Marooned (1969)

JOHN STURGES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.  USA, 1969.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Frankovich Productions.  Screenplay by Mayo Simon, based on the novel by Martin Caidin.  Cinematography by Daniel L. Fapp.  Produced by M.J. Frankovich.  Production Design by Lyle R. Wheeler.  Costume Design by Seth Banks.  Film Editing by Walter Thompson.  Academy Awards 1969.   Some movies are so terrible it’s a wonder to behold.  Three astronauts…

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The Robe

BBBB (out of 5) A new era of Hollywood was ushered in with this first Cinemascope release (though How To Marry A Millionaire was actually shot earlier and distributed later), which also served as Richard Burton‘s first leading Hollywood role after his breakthrough the year before in My Cousin Rachel.  It tells the story of a Roman tribune…

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Nightmare Alley

BBBB (out of 5) Tyrone Power plays the member of a carnival troop who longs to make himself the star attraction, scheming his way into Joan Blondell‘s arms and convincing her to teach him all the tricks to being a master mentalist (the guy who puts on a blindfold and guesses, through a series of…

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My Cousin Rachel (1952)

BBBB (out of 5) Daphne Du Maurier’s captivating mystery was barely on the shelves for a year when this big screen adaptation was released, introducing mass audiences to the talent of Richard Burton in his first widely seen role (and his first of seven Oscar nominations).  He plays the orphan raised by a loving cousin who…

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Kiss Of Death

BBB.5 (out of 5) Victor Mature goes to the joint for robbery but needs to get out when he finds out that his wife has killed herself and orphaned their two little girls. He squeals on a psychotic mobster (Richard Widmark) and is released to the world and to a new wife (an excellent Coleen…

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The Luck of the Irish

B.5 (out of 5) Tyrone Power plays an American journalist who, while traveling through Ireland, is drawn to its beauty and charm both by an innkeeper’s daughter (Anne Baxter) and the sniveling interference of a magical leprechaun (Cecil Kellaway). When money and prestige draw him back to the States to take a job as right…

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House of Strangers

BBBB (out of 5) Edward G. Robinson lords over this dark, upsetting drama that focuses on family tragedy but plays like film noir. Richard Conte gets out of prison after seven years and goes to visit his three shady brothers, seemingly intent on revenge. We then flash back to the events leading up to his…

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Three Coins In The Fountain

BB (out of 5) Maggie McNamara comes to Rome to work as a secretary at the United States Distribution Agency (whatever that is) and becomes friends with two women doing similar work, one a jaded Jean Peters who has lied and said she is engaged in order to go home, and the other a past-her-prime Dorothy…

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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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Doll Face

BB.5 (out of 5) Gypsy Rose Lee’s successful play is turned into a tepid musical comedy starring Vivian Blaine as a burlesque artist trying to break into legitimate performance. After she is rejected for the umpteenth time from a big-time Broadway showman’s classy spectacle, Blaine’s boyfriend and manager comes up with the perfect suggestion to improve…

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The Seven Year Itch

BBB.5 (out of 5) Billy Wilder comedy that is most notable for the now historic image of Marilyn Monroe standing above a subway grate while her dress billows in the rushing air coming from below. Tom Ewell (recreating his stage role) is hilarious as a happily married man who sends his wife (Evelyn Keyes) and son away…

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Nothing Sacred

BBBB (out of 5) Carole Lombard‘s only Technicolour film is this hysterical comedy about a small-town woman mistakenly thought to be dying of internal poisoning, until her doctor points out otherwise. A New York reporter (Fredric March) has shown up to take her to the Big Apple and show her the city’s sights as a last…

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