Storm Warning

Hank, Lucy and Marsha

Doris Day and Ginger Rogers meet the Ku Klux Klan in 1951’s Storm Warning, a noirish crime drama strangely silent on the most salient aspects of Klan activity but with things to say about the mob mindset and liberal American values nonetheless. It rattles along at around 93 minutes, with the focus mainly on Rogers, who plays a travelling clothes model arriving in the town where her sister (Day) lives and looking forward to seeing her sister for the first time since little sis got married. She arrives late and immediately something is off in this dark town, where everything curiously quiet. The lights are going off in shops. A cab driver refuses … Read more

Stage Door

The ensemble cast of Stage Door

Katharine Hepburn was at the height of the “box office poison” phase of her career when she made Stage Door in 1937. She’d won an Oscar only four years before but four flops in quick succession had turned RKO against her – she had to fight the studio to get star billing. Ironically, amusingly, cannily, the story of Stage Door plays to the public perception of Hepburn as a snooty, entitled daddy’s girl who expected the world to do her bidding by casting her as the snooty, entitled rich man’s daughter breezing into the Footlights Club, a boarding house for actresses, and being taken aback when she doesn’t get the reception she feels … Read more

Roxie Hart

Billy Flynn and Roxie Hart in court

An A team of acting and technical talent bring their A game to Roxie Hart, the tale of an innocent woman who pleads guilty to a murder in the hope that it’ll further her stage career. The law as an extension of showbusiness, the corrupting effect of the media, never mind the 21st century, this was made in 1942, and retells the true story of murderous Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner, who were renamed Roxie and Velma by journalist Maurine Dallas Watkins when she decided to turn some wildly successful newspaper reporting into a 1926 stage play called Chicago. And that’s the way Roxie and Velma remained, as the play became first a … Read more