Tag Archives: Gloria Grahame

Robert Wise – Odds against tomorrow (1959)

Quote:
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 »

Lewis Gilbert – The Good Die Young [Export cut] (1954)

Quote:
Three good men – a broken boxer, an American veteran trying to win back his mother-dominated wife, and an Air Force Sergeant married to a faithless actress – are corrupted by Miles “Rave” Ravenscourt (Laurence Harvey), an amoral “gentleman”. Because they need money, they let Miles lure them into his scheme to rob a postal van with a large cash cargo. Read More »

Jerry Hopper – Naked Alibi (1954)

Questioned as a murder suspect, solid (but drunk) citizen Al Willis attacks his police questioners, is beaten, and swears vengeance against them. Next night, Lieut. Parks is murdered; Willis is the only suspect in the eyes of tough Chief Conroy, who pursues him doggedly despite lack of evidence. The obsessed Conroy is dismissed from the force, but continues to harass Willis, who flees to a sleazy town on the Mexican border. Of course, Conroy follows. But which is crazy, Conroy or Willis? Written by Rod Crawford Read More »

Ronald Neame – The Man Who Never Was (1956)

Synopsis:
British Intelligence during World War II is trying to get the German High Command to shift its forces away from Italy prior to the invasion. To create the illusion that England is in fact planning to invade Greece, they plan to procure a dead body, plant secret papers on it, and arrange for the Spanish authorities to find it and send the papers on to the Germans. That’s the plan, anyway. First they have to find a body that will look drowned, then create an identity for it that will pass German scrutiny. Based on a true story. Read More »

Fritz Lang – The Big Heat (1953)

Quote:
One of the later examples of American film noir, The Big Heat is also one of the genre’s most underrated films. Director Fritz Lang utilized many of the elements typical to his other films: unseen yet gruesome violence, relentless pacing, and a hardboiled view of justice and revenge. The sad, realist film has an oppressive feeling of malignity. Glenn Ford is a perfect everyman cop, out for revenge against criminals as well as other cops. In this way, The Big Heat marks a significant transition between the crime movies of two different eras. Read More »

Elia Kazan – Man on a Tightrope (1953)

Plot Synopsis by Mark Deming:

Elia Kazan directed this drama inspired by a true story. Karel Cernik (Fredric March) is the leader of a troupe of Czechoslovakian circus performers who have been plying their trade in Eastern Europe for years. When Czechoslovakia falls under Communist rule, the proud and independent Cernik finds that he is no longer free to operate his circus as he sees fit. Many of his performers are conscripted into military service, and his equipment and possessions are declared government property, though the state fails to maintain it properly, or even to give him access to the material to fix it himself. Finally, when Cernik’s remaining performers are ordered to insert pro-Communist messages into their acts, he decides that he can take no more and begins making plans to escape to Bavaria during an upcoming tour. Read More »

Fred Zinnemann – Oklahoma! (1955)

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Plot Synopsis
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 Broadway music’s 1943 Broadway musical was considered revolutionary for a multitude of reasons, not least of which were the play’s intricate integration of song and storyline, and the simplicity and austerity of its production design. The 1955 film version of Oklahoma! retains the songs (except for Lonely Room and It’s a Scandal!, which are usually cut from most stage presentations anyway) and the story, but the simplicity is sacrificed to the spectacle of Technicolor, Todd-AO, and Stereophonic Sound. The story can be boiled down to a single sentence: a girl must decide between the two suitors who want to take her to a social. In her movie debut, 19-year-old Shirley Jones plays Laurie, an Oklahoma farm gal who is courted by boisterous cowboy Curley (Gordon MacRae) and by menacing, obsessive farm hand Jud Frye (Rod Steiger). Fearing that Jud will do something terrible to Curley, Laurie accepts Jud’s invitation to the box social. But it’s Curley who rescues Laurie from Jud’s unwanted advances, and in so doing wins her hand. On the eve of their wedding, Laurie and Curley are menaced by the drunken Jud. Read More »