Interesting, Movies

Movie time – Woman on the run


Woman on the Run is a 1950 black-and-white film noir co-written and directed by Norman Foster and featuring Ann Sheridan, Dennis O’Keefe, Robert Keith and Ross Elliott.[1] The film was based on the April 1948 short story Man on the Run by Sylvia Tate and filmed on location in San Francisco, California.

As the film opens, a man, Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott), is walking his dog in the city at night. He witnesses a man in a car talking about a crime. The man then gets shot. But whoever shot that man then sees Frank and shoots at him. The shot misses, however, because it is mistakenly aimed at Frank’s shadow. The killer then flees in the car.

When the police arrive it is explained that the shooting victim was going to testify in a court case against a gangster. Since Frank saw the shooter, the cops now want Frank to testify. They plan to take him into protective custody. But Frank, while the police inspector (Robert Keith) has momentarily turned away, gives police the slip, leaving his dog behind. The police think he is running to escape possible retaliation from the mob. So they contact Frank’s wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan) to solicit her help in finding him. But she suspects he is actually running away from their unsuccessful marriage.

Later learning that her husband has a heart condition, Eleanor gets the needed medicine and goes looking for him, aided by a newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe) who says he is looking for an exclusive story. The two conduct their own investigation, giving only limited aid to the police. But the police remain determined, since they need a trial witness. Eleanor is aided in her search by Frank’s efforts to contact her. In a letter left with a mutual contact he gives her cryptic instructions on how they can secretly meet. The instructions require that she remember a significant event from their life together. But she has trouble doing so.

As the search continues it is gradually revealed to the audience that Danny the newspaperman is really the killer. He is simply using Eleanor to find Frank. Once Eleanor figures out the cryptic reference, she and Danny go to a beachside amusement park at night and there manage to locate him. Wanting time alone with Frank, ostensibly to get his newspaper story and pay Frank $1,000 for it, Danny puts Eleanor on the roller coaster. As she rides she suddenly realizes what Danny has really been up to. But she is trapped until the ride ends in what becomes the frantic climax of the film.

As Eleanor finally gets off the roller coaster, Danny is on the verge of killing Frank. The two fight and shots ring out. Eleanor breathlessly arrives on the scene to discover that the police inspector has just shot the killer. She rushes to her husband and the two embrace.

Woman on the run

Art, Interesting, Movies, Writing

Alice Adams challenge

This is another good film to watch. Can we modernize this character. What would Alice do in your area?
Create a short story about Alice.

Alice Adams is a 1935 romantic film made by RKO. It was directed by George Stevens and produced by Pandro S. Berman. The screenplay was by Dorothy Yost, Mortimer Offner, and Jane Murfin. The film was adapted from the novel Alice Adams, by Booth Tarkington. The music score was by Max Steiner and Roy Webb, and the cinematography by Robert De Grasse.

The film is about a young woman in a medium-sized town in the United States in the early 1900s, and her pretentious attempts to appear upper-class and wed a wealthy man while concealing her poverty. It stars Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone and Evelyn Venable. Hepburn’s popularity had declined after her Oscar-winning performance in 1933’s Morning Glory; her performance in Alice Adams made her a public favorite again.

Alice Adams is the youngest daughter of the Adams family. Her father is an invalid employed as a clerk in a factory owned by Mr. Lamb, who has kept Adams on salary for years despite his lengthy illness. Her mother is embittered by her husband’s lack of ambition and upset by the snubs her daughter endures because of their poverty. Alice’s older brother, Walte, is a gambler who cannot hold a job and who associates with African Americans (which, given the time period in which the film is set, is considered a major social embarrassment). As the film begins, Alice attends a dance given by the wealthy Henrietta Lamb. She has no date, and is escorted to the occasion by Walter. Alice is a social climber like her mother, and engages in socially inappropriate behavior and conversation in an attempt to impress others. At the dance, Alice meets wealthy Arthur Russell, who is charmed by her despite her poverty.

Alice’s mother nags her husband into quitting his job and pouring his life savings into a glue factory. Mr. Lamb ostracizes Mr. Adams from society, believing that Adams stole the glue formula from him. Alice is the subject of cruel town gossip, which Russell ignores.

Alice invites Russell to the Adams home for a fancy meal. She and her mother put on airs, the entire family dresses inappropriately in formal wear despite the hot summer night, and the Adamses pretend that they eat caviar and fancy, rich-tasting food all the time. The dinner is ruined by the slovenly behavior and poor cooking skills of the maid the Adamses have hired for the occasion, Malena (Hattie McDaniel). Mr. Adams unwittingly embarrasses Alice by exposing the many lies she has told Russell. When Walter shows up with bad financial news, Alice gently expels Russell from the house now that everything is “ruined.”

Walter reveals that “a friend” has gambling debts, and that he stole $150 from Mr. Lamb to cover them. Mr. Adams decides to take out a loan against his new factory to save Walter from jail. Just then, Mr. Lamb appears at the Adams house. He accuses Adams of stealing the glue formula from him, and declares his intention to ruin Adams by building a glue factory directly across the street from the Adams plant. The men argue violently, but their friendship is saved when Alice confesses that her parents took the glue formula only so she could have a better life and some social status. Lamb and Adams reconcile, and Lamb indicates he will not prosecute Walter.

Alice wanders out onto the porch, where Russell has been waiting for her. He confesses his love for her, despite her poverty and family problems.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Hepburn for Best Actress. Hepburn received the second most votes, after winner Bette Davis in Dangerous.

The 1935 film of Alice Adams is the second adaptation of the Tarkington novel. A silent film version had been made in 1923, directed by Rowland V. Lee.

Katharine Hepburn wanted George Cukor to direct the film, but Cukor was engaged directing David Copperfield.[6] Cukor advised her to choose either William Wyler or George Stevens to direct. Although Hepburn favored the German-born and Swiss-educated Wyler, producer Pandro S. Berman favored American George Stevens.

The plot of the film differs from the book Alice Adams, in significant ways. Most importantly, the novel depicts Alice estranged from Russell. The original script by Dorothy Yost and Jane Murfin ended with Alice and Russell in love. But Stevens was so unhappy with the script and the ending that he, his friend Mortimer Offner, and Hepburn discarded most of it and rewrote it (using dialogue taken from the novel). Their script ended with Alice’s relationship with Russell up in the air, and finished with a scene in which Alice goes to secretarial school. But Berman and RKO executives wanted a happy ending in which Alice gets Russell. Stevens and Hepburn opposed this change. Berman enlisted the aid of Cukor, who agreed that the more realistic ending would be box office poison. So the script was changed to allow Russell to fall in love with Alice and win her over.

Art, Interesting, Movies, Writing

challenge time

Smiling through is a great movie of love, sacrifice and bravery. Can you recreate it for the modern time.
Get your story telling skills out and create something.

Watch the movie…

Smilin’ Through is a 1932 MGM Romance-Drama film based on the play by Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin, also named Smilin’ Through.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1932. It was adapted from Cowl and Murfin’s play by James Bernard Fagan, Donald Ogden Stewart, Ernest Vajda and Claudine West. The movie was directed by Sidney Franklin (who also directed an earlier version in 1922) and starred Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard and Ralph Forbes.

John Carteret (Leslie Howard) is a wealthy man with a huge estate. He was set to marry Moonyeen Clare (Norma Shearer), but on their wedding day she was accidentally killed during the wedding ceremony by her drunken and jealous ex-fiance Jeremy Wayne (Fredric March), who actually meant to kill John. John has spent the rest of his life in mourning. However, Moonyeen has kept in touch with him from the next life. He runs the estate, and has a private retreat where he communicates with her spirit.

His close friend Dr. Owens (O.P. Heggie) tells him of Moonyeen’s niece Kathleen, whose parents have drowned at sea. He begs John to adopt the child, and he does. Kathleen is five, but as she grows older she looks exactly like the dead Moonyeen (and is also played by Norma Shearer). Her childhood friend Willie (Ralph Forbes) wants to marry her, but she is interested in Kenneth Wayne (also played by Fredric March), whom she meets in dangerous and romantic circumstances. However, Kenneth is the son of Jeremy, Moonyeen’s killer, who disappeared and was never found.

John refuses to let them marry and threatens to disinherit her. She leaves with Kenneth, but he sends her back again because he doesn’t want to ruin her life. However, John has been deeply affected by the events and has lost his ability to communicate with his dead wife, who perceives his anger and hatred as having set up a barrier she can’t overcome.

Kenneth signs up for the Army and is gone for four years, returning as a disabled war veteran. He hides his condition, claims he no longer cares for Kathleen, and plans to go to America. John finds out the truth from Dr. Owens. He sees that Kenneth really cares for Kathleen and is not like his wastrel father. He tells Kathleen, and she runs off to tell Kenneth she still cares for him. John sits down to play chess with Dr. Owens, but apparently dozes off. Amused, Dr. Owens leaves him so that he can take his nap. John, however, has actually died, and his spirit now rises to join the awaiting spirit of Moonyeen, just as Kathleen is heard returning with Kenneth. John and Moonyeen are finally reunited in death.


Movie time

Love in the afternoon (1957)
American release poster by Saul Bass
Directed by Billy Wilder
Produced by Billy Wilder
Screenplay by
Billy Wilder
I.A.L. Diamond
Based on Ariane, jeune fille russe by Claude Anet
Starring: Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier

Love in the Afternoon is a 1957 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Billy Wilder which stars Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper. The screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on the Claude Anet novel Ariane, jeune fille russe (trans., Ariane, Young Russian Girl), which previously was filmed as Scampolo in 1928 and Scampolo, ein Kind der Strasse (trans., Scampolo, a Child of the Street) in 1932, the latter with a script co-written by Wilder. Wilder was inspired by a 1931 German adaptation of the novel Ariane directed by Paul Czinner.[4]

Young cello student Ariane Chavasse (Audrey Hepburn) eavesdrops on a conversation between her father, widowed private detective Claude Chavasse (Maurice Chevalier), and his client, “Monsieur X” (John McGiver). After learning of his wife’s daily trysts with American business magnate Frank Flannagan (Gary Cooper), Monsieur X announces he will shoot Flannagan later that day. Claude is nonchalant, regretting only the business he will lose (Flannagan is a well-known international playboy with a long history of numerous casual affairs). When Ariane cannot get the police to intervene (until after a crime has been committed), she decides to warn him herself.

Ariane is in time. When Monsieur X breaks into Flannagan’s hotel suite, he finds Flannagan with Ariane, not his wife (she is cautiously making her escape via an outside ledge). Flannagan is intrigued by the mysterious girl, who refuses to give him any information about herself, even her name. He resorts to calling her “thin girl”. She has no romantic history but pretends to be a femme fatale to interest him, and soon falls in love with the considerably older man. She agrees to meet him the next afternoon, because her orchestral practice is in the evenings (although she does not admit that is the reason). She comes with mixed feelings, but ends up becoming his lover for the evening until his plane leaves.

Her father, who has tried unsuccessfully to protect her from knowing about the tawdry domestic-surveillance details in his files, notices her change of mood but has no idea that it proceeds from one of his cases.

After a year, Flannagan returns to Paris. The two meet again when she sees him at an opera while surveying the crowd from a balcony and puts herself in his path in the lobby, and they start seeing each other again. This time, when he persists in his questioning, she makes up a long list of prior imaginary lovers based on her father’s files (Flannagan is number 20 on the list). Flannagan gradually goes from being amused to being tormented by the possible comparisons, but is unsure whether they are real. When he encounters a still-apologetic Monsieur X, the latter recommends Claude Chavasse to him, and thus Flannagan hires Ariane’s own father to investigate.

It does not take Chavasse long to realize the mystery woman is Ariane. He informs his client that his daughter fabricated her love life. He tells Flannagan that she is a little fish that he should throw back, since she is serious and he wants to avoid serious relationships.

Flannagan decides to leave Paris, pretending to be on his way to meet former lovers. At the station, as Ariane runs along the platform beside his departing train, with her femme-fatale facade cracking as her love shows through, Flannagan changes his mind and sweeps her up in his arms onto the train. Chavasse reports that they got married and now live in New York.


