Plainsman, The (1936)

“A man’s bound to lose, sooner or later.” Synopsis: As the American Civil War comes to an end, an unscrupulous business man (Charles Bickford) facilitates the sale of repeating rifles to Native Americans, leading to an uprising. Soon Wild Bill Hickok (Gary Cooper) and his pal Buffalo Bill Cody (James Ellison) find themselves on the […]

Northwest Passage (1940)

“It’s better to be hungry than to be cut up alive with hatchets.” Synopsis: During the French and Indian War, Major Robert Rogers (Spencer Tracy) enlists an aspiring painter (Robert Young) and his buddy (Walter Brennan) into his elite militia with the goal of seeking revenge on local Abenaki Indians — but their trek is […]

Waterloo Bridge (1940)

“I loved you; I’ve never loved anyone else.” Synopsis: During World War I, a ballerina (Viven Leigh) in London falls in love with an army captain (Robert Taylor) on leave, and they make plans to marry upon his return. When Leigh learns in the newspaper that Taylor has died, she and her roommate (Virginia Field) […]

Pygmalion (1938)

“I’m a good girl, I am!” Synopsis: A linguistics professor (Leslie Howard) bets his friend (Scott Sunderland) he can transform a Cockney-speaking flower girl (Wendy Hiller) into a refined “lady” thoroughly enough to convince high society she’s “authentic” — but if he does, what then? Genres: Character Arc Class Relations Leslie Howard Films Mentors Play […]

Major Barbara (1941)

“My dear, I’m a millionaire — that’s my religion.” Synopsis: When the headstrong daughter (Wendy Hiller) of a millionaire weapons manufacturer (Robert Morley) becomes a major in the Salvation Army, she makes it her life’s mission to save souls, and quickly secures a fiance (Rex Harrison) willing to do anything for her love. Meanwhile, Morley […]

Caught in the Draft (1941)

“Of course I’m not a coward. I’m just allergic to bullets!” Synopsis: A cowardly actor (Bob Hope) afraid of loud noises does everything he can to avoid enlisting in the army, including wooing the beautiful daughter (Dorothy Lamour) of a crusty colonel (Clarence Kolb) — but he nonetheless soon finds himself in basic training with […]

Return of Dr. X, The (1939)

“The day is coming when man will be able to control blood — and when that time does arrive, he’ll be able to control his destiny. Blood is the source of life!” Synopsis: When an eager journalist (Wayne Morris) who has arranged to meet a glamorous actress (Lya Lys) at her apartment arrives to find […]

Virginia City (1940)

“Don’t let him question you — he’s a union spy.” Synopsis: Near the end of the Civil War, a Union prisoner (Errol Flynn) and his compatriots (Alan Hale and Guinn “Big Boy” Williams) escape from captivity and head by stagecoach to Virginia City, Nevada, where they intend to secretly interrupt the conveyance of silver to […]

Tall T, The (1957)

“A man should have something of his own — something to belong to.” Synopsis: When a former ranch foreman (Randolph Scott) is kidnapped along with an heiress (Maureen O’Sullivan) and her new husband (John Hubbard), they must determine how to keep themselves safe from the ruthless outlaws (Richard Boone, Henry Silva, and Skip Homeier). Genres: […]

Under Two Flags (1936)

“Seeing a lady like that makes a fellow feel sort of… homesick, doesn’t it, sir?” Synopsis: A French Foreign Legionnaire (Ronald Colman) in Algeria falls in love with a visiting noblewoman (Rosalind Russell), who is equally smitten with him. Meanwhile, Colman’s commander (Victor McLaglen) is jealous and upset that his girlfriend “Cigarette” (Claudette Colbert) has […]