- SKU: 25656396
- Release Date: 12/02/2014
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Ratings & Reviews
- Sylvia Scarlett:
- FitzPatrick Traveltalk short Los Angeles: Wonder City of the West
- Cartoon Alias St. Nick
- Gunga Din:
- On location with Gunga Din
- Commentary by Rudy Behlmer
- Cartoon The Film Fan
- Theatrical trailers
- Destination Tokyo:
- Wartime short Gem of the Ocean
- Cary Grant trailer gallery
- Closed Captioned
This big-budget 1936 RKO Studios picture lost money, perhaps due to a cool box-office reception to the idea of leading lady Katharine Hepburn in drag, and a rare-for-its-day screen kiss between two women. Edmund Gwenn plays the title character's father Henry, who is obsessed with gambling. His daughter Sylvia (Hepburn) has stolen some expensive lace which they hope to smuggle from France to England. To elude police, she cuts her hair short and disguises herself as a man. She and her father board a ship, and a drunken Henry confesses their scheme to Jimmy Monkley (Cary Grant), a jewel smuggler. To divert attention away from him, Jimmy snitches on Henry to the customs officials, and Henry has to pay up or be arrested. Later, Sylvia confronts Jimmy on a train and punches him. Jimmy apologizes and cuts them in on a scheme to steal jewels from a wealthy family, using his friend Maudie (Dennie Moore), a maid in the house. But Sylvia, still disguised as a man, talks Maudie out of it, and she responds with a kiss. Maudie and Sylvia's father fall in love and Maudie, an aspiring actress, invests money in a show to open in a seaside resort. There they are invited to the mansion of a wealthy artist, Michael Fane (Brian Aherne), who is unsettled by Sylvia's obvious affections before finally discovering that she's a woman. Jimmy is attracted to Michael's roommate, the Russian-born Lily (Natalie Paley) -- and from there, the romantic entaglements between the aformentioned parties proceed like a Shakespearean comedy. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi
Arsenic and Old Lace
Arsenic and Old Lace is director Frank Capra's spin on the classic Joseph Kesselring stage comedy, which concerns the sweet old Brewster sisters (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair), beloved in their genteel Brooklyn neighborhood for their many charitable acts. One charity which the ladies don't advertise is their ongoing effort to permit lonely bachelors to die with smiles on their faces--by serving said bachelors elderberry wine spiked with arsenic. When the sisters' drama-critic nephew Mortimer (Cary Grant) stumbles onto their secret, he is understandably put out--especially since he has just married the lovely Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane). Given the homicidal tendencies of his aunts, the sinister activities of his escaped-convict older brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey) and the disruptive behavior of younger brother Teddy (John Alexander)--who is convinced that he's really Theodore Roosevelt, and runs around the house yelling "CHAAAAARGGGE"--Mortimer isn't keen on starting a family with his new bride. "Insanity runs in my family," he explains. "It practically gallops." Further complications ensue when the murderous Jonathan Brewster arrives home, with his snivelling accomplice Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre) in tow. When Jonathan learns that his darling aunts have killed twelve men, he is incensed--they're challenging his own record of murders. Though the movie rights for Arsenic and Old Lace were set up so that the film could not be released until 1944, director Capra shot the film quickly and inexpensively in 1941, so that his family could subsist on his $100,000 salary while he was serving in World War II. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Though its purely propagandastic aspects are never far from surface, Destination Tokyo must rank as one of the most intelligent and objective of wartime thrillers. Cary Grant is a tower of strength as Captain Cassidy, skipper of an American submarine bound for Tokyo harbor. Its mission: to allow a Navy meterologist to survey Japanese weather conditions, in preparation for a major Allied assault. Many of the individual incidents in Delmar Daves' script are based on fact, notably an episode in which a pharmacist's mate is called upon to perform an emergency appendectomy. Admittedly, some of the secondary characters are WWII stereotypes, but they're never played that way. Particularly good isDane Clark, in his first important screen role; also registering well as a radio man is John Forsythe, in his first screen role ever. From the sub's embarkation in San Francisco to its climactic retreat from Japan, there's not a single solitary dull moment in the 135 minutes of Destination Tokyo. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Though Rudyard Kipling's poem Gunga Din makes a swell recital piece, it cannot be said to have much of a plot. It's simply a crude cockney soldier's tribute to a native Indian water boy who remains at his job even after being mortally wounded. Hardly the sort of material upon which to build 118 minutes' worth of screen time-at least, it wasn't until RKO producer Pandro S. Berman decided to convert Gunga Din into an A-budgeted feature film. Now it became the tale of three eternally brawling British sergeants stationed in colonial India: Cutter (Cary Grant), McChesney (Victor McLaglen) and Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). Ballantine intends to break up the threesome by marrying lovely Emmy Stebbins (Joan Fontaine), while Cutter and McChesney begin hatching diabolical schemes to keep Ballantine in the army (if this plot element sounds a lot like something from the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, bear in mind that Hecht and McArthur shared writing credit on Gunga Din with Joel Sayre and Fred Guiol; also contributing to the screenplay, uncredited, was William Faulkner). All three sergeants are kept occupied with a native revolt fomented by the Thuggees, a fanatical religious cult headed by a Napoleonic Guru (Eduardo Ciannelli). Unexpectedly coming to the rescue of our three heroes-not to mention every white man, woman and child in the region-is humble water carrier Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe), who aspires to become the regimental trumpeter. Originally slated to be directed by Howard Hawks, Gunga Din was taken out of Hawks' hands when the director proved to be too slow during the filming of Bringing Up Baby. His replacement was George Stevens, who proved to be slower and more exacting than Hawks had ever been! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Katharine Hepburn - Sylvia Scarlett
- Cary Grant - Jimmy Monkley
- Brian Aherne - Michael Fane
- Edmund Gwenn - Henry Scarlett
- Natalie Paley - Lily
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