Mutiny On The Bounty (1962)

BB.5 (out of 5) The worst (and, by all accounts, least historically accurate) of the three major film adaptations of Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall’s popular novel, this one takes advantage of all the technological enhancements available to films since the 1935 Oscar-winning classic but saps out all the drama and urgency. Marlon Brando is…

Rate this:

The Music Man

BB (out of 5) Meredith Willson’s eternally popular musical steeped in cloying Americana has been turned into a giant, thoroughly irritating film experience. Robert Preston is still playing for the third balcony as the titular con artist who goes to small, wholesome towns pretending to be a traveling salesman, convincing people to order band uniforms and…

Rate this:

Phaedra

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jules Dassin followed up his massively successful Never On Sunday by reteaming with his lady love Melina Mercouri in this update of an ancient Sophocles play.  Mercouri plays the wife to a wealthy Onassis-esque shipping tycoon (Raf Vallone) who asks her to go to London and bring home his wayward son (Anthony Perkins)…

Rate this:

Sundays and Cybele (Les dimanches de Ville d’Avray)

BBBB (out of 5) A little girl is abandoned at a convent by her thoughtless father, the same night making friends with a shell-shocked Vietnam war veteran (Hardy Krüger) who has partial amnesia after having killed a girl in battle.  They become friends, spending their Sundays together while his girlfriend is on call at the…

Rate this:

Billy Rose’s Jumbo

BB (out of 5) Undercooked clunker that brings Billy Rose’s Hippodrome extravaganza to the big screen with unimpressive results. Doris Day and Stephen Boyd play lovers who work for her father’s circus, a debt-riddled travelling show whose main attraction is an incredibly talented elephant who can dance and do tricks. Day’s father (Jimmy Durante) spends most of…

Rate this:

Taras Bulba

BBB (out of 5) Anyone looking for a how-to guide on being the perfect Cossack need look no further than this bloated but strangely enjoyable drama starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis.  Brynner is part of a band of warriors who are duped by the Polish into giving up their beloved Steppes; many years later, he…

Rate this:

Girls! Girls! Girls!

BB.5 (out of 5) The producers of this film seem to be slightly aware that acting wasn’t exactly Elvis’ strong suit:  every possible opportunity to start another song is crammed into the running time of this mostly enjoyable fluff. The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll plays a fishing boat captain whose father lost his vessel to…

Rate this:

To Kill A Mockingbird

BBBBB (out of 5) Harper Lee’s incredibly popular novel makes its way to the big screen with very admirable results. Gregory Peck gives one of the best performances of his career as Atticus Finch, a Southern lawyer who is assigned the defense of a young black man accused of rape. In defending the boy, Finch finds…

Rate this:

That Touch Of Mink

BBB (out of 5) Doris Day is adorable in this stock romantic comedy about a temp worker who catches the eye of a wealthy businessman (Cary Grant) who wants to make a dishonest woman out of her. She tries to live la vida loca and goes to Bermuda with him, but the lone double bed in…

Rate this:

Gypsy

BB.5 (out of 5) The production of this grand musical was mainly to accomplish more than one guaranteed moneymaking scheme: firstly, the year before had seen another Jerome Robbins play, West Side Story become a huge hit and Academy Award winner; secondly, its star Natalie Wood had become a huge box-office draw as a leading lady; and…

Rate this:

Lawrence Of Arabia

BBBBB (out of 5) This is not just a movie, it’s THE movie:  David Lean’s epic masterpiece first arrived on screen in 1962, but it seems ageless even now after so many years.  Peter O’Toole makes a fantastic film debut as T.E. Lawrence, a bored cartographer for the British Army in World War One who gets…

Rate this:

The Miracle Worker

BBBB (out of 5) A bit melodramatic at times, this biography of Helen Keller and how she was brought into the world of knowledge by her teacher is an unforgettable drama. Anne Bancroft shines as Annie Sullivan, the caring and sensitive teacher whose tough methods with Keller (played by a riveting Patty Duke) helped her become…

Rate this: