In 1220, a small band of English crusaders arrives at Samarkand in Central Asia, just as the city and its ruling princess are threatened by the hordes of Genghis Khan. Lovely Princess Shalimar hopes to thwart the conqueror by guile, while Sir Guy wants to put up a brave (if ultimately hopeless) fight. Despite a mutual attraction, their conflicting projects threaten any hope of success either might have had alone. Fast-moving; bears little relation to history.
Tag Archives: 1950s
While vacationing in Italy, Nick Morell, son of John Morell, a famous English philosopher and amateur musician and his wife Catherine, becomes friendly with young Guido, and Morell discovers the boy has an extraordinary instinct for orchestration and a phenomenal music memory. A neighboring couple, Signor and Signora Boudini become aware of the boy’s talents, and she appeals to his parents to let her educate him musically. Torn by their love for their son and, they feel,the duty to let the world hear his talent, they consent. The boy is tutored by Dr. Lorenzo. Signora Bondini denies the boy all contact with his parents and everyone else except her. She also has neither sent his letters to his family, nor let him see the ones they’ve sent to him. He becomes phenomenally successful and makes the grand tour of Europe as Signora Bondini is enraptured by the acclaim given her through her “discovery” of the boy. She prepares to take him to America and also prepares adoption papers.
It’s a Big Country: An American Anthology (1951) Clarence Brown, Don Hartman, Ethel Barrymore, Keefe Brasselle, Gary Cooper, Comedy, Drama
The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables represent a broad cross-section of the American experience: the elderly woman whose pride is injured when she’s forgotten in the latest census; the novice minister more pleased with the sound of his own voice than with the needs of his congregation; the mother who confronts the illogic of racial intolerance when she meets the best friend of the son she lost to war; and the enigma that is Texas. Episode titles are: 1) Interruptions, Interruptions; 2) Census Taker; 3) Negro Story; 4) Rosika, the Rose; 5) Letter from Korea; 6) Lone Star; (7) Minister in Washington; 8) Four Eyes; a further episode, titled Load, directed by Anthony Mann, with ‘Jean Hersholt’ (q.v.) and ‘Ann Harding’ (q.v.), was filmed but deleted.
Adapted by Don M. Mankiewicz from his own novel, Trial is a surprisingly timely story of how justice can sometimes be compromised by “special interests”. It all begins when Mexican youth Angelo Chavez (Rafael Campos) is placed on trial for the murder of a white teenaged girl. Battling the lynch-mob mentality in and out of the courtroom is relatively inexperienced defense attorney David Blake (Glenn Ford). Believing that anything done on behalf of his client is for the common good, Blake approves the organization of an “Angelo Chavez Society” to pay the boy’s court costs and ostensibly see that justice is done in the face of small-town prejudice. Soon, however, Blake discovers that both he and his client are being used as dupes by a Communist lawyer, who hopes that Chavez will be found guilty and executed, thereby creating a martyr for the Red cause. Much was made in 1955 of the fact that the presiding judge is a black man, played by Juano Hernandez. A bit creaky at times, Trial nonetheless still packs a wallop when shown today.
I’d Climb the Highest Mountain (1951) Henry King, Susan Hayward, William Lundigan, Rory Calhoun, Biography, Drama, Romance
In this inspiring drama, William Thompson (William Lundigan) is a minister from the deep South who has recently married Mary Elizabeth (Susan Hayward), a woman from the city. William is assigned a new parish and moves with Mary Elizabeth to a small town in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where he tends to the spiritual and emotional needs of his small flock. William’s faith and inner strength helps guide the town through a major epidemic, while he must also deal with the troubles of Jenny (Barbara Bates), a woman who loves roughneck Jack (Rory Calhoun) against the will of her father; and Mr. Salter (Alexander Knox), a bitter atheist who resists William’s attempts to teach him and his children the message of God’s love. I’D CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN was adapted from the popular novel by Cora Harris.
The Last Stagecoach West (1957) Joseph Kane, Jim Davis, Mary Castle, Victor Jory, Action, Adventure, Western
The coming of the railroad to Cedar City spells the end of the stagecoach as the government gives the mail contract to the fastest means of delivery. McCord loses the stagecoach line gambling with the new buyer, but has enough hidden money to buy a ranch and some cattle. To make more money, he starts a gang to rob the railroad, express offices and steal cattle. But the railroads send out special agent Cameron to end his reign of violence.
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) Ishirô Honda, Raymond Burr, Takashi Shimura, Momoko Kôchi, Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
When American reporter Steve Martin investigates a series of mysterious disasters off the coast of Japan, he comes face to face with an ancient creature so powerful and so terrifying, it can reduce Tokyo to a smoldering graveyard. Nuclear weapon testing resurrected this relic from the Jurassic age, and now it’s rampaging across Japan. At night, Godzilla wades through Tokyo leaving death and destruction in his wake, disappearing into Tokyo Bay when his rage subsides. Coventional weapons are useless against him; but renowned scientist Dr. Serizawa has discovered a weapon that could destroy all life in the bay – including Godzilla. But which disaster is worse, Godzilla’s fury, or the death of Tokyo Bay?
Many Rivers to Cross (1955) Roy Rowland, Robert Taylor, Eleanor Parker, Victor McLaglen, Comedy, Romance, Western
During 1798,Bushrod Gentry is a Kentucky trapper who travels from place to place,sometimes staying with settler families for a night or two before moving on.Being a handsome man he often breaks the hearts of the unmarried young daughters of his hosts and it always leads to proposals of marriage from the girls’ part.This causes Bushrod to quickly pack his gear, give the smitten girl his standard speech about why he cannot marry or settle down and depart in a hurry, leaving the girl in tears.But one day,after being saved from an Indian attack by young Scotish woman, Mary Stuart Cherne, he takes shelter with her family until his broken arm can heal.Invariably,the girl falls for his charm and asks him to marry her.Bushrod gives her his standard speech and thinks he’s off the hook but stubborn Mary Stuart is not so easily dissuaded.This leads to lies, insinuations, evasive actions, hilarity, fist fights with her brothers, a shooting contest, broken promises and a shotgun wedding.
An atomic scientist is found floating in a river with a bullet in his back and a radioactive halo around his body. The radioactivity has put him seven-and-a-half seconds ahead of us in time. He teams up with a reporter to stop his evil double from destroying his experiments in artificial tungsten.