Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger – Saint Joan (1957)

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Synopsis (possible spoilers):
“Twenty-five years after having been burnt at the stake for heresy, Joan of Arc returns to King Charles VII of France as a ghost and taunts him for having betrayed her. They recall the time when Joan, driven by divine messages, persuaded Charles, then Dauphin, to allow her to lead an army to attack the English at Orleans. Did Charles show gratitude when Joan defeated the English, a victory that enabled him to be crowned king at Reims? No, he only wanted her to return to her village and resume the life of an anonymous peasant girl. When she failed in her attempt to take Paris from the English, who came to Joan’s aid when she was arrested and tried by the Catholic Church for heresy? No one…”
– Films de France Read More »

Otto Preminger – Porgy and Bess (1959)

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A stellar line-up of African-American actors and musical stars helped to bring DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin’s classic operetta to this screen in this lavishly-produced adaptation. Porgy (Sidney Poitier) is a crippled man living in the shantytown of Catfish Row who has fallen in love with Bess (Dorothy Dandridge), a beautiful but troubled woman addicted to drugs. Bess is already being courted by several men, including Crown (Brock Peters), a muscular laborer, and Sportin’ Life (Sammy Davis, Jr.), a sharp-suited hipster who deals narcotics. Crown gets in a fist fight with Robbins (Joel Fluellen) and ends up killing him; Crown goes on the lam, and Bess, needing companionship, takes up with Porgy. However, Crown soon returns, and Porgy kills him in a subsequent altercation, forcing him to hide from the police. Meanwhile, the fickle Bess follows Sportin’ Life in search of the bright lights of New York City. Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll, Ivan Dixon, and Clarence Muse also highlight the cast; Robert McFerrin provided the singing voice of Porgy, and Adele Addison dubbed in Bess’ musical numbers. — Mark Deming Read More »

Otto Preminger – Daisy Kenyon (1947)

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Quote:
Daisy Kenyon stars Joan Crawford as the eponymous heroine, a Manhattan commercial artist. Daisy is torn between two men: a handsome, married attorney (Dana Andrews) and an unmarried Henry Fonda. Deciding to do the “right thing”, Daisy marries Fonda, but carries a torch for the dashing Andrews. When the lawyer divorces his wife, he calls upon Daisy and tries to win her back. She is very nearly won over, but her husband isn’t about to give up so easily. Both men argue over Daisy, who is so distraught by the experience that she nearly has a fatal automobile accident. In the end, Daisy realizes that she truly loves Fonda, and gives Andrews his walking papers. Daisy Kenyon is given a contemporary slant with a subplot about child abuse (in a Joan Crawford film!); and, in one scene set at New York’s Stork Club, several celebrities (Walter Winchell, Leonard Lyons, John Garfield) make unbilled cameo appearances. Read More »

Otto Preminger – Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

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Quote:
Dana Andrews is brutal metropolitan police detective Dixon, who despises all criminals because his father had been one. When the cops pick up two-bit gambler Ken Paine (Craig Stevens) as a murder suspect, Dixon subjects Paine to the third degree—and accidentally kills him.

In disposing of the body, Dixon inadvertently places the blame for the killing on cab driver Jiggs Taylor (Tom Tully). Having fallen in love with Jigg’s daughter (Gene Tierney), Dixon tries to clear the cabbie without implicating himself, but ultimately he becomes trapped in a web of his own making; luckily Tierney promises to stand by him.

Where the Sidewalk Ends was adapted from a novel by William A. Stuart; its director was Otto Preminger, who’d previously put Andrews and Tierney through their paces in Laur (1944). Read More »

Otto Preminger – Such Good Friends (1971)

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Synopsis from allmovie.com:

Based upon the novel by Lois Gould and adapted (under the pseudonym Esther Dale) by Elaine May, Such Good Friends focuses on Julie Messinger (played by Dyan Cannon), a woman with intense, often wild emotions that are held in check beneath a rather conventional façade. After her chauvinistic and self-centered husband Richard checks into the hospital for a simple mole removal that goes seriously wrong, Julie discovers that he has been titanically unfaithful to her. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and Julie decides it is time for her to break out of her shell, no matter what the consequences. She begins to exhibit a sexual interest in other men (sometimes indiscriminately, as when she seduces her family doctor, played by James Coco), and speaks her mind to others, including her egocentric mother (Nina Foch) and her hypocritical best friend (Jennifer O’Neill). — Craig Butler Read More »

Otto Preminger – Fallen Angel (1945)

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Sinopsis
Eric Stanton, a penniless drifter, falls in love with Stella, who works in a small-town coffee shop. She refuses to marry him because of his poor financial condition. Desperate for money, Eric marries a wealthy local spinster to bilk her inheritance, and then run off with Stella. Read More »

Otto Preminger – Skidoo (1968)

skidooposterrw Otto Preminger   Skidoo (1968)

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An American comedy film directed by Otto Preminger, starring Jackie Gleason and Carol Channing, written by Doran William Cannon and released by Paramount Pictures on December 19, 1968. The screenplay satirizes late 1960s lifestyle and its creature comforts, technology, anti-technology, hippies, free love and then-prevalent use of the mind-altering drug LSD.
Along with top-billed Gleason and Channing, Skidoo also stars (alphabetically listed) Frankie Avalon, Fred Clark (who died on December 5, two weeks before the film’s release), Michael Constantine, Frank Gorshin, John Phillip Law, Peter Lawford, Burgess Meredith, George Raft, Cesar Romero, Mickey Rooney and Groucho Marx playing “God” (making, at age 77, his final film appearance). Singer-songwriter Nilsson, who wrote the score and receives credit as a member of the cast, appears in a few brief scenes with Fred Clark, as both portray prison tower guards swaying to Nilsson’s music while under the influence of LSD.
Read More »