Salem, 1692. Industrious farmer, John Proctor, has twice made love to 17-year-old Abigail, a youth he and his wife have taken in. (His wife Elisabeth has rebuffed him for seven months; she is puritanical and cold.) When she finds John and Abigail embracing, she sends the lass from her home and John, feeling damned, agrees. Abigail vows revenge. Her chance comes when she accuses Elisabeth of witchcraft and manipulates younger girls to support her claims of seeing spirits. The town’s minister and politicians want a cause: ridding the town of witchcraft is the ideal repression. John too, is accused; Abigail offers him a way to avoid hanging. Elisabeth has her own confession. Read More »
Tag Archives: Simone Signoret
The English factory town is dreary but Joe Lampton has landed a job with a future. To have something to do at night he joins a theatrical group. His boss’s daughter Susan is playing ingenue roles on stage and in real life. She is attracted to Joe and Joe thinks about how much faster he will get ahead if he is the boss’s son-in-law. This plan is complicated by his strong desire to be with an older woman who also belongs to the theatrical group. She is French and unhappily married. Joe believes he can get away with seeing both women. Read More »
Filmed just after the March ceasefire between France and Algeria, LE JOLI MAI documents Paris during a turning point in French history: the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war.
Part I, “A Prayer from the Eiffel Tower,” documents personal attitudes and feelings around Paris. A salesman feels free only when he is driving his car, and then only if there is not too much traffic. A working-class mother of eight has just gotten the larger apartment that she had been wanting for years. The space capsule of American astronaut John Glenn is examined by a group of admiring children. Two investors talk about their careers and adventures. A couple in love since their teens discuss the possibility of eternal happiness. At a middle class wedding banquet, the guests are raucous while the bride is quiet, dignified and reserved. Read More »
Philip Elliot, refugee Belgian priest, reports to a secret school in London for spies and saboteurs behind German lines. After training, he and two others parachute into Belgium to help destroy a records office. This mission leads to German capture of an important resistance leader; four more agents (Emile, Max, Scotty, and Michele) go in on a rescue mission. But one of them is a traitor; and other things go wrong… Read More »
In late 1940s Yorkshire, England, an ambitious young accountant schemes to wed a wealthy factory owner’s daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman. Read More »
“Vivien Leigh’s last film! A star studded extravaganza, this time on a cruise ship during the time just before World War II. Story-lines include Ms. Leigh as a lonely, forty-something woman hoping she’s still desirable, but trying to keep her dignity about it; Simone Signoret, who’s on her way to prison, romances the ship’s doctor (Oskar Werner) to get narcotics; Jose Ferrer is an anti-Semitic German publisher, not afraid to express his opinions loudly to all as “facts” (Heinz Rühmann is a quiet Jewish passenger he scorns); Lee Marvin is a washed up, drunken ball player who chases Leigh (as does Werner Klemperer); George Segal is a tortured artist who’s traveling with his girlfriend (Elizabeth Ashley), as the couple tries to work through their problems; Michael Dunn is a dwarf who narrates and provides insightful comments; Jose Greco is the leader of the ship’s gypsy entertainers who aim to bilk the passengers, especially a young man bent on losing his virginity; and there are lots of other bit players, including the ship’s Captain (Charles Korvin), who provide background and/or small plots (e.g. parents traveling with their young debutante). Read More »