From the Film Vault

From the Film Vault Blog

Program Notes: The Old Maid (1939)

The Old Maid movie poster

The acting duel you see on screen in The Old Maid isn’t all acting. It reflects the genuine animosity between its two stars, Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins. The story is pure, unadulterated melodrama.

Program Notes: Dark Victory (1939)

Dark Victory movie poster

Dark Victory is one of those old-fashioned weepies that sophisticated film goers hate to love. Ever since its release, it's left audiences torn between sobbing and resentment over the picture's emotional manipulation.

Program Notes: The Women (1939)

The Women movie poster

No good parts for women? Not in 1939. That was the year director George Cukor gave us The Women, an alternately satiric and heartstring-tugging comedy featuring an all-female cast.

Program Notes: Love Affair (1939)

Love Affair movie poster

Love Affair points out precisely why Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne were such major stars in the 1930s. Both actors established screen personas that came through loud and clear no matter what the role.

Program Notes: Destry Rides Again (1939)

Destry Rides Again movie poster

In many regards, Destry Rides Again is a boilerplate oater: a new sheriff in town goes up against the crook who runs the place. Not terribly original. But the film is hugely enjoyable for one reason: James Stewart in the title role.