THE GRAPES OF WRATH
1940, 20th Century Fox, 129 min, USA, Dir: John Ford

Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns from prison to find his family evicted from their dust-blown, Midwestern farm and packing to head for the deceptively golden promise of California prosperity. Director John Ford brings John Steinbeck’s classic novel about Depression-era poverty and the resultant migration and labor unrest to vivid life. With an incredible supporting cast that includes Jane Darwell, John Carradine and Charley Grapewin. Nominated for seven Oscars and winner of two (Ford got Best Director and Best Supporting Actress went to Darwell). "Shows half a nation with the economic rug pulled out from under it. … To those … who had gone hungry or been homeless, it would never become dated. And its sense of injustice, I believe, is still relevant. The banks and land agents of the 1930s have been replaced by financial pyramids.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


MAD LOVE
1935, Warner Bros., 68 min, USA, Dir: Karl Freund

“Dead hands that live ... and love ... and kill!” It's macabre shenanigans involving amputated hands as Grand Guignol theater star Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake) goes to brilliant - but crazy - surgeon Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) as a last resort when her concert pianist husband, Stephen (Colin Clive, of FRANKENSTEIN), has his hands mangled in a train accident. Gogol, insanely in love with Yvonne and willing to do anything to steal her away, transplants the hands of a guillotined murderer onto the comatose Stephen. Counting on the highly suggestive nature of the neurotic pianist, Gogol makes him believe he also possesses the dead killer’s personality. An intense, delirious adaptation of French writer Maurice Renard’s oft-filmed novel The Hands of Orlac.


THE BISHOP’S WIFE
1947, Park Circus, 109 min, USA, Dir: Henry Koster

When a bishop (David Niven) trying to build a cathedral prays for divine guidance, he gets it in the form of a charismatic angel named Dudley (Cary Grant). Focused on raising construction funds, the bishop neglects many things - including his wife (Loretta Young), to whom Dudley is eventually drawn. This delightful Christmastime comedy was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Sound.


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