winner take all

Cagney Fights the World: Winner Take All (1932)

Although he was the star of multiple hit films, James Cagney was known as “the thorn in Jack Warner’s side.” He repeatedly went on strikes, demanding higher and higher salaries. In John McCabe’s biography of Cagney, he explains that during the filming of Winner Take All, singer Dick Powell was making $4,000/week, whereas the much more…

no time for comedy poster

DVD Review: No Time for Comedy (1940)

Ah, James Stewart: the innocent, lovable screwball we all know and love. He’s the admirable, passionate, naive young Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). He’s the dedicated family man and pillar of the community as George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). He’s charming. He’s sweet. He’s good ole aw-shucks Jimmy Stewart. But Stewart turns…

zachary scott

Book Review: Zachary Scott: Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad (2013)

Zachary Scott: Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad Ronald L. Davis Release Date: July 24, 2013 (Reprint); February 27, 2006 (Original printing) University Press of Mississippi  Softcover, 238 pages Last summer, the University Press of Mississippi reprinted Ronald L. Davis’ biography of character actor Zachary Scott, subtitled Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad, in paperback. As today marks the centennial of Scott’s…

gerald mcboing-boing

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950)

When it comes to theatrical animation in the 1950s, there were no greater innovators than the talented artists at United Productions of America. UPA’s highly stylized, modern aesthetic was visually appealing; the cartoons were creative and fresh, with entertaining characters and funny, unexpected new ways of storytelling. One of those new characters came directly from…