1951-1960

Stanley Kubrick – Killer’s Kiss (1955)

Synopsis:
Prize-fighter Davy Gordon intervenes when private dancer Gloria Price is being attacked by her employer and lover Vincent Raphello. This brings the two together and they get involved with each other, which displeases Raphello. He sends men out to kill Davy, but they instead kill his friend. Gloria is soon kidnapped by Raphello and his men, and it is up to Davy to save her. Read More »

Stanley Kubrick – The Killing (1956)

Synopsis:
Ex-convict Johnny Clay tells his girl friend, Fay, he has plans for making money, and indeed he has. He rounds up a gang and brings them in on a seemingly fool-proof scheme to rob a race track of $200,000. The first thread unravels when Sherry Peatty, wife of gang-member George Peatty, tells her boyfriend Val Cannon about the plan, and he cuts himself in on that action also. The robbery is completed and the gang goes to the hideout where Johnny will join them later. Val sticks up the robbers, a shot is fired, and all hands are soon dispatched. Johnny, with the money in a suitcase, joins Fay at the airport. And the fat lady still hasn’t sung. Read More »

Pierre Kast – Le bel âge AKA Love Is When You Make It (1960)

Synopsis:
‘Three episodes concerning the love-themes of a group of elegant Parisians.’
– BFI Read More »

Ronald Neame – The Man Who Never Was (1956)

Synopsis:
British Intelligence during World War II is trying to get the German High Command to shift its forces away from Italy prior to the invasion. To create the illusion that England is in fact planning to invade Greece, they plan to procure a dead body, plant secret papers on it, and arrange for the Spanish authorities to find it and send the papers on to the Germans. That’s the plan, anyway. First they have to find a body that will look drowned, then create an identity for it that will pass German scrutiny. Based on a true story. Read More »

Kazimierz Kutz – Nikt nie wola aka Nobody’s calling. (1960)

In 1960 Kazimierz Kutz’ second film NIKT NIE WOLA / NOBODY’S CALLING, based on a Jozef Hen novel that was never published in Poland, described the fate of Poles on the Eastern Front. Kutz used the film to explore new formal solutions, collaborating closely with cinematographer Jerzy Wojcik to reveal the psychological landscape of a pair of lovers who are strongly affected by wartime events. The camera recorded the couple’s inner experiences, contrasting their muted intimacy against the surrounding scenery of a ruined town. The film did not win over critics at the time of its release. It was not until later that critics recognized Kutz’s effort to experiment with aesthetics in a manner akin to that pursued by filmmakers of the new wave. NOBODY’S CALLING came to be compared with Michelangelo Antonioni’s THE ADVENTURE, which was produced around the same time. Read More »

Phil Karlson – Kansas City Confidential (1952)

Synopsis:
A down-on-his-luck ex-G.I. finds himself framed for an armored car robbery. When he’s finally released for lack of evidence, after having been beaten up and tortured by the police, he sets out to discover who set him up, and why. The trail leads him into Mexico and a web of hired killers and corrupt cops. Read More »

John Ford – The Last Hurrah (1958)

Synopsis:
An aging politician tries to get re-elected one last time in the changing world of the 1950s when TV started to play a bigger part in politics. Based loosely on the career of multi-term Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, this film examines the good and evil inherent in politics and all the things that go into an election. Tracy’s uphill battle to stay in office is set against the political machinery that preyed on ethnic hatred and old-time money. Read More »