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Danny Fortune was born a long time ago in a small town, in a small state, in a small world, to very small parents. He grew up watching old classic films and B horror movies, ruining his eyesight in the process. He now lives in a tiny, cramped apartment in San Francisco with an unbridled collection of religious icons and dead movie star photos. When he is not spying on his neighbors and feeding stray cats, he is usually rotting his brain with trivia and all kinds of useless shit. Danny works in a Special Education Class where he teaches children left behind. And he contributes reviews of classic movies for Alt Film Guide.


Author Archives: Danny Fortune


Women Suffrage Movie at SFSFF: Will Right to Vote Destroy The American Family?

Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor […]


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Women Suffrage Movie at SFSFF: Will Right to Vote Destroy The American Family?



'Die Nibelungen' Movies': Powerful Women in Masterful, 'Otherworldly' Germanic Tragedy

'Die Nibelungen: Siegfried': Paul Richter as the dragon-slaying hero of medieval Germanic mythology. 'Die Nibelungen': Enthralling silent classic despite complex plot and countless characters Based on the medieval epic poem Nibelungenlied, itself inspired by the early medieval Germanic saga about the Burgundian royal family, Fritz Lang's two-part Die Nibelungen is one of those movies I can enjoy many times without ever really understanding who's who and what's what. After all, the semi-historical, fantasy/adventure epic is packed with intrigue, treachery, deceit, hatred, murder, and sex. And that's just the basic plotline. As seen in Kino's definitive two-disc edition, artistically and cinematically speaking Die Nibelungen contains some of the greatest visual compositions I've ever seen. Filmed mostly in long shots that frame […]


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'Die Nibelungen' Movies': Powerful Women in Masterful, 'Otherworldly' Germanic Tragedy



'The Beast with a Million Eyes': Roger Corman Beats Alfred Hitchcock with Nature vs. Humans Thriller

'The Beast with a Million Eyes': Hardly truth in advertising as Roger Corman's micro-budget sci-fi thriller is no 'monster movie.' 'The Beast with a Million Eyes': Alien invasion movie predates Alfred Hitchcock classic Despite the confusing voice-over introduction, David Kramarsky's[1] The Beast with a Million Eyes a.k.a. The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes is one of my favorite 1950s alien invasion films. Set in an ugly, desolate landscape – shot “for wide screen in terror-scope” in Indio and California's Coachella Valley – the screenplay by future novelist Tom Filer (who also played Jack Nicholson's sidekick in the 1966 Western Ride in the Whirlwind) focuses on a dysfunctional family whose members become the first victims of a strange force from another galaxy […]


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'The Beast with a Million Eyes': Roger Corman Beats Alfred Hitchcock with Nature vs. Humans Thriller



'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier Impressive Sci-Fi, Sex Melodrama & Fernand Léger Combo

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier directed Jaque Catelain and Georgette Leblanc in great-looking (Fernand Léger sets) mix of science-fiction and sex melodrama. Marcel L'Herbier silent 'L'Inhumaine': 'Intense sensory integration of sight' For me, the real jewel in the crown of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's “A Day of Silents,” held on Dec. 5, '15, at the Castro Theatre, was Marcel L'Herbier's L'Inhumaine / The Inhuman Woman (1924). The screening of this mix of desire and seduction with science fiction turned out to be an intense sensory integration of sight and sound. First, the sight. I had not seen any other films directed by L'Herbier (e.g., L'Argent, La Comédie du bonheur), so L'Inhumaine, with its spectacular visuals, came as a big surprise […]


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'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier Impressive Sci-Fi, Sex Melodrama & Fernand Léger Combo



'7 Faces of Dr. Lao': Tony Randall Brilliantly Shows Things Are Not As They Seem

'7 Faces of Dr. Lao' with Tony Randall delivering a 'bravura performance': Things are not as they seem. '7 Faces of Dr. Lao' movie: 'Things are not as they seem' Director George Pal's 7 Faces of Dr. Lao surprises on multiple levels: its witty screenplay by Twilight Zone writer Charles Beaumont, an odd assortment of well-defined characters, a bravura performance by Tony Randall, and some of the best special effects of that time. In the film, a strange traveling magician drifts into a small western American town, announcing that he is bringing with him a “Magic Circus.” Calling himself Dr. Lao, the eccentric Chinese character places an ad in the local newspaper and makes friends with the editor. But things […]


