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Movie Mirrors Index

More Movies from 1946

Movie Mirrors

by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1946

Movie Mirrors Introduction

Abbreviations
 Title

Min.

c S M H P V En Ed
 Abilene Town 89   b  6  6  5  5  6  5  4
 Bedlam 79   b  6  6  6  5  6  5  5
 Beware of Pity 104   b    5  5    5  5  5
 Black Angel 81   b  6  6  5   6  5  4
 Blue Dahlia, The 99   b  6  6  6    7  5  4
 Boys' Ranch 97   b  5    4      4  5
 California 97   c  6  5  4      5  4
 Canyon Passage 92   c  6  6  5      5  4
 Courage of Lassie 93   c  5  5    4  5  4  5
 Deception 110   b  5  7  6  6  6  5  5
 Diary of a Chamber Maid, The 86   b  5  4    3  6  5  5
 Gallant Journey 86   b  5  4  4  3  6  5  5
 Green for Danger 91   b  7  8  7 7  4  5  5
 Harvey Girls, The 101   c  7  6  6  5  6  5  4
 Hoodlum Saint, The 92   b  5  4  4      5  5
 Lady Luck 97   b  6  6  4      5  4
 Letter for Evie, A 89   b  5  4  4      5  5
 Morning for the Osone Family (Japanese) 81   b            5  5
 My Reputation 94   b  5  6  4   4  5  5
 Never Say Goodbye 94   b  5  5  4  3  4  5  4
 Nobody Lives Forever 100   b  5  6  4      5  4
 O.S.S. 107   b  6  6  5   6  5  5
 Of Human Bondage 106   b  5  4  5      5  5
 Road to Utopia 89   b  7  6  6  5  6  5  4
 Sentimental Journey 94   b  4  4  4      4  5
 Smoky 87   b  6  6  4      5  4
 So Goes My Love 88   b  5  5  4      5  5
 Stolen Life, A 107   b  6  5  5  5  4  5  5
 Three Little Girls in Blue 90   c  5  6  4      5  5
 Three Strangers 92   b  6  7  5      5  4
 Three Wise Fools 90   b  5  4  4      5  5
 Till the Clouds Roll By 135   c  5  5  6  4  5  5  4
 Two Sisters from Boston 112   b  6  6  5  6 5  5  4
 Undercurrent 116   b  5  5  5  3 5  5  4
 Verdict, The 86   b  7  5  5   5  5  4
 Virginian, The 86   b  6  5  4      5  4
 Years Between, The 96   b  5  5  4      5  5

Abbreviations
b = black and white
c = color
S = Scheuer's rating
M = Maltin's rating
H = Halliwell's rating
P = Martin & Porter's rating
V = Videohound's rating
En = Beck's entertainment value
Ed = Beck's educational value

 

Abilene Town

(1946 b 89) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Ernest Haycox's novel, a competent marshal (Randolph Scott) and an incompetent sheriff (Edgar Buchanan) monitor the transition from a cattle town after farmers led by Henry (Lloyd Bridges) homestead. Henry gets help buying barbed wire from Sherry (Rhonda Fleming), and the marshal persuades the entertainer Rita (Ann Dvorak) to retire.

This western portrays the conflict between the cowboys wanting open ranges for their cattle and the farmers who want to fence off their crops. Why not fence off a corridor for the cattle trail from Texas?

Bedlam

(1946 b 79') En: 5 Ed: 5

George Sims (Boris Karloff) is the master of the insane asylum. Nell Bowen (Anna Lee) tries to get Lord Mortimer (Billy House) to contribute funds to improve Bedlam's conditions, but he refuses to spend the money, withdraws his support from her, and has her committed to stop her criticism. Nell is helped by a Quaker (Richard Fraser) and inmates to escape, and the "loonies" get their revenge on Sims.

This drama portrays the infamous asylum before it was reformed in 1773. The character of the Quaker helps to awaken humanitarian feelings in the previously cynical Nell.

Beware of Pity

(1946 b 104’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the novel by Stefan Zweig, in Austria in 1914 Lt. Anton Marek (Albert Lieven) visits the invalid Baroness Edith de Kekesfalva (Lilli Palmer) out of kindness and gives her hope that she can be cured; but he only gradually comes to love her with help from the advice of Dr. Albert Condor (Cedric Hardwicke) and his wife Klara Condor (Gladys Cooper).

            Anton tells this story to a younger officer to show him that pity can be transformed into a deeper compassion and that moral courage can be more challenging than physical courage.

