Nancy Drew -- Detective

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The first of several Nancy Drew movies starring Bonita Granville as Nancy and John Litel as her father, Carson Drew. This one involves a kidnapped elderly woman, carrier pigeons, and Morse code. Nancy's buddy, Ted Nickerson (played by Frankie Thomas), definitely gets the worst end of the deal.

Radio City Revels

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A nice vehicle for song numbers featuring a very early Milton Berle in his only 1938 film foray. Also featuring Ann Miller who (if IMDB is to be believed) was only fourteen at the time.


Bob Burns and his Bazooka
Interesting tidbit: a main character was played by Bob Burns who popularized a musical instrument that was kind of like a large slide kazoo. He called this instrument his "bazooka". In WWII the soldiers thought their new anti-tank weapon looked similar and called it by the same name.

The Grand Illusion

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Released in France in 1937 but not in the US until 1938, this is a WWI flick directed by Jean Renoir and starring Jean Gabin. This is a movie with lots of isolated emotional moments but no cohesive story arc. In French, German, English and a little Russian. Subtitled.

Come On, Rangers

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The governor decides that Texas (having achieved statehood) no longer needs the Texas Rangers, believing that the US Cavalry can maintain order. Roy Rogers had been an officer in the Rangers but now applies to join the Cavalry. An unscrupulous ex-Senator forms a private "State Patrol" that runs a protection racket, charging ranchers for protection while robbing and killing those that don't pay (including Roy's brother). Roy deserts the Cavalry to find the bad guys who killed his brother.

Odds and ends: when the State Patrol dons its outlaw gang persona, it rides white horses and is known as the White Horse Raiders.

Familiar faces: The leader of the US Cavalry is played by J. Farrell MacDonald, of "you must be thinking of two other trees" fame from It's a Wonderful Life.

Here's Flash Casey

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The hero of this movie is a newspaper photographer.

Adventures of Chico

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This is a nature film about the local fauna of Mexico told from the viewpoint of a young goatherd named Chico. I almost didn't watch this but I'm glad I did, if only because there is a real live contest between a coyote and a road runner. Spoiler: the coyote wins. Beep beep.

Sinners in Paradise

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A motley collection of citizens board a seaplane to Shanghai. Off course and in a storm, the plane crashes in the Pacific ocean and the passengers barely jump into the water before the plane explodes and sinks. In an unlikely but fortunate turn of events, all the passengers plus the only surviving crew member (the steward) make their way to an almost deserted island. The only inhabitants are debonair Jim Taylor and his Chinese man servant.  Jim offers the rag tag group of survivors dinner and then informs them that he will not aid in their rescue or continue to feed or shelter them. They then form a little Gilligan's Island community. There are some unsavory munitions dealers, a former senator, a lady industrialist, and other interesting characters.

 
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