Monday, September 29, 2014

History, Hollywood, and a Famous Train: THE GENERAL and THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE

In The General (1926), Buster Keaton plays a Confederate train engineer who doggedly pursues his beloved locomotive when Yankees make off with it. Thirty years later, The Great Locomotive Chase (1956) tells basically the same story, this time with Jeffrey Hunter as the Southern engineer and Fess Parker as the Yankee spy who steals the train. Both the silent comedy and the Disney live action picture take their inspiration from a real event during the Civil War, when a group of Union spies stole a locomotive named The General in Kennesaw, Georgia, and drove it north, sabotaging rail lines and telegraph wires behind them. While both of the movies naturally take liberties with the historical record, classic movie fans can get the true story that inspired the films by visiting The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, where the famous train from the 1862 incident is the star attraction.

The museum, which is an affiliate of the Smithsonian, sits just off the railroad tracks in a quiet section of Kennesaw, not far from Interstate 75 but seemingly worlds away from the bustle of the metro Atlanta area. Trains roaring down the line are the most exciting spectacle outside the museum, where the enticing aroma of freshly cooked burgers wafts across the tracks from the nearby Burgerfi location. Around the grounds, visitors will find a handful of historical markers noting the starting point of The Great Locomotive Chase and Kennesaw's former identity as the town of Big Shanty. The General has its own marker, but inside the museum guests can see the real deal, a huge and meticulously restored locomotive that toured the country under its own power during Civil War anniversary years until it came to stay in Kennesaw.

While the engine is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the museum, other exhibits give visitors an in-depth look at the role played by railroads during the Civil War and the aftermath of Reconstruction. The Glover Machine Works section shows how industrial locomotives were assembled, while other displays reveal the Union's strategy for crippling the South by destroying the critical rail infrastructure. It's a must-see facility for train nuts of any age, but for cinephiles the engine itself and the display cases around it are the big draw.

The museum is well aware of the movie history associated with The General. Near the locomotive, cases hold posters and other items from the 1926 and 1956 movies, including the coat worn by Fess Parker in The Great Locomotive Chase. Segments of the Disney film dominate the museum's movie about the events, with local footage spliced in to tell a shorter and more historically accurate version of the adventure. Both classic movies are for sale on DVD in the small gift shop, where a television runs one or the other throughout the day. Sadly, you won't find much other merchandise related to the films, but you will find generic train items and Civil War themed gifts of all sorts.

Getting a sense of the real story gives film fans a chance to assess the two movies and their different takes on the events. Keaton's picture makes the Confederate character a true hero, battling some rather shady Yankee saboteurs who not only steal his train but also kidnap his girl. The Disney production casts the Union in a more positive light, with Fess Parker as a doomed war hero (the real James J. Andrews was captured and ultimately hanged by the South). Jeffrey Hunter, best remembered today for his role in The Searchers (1956), plays William A. Fuller, the Southern engineer determined to recover his stolen train. It's interesting to note that Hunter appeared in both the Western and the Civil War adventure in the same year. Other actors of note in the Disney film include Harry Carey, Jr., Slim Pickens, and Kenneth Tobey. As entertaining as both movies are - The General in particular is a cinematic masterpiece of the first order - the truth turns out to be just as fascinating, with a story full of courage, action, and daring risks on both sides. Fuller and Andrews both strike us as heroic characters, despite the great divide between North and South, and it's easy to see why Hollywood would find their stories so compelling.

If you happen to be traveling along I-75 at some point in the future, stop in at The Southern Museum in Kennesaw and see The General for yourself. It is definitely worth a visit for history buffs, train lovers, and classic movie fans.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Classic Movie Tourist: The Margaret Mitchell House

The Atlanta area includes several places where devotees can get their Gone with the Wind fix: the Road to Tara Museum is in Jonesboro, and Marietta is home to the Gone with the Wind Museum. In the heart of the city, however, you'll find the Margaret Mitchell House, where the author lived for a number of years and where she wrote much of the novel after an auto accident left her housebound. The restored house is part of the Atlanta History Center, and for $13 ($10 for seniors and students), visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the apartment where Mitchell lived as well as several exhibits about her life, the novel, and the blockbuster film that premiered in Atlanta in 1939.

