Author Archives: mdoares

Hitchcock! – The Director Honing His Craft

What movie-goer/movie-lover never heard of the iconic director Alfred Hitchcock? No one! This director is so iconic that he has been studied and copied for well over 90 years – and his style and craft of storytelling has influenced almost every horror, suspense, or dramatic movie released in the last 70 years. This week, MovieZoot.com features four movies that show Hitchcock’s refinement of his craft during his earlier years with Murder! from 1930, Number 17 from 1932, Secret Agent from 1936, and finally, The Man Who Knew Too Much from 1956 – one year after he became an American citizen.

Sit back and relax if you can as we present these mystery/dramas. We bet you will be on the edge of your seats!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Murder!

Murder! is a 1930 black & white British drama film co-written and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring and Edward Chapman. It was only Hitchcock’s third all-talkie film, after Blackmail and Juno and the Paycock. Murder! tells the story of a juror that happens to be an actor, who tries to prove that an actress who was found holding the murder weapon is innocent.

Number 17

Number 17 is a black & white 1932 thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring John Stuart, Anne Grey and Leon M. Lion telling the story of a group of criminals who committed a jewel robbery and put their money in an old house over a railway leading to the English Channel. An outsider stumbles onto this plot and intervenes with the help of a neighbor – a police officer’s daughter.

Secret Agent

Secret Agent is the black & white 1936 Alfred Hitchcock mystery thriller starring Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll, John Gielgud and Robert Young (with a brief uncredited appearance by Michael Redgrave) telling the story of three British agents who are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during WWI. Two of the agents become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Man Who Knew Too Much is the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie and Bernard Herrmann telling the tale of a doctor and his family on vacation in Morocco when a chance encounter with a stranger sets their trip and their lives on a drastically different course with the murder of the stranger and the abduction of their son to insure the couple’s silence of their knowledge of the murder. They must figure out a way to get their son back without the help of the Moroccan police.

Critically Acclaimed Award-Winning Movies

These classic award-winning movies are a delight to watch anytime, but to watch them all within a week is heaven. This week, Moviezoot.com features four classic blockbusters including the 1963 three-time Oscar-winning To Kill A Mockingbird, the 1952 two-time Oscar-winning The Snows of Kilimanjaro, the 1932 two-time Oscar-winner A Farewell to Arms, and the 1955 New York Film Critics Circle Award winner Diabolique.

Better get an extra few boxes of popcorn for this week!

Yours truly,

MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

 

To Kill A Mockingbird – Gregory Peck and Brock Peters

To Kill A Mockingbird is the 1963 three-time Oscar-winning blockbuster drama directed by Robert Mulligan based on Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel starring Gregory Peck, Mary Badham and a very young Robert Duvall. It tells the story of kids coming of age in the 1930s while bigotry in all forms is in the forefront and reaches its first denouement in a climactic courtroom scene, which all others – real and imagined – have ever since been measured against.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner

The Snows of Kilimanjaro is the 1952 two-time Oscar-winning epic drama directed by Henry King and starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner based on the Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name, in which adventure writer Harry Street reflects on his life, as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of nearby Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. Have your tissues and popcorn handy for this movie – you’ll need both!

A Farewell to Arms – Helen Hayes and Gary Cooper

A Farewell to Arms is the 1932 two-time Oscar-winning drama directed by Frank Borzage starring Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes and Adolphe Menjou based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name, telling the story of an American ambulance driver who falls in love with an English nurse in Italy during the horrors of World War I. “There may be no tomorrow.”

Diabolique – Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot

Diabolique is the 1955 Henri-Georges Clouzot thriller starring Paul Meurisse, Vera Clouzot and Simone Signoret where the cruel and abusive headmaster of a boarding school becomes the target of a murder plot hatched by the unlikely duo of his wife and his mistress. Diabolique won the Louis Delluc Prize and the award for best foreign film at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards in 1955, and remains in Time Magazine’s Top 25 Horror films.

Classic Comedic Actors

After a giant Thanksgiving feast and rooting for the home-team, there’s nothing like the classic sight-gags, clever dialogue, and situational comedy of old movies to shake down that full stomach with belly laughs.

This week, MovieZoot.com features four classic comedic actors doing what they do best, with the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers from 1930; Will Rogers’s unforgettable Life Begins at 40 from 1935; Danny Kaye’s insanely silly The Inspector General from 1949; and Bob Hope’s sarcastic asides in The Lemon Drop Kid from 1951.

So, enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday and have a few laughs on us!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Animal Crackers

Animal Crackers is a black & white 1930 Pre-Code Marx Brothers comedy film, in which mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding. The film stars the four brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo Marx, with Lillian Roth and Margaret Dumont. It was directed by Victor Heerman and adapted from a successful 1928 Broadway musical of the same title by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, also starring the Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont. As a Pre-Code film, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, subject matter often included sexual innuendo, miscegenation, profanity, illegal drug use, promiscuity, prostitution, infidelity, abortion, intense violence, and homosexuality – many of which can be observed in this bawdy production.

Life Begins at 40

Life Begins at 40 is a 1935 black & white George Marshall comedy starring Will Rogers, Rochelle Hudson, Richard Cromwell and Jane Darwell where a newsman bests a hard-nosed banker and clears a youth framed for bank robbery. This movie, along with other Will Rogers vehicles were generally set in small-town America, where residents all know each other, and picnics, hog-callings, and hayrides are the order of the day. The bucolic settings evoke nostalgia for an idealized time or place that never really existed. Kinda’ like the falsely sentimental olden days when America used to be great!

The Inspector General

The Inspector General is a 1949 Henry Koster musical comedy starring Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak, Gene Lockhart and Barbara Bates. In this farce, a snake-oil salesman that is too honest for his own good gets fired and wanders into a strange town where he is mistaken for a diplomat and must keep up the charade of refinement through numerous attempts to assassinate him by the town’s people – until the real Inspector General arrives! Assuming a false identity always has its perils but one’s true colors always reveal themselves!

The Lemon Drop Kid

The Lemon Drop Kid is a 1951 black & white Rom/Com Musical directed by Sidney Lanfield starring Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Darwell and Andrea King telling the Christmas Season story of the trials and tribulations of a racetrack tout (Bob Hope) who has a month to pay back his gambling debts to a gangster (Lloyd Nolan) lost on a bad tip. Hilarious fun as a con man cons a con man in the indelible style of Bob Hope – and of course there’s a dame!

Classic War Hero Movies

In today’s confusion about who is a War Hero and who is not, let’s go back to some classic Hollywood definitions of War Heroes and the movies that portrayed them. This week, MovieZoot.com features four such movies including 1989’s Casablanca Express with Glenn Ford, 1987’s Escape from Sobibor with Rutger Hauer, 1943’s Gung Ho! with Randolph Scott, and 1986’s The Last Days of Patton with George C. Scott.

Allow these historical and classic movies to again define the term “War Hero” in today’s context.

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Casablanca Express

Casablanca Express is the 1989 Sergio Martino War Drama starring Glenn Ford, Jason Connery and Donald Pleasence telling the story of Sir Winston Churchill’s infamous train trip to Casablanca in 1942 during the height of WWII, to meet with FDR and Joseph Stalin when the German’s knew the details of his travel plans and were planning an assassination, and America’s effort to thwart the Germans.

Escape from Sobibor

Escape from Sobibor is the 1987 Jack Gold historical War Drama starring Rutger Hauer and Alan Arkin telling the story of the infamous 1943 escape of 600 men from the German Death Camp of Sobibor with the most successful uprising by Jewish prisoners during WWII.

Gung Ho!

Gung Ho! is the 1943 black & white Ray Enright War Drama starring Randolph Scott based on the real-life story of the Makin Island raid led by Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson’s 2nd Marine Raider Battalion. The film uses stock footage of the time with Chet Huntley narrating the events leading up to the raid.

The Last Days of Patton

The Last Days of Patton is the 1986 Delbert Mann War-Hero sequel to the 1970 blockbuster Patton which stars George C. Scott and Eva Marie Saint as General George S. Patton and his wife during the last days of his life, where Patton was writing the official history of WWII, and despite monumental efforts by President Harry S. Truman to have him not die on German soil, the General dies of an embolism on December 21st, 1945.

The Holidays Can Be Murder!

Yes, the Holiday Season from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Day can be murder on one’s nerves. So this week on MovieZoot.com, we help you break out of the seasonal doldrums and release your dark fantasies with this week’s four murderous feature films including 1945’s And Then There Were None with Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston; 1995’s Death In Small Doses with Richard Thomas and Tess Harper; 1930’s Alfred Hitchcock Murder! with Herbert Marshall and Norah Baring; and 1956’s Alfred Hitchcock The Man Who Knew Too Much with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day.

