I Want To Live

BBBB (out of 5) Susan Hayward shines in this riveting biography of Barbara Gordon, a woman whose bad choices eventually led her to the gas chamber. After struggling to keep her home together and raise her children properly, Gordon turns to prostitution and the wrong crowd in order to survive. Stupidly involved in a robbery and murder,…

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Teacher’s Pet

BBB (out of 5) Hard bitten newspaper man Clark Gable is asked to do a guest lecture for a journalism class and refuses. He believes that being a newspaper man is something one learns only from experience, not in a classroom, but when he is finally forced to go he is surprised to discover that the…

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The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Ingrid Bergman  plays a dedicated woman who wants more than anything in the world to go to China and be a missionary. Based on a true story, her journey across continents is an inspiring one, and the life she leads when she arrives at her destination is full of wonder and…

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Separate Tables

BBBB (out of 5) Enormously enjoyable ensemble drama that takes place at a sleepy seaside resort run by Wendy Hiller. The many guests of the inn interact for two hours, sometimes successfully, sometimes not as the drama proceeds. Burt Lancaster is having an affair with Hiller, but is thrown into confusion when ex-wife Rita Hayworth (in one…

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The Defiant Ones

BBBB (out of 5) After the police bus transporting them to prison suffers an accident, two prisoners chained together at the foot (Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier) run away to the woods toward freedom. Separated by their mutual hatred of each other, they end up having to work together in order to achieve their goal of…

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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 the less-than-stellar Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi as two star-crossed lovers on a South Pacific island during World War II who are being torn…

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The Big Country

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Exciting western that treads on a pacifist theme. Gregory Peck plays an eastern sailor who comes to the wide, wild west to marry Carroll Baker.  When he gets there he finds himself in the middle of an ages-old feud between Baker’s father (Charles Bickford) and the head of a vicious, trashy family…

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Bell, Book And Candle

BBB.5 (out of 5) As Gillian Holroyd, a modern day witch living in New York’s Greenwich Village, Kim Novak finds herself falling in love with her upstairs neighbour (James Stewart, Novak’s co-star from Vertigo the same year) and to get him to fall in love with her, she casts a magic spell on him.  The old…

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Some Came Running

BBB (out of 5) Frank Sinatra falls asleep on a bus in a drunken stupor and wakes up the next morning in his home town, still wearing his army uniform and toting a sweet prostitute (Shirley MacLaine) behind him. Figuring that it was what he wanted to do next with his life anyway, he decides…

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Gigi

BBB.5 (out of 5) Vincente Minnelli’s beautifully shot musical comedy was among the great achievements of his later career, and one of the last handful of great musicals to come out of MGM’s golden age. It tells of a young girl (Leslie Caron, in a role originally created on Broadway by Audrey Hepburn) being groomed for…

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Indiscreet

BBBB (out of 5) Beautiful little charmer adapted by Norman Krasna from his play Kind Sir that feels as soft as the satin on Ingrid Bergman‘s dresses; it’s another great example of how well Stanley Donen shot films in colour.  Cary Grant plays a debonair NATO financier who romances the delectable Bergman, an actress of…

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Auntie Mame

BBBBB (out of 5) One of the funniest, most enjoyable romps ever to be produced is this hysterical comedy based on the popular Broadway play.  Rosalind Russell gives the signature performance of her career as the free-wheeling, liberally-minded society dame who takes in her recently orphaned nephew Patrick (Jan Handzlik) and finds herself mad about him…

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