1951-1960

J. Lee Thompson – Tiger Bay (1959)

Wikipedia wrote:
Cardiff Bay played a major part in Cardiff’s development by being the means of exporting coal from the South Wales Valleys to the rest of the world, helping to power the industrial age. The coal mining industry helped fund the building of Cardiff into the Capital city of Wales and helped the Third Marquis of Bute, who owned the docks, become the richest man in the world at the time. Read More »

Joseph Losey – The Prowler (1951)

Quote:
Poor Susan Gilvray. One night she sees a peeping tom watching her through her bathroom window, so she does the sensible thing and calls the cops. But that prowler was but a fleeting invasion of her privacy. The cop who comes to her rescue brings a more sustained intrusion into her life. She has made a mistake in inviting this emotional vampire into her home. He sizes up what he sees–a huge suburban mansion, and a shapely blonde within-and decides he wants it all. The prowler scampers off into the night, never to be seen again. The cop, however, stays. Read More »

Jacqueline Audry – Olivia AKA The Pit of Loneliness (1951)

Olivia captures the awakening passions of an English adolescent sent away for a year to a small finishing school outside Paris. The innocent but watchful Olivia develops an infatuation for her headmistress, Mlle. Julie, and through this screen of love observes the tense romance between Mlle. Julie and the other head of the school, Mlle. Cara, in its final months. Although not strictly autobiographical, Olivia draws on the author’s experiences at finishing schools run by the charismatic Mlle. Marie Souvestre, whose influence lived on through former students like Natalie Barney and Eleanor Roosevelt. Colette wrote the screenplay for the 1951 film adaptation of the novel. Read More »

Jack Arnold – High School Confidential! (1958)

Quote:
A tough kid comes to a new high school and begins muscling his way into the drug scene. As he moves his way up the ladder, a schoolteacher tries to reform him, his aunt tries to seduce him, and the “weedheads” are eager to use his newly found enterprise, but he has his own agenda. After an altercation involving fast cars, hidden drugs, and police, he’s accepted by the drug kingpin and is off into the big leagues. A typical morality play of the era, filled with a naive view of drugs, nihilistic beat poetry, and some incredible ’50s slang. Read More »

Lew Landers – Man in the Dark AKA The Man Who Lived Twice (1953)

Synopsis:
The refurbished storyline drops the plastic surgery angle but retains the now- disturbing idea that doctors might use brain surgery to “cure” lawbreakers of criminal tendencies. Convicted criminal Steve Rawley (Edmond O’Brien) volunteers for the operation half-assuming that he’ll not survive. He awakes with total amnesia and a more cheerful personality, and under a new name, “Blake” actually looks forward to beginning life afresh tending the hospital’s hedges. Steve is instead kidnapped and beaten bloody by his old cronies in crime Lefty, Arnie and Cookie (Ted de Corsia, Horace McMahon & Nick Dennis), who want to know where Steve hid the loot from their last robbery. Steve remembers nothing, and kisses from his old girlfriend Peg Benedict (Audrey Totter) fail to extract the location of the $130,000. But weird dreams provide clues that might lead Steve and Peg to the money everyone is so desperate to possess. Read More »

Robert Siodmak – Le Grand Jeu AKA Flesh and the Woman (1954)

Quote:
Not really epic material, this is a fated romantic drama (a typically French quality) set against the exotic background of the Foreign Legion and, actually, a remake of Jacques Feyder’s 1934 film LE GRAND JEU.

The plot involves a successful young lawyer (Jean-Claude Pascal) who, due to a shady deal, finds himself penniless and separated from his wife (Gina Lollobrigida). Stranded in Algeria, he’s persuaded to join the Foreign Legion where he befriends a couple of similar losers (played by Raymond Pellegrin and Peter van Eyck). Read More »

Robert Bresson – Journal d’un curé de campagne aka Diary of a Country Priest [+commentary] (1951)

Quote:
A new priest (Claude Laydu) arrives in the French country village of Ambricourt to attend to his first parish. The apathetic and hostile rural congregation rejects him immediately. Through his diary entries, the suffering young man relays a crisis of faith that threatens to drive him away from the village and from God. With his fourth film, Robert Bresson began to implement his stylistic philosophy as a filmmaker, stripping away all inessential elements from his compositions, the dialogue and the music, exacting a purity of image and sound. Read More »