1951-1960

Xu Tao – People of the Grasslands aka People on the Steppe aka People on the Prairie (1953)

‘This movie was adapted according to the homonymy fiction by Malaqinfu. There was a pair of lovers in a big plain, shepherdess Sarengewa and hunter Sangbu. They were dear to each other, worked arduously, and built their pleasant life with their hands. Secret agent Baolu did something bad, and persuade Sarengewa’s father Baiyire to retreat from Huzhu group, Baiyire refused him understandingly. Then Baolu thought up another trick: he cut the rope of the livestock balustrade under the cover of storm, frightened livestock escaped all around. Read More »

Ken Annakin – The Planter’s Wife (1952)

IMDB Review
Sweet, docile little Claudette Colbert – firing a machine gun? Anything’s possible in the movies!

Colbert and her husband live on their rubber plantation in Malaysia (back when it was Malaya) with their small son. Her husband is too absorbed in the plantation to notice her very much, and she decides that when it’s time to take their son to school in England, she will go with him and never return. But then she is unable to leave when bandits kill one of their neighbours, then tries to kill Colbert, and the whole plantation is set up in a murderous game of cat and mouse. Read More »

Roman Polanski – Gdy spadaja anioly AKA When Angels Fall (1959)

Quote:
A woman working in the municipal toilet recalls her youth. Colourful images of life in the countryside, first love, lancers intertwine with a gloomy image of reality. The film is the diploma work by Roman Polański. Read More »

Leslie Stevens – Private Property (1960)

Quote:
Duke and Boots, two young thugs, hold up a California gas-station owner. Duke, viral and savage, taunts the slower and psychologically-confused Boots because he has never made a sexual conquest. Duke offers to seduce a woman for Boots and the pair force a passing motorist to pursue a sports car driven by Ann Carlyle, the lustful wife of a insurance-company executive who has some desires of her own not being met by her husband. Read More »

Chris Marker – Dimanche à Pekin AKA Sunday in Peking [ENGLISH] (1956)

Director Chris Marker begins by recounting his childhood dream of visiting the city of Peking – a city he was once only able to admire in books. The viewer is taken on a journey through this city, as if experiencing it from the mind and through the eyes of Marker. His thoughts and observations about the traditions, history, and banalities of everyday life in Peking are woven together in elegant fashion. Read More »

Jack Cardiff – Beyond This Place AKA Web of Evidence (1959)

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Beyond This Place is a tame murder mystery based on a novel by A. J. Cronin. Van Johnson is cast as an American citizen whose British father has supposedly been dead for years. On a visit to London, Johnson discovers that his father is very much alive, serving a life sentence for murder. Johnson inaugurates his own investigation, retraces the trail of circumstantial evidence, and unearths the real culprit. Director Jack Cardiff was not happy with his work on Beyond This Place, possibly because he was obliged for box office purposes to use an American star in an essentially British story. The film was released in the US as Web of Evidence. Read More »

Richard Sale – Let’s Make It Legal (1951)

Brief Synopsis
The divorce of Hugh and Miriam Halsworth becomes final at midnight. Hugh wouldn’t dream of calling it off, but can’t abandon his rose garden. Things change that afternoon, though, when Miriam’s old suitor Victor Macfarland checks into the hotel where Hugh is publicity man. With Miriam’s daughter Barbara rooting for Hugh and son-in-law Jerry rooting for Victor, things are unlikely to be resolved by midnight…

Read More »