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Comments on old movies from an old and passionate guy

"To Have and To Hold" - British Upper Crust Drama
released on March 1, 1951

The Actors: Avis Scott (June DeWinter-Harding), Patrick Barr (Brian Harding), Robert Ayres (Max Harding), Harry Fine (Robert DeWinter), Ellen Pollock (Roberta 'Bobby' DeWinter), Richard Warner (Cyril the butler), Eunice Gayson (Peggy Harding), Peter Neil (Doctor Pritchard)

When the Upper Crust Crumbles . . .

To Have and To HoldFor most of us there is nothing more delicious than to peek into the lives of a wealthy family with problems . . . the gossip . . . the scandal . . . the twisted plots that brothers and sisters scheme against the rest of the family . . . The daughter from the past that no one knows about . . . We are in for some great drama today, with some very unorthodox plot twists that will amaze and entertain! We first meet brother Robert and sister Roberta, riding their horses across their land towards their castle-home in the distance. We learn that regardless of the fine Hallston castle and the long family history, the family has been penniless until recently when their sister June married very wealthy British businessman Brian. Now there is money a-plenty and they are living in grand style once more. Of course they despise the wealthy husband of June and will scheme mightily to take control of the castle from wealthy Brian. Next we meet wealthy Brian's cousin Max, a young dashing hunk of a man recently arrived from Argentina to stay for a while with Brian and his new wife June at the castle. Wouldn't it be interesting if cousin Brian and wife June secretly loved each other? . . . Cool! . . . Now as the scheming and plotting begins in earnest wealthy husband Brian is taunted into riding a newly purchase horse with plenty of spirit and we are all horrified when Brian is thrown to the ground and becomes paralyzed . . . and just before his wife June and his cousin Max were going to tell him about their love for each other. What a sticky wicket this is becoming . . . The only thing worse might be if crippled Brian somehow accidentally discovered that his wife and his cousin are in love . . . ahhh . . . you guessed it . . . . He WILL discover that his wife is in love with his cousin . . . and then . . . it just blew my mind . . . The doctor gives Brian the final word on his prospects for walking again . . . and you guessed it . . . oops . . . . You did NOT guess what the doctor said to Brian . . . At least I did not . . . Things are really getting complicated now in a very unexpected way . . . . what a time for the arrival of a daughter that no one knows about from a past life . . . Before I finish let me whisper in your ear that you are correct if you think that you recognize the young lady playing the part of the long-lost daughter . . . You probably saw this beauty a few years after this movie in several James Bond adventures . . . Now go and pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm, melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

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Make them laugh, make them cry, and back to laughter. What do people want to go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise . . . Mary Pickford

Some of my Favorites:

William Powell and Carole LombardProbably my all time favorite movie, My Man Godfrey in 1936 not only gives us an comedic peek at the wealthiest and poorest during the Great Depression, but also was the vehicle for Carole Lombard to create the movie icon of the 'dumb blonde screwball comedy' that is a popular theme even today.

Barbara Stanwyck and Gary CooperMeet John Doe - 1941: The Frank Capra classic set in the Great Depression era that pits the common man against the political masters. You can't be a fan of old movies until you watch Frank Capra's old movies. This one premiered seventy years ago, and it still stirs our emotions and thoughts now. It is as timely as if it were produced today.

John Wayne and Gail Russell in Angel and the Bad ManAngel and the Bad Man - 1947: One of the great teachers of the Secret Law of Attraction is Dr. Joe Vitale . . . but before he was even born actor John Wayne paid for and produced this Cowboy Western that featured The Law of Attraction.

James Cagney in The Time of Your LifeThe Time of Your Life - 1948: James Cagney financed this strangely different feel-good movie, and he plays the part of Joe, a barfly that tries to live his life by making everyone around him better. I watch this one often, and try to become more like Joe every day.

Joe E. Brown in Painted FacesPainted Faces - 1929: Comedy legend Joe E. Brown is a circus clown in a surprisingly serious role as a juror in a Christmas week murder trial who tells the other jurors a story that will change their verdicts in a pre-code drama that could not have been made a few years later.

Cary Grant and Audry Hepburn in CharadeCharade - 1963: It doesn't get much better than Cary Grant and Audry Hepburn in a tale of death, deception, spies and lost wealth as a woman tries to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in this cold-war spy thriller love story.

Thanks largely to Ted Turner and his purchase of the movies from MGM, United Artists and pre-1950 movies from Warner Brothers, those motion pictures are not in danger if disappearing, and should live forever on the Turner Classic Movie cable television channel. Unfortunately many of the movies from smaller motion picture companies have already disappeared and become almost impossible to find and enjoy. Many of these movies are in the public domain, and without an 'owner' to preserve them are becoming more and more rare. This web site is a labor of love by one passionate old movie buff with the goal of sharing public domain movies with the world so that they can live on with new generations of fans. If you find an error or factual mistake, please use the contact page to let me know so that I can correct it for everyone else. This web site celebrates the efforts of every actor - not just the stars - because like a grand stew, each actor adds a unique flavor to the film, and without any of them the movie would not be the same. If you are one of these actors, or a friend or family member of an actor, please send me any anecdotes and stories that you know about any of them, and I will gladly add them to the site to enrich our knowledge about that actor or the movie they played in.