Tag Archives: 1950’s

Chris Marker – Dimanche à Pekin AKA Sunday in Peking [ENGLISH] (1956)

Director Chris Marker begins by recounting his childhood dream of visiting the city of Peking – a city he was once only able to admire in books. The viewer is taken on a journey through this city, as if experiencing it from the mind and through the eyes of Marker. His thoughts and observations about the traditions, history, and banalities of everyday life in Peking are woven together in elegant fashion. Read More »

Jack Cardiff – Beyond This Place AKA Web of Evidence (1959)

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Beyond This Place is a tame murder mystery based on a novel by A. J. Cronin. Van Johnson is cast as an American citizen whose British father has supposedly been dead for years. On a visit to London, Johnson discovers that his father is very much alive, serving a life sentence for murder. Johnson inaugurates his own investigation, retraces the trail of circumstantial evidence, and unearths the real culprit. Director Jack Cardiff was not happy with his work on Beyond This Place, possibly because he was obliged for box office purposes to use an American star in an essentially British story. The film was released in the US as Web of Evidence. Read More »

Richard Sale – Let’s Make It Legal (1951)

Brief Synopsis
The divorce of Hugh and Miriam Halsworth becomes final at midnight. Hugh wouldn’t dream of calling it off, but can’t abandon his rose garden. Things change that afternoon, though, when Miriam’s old suitor Victor Macfarland checks into the hotel where Hugh is publicity man. With Miriam’s daughter Barbara rooting for Hugh and son-in-law Jerry rooting for Victor, things are unlikely to be resolved by midnight…

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Charles Walters – Torch Song (1953)

Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., in the New York Herald Tribune (1952):

Joan Crawford has another of her star-sized roles….Playing a musical comedy actress in the throes of rehearsal and in love with a blind pianist, she is vivid and irritable, volcanic and feminine. She dances; she pretends to sing; she graciously permits her wide mouth and snappish eyes to be photographed in Technicolor….Here is Joan Crawford all over the screen, in command, in love and in color, a real movie star in what amounts to a carefully produced one-woman show. Miss Crawford’s acting is sheer and colorful as a painted arrow, aimed straight at the sensibilities of her particular fans. Read More »

Josef von Sternberg & Jules Furthman – Jet Pilot (1957)

John Wayne and Janet Leigh star in this military romance. Anna, Russian MIG pilot, escapes the USSR and lands on a US Air Force base in Alaska. There she meets Colonel Shannon, and after he debriefs her, the two become romantically involved and move to Palm Springs. Trouble arises when the US authorities discover that Anna is not really a defector but a Soviet spy. Army honchos decide to turn the tables by letting Shannon follow her back home and do some of his own espionage. But once there, Soviet forces endanger Shannon’s life — and Anna has to choose between her country and the man she has come to love. Read More »

Bruce Conner – A Movie (1958)

Quote:
The singular title of Bruce Conner’s A Movie positions this avant-garde short as though it were a prototypical example for the entire medium. In fact, Conner’s film is the self-conscious inheritor of a particular tradition within the movies, a particular use to which moving pictures have been put: the filmic spectacle. Where Conner’s film, constructed entirely from a wide variety of found footage, diverges from this tradition is in its recognition that in spectacle, the content hardly matters so much as the sensations conveyed through the film. Read More »

Kaljo Kiisk, Yuli Kun – Vallatud kurvid AKA Venturous Curves (1959)

Quote:
The first Estonian wide-screen feature film directed by Juli Kun and Kaljo Kiisk is a pure situation comedy where twin sisters (both roles played by Terje Luik) are in the middle of passionate adventures during a motorbike competition.

Vaike, a student and a motorbike racer, arrives at the racetrack where the bikes are already racing at full speed. She gets involved in adventures while getting acquainted with Raivo, successful biker and womanizer, and Heino, another big league biker who offers Vaike his help in preparing for the competition. Vaike finds it hard to face all that alone. Her twin sister Maret will helped her with this complicated situation. Only that this time Maret’s new husband Ants will join the game. He is convinced that he can make the difference between Maret and Vaike. Read More »