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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All That Heaven Allows

BBBBB (out of 5) Widow Jane Wyman befriends her handsome young gardener (Rock Hudson) and finds an escape from her snooty society friends in his company. This upstairs-downstairs romance between two people with so much dividing them seems at first to be a glossy, shallow Hollywood fifties melodrama. Dig beneath the surface, and you’ll actually find…

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Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

BBBBB (out of 5) Cary Grant is an absolute riot in this hilarious comedy about a suburban family man trying to build his dream home. It starts out as a simple operation, but the demanding specifications of his adorable wife (Myrna Loy) and the acid-tongued opinions of his daughters are to be taken into account, not…

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Road To Rio

BBBB (out of 5) One of the most enjoyable of the Road movies, featuring a marvelous musical score and a delightful supporting cast. Bing Crosby and Bob Hope are on their way to Rio De Janeiro, on the cruiseliner getting to know gorgeous heiress Dorothy Lamour.  Naturally they want to cozy up to the her, but her bossy…

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Can-Can

BBB (out of 5) In nineteenth century Paris the lewd dance of the Can-Can is forbidden, but Shirley MacLaine has been performing it in her Montmartre nightclub, where she and the other girls keep police officers from ratting on them while kicking up their skirts for their customers’ pleasure. When a young, moralistic judge (Louis Jourdan)…

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Joan Of Arc

BB (out of 5) Dry, clunky adaptation of Maxwell Anderson’s play, one of many films on the subject of the Maid Of Orleans that has failed to win audiences over (Preminger’s version based on the Shaw play is another example; perhaps Dreyer’s Passion of Joan Of Arc ruined it for everyone?) Ingrid Bergman gives an unconvincing…

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Young Man With A Horn

BBB.5 (out of 5) A little boy, parentless and being raised by a mostly absent older sister, wanders into a jazz club one night and decides that the trumpet is the sound of his soul. Immediately coming under the wing of a caring horn player (Juano Hernandez), he grows up (now played by Kirk Douglas)…

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