"The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" ... Bogart, Shakespeare, The Maltese Falcon, Those Great Movies

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Four Little Gems -- Old Movies That Are New To Me

I ran across four little movie gems as I surfed through Netflix Instant Streaming, my last remaining source of uncut classic films, at least apart from my collection.  I have been pretty happy with the amount of classics available, although certainly not as many as a fan like me would like.  In using the Netflix suggestions, I found these four movies that I have watched one after the other, just mesmerized with them.   I do not say that they are great movies, or worthy of extensive praise -- they are all from the 1940's, most British, lovely black and white, not fast-paced yet keeping your attention .. just good little movies that appealed to me  My intention here is not to review, but to recommend.  They are pictured below, and I have numbered them in order of my favorites:

The Lost Moment (1947)  (My #1)
A story of high romance involving an American publisher searching for the long-lost love
letters of a great poet to his lover, Julianna.  the American finds Julianna, very aged, still alive
and living with her  mysterious niece in an old house filled with secrets, tragedy and madness.

Good Time Girl (1948)  (My #2) 
(pictured here, Flora Robson and a very young Diana Dors)
As narrated by a caseworker to another troubled girl, we learn the story of Gwen, unfolding
from abusive childhood, to rebellious teens, to eventual involvement in the world of crime
a a party girl whose young life is ruined by tragedy.  Although cetainly a moral message tale,
Good Time Girl is not a "B" exploitation fillm - I found it to be quite good with a talented cast.

Hungry Hill (1947)  (My #3)
A wealthy British family in the early 19th century makes a business decision to sink
a copper mine into the countryside of Hungry Hill, a venture which affects both the
family and community with several generations of both tragedy and hard-won redemption.
Beware of  Pity (1946)  (My #4)
A young British army officer becomes reluctantly involved  in the life of
a young crippled girl of a wealthy family.  The young man cannot return her love,
but finds himself embroiled in her family's appeal to him to help the girl by pretending to do so.

 All four films feature popular British and American actors of the era, many who cross over from one film to another, including Dennis Price, Margaret Lockwood, Maurice Elvey, Jean Kent, Peter Glenville -- and actors who eventually achieved greater fame such as Flora Robson, Herbert Lom, Robert Cummings Jean Simmons and Susan Hayward.  All are about mystery, madness, family dynasty, tragedy and even hope.  One or two may have been considered "B" films, although I have found that the term "B" film with regard to a British movie is different in quality from American.  Perhaps it is the accents!  They always just sound intelligent!

When you are looking for something you have not seen, something good, give these four movies a try.  I think you may react as I did, enjoying all of them, and finding that one or two may even become favorites.


  1. Thanks for the recommendations, Becky, I'll try to check some of these soon. I'll start with "The lost moment" :)

  2. I've never seen any of them - but I want to now!

  3. I have never heard of these four films. Sound interesting. There is so much 'stuff' out there that is is impossible to keep up with. Today, I have been recording on my DVR some rare Joan Blondell films.

  4. Hi Clara! The Lost Moment was a romantic favorite!
    Lobosco, I was surprised that Good Time Girl was such a good movie. It sounds like a British version of those awful exploitations films. It is not like that at all.
    John, that is the truth. Since having to cut out TCM (sob), I have actually been discovering movies on Netflix that I thought were probably not that good - what a surprise. I am jealous, though, about Jona Blondell day. I love her!

  5. Susan Hayward was so beautiful in "The Lost Moment," which I thought was pretty interesting (in an odd sort of way) - but Susan was just gorgeous in this!

  6. Thanks for the tips, will check these out - Lockwood & Simmons look like a great duo for a film!

  7. I haven't seen any of these yet, thanks for the recommendations!

  8. Great recommendations. I haven't seen any of them. Between you and Kevin, I have enough new films to watch to keep me busy well into my retirement years! :) In all seriousness, I wish I had more time. If you can, tell us more about these films.

  9. FlickChick, Susan Hayward is just plain beautiful all the time. If she had been just a little bit older and more experienced at her audition for GWTW, I think she could have given Vivien Leigh a run for her money as a spectacular Scarlett O'Hara.
    GOM, I am a big Margaret Lockwood fan!
    Meredith, you are welcome. I always enjoy getting recommendations too!
    CFB, I know what you mean about having so many that I want to watch. I mean, life has to be lived too, we can't just watch movies. As to describing the 4 movies in detail, I deliberately didn't do that because I thought it would be fun for anyone interested to see them the way I did, without any real knowledge of what was to come.

  10. I haven't seen "The Lost Moment" in years, but have fond recollections. "Hungry Hill" seemed awfully long to me when I was a kid. Maybe it needs adult eyes.

    I haven't heard of the other two, but a Becky recommendation is good enough for me. On the list they go!

  11. CFB and Caftan Woman, each of you mentioned something that made me feel I needed to go back and add a few things in my recommendations. First was to say that I do not call these great films necessarily, but good ones that I liked. The second was to put a brief summary of the stories under each picture.

  12. Never heard of these either, Becky. But I'm certainly willing to take a look - on your recommendation alone. So many films, so little time. :)

    That was fun, dishing THE STRANGER last night.

  13. Oh, meant to say, like your new design!

  14. Hi Yvette -- sometimes these type of movies are just right for your mood, and they suited mine just fine. I really did have fun demolishing The Stranger last night! Love to have those kind of conversations. And I'm so glad you like my new design. I saw that gorgeous Hamlet poster, and knew that was it. Sort of says "me" in interests and its beauty too. I don't mean I'M a beauty, but I love beauty! LOL!

  15. Of these, I've only seen "The Lost Moment" and really liked it, though I like most anything with Susan Hayward.

    I know what you mean about having time to watch movies. With the winter coming on, that's the time I get to play a lot of catch up.

  16. Kevin, I was tickled to "find" The Lost Moment. (I know, that was a real Groaner!)

    Winter is a great time for movies, no doubt. I love to curl up in my big chair with an afghan -- seems more respectable to spend a day just watching movies and ignoring our other duties, doesn't it?!

  17. I am NOT familiar with any of these films!!
    I would recommend CORRIDOR OF MIRRORS with MICHAEL REDGRAVE...considered the first "art film"...

  18. Hi Doc! I was the same way with those films, obviously, and it's such fun to find new ones. I've never heard of Corridors of mirrors, like the genre a lot, and LOVE Michael Redgrave. I'm going to try to run that one down. Thanks for the suggestion!

  19. My fingers are thick today - I mean CORRIDOR of Mirrors of course!

  20. Becky, thanks for the tips about these four films! I was especially intrigued about THE LOST MOMENT, having heard a lot about Agnes Moorehead's old-age makeup. I'll keep an eye out for that one in particular!

  21. Dorian, you have given me a lot of laughs today with your High Anxiety article, and now here's another one. An embarrassed laugh -- THAT ANCIENT OLD LADY IS AGNES MOOREHEAD? I didn't even know that! Wow, that makeup was good. I didn't recognize her voice either. Boy, you learn something new every day, even about your own writing! LOL!