From the Film Vault

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From the Film Vault Blog

Program Notes: Stagecoach (1939)

Stagecoach movie poster

From the moment it hit the nation's movie screens in 1939, John Ford's Stagecoach was declared a masterpiece. Not just a pretty good Western, but a masterpiece. Never before had an "oater" earned that sort of praise.

Program Notes: Gone with the Wind (1939)

Gone with the Wind movie poster

Gone with the Wind is hugely entertaining, with great acting, compelling characters and production values capable of impressing even those of us raised on computer-sweetened cinema.

Program Notes: The Roaring Twenties (1939)

The Roaring Twenties movie poster

With 1939’s The Roaring Twenties, James Cagney put a cap on his career as a movie tough guy. It would be a full decade after for him to star in another gangster film.

Program Notes: Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Confessions of a Nazi Spy movie poster

Whatever its merits as entertainment, 1939's Confessions of a Nazi Spy is a social and historical landmark, the first time a major Hollywood studio pulled out all the stops in attacking the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

Program Notes: Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Each Dawn I Die movie poster

Warner Brothers was noted for its emphasis on films that dealt with social problems. Each Dawn I Die is a prison film pairing James Cagney with tough guy George Raft – a man with intimate knowledge of underworld characters.