For most people, the book and the movie are inextricably entwined. It's fair to say that more people have seen the 1939 picture than have actually read Mitchell's lengthy saga. When Scarlett O'Hara appears in the cultural consciousness, she is inevitably played by Vivien Leigh, and Clark Gable fully occupies the role of the roguish Rhett Butler. The other major actors in the film have also become part of the GWTW legacy, including Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel, Leslie Howard, and even Butterfly McQueen. The exhibits at the Margaret Mitchell House reflect this aspect of the story's history; many of the displays focus on the film adaptation, which makes the museum a great destination for fans of the stars involved.

"The Making of a Film Legend" section features video about the picture's production history and a large portrait of Scarlett O'Hara that was seen in the movie. Another highlight of the exhibit is the actual door to Tara used in the film; visitors can stand in front of it and imagine themselves waving from the plantation mansion's steps. In the "Stars Fall on Atlanta" exhibit, there are photographs and keepsakes from the movie premiere, which Atlanta society turned into a huge series of parties with celebrity guests.

Of course, classic movie fans will want to browse the gift shop, where GWTW items of all sorts can be found. The shop also offers prints of production stills and promo photos depicting Gable and Leigh as well as posters for the film release. Hattie McDaniel magnets, Tara Christmas ornaments, and books about a variety of GWTW related subjects are also available. I was pleased to find Kendra Bean's new book, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, prominently displayed on the front table.

If you're headed to Atlanta any time in the near future, the Margaret Mitchell House is definitely worth a visit. It's located at 979 Crescent Avenue NE in Atlanta, not far from many of the city's other major tourist attractions. The museum is open 10 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Saturday and noon to 5:30 PM on Sunday. House tours are included in admission and are offered regularly throughout the day.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Classic Films in Focus: ROSE OF WASHINGTON SQUARE (1939)

Alice Faye and Tyrone Power appeared together in three films, with Rose of Washington Square (1939) following their collaborations for In Old Chicago (1937) and Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938). The duo’s final pairing is typical of Fox musicals; a slender plot serves primarily as a frame on which to hang the songs, with some dance numbers added in for extra measure. As in the earlier pictures, there’s a strong element of nostalgia, this time for the days of Vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies; Al Jolson plays a major supporting role, and the plot, such as it is, is based on the experiences of Follies star Fanny Brice. While both Faye and Power made better movies than Rose of Washington Square, the Ziegfeld connections merit some attention, especially from those interested in the fame and legacy of Fanny Brice, who was not amused by the studio’s appropriation of her life story.

Faye plays Rose Sargent, a young singer whose rise to fame and romantic difficulties parallel those of Brice. On a short holiday outing, Rose meets and promptly falls for the handsome but unreliable Bart Clinton (Tyrone Power), who continues to lie, swindle, and con his way through life after the two are married. All the while, Rose’s old pal, Ted (Al Jolson), tries to look out for her, even as he becomes a hugely successful star with the Ziegfeld Follies. Rose eventually gets her own break with Ziegfeld and achieves stardom, but Bart’s bad habits threaten to ruin both her personal happiness and her career.

For classic Hollywood history buffs, Rose of Washington Square is a fascinating example of art imitating life and then getting sued for it. The title song immediately connects the picture to Fanny Brice, who had one of her big hits with the tune, “Second Hand Rose.” Today, Brice would be forgotten entirely if not for Barbra Streisand’s Oscar-winning portrayal of her in the 1968 musical, Funny Girl. In 1939, however, Brice was still very much in the public eye. She had risen to fame with the Ziegfeld Follies and her heart-rending performance of her signature song, “My Man,” which channeled her real-life marital unhappiness. Brice was also famous for her Baby Snooks character, who appeared on radio programs in the late 30s and early 40s and eventually got her own show in 1944. The comedienne did not take Fox’s use of her personal history lightly; she sued the studio and got a settlement as a result, but the notoriety only helped the picture at the box office.

