Movie Diary 7/24/2019

Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018). Missed it the first time around. A good insanity picture, even if I’m not entirely sure about how some of the connections are made, plot-wise.

Doctor Renault’s Secret (Harry Lachman, 1942). Monster movie variation with a little Island of Dr. Moreau transported to the French countryside (the direct DNA comes from Gaston Leroux’s Balaoo, a monkey-into-man property). George Zucco is the mad doctor, J. Carrol Naish is the sympathetic experimental man-ape. This was the last feature directed by journeyman Lachman, and if its 58 minutes are not especially inspired, it benefits greatly from a handsome Fox house style and some energetic compositions.

The Drum (Zoltan Korda, 1938). Technicolor, action on the India frontier, Mohammedens in revolt, Sabu. Pretty good formula. The film has the feel of something brewed up to encourage harmony between Britain and its territory, with Sabu (his second movie) carrying the lion’s share of goodwill. Roger Livesey and Valerie Hobson are the Brits stationed at an unstable outpost, Raymond Massey is the war-mongering religious zealot. The kid with the bomb from Hitchcock’s Sabotage, Desmond Tester, is Sabu’s freckle-faced counterpart.

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