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Comments on old movies from an old and passionate guy

"Guerrilla Girl" - Greek Romantic War Drama
released on January 23, 1953

The Actors: Helmut Dantine (Demetri Alexander), Marianna (Zaira), Irene Champlin (Nina Christos), Ray Julian (Comrade Vanda), Michael Vale (Pavel Danov), Charlotte Paul (Comrade Lakme), Gerald Lee (Spiro), Dora Weissman (Nina's maid Toula), Sydney Paul (narrator)

The Soviet Menace . . . And the Greek Lovers

Guerrilla GirlIf you are a fan of old movies as I am, you have seen your share of World War II movies . . . Stories from England, from France, from Italy . . . and Greece? My memory isn't what it ever was, but I believe that this independent motion picture is the only story based entirely in Greece, and centered in Athens, weaving a story of war-time love with the tumultuous days of World War II, and the war in Athens after the war. Billed as a true story, it tells of Soviet led Communism enlarging its grip on the world even in the home of democracy, Athens, Greece. The days of world-ending threats between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the Nuclear Cold War were yet ahead of us . . . But signs were beginning to appear as the seeds of that great cold-war conflict began, and this story seems to be one of those seeds. In this Romeo and Juliet story of Grecian love we first meet Demetri Alexander, a Greek patriot for freedom who is a double-agent during World War II, pretending to be a Nazi officer, but working with the Greek resistance. When his resistance work is discovered he is shot, but before being captured by the Gestapo he is hidden by the Greek resistance and a young girl named Zaira is given the job of escorting him through the Greek countryside on his way back to Athens. Demetri falls deeply in love with the guerrilla girl Zaira, played by an unknown actress only billed as Marianna, and never again seen in any movie or tv show. Well, when World War II ends, Demetri becomes an intelligence officer for the Greek government, and Zaira and her fellow resistance fighters become fighters who try to overthrow the government with the goal of turning Greece into a Soviet Communist nation. The two lovers are now on opposite sides . . . Both trying to desperately find the other, and failing until the street-to-street gun battle in Athens unfolds and the life and future of Greece is to be decided . . . as well as the lives of our two war-time lovers . . . 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.