Hideo Sekigawa – Hiroshima (1953)

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“Hiroshima” is a feature film directed by Hideo Sekigawa and was independently produced outside of major studio system in 1953. In fact the film was supported by the Teacher’s Union of Hiroshima who helped finance the production and organized about 90,000 Hiroshima citizens who acted in the film.

The film begins with Hiroshima in the early 1950s and flashes back to scenes of the horrific aftermath following the detonation of an atomic bomb on humans for the first time in history. Continue reading

Yuliya Solntseva & Aleksandr Dovzhenko – Poema o more AKA The Poem of the Sea (1959)

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Summary:
This is a movie-poem with philosophic and lyric contemplations about the construction of Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, closure of the Dnieper, creation of Kakhovskoye Sea and also about human destinies involved in this great overturn of the region’s life. The action takes place in 1956-57. To the farm chairman’s call the people born in the village located near the Dniepr river that is to be flooded come to say good-buy to their birthplace. It is very hard for the senior generation to destroy their native houses and demolish the gardens as their memories of happy peaceful life and of the dreadful war are associated with them. The young people on the contrary smash down everything old with enthusiasm being sure that it brings nearer the bright future. Spring waters of the Dniepr are out and the Ukrainian village sinks to the bottom of the new Kakhovskoye Sea…
Source : www.mosfilm.ru Continue reading

Luigi Zampa – Ladro lui, ladra lei (1958)

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Plot synopsis:
Cencio, a Roman pilferer, is periodically in prison. He’s a genius at scams. He loves his childhood sweetheart Cesira, who, in order to get herself out of the slum’s life, soon becomes his partner in crime. With Cesira’s help, Cencio is successful in several swindles. In the meantime, Cesira finds her true love. Cencio then tries the big hit in a jewelery. But his lucky break is over… Continue reading

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – The Quiet American (1958)

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Plot:
In this adaptation of Graham Greene’s prophetic novel about U.S. foreign policy failure in pre-war Indochina, Audie Murphy plays an innocent Young American opposite the older, cynical Brit Michael Redgrave. They play out their widely different views on the prospects stuggle for the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people in their competition over a young woman. Murphy wants to reform her and make her a typical middle class American housewife; Redgrave accepts her inability to formulate or retain a political ideal and while promising her no real future, he objects to Murphy’s attempts to change her. It’s not clear whether Murphy is just what he appears – a bungling Yankee do-gooder – or a deliberate agent of U.S. covert operations, but he ends up an expendable pawn in the end. Continue reading

Michael Truman – Touch and Go (1955)

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Plot: Touch and Go stars Jack Hawkins as the head of a British family who decides to kick over
the traces and emigrate to Australia. No one in the family, least of all wife Margaret Johnston, is
enthused over this move, but they prepare themselves with dignity. As the technical and legal obstacles
preventing their move begin to mount, even Hawkins has second thoughts about hitching his star Down Under.
Since no one behaves very believably in the film, Touch and Go rises and falls on its individual comic
sequences, some of which are quite good. The title Touch and Go has been used so often that when the
film was released in the US, it was retitled The Light Touch. Continue reading

Robert Aldrich – Autumn Leaves (1956)

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Quote:
In the ’50s, Robert Aldrich was a favorite of the French Cahiers du Cinema critics. In the ’60s, though, Aldrich got sloppier as his budgets got bigger. Most of his later movies are at least a half hour too long, and formulaic action films like The Dirty Dozen and Too Late the Hero tarnished his once bright reputation. But movies like World for Ransom, Kiss Me Deadly, and Attack! still hold up as harsh portraits of violence, paranoia, and a new kind of universal dread that began with the A-bomb and ended with the JFK assassination. All of Aldrich’s early work is intriguing, but Autumn Leaves is his secret gem. It’s been passed over as camp because of its star, Joan Crawford, but Aldrich brings all his hard edges to this woman’s picture. The collision of his tough style with the soapy material makes for a film that never loses its queasy tension. Continue reading

Richard Brooks – The Catered Affair (1956)

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Synopsis:
At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception. This is because Janes parents are poor and Jane and Ralph can borrow a car for their honeymoon. However, at dinner that night all Ralph’s parents talk about are the big weddings they gave their daughters and everything escalates. All of a sudden, it is a big wedding breakfast with hundreds of guests. The problem is that for 12 years, Tom has been saving money to buy his own cab and license, but now that he can, all of his money is going towards a wedding neither he, or Jane or Ralph really want. Continue reading