Black Angel

(1946 b 81') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Cornell Woolrich's novel, the wife (June Vincent) of a man (John Phillips) convicted of murder by circumstantial evidence tries to find the killer with the help of the police investigator (Broderick Crawford) and the victim's alcoholic husband (Dan Duryea), who leads her to an ex-convict (Peter Lorre) who owns a nightclub.

This murder mystery is a strong indictment of alcoholism and capital punishment.

The Blue Dahlia

(1946 b 99') En: 5 Ed: 4

Navy veteran Johnny (Alan Ladd) finds his alcoholic wife Helen (Doris Dowling) is romantic about a wanted murderer (Howard Da Silva), whose wife (Veronica Lake) befriends Johnny. Helen is murdered, and Johnny avoids police to try to find out who did it. His friend Buzz (William Bendix), who was wounded in the head, thinks he may have killed her.

The Navy and Paramount made the writer Raymond Chandler change the ending because they did not want to portray a veteran as a murderer. The killing and brutality of this drama reflects the violent damage in the returning veterans.

Boys' Ranch

(1946 b 97') En: 4 Ed: 5

Based on the true story about Cal Farley, a baseball player (James Craig) takes the boys Hank (Daryl Hickman) and Skippy (Skip Homeier) on parole and starts a ranch to help juvenile delinquents. Hank is elected foreman, but Skippy wants to leave and continues his habit of stealing.

This drama shows how various characters learn that their actions have consequences that affect other people as well as themselves.

California

(1946 c 97') En: 5 Ed: 4

Persecuted gambler Lily (Barbara Stanwyck) is welcomed into the wagon of vineyard-grower Fabian (Barry Fitzgerald), and she clashes with the wagon-train boss Trumbo (Ray Milland), who wins her saloon in California and battles the slave-trader Coffin (George Coulouris).

This melodramatic conflict is played out during California's gold rush and decision whether to be an independent nation or a state in the United States. The latter is portrayed as better because the power-hungry slave-trader favors the former.

Canyon Passage

(1946 b 92') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a novel by Harvey Haycox, Logan (Dana Andrews) has a frontier business in Oregon and is choosing between Caroline (Patricia Roc) and Lucy (Susan Hayward); but his gambling friend George (Brian Donlevy) and his enemy Bragg (Ward Bond) bring out the worst in Steele (Lloyd Bridges) and others.

A few dishonest and greedy settlers make a precarious situation much worse by antagonizing each other and the Indians as they try to survive in a place without established laws.

Courage of Lassie

(1946 c 93') En: 4 Ed: 5

A collie grows up in the wild and is shot by hunters before being adopted by a girl (Elizabeth Taylor), who gets Harry (Frank Morgan) to train him as a sheep dog. After being hit by a truck, the dog is trained to be a war dog and helps rescue a surrounded platoon. Wounded again, the dog turns hostile and escapes, killing animals to eat, and, after finding the girl, is put on trial.

Colorful depictions of wild animals enhance the natural theme that the cruel warfare of humans causes hostility even when one has been a war hero.

Deception

(1946 b 110') En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from a play by Louis Verneuil, Christine (Bette Davis) marries the cellist Karel (Paul Henreid), who becomes jealous of her close friendship with the composer Alex (Claude Rains).

This melodrama explores how deception of a loved one can become self-deception and lead to irrational behavior, especially when strong jealousies and artistic competition antagonize a triangle.

The Diary of a Chamber Maid

(1946 b 86’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from the 1900 novel by Octave Mirbeau and directed by Jean Renoir, Célestine (Paulette Goddard) is  hired as a chambermaid by wealthy Madame Lanlaire (Judith Anderson) and vows she will raise herself by marrying a man with money. She tries Captain Lanlaire (Reginald Owen), the neighbor Captain Mauger (Burgess Meredith), the son George Lanlaire (Hurd Hatfield), and the valet Joseph (Francis Lederer).

            This period drama depicts the differences based on social class as an attractive servant struggles to become financially independent by joining with a man.

Gallant Journey

(1946 b 86’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by William Wellman, John J. Montgomery (Glenn Ford) with encouragement from pretty Ginny Cleary (Janet Blair) experiments with gliders, becomes the first man to fly in 1883, is assisted by Jesuits, invents a gold-separating machine, and uses the money to marry and pioneer in the airplane field.

            This biopic is generally accurate and dramatizes the risks and excitement of early experiments in human flight. Montgomery died in a flight accident in 1911.

