The third and definitive film adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy, this musical adventure is a genuine family classic that made Judy Garland a star for her heartfelt performance as Dorothy Gale, an orphaned young girl unhappy with her drab black-and-white existence on her aunt and uncle’s dusty Kansas farm.
Dorothy yearns to travel “over the rainbow” to a different world, and she gets her wish when a tornado whisks her and her little dog, Toto, to the Technicolorful land of Oz. Having offended the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), Dorothy is protected from the old crone’s wrath by the ruby slippers that she wears.
At the suggestion of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke), Dorothy heads down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where dwells the all-powerful Wizard of Oz, who might be able to help the girl return to Kansas.
En route, she befriends a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a Tin Man (Jack Haley), and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). The Scarecrow would like to have some brains, the Tin Man craves a heart, and the Lion wants to attain courage; hoping that the Wizard will help them too, they join Dorothy on her odyssey to the Emerald City. Continue reading
One of the best of Wiseman’s documentaries, an impressionistic account of the daily police routine in a predominantly black neighbourhood of Kansas City, Missouri. Although violence abounds, with a black prostitute almost strangled by a vice-squad cop, the film avoids grinding axes about police brutality. Instead, sitting back and coolly observing the situation from multiple perspectives, it suggests that any sickness in the forces of law and order is a symptom of disease in the society that breeds them. Continue reading
A poor boy wins the opportunity to tour the most eccentric and wonderful candy factory of all.
Two Years at Sea (88min, 16mm anamorphic , b/w, blown-up to 35mm, 2011)
A man called Jake lives in the middle of the forest. He goes for walks in whatever the weather, and takes naps in the misty fields and woods. He builds a raft to spend time sitting in a loch. Drives a beat-up jeep to pick up wood supplies. He is seen in all seasons, surviving frugally, passing the time with strange projects, living the radical dream he had as a younger man, a dream he spent two years working at sea to realise. Continue reading
This adventure is the first live-action Superman serial and was one of the most successful multi-chapter films ever made. Superman is played by B-movie hero Kirk Alyn. The story centers upon the hero and the nefarious Spider Lady, who is trying to rule the Earth. If she cannot have complete control, she plans on shrinking it with her powerful reducer ray. Much of the episodes center upon Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane and upon his ability to fly.
Plot: Steve is just a heavy duty bartender when Edwin J. Bennett, known as the Professor, starts training him for the ring. While doing road work, he is almost killed by a speeding car which crashes into a ditch. In the car is Belle Mercer and her driver. Steve takes Belle to a farmhouse and is smitten by her, but she is Willie Ryan’s Girl. The fight is a breeze and later, Steve again meets Belle with Willie. That night, Steve and Belle disappear and return married, much to the disappointment of Ryan. Then Steve starts training in ernest and is 19 for 19 in the ring. However, he has an eye for the women and an expanding ego to match. Written by Tony Fontana Continue reading
All the King’s Men is a 1949 drama film based on the Robert Penn Warren novel of the same name. It was directed by Robert Rossen and starred Broderick Crawford in the role of Willie Stark.
Jack Burden is a newspaper reporter who first hears of Willie Stark when his editor sends him to Kanoma County to cover the man. What’s special about this nobody running for county treasurer? He’s supposedly an honest man. Burden discovers this to be true when he sees Stark delivering a speech and having his son pass out handbills, while the local politicians do their best to intimidate him. Willie Stark is honest and brave. He’s also a know-nothing hick whose schoolteacher wife has given him what little education he has. Stark loses the race for treasurer, but later makes his way through law school, becoming an idealistic attorney who fights for what is good. Someone in the governor’s employ remembers Stark when the governor needs a patsy to run against him and split the vote of his rival. The fat cats underestimate Stark; but Jack Burden, Stark’s biggest supporter, overestimates the man’s idealism. To get where he wants to go, Willie Stark is willing to crack a few eggs – which include his tough-talking assistant, Sadie Burke; Jack’s poised and elegant fiancée, Anne Stanton; and even Jack Burden himself.
– Written by J. Spurlin @ IMDB Continue reading