Lions, Towers & Shields is a celebration of films from the classic, Hollywood era. Shelly Brisbin leads a merry band through reviews of great old movies, and news about streaming, restorations and new releases.

17

Kirk Douglas, MOVIE STAR!

It’s cynical, it’s Billy Wilder, and it’s still relevant. On-the-skids newspaper man Kirk Douglas is gonna do ANYTHING to get that story. This movie came up during the very first Lions, Towers & Shields episode as one that several panelists would watch again. And here they are!

Shelly Brisbin with Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr


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16

Does Cary Grant Ever Break s Sweat?

In an early starring role, Cary Grant upends the sensibilities of a small town that’s rife with gossip and hypocrisy. And we have expert help this week, because the panel includes a man who’s created an audio documentary about Grant.

Shelly Brisbin with Erika Ensign, Nathan Alderman and Adam Roche


15

I Know You’re a Sexist Creep, But Run!

Here’s a delicious little film noir, where greed is breathtaking, and you’ll wonder who’s the evilest - until you know for sure.

Shelly Brisbin with Annette Wierstra and Nathan Alderman


14

No One Told Me It’s Three Hours Long

This is the film that should have won Judy Garland the Oscar. It was both her greatest triumph, and a comeback film. It’s directed by George Cukor, the “woman’s director” of so many female-centered studio films. There’s a whole book about the making of “A Star is Born,” in fact. Also, this is the three-hour one.

Shelly Brisbin with Jean MacDonald


13

They’re Pretty in All the Timelines

Welcome to another crossover where I join the Agents of S.M.O.O.C.H. for a timey-whimey road trip for our Virtual Vacation series. Our agents tease apart the five(?) timelines in Two for the Road (1967), starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney using the cars the characters drive. Join us as we criss-cross through ten years of time and space while road-tripping through France towards the Mediterranean coast. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing, sometimes it’s rocky, sometimes there are too many people in the car. Make sure you pack the sunscreen.

Annette Wierstra with Shelly Brisbin and Jean MacDonald


12

Chekhov’s ID Card

Preston Sturgess was in top form in 1941 for this comedy starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake - in one of her first films. McCrea is a movie director, looking for a way to make a “socially relevant” film, instead of the comedies he’s been making. McCrea travels as a hobo, trying to “know trouble” in a way he can’t while living his life as a Hollywood director. Like Orson Welles, Sturges used a stock company of character actors, and many of them are along for the ride.

Shelly Brisbin with Erika Ensign, Dr. Drang and David J. Loehr


11

Princess Anna’s Day Off

We offer you a summer movie set in Rome. Directed by William Wyler, and starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, Roman Holiday tells the story of an American newspaper reporter who meets a princess and liberates her from the confinement of her royal station for a romantic adventure in 1950s Rome for a classic royal and the commoner tale. The people and the scenery are beautiful, and the actors have lovely chemistry. The is among the earliest, and best of the 1950s-60s films that took Americans to a Europe that had finally begun recovering from the horrors of World War II.

Shelly Brisbin with Annette Wierstra and Sage Young


10

The Nicest Gangster Ever

James Cagney is a bootlegger. This is the story of his rise and fall. Warner Brothers had been producing gangster yarns since the early 30s, many featuring Cagney. But late ’30s filmmaking had become better and more watchable, with studio stalwarts like Cagney, Bogart and Frank McHugh now pros at the genre. Add in the wonderful and underrated Gladys George, and you’ve got yourself a movie! Raoul Walsh, whose career went back to silents, and who would later direct Cagney in “White Heat,” directed. “The Roaring Twenties” is part social commentary, crime movie and melodrama. And it’s one of the most entertaining movies of this genre.

Shelly Brisbin with Dr. Drang and Nathan Alderman


9

A Numerical Scale of Trash Men

Here’s the film, based on James M. Cain’s story, that won Joan Crawford an Oscar, and began the Warner Brothers phase of her career, after MGM sent her packing. It tells the story of Mildred, who begins a new life when her marriage ends by building a restaurant empire. But her selfish daughter (Ann Blyth) and her lover (Zachary Scott) don’t make things easy for the proprietor of Mildred’s Fatburger. Bonus? Film noir with a female protagonist.

Shelly Brisbin with Nathan Alderman


8

Cornelia is Trash. Or She’s Not!

Screwball comedy and Depression-era inequity meet in “My Man Godfrey” (1935). William Powell is experiencing the Depression first-hand, from under a bridge, when a society swell arrives and offers him a few dollars to help her win a scavenger hunt. Before you know it, Powell is buttling in the house of a dysfunctional wealthy family. Hilarity, and the politics of class follow. Carole Lombard, William Powell, Alice Brady and Gail Patrick are all marvelous, as is the rest of the supporting cast. “My Man Godfrey” was nominated for six Oscars, including the first two supporting actor statues ever awarded, but won none.

Shelly Brisbin with Erika Ensign, Nathan Alderman and Jean MacDonald


7

Enjoy Your Cucumber, America!

Old Movie News

New Blu-rays

Sightings

Into the Nitrate Vault

Border Incident (1949) trailer

  • Available to stream, rent or buy digitally

  • On disc: DVD

  • Released by MGM, directed by Anthony Mann, cinematography by John Alton; starring Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, James Mitchell, Howard De Silva, Charles McGraw

Shelly Brisbin with Philip Michaels and Nathan Alderman


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