THE WOLF MAN
1941, Universal, 70 min, USA, Dir: George Waggner

Lon Chaney Jr. achieves cinematic immortality in the title role, one of Universal’s great movie monsters. Bitten by a werewolf (Bela Lugosi, in a wonderful cameo) while visiting a gypsy camp, Larry Talbot (Chaney) is cursed to become a hairy beast “when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” Noted horror scribe Curt Siodmak penned the original screenplay for this eerie classic, which costars Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy and Maria Ouspenskaya, whose portrayal of an old gypsy fortuneteller is unforgettable.


THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD
1938, Warner Bros., 102 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley

In what is commonly acknowledged as one of the most beautiful, spectacular early Technicolor films, swashbuckling Errol Flynn ("Welcome to Sherwood!") rescues lovely Olivia de Havilland from the evil clutches of Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone in a rousing adventure for the ages.


MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
1939, Sony Repertory, 129 min, USA, Dir: Frank Capra

Naïve, straight-shooting idealist Mr. Smith (James Stewart) is elected to Congress then used and eventually framed by his corrupt mentor Claude Rains and fatcat Edward Arnold. Still an incredibly topical slice of Americana with unflinching insights into how easily a free enterprise system can be debased and exploited by ruthless profiteers. Smith pleading his case before a cold-hearted unbelieving Congress sends chills down the spine and remains one of the most moving sequences in the history of cinema. Jean Arthur is the worldly cynic who has her heart melted when she realizes Smith is the real thing. With Thomas Mitchell.


Syndicate content