Although entertaining as a vehicle for Faye’s musical talent, the movie doesn’t really live up to the hype generated by its borrowed origins. Faye and Power have good chemistry and always deliver as reliable performers with palpable screen charisma, but Power’s character is often absent, leaving Faye as the solitary lead. Faye sings a number of songs taken from Fanny Brice’s repertoire, including “My Man,” but Al Jolson performs almost as much as she does. Jolson’s blackface minstrel act had already been immortalized in The Jazz Singer (1927), and here he more or less plays himself doing the same thing, reviving some of his most successful songs and making modern viewers distinctly uncomfortable. When he isn’t in blackface, he gives a surprisingly compelling performance, pining after Rose with an unrequited devotion that suits his sweetly sad demeanor. His character, Ted, serves as the quintessential nice guy foil to Power’s rakish crook, but the movie doesn’t really develop the possibility that Rose might recognize Ted’s potential as a better mate. Her “stand by your man” philosophy is naively sentimental; it accurately reflects Brice’s decision to stick with her imprisoned husband up to a certain point, but even Brice eventually got fed up and left. Just like Cary Grant in Suspicion (1941), Power’s character might not be all bad, but he’s certainly rotten enough to warrant a restraining order and a good divorce lawyer, which makes the romantic angle of the plot rather hard to take.

Gregory Ratoff directed about forty films, including Rose of Washington Square, Intermezzo (1939), and The Corsican Brothers (1941), but he was also an actor who had his biggest screen role as Max Fabian in All About Eve (1950). See the radiant Alice Faye in Technicolor in That Night in Rio (1941), Week-End in Havana (1941), and The Gang’s All Here (1943). Tyrone Power is best remembered today for swashbuckling pictures like The Mark of Zorro (1940) and The Black Swan (1942), but be sure to catch more of his dark side in Nightmare Alley (1947) and Witness for the Prosecution (1957). You’ll also find Al Jolson with Alice Faye in Hollywood Cavalcade (1939). See the one and only original Fanny Brice in Be Yourself! (1930), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), and Ziegfeld Follies (1945).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Classic Films in Focus: 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1954)

Adapted from the novel by Jules Verne, Disney’s large scale Technicolor adventure provides plenty of eye-popping aquatic scenery, which helped it win a pair of Oscars for Special Effects and Best Art Direction. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) also offers classic film fans a unique combination of iconic stars, including James Mason as the enigmatic Captain Nemo, Kirk Douglas as a feisty sailor, and Peter Lorre as a scientist’s nervous assistant. While its pace might seem a bit slow by modern standards, especially for younger children, the effects and actors make the picture well worth the two hours it takes to watch, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remains one of the best and most influential of Disney’s live action features.

Paul Lukas plays Professor Pierre Aronnax, who embarks on a ship with his assistant, Conseil (Peter Lorre), to investigate rumors of an enormous sea monster that is destroying vessels at sea. When the supposed monster attacks their ship, Aronnax, Conseil, and sailor Ned Land (Kirk Douglas) are thrown overboard, where they discover that the creature is, in fact, a technologically advanced submarine controlled by the misanthropic Captain Nemo (James Mason). Nemo reveals to the men a world of oceanic wonders, but his destructive methods cause them to question his sanity and look for opportunities to escape.

Lukas and Mason are the intellectual, dramatic leads as the idealistic scientist and his grimly jaded host. They represent different perspectives on science and the nature of man, and their debates hinge on philosophical, scientific, and academic principles. While Mason in particular gives a memorably brooding performance, the film does tend to slow down when Nemo and Aronnax hold the screen. Livelier scenes focus on Ned Land and the perpetually woeful Conseil, both of whom have far more pragmatic attitudes about their situation. Lorre plays comic relief with the same deadpan genius that characterizes many of his late career performances. Kirk Douglas’ Ned might be a greedy, impulsive fool, but he’s still the most energetic and charismatic character in the movie, especially when he’s singing “A Whale of a Tale” or goofing around with Nemo’s pet sea lion.

