Thursday, March 05, 2015

Really Short reviews

A few recent older movies I've seen.

Heaven Knows, Mr Allison
1957
Nun But the Marines. Good solid Hollywood film by John Huston with Deborah Kehr and Robert Mitchum stuck on an island in the South Pacific together as they hide from the Japanese and await the war to end. It darn near almost gets hokey and heavy handed but ends on the right tone.

Bitter Victory
1957
Bitter Misery. Nicholas Ray takes on war by pitting two men against each other who love the same woman. The perfect one, [Richard Burton], is too cowardly to love a woman and the far from perfect one, Curt J├╝rgens, is too cowardly to kill a man - except his rival when it suits him. Set in the forbidding desert the film is action packed but more memorable as a psychological study of the two men.

Will Penny
1968
Penny for Your Naughts. Tom Gries directed Charlton Heston in one of his best performances. Here he is a cowboy who can fight anyone, herd cattle anywhere but when it comes to the love of a woman he bows out; also a coward. Joan Hackett, who has similar features to Jean Arthur, is terrific as the tough woman who almost gets her man.

The Sun Shines Bright
1953
The Judge Aligns Right. Rarely seen John Ford film set in the Confederate south after the civil war involving a judge running for re-election. He encounters a lynch mob and - in his laid back southern way - finds a way to keep the peace and maintain his popularity. The film would be called politically incorrect today but it's pretty evident that Ford is not making a value or judgement call toward the African American characters. But the personalities they exude would not be portrayed in the same way by actors today.

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