1951-1960

Alfred Hitchcock – Strangers on a Train (1951)

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‘Strangers on a Train,’ Another Hitchcock Venture, Arrives at the Warner Theatre
It appears that Alfred Hitchcock is fascinated with the Svengali theme, as well as with his own dexterity in performing macabre tricks. His last picture, “Rope,” will be remembered as a stunt (which didn’t succeed) involving a psychopathic murderer who induced another young man to kill for thrills. Now, in his latest effort, called “Strangers on a Train,” which served to reopen the Strand Theatre last night under its new name, the Warner, Mr. Hitchcock again is tossing a crazy murder story in the air and trying to con us into thinking that it will stand up without support. Read More »

Nikola Tanhofer – H-8 (1958)

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Quote:
A bus and a truck are moving towards each other along a two-way traffic highway on a rainy day. At the very beginning we learn that a reckless driver of another car will cause them to collide while trying to pass the bus; we even learn what seats will spell doom for their occupants. The rest of the movie follows two streams of events on the bus and on the truck, getting us to know and like a wide variety of characters, wondering which ones will end up being casualties and holding breath for our favourites. The epilogue brings some more surprises… Read More »

Ken Annakin – Third Man on the Mountain (1959)

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Quote:
A young man in 19th century Switzerland whose father was killed trying to climb the Citadel (which is what the Matterhorn is called here) wants to become a mountaineer himself, and of course climb to the top of the Citadel, which no man has done. His mother strictly forbids it, and his uncle downright nasty to him whenever the subject comes up. Persistent fellow that he is, the boy hooks up with an English mountain climber, then coaxes his uncle to take him along on a climb, makes an ass of himself, then has a go at it again. The boy doesn’t really have the maturity for the task, but persists, and in time he grows up, almost in spite of himself. Read More »

Lamberto V. Avellana – Badjao AKA Badjao, the Sea Gypsies (1957)

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Plot:
An classic film by film studio LVN, largely because of shining performances by Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos. It won the award for best direction (Lamberto V. Avellana, National Artist for Theater and Film in 1976), best story (Rolf Bayer), best editing (Gregorio Carballo), and best cinematography (Mike Accion) at the 1957 Southeast Asia Film Festival held in Tokyo.
A story about the Badjaos and the Tausogs, rival tribes for centuries. The Badjaos, a group of sea gypsies, ply the sea for food and for pearls.
Hassan (Tony Santos), a son of the Badjao chief falls in love and marries Bala Amai (Rosa Rosal) who is a niece of Datu Tahil (Jose de Cordova), head of the land-dwelling Tausogs. At the urging of Bala Amai, Hassan decides to leave his tribe and join the Tausogs.
Eventually, Datu Tahil learns of Hassan’s expertise in finding rare pearls in the sea, thus exploiting him for his own selfish interests. Hassan and Bala Amai resist him, feeling that their self-respect have been trampled on. They decide to go back to the Badjaos and lead a more humble, but nevertheless peaceful life. the Badjaos accept them with all their hearts. Read More »

Hugo Haas – The Other Woman (1954)

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Bit player Sherry Stewart gets miffed when director Walter Darman turns her down after she reads for a small part in his picture. She and her boy friend, Ronnie, devise a plan to lure Darman to her apartment, where she gives him a drugged drink. She tells Darman they had been intimate and blackmails him for $50,000. More than a little distracted by his situation, his wife senses something is wrong and he gets into a violent argument with his father-in-law who owns the producing company Darman works for, and discontinues the picture. Sherry informs Darman she is going to tell his wife all about them. Darman tells his secretary that he is going to work late and is not to be disturbed, sets the moviola runnings, and exits by the back door and hot-foots it to Sherry’s apartment. He tries to reason with her but to no avail, and strangles her in a fit of rage. The crime is first blamed on peddler Papasha, but Police Inspector Collins thinks otherwise. Written by Les Adams Read More »

Hugo Haas – The Girl on the Bridge (1951)

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An elderly watchmaker stops a beautiful young blonde from committing suicide by throwing herself off a bridge. They eventually marry, and things go well until a man from the woman’s somewhat unsavory past shows up and attempts to blackmail her. Written by frankfob2 Read More »

Melvin Frank & Norman Panama – Above and Beyond (1952)

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Plot:
The story of Colonel Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Although unaware of the full potential of this new weapon, he knows that it is capable of doing tremendously more damage than any other weapon used before, and that the death toll resulting from it will be enormous. He is reluctant to be the person who will end so many lives, but if using it may bring an end to the war, then not doing so may result in even more lives being lost in continued ground assaults as the fighting goes on. At the same time, the intense secrecy surrounding this mission leaves him with no one he can express his thoughts and doubts to, not even his wife. As time goes on, the pressure upon him only increase. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher Read More »