A Movie A Day #243: The Joe Louis Story (1953, directed by Robert Gordon)


Joe Louis, also known as the Brown Bomber, is generally agreed to have been one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.  Despite the barriers put up by both poverty and racism, Louis held the world heavyweight championship from 1937 to 1949 and successfully defended his title in 26 fights (ranking him second to only Julio Cesar Chavez, who had 27 title defenses).  In 1938, he defeated German Max Schmelling, disproving Nazi claims that a black man could not defeat an Aryan and making Louis, along with Jesse Owens, one of the first African-American athletes to achieve nationwide hero status in America.

The Joe Louis Story, which was made and released shortly after Louis lost his final fight to Rocky Marciano and announced his retirement from boxing, tells an effective but sanitized version of Louis’s life story.  Made on an obviously low budget, The Joe Louis Story hits all the highlights — Joe’s relationship with trainer Jack Blackburn (James Edwards), Joe’s marriage to Marva Trotter (Hilda Simms), Joe’s two fights against Max Schmelling, and Joe’s time in the army — while ignoring most of the lowlights.  No mention is made of Joe’s financial troubles, Joe’s initial struggle to even get a match against the white heavyweights of the day, or the infidelity that led to Joe and Marva’s divorce.  The Joe Louis Story does briefly touch on racism when Joe is told that, as a black man, he already has a strike against him as far as the boxing establishment is concerned.

The best thing about The Joe Louis Story is that it features footage from Louis’s actual fights. Coley Wallace, the boxer who was hired to play the title role, bore a remarkable resemblance to Joe and the footage of the real Joe Louis boxing is easily mixed in with scene of Wallace as Joe.  Wallace was not much of an actor but, as a real-life boxer, he still brought enough authenticity to the role that his casting works.

One final note: In real life, Joe Louis ended his career after a brutal loss to Rocky Marciano.  Before turning pro, Marciano lost four fights as an amueter.  One of those losses came in 1948 when Marciano was defeated in the final round of the New York Golden Gloves tournament.  The fighter who defeated Rocky Marciano?  Coley Wallace.

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Familiar Faces #6: The Law and Mr. Hinds


cracked rear viewer

I first became aware of actor Samuel S. Hinds watching those old Universal pictures that played frequently on my local channels. What I didn’t know about the stately, distinguished thespian is he had a secret past: Hinds was a successful, practicing attorney for over 30 years before the stock market crash of 1929 wiped him out, and he decided at age 54 to pursue his second love, acting. Hinds, born in Brooklyn in 1875, was a Harvard educated lawyer who had a long interest in amateur acting. When he made the decision to turn pro, he wrangled film parts large and small, credited and uncredited. His first talking picture was 1932’s all-star comedy drama IF I HAD A MILLION, in which he played…. you guessed it, a lawyer! (Hinds previously had a small role in the silent 1926 THE AMATEUR GENTLEMAN starring Richard Barthelmess).

Hinds had a small role as…

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Music Video of the Day: Conociéndome, Conociéndote by ABBA (1980, dir. Lasse Hallström)


Every time I miss even a day, it feels like a lifetime. Since the last post I’ve seen Anna Paquin wander through what felt like an abandoned retread of The Shining (Darkness). Mark Wahlberg traveled through a desert so he could nearly get everyone killed were it not for a Deus Ex Ape showing up to save the day (Planet Of The Apes). I watched what someone on iCheckMovies termed “Moist Max” (Waterworld). Ben Affleck practiced to play Batman (Daredevil). I saw Renny Harlin’s version of Die Hard: With A Vengeance (12 Rounds). And finally, I got to see what would have happened if Data saved Picard from the Borg by playing Sabotage by Beastie Boys into the Borg Hive Mind (Star Trek Beyond).

If you go to mvdbase and IMDb, then you’ll find some videos that show up in one, but are absent from the other. This video is one that isn’t in mvdbase. However, it is in IMDb, and that’s good enough for me.

We’ve had the sailboat version.

We’ve had the snow version, which is a video to keep in mind when we get to the notorious one for Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), seeing as they repeat the shot below as well as other elements from ABBA music videos.

Finally, we have the Spanish-language version of Knowing Me, Knowing You.

I wasn’t even aware this was an actual video till I came across it on IMDb. I originally chalked it up to one of the several Spanish version’s of their songs that are available through their VEVO channel.

While I do like the other two versions, Knowing Me, Knowing You is one of those songs that lends itself well to a simple performance that draws all of your attention to the song.

There are a couple of video effects thrown in, but otherwise it’s just them and the audience (you). Still, there seems to have been some direction given that you would expect from an ABBA video, where they don’t just look at the camera.

I like that they included both guitars from the song, the acoustic one as well as the electric one.

That’s all I have for this one. There better not be any more versions of Knowing Me, Knowing You out there.

Enjoy!

ABBA retrospective:

  1. Bald Headed Woman by The Hep Stars (1966, dir. ???)
  2. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  3. Tangokavaljeren by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  4. Vårkänslor (ja, de’ ä våren) by Agnetha & Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  5. Titta in i men lilla kajuta by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  6. Nu Ska Vi Vara Snälla by Björn & Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  7. Finns Det Flickor by Björn & Sten Nilsson (1969, dir. ???)
  8. Nu Ska Vi Opp, Opp, Opp by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  9. Det Kommer En Vår by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  10. Beate-Christine by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  11. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  12. Att Älska I Vårens Tid by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  13. Min Soldat by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  14. Söderhavets Sång by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  15. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  16. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  17. Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  18. Waterloo by ABBA (1974, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  19. Honey Honey by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  20. Hasta Mañana by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  21. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  22. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. ???)
  23. Bang-A-Boomerang by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  24. SOS by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  25. Mamma Mia by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  26. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  27. Tropical Loveland by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  28. When I Kissed The Teacher by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  29. Tiger by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  30. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  31. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  32. Fernando by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström) + Spanish Version
  33. My Love, My Life by ABBA (1976, dir. Per Falkman)
  34. Dancing Queen by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  35. That’s Me by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  36. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  37. The Name Of The Game by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  38. Thank You For The Music/Gracias Por La Música by ABBA (1977/1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  39. One Man, One Woman by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  40. Take A Chance On Me by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  41. Eagle by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  42. Summer Night City by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  43. Estoy Soñando by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  44. Chiquitia by ABBA (1979, dir. ???)
  45. Does Your Mother Know by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  46. Voulez-Vous by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  47. Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)