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Kate Draven Favorites

About me eh? I'm a wee Irish lass, a tech nerd, FOSS developer, sci fi / horror (not gorror) / fantasy / romcom / classic film buff. Which is why I troll the net for classic films. Almost everything Hollywood makes is rubbish and even the "good stuff" doesn't hold a candle to the old stuff. Slowly collecting the parts to repair me TARDIS. Whilst waiting, I'm building a planet blaster (Earth blocks me view of... Pluto). When not watching old movies or conquering planets, Kate runs a small Free Open Source computer business and a Human Rights website Intersexed People of New Jersey.

Detective Kitty O'Day - 1944

Detective Kitty O'Day“A Kitty O'Day and her boyfriend Johnny, are suspected of murdering her employer. They have to find the real killer, to clear their names.” Detective Kitty O'Day 1944 is a forgotten classic gem. Slick, silly and, if you're fast enough to catch it, familiar with the jargon and slang of the day, funny as all heck.

The production value is good, for a film of its day. The encoding isn't too bad either (eh Jim). Actually it's excellent, the sound is in sync, crisp and clear as is the video quality. Some scenes (like those in the flat) were a wee bit choppy, but that's often a problem with old films. However, it takes nothing away, so not to worry.

The film has a Frank Capra feel to it. The same type of character portrayal in that the actors some times "over" act to punch the silly off screen. They do so effectively.

The film as depicts (essentially), strong, brave, smart woman and a caring, supportive male counterpart (well ok she dragged him around but he was there for her). Well played by Jean Parker and Peter Cookson. A rarity these days. For more strong women in similar films check out the four Nancy Drew films made between 1938 and 1939 (fantastic film series). Sadly only one seems to be public domain (Nancy Drew – Reporter 1939) available here in HD and SD.

The scene in the police station is priceless. Inspector Clancy is beautifully portrayed by Tim Ryan, as is his sidekick (why as they called sidekicks?) Mike, played by Edward Gargan. The building lobby and flat search scenes were wonderful. You can almost feel a touch of Cary Grant, as Johnny calls the “kitty” and catches the “fly” in his hand in the way the scene was softly played. Excellent use of pauses, and fast dialog. Just like in Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), one of me all time fav films for the spooky holiday (a Halloween must see). Hopefully it will fall into public domain soon.

This gem is definitely worth watching. So grab a pop, some pizza and chips (fries in some places), cozy up and enjoy. The only thing that could have made it better, was a spooky house and a dark stormy night.

If you're a classic film collect, burn this to DVD and save it. This film deserve to be preserved (sorry about the near rhyme).

Cheers mates

Kate (Ooohhh... sorry!)

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Topper Returns - Murder Mystery Ghost Comedy - 1941

Topper ReturnsTopper Returns reminds me of a simpler, innocent time. No ad placement, no excessive violence or naughty bits bobbing about. There's grand adventure, excitement, romance and comedy without cheap shots (naughty bits). Timing, between the character and their dialog was amazing. They knew what timing meant back then. Sometimes it was faster than a tommy gun. Other times there was that great pause as we waiting for the character to catch up. Hollywood's better days are behind it. Thankfully there are sites like Internet Archives and Jimbo's Free Classic Movies to preserve them and reintroduce them to kids that don't have their (umm) faces buried in an "i-thing."

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