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'7 Faces of Dr. Lao': Tony Randall Brilliantly Shows Things Are Not As They Seem



'Humoresque' 1946: Joan Crawford Saves Boxing vs. Violin-Playing Melodrama

'Humoresque': Joan Crawford and John Garfield. 'Humoresque' 1946: Saved by Joan Crawford Directed by Jean Negulesco from a screenplay by Clifford Odets and Zachary Gold (loosely based on a Fannie Hurst short story), Humoresque always frustrates me because its first 25 minutes are excruciatingly boring – until Joan Crawford finally makes her appearance during a party scene. Crawford plays Helen Wright, a rich society lush in love with a tough-guy violin player, Paul Boray (John Garfield), who happens to be in love with his music. Fine support is offered by Paul's parents, played by Ruth Nelson and the fabulous chameleon-like J. Carroll Naish. Oscar Levant is the sarcastic, wisecracking piano player, who plays his part to the verge of annoyance. […]


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'Humoresque' 1946: Joan Crawford Saves Boxing vs. Violin-Playing Melodrama



Rare African-American Film, Frank Capra 'Accidental Silent': San Francisco Silent Film Festival

African-American film 'Bert Williams: Lime Kiln Club Field Day' with Williams (in blackface) and Odessa Warren Grey: Early 20th century rarity.* Rare, early 20th-century African-American film among San Francisco Silent Film Festival highlights Directed by Edwin Middleton and T. Hayes Hunter, the Biograph Company's Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913) was the film I most looked forward to at the 2015 edition of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. One hundred years old, unfinished, and destined to be scrapped and tossed into the dust bin, it rose from the ashes. Starring entertainer Bert Williams – whose film appearances have virtually disappeared, but whose legacy lives on – Lime Kiln Club Field Day has become a rare example of African-American life […]


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Rare African-American Film, Frank Capra 'Accidental Silent': San Francisco Silent Film Festival



Ivor Novello: British Stage Legend and Hitchcock Star in 'Autumn Crocus'

Ivor Novello: 'Autumn Crocus' movie adaptation with Fay Compton. Ivor Novello last movie: 'Autumn Crocus' Can a naive, plain-looking, spinster school teacher ever find real love in faraway places? This was a question asked by Shirley Booth in Arthur Laurents' 1952 stage play The Time of the Cuckoo; Katharine Hepburn in the 1955 David Lean-directed film version, Summertime (1955); and Elizabeth Allen in the 1965 Richard Rodgers-Steven Sondheim musical adaptation, Do I Hear a Waltz? Can such a woman's yearning for romance ever be satisfied? “Yes” and “No,” according to Basil Dean's fine 1934 film Autumn Crocus, which marked the last big-screen appearance of British stage and screen superstar Ivor Novello (Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger). 'Magic' in the Austrian Alps […]


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Ivor Novello: British Stage Legend and Hitchcock Star in 'Autumn Crocus'





FILM ARCHIVES

Mary Pickford 'Sparrows' 'Behind the Scenes': Jesus and Alligators
Joan Crawford Young and Middle-Aged on DVD
African Cinema: Movies from Sub-Saharan Africa Showcased in Toronto
Oscar Drama with an Indian Setting: 'Dharm' vs. 'Eklavya'
The First Hollywood Actor to Lampoon Hitler
Marie Dressler: From MGM Stardom to Lesbian Rumors | Q&A with Biographer Matthew Kennedy
'Grand Prix' Turner Classic Movies
'The Invisible Boy' Herman Hoffman
Ginger Rogers Movies
Akira Kurosawa on TCM: 'Seven Samurai' & 'Rashomon'
Cult Sex Movie Director Joseph W. Sarno Dies, 'Hollywood Fan Magazine' Exhibition
Luise Rainer Reminisces: The Oscars, Greta Garbo & Albert Einstein
Woody Allen Movies: Biggest Box Office Hits (Adjusted)
Linda Darnell Movies: Oscar-Winning 'A Letter to Three Wives' & Race Relations in 'No Way Out'
Anne Francis on TCM: FORBIDDEN PLANET, BRAINSTORM, A LION IS IN THE STREETS