Green for Danger

(1946 b 91’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the novel by Christianna Brand, in 1944 during the German V-1 rocket attacks in England at an emergency hospital a postman dies during surgery. Pretty nurse Freddie Linley (Sally Gray) tells anesthetist Barney Barnes (Trevor Howard) that their engagement is off, and she is seen kissing Dr. Eden (Leo Genn). Nurse Sister Marion Bates (Judy Campbell) announces during a dance that the postman was murdered, and then she is murdered. Inspector Cockrill (Alastair Sim) arrives and glibly considers five people suspects and seeks to solve the case.

            This droll mystery keeps the audience guessing each step of the way until the surprising ending. The terrifying circumstances of bomb attacks adds to the fear and tension of the jealousy and rivalries among those treating the wounded in this difficult situation.

The Harvey Girls

(1946 c 101') En: 5 Ed: 4

Susan (Judy Garland) goes west to marry a man who sent her letters but becomes a waitress for a restaurant chain challenged by the animosity of a judge (Preston Foster) and a singer (Angela Lansbury). Susan falls in love with the saloon-owner (John Hodiak) who wrote the letters.

This musical contrasts the wicked chorus girls in the saloon with the virtuous waitresses and suggests that the advancing civilization of the latter will replace the former, who are expected to "change their style."

The Hoodlum Saint

(1946 b 92') En: 5 Ed: 5

In 1919 veteran Terry (William Powell) needs a job, and meeting Kay (Esther Williams) helps him contact powerful men. Terry does well in business until the stock market crashes, but he does not forget Snarp (James Gleason), his hoodlum friends, and the charity of their patron saint Dismus.

This comedy explores the veterans' difficulties and the stock craze of the 1920s while suggesting that faith and charity can even help those who run illegal gambling.

Lady Luck

(1946 b 97') En: 5 Ed: 4

Mary Audrey (Barbara Hale) has a grandfather (Frank Morgan) with a gambling problem. She falls in love with the professional gambler Larry (Robert Young), who gives it up to marry her. His friend Sam (James Gleason) gets Larry and Mary involved in gambling in Las Vegas.

The lure of the gambling lifestyle is explored in this romantic comedy, but eventually love triumphs over the illusion of luck.

A Letter for Evie

(1946 b 89') En: 5 Ed: 5

Textile worker Evie (Marsha Hunt) puts a letter in a large shirt that Wolf (John Carroll) rejects; but his friend John (Hume Cronyn) corresponds successfully and uses Wolf's photo. When Wolf and Evie meet, they like each other's looks; but Wolf does not really want to marry her.

This comedy of mistaken identity shows how it is the inner qualities that sensitive people really love in each other.

Morning for the Osone Family

(Japanese 1946 b 81’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by Keisuke Kinshita, in 1943 the oldest son of the Osuna family is arrested for an article criticizing Japan for going to war. His sister has her engagement cancelled because her fiancée is from a family involved in the war industry. The younger brother is drafted into the army. The story proceeds until after the war when United States General Douglas MacArthur governs Japan during the post-war occupation.

This drama portrays a Japanese family’s suffering during a war they were reluctant to support, but hope for the future is expressed after the war.

My Reputation

(1946 b 94') En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a novel by Clare Jaynes, the widow Jessica (Barbara Stanwyck) finds herself alone when her two sons go off to school, and her mother (Lucile Watson) wants her to wear black and mourn; but her friend Ginna (Eve Arden) invites her to Lake Tahoe, and she meets Major Scott Landis (George Brent). He helps Jessica to find her own independence despite the damage gossip brings to her reputation.

This drama is set in 1942 and was filmed in 1943, and it reflects the difficulties widows experienced during the war. Her mother argues for following conventions, but Jessica does not want her life restricted like her mother's. One of the results of the war is that more women began leading their own lives.

Never Say Goodbye

(1946 b 94') En: 5 Ed: 4

Seven-year-old Flip (Patti Brady) wants her divorced parents to get back together. Artist Phil Gayley (Errol Flynn) is going with a model (Peggy Knudsen), and the mother (Lucile Watson) of Ellen Gayley (Eleanor Parker) wants her to marry the lawyer Rex (Donald Woods). Restaurateur Luigi (S. Z. Sakall) tries to mediate, and Flip writes to a Marine (Forrest Tucker), who arrives and hopes to marry Ellen.

This post-war comedy reflects the trend toward domesticity and having children. Ellen is jealous of Phil, but she gets him back by making him jealous. What matters most is that they both love Flip and each other.

