Tag Archives: Leo G. Carroll

The Set of 400: #241 – My Favorite Criss Cross

Today! Because I may be old-fashioned, but I thought murder was against the law –

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock (x4)

Starring Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Laura Elliott, Leo G. Carroll (x3), Patricia Hitchcock, Jonathan Hale, Marion Lorne, Harry Hines, Norma Varden, Robert Gist, Howard St. John

#241 sees our final Hitchcock list film, even as he becomes the first Four-Timer director. Sorry, Psycho fans! Take your Rear Window complaints elsewhere! Sure, Vertigo is great, but what, you looove Vertigo? Get out of here! Come at me about my lack of Rebecca and okay, I’ll listen to that argument, but if you’re going to complain that The Birds got left in the coop, I’ll tell you where to get off!

Seriously, The Birds is ridiculous nonsense

So yes, my favorite Hitchcock movie, featuring the single greatest display of human bravery in the history of cinema, Strangers on a Train! Farley Granger’s tennis pro Guy wants a divorce from his terrible wife Miriam (Laura Elliott), while fellow train passenger Bruno (Robert Walker) hates his father, and hatches a scheme where they swap murders. Guy brushes Bruno off as a bit of humorous crackpot, and things spiral wildly out of control from there. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #298 – My Favorite 2nd O Come, All Ye Faithful Verse Appearance

Today! Because I’ve only one reason to be angry – you broke my record –

A Christmas Carol (1938)

Directed by Edwin Marin

Starring Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Terry Kilburn, Leo G. Carroll (x2), Ann Rutherford, Kathleen Lockhart, Barry MacKay, Lynne Carver, Lionel Braham, Halliwell Hobbes, June Lockhart, Ronald Sinclair

Like the pervasive Sherlock Holmes-ness of this list, you’re going to find more versions of Ebenezer Scrooge’s Psychotic Yuletide in the days to come than you probably would’ve expected. As avid viewers of my Instagram story could tell you, come December I really bang through a lot of Christmas movies, with the Dickens classic featuring heavily in the rotation. This list would’ve had more Scrooge on it, honestly, had so many of the best productions not been television adaptations. So just quickly – Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is the best musical version of this story ever made, hands down. Mickey’s Christmas Carol likely would’ve been right in its league, had not all the songs been excised, leaving the 24-ish minute edit that remains. The Patrick Stewart version from the late-’90s has some terrific variations on the old standard, and the George C. Scott version is one of the best straight renditions out there.

My guess is few hardcore Marley-o-philes would place the 1938 version near the top of their lists. It changes so many little things, and a few major ones, that some may shout blasphemy. I don’t have this issue – even if some of the differences are a bit frustrating, narratively speaking. If you don’t immediately recognize this as the Reginald Owen version, it’ll probably ring a bell that this is the Christmas Carol with all the sliding. Right? No? Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #316 – My Favorite Gutzon Borglum Thrill Ride

Today! Because that plane’s dusting crops where there ain’t no crops –

North by Northwest (1959)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Starring Cary Grant (x2), Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G. Carroll, Martin Landau, Jessie Royce Landis, Josephine Hutchinson, Philip Ober, Adam Williams, Edward Platt, Robert Ellenstein

Hitchcock it is! The one with all the memorable set pieces, North by Northwest lands squarely in the Hitch Wrong Man sub-genre, wherein a regular schmoe (even one who looks like Cary Grant) gets caught up in a helluva lot of intrigue and murder, and is forced on the run, encountering devious foreign agents, low flying planes, and the lovely tourist attractions of South Dakota along the way. This is also the latest Hitchcock movie chronologically that I actually enjoy, but in all fairness, I’ve never actually sat down and watched Topaz. Or, hell, Frenzy for that matter. Maybe I need to keep these sweeping statements to things I can actually stand by. Frenzy might be the greatest movie ever made, I don’t know.

But, come on, it’s not – right?

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