Tag Archives: 1950s

Julien Duvivier – Pot-Bouille AKA Lovers of Paris (1957)

Synopsis:
Paris, 1865. Octave Mouret is a young man filled with great ambitions. He is also a consummate Don Juan and it his talent for seducing members of the opposite sex which he intends using to make a rapid ascent of the social scale. He finds work as a salesman in an upmarket drapers’ shop, Au Bonheur des Dames, and soon makes a positive impression on his employer, Madame Hédouin. When the latter repels his amorous advances, Octave resigns and finds work with a rival shop managed by Auguste Vabre, the weak-willed son of his landlord. When Auguste discovers that Octave is having an affair with his wife, Berthe, he challenges him to a duel…
— James Travers Read More »

Zoltán Fábri – Hannibál tanár úr AKA Professor Hannibal (1956)

Zoltan Fabri’s 1956 Hungarian feature about the persecution of an educator (played for both laughs and great pathos by Ernö Szabó) whose essay about Hannibal and the Punic Wars in a school bulletin is deemed unflattering to the Mussolini regime. A beautifully shot, modest masterpiece which is, as the cliche goes, as timely today as ever. Read More »

Thure Bahne – On lautalla pienoinen kahvila AKA Ferryboat Romance (1952)

Synopsis:
Ferryboat Romance was the feature film directing debut of renowned Finnish actor Thure Bahne, who had been a mainstay in Finnish cinema since the 1930s. The film has the stunning journalist Sanni (Tuija Halonen) visiting the countryside to write about the timber industry. Looking for a room she is immediately thrust into the merry community of loggers, always up for a song, but one of them, Hurma-Jussi, is a little too persistent. Luckily, she is saved from Hurma-Jussi’s claws by the handsome lumberjack Eräs (William Markus). Sanni learns about the community by working as an assistant to cook Marleena (played by Finnish icon Siiri Angerkoski), who is pursued by the jolly oaf Metku (character actor Kalle Viherpuu). Persistently rejected by Sanni, Hurma-Jussi turns to drastic measures and kidnaps her, but he has underestimated her friends in the small logging community. The film is beautifully shot and not only wonderfully portrays the romance between a young couple, but even more so the love between the older Marleena and Metku. Read More »

Michel Boisrond – Le chemin des écoliers AKA Way of Youth (1959)

Synopsis:
Paris, 1943. With the country still under Nazi occupation and commodities severely rationed, ordinary French people muddle through as best they can. Charles Michaud is a law-abiding man of impeccable morals who becomes duly anxious when he finds that his 17-year-old son Antoine has been regularly absconding from school. Little does he know that his wayward offspring has been busy engaging in black market activities with his friend Paul Tiercelin, so that he can earn enough money to keep his mistress Yvette in the manner to which she has grown accustomed. Read More »

André De Toth – Last of the Comanches (1953)

IMDB wrote:
It’s 1876 and all the Indians are at peace except the Comanches lead by Black Cloud. When Black Cloud wipes out a town, only six soldiers are left and they head for the nearest fort. In the desert they are reinforced by members of a stagecoach and find some water at a deserted mission. Pinned down by Black Cloud they send an Indian boy who was Black Cloud’s prisoner on to the fort while they try to bargain with Black Cloud whom they learn is without water. Written by Maurice VanAuken Read More »

Raymond Bernard – Le septième ciel AKA Seventh Heaven (1958)

“Le septième ciel” became Raymond Bernard’s last film; a black comedy about a female brewery owner who donates vast amounts of money to charitable causes. The funds to do this, she raises through her liaisons with wealthy gentlemen… who just “happen” to end up dead! Read More »

Denys de La Patellière – Les grandes familles AKA The Possessors (1958)

Synopsis:
With interests ranging from banking to commodities and publishing, the Schoudlers are one of France’s wealthiest and most powerful business families. The present head of this formidable dynasty is Noël Schoudler, a driven, plain-speaking magnate who runs his affairs with an unwavering ruthlessness, and this applies as much to his private life as it does to matters of business. Short of breaking the law, Schoudler is ready to resort to any means to protect his family’s wealth and good name, and anyone who dares to oppose him can expect nothing but the roughest of treatment. Noël Schoudler is a patriarch and a tyrant, a capitalist in every atom of his being. and he seems not to have an ounce of compassion in his soul. The pursuit of wealth and power is all that matters to him. Read More »