The submarine takes both the characters and the audience on an amazing adventure, with elaborate underwater scenes of divers mourning a fallen comrade and harvesting the bounty of the sea. Peril abounds, as Nemo first attempts to drown his three visitors and then involves them in dangerous expeditions, including an obligatory island encounter with cannibals. The giant squid fight sequence holds up well, even after sixty years, and the Nautilus is a fantastic early example of steampunk design, simultaneously elegant and menacing. These elements would have a lasting effect on the American cultural consciousness, especially with the ride at Walt Disney World recreating the experience for generations of fans from 1971 until 1994. Luckily, the film has outlasted the attraction it inspired.

Richard Fleischer, who directed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, also made The Narrow Margin (1952), Fantastic Voyage (1966), and Soylent Green (1973). See more of James Mason in A Star is Born (1954), North by Northwest (1959), and Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959). Paul Lukas won the Oscar for Best Actor for Watch on the Rhine (1943), but you’ll also find him in Dodsworth (1936) and The Lady Vanishes (1938). Other Kirk Douglas films from the 1950s include Ace in the Hole (1951), Lust for Life (1956), and Paths of Glory (1957). Be sure to catch more funny performances by Peter Lorre in Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), The Raven (1963), and The Comedy of Terrors (1963). For a family-friendly film festival of classic movie adaptations of Jules Verne, try Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Mysterious Island (1961), and In Search of the Castaways (1962).

Monday, September 8, 2014

Classic Films in Focus: SON OF FURY (1942)

Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney give Son of Fury (1942) plenty of sex appeal to go along with its adventurous story of 18th-century greed and revenge, and the sight of those two in extended scenes of Polynesian undress justifies the movie’s existence all by itself. Luckily, Son of Fury has plenty of other attractions for classic movie fans, including a fantastic cast of supporting players and excellent direction from John Cromwell. While not exactly a swashbuckler, this film adaptation of the novel by Edison Marshall offers one memorable thrill after another, with Power fighting, swimming, dancing, and romancing his way from the streets of Bristol and London to the shores of the South Pacific.

Power plays Benjamin Blake, whose supposed illegitimacy keeps him from inheriting his dead father’s estate. Ben’s uncle, Sir Arthur (George Sanders), treats him like a servant and hopes to prevent him from ever establishing a claim to the family wealth, but Ben has supporters in his aunt (Kay Johnson) and his beautiful cousin, Isabel (Frances Farmer), with whom Ben falls in love. After an altercation with Sir Arthur, Ben goes on the run, eventually finding riches and romance on a tropical island, where Eve (Gene Tierney) becomes his lover. Ben, however, feels compelled to return to England, confront his uncle, and claim Isabel as his bride, even though London holds many dangers for him as a wanted man.

Power gives a great performance as the hot-headed Benjamin Blake, who nurses his simmering resentment against his uncle for years. “Flesh and blood can stand no more,” he declares after Sir Arthur punishes him for courting Isabel with a vicious whipping, although he suffers violence at other hands, as well. The intensity of the character suits the star perfectly, and he looks equally good in the English period costumes and the Polynesian loincloth. The island costume puts quite a bit of Power’s physique on display, especially when he goes diving for pearls, and his matinee idol look is matched by Tierney as the native beauty who playfully joins him in the water. Her ignorance of English and Western customs might be laid on a little thick, but Tierney is so stunning that it hardly matters what language her character speaks. We’re on her side the moment we first see her, hoping that Ben will forget all about England and the sophisticated but spoiled Isabel.

The supporting cast elevates the whole production to an almost delirious height, with Sanders especially notable as the smoothly heartless Sir Arthur. He and Power have a series of riveting fight scenes that bookend Ben’s Polynesian adventures, and Sanders of course has the cultured manner and physical presence to pull off the role. John Carradine gives one of his characteristically brilliant performances as Caleb, the sailor who befriends Ben and takes him along to the remote Pacific island, while Harry Davenport is genuinely moving as Ben’s beloved grandfather. Dudley Digges steals his scenes as Bartholomew Pratt, the London man of the world whom Ben employs against his uncle; Digges has an ideal face for an 18th-century character, and his first scene is a highlight of the film. Even Roddy McDowall makes a brief but critical appearance as young Ben, setting the stage for Power’s adult interpretation of the character. Tierney and Frances Farmer supply the picture’s female beauty, but Kay Johnson, who was married to John Cromwell at the time, is wonderful as Ben’s aunt Helena, and Elsa Lanchester takes over the movie for her one long scene as a sympathetic barmaid who helps Ben evade the law.