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

 

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None is the 1945 Agatha Christie book-turned-murder-mystery-movie directed by René Clair and starring Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston where eight people, all total strangers to each other, are invited to a small isolated island off the coast of England for the weekend, and one-by-one, each day, a guest is found dead. It is up to the remaining survivors to figure out who is murdering the captive guests one-by-one, before all are lost!

Death in Small Doses

Death in Small Doses is a 1995 drama directed by Sondra Locke and starring Richard Thomas, Tess Harper, Shawn Elliott, Glynnis O’Connor, Gary Frank, Matthew Posey and Ann Hearn. It tells the story of a wife who mysteriously falls ill and dies and its later revealed that she died by arsenic poisoning. As the police investigation heats up, the woman’s husband becomes the prime suspect. A terrible family secret eventually breaks the case and reveals the true killer. Isn’t Thanksgiving the time when most family secrets are revealed?

Murder!

Murder! is the 1930 Alfred Hitchcock Mystery/thriller starring Herbert Marshall and Norah Baring and tells the story of a murdered actress and the many people in the traveling troupe with motive, opportunity and cause. A juror in the trial who believes another actress innocent, must vet the entire troupe to find the true killer! Classic, complicated Hitchcock in the early days!

The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Man Who Knew Too Much is the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring James Stewart and Doris Day where a family traveling in Morocco,witnesses an assassination, setting their lives and safety in drastic and unsavory danger as their son is abducted by the assassins and they struggle to get him back – without the help of the police.

Autumn + Guy + Gal = Romance

Ahhh – the Fall Season is for falling in love.

The crisp air; the glorious colors; and the anticipation of snuggling up with a special someone in front of a cozy fire during the long cold winter ahead.

This week, Moviezoot.com features four Classic Romances about falling in love with movies including Allen Dwan’s 1947 Calendar Girl with William Marshall and Jane Frazee; Charles Vidor’s 1944 Cover Girl with Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth; Gregory La Cava’s 1936 My Man Godfrey with William Powell and Carole Lombard; and John Cromwell’s 1934 Of Human Bondage with Leslie Howard and Bette Davis.

Yes, love is streaming free this week on Moviezoot.com!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

 

Calendar Girl

Calendar Girl is the 1947 black & white Allan Dwan musical romance starring Jane Frazee, William Marshall, Kenny Baker and Gail Patrick telling the story of two friends coming to NYC at the turn of the century (the 1900s) to seek their destinies, but are sidetracked by romance and the pursuit of true love, while still holding on to their secrets.

Cover Girl

Cover Girl is the 1944 Charles Vidor romantic comedy starring Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth telling the story of an ambitious stage performer who must choose between riches and romance when presented with alternative opportunities from her grandmother’s old flame.

My Man Godfrey

My Man Godfrey is the 1936 black & white Gregory La Cava romance comedy starring William Powell and Carole Lombard telling the story of sibling-rivalry, interclass struggles and the power of love staged during the great depression – this is a rags to riches story in more ways than one!

Of Human Bondage

Of Human Bondage is the 1934 black & white John Cromwell drama/romance starring Bette Davis and Leslie Howard along with Frances Dee, Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Alan Hale and Reginald Sheffield based on the 1915 novel of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham. This film tells the story of an English medical student who abandons his artistic aspirations when he falls for a callous and manipulative waitress. Despite her abuse he becomes completely obsessed with her as she storms in and out of his life. Whenever he seems ready to move on, she bursts back into his life in a seemingly inescapably cruel and vicious cycle. We all have people like this in our families – are they attending your holiday dinner?

Happy Horror-ween!

In today’s world, sometimes, even horror movies can be more calming than our daily reality. Not all the time – only sometimes.

But that’s not the case this week.

This week, we prepare for Halloween with MovieZoot.com featuring four thrilling Classic Hollywood Horror films including Wes Craven’s cryogenic horror/thriller Chiller; Michael Anderson’s memorable psycho-thriller Dominique is Dead; George Romero’s All-American classic thriller Night of the Living Dead; and John Carpenter’s remake of the eerie Sci-Fi horror thriller Village of the Damned.

