Richard Fleischer – 10 Rillington Place (1971)

ivlh Richard Fleischer   10 Rillington Place (1971)

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London, 1949. John Christie is an unassuming, middle aged man who, along with his wife Ethel, manages the apartment building at 10 Rillington Place. His unassuming demeanor masks the fact of being a serial killer. His modus operandi is to act as a person with a medical background, lure unsuspecting women to his apartment on the pretense of curing them of some ailment, knock them unconscious with carbon monoxide gas, gain his sexual release through contact with the unconscious body, then strangle the victim dead before disposing of the body usually by burying it in his back yard. His next intended target is Beryl Evans, a young woman who has just moved into a flat in his building. Beryl’s husband, Tim Evans, is an illiterate man who likes to put on airs. Already with an infant daughter named Geraldine, the Evanses learn they are going to have another baby, which they cannot afford to have, nor can they afford to abort the pregnancy. This problem, on top of the constant issue of lack of…
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Kevin Brownlow – It Happened Here (1966)

ez46 Kevin Brownlow   It Happened Here (1966)

thgc Kevin Brownlow   It Happened Here (1966)

It is the Second World War. The Nazis have invaded Britain. There is a split between the resistance and those who prefer to collaborate with the invaders for a quiet life. The protagonist, a nurse, is caught in the middle.

British film historian Kevin Brownlow was all of 18 when he conceived the idea for this alternate-history film depicting what life in London would have been like if Nazi troops had conquered England in July 1940. Along with his friend and collaborator Andrew Mollo (only 16 at the time), he took eight years to piece the film together using borrowed equipment and begging scraps of film stock from established filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick. The result owes much to Brownlow’s penchant for silent films (he authored a classic text on the subject entitled The Parade’s Gone By), and possibly to Italian neorealism, since the semidocumentary style bows in that direction. Good thing, too. The documentary feel captivates the viewer. The story follows an Everybrit named Pauline as she grows from complacence and resignation over the Nazi occupation of England to when she becomes a nurse for the Nazis and realizes the true horror of her and England’s situation. Brownlow’s pure desire for authenticity makes the film more chilling than it would otherwise have been. For instance, on the film’s initial release, Jewish groups objected to a sequence involving a real-life fascist of the time, Colin Jordan, spouting his opinion of Jews and euthanasia. They feared people wouldn’t pick up on the film’s anti-Nazi stance, and would therefore take the comments seriously. So seven minutes of footage were cut that have now been restored, making the film scarier than ever
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Samuel Fuller – Fixed bayonets! (1951)

u7l9 Samuel Fuller   Fixed bayonets! (1951)

thgc Samuel Fuller   Fixed bayonets! (1951)

Fixed Bayonets! (1951) is a war film written and directed by Samuel Fuller and produced by Twentieth Century-Fox during the Korean War. It is Fuller’s second film about the Korean War. In his motion picture debut, James Dean appears briefly in the film.

The film is set in the first winter of Korean War. The story follows the fate of a lone 48 man platoon left as a rear guard to defend a hill in hostile territory, to cover the withdrawal of their division over an exposed bridge. The subplot explores the psychological makeup of the individuals charged with leadership of the platoon, and therein examines the nature of service and valor. Ultimately command of the platoon falls upon Cpl. Denno (Richard Basehart), who has an innate aversion to responsibility for the lives of others. Continue reading

Feliks Falk – Joanna (2010)

 Feliks Falk   Joanna (2010)

thgc Feliks Falk   Joanna (2010)

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Plot / Synopsis
Feliks Falk’s latest movie “Joanna” is a story set in the time of World War II. The main heroine’s husband had been sent to an Oflag. One day Joanna encounters a little Jewish girl in a church. Despite the risk, she decides to take care of her.

“Joanna” is an example of a true story as it reflects the behaviour of thousands of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Feliks movie has enchanted the audience of 35. Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.
Tadeusz Sobolewski, a film critic, gave the movie a very positive review.
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Volker Schlöndorff – Der Fangschuß AKA Coup de grâce (1976)

 Volker Schlöndorff   Der Fangschuß AKA Coup de grâce (1976)

thgc Volker Schlöndorff   Der Fangschuß AKA Coup de grâce (1976)

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Coup de Grâce (German: Der Fangschuß, French: Le Coup de grâce) is a 1976 West German film directed by Volker Schlöndorff. It was adapted from the novel by the same name by the French author Marguerite Yourcenar. The title comes from the French expression, meaning “finishing blow”.

Synopsis: A countess’ unrequited love for an army officer leads to disaster. Latvia, 1919: the end of the Russian Civil War. An aristocratic young woman (brilliantly played by Margarethe von Trotta) becomes involved with a sexually repressed Prussian soldier. When she is rejected by her love, the young woman is sent into a downward spiral of psychosexual depression, promiscuity, and revolutionary collaboration. A startling tale of heartbreak and violence set against the backdrop of bloody revolution, Volker Schlöndorff’s Coup de grâce is a powerful film that explores the interrelation of private passion and political commitment.
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Roberto Rossellini – Germania, anno zero aka Germany Year Zero (1948)

 Roberto Rossellini   Germania, anno zero aka Germany Year Zero (1948)

thgc Roberto Rossellini   Germania, anno zero aka Germany Year Zero (1948)

In the third and final film of Rossellini’s WWII trilogy, the director shifts his focus from his native Italy to the bombed-out ruins of Berlin, where 12-year-old Edmund Koehler struggles for survival. Among the nine people he lives with are: a father, who is suffering from malnutrition and a fatal illness; a brother, who is a former Nazi soldier hiding to avoid arrest; and a sister, who has turned to prostitution. Scouring the rubble-strewn city for food, money, and cigarettes, he comes upon a former teacher, Herr Enning (Erich Guhne), who evinces a barely restrained sexual attraction to the boy while providing him with records of Hitler’s speeches that can be bartered on the black market. He also drums into the boy a classic piece of Nazi propaganda about the importance of having the courage to let the weak be destroyed. Under his influence, the confused young protagonist heads down a tragic path.
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Arnold Laven – The Rack (1956)

 Arnold Laven   The Rack (1956)

thgc Arnold Laven   The Rack (1956)

Wounded and weakened in Korean prison camps, GIs descend from the plane that returned them to U.S. soil. It is a time of tearful family reunions. A time of uncertainty about how to help traumatized men. And a time of reckoning: Capt. Edward W. Hall Jr., a silver-star hero and ex-POW, faces trial for collaboration with the enemy. Paul Newman’s richly complex portrayal of Hall sets the tone of acting excellence found throughout The Rack. How much can a POW be expected to endure before breaking? Should his own past and emotional vulnerabilities be weighed against the miltary’s policy of name, rank and serial number? The issues remain timelessly relevant in this probing courtroom drama adapted from a Rod Serling teleplay. Continue reading

pixel Arnold Laven   The Rack (1956)