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HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN
1944, Warner Bros., 124 min, USA, Dir: Delmer Daves

Some of Warners’ biggest stars turn out to do their part for the war effort in this delightful romantic comedy inspired by the nightspot created to entertain servicemen during WWII. Robert Hutton plays a GI on leave in L.A. for a week with a fellow soldier; when he becomes the club’s millionth customer, he wins a date with the actress of his dreams, Joan Leslie. The Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra and Roy Rogers (with Trigger in tow) are among the musical performers, Jack Benny, Joe E. Brown and Eddie Cantor supply comic relief, and an army of movie greats like Bette Davis and John Garfield (who together founded the real-life Hollywood Canteen) play themselves. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore!


THE CATERED AFFAIR
1956, Warner Bros., 92 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

Ernest Borgnine is a middle-aged New York cabbie scraping for years to save up for his own cab. When his daughter (Debbie Reynolds) announces that she is going to marry in a simple ceremony, domineering wife Bette Davis insists on planning a wedding well beyond the working-class family's means, to impress their friends and family and to make up for what she never had. Director Richard Brooks and screenwriter Gore Vidal bring Paddy Chayefsky's story to the screen with sensitivity and intelligence.


THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER
1942, Warner Brothers, 112 min, Dir: William Keighley

In this wonderful comedy Monty Woolley is an acid-tongued New York critic and radio commentator who breaks his leg after slipping on ice in front of an upper-class Ohio family’s home. Forced to remain immobile while he recuperates, he takes over the household during the holidays, bringing in his secretary (Bette Davis) who promptly falls for a local newspaperman (Richard Travis). When Woolley begins to realize he may lose his prized assistant, he calls in sexy actress friend Ann Sheridan to put the moves on the object of Davis’ affection. With some poisonously funny dialogue and a sterling supporting cast, including Billie Burke, Jimmy Durante, Reginald Gardiner and Mary Wickes.


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