40’s movies marathon – part 13


Ball of Fire (1941, USA) – Gary Cooper is a word nerd who heads out into the streets of New York to learn current slang for the dictionary he and his seven bachelor roommates are working on. Instead he finds a nightclub singer (skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood) on the run from the police. Barbara Stanwyck’s jazz number is my favourite musical scene in the marathon so far, (watch to the end!) Another thing that stands out is the sheer nerdiness of the movie. The climax hinges on a room full of lovable dorks outwitting crooks with their knowledge of ancient history. Watched it all.

Turned Out Nice Again (1941, UK) – Oh, the wacky things that occur at a textile factory. Inferior yarn quality, clumsy technicians, it’s a laugh. Watched: 5 minutes.

The Little Foxes (1941, USA) – As members of a wealthy family in the post-Civil War South, Bette Davis and her brothers scheme against each other for ownership of a cotton mill. This is a dark movie, made more so by the contrast between the few good people in the family and their heartless relatives. The family’s happy and subservient black servants adds to the dissonance, but, this being 1941, that may have been unintentional. Also contains the marathon’s first genuine teenage rebellion. Watched it all.

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