1951-1960

Andrzej Wajda – Popiól i diament aka Ashes and Diamonds [+Extras] (1958)

Quote:
On the last day of World War Two in a small town somewhere in Poland, Polish exiles of war and the occupying Soviet forces confront the beginning of a new day and a new Poland. In this incendiary environment we find Home Army soldier Maciek Chelmicki, who has been ordered to assassinate an incoming commissar. But a mistake stalls his progress and leads him to Krystyna, a beautiful barmaid who gives him a glimpse of what his life could be. Gorgeously photographed and brilliantly performed, Ashes and Diamonds masterfully interweaves the fate of a nation with that of one man, resulting in one of the most important Polish films of all time. Read More »

Khru Marut – Santi-Vina (1954)

Santi, a poor 10- year-old blind boy who lives with his father. Vina takes a pity on him and tries to protect him from the bullying of Krai. Santi’s father send him to stay with Luang Ta, a respectable monk, hopefully that he would learn the Buddhist lessons and by doing good deed, he could regain his eyesight.

When they have grown up, Santi and Vina become lover. Krai feels jealous because he also love Vina. Krai asks his parent to make a marriage proposal to Vina. Vina decides to run away with Santi. However, they are finally caught and Santi is severe beaten. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Le Petit monde de Don Camillo aka The Little World of Don Camillo (1952)

Plot summary :
In a village of the Po valley where the earth is hard and life miserly, the priest and the communist mayor are always fighting to be the head of the community. If in secret, they admired and liked each other, politics still divided them as it is dividing the country. And when the mayor wants his “People’s House”; the priest wants his “Garden City” for the poor. Division exist between the richest and the poorest, the pious and the atheists and even between lovers. But if the people are hard as the country, they are good in the bottom of there heart. Read More »

Jean Grémillon – L’amour d’une femme AKA The Love of a Woman (1953)

Quote:
Marie Prieur, a young doctor, decides to settle down on Ushant, a remote island belonging to Brittany. Little by little she manages to be accepted by the population. One day she meets André Lorenzi, a handsome engineer, and it is love at first sight. Life is wonderful for a while but André wants to marry her only if she remains at home. Despite her strong feelings for André, Marie refuses to give up her vocation and the two lovers part. Marie finds herself alone, with a broken heart. Read More »

Sergei Yutkevich – Otello (1955)

Imdb Author: eva25at from Vienna, Austria:
This smart and colorful version of the bard’s play about the green eyed monster jealousy is popular entertainment: it runs like an Errol-Flynn-swashbuckler. Curly-head Desdemona looks like a (ripe) Hollywood starlet and Emilia is equally attractive. Sergei Bondarchuk’s performance remains astonishingly fresh. He is a handsome, commanding presence with a boyish naivity: easy to dupe, but very sexy. Andrei Popov is equally superb as Don Juan like Iago, a fiery-eyed rooster. This film anticipates even the daring relationship of the Laurence Fishburne/ Kenneth Branagh version: In one scene Bondarchuk & Popov coo like turtle-doves. Laurence Olivier’s (now politically incorrect) Othello and Kenneth Branagh’s genial Iago may be unsurpassed, but this soviet version is more entertaining than the moth-eaten Orson Welles film and definitely more intelligent than the Zeffirelli film. Yutkevich won the director award in Cannes! Read More »

Mauro Bolognini – Guardia, guardia scelta, brigadiere e maresciallo (1956)

Personally, Bolognini did not feel that he was really at home with comedy, yet he was often offered comedies, and in the early stage of his career he accepted some of these assignments. These films were very successful, and the director ascribed the credit for this to the stars he worked with; in this case unquestionably a handful of Italy’s funniest men of the day: Alberto Sordi, Aldo Fabrizzi, Peppino De Filippo, and Gino Cervi. Read More »

Daniel Mann – The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956)

Teahouse retains the basic appeal that made it a unique war novel and a legit hit. There is some added slapstick for those who prefer their comedy broader. Adding to its prospects are some top comedy characterizations, notably from Glenn Ford, plus the offbeat casting of Marlon Brando in a comedy role.
In transferring his play based on the Vern Sneider novel to the screen, John Patrick has provided a subtle shift in the focal interest. Read More »