THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924)
1924, Warner Bros., 155 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

Raoul Walsh performs a high-wire act as director and comes out the winner in this magical melange of fantasy and fun. Working with his good friend, actor-producer Douglas Fairbanks, proved a match made in Hollywood heaven. Walsh's fine, realistic tone keeps Fairbanks in check as the actor tries again and again to go for physical hijinks and enough balletic action to take the audience's breath away. There are special effects galore, some of them straight from Walsh's imagination. Production design by the great William Cameron Menzies adds just the right zing to Fairbanks' and Walsh's vision in this tale about a clever thief named Ahmed who steals the heart of a princess and must win her love in the end. It's an Arabian Nights fantasy that Walsh infuses with gusto and bravado. The sets are sumptuous and the characters deliciously entertaining in this landmark silent film, one of the highlights of Walsh's earlier career. Also featuring the seductive Anna May Wong and a beautiful Julanne Johnston. Originally premiered at the Egyptian Theatre!


THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE
1941, Warner Bros., 97 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

"Well, your mother's a bloomer girl, you're a nicotine fiend, are there any more at home like you?" "I have an aunt who's an actress." A perfect showcase for the comedic chops of James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland, this delightfully witty romantic comedy from director Raoul Walsh follows Biff Grimes (Cagney), a good-hearted student dentist who always seems to finish last. Biff finds himself completely conned by his best friend Hugo Barnstad (Jack Carson), who steals away the infatuation of his life, known as "The Strawberry Blonde" (Rita Hayworth), and leaves Biff broken-hearted to pick up the pieces of Hugo's shady business dealings. As Biff's frustration mounts, he picks more and more fights with The Strawberry Blonde's opinionated suffragette best friend Amy (de Havilland), and soon realizes that their relationship is taking on slightly different dimensions than he'd bargained for. Walsh’s personal favorite of his sound pictures. Oscar nominated for Best Score.


WHITE HEAT
1949, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" Demon-speed direction by Raoul Walsh makes this one of the most electrifying crime thrillers ever made. Mama's boy Cody Jarrett is the quintessential James Cagney performance, an invigorating example of a star's titanic personality merging with the fiction to create an unforgettable character. Even when Cagney’s portrayal is seen in the wake of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana in SCARFACE, it remains perhaps the most chillingly convincing profile of an outlaw sociopath ever to come out of Hollywood. The stellar supporting cast includes Virginia Mayo as Cody’s two-timing moll, Edmond O'Brien as undercover G-man Fallon, Steve Cochran as Cody’s dapper rival within the gang and Margaret Wycherly as Ma. If you've never seen the explosive climax on the big screen, here's your chance!


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