1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) Truth be told, I started this film well over a year ago; however, at somewhere around the 20-minute mark, the disc glitched and I was unable to finish. I forgot all about watching it until I saw it on the TCM schedule during 31 Days of Oscar. So, I'm calling this a "new to me" film; however, it isn't totally. The classic story of the good Dr. Jekyll and his alter-ego, the evil Mr. Hyde, this film is amazing. The transformation scenes (from Jekyll to Hyde) are absolutely terrific---hard to believe this is a 1931 film. Fredric March's performance is outstanding, very definitely Oscar worthy. I'm going with 4 stars on this, but that's because this is not my genre. I don't do horror at all, and while this may be considered mild horror to some people, I have to admit that it frightened me. In fact, after getting out of bed around 2:00 a.m. on the night I had watched it, I nearly ran back to my bedroom (and the safety of my husband) because the memory of Mr. Hyde came to mind while alone downstairs. So, though, 4 stars from me, if I liked horror, I'm sure this would be a 5-star film.
3. Whirlpool (1934) Starring Jack Holt, Jean Arthur, and Donald Cook. Petty crook Duke Ralston receives a 20-year prison sentence for manslaughter. Wanting his pregnant wife, Helen, to get on with her life, he forges a letter from the warden, informing her that Duke had been drowned in an attempted prison escape. Sometime after giving birth to Duke's daughter, Sandra (Jean Arthur, when grown), Helen marries a successful lawyer. Years later, Sandra happens upon Duke, recognizing him at once from the photo her mother has. Father and daughter are reunited, but for a variety of reasons, the future for them is bleak. An interesting, exciting, 3-star film.
4. The Hook (1963) Starring Kirk Douglas, Robert Walker, and Nick Adams, this meaty drama tells the story of three U.S. soldiers who are ordered to execute their Korean prisoner in the waning days of the Korean War. (I reviewed this 4-star film HERE)
5. Pushover (1954) This Double Indemnity-style noir stars Fred MacMurray and introduces Kim Novak, with Phil Carey, Dorothy Malone, and E.G. Marshall offering support. Directed by Richard Quine, Pushover finds the usually-affable Fred MacMurray, once again, pulled from the straight and narrow due to his attraction to a beautiful woman. This time, rather than an insurance agent, he's a cop, assigned to follow the girlfriend of a gangster who just pulled a huge heist. Fred's passion for the moll, coupled with his desire to fill his own pockets with the stolen funds, are his undoing. I'm between 3 and 4 stars on this, so I'm calling it 3.5.
Later this week, I will share four more "new to me" films I watched in March, one of which joins I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang as a 5-star film discovery of the year.