Gary Cooper as Frank Flannagan
Audrey Hepburn as Ariane Chavasse
Maurice Chevalier as Claude Chavasse
John McGiver as Monsieur X
Van Doude as Michel
Lise Bourdin as Madame X
Olga Valery as Hotel guest with dog
The Gypsies as Themselves

Love in the Afternoon was the first of twelve screenplays by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond, who met when Wilder contacted Diamond after reading an article he had written for the Screen Writers Guild monthly magazine. The two men immediately hit it off, and Wilder suggested they collaborate on a project based on a German language film he had co-written in the early 1930s.[5]

The poster used for the film’s release in French-speaking markets
Wilder’s first choices for Frank Flannagan were Cary Grant and Yul Brynner.[1] “It was a disappointment to me that [Grant] never said yes to any picture I offered him,” Wilder later recalled. “He didn’t explain why. He had very strong ideas about what parts he wanted.” The director decided to cast Gary Cooper because they shared similar tastes and interests and Wilder knew the actor would be good company during location filming in Paris. “They talked about food and wine and clothes and art,” according to co-star Audrey Hepburn, Wilder’s only choice for Ariane. Talent agent Paul Kohner suggested Maurice Chevalier for the role of Claude Chavasse, and when asked if he was interested, the actor replied, “I would give the secret recipe for my grandmother’s bouillabaisse to be in a Billy Wilder picture.”[5]

Filming locations included the Château of Vitry in the Yvelines, the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera), and the Hôtel Ritz Paris. It was Wilder’s insistence to shoot the film on location in Paris.[1]

Music plays an important role in the film. Much of the prelude to the Richard Wagner opera Tristan und Isolde is heard during a lengthy sequence set in the opera house, and Gypsy style melodies underscore Flannagan’s various seductions. Matty Malneck, Wilder’s friend from their Paul Whiteman days in Vienna, wrote three songs for the film, including the title tune. Also heard are “C’est si bon,” “L’ame Des Poètes” by Charles Trenet, and “Fascination,” which is hummed repeatedly by Ariane.[5]

For the American release of the film, Maurice Chevalier recorded an end-of-film narration letting audiences know Ariane and Flannagan are married and living in New York City. Although Wilder objected to the addition, he was forced to include it to forestall complaints that the relationship between the two was immoral.[5]

The debt Allied Artists incurred while making Friendly Persuasion prompted the studio to sell the distribution rights of Love in the Afternoon for Europe to gain more financing.[1] The film was a commercial failure in the United States, but it was a major success in Europe, where it was released under the title Ariane.[5]

Critical receptionEdit

In his 1957 review, Bosley Crowther of the New York Times called the film a “grandly sophisticated romance … in the great Lubitsch tradition” and added, “Like most of Lubitsch’s chefs-d’oeuvre, it is a gossamer sort of thing, so far as a literary story and a substantial moral are concerned … Mr. Wilder employs a distinctive style of subtle sophisticated slapstick to give the fizz to his brand of champagne … Both the performers are up to it—archly, cryptically, beautifully. They are even up to a sentimental ending that is full of the mellowness of afternoon.”[6]

Wilder is often mentioned as a “disciple” of Lubitsch. In his 2007 essay on the two directors for Stop Smiling magazine, Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote that Love in the Afternoon was “the most obvious and explicit and also, arguably, the clunkiest of his tributes to Lubitsch, partially inspired by Lubitsch’s 1938 Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (which Wilder and Brackett also helped to script, and which also starred Gary Cooper, again playing a womanizing American millionaire in France)”.[7] John Fawell wrote in 2008 that “Lubitsch was at his most imaginative when he lingered outside of doorways, particularly when something promiscuous was going on behind the door, a habit his pupil Billy Wilder picked up. In Wilder’s most Lubitsch-like film, Love in the Afternoon, we know when Gary Cooper’s rich playboy has bedded another conquest when we see the group of gypsy musicians (that travels with Cooper to aid in his wooing) tiptoe out of the hotel room, shoes in hand.”[8]

In an undated and unsigned review, TV Guide notes that the film has “the winsome charm of Hepburn, the elfin puckishness of Chevalier, a literate script by Wilder and Diamond, and an airy feeling that wafted the audience along,” but felt it was let down by Gary Cooper, who “was pushing 56 at the time and looking too long in the tooth to be playing opposite the gamine Hepburn … With little competition from the wooden Cooper, the picture is stolen by Chevalier’s bravura turn.”[9]

Channel 4 thought “the film as a whole is rather let down by the implausible chemistry that is meant to develop between Cooper and Hepburn.”[10]

Phillips, Gene D. Some like it Wilder: the life and controversial films of Billy Wilder. University Press of Kentucky, 2010.

Love in the afternoon