The Magnificent Dope (1942). Amusing comedy. Don Ameche runs a Success School in New York, unfortunately it’s not very successful. He comes up with the idea of offering a 500 dollar prize to the most unsuccessful man in America. The prize is won by Henry Fonda who lives in Vermont and has no interest in being successful at all, just wants the money to help buy a fire engine for his town. Don Ameche has to convince him to actually do the course and get a job to make more publicity for his business. But the result is not what he expects.
Next Stop, Greenwich Village 1976 directed by Paul Mazursky. Simply put it's about the ups and downs of life as experienced by a group of aspiring young artists in the early Fifties (1953) New York. Especially following Larry Lapinsky (Lenny Baker) from the time he moves from his mother (Shelley Winters) and father (Mike Kellin), meets all kind of people, to the time he's on his way to Hollywood. Comedy, romance, drama and in one case tragedy. Said to give a realistic view of living in The Village in the early 1950's among the wannabe's, the hasbeen's and other hopefuls. It feels realistic but not all are very sympathetic, some are very selfish and some have created an image about themselves that they can't break out of it. Sadly Lenny Baker passed away in AIDS 1982. Early roles for Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum. Well worth searching out if it sounds interesting.
Hidden River aka Rio Escondido 1948, Mexican movie directed by Emilio Fernández. A young teacher (Maria Felix) is handpicked and sent by the Mexican President himself, to travel to the desert town of Rio Escondido to accomplish the mission of bringing education to the poorest people. Once there she has to fight the evil landlord of the town. He has transformed the town into his own property, imposing his will and spreading death everywhere. He whips men, women and horses, and doesn't shy away from shooting people in the back, even kids. A Smallpox epidemic nearly changes everything. There is a lot of Socialist propaganda mixed with Catholic beliefs in this movie. But it also has an interesting story to tell too, and bringing education to the poorest is an important matter. My main reason was that I wanted to see Mexican superstar Maria Felix on her own home turf, and this movie didn't disappoint. Beautiful black and white cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa (Oscar nominated for The Night of the Iguana 1964). Not a masterpiece, but my feelings for this movie is very positive, and it have a good message about the importance of education.