1951-1960

Guy Lefranc – Knock (1951)

Saint-Maurice, an ordinary peaceful village, lived healthily so much so that the local doctor’s practice was scant. But that was before Dr. Parpalaid retired and was replaced by a charlatan by the name of Knock. A real genius this one, for he soon managed to persuade everyone that they were ill. And not only didn’t they resent him but they even loved their physician, who made a fortune and brought prosperity to the village by turning it into a big hospital. Read More »

Mauro Bolognini – Il bell’Antonio (1960)

Women love handsome Antonio because they think of him as the perfect lover. But he has problems to fullfill this ideal and Barbara only notices his failures when they are married. When the town learns about his trouble they start laughing at him… Read More »

Mario Monicelli & Steno – Le infedeli AKA The Unfaithfuls (1953)

An industrialist has his wife tailed because he secretly hopes she is betraying him so that he can ask for a divorce and marry the model he’s fallen in love with. This leads to a series of thefts, blackmail and a suicide as well. Read More »

Shôhei Imamura – Hateshinaki yokubô AKA Endless Desire (1958)

Synopsis:
On 15 August 1955 at noon, on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, five people gather outside a train station, each of them wearing the emblem of the former imperial army on their chest. On the day of the surrender, an army general had hidden a can of priceless morphin in an air-raid shelter. It had been agreed then that the general and his three soldiers would meet ten years later to share their loot. Outside the station there is now one person too many. What’s more, one of them is a woman who claims she was married to the now dead general. The four men and the woman hire a house, aiming to turn it into a real estate agency. They start digging the ground to reach the spot where the can was buried. As their work progresses, each of them becomes a victim of their own selfishness, distrust and greed. Read More »

Alexander Mackendrick – The Ladykillers (1955)

Quote:
A gang planning a ‘job’ find themselves living with a little old lady, who thinks they are musicians. When the gang set out to kill Mrs Wilberforce, they run into one problem after another, and they get what they deserve. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Le petit soldat AKA The Little Soldier (1963)

Quote:
Le Petit Soldat is an early Jean-Luc Godard film that was made on a shoestring budget. Michel Subor (who would surface years later in Claire Denis’ Beau Travail [1999] to great critical acclaim), stars here as Bruno Forestier, a young revolutionary living in Geneva who is fighting against French involvement in the war in Algeria. He meets and falls in love with rival revolutionary Veronica Dreyer (Anna Karina, soon to be Godard’s wife), and the mutual recriminations begin. Shot like a newsreel, much of the film is photographed with a hand-held camera, with sound post-synchronized; a “film noir” narration holds the film together, but the narrative, as is usual with Godard, is slight. Read More »

Orson Welles – Touch of Evil [Restored Version] (1958)

Quote:
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. Read More »