Spellbound

  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: David O Selznick
  • Writers: Story, Hilary Saint George Saunders, John Palmer, Screenplay, Angus MacPhail, Ben Hecht
  • Genres: Mystery, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G Carroll, Rhonda Fleming

But in Ourselves…

The film opens with Shakespeare’s proverb, and words on the screen announcing that its purpose is to highlight the virtues of psychoanalysis in banishing mental illness and restoring reason.

Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychoanalyst at Green Manors, a mental hospital in Vermont, and is perceived by the other (male) doctors as detached and emotionless. The director of the hospital, Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll), is being forced into retirement, shortly after returning from an absence due to nervous exhaustion. His replacement is the much younger Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck).

Dr. Peterson notices that there is something strange about Dr. Edwardes. He has a peculiar phobia about seeing sets of parallel lines against a white background, first displayed in an inappropriate reaction to seeing a diagram drawn with the tines of a fork on a tablecloth.

Dr. Peterson soon realizes, by comparing handwriting, that this man is an impostor and not the real Dr. Edwardes. He confides to her that he killed Dr. Edwardes and took his place. He suffers from massive amnesia and does not know who he is. Dr. Peterson believes that he is innocent and suffering from a guilt complex.

‘Dr. Edwardes’ disappears during the night, having left a note for Dr. Peterson that he is going to New York City.

A heartbroken Dr. Peterson returns to her position at the hospital, where Dr. Murchison is once again the director. After reconsidering her notes from the dream, she realizes that the ‘wheel’ was a revolver and that the man hiding behind the chimney and dropping the wheel was Dr. Murchison hiding behind a tree, shooting Dr. Edwardes and dropping the gun. She confronts Murchison with this and he confesses, but says that he didn’t drop the gun; he still has it. He pulls it out of his desk and threatens to shoot her. She walks away, the gun still pointed at her, and explains that while the first murder carried extenuating circumstances of his own mental state, murdering her as well surely would result in the electric chair. He allows her to leave and turns the gun on himself. Dr. Peterson is then reunited with Ballantyne.

King Kong

  • Directors: Merian C Cooper, Ernest B Schoedsack
  • Producers: Merian C Cooper, Ernest B Schoedsack, David O Selznick
  • Writers: Story, Merian C Cooper, Edgar Wallace, Screenplay, James Ashmore Creelman, Ruth Rose
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot

The film starts when Carl Denham, a film director who is famous for shooting animal pictures in remote and exotic locations, is unable to hire an actress to star in his newest project and so wanders the streets searching for a suitable girl. He chances upon unemployed Ann Darrow, as she is caught trying to steal an apple. Denham pays off the grocer then buys Ann a meal and offers her the lead role in his latest installment. Although Ann is apprehensive, she has nothing to lose and eagerly agrees.

They set sail aboard the Venture, an old tramp steamer that travels for weeks in the direction of Indonesia, where Denham claims they will be shooting. Despite his ongoing declarations that women have no place on board ships, the ship’s first mate Jack Driscoll is obviously becoming attracted to Ann. Denham takes note of the situation and informs Driscoll he has enough trouble without the complications of a seagoing love affair. Driscoll sneers at the suggestion, reminding Denham of his toughness in past adventures. Denham’s reply outlines the theme of both the movie he is making and the one in which he is a character: “The Beast was a tough guy too. He could lick the world, but when he saw Beauty, she got him. He went soft. He forgot his wisdom and the little fellas licked him.”

Kong finds Ann and carries her to the top of the Empire State Building. The military dispatches four Curtiss Helldiver biplanes to destroy Kong. The ape gently sets Ann down on the building’s observation deck and climbs atop the dirigible mooring mast, trying to fend off the attackers. He manages to swat one plane down, but in the end he is mortally wounded by machine-gun fire and plummets to his death in the street below. Denham picks his way to the front of the crowd, where a cop remarks “Well Denham, the airplanes got him.” Denham replies, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.”

