Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

JOHNNY BELINDA (1948)

Megger Jean Negulesco’s rep petered out with his late pics (though his early Fox/CinemaScope work has a cult following), but his best work came making B+ features at Warners in the ‘40s. This pleasingly sober tearjerker, which made Jane Wyman a big star after years of ‘gal-pal’ supporting work, by all rights should have dated horribly. Its basic format (handicapped victim triumphs over small minds with the help of a sympathetic mentor) has been used as template for decades. Yet, the decency of the material and Negulesco ’s striking conjoining of environment, work & landscape (thank you lensman Ted McCord) with action & character keep the film unusually fresh. A bit too much melodrama threatens Act III, but Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead & a scary Stephen McNully serve their roles beautifully, while Wyman’s deaf & dumb characterization shows remarkable restraint & subtlety of scale.

No comments: