Tag Archive: Alfred Newman

Wilson (1944)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck really put his back into the studio’s prestige picture of 1944 with this polished and respectable hagiography of the 28th American president, applying the… Continue reading

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The Robe

BBBB (out of 5) A new era of Hollywood was ushered in with this first Cinemascope release (though How To Marry A Millionaire was actually shot earlier and distributed later), which also served as Richard… Continue reading

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How The West Was Won

BBB.5 (out of 5) Epic look at a century’s worth of American history, from settlers making their way west, through to the Civil War, the creation of the railroad and the earliest days… Continue reading

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The Song Of Bernadette

BBBB (out of 5) This adaptation of the novel by Franz Werfel mixes fact and supposition for a film that tells the tale of a miracle: the now venerated saint of Lourdes who… Continue reading

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Young Mr. Lincoln

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Henry Fonda is perfectly cast (with an impressive prosthetic nose) as Honest Abe, with John Ford’s sturdy direction telling a powerful tale of Lincoln’s younger days.  Despite a lack of… Continue reading

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Three Broadway Girls (The Greeks Had A Word For Them)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Delightful precursor to How To Marry A Millionaire in which the comedy isn’t as light and the girls are a hell of a lot cattier. Joan Blondell and Madge Evans… Continue reading

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The Seven Year Itch

BBB.5 (out of 5) Billy Wilder comedy that is most notable for the now historic image of Marilyn Monroe standing above a subway grate while her dress billows in the rushing air coming from… Continue reading

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The Best Of Everything

BBB (out of 5) This film, and the novel upon which it is based, must have seemed shockingly modern upon first being unleashed to the public:  it deals with single party girls and… Continue reading

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The Big Lift

BBB (out of 5) Following the second World War, Russia’s blockade of Berlin cuts off its access to the outside world, prompting the Allies to airlift food and medical supplies into the city… Continue reading

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Heaven Can Wait (1943)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Not since Milton penned Paradise Lost have we had so attractive and sympathetic a portrayal of Satan, but here he is in all his glory: a strikingly-featured man in… Continue reading

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Moon Over Miami

BBB (out of 5) Betty Grable goes to a resort in Miami posing as a wealthy heiress in order to ensnare a rich husband. She gets Don Ameche instead, but at least he really loves… Continue reading

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State Fair

BBB.5 (out of 5) When Twentieth Century-Fox decided to remake their ever-popular Will Rogers comedy of 1933 for audiences of the forties, their decision to make it a musical brought them to the… Continue reading

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With A Song In My Heart

BBBB (out of 5) Enormously enjoyable musical biopic of World World II songstress Jane Frohman. Frohman was on the rise in her exceptional recording career when an airplane accident injured her leg and… Continue reading

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There’s No Business Like Show Business

BB.5 (out of 5) The life of a show business family is the subject of this shallow musical. Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey are the parents, while Donald O’Connor and Mitzi Gaynor are the kids, both of… Continue reading

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The King And I

BBBBB (out of 5) Deborah Kerr glows as Anna Leonowens, a true-life schoolteacher who was invited by the King of Siam (Yul Brynner) to come and teach his many children. She arrives full of… Continue reading

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Flower Drum Song

BBB (out of 5) The least known of the Rodgers and Hammerstein movie musicals is this charmer that features an all-Asian cast. It centres around a young girl (Miyoshi Umeki) who immigrates illegally… Continue reading

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Alexander’s Ragtime Band

BBBBB (out of 5) Fantastic Irving Berlin musical features over two dozen of the famed composer’s works, plus a terrific lead performance by Alice Faye as a boozy singer who comes between two good… Continue reading

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Twelve O’Clock High

BBBB (out of 5) Gregory Peck becomes the captain of a squadron of fighter pilots in World War II, but his inability to separate himself personally from his men’s lives before sending them out… Continue reading

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Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing

BBB.5 (out of 5) Melodrama was hardly ever more purple than in this sudsy romance. William Holden plays a G.I. posted in Korea who meets a half-European, half-Asian woman (Jennifer Jones with heavy… Continue reading

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Carousel

BBBB (out of 5) This Rodgers and Hammerstein musical features the best script of all the films made from their musicals, but Rodgers’ fantastic score (probably his most beautiful ever) was cut down… Continue reading

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Fourteen Hours

BBB.5 (out of 5) Strangely absorbing melodrama that features terrific performances and also marks the debut of Grace Kelly in a minor role. A traffic cop (Paul Douglas) finds himself pulled into the eye… Continue reading

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Airport

BBB (out of 5) What’s most laughable about this ridiculously soapy melodrama is the possibility that anyone took it seriously as “great drama” in 1970. Today, most of it is either cheesy or just… Continue reading

