How The West Was Won (1962)

JOHN FORD, HENRY HATHAWAY, GEORGE MARSHALL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1962.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Cinerama Productions Corp..  Screenplay by James R. Webb, suggested by his Life Magazine series “How The West Was Won”.  Cinematography by William H. Daniels, Milton R. Krasner, Charles Lang, Joseph LaShelle.  Produced by Bernard Smith.  Music by Alfred Newman.  Production Design by George W. Davis, William Ferrari, Addison…

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A Foreign Affair (1948)

BILLY WILDER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1948. Paramount Pictures.  Screenplay by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Richard L. Breen, adaptation by Robert Harari, based on an original story by David Shaw.  Cinematography by Charles Lang.  Produced by Charles Brackett.  Music by Friedrich Hollaender.  Production Design by Hans Dreier, Walter H. Tyler.  Costume Design by Edith Head.  Film Editing by Doane Harrison.  Academy Awards 1948.   Billy Wilder…

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Inside Daisy Clover

BBBB (out of 5) Natalie Wood is terrific as a teenager living on a grimy boardwalk in 1930s California with her mentally unstable, tarot-card reading mother (Ruth Gordon). When a film studio head (Christopher Plummer) gets wind of a record that shows off her enormously charming voice, Wood is whisked away to the stardom she dreams of,…

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The Mating Season

BBB.5 (out of 5) John Lund plays an ambitious worker at an Ohio industrial company who meets and marries a gorgeous socialite (Gene Tierney) after he saves her from falling down a cliff. The day of their marriage, his mother (Thelma Ritter) comes to visit, having just shut down her New Jersey hamburger joint after the…

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Desert Fury

BBBB (out of 5) Problem child Lizabeth Scott comes home to her saloon-owning mother (Mary Astor) after having been thrown out of yet another boarding school.  Astor has tried to raise her to be more than just a booze-slinging casino owner, but trying to get her daughter beyond her origins proves very difficult when Scott falls…

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The Stork Club

BB.5 (out of 5) Betty Hutton is adorable as a coat check girl at the titular nightclub, who rescues an old man (Barry Fitzgerald) from drowning thinking him a poor lost soul. What she doesn’t know is that he is a millionaire who, touched by the girl’s concern, becomes her anonymous benefactor and sets her up…

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You And Me

BB (out of 5) Early Hollywood project by the recently-arrived Fritz Lang shows him off at his corniest. George Raft and Sylvia Sidney play employees at a department store whose big-hearted owner (Harry Carey) has a strange hiring practice: he gives ex-cons the opportunity to go straight by giving them an honest living in his store. Raft…

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Ace In The Hole (The Big Carnival) (1951)

BILLY WILDER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5. Paramount Pictures.  USA, 1951.  Story by Victor Desny, Screenplay by Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman. Cinematography by Charles Lang.  Produced by Billy Wilder.  Music by Hugo Friedhofer.  Production Design by A. Earl Hedrick, Hal Pereira.  Costume Design by Edith Head.  Film Editing by Arthur P. Schmidt.  Academy Awards 1951.   A stunning piece of news media satire, told with so…

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It Should Happen To You

BBB.5 (out of 5) Judy Holliday reunites with Born Yesterday writer Garson Kanin and director George Cukor for another look at an adorably daffy girl who experiences an awakening.  This time she’s a young woman living in New York City and feeling like her dreams to make a name for herself are going nowhere.  When she…

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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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Some Like It Hot

BBBB (out of 5) This hysterical comedy of gender-errors was recently ranked the greatest American comedy of the century by the American Film Institute. It’s a laughfest that begins when struggling musicians Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis witness the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Prohibition-era Chicago and are spotted by the gangsters who did it. To hide…

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Blue Hawaii (1961)

NORMAN TAUROG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1961.  Hal Wallis Productions.  Story by Allan Weiss, Screenplay by Hal Kanter.  Cinematography by Charles Lang.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis.  Music by Joseph J. Lilley.  Production Design by Hal Pereira, Walter H. Tyler.  Costume Design by Edith Head.  Film Editing by Terry O. Morse.   Elvis Presley gets out of the army and returns home to Honolulu, avoiding his wealthy…

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