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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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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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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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 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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The Magnificent Seven (1960)

JOHN STURGES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1960.  The Mirisch Company, Alpha Productions, Alpha.  Screenplay by William Roberts, based on the screenplay Shichinin No Samurai by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni.  Cinematography by Charles Lang.  Produced by John Sturges.  Music by Elmer Bernstein.  Production Design by Edward Fitzgerald.  Film Editing by Ferris Webster.  Academy Awards 1960.   Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is remade for the…

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The Apartment

BBBBB (out of 5) Jack Lemmon excels as a low-level office worker who, on occasion, lends his bachelor apartment to philandering business superiors to use for trysts with their mistresses. Unbeknownst to him, one of them (Fred MacMurray) is going there with the elevator girl who has caught Lemmon’s eye (Shirley MacLaine in the best American female…

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Pollyanna

BBBB (out of 5) A perennial family favourite, this delightful Disney film is about a sweet young orphan (Hayley Mills) who comes to live with relatives and ends up charming an entire town. The formula, which involves cheering up old ladies and assisting with social problems, has been repeated many times since (including by Disney),…

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Hiroshima, Mon Amour

BBBB.5 (out of 5) An epic of intimate proportions, beautifully directed by Alain Resnais. It’s mostly conversations, post-lovemaking, between a Japanese businessman (Eiji Okada, who learned French phonetically for the film) and a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) on location making a film about the Hiroshima bomb. She tells him about her tragic love affair with…

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Exodus

BBB (out of 5) Otto Preminger’s three hour-plus presentation of the forming of the state of Israel has some great moments, but could definitely afford to be a lot shorter. It begins with European Jewish refugees stuck aboard an immobile ocean liner waiting for permission to land on the British-controlled shores of Cyprus, through to…

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The Time Machine (1960)

BBB.5 (out of 5) After the success of Journey To The Center Of The Earth, another adaptation of a famous science-fiction novel follows, based on the story by H.G. Wells.  Rod Taylor plays an impatient scientist who makes an important discovery in his field of study, time travel. Creating a machine that can transport him either backwards…

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