Movie Diary 2/11/2018

The Night Has Eyes (Leslie Arliss, 1942). Another oddball title from the UK’s Talking Pictures cable channel, this one set at an isolated mansion on the Yorkshire moors. Two women – ethereal Joyce Howard and brassy Tucker McGuire (an English person’s idea of an obnoxious American woman) – have ventured there to search for a missing friend, and are taken in during a storm by the grouchy owner, James Mason. Lots of spookiness, plus a fantastic performance by Mary Clare as the housekeeper. Absolutely koo-koo, this movie is. But not un-fun to watch. Mason is glowering and skinny and obviously a star in the making.

Snowbound (David MacDonald, 1948). More daftness, though well-handled: A movie extra (Dennis Price) is hired by a director (Robert Newton) to go to an Alpine ski lodge and pretend to be a screenwriter. He’s really there to keep an eye on the miscreants gathering at the place, all in search of hidden Nazi gold. I know: Now we’re talking. Mila Parely is some sort of contessa, Herbert Lom has fun as a shifty Greek, Marcel Dalio is an exuberant searcher, Guy Middleton an upper-class twit, and Stanley Holloway a movie cameraman. Truly nutty. Some good nighttime skiing-rescue scenes, like the ones from Luis Trenker’s films. and very well shot overall, especially the outdoors stuff.

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