1961-1970

Martin Ritt – The Outrage (1964)

Brooklyn Academy of Music writes:
Kurosawa’s Rashomon is transposed to the American Wild West as four participants in a rape and murder—including a Mexican bandit (Newman), the dead man (Harvey), and his wife (Bloom)—give differing accounts of what occurred. Featuring a dynamite supporting cast that includes Edward G. Robinson and William Shatner, The Outrage is lent a haunted, nightmarish atmosphere thanks to James Wong Howe’s psychologically charged camerawork. Read More »

    Richard Brooks – The Professionals (1966)

    Synopsis:
    Four soldiers of fortune are hired by a wealthy rancher to rescue his beautiful young wife who has been kidnapped by a villainous Mexican bandit. When they finally find her, after fighting their way across deserts and mountains, they discover she is not being held against her will. This causes friction within the band as to whether they should honor their agreement. Read More »

      François Leterrier – Un roi sans divertissement AKA A King Without Distraction (1963)

      In the nineteenth century, a young police captain, Langlois, is sent to a remote snow-covered village to investigate the disappearance of a girl. He is helped in his investigation by a local magistrate, who is convinced that the murderer is an ordinary man who has killed merely to relieve his boredom. When he finally confronts the killer, Langlois becomes aware of his own identity and discovers that he too has the impulse to take the lives of others… Read More »

        Jules Dassin – Up Tight! (1968)

        Synopsis:
        “Uptight” is an updated remake of John Ford’s 1935 film, “The Informer”. Dublin becomes the Cleveland ghetto and the Irish Republicans are replaced by black revolutionary fighters. Days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Tank Williams (Julian Mayfield) is an unemployed and itinerant steelworker who turns over his militant friend, Johnny Wells (Max Julien) to the police for $1,000 reward, resulting in an underground all-points bulletin to exact vengeance on the squealer. Legendary director, Jules Dassin’s unrelenting directional pace is complemented by the driving score of Booker T. Jones. The stellar cast includes Raymond St. Jacques, Ruby Dee, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Frank Silvera. Read More »

          José Ramón Larraz – Whirlpool AKA Perversion Flash AKA She Died with Her Boots On (1970)

          Synopsis:
          A blonde fashion model, Tulia is lured to an isolated country estate by a creepy older woman, Sara. There she meets Theo, orphan and homeless boy who has given a home by Sara. They call each other as aunt and nephew. He is photography-obsessed and even creepier than Sara. Tulia doesn’t seem too perturbed to learn that a previous female model, Rhonda that went there has disappeared without a trace, nor does she find it strange that her first night there they get her drunk and engage her in perverse game of strip poker. She almost has sex with the boy while the old woman secretly watches but he isn’t able to rise to the occasion. The next day he takes her into town and pays a friend to rip her clothes off and nearly rape her while he takes pictures. This doesn’t seem to bother her either because soon she’s involved in another bisexual three-way sex/photography session with them. There is also an allusion to the old Bluebeard story-the model has been forbidden to enter the boy’s mysterious darkroom. Read More »

            Robert Wise – The Sand Pebbles (1966)

            Synopsis:
            Engineer Jake Holman arrives aboard the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo, assigned to patrol a tributary of the Yangtze in the middle of exploited and revolution-torn 1926 China. His iconoclasm and cynical nature soon clash with the “rice-bowl” system which runs the ship and the uneasy symbiosis between Chinese and foreigner on the river. Hostility towards the gunboat’s presence reaches a climax when the boat must crash through a river-boom and rescue missionaries upriver at China Light Mission. Read More »

              Robert Wise – The Sound of Music (1965)

              Synopsis:
              In 1930’s Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain’s wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives — including the Captain’s. Read More »