The only thing that might have improved Son of Fury is color, which would have brought the Pacific Island scenes a lusher look, but as a whole the movie works beautifully. See more of Power’s tremendous energy in The Mark of Zorro (1940), Blood and Sand (1941), and The Black Swan (1942). Gene Tierney also stars with Power in The Razor’s Edge (1946), but she is best remembered today for Heaven Can Wait (1943), Laura (1944), and Leave Her to Heaven (1945). George Sanders won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for All About Eve (1950), while John Carradine gained lasting fame for roles in Captains Courageous (1937), Stagecoach (1939), and The Grapes of Wrath (1940). For other films directed by John Cromwell, try Of Human Bondage (1934), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), and The Enchanted Cottage (1945).

Friday, September 5, 2014

Classic Films in Focus: KONGO (1932)

Kongo (1932) certainly ranks as one of the stranger productions of the Pre-Code era and also one of the most alarmingly perverse. It began as a stage play and had already been adapted by Tod Browning in 1928 as West of Zanzibar, with the great Lon Chaney and Lionel Barrymore as the embittered rivals, but the MGM sound version benefits from the experience of Walter Huston, the actor who had originated the role of Dead Legs Flint on the stage. Huston might not be remembered as a man of a thousand faces, but he makes quite a grotesque spectacle as the picture’s insanely vengeful villain, who could give Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz a run for his money. Lurid, deliriously racist, and steeped in sadistic thrills, Kongo is a fascinating journey to the dark heart of classic horror for those with a strong enough stomach, but it’s by no means safe territory for the Pre-Code novice.

Huston’s Dead Legs Flint was paralyzed years ago when his rival, Gregg (C. Henry Gordon), crushed his spine and stole Flint’s wife. As part of his elaborate plan for revenge, Flint takes Gregg’s daughter, Ann (Virginia Bruce), as an infant and places her in a convent school until she is grown. Then he delivers her to a Zanzibar brothel for humiliating assault and abuse. After two years, he has her brought to his miniature empire in the Congo, where he rules the natives with a mixture of cheap magic and cruelty. When the drug-addicted young doctor, Kingsland (Conrad Nagel), stumbles into Flint’s camp, he rekindles Ann’s humanity, but he also attracts the interest of Flint’s nymphomaniac mistress, Tula (Lupe Velez). Flint wants Kingsland to operate on his damaged back, and he also has a final act of violent vengeance planned for Ann and Gregg.

Kongo shares many themes with Heart of Darkness, including a repulsively racist attitude toward the native Africans, but its focus is really on Flint’s maniacal obsession with revenge. He has an ugly, disfigured face to match his twisted soul, and he relishes the suffering he inflicts on Ann, treating her like a dog in his own house and encouraging her miserable dependence on alcohol. “How proud your father would be if he could see you,” he sneers. His sadistic streak extends to the natives and Tula, whose tongue he attempts to cut out when she disobeys his orders to keep Kingsland away from the addictive root he craves. Flint’s grand scheme requires his old enemy to come to the camp, confront Ann’s defilement, and then die so that Flint can have Ann burned alive in accordance with the local burial custom. After nearly twenty years of plotting, Flint seems poised to realize his horrible desire, but an ironic revelation casts a different light on everything he thought he knew.

Huston’s performance dominates the picture, but Virginia Bruce sells the fractured humanity of Ann very effectively. She really looks awful when we see her again after her ordeal in Zanzibar, with deep lines around her face and a wild, bestial quality in her movements. Conrad Nagel also revels in a sorry state as the drug-addled Kingsland, swinging between debauched euphoria and sober nobility. Bruce and Nagel have some very tender scenes in which they attempt to save one another from the nightmare world they inhabit, but their best moments as actors are their worst ones as characters. Once they get cleaned up they become more conventional and less memorable, but luckily their romantic salvation occurs very late in the picture. Lupe Velez plays the Portuguese Tula with more energy than subtlety; Tula’s chief ambition is to sleep with as many white men as possible, but her residence in the remote camp offers her limited opportunities, and it’s never really clear how the audience is supposed to feel about her.

