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  • Body and Soul

    Body and Soul

    Talk about musicians transitioning into movie careers, it's not like Paul Robeson could have a musical number here... since the titular song didn't exist yet. Hey, the big man did just about have enough voice to bypass the silent movie era, but his character is so concerned about lying low that he's featured in an independent movie from "said" era. The man has just busted out of prison, making his way to a tiny Black community in Georgia under the…

  • Within Our Gates

    Within Our Gates

    I kinda see how this was thought to be a direct response to "The Birth of a Nation", seeing as it came out about the same time and followed Australia's own military glor-woops, wrong movie. I guess not everyone bought into D. W. Griffith's crap if they made more of an effort to preserve this indie movie than a blockbuster about the Gallipoli Campaign, especially given that Oscar Micheaux isn't buying into the the Great War glory crap. Not all…

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  • City of Hope

    City of Hope

    ★★★½

    I don't know how far John Sayles and Vincent Spano have come from "Baby It's You", but with this title, the New Jersey setting and the post-'60s timeline, this is when they can't afford a Bruce Springsteen song. I'm almost certain that they purchased the rights to the gent's entire catalogue just to be able to use with said title and the premise. Perhaps making up a New Jersey city instead of setting this in Manchester, Kentucky, is how Sayles…

  • 7th Heaven

    7th Heaven

    ★★★½

    Yeesh, Janet Gaynor, that "sunrise" sure sailed up there, didn't it? Really, I think somebody at Fox just mixed up the title "Street Angel" when this has essentially the same cast and crew, because the movie's backdrop looks more like Dante's seventh level. It's Paris at the precipice of the Great War, and Charles Farrell's Chico is such a lowly sewing factory worker that the dream job he constantly prays for is street sweeper. Lowlier still is Gaynor's Diane, a…