Lum and Abner Come to Film

still-dreaming-out-loud

From 1931 to 1954, Lum and Abner occupied a spot among the most popular shows during the Old Time Radio era.  Chester Lauck and Norris Goff attended the University of Arkansas together.  Lauck and Goff later developed their show Lum and Abner based on life in Arkansas.  The show struck a cord with many listeners. My wife’s grandmother once told

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What Are “B” Films?

mr-wong-detective

“B” films resulted from Hollywood distribution companies implementing a double bill or two movies screening strategy at theaters they owned.  When the Great Depression led movie goers to start forgoing films between 1930 and 1932, Hollywood studios, which still controlled production and distribution, came up with the idea of showing two films back-to-back to give customers more bang for their buck.

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Island of Doomed Men (1940)

still-thank-you-mr-moto

I recently stumbled across Island of Doomed Men (1940), a rare Peter Lorre film that I had not seen.  While I’ve written about Lorre in the Mr. Moto series over the last year, Lorre was more well-known for playing criminals and killers in thrillers such as M (1931) and Stranger on the Third Floor (1940). In Island of Doomed Men,

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Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)

still-thank-you-mr-moto

On July 7, 1939, Twentieth Century-Fox Films released the final Mr. Moto “B” film starring Peter Lorre as Inspector Kentaro Moto.  Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939) finds Mr. Moto accompanying the Queen of Sheba’s Crown from its discovery in an Egyptian archaeological site to a San Francisco museum.  Mr. Moto suspects the arch criminal Metaxess, who authorities believed was

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The Pearl of Death (1944)

rathbone-and-bruce

Sherlock Holmes in The Pearl of Death (1944) is the ninth of fourteen movies in the series starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes.  In this film, Holmes is battling archcriminal Giles Conover, played by Miles Mander.  Conover is attempting to steal a valuable pearl from the British Museum.  He is aided in his crimes by accomplices Naomi Drake and The Creeper.  Naomi Drake,

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Passport to Suez (1943)

warren-william

On August 19, 1943, Columbia Pictures released Passport to Suez (1943).  Warren William plays Michael Lanyard, the Lone Wolf, for the final time in this film.  The film opens in Alexandria, Egypt, where Lanyard has just arrived.  Lanyard meets up with his old friend Johnny Booth, a successful cafe’ owner.  However, Lanayard’s real purpose is a mission for British Intelligence.

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