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Blue Murder at St. Trinian’s (1957)
They're back... and up to no good!!!
Filmmaker(s): Frank Launder

With their headmistress under lock and key in her majesty's prison, the St Trinian's girls find themselves under the protection of the army. However, when the sixth form take a fancy to winning a trip to Italy through means fair or foul, the army discover this is one battle they can't win. Let loose in Europe, it is not long before St Trinian's have succeeded in endangering European relations.

Girls This is remarkable stuff. It has the normal amount of silliness, but the discriminating thing with this series is the notion of the girls school. Its absolutely amazing, what they have done with this notion. The school is a girls’ school that destroys every location it...

Published February 1, 2024
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Toward the Unknown (1956)
Somewhere at a secluded U.S. Air Force Base lives a picked handful of very special men — the rocket pilots of outer space and the eerie experimental craft that rule the skies beyond the sky...
Filmmaker(s): Mervyn LeRoy

Tortured into a false confession while a POW in Korea, Major Lincoln Bond returns to active service as a test pilot. Determined to clear his name, Bond battles a hard-nosed base commander, prejudiced officers and his own insecurities.

Spam in a Jan Three things noteworthy about this movie, which though big in its day is almost completely forgotten now. It is one of a class of movies where the humans are second class citizens and the prime characters are machines. This class originated almost at...

Published January 24, 2024
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Blood of the Vampire (1958)
Nothing Like It This Side of Hell!
Filmmaker(s): Henry Cass

A man and wife are terrorized by Mad Scientist Dr. Callistratus who was executed but has returned to life with a heart transplant. Along with his crippled assistant Carl, the 'anemic' Mad Scientist, believed to be a vampire, conducts blood deficiency research on the inmates of a prison hospital for the criminally insane to sustain his return to life.

The Evil Eye We each have the experiences that brought us to the way we dream, and the forms we use in wrangling the world. My cinematic maturity is pretty traceable because the films and the watching were so self-ware. Going back before well-formed notions of self,...

Published January 20, 2024
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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
The Most Horror-Dripping TALE EVER WRITTEN!
Filmmaker(s): Terence Fisher

When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, detective Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.

Mongrel Sherlock was an invention of the times, following the new idea of evolution. The notion of pure reason being able to perceive and comprehend everything in life was especially novel. This was contrasted to the bumbling inductive logic of doctors like Watson. Handling Holmes is...

Published July 27, 2023
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The Band Wagon (1953)
Get Aboard!
Filmmaker(s): Vincente Minnelli

A Broadway artiste turns a faded film star's comeback vehicle into an artsy flop.

42nd Street in the Rain The colour musical film is a strange beast. Hollywood explored many of its possibilities. And people did buy lots of tickets. But until very recently, musicals were all but dead. That’s because they were never able to create a self sustaining...

Published May 17, 2023
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The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
I took you out of the gutter... I can fling you back!
Filmmaker(s): Vincente Minnelli

Told in flashback form, the film traces the rise and fall of a tough, ambitious Hollywood producer, Jonathan Shields, as seen through the eyes of various acquaintances, including a writer, James Lee Bartlow; a star, Georgia Lorrison; and a director, Fred Amiel. He is a hard-driving, ambitious man who ruthlessly uses everyone on the way to becoming one of Hollywood's top movie makers.

Just Bad There are an astonishing number of movies about the movie business. many of these interest me because they use the situation as a way of engaging the audience: we are tricked into being the audience IN the film. This is a common trick,...

Published May 17, 2023
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Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
It's a wonderful world, if you'll only take the time to go around it!
Filmmaker(s): Michael Anderson

Based on the famous book by Jules Verne the movie follows Phileas Fogg on his journey around the world. Which has to be completed within 80 days, a very short period for those days.

Short Story Long What astounds me is how things change. Here’s a film that was celebrated in its day. In fact, I remember my third grade class in the DC area taking the day off to go to this. (The year previously, we had gone to see...

Published May 16, 2023
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Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Biggest musical under the sun!
Filmmaker(s): George Sidney

Gunslinger Annie Oakley romances fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler as they travel with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Missing This could have been a miracle. It could have featured Judy Garland who in her prime was the most committed performer (with talent) in movies. She prepared the way for Brando. It could have been arranged by Busby Berkeley, who in his prime invented the notion...

Published April 4, 2023
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Angels One Five (1952)
A Story of Some of "The Few"...
Filmmaker(s): George More O'Ferrall

The year is 1940 and Pilot Officer T.B. Baird arrives straight out of flight school to join a front line RAF squadron at the height of the Battle of Britain. After an unfortunate start and a drumming down from his commanding officer, Baird must balance the struggle to impress his Group Captain, regain his pride, fit in with his fellow pilots, and survive one of the most intense air battles in history.

Definitions I’m watching this right after the terrorist attacks on London. Immediately, the Brits snapped back to this period, the so-called Battle of Britain where a few outnumbered airmen held off that bad guys. They’ve since forgotten that the bad guys were the Germans (not the...

Published April 4, 2023
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Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
No search of human emotions has ever probed so deeply, so truthfully as… Anatomy of a Murder.
Filmmaker(s): Otto Preminger

Semi-retired Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler takes the case of Army Lt. Manion, who murdered a local innkeeper after his wife claimed that he raped her. Over the course of an extensive trial, Biegler parries with District Attorney Lodwick and out-of-town prosecutor Claude Dancer to set his client free, but his case rests on the victim's mysterious business partner, who's hiding a dark secret.

Drunk Lawyers There seems to be a sub-genre of movies that feature drunk or downtrodden lawyers taking on cases and winning. This is sometimes associated with the “courtroom” film where reality is unfolded according to specific rules, coloured by human dynamics. And this is under the...

Published April 2, 2023
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