Tag Archives: Thelma Ritter

John Frankenheimer & Charles Crichton – Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

Synopsis:
In 1912, the notorious and violent prisoner Robert Franklin Stroud is transferred to the Leavenworth Prison convicted for murdering a man. When a guard cancels the visit of his mother, Elizabeth Stroud, due to a violation of the internal rules, he stabs and kills the guard and goes to trial three times. He is sentenced to be executed by the gallows, but his mother appeals to President Woodrow Wilson who commutes his sentence to life imprisonment. However, the warden, Harvey Shoemaker, decides to keep Stroud in solitary for the rest of his life. One day, Stroud finds a sparrow that has fallen from the nest in the yard and he raises the bird until it is strong enough to fly. Stroud finds a motivation for his life raising and caring for birds and becomes an expert in birds. He marries Stella Johnson and together they run a business, providing medicine developed by Stroud. But a few years after, Stroud is transferred to Alcatraz and has to leave his birds behind. Read More »

Samuel Fuller – Pickup on South Street (1953)

Quote:

Pickup on South Street opens with a striking omission of dialogue and score, heightening our awareness of the film’s pared images and the diamond-hard editing rhythms. On a subway, a beautiful woman, Candy (Jean Peters), is scrutinized by two men who are obviously tailing her. Everything about Candy’s pose is intensely erotic, from the crook of her arm that’s holding the subway railing to the sweat on her skin, to the way she’s cramped up against the other passengers. Soon saddling up to her is Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark), who approaches her as the prey she clearly represents to his hunter. Hovering over Candy, Skip makes a show of folding a newspaper, opening her purse, rifling through it, and snatching the contents of interest to him. Read More »

Harmon Jones – As Young As You Feel (1951)

Based on a story by Paddy Chayefsky, this is the tale of a man, John Hodges, who is being forced to retire from his job, at the age of 65, and decides to fight back. His family can barely stand having him at home, and the traditional pursuits of the aged do not appeal. Impersonating the head of his former company, Hodges sets out to convince them to get rid of their outmoded retirement policy. He arrives at his old plant on an inspection tour where complications ensue. This movie features good performances, but it will probably be remembered more for the bit part played by a young Marilyn Monroe as the boss’ secretary Read More »