1950s

  • Akira Daikuhara & Taiji Yabushita – Shônen Sarutobi Sasuke aka The Magic Boy (1959)

    Taiji Yabushita1951-1960AdventureAkira DaikuharaAnimationJapan
    Shônen Sarutobi Sasuke (1959)
    Shônen Sarutobi Sasuke (1959)

    A young Japanese boy climbs a mountain in search of a magic wizard. The youth finds the wizard, and is tutored by him. Reinforced with magic powers, the boy eventually fights, and defeats the evil witches of down under.Read More »

  • Zoltan Korda – Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

    1951-1960ClassicsDramaUnited KingdomZoltan Korda
    Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)
    Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

    In South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a criminal. Reverend Misimangu (Sidney Poitier) is a young South African clergyman who helps find his missing son-turned-thief and sister-turned-prostitute in the slums of Johannesburg.Read More »

  • Lee Sholem – Tobor the Great (1954)

    1951-1960Lee SholemSci-FiUSA
    Tobor the Great (1954)
    Tobor the Great (1954)

    As projected here, a thinly-disguised NASA, working with nuclear rockets, is ready for manned flights in the mid-fifties…but Dr. Ralph Harrison doesn’t think so, and resigns in protest. Colleague Prof. Nordstrom promptly enlists his aid in developing an alternative robot Spaceman! Naturally, foreign spies are keenly interested… Uses documentary footage of early space research.Read More »

  • Mikhail Kalatozov – Vikhri vrazhdebnye AKA The Hostile Whirlwinds (1953)

    Mikhail Kalatozov1951-1960DramaUSSR
    Vikhri vrazhdebnye (1953)
    Vikhri vrazhdebnye (1953)

    The movie narrates the first years of the formation of the Soviet power, concentrating on the life and activities of F. Dzerzhinsky in 1918-1925.

    In July 1918, as a result of a rebellion of the left SRs, the German ambassador Wilhelm von Mirbach is killed. Felix Dzerzhinsky alone goes to the headquarters of the left SRs and anarchists, he manages to sway to his side the simple soldiers and sailors, participants of the mutiny, who in turn deal with their leaders.Read More »

  • Mikhail Kalatozov – Zagovor obrechyonnikh aka Conspiracy of the Doomed (1950)

    Mikhail Kalatozov1941-1950DramaPoliticsUSSR
    Zagovor obrechyonnykh (1950)
    Zagovor obrechyonnykh (1950)

    The film reflects the period of the “cold war” of the early 1950s. In one of the countries of Eastern Europe, the construction of a new state system comes up against active resistance. An anti-democratic conspiracy is maturing: at the instigation of the ambassador, an assassination attempt against the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic, the Communist Gannu Licht, is being organized. The Soviet Union helps the communists and detachments of armed workers arrest the conspirators.Read More »

  • Lou Breslow – You Never Can Tell (1951)

    1951-1960ComedyFantasyLou BreslowUSA
    You Never Can Tell (1951)
    You Never Can Tell (1951)

    Dick Powell plays a murdered dog reincarnated as a rumpled gumshoe–nuff said! (well, not quite, because a lead role for Peggy Dow is always worth a mention! What a shame that she retired so early–she and Powell make an excellent pair…Read More »

  • Ray Nazarro – The Hired Gun (1957)

    USA1951-1960Ray NazarroWestern
    The Hired Gun (1957)
    The Hired Gun (1957)

    Plot
    Ellen Beldon is due to be hanged in Texas for the murder of her husband but Jud Farrow, ranch foreman for her uncle, breaks her out of jail and escorts her to the safety of her uncle’s New Mexico ranch. Mace Beldon, her father-in-law, offers professional gunman Gil McCord five-thousand dollars to bring her back to Texas so she can be hung. He is able to get her away and, during the trip back, she tells him the story of her trial. She claims her brother-in-law, Kell Beldon, shot his step-brother (her husband)so that he would be his father’s sole heir, and that drunken fur-trapper Elby Kirby was the only witness. Gill decides to see Kirby and force a confession from him. Meanwhile, Kell gets Ellen back by chance and turns her over to the law. Gill gets an order from the district judge to stop the execution, and Kell, seeing his story falling apart tries to out-shoot Gill.Read More »

  • Joseph Cornell – Angel (1957)

    1951-1960ExperimentalJoseph CornellShort FilmUSA
    Angel (1957)
    Angel (1957)

    Quote:
    The image of the fountain returns in Angel (1957; color; 3 min.), one of Cornell’s most poignant films. Dedicated, as Cornell said, to his friend, the painter Pavel Tchelichew, who had recently died, the film offers a rather moving meditation on mortality. Comprised of static shots of a statue of an angel and a fountain in a Flushing cemetery, the films elegant and quiet close-ups against an expanse of blue sky of the statues solid yet partly decaying marble brilliantly capture a sense both of the earthly and time-bound and the unworldly and eternal. The films stylistically innovative dissociation of moving image from moving subject (a technique Cornell also largely deploys in “Centuries of June” from the same year) anticipates by several years the daring cinematic experiments of Andy Warhol’s Sleep (1963) and Empire (1964), foregrounding duration, in contrast to movement, as cinemas true subject.Read More »

  • Alfonso Corona Blake – Cabaret trágico (1958)

    1951-1960Alfonso Corona BlakeFilm NoirMexicoMusical
    Cabaret trágico (1958)
    Cabaret trágico (1958)

    One of the last and the best of those infamous Mexican nightclub melodramas (“Películas de Cabareteras”), it features a stunning noirish cinematography, over-the-top acting by half a dozen of wonderfully weird and wicked latina beauties such as Columba Dominguez and Kitty de Hoyos (looking like a drag queen performing Marilyn Monroe!) plus great -if low budget- musical show clips performed by the mesmerizing Esquivel, the “King of Zu-Zu-Zu”! Another masterpiece from the great (beer-drinking?) director Alfonso “Corona” Blake, who began as an assistant to Luis Bunuel and Emilio “Indio” Fernandez and gave the world some of the finest campy horror- and “Il Santo”-classics. Great fun to watch – if you ever get the chance to, for it’s not available on tape or DVD.Read More »

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