Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Another Dawn (1937) adventure/ romance/ drama. Director: William Dieterle. Cast: Kay Frances and Earl Flynn.

British Colonel John Wister, on leave from his post in the Sahara, falls in love with Julia Ashton. Julia agrees to marry him, but warns him that she can never love him because she is still in love with her fiance, an aviator who died tragically. John and Julia marry and return to Dikut, where Julia meets John's best friend, Capt. Denny Roark, and Denny's sister Grace, who is in love with John. Over a short period of time Denny, reminds Julia of her lost fiance. After realizing that they are in love, Denny, thinks it is best for the three of them that he transfers over to another garrison. John learns that Julia has fallen in love with Denny, and although he would give her her freedom, he knows that she would not leave him. As warfare with the local tribes heats up. Fate presents a solution when one of the two men must fly a fatal bombing mission.

Who will be flying the plane at dawn?

I saw this movie for the first time.. I thought it was a wonderful soap opera. Earl Flynn, was wonderful as always. I really do not know much about Kay Frances films..But.. thought she also gave a wonderful performance.


Another Dawn, is based on a Somerset Maugham storyline (The Ambassador's wife) and that it uses the British Empire as an exotic backdrop for the story.

Monday, January 11, 2010


King Solomon's Mines (1950). Romance/adventure film based on the 1885 novel Henry Rider Haggard. Cast: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger, and Richard Carlson. Directer: Compton Bennett. The movie won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Color and Best Film Editing and was nominated for Best Picture. In this film version, it changes Haggard's plot to include a female lead. In 1959, a sequel titled Watusi was made by the same studio.

Africa(1897), white hunter and guide Allan Quatermain is through with his passion for adventure after the death of his native friend in an elephant stampede. Englishwoman Elizabeth Curtis, wants to hire him to take her and her brother John Goode on a expedition through Africa to find her missing husband Henry. Who disappeared in the unexplored part of Africa on an adventure to find the legendary mines. Allan needs money to send to his son in England, so he agrees to lead them on safari. Allan is given a 400 year old map to King Solomon's diamond mines, Henry's final destination. They then begin their journey, a spectacular adventure across the African desert. One of my favorite scenes, is a Amazing stampede of zebras, giraffes and other wild animals forces the expedition members to take cover. Will they find Elizabeth's lost husband?

They do not make movies like this anymore, and you are going to have a hard time finding this kind of African footage in any other film.


The African Queen (1951) drama based on (1935) novel by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. Music score by Allan Gray. Cast: Humphrey Bogart (who won the Academy Award for Best Actor - his only Oscar), and Katharine Hepburn with Robert Morley Peter Bull, Walter Gotell, Richard Marner and Theodore Bikel. The African Queen has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

In a German East African village of Kungdu, British Reverend Samuel Sayer and his spinster sister Rose are in the middle of their church services, when the African Queen, arrives with supplies. Charlie is invited to have lunch with the Sayers, who politely are trying to ignore his grumbling stomach. During lunch he informs them about the war in Europe. The Sayers do not want to leave the small village. Unfortunately, the German troops have arrived to the village of Kungdu, and are capturing the natives and burning down their huts. Samuel collapses under the strain. The next day Charlie returns to the village, where he finds Samuel dead, and helps Rose bury him. Charlie can not leave her behind and offers to get her out of harms way. Once they are on the river, Charlie tells her the Germans have blocked Lake Tanganyika. Rose wants to attack the Germans by making torpedoes out of explosives and an oxygen tank, attaching them to the African Queen and ramming into their steamer. At first, Charlie is not keen on the idea, because of the dangerous rapids ahead and tries desperately to talk Rose out of her idea. But Rose is determined to go through with her plans. That night, a huge rain storm forces Charlie under Rose's shelter, at first throwing him out, Rose changes her mind and allows him to sleep near her. They reach the first set of rapids the next afternoon, and Charlie's is surprised to hear Rose say "it the most stimulating physical experience I ever had."Later that night, Charlie getting drunk on Gin goes into a rant, saying that he will not sail any farther, calling Rose a "skinny old maid." (this is my favorite scene)The next morning he finds her pouring his gin bottles into the river. Hours later, he begs her to speak to him, and she tells him that he hurt her feelings by his refusal to sail with her. At first Charlie is mad but, quickly backs down, said he was just worried that he did not think they could make it. They come upon their first obstacle. The German fort, where the soldiers shoot at the African Queen. The engine is hit, Charlie is able to repair it and they quickly sail on. Soon, they reach another rapid. Rose struggles to steer while Charlie races to keep the engine going, and although they are shook up, they reach calm waters. relieved and happy, Charlie and Rose fall into each others arms. Which quickly becomes romantic.

What will become of this mismatched couple and the African Queen?
Will they escape with their lives?

The African Queen is one of my favorite movies. I loved the chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. I could not imagine any one else in the roles of Charlie and Rose.

Fun Fact : The African Queen was played by the LS Livingston, which had been a working steamboat for 40 years. It is now docked next to the Holiday Inn in Key Largo, Florida.

SUNDOWN (1941)

SUNDOWN (1941), This film dedicated to the men who fought in World War II. George Sanders strictly by the book British officer who arrives to take over Bruce Cabot's desert outpost. Gene Tierney plays half Arab and half English woman who runs an international trading network . I enjoyed the great action scenes with Tierney and Sanders fighting Nazis in Africa in the middle of the tribe of gun runners. You will also see a very young Dorothy Dandridge. She is cast as a Muslim native girl married to a young warrior. She does not have much of a speaking role, but.. her emotions show how bad her life is in the village. Wonderful cast ; Joseph Calleia, Harry Carey Sr, Reginald Gardiner, Carl Esmond and George Sanders...

Miklos Rozsa's score is perfect for this film. Best Black and White Art Direction (nom) Alexander Golitzen 1941 Academy, Best Black and White Cinematography (nom) Charles B. Lang 1941Academy and Best Dramatic Score (nom) Miklos Rozsa 1941 Academy.