ALICE ADAMS
1935, Warner Bros., 99 min, USA, Dir: George Stevens

George Stevens left the world of B-movie comedies for A-list prestige fare with this heartfelt adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s novel. Katharine Hepburn gives one of her most subtle performances as an ambitious young woman seeking to escape her small-town background; although the character is superficially unappealing, Hepburn and Stevens allow the viewer to empathize with her in all her complexity. Solid supporting work from Fred MacMurray is an additional asset in this impeccably mounted drama. Co-starring Hattie McDaniel (GONE WITH THE WIND), who nearly steals the film.


SHANE
1953, Paramount, 118 min, USA, Dir: George Stevens

George Stevens infuses the Western genre with mythic grandeur in this timeless classic. Alan Ladd is at his most iconic as the title character, an ex-gunfighter forced out of retirement when a family of homesteaders (Van Heflin, Jean Arthur, Brandon de Wilde) comes under attack by a vicious rancher’s hired guns. Jack Palance is one of the most threatening villains in movie history, and the film itself is both a summing up of the Western genre and a sign of things to come in later masterworks such as UNFORGIVEN. One of the most influential films ever made - and one of the most entertaining. Loyal Griggs won an Oscar for Best Cinematography.


THE MORE THE MERRIER
1943, Sony Repertory, 104 min, USA, Dir: George Stevens

Jean Arthur reluctantly sublets half her apartment to retired millionaire Charles Coburn - who promptly sublets half of his half to dreamy soldier Joel McCrea! Coburn won an Oscar for his inspired performance in this captivating film, which also was nominated for Best Picture, Director, Actress, Story and Screenplay.


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