It Started In Naples (1960)

MELVILLE SHAVELSON Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  USA, 1960.  Capri Productions, Paramount Pictures.  Story by Michael Pertwee, Jack Davies, Screenplay by Melville Shavelson, Jack Rose, Suso Cecchi D’Amico.  Cinematography by Robert Surtees.  Produced by Jack Rose.  Music by Alessandro Cicognini, Carlo Savina.  Production Design by Roland Anderson, Hal Pereira.  Costume Design by Orietta Nasalli-Rocca.  Film Editing by Frank Bracht.  Academy Awards 1960.  Golden Globe Awards…

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Tall Story (1960)

JOSHUA LOGAN Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.  USA, 1960.  Mansfield Productions.  Screenplay by Julius J. Epstein, based on the play by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, from the novel by Howard Nemerov.  Cinematography by Ellsworth Fredericks.  Produced by Joshua Logan.  Music by Cyril J. Mockridge.  Production Design by Jack Poplin.  Costume Design by Kay Nelson.  Film Editing by Philip W. Anderson.  Golden Globe Awards…

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Sons And Lovers

BBBB (out of 5) Adaptation of the second half of D.H. Lawrence’s masterful novel that takes liberties with dramatization but has at its core the same essential focus, a relationship between mother and son that has near-Oedipal levels of dependence. Wendy Hiller is perfectly cast as the woman who takes the disappointment of her marriage to a…

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The Millionairess

B (out of 5) Abysmally confused adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play, about a wealthy heiress (Sophia Loren, whose delightfully intelligent humour can do very little to save the show) whose father leaves instructions in his will that she only marry a man who takes a sum of her money and multiplies it in a given…

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Cash McCall

BB (out of 5) When an aging businessman decides to sell his successful company and enjoy the comforts of retirement, it draws the interest of a multimillionaire business tycoon (James Garner) who is ready to slap down the cash and buy it. Sweetening the deal is the appearance of the prospective seller’s daughter (Natalie Wood),…

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Sunrise At Campobello

BBB (out of 5) Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy) is enjoying wife and family at his summer home on Campobello Island in New Brunswick when pain in his back and fatigue in his legs turns out to be the onset of the polio virus. Wife Eleanor (Greer Garson) is immensely concerned and becomes devoted to his…

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Adua and Her Friends (Hungry For Love) (Adua e la Compagne)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) With the passing of laws that close the city’s brothels, four prostitutes decide to pool their savings and buy a restaurant in the country with the possibility of upstairs action for extra cash. The restaurant serves as a good retirement plan for when they’re too old to ply their usual wares,…

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The Entertainer

BBBB (out of 5) Laurence Olivier extended his appeal to a whole new generation of filmgoers when he took on the title role in John Osborne’s play and later film, entering the British New Wave movement that was making his more pristine earlier efforts look dated and snobby.  He plays a fading music hall entertainer who…

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The Alamo

BB (out of 5) Three hours of wet matches is what you will get from this bland disaster, starring and directed by the Duke himself. John Wayne as Davy Crockett, Richard Widmark as Col. Jim Bowie and Laurence Harvey as Col. William Travis defend the now mythical mission, where rebels held strong against the Mexican army determined to…

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The Silent Star (First Spaceship on Venus) (Der Schweigende Stern)

BB.5 (out of 5) This East German/Polish co-production, based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem, begins with 1960s Earth receiving a message from Venus in the form of a cylinder containing an audio recording.  The scientific community is immediately abuzz and assembles a team of astronauts to head to our neighboring planet, not realizing until…

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The League Of Gentlemen

BBBB (out of 5) Seven different men receive an anonymous package in the mail, which includes within it a copy of a cheap paperback novel, a bank note cut in half and a letter telling them to attend a luncheon at which they will earn the other half of the bill.  When they are assembled,…

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The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukallan)

BBBBB (out of 5) An old Swedish legend is turned into gorgeous baroque drama by Ingmar Bergman in this deservedly famous, Oscar-winning film.  A medieval landowner (Max von Sydow) sends his dewy, beautiful daughter on horseback to the church across the other side of the woods to light a candle, with a resentful, heavily pregnant…

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