The Remarkable Andrew

“An honest man is the noblest work of God,” and if he’s in the government he sees the Founding Fathers as living men who speak to him, and when the administration covers up malfeasance by slandering him and jailing him and pronouncing him insane, he sees General Andy Jackson, the hero of New Orleans, and Jesse James, too, and a volunteer in the Revolutionary War who says, “well, I never heard of you, either.”

The author is Dalton Trumbo, it happens in Shale City, Colorado.

T.S. told his readers in the New York Times it was all poppycock, “a fantasy which doesn’t come off by a wide margin,” and that appears to be the general appraisal among critics.


The Glass Key

You’re the political boss, you like reform because of the candidate’s daughter, in spite of the candidate’s unreformed son.

You crack down, the mob objects.

The son dies, the mob owns the paper, you’re indicted.

When push comes to shove, the candidate confesses. The daughter marries your right-hand man.

“A good picture of its type,” Variety said, taking note of The Great McGinty (dir. Preston Sturges).

Tom Milne (Time Out Film Guide) fancies a certain “teasing sexual ambiguity”.

The screenplay is refined to an abstraction, for practical purposes, therefore it lacks the mystery of Huston’s The Maltese Falcon, according to some observers.

And yet you find quotations from the film in Godard (Le Petit soldat) and Schlesinger (Marathon Man) and Huston (The Mackintosh Man) and Cukor (Born Yesterday), as well as the escape crashing down through a skylight.


The Negro Soldier

Historical, from the Boston Massacre to the Armistice. Informational, training in the present emergency.

One of the great films of the war, cogently describing the situation up to the minute. The author takes the pulpit of a Sunday high service to deliver this sermon on fisticuffs and the Axis, a lady in the congregation interrupts him to read a letter from her son, an Army lieutenant, describing his experiences.

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times saw its virtues acknowledged in a general release, but concluded, “as an inspirational document, The Negro Soldier has probably served well in those areas where such stimulation of war-consciousness is required. It may also convey a fuller respect for the Negro’s part in the war to civilian audiences. However, it is to be noted that it very discreetly avoids the more realistic race problems which are generally recognized today. It definitely sugar-coats an issue which is broader than the Negro’s part in the war. For this reason, it is questionable whether the purpose which it is intended now to serve publicly may not be defeated by the film’s own limitations and lacks.Variety saw “a two-fisted plea for tolerance.”



The keystone is the opening sequence, which culminates in the cattleman Lansing getting rubbed out by a gusher. At the end of the whole film, you have been presented with a treatise on conservation.

The stinging truth, anyway the most salient point, was perceived by John Huston, who if one is not mistaken matted a good deal of the oil-field fire into the climax of The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.


Tokyo Joe

The opening shot is one of the greatest in films, the descent to Haneda.

Curtiz’ Casablanca is the basis, Tokyo Joe’s from before the war.

Not the basis, the premise. White Russian ex-wife, SCAP husband, Black Dragon plot hatched by the Communists.

A little daughter is the lever of love, on top of the general idea of recouping.

The Occupation forces are with it, Nippon-America Air Transport comes to nothing, Baron Kimura and his trio of war criminals flown out of Seoul are all taken care of.

And this time there is the idea of reconciliation.


Chain Lightning

On the theory that there are two ways to do anything, and the hard way is preferable.

Which is the exact opposite of Halliwell’s “absolutely routine romance and heroics.”

B-17s over Germany, the new jet over the North Pole.


Storm Warning

Heisler’s magnetic powers of dramaturgy are the continually vivifying source of this operatic sustained tour de force on a woman (Ginger Rogers) who gets off the bus in Rock Point and walks right into a Klan killing, they’ve rolled up the sidewalks for the occasion.

Her sister (Doris Day) is married to one of them (Steve Cochran). The victim is a writer out to expose the fraudulent cowardly organization as a moneygrubbers’ scheme, he’s picked up for drunk driving and then dragged out of his cell and shot.

Ronald Reagan is the county prosecutor with a conspiracy of silence as big as any small town. Hugh Sanders is the grand conspirator.


The Star

At the end of her tether, the artist in Hollywood.

It was Russell Rouse who fully documented such a case in The Oscar, and no critic would brook the idea, whereas Heisler found a sympathetic audience of a kind in Bosley Crowther, such a has-been this movie star, sad, very sad (Variety thought it was all about Bette, her acting saved the film, etc.).

A producer says those fatal words, “it won’t make a dime, but it’s a beautiful picture.The star can’t even get a part in it, still she knows a thing or two, like Margo Channing and Mrs. Skeffington.



Bougainville, Marine diversionary attacks, confirmation of a naval minefield.

Memory is turned to account after the very bitter lessons of Guadalcanal, between Enright’s Gung Ho! and Huston’s Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (with Farrow’s Wake Island at the start of the series).

H.H.T. (New York Times) thought Hawaii had the best of it. “Jungle thriller,” says Halliwell’s Film Guide, “not too badly done.”