,Basil Rathbone
434. Gaslight(’44)              George Cukor
              Ingrid Bergman,Charles Boyer,Joseph Cotten
435. Henry V(’44)              Laurence Olivier
              Laurence Olivier,Leslie Banks,Renee Asherson
436. House of Frankenstein(’44)   Erle C. Kenton
              Boris Karloff,Lon Chaney Jr.,John Carradine,J. Carrol Naish
437. I Bambini ci Guardano(’44)    Vittorio de Sica
              Luciano De Ambrosis,Isa Pola,Emilio Cigoli                      
438. In Society(’44)                   Jean Yarbrough
              Bud Abbott,Lou Costello,Marion Hutton,Kirby Grant
439. the Invisible Man’s Revenge(’44)     Ford Beebe
              Jon Hall,Evelyn Ankers,Gale Sondergaard
440. Jane Eyre(’44)                   Robert Stevenson
               Joan Fontaine,Orson Welles,Peggy Ann Garner
441. Laura(’44)                         Otto Preminger
              Gene Tierney,Dana Andrews,Clifton Webb
442. Lifeboat(’44)                     Alfred Hitchcock
              Tallulah Bankhead,John Hodiak,Walter Slezak
443. Lights of Old Santa Fe(’44)  Frank McDonald
               Roy Rogers,Dale Evans.George “Gabby” Hayes
444. the Mask of Dimitrios(’44)    Jean Negulesco
              Sydney Greenstreet,Peter Lorre,Zachary Scott
445. Meet Me in St. Louis(’44)     Vincente Minnelli
              Judy Garland,Margaret O’Brien,Tom Drake,Mary Astor
446. the Mummy’s Curse(’44)         Leslie Goodwins
              Lon Chaney Jr.,Peter Coe,Virginia Christine
447. the Scarlet Claw(’44)          Roy William Neill
              Basil Rathbone,Nigel Bruce,Paul Cavanagh
448. Since You Went Away(’44)   John Cromwell
              Claudette Colbert,Jennifer Jones,Joseph Cotten
449. Song of Nevada(’44)           Joseph Kane
              Roy Rogers,Dale Evans,Thurston Hall
450. Song of Russia(’44)            Gregory Ratoff
              Robert Taylor,Susan Peters,Robert Benchley
451. the Spider Woman(’44)          Roy William Neill
              Basil Rathbone,Nigel Bruce,Gale Sondergaard
452. This Happy Breed(’44)          David Lean
              Robert Newton,Celia Johnson,Kay Walsh,John Mills
453. To Have and Have Not(’44)  Howard Hawks
              Humphrey Bogart,Lauren Bacall.Hoagy Carmichael
454. Together Again(’44)            Charles Vidor
              Irene Dunne,Charles Boyer,Charles Coburn.Mona Freeman
455. the Whistler(’44)                William Castle
              Richard Dix,Gloria Stuart,J. Carrol Naish