Nobody Lives Forever

(1946 b 100') En: 5 Ed: 4

W. R. Burnett adapted his novel about a war veteran (John Garfield) whose girlfriend (Faye Emerson) says she lost his $50,000. He reverts to his underworld profession as a con man and tough guy; but he falls in love with the heiress (Geraldine Fitzgerald) he has agreed to swindle and has trouble with a bitter criminal (George Coulouris) while being aided by his friends (George Tobias and Walter Brennan).

This film noir contrasts the cruel immorality of professional criminals to the easy life-style of a wealthy woman who finds romance. Those who try to take money without creating any value usually make things worse for others and themselves.

O.S.S.

(1946 b 107') En: 5 Ed: 5

Commander Brady (Patric Knowles) trains and sends Martin (Alan Ladd) and Ellen (Geraldine Fitzgerald) into France as spies to blow up a train tunnel.

O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) was the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency during World War II. This drama depicts how the United States got into the spy profession like other older powers in order to sabotage enemies.

Of Human Bondage

(1946 b 106') En: 5 Ed: 5

In this second film version of Somerset Maugham's novel, the medical student Philip Carey (Paul Henreid) with a club foot falls in love with the waitress Mildred (Eleanor Parker), who leaves him, gets pregnant, comes back for his help, and then spurns him. Athelny (Edmund Gwenn) helps Philip, who asks to marry his daughter Sally (Janis Paige).

The depressing mood of this story comes from a lack of joy and humor in the characters who have difficulty expressing themselves.

Road to Utopia

(1946 b 89') En: 5 Ed: 4

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby entertain with jokes and songs in a chase with Dorothy Lamour for a gold map in Alaska.

The humor reflects the desires of men for women and the struggle for survival and wealth.

Sentimental Journey

(1946 b 94’) En: 4 Ed: 5

Based on the story “The Little Horse” by Nelia Gardner White, Julie Beck (Maureen O’Hara) is a beautiful actress who is married to director Bill Weatherly (John Payne), and they are working on another play. Dr. Jim Miller (Cedric Hardwicke) tells Julie she needs rest and implies she may die soon. At the beach Julie meets the orphan girl Hitty (Connie Marshall) who has a fantastic imagination and takes to Julie quickly. Julie persuades Bill, and they adopt Hitty who is showered with toys by their friend Donnelly (William Bendix). Before she dies, Julie tells Hitty to take care of Bill. He has difficulty adjusting to her loss, but the spirit of Julie appears to Hitty and advises how to help Bill.

            This spiritual fantasy shows how a precocious child can have a spiritual attunement rarely experienced by adults. This story was filmed again in the1958movie The Gift of Love.

Smoky

(1946 b 87') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a novel by Will James, a wrangler (Fred MacMurray) finds a wild stallion and drives it to a ranch, where the young owner (Anne Baxter) gives him a job breaking horses. The wrangler reluctantly helps Frank (Bruce Cabot), who makes trouble for others and himself.

This drama celebrates the love a man has for a horse with spirit, but he is unable to restrain a selfish man. Symbolically the story suggests that powerful energy needs to be governed and made gentle power.

So Goes My Love

(1946 b 88’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a story by Hiram Percy Maxim, Jane Budden (Myrna Loy) sells her pigs and moves to Brooklyn to marry a wealthy man; but she falls in love with the eccentric inventor Hiram Maxim (Don Ameche), rejects the pork king, Josephus Ford (Richard Gaines), and marries Hiram. They raise their son Percy (Bobby Driscoll), and they get their portrait painted by Magel (Rhys Williams).

            This comedy is a fictionalized biopic that satirizes the stuffiness of 19th-century society, and they demonstrate the value of sparing the child rather than using the rod to spoil the child.

A Stolen Life

(1946 b 107') En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from a novel by Karel J. Benes, identical twin sisters (Bette Davis) both fall in love with independent Bill Emerson (Glenn Ford). When Patricia seduces Bill away from Kate and marries him, Kate learns more about herself from a frank artist (Dane Clark). After Patricia drowns in a boating accident, Kate assumes her identity but discovers she does not want to take up her philandering sister's life.

This melodrama contrasts the personalities of the sisters, and the demure Kate realizes that she cannot live a lie. True friendship proves to be more lasting than sexual excitement.

