The Lady in Question (1940) Charles Vidor

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The Lady in Question (1940) Charles Vidor
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If you thought Gilda (1946) was the first time Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth worked together onscreen, you’d be wrong. The Lady in Question was the first of five films they’d make together (the other three being The Loves of Carmen [1948], Affair in Trinidad [1952] and The Money Trap [1965]). Charles Vidor, of course, also directed Ford and Hayworth in Gilda.

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The Lady in Question is a remake of the 1937 French comedy Gribouille (Heart of Paris or The Meddler) directed by Marc Allégret and featuring Michèle Morgan in her first major screen appearance. The Lady in Question takes place in Paris where a good-natured bicycle shop owner named Andre Morestan (Brian Aherne, left) is obsessed with the pride that comes from exercising his civic responsibility as a man called to jury duty. When the call comes, Morestan becomes obsessed with the case: a young woman named Natalie Roguin (Rita Hayworth) is accused of murdering her lover.

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Das Reichsorchester (doc. 2007) Enrique Sánchez Lansch

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The Reichsorchestra: The Berlin Philharmonic and the Third Reich (Doc. 2007) Enrique Sánchez Lansch
Digital Concert Hall; Arthaus Musik Blu-ray (1:30)

It’s always difficult for people in the arts to continue to produce great art in the midst of a totalitarian regime, but that’s exactly what happened to the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1933 when it was taken over and placed under Nazi control. Most orchestras – even the great ones like Berlin – have had times of struggle and in a strange way, Nazi control offered stability, but at a huge price.

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Monkey Business (1931) Norman Z. McLeod

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Monkey Business (1931) Norman Z. McLeod
Universal – The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection Blu-ray (1:19)

Monkey Business is the third Marx Brothers film, but the first to be shot from an original screenplay. (The first two, The Cocoanuts (1929) and Animal Crackers (1930), were by and large adaptations of their Broadway shows.) Is it a better film than Animal Crackers? Is it their best film before Duck Soup (1933)?

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Without Warning! (1952) Arnold Laven

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Without Warning! (1952)
Directed by Arnold Laven
Written by William Raynor
Produced by Arthur Gardner and Jules V. Levy
Cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc
Edited by Arthur H. Nadel
Dark Sky Films DVD – interlibrary loan (1:15)

Without Warning! looks like a super low-budget picture (which it is) that you’d probably pass by, but you shouldn’t; it’s surprisingly good. The first thing I noticed about the cheesy-looking DVD cover was Adam Williams – a somewhat familiar actor – holding a pair of garden shears.

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Outside of his many appearances in TV shows, Williams (a distinguished WWII veteran) is probably most famous for his role as Valerian, one of Phillip Vandamm’s (played by James Mason) henchmen in North by Northwest (1959), where he also handles a pair of garden shears, albeit a larger pair. (That’s Williams on the right, trying not to get upstaged by Cary Grant. Sorry, Adam… You don’t stand a chance, dude.)

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