Daily “fresh new hell” be damned, for this week, we’ve got some really scary classic horror movies for you!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

 

Chiller

Wes Craven’s Chiller is a 1985 horror film starring Michael Beck, Beatrice Straight and Paul Sorvino telling a story of Miles Creighton, a corporate executive who relied on cryogenics to preserve his failed life, unexpectedly begins to thaw due to a machinery malfunction and returns to life, but not fully whole. He proceeds to wreak havoc at his inherited business and only after a series of mysterious deaths is Miles implicated leading to some pretty horrific scenes and events. This is a pure sci-fi thriller that Craven is so well noted for.

Dominique is Dead

Dominique is Dead is the 1979 Michael Anderson psycho-horror thriller starring Cliff Robertson and Jean Simmons where an American stockbroker in England drives his wife to commit suicide – or so he thinks! But he soon learns, it’s not all in his head!

Night of the Living Dead

George A. Romero’s 1968 independent horror film Night of the Living Dead stars Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea and tells the ghoulish story of seven people trapped in a farmhouse in Western Pennsylvania that is attacked by a large and growing group of unnamed “living dead” monsters. Completed on a $114,000 budget, the film premiered October 1, 1968 and became a financial success, grossing $12 million domestically and $18 million internationally. It has been a horror cult classic ever since.

Village of the Damned

John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned is a 1995 science fiction-horror film starring the late Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley along with Linda Kozlowski, Mark Hamill and Michael Paré. This 1995 remake tells the story of a quiet coastal California town that is visited by some unknown life form, which leaves all the women of the village pregnant. Nine months later, the babies are born, and they all look normal, but it doesn’t take the “parents” long to realize that the kids are neither human nor are they humane.

*SPECIAL NOTE*

Famed movie critic and gossip columnist Liz Smith on Moviezoot.com in NY Social Diary:

”Speaking of movies, I’ve recently been made aware of a new free streaming service called Moviezoot.com. You bring it up on your computer. They show films as varied as Bardot’s “And God Created Woman” … ”A Farewell to Arms” … ”Another Man’s Poison” (Bette Davis’ wretched but entertaining follow-up to “All About Eve.”) … the vicious noir, “Detour” with the aptly named Ann Savage…”

Smith continues, “Best thing about Moviezoot.com that I’ve noticed is that most of their prints are quite good.”

Read Liz Smith’s entire column here.

Behold the Acting Genius of Warren Oates

With much more depth and courage than just his Western films portrayed him, Warren Oates gives some amazing performances in these four featured MovieZoot.com movies that helped raise him to movie icon level and influenced many contemporary grind-house directors like Tarantino. This week, we proudly present Warren Oates as he nails his characters in 1978’s China 9 Liberty 37; 1974’s Cockfighter; 1973’s Dillinger; and 1966’s The Shooting.

Behold the acting genius of Warren Oates.

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

China 9/Liberty 37

China 9/Liberty 37 is the 1978 Monte Hellman western drama starring Warren Oates, Fabio Testi and Jenny Agutter where a convicted criminal befriends a miner holding out from selling his land to the railroad that he was hired to kill. He falls in love with the miner’s wife and all hell breaks loose in this western tale of deceit, infidelity, friendship and love – but most of all – redemption.

Cockfighter

Cockfighter (also known as Born to Kill) is a 1974 action drama by director Monte Hellman, starring Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton and featuring Laurie Bird and Ed Begley, Jr., telling the story of a down-and-out southern cocksman who aspires to win the Cockfighter of the Year medal, and although facing a mountain of adversities, will not let go of his dream.

Dillinger

In this 1973 biography of crime and action, John Milius directs an all-star cast of Warren Oates, Michele Phillips, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Harry Dean Stanton, Geoffrey Lewis and John P. Ryan in the tale of the infamous American outlaw John Dillinger. Johnson plays the dedicated G-man Melvin Purvis, determined to bring down Public-Enemy-Number-One Dillinger and his gang of defiant bank robbers. Of the classic gangster thrillers of the ‘70’s, this is a ‘must see’ as Warren Oates nails-it as the irascible Dillinger.

