Tea For Two (1950)

DAVID BUTLER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA, 1950.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by Harry Clork, based on the play by Frank Mandel, Otto A. Harbach, Vincent Youmans, Emil Nyitray and the play by Irving Caesar and William Jacobs.  Cinematography by Wilfrid M. Cline.  Produced by William Jacobs.  Music by Howard Jackson.  Production Design by Douglas Bacon.  Costume Design by Leah Rhodes.  Film Editing…

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The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (Mad Wednesday)

BB (out of 5) It’s as if the war ended and took Preston Sturges’ career with it, this failed comedy following the miscalculated drama The Great Moment before it.  Sturges coaxes silent film star Harold Lloyd out of retirement to star in his madcap adventure that opens with footage from Lloyd’s classic comedy The Freshman (and inexplicably informs us that it is…

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Broken Arrow (1950)

BBB.5 (out of 5) James Stewart is riding through barren plains, searching for precious metals when he comes across an Apache teenager who is badly injured. He heals the boy and is subsequently welcomed by his tribe, striking up a friendship with the famed warrior Cochise (Jeff Chandler) that he takes back to his own people…

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Sunset Blvd.

BBBBB (out of 5) The mother of all backstage Hollywood movies that just never seems to age. One of the peaks of Billy Wilder’s abundantly successful career is this fantastic film about a struggling screenwriter (William Holden) who takes refuge in the decaying home of a has-been silent movie queen (Gloria Swanson, in a career-reviving…

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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 despite the dangers involved. Two of the pilots who come on a convoy manage to get access to the city, one of…

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Destination Moon

BBB.5 (out of 5) Today this film is merely a curiosity of yesteryear, but at the time it came out it was considered a serious attempt at marrying entertainment with science. Spending years on research, the filmmakers came up with the best possible case scenario for what would happen if astronauts took a trip to…

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Harvey

BBB.5 (out of 5) James Stewart plays a charming fella who appears to have a bit of a drinking problem: he keeps insisting to everyone around him that his best friend is an invisible, six-foot rabbit named Harvey. His aunt (a delightful performance by Josephine Hull) wants to have him committed to an insane asylum, but…

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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 Harrington (Anne Baxter), a seemingly innocent fan who worships Channing until she eventually becomes her personal assistant. Eve’s devotion soon becomes sinister,…

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Cyrano De Bergerac (1950)

BBB (out of 5) Although this adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s everlastingly famous play leaves a lot to be desired, the pleasures within it are all concentrated on Jose Ferrer‘s energetic, Oscar-winning performance.  He plays the large-nosed nobleman whose talents for poetry and swordsmanship are unsurpassed by anyone near him, but whose heart breaks for the…

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Annie Get Your Gun

BBBB (out of 5) Rousing film adaptation of Irving Berlin’s still-hugely popular musical about legendary Wild West gunslingers Annie Oakley and Frank Butler. Annie is introduced to Buffalo Bill’s travelling show when she beats Butler in a local Ohio shooting contest, leaving the two of them constantly warring between their professional rivalry and their personal…

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The Asphalt Jungle

BBBB (out of 5) Genre-defining heist movie that is as memorable for its rich characters and sharp writing as for its glinty black-and-white cinematography and cool, jazzy style. Sam Jaffe arrives in town fresh from his jail sentence with thievery on his mind. He hooks up with a crack team of jewel thieves (including Sterling Hayden…

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Born Yesterday (1950)

BBBB (out of 5) Judy Holliday is absolutely fantastic in this witty, sparkling adaptation of the popular Garson Kanin play. She plays an ex-Vegas showgirl who is the live-in girlfriend of a nouveau riche millionaire tycoon (Broderick Crawford), accompanying him on his trip to Washington, D.C. on important business. Crawford is embarrassed by her every time…

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