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A Letter To Three Wives

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Three women (Linda Darnell, Jeanne Crain, Ann Sothern) who are also good friends, all get a letter on the same day from a woman (voiced by Celeste Holm) claiming… Continue reading

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All About Eve

BBBBB (out of 5) Here’s perfect writing if ever a movie ever had it. Bette Davis plays famous and established actress Margo Channing, a self-centred but vulnerable woman who is pursued relentlessly by Eve… Continue reading

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The Razor’s Edge

BBBB (out of 5) Excellent drama adapted from W. Somerset Maugham’s novel.  Tyrone Power plays a wealthy socialite who abandons beautiful fiancee Gene Tierney to seek enlightenment in the far east. Having achieved his goal,… Continue reading

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Camelot

BBB (out of 5) Following the success of My Fair Lady, Jack L. Warner put his studio right to work on filming Lerner and Loewe’s next Broadway musical hit, based on The Once… Continue reading

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South Pacific

BB.5 (out of 5) About as lively as a slug and as enjoyable as the migraine headache you get from watching it for too long. Much of the film’s weakness lies in casting… Continue reading

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Bus Stop

BBBB (out of 5) Marilyn Monroe‘s first film after returning from studying at the Actors Studio in New York City was this excellent comedy-drama directed by Joshua Logan. Don Murray gives a great… Continue reading

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Wuthering Heights (1939)

BBBB (out of 5) Romantically filmed, lush adaptation of Emily Bronte’s ever-so-popular novel about love between a brooding low-born young man (Laurence Olivier) and a spoiled rich girl (Merle Oberon) who have been… Continue reading

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Come And Get It

BBBB (out of 5) Edna Ferber’s themes of anti-materialism are once again brought to the screen with enjoyable results. Though not as grand an epic as Giant would be twenty years later, Come… Continue reading

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These Three

BBBB (out of 5) First of two film adaptations of Lillian Hellman’s play The Children’s Hour, though in this case the lesbian angle has been nixed and the story concerns a love triangle… Continue reading

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Dodsworth

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Most of William Wyler’s films of the thirties and forties are at the top of their class, and this excellent adaptation of the play by Sidney Howard (originally from… Continue reading

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The Snake Pit

BBBB (out of 5) This glimpse into the world of mental illness has not dated all that well, but it’s a powerful subject that is dealt with very well for its time.  Olivia… Continue reading

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Gentleman’s Agreement

BBB (out of 5) Gregory Peck decides to research anti-Semitism for his newspaper by taking up residence under a Jewish name and seeing how he is treated by others in his community. This film… Continue reading

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Stella Dallas

BBB.5 (out of 5) Perennial twelve-hankie weeper stars Barbara Stanwyck as a low-class factory worker’s daughter who gets in the family way thanks to a rich gentleman and marries him to avoid scandal. Raising… Continue reading

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Pinky

BBBBB (out of 5) Years after she was sent away to nursing school to avoid the fate of her washer-woman grandmother (legendary singer Ethel Waters), Pinky (Jeanne Crain) returns to her Southern home a… Continue reading

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How Green Was My Valley

BBBB (out of 5) Wonderful Oscar-winner undeservedly beat Citizen Kane for the best picture prize of its year but is still an excellent family film decades down the road. Based on the novel… Continue reading

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The Grapes Of Wrath

BBBBB (out of 5) One of John Ford’s best films is this dramatic and thoroughly satisfying story about a Depression-era family headed up by Henry Fonda, who have left the poverty of Oklahoma… Continue reading

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Wee Willie Winkie

BBBB (out of 5) Shirley Temple and her mother show up in late nineteenth-century India to live with her grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith) who is colonel of the British army there. Immediately upon… Continue reading

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The Broadway Melody Of 1936

BBBB (out of 5) Marvelous Hollywood musical provides more escapism for Depression-era audiences in the vein of the Gold Diggers movies and Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals. This one, which has nothing to do… Continue reading

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The Rains Came

BBB.5 (out of 5) Myrna Loy’s glamour and some impressive visual effects are the main attraction to this exciting adventure that takes place in India during the famed Rains of Ranchipur. Loy is… Continue reading

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Ball Of Fire

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Gary Cooper is a shy professor of linguistics who along with seven other equally isolated gentlemen is working on a brand-new, up-to-date dictionary thanks to a fund left behind by… Continue reading

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Les Miserables (1935)

BBB (out of 5) Stodgy, lifeless adaptation of Victor Hugo’s definitive novel was probably much more challenging in its day but seems shallow now. Fredric March is very dramatic as iconic hero Jean Valjean,… Continue reading

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Drums Along The Mohawk

BBB (out of 5) Pre-revolutionary Americans Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert get married and take off into the wilderness of upstate New York to create a new life for themselves.  Their happiness is destroyed by… Continue reading

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