Robert Wise

  • Gunther von Fritsch & Robert Wise – The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

    1941-1950ClassicsGunther von FritschHorrorRobert WiseUSA

    The follow-up to the seminal Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People is the tale of a lonely young girl who conjures up the spirit of Irena – her father’s first wife – to provide herself with a companion. But Irena believed herself to be descended from a race of cat people, and before long the fiendish feline is on the prowl again.Read More »

  • Robert Wise – The Andromeda Strain (1971)

    1971-1980Amos Vogel: Film as a Subversive ArtRobert WiseSci-FiThrillerUSA

    An alien virus’s brief pit stop in the new American West, starkly documented by Michael Crichton and Robert Wise. A satellite crashes in a New Mexico burg, soon the place is filled with bodies whose circulatory systems have turned to powder — these are the best sequences, full of hushed dread and unnerving use of widescreen dead spaces (the camera focuses on the placid, dusty face of a fallen villager, then tilts up to frame a couple of researchers approaching in hazmat suits and a helicopter whirring against a cobalt sky). The scientific team is rounded up: Exposition-dispenser Arthur Hill, surgeon James Olson (who gets a crush on the computer’s female voice), splenetic researcher Kate Reid, and veteran doctor David Wayne (“A hippie! He’s going to a love-in,” his suspicious wife cries as he packs for the secret mission).Read More »

  • Robert Wise – Odds against tomorrow (1959)

    1951-1960CrimeFilm NoirRobert WiseUSA

    Odds Against Tomorrow, a crackling crime caper with an undercurrent of racial tension, combines the desperation of three men–two of whom hate each other–and the culmination of that desperation in the form of a robbery. The film, which includes a fantastic jazz score by pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, is a film noir gem. David Burke (Ed Begley), a former policeman who once served a prison sentence, has asked bigoted southerner Earl Slater (Robert Ryan) to rob an upstate bank with him, promising him $50,000 in small bills if the robbery is successful.Read More »

  • Robert Wise – The Sand Pebbles (1966)

    1961-1970AdventureRobert WiseUSAWar

    Engineer Jake Holman arrives aboard the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo, assigned to patrol a tributary of the Yangtze in the middle of exploited and revolution-torn 1926 China. His iconoclasm and cynical nature soon clash with the “rice-bowl” system which runs the ship and the uneasy symbiosis between Chinese and foreigner on the river. Hostility towards the gunboat’s presence reaches a climax when the boat must crash through a river-boom and rescue missionaries upriver at China Light Mission.Read More »

  • Robert Wise – The Sound of Music (1965)

    1961-1970ClassicsMusicalRobert WiseUSA

    In 1930’s Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain’s wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives — including the Captain’s.Read More »

  • Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise – West Side Story (1961)

    1961-1970ClassicsJerome RobbinsMusicalRobert WiseUSA

    West Side Story is the award-winning adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet”. The feuding families become two warring New York City gangs- the white Jets led by Riff and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. Their hatred escalates to a point where neither can coexist with any form of understanding. But when Riff’s best friend (and former Jet) Tony and Bernardo’s younger sister Maria meet at a dance, no one can do anything to stop their love. Maria and Tony begin meeting in secret, planning to run away. Then the Sharks and Jets plan a rumble under the highway – whoever wins gains control of the streets. Maria sends Tony to stop it, hoping it can end the violence. It goes terribly wrong, and before the lovers know what’s happened, tragedy strikes and doesn’t stop until the climactic and heartbreaking ending.Read More »

  • Robert Wise – The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

    1951-1960CrimeDramaRobert WiseUSA

    Victoria has survived Nazi concentration by assuming the identity of one who died there. She arrives in San Francisco to see her “son” just as the boy’s great-aunt dies leaving a lot of money to be inherited. Victoria falls in love with the boy’s trustee Alan Spender, and they move into the mansion on Telegraph Hill. Living life in a new identity isn’t without its dangers, however.Read More »

  • Robert Wise – The Haunting (1963)

    1961-1970ClassicsHorrorQueer Cinema(s)Robert WiseUSA

    Dr. John Markway, an anthropologist with an interest in psychic phenomena, takes two specially selected women to Hill House, a reportedly haunted mansion. Eleanor (Julie Harris), a lonely, eccentric woman with a supernatural event in her past, and the bold Theodora (Claire Bloom), who has ESP, join John and the mansion’s heir, cynical Luke (Russ Tamblyn). They are immediately overwhelmed by strange sounds and events, and Eleanor comes to believe the house is alive and speaking directly to her.Read More »

  • Robert Wise – The Body Snatcher (1945)

    1941-1950HorrorRobert WiseThrillerUSA

    In Edinburgh in 1831, Dr. Wolfe MacFarlane runs a medical school where Donald Fettes is a student. Fettes is interested in helping a young girl who has lost the use of her legs. He is certain that MacFarlane’s surgical skills could be put to great use but he is reluctant to do so. The good Dr. MacFarlane has a secret that soon becomes all too obvious to young Fettes, who has only recently been promoted as his assistant: he has been paying a local cabbie, John Gray, to supply him with dead bodies for anatomical research. Gray constantly harasses MacFarlane and clearly has a hold over him dating to a famous trial many years before where Gray refused to identify the man for whom he was robbing graves. Fettes isn’t aware of any of this but soon realizes exactly how Gray obtains the bodies they use in their anatomy classes.Read More »

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