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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Julia Misbehaves (1948)

JACK CONWAY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1948.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by William Ludwig, Harry Ruskin, Arthur Wimperis, adaptation by Gina Kaus, Monckton Hoffe, based on a novel by Margery Sharp.  Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.  Produced by Everett Riskin.  Music by Adolph Deutsch.  Production Design by Daniel B. Cathcart, Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Irene.  Film Editing by John D. Dunning.   Positively delightful, this is…

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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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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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Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)

ROBERT WISE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1956.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Ernest Lehman, based on the autobiography of Rocky Graziano with Rowland Barber.  Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.  Produced by Charles Schnee.  Music by Bronislau Kaper.  Production Design by Malcolm Brown, Cedric Gibbons.  Film Editing by Albert Akst.  Academy Awards 1956.   Scintillating biography of Rocky Graziano, a prizefighter who grow up in the rough neighbourhoods of New York…

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A Day At The Races

BBBBB (out of 5) Reviews of this film always point out that it isn’t quite as good as its predecessor A Night At The Opera, but who cares?  The plot is strung together a little more haphazardly than before, but it doesn’t make Groucho any less witty or the sight gags any less brilliant. The story,…

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The Swan

BBBB (out of 5) This mediocre period film is mainly remembered for being Grace Kelly‘s last role before leaving Hollywood to become princess of Monaco. It conveniently feeds into her impending royal life considering that she plays a princess, and by all accounts this was an intentional move on the studio’s part to cash in…

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Presenting Lily Mars (1943)

NORMAN TAUROG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5.  USA, 1943.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Richard Connell, Gladys Lehman, based on the novel by Booth Tarkington.  Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.  Produced by Joe Pasternak.  Music by George Stoll.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Howard Shoup.  Film Editing by Albert Akst.   Don’t be prepared to settle in for a cozy old movie when you watch this simpering…

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Madame Curie (1943)

MERVYN LeROY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.   USA, 1943.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Paul Osborn, Hans Rameau, based on the book by Eve Curie.  Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.  Produced by Sidney Franklin.  Music by Herbert Stothart.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Irene.  Film Editing by Harold F. Kress.  Academy Awards 1943.   This film biography of scientist Marie Curie, who discovered radium, is one…

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Julius Caesar

BBBB (out of 5) You wouldn’t think that Marlon Brando‘s mumbling Method acting would suit Shakespeare so well, but here’s evidence that given the right director (in this case, Joseph L. Mankiewicz slapping Brando around to get him to enunciate), it’s a possibility.  He is excellent as Marc Antony, the conflicted politician who must become…

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Butterfield 8

BB (out of 5) Even Elizabeth Taylor insisted that it was her life-threatening illness and emergency tracheotomy that inspired the Academy to award her a Best Actress Oscar for this mundane film. She plays a high-class call girl who falls in love with swanky Laurence Harvey. It should work out for them both, but naturally it…

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Mrs. Miniver (1942)

WILLIAM WYLER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1942.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by Arthur Wimperis, George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, based on the book by Jan Struther.  Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.  Produced by Sidney Franklin, William Wyler.  Music by Herbert Stothart.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by Robert Kalloch.  Film Editing by Harold F. Kress.  Academy Awards 1942.   1942’s Best Picture winner hasn’t…

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