Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Gangsters

The three most popular gangster actors of the 1930's:

George Raft's success came via Scarface. It was speculated that Raft was a gangster due to his life-long friendship with Owney Madden, and acquaintances with other crime figures, including Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky.

His "tough guy" performance in Little Caesar led Edward G. Robinson to similar rolls in Five Star Final, Smart Money, Tiger Shark, Kid Galahad, A Slight Case of Murder and The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse.

The Public Enemy, became one of the most influential gangster movies of the period and launched James Cagney to fame.

Tonight on TCM!

Oh! It's 1939 Thursday! There's a great line up!

Of Mice and Men (1939) A drifter and his slow-witted pal try to make their way in the West.Cast: Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Lon Chaney Jr., Charles Bickford Dir: Lewis Milestone
Dark Victory (1939)
A flighty heiress discovers inner strength when she develops a brain tumor.Cast: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald Dir: Edmund Goulding (Listen for Bogey's horrendous Irish accent.)

Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939)
A cold-hearted teacher becomes the school favorite when he's thawed by a beautiful young woman.Cast: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills Dir: Sam Wood (Robert Donat simply melts my heart in this film.)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
An idealistic Senate replacement takes on political corruption. Cast: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold Dir: Frank Capra
(He makes a good point!)

Old Maid, The (1939)
An unmarried mother gives her illegitimate child to her cousin. Cast: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent, Jane Bryan Dir: Edmund Goulding
(Miriam is so conniving!)

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