East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The Curse of Kwan Yin: Three Strangers (1946)

It’s pretty straightforward, in the end: you pitch me a noir movie featuring Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet, I will drop everything else and watch the hell out of it, and then probably do a post about it.
Which is exactly what happened last night, when I spent one hour and a half with a bowl of dark chocolate ice cream and Jean Negulesco’s 1946 flick, Three Strangers.
And what a bizarre movie it was!

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The Beast with Five Fingers

As a Christmas gift, I’ve just received a copy of W.F. Harvey’s collection The Beast with Five Fingers, a massive volume featuring fifty odd-stories by this lesser known British practitioner of supernatural and horror fiction.

A Quaker, Harvey had a degree in medicine and had served as a surgeon during the Great War, and writing was not his main career until his early retirement in 1925, aged 40, due to ill health (his lungs had been damaged during a rescue operation at sea during the war). The Beast with Five Fingers is probably his best-known short story, it was originally pyblished in The New Decameron in 1919, and gave the title to the author’s second collection, published in 1928.
In case you are interested, you can read it in Famous Modern Ghost Stories, a fine collection from the ’20s you can download for free as an ebook on the Project Gutenberg (and that features also Algernon Blackwood, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert W. Chambers and Ambrose Bierce, among many others).

And while I am waiting to find the time to read this beauty, last night I went and watched the movie featuring Peter Lorre that in 1946 was based on the Harvey story, and on a script by Curt Siodmak. And here’s my impressions.

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The Joan Crawford Blogathon: Strange Cargo (1940)

It’s the Joan Crawford blogathon – and we are terribly late!
But here we are.
Set up by the In the Good Old Days of Hollywood blog, this online marathon celebrates one of the most iconic actresses of Classic Hollywood.
Strikingly beautiful, extraordinarily talented and extremely versatile, Crawford later became the subject of interests unrelated to her acting career… but we are trying to stick to her performances. This is not a gossip column.
So, please check out the link above for a full list of the participating blogs and a lot of excellent posts on some great movies.


And once you’re done, follow us in the jungle as we set our sights on Strange Cargo. Continue reading