MY FAVORITE FILMS OF 1938

My my. What a paltry little list I have. L0L! I’ve seen twenty-seven movies this year ( a couple from M-G-M, a couple from the Brothers Warner ). But I even had to remove some names because I wasn’t really being truthful with myself. Oh, I liked a bunch of ’em. But these are the ones I liked the best:

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ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES –  (   Michael Curtiz  )

ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES
         Cagney, O’Brien and the Dead End Kids

Cagney and O’Brien. Two street kids getting into small-time scrapes. One gets caught by the cops and the other escapes. Fast forward twenty years and the Dead End Kids are on the scene. Cagney can be a role model for these hoods…boys. Just Warner Bros. doing their thing…and doing it well. Cagney’s last scene…devastating.

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FOUR DAUGHTERS  –  (  Michael Curtiz  )

FOUR DAUGHTERS
      Priscilla, Gale Page, Lola and Rosemary Lane

If you think Curtiz can only do gangster dramas or pirate pictures, you’d be wrong. He can be a heartwarmer too with this winning film about four sisters ( The Lane Sisters: Priscilla, Rosemary and Lola, plus Gale Page ) and their lives and loves in a small town. There’s humor and drama in this, and turns dark with the troubled character played by John Garfield in his screen debut. The Lane Sisters are a natural and the movie has old pros like Claude Rains and May Robson and a good supporting cast. I love this movie.

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HOLIDAY –  (   George Cukor  )

HOLIDAY
   Katharine Hepburn, Doris Nolan, Cary Grant and 
                           Henry Kolker

In their third teaming together, ( Sylvia Scarlet and Bringing Up Baby precedes this ) Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant take on Philip Barry and his thoughts on high society and thinking unconventionally in “Holiday.” Both Grant and Hepburn are a bit social misfits in their views on family and working and they are wonderful together. Also a standout as the dipsomaniacal brother who drinks away his unhappy life is Lew Ayres. Check out this movie to see some wonderful performances.

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JEZEBEL –  (  William Wyler  )

( 1938 ) JEZEBEL
                                  Bette Davis

Bette Davis is the willful Southern Belle who pays the price for getting her own way. No man can tame her, and Henry Fonda’s not even going to try. When he brings home his Northerner bride ( Margaret Lindsay ) and catches a viral disease, Davis really shows what she is made of. This role garners Bette Davis a well-deserved Oscar. I love seeing her this way: biting, difficult…and ultimately using all her strength to get down on her knees.

( H O M E )

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