Rotation (1949, Germany, Staudte)
I’m actually a bit offended that the first German-made post-war movie I see is about a couple of ordinary Germans whose lives are mildly inconvenienced by the reign of Adolf Hitler. As if that was the great crime of the Nazis: That they made life difficult for German dissidents. But I grudgingly approve, because this is a good movie, and that trumps anything. Watched it all.
Tokyo Joe (1949, USA, Heisler)
Humphrey Bogart must have really not wanted to visit Japan for this movie. Every scene that shows his character in the streets of Tokyo is shot with a double, from behind, or with Bogart acting against a rear projection. It looks ridiculous. Watched: 9 minutes.
Love Happy (1949, USA)
As a Marx Brothers disciple I’m ashamed that not only didn’t I know that this movie existed, I didn’t even know it featured a not yet famous Marilyn Monroe for about 30 seconds. Watched it all. It’s awful though. When Chico says “tutsi fruitsy ice cream”, referencing his own part in one of the funniest scenes in movie history, it’s actually kind of sad. And when Harpo plays the harp, as he always did, it’s even sadder. Because it’s all over now.
Red Light (1949, USA, Del Ruth)
There’s something about a 1940′s thriller when they get it just the right amount of hard-boiled. Not too clever, no fancy film-noir love triangles, just a dangerous anti-hero with a gun. This is almost there, but falls short by being terrible. Watched: 20 minutes.