Stagecoach

  • Directors: John Ford
  • Producers: Walter Wanger
  • Writers: Ernest Haycox, Dudley Nichols, Ben Hecht
  • Genres: Action, Western, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, John Carradine, Andy Devine, George Bancroft

In Arizona Territory in 1880, a motley group of strangers boards the east-bound stagecoach to Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory. Among them is Dallas (Claire Trevor), a prostitute who is being driven out of town by the members of the “Law and Order League”; an alcoholic doctor, Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell); Lucy Mallory (Louise Platt), who is traveling to see her cavalry officer husband; and whiskey salesman Samuel Peacock (Donald Meek).

When the stage driver, Buck (Andy Devine), looks for his normal shotgun guard, he is told by Marshal Curly Wilcox (George Bancroft) that he has gone out to look for a fugitive, the Ringo Kid (John Wayne). Buck tells Marshal Wilcox that Luke Plummer (Tom Tyler) is in Lordsburg. Knowing that the Kid has vowed to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at Plummer’s hands, the marshal decides to ride along.

As they start to pull out, U.S. cavalry Lieutenant Blanchard (Tim Holt) informs them that Geronimo and his Apaches are on the warpath, and that they will have no escort until they get to Dry Fork. Gambler and Southern gentleman Hatfield (John Carradine) joins them to provide protection for Mrs. Mallory. At the edge of town, the stage is flagged down by pompous banker Henry Gatewood, (Berton Churchill), who is sneaking away with $50,000 embezzled from his bank.

When the passengers finally arrive in Lordsburg, Gatewood is arrested by the local sheriff, and Lucy is told that her husband’s wound is not serious. Dallas begs Ringo not to go up against the Plummers, but he is determined to settle matters. In the ensuing shootout, the Kid dispatches Luke and his two brothers. He returns to Wilcox, expecting to go back to jail. He asks the lawman to take Dallas to his ranch. However, when Ringo gets on a wagon to say goodbye to her, Curly and Doc laugh and start the horses moving, letting him “escape”.

Scarlet Street

  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Producers: Walter Wanger, Fritz Lang
  • Writers: Screenplay, Dudley Nichols, Story
  • Genres: Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery
  • Actors: Edward G Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson), a mild banker and amateur painter is at a dinner honoring him for twenty-five years of service in the bank for which he works. On his way home, he helps Kitty (Joan Bennett), an amoral femme fatale who is apparently being attacked by a man. Soon, he becomes enamored of her because his own domestic life is ruled by his bullying wife Adele (Rosalind Ivan), who idolizes her former husband, a policeman drowned while trying to save a woman.

From Christopher’s comments about art, Kitty mistakenly believes him a wealthy painter. It turns out that the attacker was Johnny, Kitty’s brutish boyfriend (the film implies as strongly as possible under the Production Code that he’s her pimp), with whom she was arguing over money. Johnny convinces Kitty to pursue the sexual relationship with Cross, in order to extort money from him. Kitty inveigles Cross to rent an apartment for her, one that can also be his art studio. They take an expensive apartment formerly used by the Mexican mural painter Diego Rivera.

To finance this secret life, Cross steals from the bank. Meanwhile, Johnny tries selling some of Cross’s paintings, attracting the interest of a famous art critic. Kitty pretends she painted them, charming the critic, who promises to represent her. When Cross’s wife sees her husband’s paintings in a commercial art gallery as the work of Katherine March, she accuses him of copying March’s work. Cross grasps that he can sell his paintings under Kitty’s signature, and happily lets her become the public face of his art.

At story’s end, Cross, haunted by thoughts of Kitty, attempts to hang himself. He is rescued, but becomes a poor man with no way of claiming credit for his own paintings. He is haunted by Kitty and Johnny being together for eternity, loving each other.

Bringing Up Baby

  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Producers: Cliff Reid, Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Dudley Nichols, Hagar Wilde
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant

David Huxley (Cary Grant) is a mild-mannered paleontologist beleaguered by problems. For the past four years, he has been trying to assemble the skeleton of a Brontosaurus but is missing one bone (an “intercostal clavicle”). To add to the stress, he is about to get married to a dour woman, Alice Swallow (Virginia Walker) with a severe personality and must make a favorable impression upon a Mrs. Random (May Robson), a wealthy woman who is considering donating one million dollars to his museum. The day before his planned wedding, David meets Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) by chance on a golf course. She is a free-spirited young lady and, unknown to him at first, happens to be Mrs. Random’s niece.

Susan’s brother Mark has sent her a tame leopard from Brazil[1] named “Baby”, which she is supposed to give to her aunt. Susan believes David is a zoologist rather than a paleontologist and she practically stalks him in order to get David to go to her country home in Connecticut to help her take care of Baby. Complications arise as Susan decides that she has fallen in love with David and she endeavors to keep him at her house for as long as possible to prevent him from marrying his colleague.

Eventually, Alexander Peabody (George Irving) shows up to verify everyone’s identity, and after Baby and George stroll into the station, Susan, who has snuck out of a window, unwittingly captures the circus leopard. A few weeks later, Susan finds David, who has been jilted by Alice, working on his brontasaurus reconstruction at the museum. After presenting him with his bone, which George finally had returned, Susan informs David that she is donating a million dollars that Elizabeth has given to her to the museum. Then while perched on a tall ladder that scales the dinosaur, she extracts a confession of love from David. Although the excited Susan causes the one-of-a-kind reconstruction to collapse in a heap, David laughs at his misfortune and embraces his bride-to-be.[3]