Quicksand (1950)

IRVING PICHEL Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 1950.  Samuel H. Stiefel Productions.  Screenplay by Robert Smith.  Cinematography by Lionel Lindon.  Produced by Mort Briskin.  Music by Louis Gruenberg.  Production Design by Boris Leven.  Costume Design by Joan Joseff.  Film Editing by Walter Thompson.   Mickey Rooney plays an auto mechanic who is out drinking with the boys when he spots a dangerous blonde…

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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 Paper Chase

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Timothy Bottoms arrives for his first year of Harvard Law and is immediately made a target by a legendary professor (theatrical and film producer John Houseman in his first major film acting role), who treats him with both derision and admiration depending on what the day’s case studies bring. Bottoms makes friends and…

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Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

JOHN FORD Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1939.  Twentieth Century Fox.  Screenplay by Lamar Trotti.  Cinematography by Bert Glennon.  Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.  Music by Alfred Newman.  Production Design by Richard Day, Mark-Lee Kirk.  Costume Design by Royer.  Film Editing by Walter Thompson.  Academy Awards 1939.   Henry Fonda is perfectly cast (with an impressive prosthetic nose) as Honest Abe, with John Ford’s sturdy direction telling a…

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Model Shop

BB.5 (out of 5) We reunite with Anouk Aimee‘s Lola from the film of the same name when, nine years later, she catches the eye of Gary Lockwood while walking the streets of Los Angeles.  He’s in a bad place in his life given that his girlfriend no longer wants to deal with his commitment-phobia, his…

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Jane Eyre (1943)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The best adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s ever-popular novel is also the slimmest in terms of its story. Despite the fact that it edits Bronte’s source more than any other adaptation ever did, it is still the only version to really get the feel of it right until 2011.  Joan Fontaine is excellent…

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Moon Over Miami

BBB (out of 5) Betty Grable goes to a resort in Miami posing as a wealthy heiress in order to ensnare a rich husband. She gets Don Ameche instead, but at least he really loves her and they sound great together singing duets. This piece of fluff is completely harmless, less enjoyable than Down Argentine Way (also…

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Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

JOHN FORD Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1937.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  Screenplay by Ernest Pascal, Julien Josephson, based on the story by Rudyard Kipling.  Cinematography by Arthur C. Miller.  Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.  Music by Alfred Newman.  Production Design by William S. Darling, David S. Hall.  Costume Design by Gwen Wakeling.  Film Editing by Walter Thompson.  Academy Awards 1937.   Shirley Temple and…

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Fat City (1972)

JOHN HUSTON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1972.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Rastar Pictures.  Screenplay by Leonard Gardner, based on his novel.  Cinematography by Conrad L. Hall.  Produced by John Huston, Ray Stark.  Music by Marvin Hamlisch.  Production Design by Richard Sylbert.  Costume Design by Dorothy Jeakins.  Film Editing by Walter Thompson.  Academy Awards 1972.   Atmosphere overrules plot in this unjustifiably forgotten minor classic by…

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The Nun’s Story

BBBB (out of 5) Audrey Hepburn gives one of her most powerful performances in this highly respectable drama about a nun whose personal ambitions conflict with her desire to stay with her order. Excelling in her medical studies, she is sent to the Belgian Congo to work in a hospital beside a gruff, disrespectful doctor (Peter…

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