REVIEW: Nightmare Alley [1947]

It takes one to catch one. We always envision ourselves becoming successful. We dream of the big payday. We work towards elevating our status even if it might mean intentionally leaving those who helped us through the process behind. Such aspirations are always attainable because we need to believe our lives can be improved. And then we look at those who are suffering with an upturned nose, quizzically wondering how they could have ever let themselves fall so far as if they had a choice in the matter. Maybe some…

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REVIEW: Shanghai Express [1932]

You’re in China now. Where time and life have no value. The three-day train ride from Peking to Shanghai has commenced and all anyone’s talking about is the rumor that the infamous Shanghai Lily (Marlene Dietrich) is on-board. Most of the passengers, like respectable boarding house owner Mrs. Haggerty (Louise Closser Hale) and Christian missionary Mr. Carmichael (Lawrence Grant), are scandalized by the prospect, but others, like the genial Mr. Chang (Warner Oland), are curious about their prospects where it comes to getting to know her better (wink). Captain Donald…

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REVIEW: Morocco [1930]

I changed my mind. Good luck! It’s said that Marlene Dietrich put a copy of Benno Vigny‘s “Amy Jolly” into director Josef von Sternberg‘s pocket before he set sail for America. Their German collaboration The Blue Angel had yet to be released, but the consensus that it would prove a hit was enough to land him in Hollywood with keen prospects and potential money. He then leveraged both to give birth to Morocco with Jules Furthman adapting the script and the studio bringing Dietrich over to star. One soon-to-be hit…

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