The Shooting

Shot entirely in natural lighting on a budget of only $75K and a shooting schedule of only 3 weeks, The Shooting is a 1966 Western Drama directed by Monte Hellman and stars Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson, Will Hutchins and Millie Perkins. It tells the tale of a mysterious woman that manipulates two cowboys to help her in a revenge scheme. An interesting aside – filmed in 1965 and shown in film festivals (favorably) in 1966, The Shooting is one of co-star Jack Nicholson’s earlier films – several years prior to his popular breakout role of hard-drinking lawyer George Hanson in Easy Rider in 1969 for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

CLASSIC MUSICALS: Song and Dance Icons

Sometimes you feel like you just have to sing or dance! And this week MovieZoot.com is featuring four musicals with both singing and dancing by amazing stars in some pretty well-noted classic films. Sit back and enjoy as we present Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming in 1949’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Jane Frazee and Kenny Baker in 1947’s Calendar Girl, Fred Astaire and Jane Powell in 1951’s Royal Wedding, and June Allyson, Judy Garland and Lena Horne in 1946’s Till the Clouds Roll By.

These four wonderful classic musicals are guaranteed to have your toes tapping in no time!

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is the 1949 black & white Tay Garnett musical comedy starring Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming and tells the story of a blacksmith who, thrown from his horse in Connecticut circa 1912, wakes up in Arthurian Briton where he helps Camelot’s King Arthur save his kingdom from the evil wizard Merlin. There are also some terrific performances by Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Rhonda Fleming and William Bendix.

Calendar Girl

Calendar Girl is the 1947 black and white Allen Dwan musical romance starring Jane Frazee, Kenny Baker and William Marshall and tells the story of two best friends from Boston who come to Greenwich Village in 1900, one to become a famous artist, the other to become a famous composer. The composer falls in love with the girl next door, but unfortunately, she is charmed by his friend who has secrets he is reluctant to share with her.

Royal Wedding

Love and royalty are in the air with 1951’s Royal Wedding that is another Stanley Donen directed RomCom Musical that stars Fred Astaire and Jane Powell. Astaire and Powell play an American sibling song-and-dance team in London in 1947 when all of England is in a tizzy over the impending nuptials of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Powell’s character falls for the dashing Lord John Brindale played by Peter Lawford while Astaire’s character is equally smitten with the elegant and lovely Anne Ashmond played by Sarah Churchill. This film features Astaire’s iconic scene of dancing across the ceiling of a hotel room.

Till The Clouds Roll By

Till the Clouds Roll By is the 1946 Richard Whorf and Vincent Minnelli musical comedy starring Robert Walker, Van Heflin, June Allyson, Lena Horne and Judy Garland telling the story of famed songwriter Jerome Kern’s charmed life leading up to his Broadway opening of “Show Boat.” Consisting of many musical numbers, the all-star cast includes a bevy of Hollywood talent including Kathryn Grayson, Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore, among many others.

Bad Girls: Cinematic Ladies and the Art of the Tease

Aside from the obvious sexual innuendo, some of the greatest actresses in Hollywood have taken on controversial roles of the “Bad Girl” in films because the script’s characters have depth, grit, purpose and commitment. Here are four “bad girl” films where the actresses made cinematic history with their outstanding performances and helped push the movie industry to developing “meatier” roles for women. This week, MovieZoot.com proudly presents Brigitte Bardot in 1956’s Mademoiselle Striptease, Marlene Dietrich in 1931’s The Blue Angel, Karen Black in 1973’s The Pyx, and Sophia Loren in 1963’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Lean back and let these amazingly talented ladies entertain you.

Yours truly,
MovieZoot.com
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

Mademoiselle Striptease

In Mademoiselle Striptease, the air is thick with innuendo, pratfalls and, of course, a strip-tease contest in this classic French sex-comedy. Originally titled Plucking the Daisy, this 1956 black & white comedy drama directed by Marc Allégret stars bombshell Brigitte Bardot in telling the story of a young girl – an aspiring writer – who side-steps some Parisian wolves as she unwittingly ignites hellfire in the minds of men from the Seine to the Sorbonne.

The Blue Angel

The Blue Angel is a 1931 Josef von Sternberg black & white musical drama starring Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron and Emil Jannings telling the story of an educator so smitten by a cabaret dancer that he loses everything in the name of love, eventually losing his very life! Eyes up boys – it’s dangerous down there!

The Pyx

The Pyx, with Karen Black and Christopher Plumber starring in this 1973 Harvey Hart horror crime thriller, is about a grizzly murder that puts an investigating detective in the middle of the occult surrounded by prostitution, drug addiction and conspiracy with all of her suspects mysteriously dropping like flies.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is a 1963 comedy anthology film by Italian director Vittorio de Sica, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni and consists of three hilarious short stories about couples in different parts of Italy. This film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1964 Academy Awards.