The Great Caruso (1951)

RICHARD THORPE Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 1951.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Sonya Levien, William Ludwig, suggested by the biography of Enrico Caruso by Dorothy Caruso.  Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.  Produced by Joe Pasternak.  Music by Johnny Green, Peter Herman Adler.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Gabriel Scognamillo.  Costume Design by Helen Rose, Gile Steele.  Film Editing by Gene Ruggiero.  Academy Awards 1951.  …

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The Opposite Sex

BBB (out of 5) Watered down remake of The Women that tries to capture the success of How To Marry A Millionaire by ruining the fun and having men actually appear on screen. June Allyson  is the sweet-natured and devoted wife to a theatre producer who is devastated when she learns from a gossipy manicurist that her husband (Leslie…

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Love Is Better Than Ever (The Light Fantastic)

BBB (out of 5) Big time New York theatrical agent Larry Parks meets the owner of  a children’s dance studio (Elizabeth Taylor) and courts her during an out of town dance convention she is attending.  He drops her when they’re ready to go back to their regular lives, telling her that they were only ever…

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The Girl Who Had Everything

BB.5 (out of 5) After a Washington attorney (William Powell) succeeds in getting a gangster (Fernando Lamas) acquitted of illegal gaming charges, he invites him over to his house where the hood spots Powell’s gorgeous daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) and they fall in lust.  She is convinced that he’s the right future for her and drops…

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Callaway Went Thataway (The Star Said No)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Old westerns starring Howard Keel are being played on television and thrilling the kids who watch them on the small screen with their parents.  Film producers realize this is a great opportunity to resurrect the star’s career and put new films out in theatres that will net a huge profit, but there’s one…

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Rhapsody

BB.5 (out of 5) Elizabeth Taylor announces to her wealthy father Louis Calhern that her latest rebellion is to abandon her current studies and move to Switzerland to study at a music academy there.  At her entrance exam she is immediately rejected and professor Michael Chekhov quickly gleans her real reason for wanting to attend the school:…

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Interrupted Melody (1955)

CURTIS BERNHARDT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1955.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by William Ludwig, Sonya Levien, based on the life story by Marjorie Lawrence.  Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg, Paul Vogel.  Produced by Jack Cummings.  Music by Alexander Courage, Adolph Deutsch.  Production Design by Daniel B. Cathcart, Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Helen Rose.  Film Editing by John D. Dunning.  Academy Awards 1955.   Marjorie Lawrence (Eleanor…

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A Date With Judy

BBB.5 (out of 5) Teenaged Jane Powell is a very popular girl whose patience for her bandleader boyfriend has worn thin. After he fails to escort her to a big dance where she is set to perform, she casts her eyes on the town’s new handsome soda jerk (Robert Stack) and asks him to accompany her,…

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The Big Hangover

BB (out of 5) Van Johnson is a law student who has been selected to work at a prestigious law firm thanks to his being the top of his class. He barely sniffs a drink at a firm party and gets ragingly drunk, inspiring the curiosity of amateur psychologist Elizabeth Taylor, who is also the…

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Because You’re Mine

BB (out of 5) Mario Lanza plays (what else) a famous opera singer whose celebrity does nothing to keep him from the draft.  He is snatched up by Uncle Sam and put through basic training, though thanks to the fact that his sergeant (James Whitmore) is a huge opera buff, he is given pride of place…

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The Unfinished Dance

BBBB (out of 5) Decades before Black Swan indulged a hyper-surreal investigation of female egos clashing in the world of ballet, and a year before a woman would be torn destructively between love and dance in The Red Shoes, Henry Koster made this fascinating melodrama starring Margaret O’Brien and Cyd Charisse.  O’Brien plays a little girl who…

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Executive Suite (1954)

ROBERT WISE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1954.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Ernest Lehman, based on the play by Cameron Hawley.  Cinematography by George J. Folsey.  Produced by John Houseman.  Production Design by Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Helen Rose.  Film Editing by Ralph E. Winters.  Academy Awards 1954.   The president of a furniture-making corporation drops dead of a heart attack on the streets…

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