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Profile for jeremiah harbottle > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
jeremiah harbottle (Littlebourne, Kent.)

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Verdict [DVD] [1946] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Verdict [DVD] [1946] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £13.65

1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a turgid and uneventful bore., 4 Nov. 2012
i hated this film. i find it hard to believe that "the verdict" was the directing debut of don siegel. this is such turgid nonsense, with a boring and uninvolving plot and a rather silly conclusion.
the acting talents of sidney greenstreet and peter lorre are completely wasted here, they have little or nothing to offer. as a result, neither actor can lift this film above the level of being routine.
some of the sets and costumes aren't too bad but a period piece like this one needs more than just good sets or costumes.
as most of the cast are americans, none of them could produce anything like a reasonably convincing english accent.
it is best to avoid this film, unless you are a "warner bros." completist.


Man Who Came to Dinner [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Man Who Came to Dinner [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars an amusing and well-acted piece., 4 Nov. 2012
although bette davis has been given top billing in "the man who came to dinner," the main focus of attention is on the writer character(monte wooley), who goes out of his way to be as unpleasant and as difficult as possible during his unexpected stay at a house where he was only supposed to be a dinner guest. unfortunately, a fall on the steps outside the front of the house changes all that and he is a rather reluctant houseguest. his constand barbs and putdowns are amongst some of the funniest i have yet seen. full credit goes to the screenplay writers in their task of adapting this broadway success for "warner bros."
there follows some of the more eccentric plot developments that i have yet seen in any comedy film: an octopus, a basket full of penguins and a group of convicts all turning up at the same house to create havoc for the poor owners of the house!
bette davis is her usual watchable self as the loyal but somewhat suffering secretary, ann sheridan is very good as the rather condescending and pompous stage actress, billie burke is o.k as the creeping and crawling mistress of the house and jimmy durante is fantastic as one of the writer's cronies!


Fog Over Frisco [DVD] [1934] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Fog Over Frisco [DVD] [1934] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £11.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a slickly-made thriller but not enough bette., 4 Nov. 2012
this is a thrilling, well put together thriller from "warner bros." that has good atmosphere, thanks to the fog-shrouded scenes and also helped by some brilliant photography of 1930s san francisco.
the one thing that disappoints me though, is that there isn't enough of bette davis and she is the one who's given top billing. i find that to be a bit misleading personally. also, actor lyle talbot as the jilted lover is wasted and doesn't really add anything to the plot.
the pace is fast and furious in "fog over frisco" as the police and the press attempt to uncover the disappearances of two sisters from a wealthy and prominent family(bette davis and margaret lindsay).
irving pachel makes for a fine villain as the leader of the frisco underworld and alan hale, one of my favourite character actors, is on hand as the police officer conducting the criminal investigation.
highly recommend if you are either a fan of 1930s cinema or of "warner bros."


College Coach [DVD] [1933] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
College Coach [DVD] [1933] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £11.98

3.0 out of 5 stars watchable sports drama, weak plot., 4 Nov. 2012
for those who have eagle eyes, a young, pre-stardom john wayne can be spotted for all of about 10 seconds.
this isn't a bad film but after about 40 minutes, the plot of "college coach" begins to lose its way somewhat. a struggling college needs to boast its chances of producing a winning football team. enter the rather shady coach pat o'brien, who is able to put together a formidable team and having to deal with a ego-driven hothead(lyle talbot) along the way. after the storyline has been established, the film seems to run out of ideas and out of steam. however, the climax is a good one, which plenty of excitement to sustain it.
the acting honours belong to pat o'brien without question as he commends the most attention. dick powell proves that singing is his forte and not being an actor. ann dvorak is wasted as this is mainly a man's film.


That Certain Woman [DVD] [1937] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
That Certain Woman [DVD] [1937] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £12.11

3.0 out of 5 stars rather muddled narrative but great performances., 1 Nov. 2012
i quite enjoyed this film, the acting from bette davis, henry fonda and ian hunter are great. the plot and narrative were a bit muddled though, as sometimes the film didn't always make itself clear as to what was going on during certain scenes.
"that certain woman" plays more like a soap opera than a typical hollywood production. there isn't any of the usual glitz and glamour, this is more lowkey and focuses more on character and drama. for those reasons, the film works well.
the plot is firmly on bette davis's character as she struggles to put her somewhat infamous past behind her, so that she can move on with her life and bring up her little boy.
the real drama in the film, comes when henry fonda as the wealthy playboy wants to marry davis but his rather stern and over-protective father(well played by donald crisp), will do anything it seems, to prevent their marriage from going ahead.
ian hunter plays the slightly tragic but likeable and loyal employer to bette davis, who has always had a bit of a soft spot for her. their scenes are amongst the highlights in this production.
inspite of the somewhat gloomy and unhappy atmosphere that the story conjurors up, there is still a happy ending but not without considerable heartache caused to a few characters first.