Track down the 1928 film for a double feature comparison of the two versions. William Cowen only directed half a dozen movies, none of them particularly well-known today. Walter Huston, however, earned four Oscar nominations during his screen career and won Best Supporting Actor for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). For more of his work, see Dodsworth (1936), The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). Virginia Bruce also stars in Jane Eyre (1934), Born to Dance (1936), and The Invisible Woman (1940). Look for Conrad Nagel in The Divorcee (1930) and All That Heaven Allows (1955). Lupe Velez is best remembered for the Mexican Spitfire movies starting in 1940, but you can also see her in The Gaucho (1927) and Where East is East (1929).

Kongo is currently available for streaming on Warner Archive Instant; Warner has also released the film as part of its Archive DVD collection.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Classic Films in Focus: THE NARROW MARGIN (1952)

It might not be as famous as the noir classics that usually make the top ten lists, but The Narrow Margin (1952) is definitely a picture that every noir fan ought to get around to, and the sooner the better. Richard Fleischer’s tight, smart thriller packs a cross-country train trip with unexpected twists, making great use of the confined spaces and close quarters that its setting entails. This RKO production also features knockout performances, particularly from Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor, with Jacqueline White providing a refined contrast to Windsor’s dangerous dame. Those who enjoy train movies will love this film’s claustrophobic, high-speed atmosphere, and noir devotees will find enough pointed lines and sudden reversals to satisfy even the most devious imagination.

Charles McGraw stars as Walter Brown, a tough police detective saddled with the job of transporting a mobster’s widow across country so that she can testify in court. Mrs. Neal (Marie Windsor) turns out to be exactly the kind of cheap, selfish tramp Brown expects, but he and his partner, Forbes (Don Beddoe), have to protect her at any cost. Of course the mob wants her silenced, and their attempts to get to the witness only intensify once they board a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. Brown’s efforts to keep Mrs. Neal alive become even more complicated when he meets the attractive Ann Sinclair (Jacqueline White) and accidentally leads the killers to think that she is their target.

The Narrow Margin plays with our expectations and those of its own characters, especially Brown. The jaded cop is sure that he knows all about Mrs. Neal before he even meets her. “What kind of dame would marry a hood?” he asks, and Marie Windsor’s flashy viper matches his preconceived image perfectly. As a result, he doesn’t feel obligated to be nice to her; he repeatedly tells her to shut up and handles her like a parcel of dirty laundry. He gets as good as he gives, too. “You make me sick to my stomach,” he tells her. “Well,” she snaps back, “use your own sink.” Brown only softens when he meets Ann, a classy, polite blonde who is Mrs. Neal’s opposite in every way. The trouble is, Brown knows a lot less than he thinks about what is really going on, and his actions put both women in danger.

The train setting ratchets up the tension because the killers and their targets come into such close contact; nobody can hide except in plain sight. Paul Maxey is an especially imposing presence in this environment; his character, Sam Jennings, uses his girth as an effective weapon in the train’s cramped corridors. “Nobody loves a fat man,” he jokes, but he knows exactly how to throw his weight around to achieve his aim. Gordon Gebert’s hyper Tommy Sinclair also has an exaggerated effect in the tight spaces; his boyish noise draws unwanted attention to Brown every time the two meet. Brown struggles to keep a low profile in spite of these and other human obstacles to his mission, but he has to play a weirdly blatant cat and mouse game with the killers. His only advantage is that the assassins don’t know what Mrs. Neal looks like, but it’s just a matter of time before hunters and prey occupy the same fatal space.

Richard Fleischer also directed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Fantastic Voyage (1966), and Doctor Dolittle (1967), as well as the cult sci-fi classic, Soylent Green (1973). Look for Charles McGraw in The Killers (1946), T-Men (1947), and The Man in the Net (1959). Marie Windsor gives another fabulously poisonous performance in The Killing (1956). The Narrow Margin was Jacqueline White’s final film before her retirement from Hollywood, but you’ll also find her in Crossfire (1947). Child actor Gordon Gebert turns up in Holiday Affair (1949), The Flame and the Arrow (1950), and The House on Telegraph Hill (1951).