Three Little Girls in Blue

(1946 c 90') En: 5 Ed: 5

In this second adaptation of the play by Stephen Powys, three orphaned sisters pool their funds and go to Atlantic City to marry a rich man. Pam (June Haver) falls in love with Van (George Montgomery) but learns he is poor while Liz (Viviane Blaine) loves Steve (Frank Lattimore), and Myra (Vera-Ellen) falls for Mike (Charles Smith). Ironically the attractive, rich, and witty Miriam (Celeste Holm) is still hunting a man.

In this romantic musical they start out with materialistic motivations but discover there are more important things than money in finding a mate.

Three Strangers

(1946 b 92') En: 5 Ed: 4

In this story written by John Huston, Crystal (Geraldine Fitzgerald) finds two strangers to make a combined wish for money to Kwan Yin with a sweepstakes ticket. Johnny (Peter Lorre) is an alcoholic wanted in a murder case. Jerome (Sydney Greenstreet) is a lawyer who illegally speculates with money entrusted to him. Crystal will not give her husband (Alan Napier) a divorce to marry another woman.

This black comedy is ironic as two of the three "lucky" winners have tragic results, reflecting the chaotic times in which anything can go wrong. Although the story is unlikely, the various characters have their facets revealed by their actions and words.

Three Wise Fools

(1946 b 90') En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Austin Strong's play and narrated by an ancient pixie (Harry Davenport), an Irish orphan (Margaret O'Brien) and her manservant (Thomas Mitchell) are adopted by three successful men-a doctor (Lionel Barrymore), a judge (Lewis Stone), and a banker (Edward Arnold)-who loved her grandmother and want to donate her property to a university; but the girl will not allow an oak tree to be removed.

In this spiritual fantasy the little girl's love and innocence open the hearts of the three old men so that two chain themselves to the tree while the third contributes his fortune to make it a park. This film represents the seeds that would grow in the next generations that would make personal sacrifices to save the natural environment of the Earth.

Till the Clouds Roll By

(1946 c 135') En: 5 Ed: 4

In this fictionalized biography songwriter Jerome Kern (Robert Walker) works with an experienced arranger (Van Heflin) to perfect his craft. His greatest songs are presented, including a long sequence from his brilliant hit, Show Boat.

This musical is more like a concert with some story thrown in as 27 songs are staged in lavish style. This is essentially escape entertainment for those who like the songs.

Two Sisters from Boston

(1946 b 112') En: 5 Ed: 4

Abigail (Kathryn Grayson) has an operatic voice and is working in a burlesque theater with Spike (Jimmy Durante), but she tells her uncle (Harry Hayden) she sings in opera. Her sister Martha (June Allyson) tries to help her and ends up in burlesque too.

This comedy satirizes the puritanical attitudes of Boston society that are shocked by the slightest alteration of social conventions while ironically mirroring them in its Hollywood production code.

Undercurrent

(1946 b 116') En: 5 Ed: 4

Ann (Katharine Hepburn) marries famous, wealthy, and handsome Alan Garroway (Robert Taylor), but she discovers he hates his brother (Robert Mitchum).

This psychological thriller gradually becomes very frightening as a new wife learns that her husband used reprehensible means of attaining fortune and fame.

The Verdict

(1946 b 86') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Israel Zangwill's novel, superintendent Grodman (Sydney Greenstreet) is replaced by Buckley (George Coulouris) after a witness proves that an innocent man was hanged, but Grodman with help from Victor (Peter Lorre) proves that Buckley could make a similar mistake.

This mystery shows the danger that capital punishment can accidentally murder innocent people.

The Virginian

(1946 b 86') En: 5 Ed: 4

In this adaptation of Owen Wister's novel and play, in the Wyoming territory the Virginian (Joel McCrea) and his friend Steve (Sonny Tufts) compete for the new schoolteacher (Barbara Britton), but Steve gets involved in rustling with the Virginian's foe Trampas (Brian Donlevy).

This archetypal western explores the macho code of violence in the lawless west while a woman from the east objects.

The Years Between

(1946 b 96') En: 5 Ed: 5

Diana (Valerie Hobson) gets a telegram that her husband was killed in the war. She mourns, is persuaded to stand for his seat in Parliament, and agrees to marry Richard (James McKechnie); but her husband Richard (Michael Redgrave) returns from a Russian prison camp after working undercover, and he has difficulty reuniting with Diana.

This drama depicts the increasing roles of women during the war and the consequences of the separation for a married couple.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1946

1913-1926 1927-1929
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959

Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies of All Time
Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies in Alphabetical Order

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