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From Here to Eternity (1953)
The boldest book of our time… honestly, fearlessly on the screen!
Filmmaker(s): Fred Zinnemann

In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

The Rule of Threes My own estimation is that this is a pretty poor movie cinematically, with the exeption of the then-shocking juicy exuberance of the beach scene. But it is crackling good storytelling and that overcomes the wooden direction and uninspired acting. I’m a believer in the...

Published December 24, 2022
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Threes |
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The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)
The Wonder Musical of the Future!
Filmmaker(s): Roy Rowland

Young Bart Collins lives with his widowed mother Heloise. The major blight on Bart's existence is the hated piano lessons he is forced to endure under the tutelage of the autocratic Dr. Terwilliker. Bart feels that his mother has fallen under Terwilliker's sinister influence, and gripes to visiting plumber August Zabladowski, without much result. While grimly hammering away at his lessons, Bart dozes off and enters a fantastical musical dream.

Green Eggs I watch so many bad films that I’m worn out for any try at campiness. I never recommend films as jokes, and many seemingly bad films are really good ones with bad production values. But this one is such a disaster it deserves all the...

Published December 15, 2022
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310 to Yuma (1957)
The lonesome whistle of a train... bringing the gallows closer to a desperado... the showdown nearer to his captor!
Filmmaker(s): Delmer Daves

Dan Evans, a small time farmer, is hired to escort Ben Wade, a dangerous outlaw, to Yuma. As Evans and Wade wait for the 3:10 train to Yuma, Wade's gang is racing to free him.

These Are the Brown Ones I am particularly fond of movies that I can see through other facets: remakes, derivatives, spoofs and so on. This one is particularly rich. The remake is quite modern, a story about making a story. The Crowe character (the bad guy)...

Published December 15, 2022
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Twos |
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The African Queen (1951)
The greatest adventure a man ever lived… with a woman!
Filmmaker(s): John Huston

At the start of the First World War, in the middle of Africa’s nowhere, a gin soaked riverboat captain is persuaded by a strong-willed missionary to go down river and face-off a German warship.

Leeches Tom Cruise played an exaggerated version of himself in “Magnolia,” following a tradition set long ago. We liked to believe that the sex sirens we saw in movies the 30’s were really that way in life and probably they were. John Wayne followed, never playing anything...

Published December 12, 2022
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Twos |
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The 400 Blows (1959)
Angel faces hell-bent for violence.
Filmmaker(s): François Truffaut

For young Parisian boy Antoine Doinel, life is one difficult situation after another. Surrounded by inconsiderate adults, including his neglectful parents, Antoine spends his days with his best friend, Rene, trying to plan for a better life. When one of their schemes goes awry, Antoine ends up in trouble with the law, leading to even more conflicts with unsympathetic authority figures.

Real Fiction With this film began an experiment that was to ultimately fail after dozens of notable films. It was much like the experiment in art nouveau in architecture seventy years earlier. I suppose that every art has cycles which begin with a collapse of the...

Published December 11, 2022
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Innocents in Paris (1953)
Filmmaker(s): Gordon Parry

Romantic comedy about a group of Britons flying to Paris for the weekend.

deGaulled After the war, France was a mess — an agricultural economy with a bad reputation world-wide because of near universal collaboration with the Nazis. America resolved to rebuild Europe and part of the plan was to cast Paris as a romantic place. The instruction went...

Published December 1, 2022
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I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955)
The frank, revealing story of Lillian Roth's life! Best-seller now a film sensation.
Filmmaker(s): Daniel Mann

Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, David Tredman, he dies and Lillian takes her first drink of many down the road of becoming an alcoholic.

Drunk on Acting I love movies. I love getting caught up in the all the cinematic flows that filmmakers know how to weave. But the things I value and study in film are the things that are cinematic. Some movies aren’t movies. They’re distributed and displayed as...

Published December 1, 2022
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Alice in Wonderland (1951)
A world of wonders in one great picture!

On a golden afternoon, young Alice follows a White Rabbit, who disappears down a nearby rabbit hole. Quickly following him, she tumbles into the burrow - and enters the merry, topsy-turvy world of Wonderland! Memorable songs and whimsical escapades highlight Alice's journey, which culminates in a madcap encounter with the Queen of Hearts - and her army of playing cards!

Charlie’s Flowers I spent a goodly part of my life becoming an expert in the Alice material, so have had to work to temper this comment: My initial feeling on this project is one of utter despair, as Walt and company took something that was both...

Published November 30, 2022
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Twos |
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The Hideous Sun Demon (1958)
The Blaze Of The Sun Made Him A Monster!

After exposure to radiation, an atomic research scientist finds himself changing into a murderous, lizard-like creature every time he is exposed to sunlight.

Rays Some of these old things are great. The absolute maturity of the genre creates a purity that you can see because all the normal movie stuff (plot, acting, story, production) falls away and you deal with the saints and angels of the cinematic universe. But that’s...

Published November 29, 2022
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
There was nothing to hold onto - except each other.
Filmmaker(s): Don Siegel

A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Pods, Plots and Plodders Once in a while Hollywood produces a movie that decades later gets adopted by American industrialised secondary education. That’s because teachers confuse various notions of ideas and think that movies are a great teaching tool. So to teach the evils of...

Published November 26, 2022
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