Posted inFilm

Make a Wish

A 1937 RKO B production, featuring Marion Claire, one of the stars of the “Chicago Radio Theater of the Air,” as a widowed singer whose son is determined to find her a husband. With Bobby Breen, Leon Errol, and Basil Rathbone; directed by the prolific Kurt Neumann (Rocket Ship X-M).

Posted inFilm

Improper Conduct

Written and directed by Cuban exiles Nestor Almendros and Orlando Jimenez-Leal, this documentary amasses a lot of talking-heads testimony to human rights violations by the Castro government. The chief target of oppression seems to be Cuba’s gay population, which proves—if any proof were needed—that Marxism doesn’t cancel out machismo. Though the film is more than […]

Posted inFilm

Marriage in the Shadows

Kurt Maetzig, an assistant in the German film industry, joined the communist underground to fight the Nazis, and after the war became one of the leading filmmakers in the newly created German Democratic Republic. His 1947 debut, a study of a “mixed marriage” under Hitler that becomes an indictment of the German intelligentsia’s refusal to […]

Posted inFilm

Irma La Douce

Billy Wilder’s soggy and uninspired 1963 adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, minus the songs. Shirley MacLaine stars as a Paris prostitute with a heart of gold who falls for a former policeman (Jack Lemmon) who winds up as her pimp and, in disguise, her only customer. A good example of how a movie can […]