Tag Archives: 1950’s

Sacha Guitry – Je l’ai été 3 fois! AKA I Was It Three Times (1952)

Jean Renneval, a mature and attractive stage actor, seduces Thérèse Verdier, a beautiful woman whom he notices attending the play one evening. Henri Verdier, her husband, is about to leave in a business appointment, but he makes arrangements with Henriette – Thérèse’s friend – to stay at his place, and sleep there after dinner. He has learned from his first two earlier wives: Lucie cuckoo-ed him with Hector van Broken, his look-a-like; and Juliette with the sultan Hammanlif. His friend Marinier goes with him in the car to the railway station, and during their conversation, Verdier decides to return home – only to find he has been betrayed a third time. Renneval leaves the bedroom already dressed and composed with his costume of cardinal, and with his rhetoric convinces Verdier to accept his fate. Read More »

Hiroshi Inagaki – Sengoku burai AKA Sword For Hire (1952)

Synopsis:
Set in the civil wars of the 1570s, the film follows three samurai, Hayate, Jurata, and Yakeiji after the fall of their castle. Jurata escapes by pretending to be Hayate and escorting Hayate’s love Kano to safety, while the other two survive the fighting despite their wounds. Yakeiji becomes the leader of a bandit group while Hayate is saved by Oryo, the daughter of the leader of a different set of bandits. Jurata falls in love with Kano, but she leaves him to search for Hayate, just missing him several times, and Oryo also falls in love with Hayate and tries to track him down after she believes he killed her father. Numerous changes of sides, adventures, and confrontations follow for all. Read More »

John Paddy Carstairs – One Good Turn (1955)

Synopsis:
Norman is the oldest orphan at Greenwood Children’s Home and now acts as their caretaker. All the orphans are very happy and well cared for. The adventures start when a nasty property developer (boo hiss) who is also the chairman of the orphanage board wants to close the orphanage and build a factory on the site. The children are sent to Brighton for the day and Norman is very excited because he’s “Never seen the Sea”. When they get back they discover the plan to close the orphanage and have to decide what to do. Read More »

Jean Delannoy – Notre-Dame de Paris AKA The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)

Paris, 1482. Today is the festival of the fools, taking place like each year in the square outside Cathedral Notre Dame. Among jugglers and other entertainers, Esmeralda, a sensuous gypsy, performs a bewitching dance in front of delighted spectators. From up in a tower of the cathedral, Frollo, an alchemist, gazes at her lustfully. Later in the night, Frollo orders Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer and his faithful servant, to kidnap Esmeralda. But when the ugly freak comes close to her is touched by the young woman’s beauty… Read More »

Christian-Jaque – Babette s’en va-t-en guerre AKA Babette Goes to War (1959)

It is June 1940. France has fallen and the Germans are posed to invade England. In this desperate hour, British Intelligence has recruited Babette, a pea-brained young woman who has just been evacuated from France. The dim blonde bears a striking resemblance to a former mistress of General von Arenberg, the man responsible for the feared invasion. The plan is that she will use her womanly charms to lure the General into an ambush. Things soon go wrong when Babette is separated from her handsome associate, Gérard de Crécy, and ends up in the hands of the infamous Gestapo chief Shultz. Coincidentally, the latter also wants to have von Arenberg out of the way, and realises that Babette is just the woman he needs… Read More »

Motoyoshi Oda – Tômei ningen AKA The Invisible Man (1954)

A car strikes an unseen object; blood spreads from an invisible source which becomes visible as the bleeding man dies. He carries with him a suicide note dedicated to his only friend, who is also an invisible man. An eager young reporter tracks down Takemitsu Nanjo, a war veteran who makes his living visibly, painting his face like a clown’s and carrying advertising signs. His favorite neighbor is a little blind girl whose mother is running afoul of local gangsters. The gangsters have been terrorizing the city as “the invisible gang,” wrapping themselves up in scarves and trenchcoats so as to be visible to their victims, even though they are supposed to be invisible underneath. Once they discover Nanjo, who is defending his only friends, they beat him and leave him for dead. Read More »

Ishirô Honda – Uchu daisenso aka Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Quote:
With his name firmly ensconced in film history as the creator of the Godzilla and Rodan films, director Inoshiro Honda continues to shape and mold a dramatic sci-fi story in Battle in Outer Space. As in the record-setting Star Wars sagas of the future, special effects also get star billing here. The nations of the earth are banding together to fight off invaders from outer space. At the core of their defense is an attack in which two space ships from the earth land on the moon — the aliens have set up their base of operations there. But this pre-emptive strike is not enough because back on terra firma, heat-ray guns are called into action as the invasion of flying saucers swings into a full-scale operation. Read More »