1951-1960

Charles Crichton – The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

Synopsis:
The first Ealing Studios comedy shot in color, Titfield Thunderbolt takes place in a tiny British village serviced by a branch railway line. When the government plans to close the line down, the locals are in a panic—except for a group intending to set up an expensive bus service. The local vicar (George Relph) concocts a scheme with the town’s wealthiest man (Stanley Holloway) for the villagers to run the rail line themselves; in this way they hope to prove to the railway inspectors that their branch is still worth keeping. When the bus interests attempt to sabotage this undertaking, the villagers respond by stealing a stray locomotive—and when this proves cumbersome, they reactivate a 19th century train engine from the local museum. Read More »

Ken Hughes – Timeslip AKA The Atomic Man (1955)

An atomic scientist is found floating in a river with a bullet in his back and a radioactive halo around his body. The radioactivity has put him seven-and-a-half seconds ahead of us in time. He teams up with a reporter to stop his evil double from destroying his experiments in artificial tungsten. Read More »

Alexandre Astruc – Une vie AKA One Life (1958)

Not much one can say other than providing Godard’s review of the film:

I don’t give a damn about the merry-go-round decorated by Walt Disney, he lunch on the grass with imitation plastic clothes, the chewing-gum green of a ball of wool. I don’t give a damn about any of the lapses in taste piled up by Astruc, Claude Renoir and Mayo.Or about Roman Vlad’s saxophone either. Actually it isn’t bad. But anyhow, the real beauty of Une Vie lies elsewhere.
In Pascale Petit’s yellow dress shimmering amid the Velazquez grey dunes of Normandy. That’s wrong! Not Velasquez grey? Not even Delacroix grey, howl the connoisseurs. Read More »

Alexander Mackendrick – The Man in the White Suit (1951)

Synopsis:
An altruistic chemist invents a fabric which resists wear and stain as a boon to humanity, but both big business and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons. Read More »

Dan Milner – The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (1955)

A professor works for an oceanography college on the Pacific coast. He has a daughter. A series of fishermen deaths are reported. A government investigator—not the FBI—and a scientist show up. They soon discover an unexplained source of atomic power on the ocean floor that is guarded by a strange monster. The scientist learns from the professor’s secretary that his experiments have something to do with the strange monster. The agent learns that negotiations to sell the atomic inventions, and the very strange monster, to a foreign power are underway. The secretary is killed by the professor’s assistant, who has been seeking to turn over the atomic-secrets to a foreign power. Read More »

Lindsay Anderson – Thursday’s Children (1954)

Synopsis:
Narrated by Richard Burton, Thursday’s Children is a documentary about the Royal School for the Deaf in Margate, England. Filmed without sound and using narration sparingly, the documentary explores the silent world of these children (and their teachers) as they come to learn what sound is, even before they are able to articulate anything themselves. The narration explains that there can be no thought without words, only feelings, and that sounds must be taught visually, through pictures or example, or experienced through vibrations. The bulk of the film, however, concerns itself with the determination of the children and the joy they feel when their attempts at communication produce breakthroughs. Read More »

Gordon Douglas – Them! (1954)

Synopsis:
In the New Mexico desert, Police Sgt. Ben Peterson and his partner find a child wandering in the desert and sooner they discover that giant ants are attacking the locals. FBI agent Robert Graham teams up with Ben and with the support of Dr. Harold Medford and his daughter Dr. Patricia ‘Pat’ Medford, they destroy the colony of ants in the middle of the desert. Dr. Harold Medford explains that the atomic testing in 1945 developed the dangerous mutant ants. But they also discover that two queen ants have flown away to Los Angeles and they are starting a huge colony in the underground of the city. When a mother reports that her two children are missing, the team and the army have a lead to follow. Will they arrive in time to save the children and destroy the colony? Read More »