Day 332: Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)

180da2aa534a02457cbccb7a15bfbd95This is it people, this is the countdown to the end of the year because there are only four Sundays left in total for the year and after today only 34 days left (side note: I realize that the blog is titled 365, but there is in fact 366 days this year). For today’s Sunday At The Classics film, I was in the mood for a pirate film so I chose to watch 1952’s Blackbeard, the Pirate. The always honest Robert Maynard (Tora! Tora! Tora!‘s Keith Andes) is on a mission to go undercover to capture Sir Edward Morgan (The 7TH Voyage Of Sinbad‘s Torin Thatcher) even though Morgan claims that he is reformed and no longer a pirate. So Maynard poses as a surgeon for the most infamous Pirate of them all in Edward Teach a.k.a Blackbeard (Oliver Twist‘s Robert Newton) in hopes he can prove that Morgan still dabbles in piracy. The film also stars Linda Darnell (The Mask Of Zorro) as Edwina Mansfield, William Bendix (Detective Story) as Ben Worley, Irene Ryan (The Beverly Hillbillies) as Alvina, a lady in waiting, Alan Mowbray (The King And I) as Noll, Richard Egan (The 300 Spartans) as Briggs, Skelton Knaggs (House Of Dracula) as Gilly, and the film was directed by Raoul Walsh (White Heat).

94045937As far as this film goes, its actually not too bad of a film because it’s fun to watch especially if you want to imitate pirates like we did when we were children. Blackbeard was one of the most infamous pirates and the film definitely portrays him as someone that no one should trust even his own crew. We never really find out if Maynard gets his guy because there is just so much going on in the film that you have to assume that he doesn’t. One part that made no sense to me is one minute he is being tied up and beaten with a whip and having salt thrown on the wounds to being right by Blackbeard’s side all over again. It bounced back and forth like that way too many times, but there is some cool action to keep you interested. There is a battle scene between Morgan and Blackbeard’s ships that I really enjoyed and then there are the sword fights which were cool as well. The acting of course was superb by everyone in the film as they had some real heavyweights of the time in the film. The cinematography was pretty good as I loved the shots of the ships while at sea. The film is actually available to watch on Youtube if you want to view it. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 269: White Heat (1949)

white-heatThere are only 13 Sundays left in the whole entire year which can only mean one thing and that it’s Sunday At The Classics. James Cagney (The Public Enemies) is one of those actors from the classic period of Hollywood that I have always wanted to watch a film from so I chose to watch the classic crime/heist drama White Heat for today. Cody Jarrett (Cagney) is one of the most notorious criminals in California that just pulled off a train heist. The only problem is that there is way too much heat on the gang from the G-men. So he decides to take the rap from another crime to see if it’ll the heat will blow over, but the G-men are not fooled at all. They send in an undercover agent by the name of Vic Pardo (Edmond O’Brien) to get close to him to figure out exactly what it is he is up to so that they can bust him for good. The film also stars Virginia Mayo (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) as Verna Jarrett, Margaret Wycherly (Sergeant York) as Ma Jarrett, Steve Cochran (The Deadly Companions) as Big Ed, John Archer (Blue Hawaii) as Phillip Evans, Wally Cassell (Sands Of Iwo Jima) as Cotton, and the film was directed by Raoul Walsh (The Thief Of Bagdad).

white-heat-2This film is truly one of the most iconic films of it’s time and is probably the basis for most of the heist films we would get. It’s that classic story of a guy who robs banks for a living who plans what he thinks will be the perfect heist, but it doesn’t go as planned. The writing for the film was perfect because it had the right amount of drama, but the acting helped out as well. Jame Cagney was absolutely brilliant in the film as the maniacal tough guy with a sensitive spot for his mama. He does an amazing job of showing the mental breakdown of this character from being strong and tough in the beginning of the film to absolutely going bat sh** crazy at the end of the film. Kudos also go to Edmond O’Brien for playing the guy who toes the line with everything, but is convincing enough to earn the trust needed. I had a lot of fun watching the film and all of it’s brilliance. The film is a little long, but it’s not long as in God why is this so long. If you are a fan of classic Hollywood and Film Noir, or Crime Drama Heist films, then you should check this one out for sure. This is what acting was all about and why classic Hollywood ruled. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.