Sunset GunShots

Sunset Gunshots

11 notes

"The Big House" (1930) — an uncompromising prison picture with powerful performances by Wallace Beery, Chester Morris and Robert Montgomery (while making the movie, director George W. Hill reportedly stated he’d fire the first person he saw "acting"). Beautifully shot — both claustrophobic and vast, endlessly institutional — I love how the story turns as well. You’re expecting Montgomery to be the hero but, nope, he’s a coward, a rat, and yet, not simply villainous. He’s acting like a lot of terrified newbies when first incarcerated. While doing screen grabs (there are so many fantastic shots in the movie), I remembered George Hurrell took some great publicity stills of the picture, posted here. In between shooting a glammed up Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, Hurrell snapped Chester Morris as an emaciated jailbird. The dungeon walk is a gorgeous Hurrell here but the scene itself is as gritty and as stylish and a standout in the movie.

Filed under the big house chester morris wallace beery robert montgomery george hurrell george w hill

67 notes

Just rewatched Mervyn LeRoy’s “Heat Lightning.” 1934 Pre-code desert drama and sweaty, in the-middle-of-nowhere lust and intrigue with Aline MacMahon and Ann Dvorak as sisters working in the Cal desert. The auto garage, diner and road side motel are a literal hot spot for all sorts of dubious, mysterious and amusing characters/situations… Preston Foster and Lyle Talbot show up, on the lam. Also Glenda Farrell as “Feathers” and Ruth Donnelly as “Tinkle,” rich divorcees road tripping with their jewels and chauffeur, of course. The camerawork is exceptional — beautiful and interesting. I especially love the tracking shot at the beginning when we’re introduced to the sisters — tough minded McMahon and pretty, frustrated Dvorak — while McMahon is walking to the car she’s working on. Dvorak storms away, angry, and LeRoy shoots from McMahon’s POV under the car. MacMahon  and Dvorak are wonderful here — really appealing and touching. 

Filed under Mervyn LeRoy aline mcmahon ann dvorak heat lightning precode pre-code

30 notes

Warren Oates on Have Gun, Will Travel in the episode “Three Sons.” Oates plays a violent, nutty and often funny bad brother who sends his half brother’s wife a mutilated cat as a wedding present: “It ain’t easy sending a gift to a girl who’s got everything!”

Warren Oates on Have Gun, Will Travel in the episode “Three Sons.” Oates plays a violent, nutty and often funny bad brother who sends his half brother’s wife a mutilated cat as a wedding present: “It ain’t easy sending a gift to a girl who’s got everything!”

Filed under warren oates have gun will travel