Tag Archives: Burl Ives

Carol Reed – Our Man in Havana (1959)

Synopsis:
Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn’t very successful so he accepts an offer from Hawthorne of the British Secret Service to recruit a network of agents in Cuba. Wormold hasn’t got a clue where to start but when his friend Dr. Hasselbacher suggests that the best secrets are known to no one, he decides to manufacture a list of agents and provides fictional tales for the benefit of his masters in London. He is soon seen as the best agent in the Western Hemisphere but it all begins to unravel when the local police decode his cables and start rounding up his “network” and he learns that he is the target of a group out to kill him. Read More »

André De Toth – Day of the Outlaw (1959)

Eastman Museum writes:
According to Quentin Tarantino, his eighth and latest film not only pays homage to that peculiar brand of the western set not in dust but in snow, but also an even more peculiar genre of the so-called parlor room mystery. André De Toth’s criminally underrated Day of the Outlaw happened to mine a similar territory in 1959: Set in an isolated, snow-covered town in the far West, the story has a renegade army officer named Jack Bruhn (Burl Ives) and his henchmen riding into the town threatening their worst to the men and women there. Blaise Starrett (Robert Ryan) decides to agree to Bruhn’s demands for someone knowledgeable to lead them away from the law and the town, to safety. Mortally wounded himself, Bruhn opts to take Starrett up on his offer in one last act of generosity toward the townspeople, sparing them the mayhem threatened by his men. Read More »

Don Sharp – Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon AKA Those Fantastic Flying Fools AKA Blast Off (1967)

Quote:
The film’s full title of Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon is a tad misleading as it is only inspired by Verne’s writing in general, rather than by anything specific that he wrote. Once that point is cleared up, one can sit back and enjoy an amusing romp of a movie. The typically contrived plot concerns a suddenly bankrupt Phineas T. Barnum (Burl Ives) making an escape from his creditors to England, where he becomes the prime mover in a plan to launch a rocket to the moon. On the side of the angels are a German explosives expert (Gert Fröbe), an idealistic young American (Troy Donahue) with a revolutionary rocket design and the well intentioned Duke of Barset (Dennis Price). Read More »

Nicholas Ray & Budd Schulberg – Wind Across the Everglades (1958)

The co-drectorial attribution to producer Budd Schulberg is both miselading and unjustified. BP’s meddling “contribution” consisted of cutting and re editing a number of key sequences, beginning with the very opening. Thus Christopher Plummer’s train carraige shared with the array of befeathered floozies en route to Florida is weighed down by a banal voiceover making Ray’s subtle and amusing connection between the finery of the whores and the pillaging of native wildlife screaminlgy obvious, rather than visually graceful. Accordingn to Bernard Eisenschitz Ray was effectively locked out of the shoot for the final sequence – the film was shot largely in sequence- thus the closing scenes in the swamp were in fact directed by Bud Schulberg. Read More »