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The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
I took you out of the gutter... I can fling you back!
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Drama
Romance

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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Angels One Five (1952)
A Story of Some of "The Few"...
Director: George More O'Ferrall
Drama
War

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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Ikiru (1952)
A big story of a little man which will grip your soul ...
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Drama

Kanji Watanabe is a middle-aged man who has worked in the same monotonous bureaucratic position for decades. Learning he has cancer, he starts to look for the meaning of his life.

Bad Kurosawa Oh what a curse to be a genius! Here we have a nearly perfect film, perfect in all the ordinarily engineered respects. It is rather haunting, and if you choose to watch it you will find it memorable. But Kurosawa is not merely a...


Published October 27, 2022
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Trents Last Case (1952)
A Woman's Kiss That Killed
Director: Herbert Wilcox
Mystery

When a wealthy business man is found dead reporter Philip Trent is sent to investigate. Against the police conclusions, he suspects the assumed suicide is really a murder, and becomes highly interested in the young widow and the dead man's private secretary.

Hidden This should be a superb movie in the mystery tradition. It has a truly complex plot that has several reveals, and a suitably Holmes-like detective. The problem is that we see the detective working things out like a Poirot would. But we learn absolutely nothing...


Published September 30, 2022
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