It Started In Naples (1960)

MELVILLE SHAVELSON Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  USA, 1960.  Capri Productions, Paramount Pictures.  Story by Michael Pertwee, Jack Davies, Screenplay by Melville Shavelson, Jack Rose, Suso Cecchi D’Amico.  Cinematography by Robert Surtees.  Produced by Jack Rose.  Music by Alessandro Cicognini, Carlo Savina.  Production Design by Roland Anderson, Hal Pereira.  Costume Design by Orietta Nasalli-Rocca.  Film Editing by Frank Bracht.  Academy Awards 1960.  Golden Globe Awards…

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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…

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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 Arrangement

BB.5 (out of 5) Kirk Douglas is a successful advertising executive with a giant house and a gorgeous wife (Deborah Kerr), but it is possible he’s not satisfied with his gains considering he begins this film by driving his convertible under a truck and trying to kill himself. He escapes with few injuries and, in recovery,…

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The Collector

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Terence Stamp was a poor clerk who won the lottery and now owns a beautiful mansion in the remote British countryside.  His passion for pinning butterflies behind glass might seem a harmless hobby except it soon makes way for something far more sinister:  he is in love with posh Samantha Eggar and, rather…

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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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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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A Star Is Born (1976)

BB (out of 5) This film is so annoying it will actually make you itch. The fourth version of the popular rags-to-riches story, followed by the surprisingly less terrible Glitter with Mariah Carey, stars Barbra Streisand and her poodle perm as an aspiring singer (and her poodle perm) who befriend an established rock star (Kris…

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Same Time, Next Year

BBB.5 (out of 5) A rainy night at a California inn brings together a married accountant (Alan Alda) and a happy housewife (Ellen Burstyn), who spend a wonderful evening together that ends up in bed. The next morning he hashes out his Red Scare-era guilt over what they did while she feels no remorse whatsoever;…

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Summer Of ’42

BB.5 (out of 5) Coming-of-age schmaltz about a teenaged boy who falls in love with a war widow during summer break. Told in haltingly mushy, sentimental tones, the film follows the boy and his friends as they discover their sexuality and their bodies. Then, when he meets Jennifer O’Neill, he grows truly fond of her…

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Quo Vadis

BBB (out of 5) Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr throw Christians to the lions, then live to feel the conscientious guilt. Huge sets and thousands of extras in ‘authentic’ Biblical period costumes are exciting and eye-popping, but the only thing that makes this film worth reaching for instead of similar sandal epics like Ben-Hur and The Robe…

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The Sting

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Robert Redford plays a con man who seeks revenge after his partner is killed by a crime boss. He teams up with older, wiser scam genius Paul Newman and the two of them set out to take the bad guy for all he’s worth. Despite there having been a million imitations of this…

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