Kings Row (1942)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

USA, 1942.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

This is the most curious masterpiece: a perfect blend of film noir, period drama, and charming small-town situational comedy, all lensed to perfection by cinematographer James Wong Howe. Director Sam Wood knows exactly what he’s doing the whole time, and his risks (like introducing a major character in the last half hour of the film) somehow all pay off in spades. Lead cast members  and aren’t strong enough in their roles for the material they’re performing, but it makes no difference to the end result. The story concerns the goings-on in a small New England town, where secrets are capable of destruction and a man’s fortune is subject to the luck of the draw. Exceptional stuff.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Director (Sam Wood); Best Cinematography-BW

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