Movie Diary 6/13/2009

Leave Her to Heaven (John Stahl, 1945). Images from this crazy movie remain from childhood. Incredible Technicolor. Cornel Wilde very young and looking completely at the mercy of Gene Tierney.

Afghan Star (Havana Marking, 2009). Can’t argue with much about this stirring look at the impact of Afghanistan’s version of “American Idol,” which holds the fragmented country in its thrall, and might even have a small role to play in dragging some of the population into the 21st century.

Midnight Mary (William Wellman, 1933). Loretta Young, uncannily predicting the physiognomy of Anne Hathaway, gets swept up in a rags-to-riches-to-jail saga with a sardonic attitude. Not quite as much Wellman earthiness as some of these other pre-Code titles, but enough.