I've Got Your Number/Havana Widows Double Feature [DVD] [1934] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
I've Got Your Number/Havana Widows Double Feature [DVD] [1934] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £11.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars given a lift by joan blondell., 30 Oct. 2012
these two B programmers from "warner bros." aren't all that bad, they are given a lift by a watchable and professional cast, especially by joan blondell. a good actress in her day, blondell appeared in some good films back in the early to mid 1930s and then suddenly seemed to fade away.
these films show that she was talented at playing comedy, with her fast-talking dialogue, beautiful looks and likable personality. "ive got your number" is the far better film here as the film has a slightly better plot and pace and the climax is a good one.
"havana widows" was rather far-fetched in my opinion and frank mchugh as the drunken lawyer started to grow tiresome after a while. even so, it still has its moments but the routine dialogue and slow pace let it down.


Dangerous [DVD] [1935] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dangerous [DVD] [1935] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £13.31

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars davis is certainly dangerous!, 26 Oct. 2012
the plot in this film is pretty sound but the entire production belongs to bette davis and her oscar-winning performance.
displaying emotions of helplessness, passion, determination in equal measure, davis steals every scene she is in. the male lead, franchot tone isn't bad but a little dull in my opinion.
the pace is a good one as davis's character strives to restore her career as a theatre actress but at the cost of ruining the life and career of her suitor(tone) in the process. as she says herself: "i don't build things, i can only destroy them." never was a truer word said.
worth watching if you are a bette davis fan.


Bureau of Missing Persons [DVD] [1933] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Bureau of Missing Persons [DVD] [1933] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars an informative, interesting film but hardly any bette., 26 Oct. 2012
"bureau of missing persons" is a good and solid film. it plays slightly more in the way of a documentary, what with the factual prologue.
i was a bit disappointed that it took nearly half an hour for bette davis to make her first appearance, especially as her name is at the top of the cast. i regard pat o'brien and lewis stone as being more central to the plot, simply as their characters are given more to do. however, once bette davis appears on the scene, she is makes herself known. the three actors give effective and convincing performances.
the film isn't without its moments of humour and these are well handled by "warner bros." regular, allan jenkins. in addition, there are several rather moving scenes as people from all walks of life give descriptions of their missing loved ones to the bureau.


Castle on the Hudson [DVD] [1940] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Castle on the Hudson [DVD] [1940] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £12.17

2.0 out of 5 stars an inferior remake to 1930s classic., 25 Oct. 2012
this film is merely a scene-for-scene remake of the "warner bros." film "20,000 years in sing sing" and isn't half as good. the opening scene differs slightly but that's about it.
the cast all do their best with the routine material that they have but this production rarely rises above the ordinary. every now and then, i see bits of footage borrowed from the earlier film and i think it shows that "castle on the hudson" is on the low budget side.
john garfield, ann sheridan and pat o'brien give good performances but they should have been given stronger dialogue to work with.
i much prefer spencer tracy's hardened, gritty performance in the 1933 version. this 1940 remake is still a fairly agreeable time-filler.


Hard Way [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Hard Way [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £13.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superb "warner ros." thriller., 24 Oct. 2012
it is great that some of the more obscure hollywood films are finally been issued on dvd.
"the hard way" is a gripping, thrilling film about a woman who pushes her younger sister(joan leslie) to the top of her chosen profession, that of a dancer and later on, dramatic actress. however, the older sister in the story(ida lupino) isn't especially bothered about using fair or moral means in helping her sister on the road to success and this is constantly highlighted via back-stabbing, cheating, manipulation and other low down means.
the opening scene of lupino being taken to hospital is effective as it paths the way for her to telll her story to a couple of policemen and doctors, with regards to detailing events of the last several months or so.
in my opinion, the acting honours go to ida lupino and to jack carson as the doomed and manipulated half of a music hall act and husband to joan leslie's character.
vincent sherman's direction is highly effective as he creates and sustains just the right mood as the film builds to a fever pitch until the lowkey but very good ending.


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