Young and Innocent (1937)

Young and Innocent (U.S. title: The Girl Was Young) is a 1937 British film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Nova Pilbeam,Derrick De Marney and John Longden. It is very loosely based on Josephine Tey‘s novel A Shilling for Candles (1936). Alfred Hitchcock cameo is a signature occurrence in most of his films. He can be seen outside the courthouse, holding a camera at 16 minutes into the film. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_and_Innocent

IMDB Ratings: 7.1/10, Man on the run from a murder charge enlists a beautiful stranger who must put herself at risk for his cause. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029811/

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Sabotage (1936)

Sabotage, also released as The Woman Alone, is a 1936 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It is based on Joseph Conrad’snovel The Secret Agent. It should not be confused with Hitchcock’s film Secret Agent released the same year, or his 1942 film Saboteurhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabotage_(film)

IMDB Ratings: 7.2/10, A Scotland Yard undercover detective is on the trail of a saboteur who is part of a plot to set off a bomb in London. But when the detective’s cover is blown, the plot begins to unravel. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028212/

Blackmail (1929)

Alfred Hitchcock‘s first sound film utilized the new sound technology in a rather creative way off-camera. Hitchcock’s lead actress, Anny Ondra, had a strong Eastern European accent that was difficult for English audiences to understand, so Hitchcock’s solution was to have British actress Joan Barry speak Ondra’s lines of dialogue off-camera. The film concerns a woman who kills a man who tries to assault her. Ondra plays Alice White who, while having dinner in a fancy English nightspot with her husband-to-be Scotland Yard Detective Frank Webber (John Longden), begins to flirt with an artist (Cyril Richard) seated at the next table. The artist invites her up to see his studio, and she goes but balks when the artist asks her to pose in the nude. When the request becomes a demand, Alice stabs him to death. She rejoins her fiance and tries to forget the murder, but her conscience keeps bothering her. To make matters worse, sniveling rat Tracy (Donald Calthrop) materializes to blackmail Alice for the crime. http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=R5VJqr9OgIo&ob=av1n&feature=mv_sr

Blackmail is a 1929 British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anny OndraJohn Longden, and Cyril Ritchard, and featuring Donald CalthropSara Allgood and Charles Paton. The film is based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett, as adapted by Hitchcock, with dialogue by Benn Levy. Having begun production as a silent film, the studio, British International Pictures, decided to convert it to sound during shooting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackmail_(1929_film)

IMDB Ratings: 7.0/10, Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920’s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her…  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019702/

Cleopatra (1963)

Cleopatra is a 1963 British-American-Swiss epic drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The screenplay was adapted by Sidney BuchmanBen HechtRanald MacDougall, and Mankiewicz from a book by Carlo Maria Franzero. The film starred Elizabeth Taylor,Richard BurtonRex HarrisonRoddy McDowall, and Martin Landau. The music score was by Alex North. It was photographed in 70 mmTodd-AO by Leon Shamroy and an uncredited Jack Hildyard.

Cleopatra chronicles the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperialist ambitions of Rome.

Despite being a critical failure, it won four Academy Awards. It was the highest grossing film of 1963, earning US $26 million ($57.7 million total), yet made a loss due to its cost of $44 million, the only film ever to be the highest grossing film of the year yet to run at a loss. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra_(1963_film)

 

IMDB Ratings: 6.8/10, Historical epic. The triumphs and tragedy of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056937/

The 39 Steps (1935)

Of the four major film versions of the book, this film has been the most acclaimed. In 1999, the film came in fourth in a BFI poll of British films. In 2004, Total Film named it the 21st greatest British movie of all time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_39_Steps_(1935_film)

IMDB Ratings: 7.9/10, A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and he stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring trying to steal top secret information. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026029/

Jamaica Inn (1939)

Jamaica Inn is a 1939 film made by Alfred Hitchcock adapted from Daphne du Maurier‘s 1936 novel of the same name, the first of three of du Maurier’s works that Hitchcock adapted (the others were her novel Rebecca and short story “The Birds“). Critics disparaged the film and today it is considered one of Hitchcock’s lesser films.

Charles Laughton was a co-producer as well, and he interfered greatly with Hitchcock’s direction. Laughton was originally cast as the uncle, but he cast himself in the role of villain, which was originally to be a hypocritical preacher, but was rewritten as a squire because unsympathetic portrayals of the clergy were forbidden by the Production Code in Hollywood. Laughton then demanded that Hitchcock give his character, Squire Pengallon, greater screen time. This forced Hitchcock to reveal that Pengallon was a villain in league with the smugglers earlier in the film than Hitchcock had initially planned. Laughton’s acting was a problem point as well for Hitchcock. Laughton portrayed the Squire as having a mincing walk, to the beat of a German waltz which he played in his head, while Hitchcock thought it was out of character. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica_Inn_(film)

IMDB Ratings: 6.2/10, In Cornwall, around 1800, a young woman discovers that she’s living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031505/

The Age of Stupid (2009)

The film is a drama-documentary-animation hybrid which stars the late Pete Postlethwaite as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, watching archive footage from the mid-to-late 2000s and asking “Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Stupid

The Age of Stupid is a film about climate change, but it’s not An Inconvenient Truth: Part Deux. Whereas the purpose of Al Gore’s 2006 box office hit was to shake us from our slumber of self-comforting denial, Stupid is designed to take hold of our heads and smash our faces repeatedly into a table until we get up and do things differently.

It’s indicative of how the debate has shifted over the last few years that Stupid does not spend time linking climate change with greenhouse gas emissions. The film states that less than 1% of climate scientists believe that there is any doubt about that link (even if this number rises to 60% when the general public are asked their opinion). The debate is over at long last, so the intention of Stupid is to use human stories to illustrate what a serious pickle our species has got itself into. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1300563/

If you like the movie vote for it at IDMB and buy the DVD and show your friends – >  The Age of Stupid

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943)

The second of Universal’s “modernized” Sherlock Holmes films pits the Great Detective (Basil Rathbone, of course) against that “Napoleon of Crime,” Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill). Surpassing his previous skullduggery, Moriarty has now aligned himself with the Nazis and has dedicated himself to stealing a top-secret bomb sight developed by expatriate European scientist Dr. Franz Tobel (William Post Jr.). Before being kidnapped by Moriarty’s minions, Tobel was enterprising enough to disassemble his invention and distribute its components among several other patriotic scientists. Racing against the clock, Holmes and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) try to stem the murders of Tobel’s colleagues and prevent Moriarty from getting his mitts on the precious secret weapon. The now-famous climax finds Holmes playing for time by allowing Moriarty to drain all the blood from his body, drop by drop (“The needle to the last, eh Holmes?” gloats the villain). Dennis Hoeymakes his first appearance as the dull-witted, conclusion-jumping Inspector Lestrade. Constructed more like a serial than a feature film, Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (based loosely on Conan Doyle’s The Dancing Men) is one of the fastest-moving entries in the series; it is also one of the most readily accessible, having lapsed into public domain in 1969. http://www.youtube.com/movie/sherlock-holmes-and-the-secret-weapon