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.

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


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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


6

We’ll Begin with a Reign of Terror

Old Movie News

Today’s Movie

Shelly Brisbin with Jean MacDonald and Dr. Drang


5

I Love Dead Lucy

What do you get when you combine a director of 50s melodrama, a screwball TV comedian, a deliciously flamboyant cad, and a bunch of great character actors from Britain and America? Why, a British Jack the Ripper mystery, of course. On this episode, we’re talking about 1947’s “Lured,” directed by Douglas Sirk, and starring Lucile Ball and George Sanders. We will spoil the ending in this episode, like we do, so watch the movie, probably for free, before you listen.

Shelly Brisbin with Annette Wierstra and Nathan Alderman


4

What to Watch Now

Classic films, by definition, are comfort food, or at least, they’re escapist entertainment. Our panel picks films they love, and want to watch right now, as we confront a lot of time indoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shelly Brisbin with Philip Michaels, Jean MacDonald, Erika Ensign and Nathan Alderman


3

More Permy Over Time

Lily has had a rough life. Her father has basically been pimping her out, and she's had it! She and her friend Chico, who happens to be a black woman, take off for New York so Lily soon begins climbing the corporate ladder, using each corporate executive s weakness to obtain what she wants. Because that's how Nietzsche would want her to do it. "Baby Face" is a quintessential pre-code movie. And it had a lot to do with the code being enforced a few months aster its release.

Shelly Brisbin with Nathan Alderman and Jean MacDonald


2

Ride Her Down Like a Rabbit

Come with us to late 1930s New York. It's the Depression, but you wouldn't know it here on Fifth Avenue, where the Setons live, and where things would be even better - if we had the right kind of government. We're discussing the 1938 film, Holiday, directed by George Cukor, and staring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. There's a bit of old movie news, too. Just a bit.

Shelly Brisbin with Dr. Drang and Mois├ęs Chiullan


1

Paradise City

We begin a journey into the past, for the love of classic Hollywood-era movies. We've got memories of Kirk Douglas, Blu-Ray news, and a recap and review of Robert Wise's 1949 masterpiece, "The Set-Up."

Shelly Brisbin with Monty Ashley, Dr. Drang and Nathan Alderman


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