The Lady in Question (1940) Charles Vidor


The Lady in Question (1940) Charles Vidor

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.


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


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


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


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.


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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Too Late (2015) Dennis Hauck


Too Late (2016)
Written, directed and co-produced by Dennis Hauck
Also produced by Alexandra Barreto, John Taylor Feltner, Erich Lochner, Matt Miller
Cinematography by Bill Fernandez
Edited by David Heinz
Music by Robert Allaire

You could easily overlook this film while searching for something to watch on Netflix. I did. It wasn’t until I heard Leonard Maltin mention Too Late on his podcast Maltin on Movies as an overlooked film he recommends that I decided to see it. Yet Maltin seems to be one of the few critics praising the film. Some have called it awful. (One Rotten Tomatoes critic called it “perhaps the worst thing I have seen in the many years I’ve attended this [Cleveland International Film] festival.” Do I recommend it? Read on.

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Black History Month: Selma (2014)


Selma (2014) Ava DuVernay
Severna Park Library (2:08)

The Severna Park Library was proud to celebrate Black History Month yesterday with a showing of Selma (2014). A few regulars from our monthly Great Movies series were in attendance, but many had never before attended a movie at our library. I explained that it is our practice to introduce each film, talking about why it is important and what it means to us today, then watch the film and afterward discuss it. I asked the group (12 people total) if they had ever seen Selma. No one had except me. I prepared them somewhat for what they were about to see, informing them that Selma is often hard to watch due to its scenes of racism, violence, and language. Some of it will be offensive, I told them. “It will make you uncomfortable, but we must watch it.”

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