The Movies from Taylor’s Catalogue

All the films that Lorelai mentions in Taylor’s catalogue are made by Monogram Pictures, a film studio that produced mostly low-budget films between 1931 and 1953, after which they were known as Allied Artists Picture Corporation. Lacking the resources to deliver high production values and big stars, they instead offered plenty of action and adventure. They launched the careers of many actors who went on to become stars, and provided a haven for good actors whose careers had stalled.

Monogram/Allied Artists continued until 1979; their library is now owned by Warner Bros, MGM, and Paramount, while a few are in the public domain – although none of the films listed here.

Arctic Flight [pictured]
A 1952 drama film directed by Lew Landers, about a bush pilot, played by Mike Wein, flying in the Arctic. There is a Soviet spy adventure involving a polar bear hunter, and romance with a schoolteacher, played by Lola Albright. It’s a B movie, considered unpretentious and well-made.

Killer Shark
A 1950 B movie directed by Budd Boetticher, and starring actor Roddy McDowell, who had been a successful child actor in England before moving to America with his family. He went on to star in some major films during the 1960s and 1970s, and had a lengthy career.

Where Are Your Children?
A 1943 teenage crime film directed by William Nigh and starring former child star Jackie Cooper. It was more successful than the studio had expected, and they made a sequel the following year called Are These Our Parents?

Sudden Danger
A 1955 film noir crime drama directed by Hubert Cornfield and starring Bill Elliot as the police detective investigating a possible murder, and Tom Drake as the man who hopes to clear himself by looking for clues on his own. The movie was part of a five-film series, and is considered a solid effort with a good cast.

A 1946 film noir ice skating film directed by Frank Tuttle, and starring Barry Sullivan and British former Olympic skater Belita. It was the most expensive film Monogram ever made, costing $1.1 million. It was panned by critics, but a box office success.

Lorelai and Rory love watching “bad” movies, but suddenly they get awfully snobbish about putting a B movie on in the town square. Apparently it’s fun to watch a B movie, but embarrassing to publicly screen one.

None of these films were terrible failures, or considered unwatchable. I’m not sure why they don’t seem like a viable alternative to watching The Yearling for the third year running.

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