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"A.J. Cronin's Hatter's Castle" - Scottish Soap Opera Drama
released on February 2, 1942
The Actors: Robert Newton (James W. Brodie), Deborah Kerr (Mary Brodie), James Mason (Doctor Renwick), Emlyn Williams (Dennis), Henry Oscar (J. Grierson, Ironmonger), Enid Stamp-Taylor (barmaid Nancy), Beatrice Varley (Mrs. Brodie), Tony Bateman (Angus Brodie), June Holden (Janet Grierson), George Merritt (Gibson), Laurence Hanray (Doctor Lawrie), Claude Bailey (Paxton), Ian Fleming (Sir John Latta), Mary Hinton (Lady Winton), Roddy Hughes (Gordon), David Keir (Perry), Stuart Lindsell (Lord Winton), Aubrey Mallalieu (clergyman), Brefni O'Rorke (banker Foyle), Vi Kaley (Old Lady In 'The Winton Arms'), John Slater (card player), Robert Brooks Turner (engine driver)
Some people call it Karma . . . . We can radiate good karma and bad karma . . . Some people call it the Golden Rule . . . do unto others what you want others to do unto you . . . Some people call it the Law of Attraction . . . what you give to the people in your universe is what the universe will give to you . . . Spread love and charity to the people in your universe and your reward will be the same . . . Spew hatred and anger and your reward will be the same . . . In this Scottish adventure there is a fellow who will make your blood boil with his nasty, angry, deceitful ways . . . such a delicious story by the famed A.J. Cronin written in 1931. There is no doubt about who the bad guy is . . . You will not have a drop of empathy for the character played so well by legendary British actor Robert Newton. In a small village in Scotland James Brodie is a merchant who makes hats, and the town's hatter believes that he is related to Lord Winton, so with his visions of grandeur and superiority he builds a home for his family that is like a castle . . . the Hatter's Castle. It doesn't take us long to discover that this nasty man makes Scrooge look like a marshmallow as he spews anger, hatred and loathing towards everyone in his universe, including his longsuffering wife, his sickly young son Angus and his beautiful daughter Mary, played by Deborah Kerr. But I miss-speak just a bit . . . the angry hatter does not pour anger on everyone in his universe . . . Nancy, the saucy young barmaid at the Winton Arms . . . Brodie pays for her attentions and she is the mistress that everyone in town knows about, even his family. Mary, his daughter has a crush on the new young doctor in town, played by James Mason, but their road to happiness will be long and lonely as the angry hatter shares his hatred with one and all. There is one other bad guy in this story, woven cleverly into the story via the hatter's mistress Nancy. One day one of Nancy's past lovers arrives in town and wants Nancy to help him get a job or else he will expose her past affairs to her current lover. Nancy tells her lover the mad hatter that Dennis is her step-brother and that the hatter should give him a job . . . so the angry hatter fires his longtime assistant without even a how-do-you-do, and takes on the scheming deceitful fellow from Glasgow. In the beginning of the story hatter Brodie owns his world and everything in it, giving orders with anger and contempt to everyone in his universe and smiling as he watches everyone struggle to survive his wrath . . . at the end of the story we will see the complete destruction of the man and his universe . . . Bad karma can be a bitch . . . 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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Some of my Favorites:
Probably 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.
Meet 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.
Angel 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.
The 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.
Painted 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.
Charade - 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.