Kansas City Confidential is the story of an innocent man caught up in an elaborate “perfect crime” who goes after the thieves to clear his name and claim the insurance company reward. Despite the title, most of the film is set in Mexico, where the gang goes to split their proceeds.
This film noir stars John Payne and includes Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam as two of the thieves. It’s another reminder that you’re never too far from a good film noir in the Internet Archive Top 100.
Leslie Howard directed, co-produced, and starred in ‘Pimpernel’ Smith, an echo of Howard’s earlier role as The Scarlet Pimpernel. In this movie, set in then-present-day Europe, Howard portrays a man who pretends to be an archeologist while actually working to free inmates from Nazi concentration camps.
This movie had real-life effects. Winston Churchill chose it to be shown on his battleship in August 1941 as he travelled across the Atlantic for a secret conference with FDR. It also inspired Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg to rescue tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi concentration camps during the last months of the Second World War. The least we can do is offer it in the Internet Archive Top 100.
Leonard Maltin called Another Part of the Forest an “unpleasant but well-acted movie.” If I believed in short descriptions for entries in the Internet Archive Top 100, that would be sufficient.
This movie is based on Lillian Hellman’s play, a prequel to The Little Foxes. It stars Fredric March and his real-life wife Florence Eldridge as the heads of the wealthy, ruthless Hubbard family and details their rise to prominence. Time magazine wrote, “Under Michael Gordon’s direction it is a nearly perfect example of how to film a play.” So this is really good, if not much fun. I’d prefer fun and not good, but the IMDb voters and Maltin think differently, so there you are.
This southern drama, originally titled The Intruder, stars William Shatner as a racist who arrives in a small town to stir up resistance to its high school’s desegregation. The resistance soon turns into a mob that drifts outside his control.
This movie was directed and produced by the legendary Roger Corman, who believed in the story enough to partially bankroll filming. Because of distribution problems, for years it was the only Corman movie ever to lose money. Critical reception through the years made it the only Corman movie to land on the Internet Archive Top 100.
Indiscreet is a pre-Code comedy starring Gloria Swanson, one of just a handful of films she made in the 1930s. It involves a fashion designer who takes up with a novelist after leaving her former boyfriend because of his many indiscretions with other women. She keeps the old relationship a secret from the novelist until her younger sister arrives and announces she’s engaged to the old boyfriend. Madcap antics ensue.
Leonard Maltin hated this movie, rating it just 1½ (of 4) stars and writing, “Art deco sets, and Gloria’s rendition of two … songs, aren’t compensation enough for sitting through this one.” Good thing IMDb users really loved Indiscreet, keeping it pushed pretty high up the Internet Archive Top 100.