Tag Archives: Brian Keith

Edward Ludwig – Jivaro [+commentary] (1954)

In this adventure, four explorers search for a vast treasure in the Amazon jungle. One of the explorers is a woman who got involved after she traveled from California to marry her fiance whom she hasn’t seen in two years. Another man tries to convince her that her fiance has become an alcoholic idealist obsessed with finding gold in the jungle. Another takes her into the jungle to find her love. En route he falls in love with her. Later they learn that her fiance has been killed by the Jivaro headhunters. The other man, who went in before them is also attacked, but the woman’s guide saves his life. This film did not use stock footage. Much of it was actually filmed in the jungle to provide the backgrounds. Read More »

Phil Karlson – 5 Against the House (1955)

Phil Karlson (“The Phenix City Story”/”Kansas City Confidential”/”Scandal Sheet”) directs with verve this gripping caper thriller based on a Good Housekeeping serialized magazine story that was based on the novel by Jack Finney and is well-written by John Barnwell, William Bowers, Stirling Silliphant and Frank Tashlin. Read More »

Jacques Tourneur – Nightfall (1956)

Fred Camper wrote:
This 1957 noir masterpiece by Jacques Tourneur stars Aldo Ray as a man fleeing a private investigator and Anne Bancroft as the barroom acquaintance who agrees to help him. Ray’s past is revealed gradually in a series of flashbacks, which are intercut with the couple’s flight and the investigator’s pursuit; by developing each narrative in a parallel space or time, Tourneur movingly articulates the theme of a character trapped by his history. The images have a smooth, almost liquid quality, the high-contrast lighting of most noirs replaced by a delicate lyricism that takes the natural world as the norm. Tourneur links this naturalism to Ray’s growing observational skills (“I know where every shadow falls,” he says), but it also contrasts with the story’s acute paranoia. Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – The Deadly Companions (1961)


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Quote:
With its small cast, character-driven story, and modest production values, Sam Peckinpah’s first feature film seems very like another of his TV Western dramas–just one that happened to get shot in Panavision. The director’s favorite TV actor, Brian Keith, plays a surly loner named Yellowleg who ventures into Indian country with a dance-hall girl (Maureen O’Hara), the corpse of her little boy, and a pair of marginally human specimens (Steve Cochran and Chill Wills) who more than justify the title. Everybody has, or seems to have, a guilty or shameful secret: Why does Yellowleg keep his hat on? Was Kit (O’Hara) a widow, or a whore? Action, menace, and ethical dialogues come and go pretty much according to TV rhythms, and the visuals and editing are conventional. But there’s enough quirky character work and offbeat mood-making to hint at the singular filmmaker soon to arrive big-time. –Richard T. Jameson Read More »

Sidney Salkow – Chicago Confidential [Widescreen] (1957)

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Storyline

An honest union official named Blane is framed for the murder of another union official. Thus off the hook, the crime syndicate actually responsible for the crime is free to continue its activities. However, State’s Attorney Jim Fremont begins to suspect that Blane has been set up. Fremont launches a new investigation. Read More »