Gone with the Wind

  • Directors: Victor Fleming, Uncredited, George Cukor, Sam Wood
  • Producers: David O Selznick
  • Writers: Novel, Margaret Mitchell, Screenplay, Sidney Howard, Uncredited, Ben Hecht, Jo Swerling, John Van Druten
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel

The film opens on a large cotton plantation called Tara in rural Georgia in 1861, on the eve of the American Civil War where Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) is flirting with the two Tarleton twins Brent (Fred Crane) and Stuart (George Reeves). Scarlett, Suellen, and Careen are the three daughters of Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara (Thomas Mitchell) and his wife, Ellen O’Hara (Barbara O’Neil). The twins share a secret with Scarlett that one of her county beaus, whom she secretly loves, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) is to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland) and the engagement is to be announced the next day at a barbecue at Ashley’s home, the nearby plantation Twelve Oaks.

At Twelve Oaks, Scarlett notices that she is being admired by a handsome but roguish visitor, Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), who had been disowned by his Charleston family. Rhett finds himself in further disfavor among the male guests when, during a discussion of the probability of war, he states that the South has no chance against the superior numbers and industrial might of the North.

When Scarlett sneaks out of her afternoon nap to be alone with Ashley in the library, she confesses her love for him. He admits he finds Scarlett attractive, and that he has always secretly loved her back, but says that he and the sweet Melanie are more alike. She accuses Ashley of misleading her to think that he did love her and slaps him in anger. Ashley silently exits and her anger continues when she realizes that Rhett was taking an afternoon nap on the couch in the library, and has overheard the whole conversation. “Sir, you are no gentleman!” she protests, to which he replies, “And you, miss, are no lady!” Before the conversation is over Rhett promises that her guilty secret is safe with him.

and walks away into the fog. She sits on her stairs and weeps in despair, “What is there that matters?” She then recalls the voices of Gerald, Ashley and Rhett, all of whom remind her that her strength comes from Tara itself. Hope lights Scarlett’s face: “Tara! Home. I’ll go home, and I’ll think of some way to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!” In the finale, Scarlett stands once more, resolute, before Tara.

The Third Man

  • Directors: Carol Reed
  • Producers: Alexander Korda, David O Selznick
  • Writers: Graham Greene
  • Genres: Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard

In Austria’s capital city, Vienna, just after the Second World War, when the city is divided into separate zones controlled by the victorious Allied powers – Great Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union – American pulp western author Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) arrives seeking an old friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles), who has offered him the opportunity to work with him in Vienna.

When he arrives at Lime’s apartment, Martins learns that Lime has been recently killed by a lorry while crossing the street. Shocked, he heads to the cemetery to attend Lime’s funeral, where he meets two British military police officers, Sergeant Paine (Bernard Lee), who is an enormous fan of Martins’ books, and his superior, Major Calloway (Trevor Howard). After the services, Calloway gives Martins a lift to his hotel and advises the American to leave Vienna as he can do nothing more than get himself into trouble.

At the hotel, Martins agrees to speak to the members of the local book club at the request of a British cultural official, Crabbin (Wilfrid Hyde-White). He also arranges a meeting with a friend of Lime’s, Baron Kurtz (Ernst Deutsch). Martins meets the man in the Mozart CafГ© to discuss Lime’s death. Kurtz relates that he and Popescu (Siegfried Breuer), another friend of Lime’s, had picked him up and brought him over to the side of the street, where he had asked them to take care of Martins and Anna (Alida Valli), Lime’s actress girlfriend. Kurtz tells Martins which theatre Anna works in, but advises against investigating.

During the shooting of the film, the final scene was the subject of a dispute between Greene, who wanted the happy ending of the novella, and Selznick and Reed, who stubbornly refused to end the film on what they felt was an artificially happy note. This is one of the few areas where Reed and Selznick did not clash during the production.[citation needed]