Tagged 1940s

Weekly Spotlight #12: Hellzapoppin’ (Potter, 1941)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, it’s back to the 1940s with our zaniest selection yet: a vaudeville revue that takes audience participation to a whole new level.

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Black Narcissus (Powell & Pressburger, 1947)

Beautifully haunting, with pulsating eroticism as vivid as the Technicolor onscreen, Black Narcissus is something to watch when modern generic schlock grinds you down and you need reassurance from Saints Powell and Pressburger that film can express the very heights of creative genius when said genius knows what it’s doing.

The Wolf Man (Waggner, 1941)

I was looking forward to The Wolf Man in the way you normally would look forward to a Universal monster movie from the ‘40s: hoping for some fun costuming, lavish sets, barrels of fog and a few slight chills up the spine. I got most of those things, sure.

I Walked with a Zombie (Tourneur, 1943)

What could have been an unimaginative retread of Jane Eyre is instead an immersive daydream of a film, all thanks to Jacques Tourneur’s superb eye for framing shadows and enhancing his story’s psychological unease.

The Uninvited (Allen, 1944)

The plot of The Uninvited is almost like a reconceptualization of Daphne de Maurier’s Rebecca, and the Hitchcock adaptation was released a few years before this. So it’s hard not to compare them.

The Maltese Falcon (Huston, 1941)

t’s rather a pity Sam Spade is sort of a one-off character in the pantheon of detective fiction (aside from a few minor short stories, The Maltese Falcon is the only novel he ever appeared in). I would’ve loved to see Humphrey Bogart play him again.

Gilda (Vidor, 1946)

It’s really, really hard not to read the homoerotic subtext of Gilda when, five minutes in, a man rescues a gambler from certain death using a very phallic-looking cane—a cane that also conceals a knife.