Tag Archives: 1950s
Never Let Me Go (1953) Delmer Daves, Clark Gable, Gene Tierney, Bernard Miles, Adventure, Drama, Romance
Philip Sutherland is an American news writer stationed in Moscow since the war; while there he falls for a Russian ballet dancer, Marya Lamarkins, who, he finds out, learned English because she fell in love with him. They marry, only to find that the Soviet nation which gladly collaborated with the Allies against Hitler has become a paranoid police state in peacetime. Sutherland is forced to leave without Marya, but he’s determined to get her back, whether it be through proper channels, or through dangerously improper ones.
Jacqueline Audry usually approached her text with great reverence, but here she was revisionist to the point of destruction. Quite why screenwriter Pierre Laroche felt it necessary to emasculate Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential masterpiece remains a mystery. Yet it’s plain to see what a disservice his decision to add extra characters and incorporate other-worldly flashbacks does to the relentless intensity of the original drama, in which a recently deceased trio discover the bitter truth that “hell is other people”. However, Arletty imparts some much-needed class as the ageing lesbian desperately trying to dissuade flirty Gaby Sylvia from hitting on homosexual Frank Villard.
Based on the book and the reflections of San Quentin Prison Warden Clinton T. Duffy, the film is episodic and rambling in nature but, unlike most prison dramas, there are touches of humor. Duffy, whose “time” at San Quentin covered over 50 years was initially appointed on a thirty-day basis, which makes him one of the best job-huggers of all time. Some of his first acts, such as abolishing the stool-pigeon system and solitary confinement and hiring a female nurse (Anne Halsey) were met with opposition and outrage in some quarters. The dominant story in the film is that of Edward Harper, a prisoner deemed incorrigible by the system until Duffy builds up trust and respect. His attitude was a bit justified as he was innocent of the charges that sent him to prison.
Terror on a Train / Time Bomb (1953) Ted Tetzlaff, Glenn Ford, Anne Vernon, Maurice Denham, Thriller
A terrorist has placed a bomb on board a train transporting sea mines to Portsmouth. The train is stopped but near a small town, which actually exacerbates the problem. In desperation, the local authorities contact Peter Lyncort, a former Canadian Royal Engineers munitions expert, and ask him to help them dismantle the explosive device. Peter accepts the assignment. He is given no more than five hours to achieve his dangerous mission.
Djevojka i hrast / The Girl and the Oak (1955) Kresimir Golik, Tamara Miletic, Ljuba Tadic, Miodrag Popovic-Deba, Drama
Smilja is a little girl living in Dalmatian Zagora. One day, her mother dies under a small oak tree and she is left without parents. Luckily, she gets adopted and continues to nurture the oak where her mother died. Many years later, Smilja is a handsome woman, but her jealous stepbrother Josip kills her boyfriend Ivan and rapes her. Ivan’s brothers swear revenge.
Ben Halper sets up his barber’s shop at the turn of the century in Sevillinois and watches the town grow around him. Thinking it is for the best, he tries to shield his wife Nellie from the worries of the world. She finally rebels while he is away at war and takes a fateful trip to Chicago. This turns out to be the first of a number of critical family crises for Ben.
With a Song in My Heart (1952) Walter Lang, Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Biography, Drama, Musical
Jane Froman (Susan Hayward), an aspiring songstress, lands a job in radio with help from pianist Don Ross (David Wayne), whom she later marries. Jane’s popularity soars, and she leaves on a European tour… but her plane crashes in Lisbon, and she is partially crippled. Unable to walk without crutches, Jane nevertheless goes on to entertain the Allied troops in World War II.
The Young Lions (1958) Edward Dmytryk, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin, Action, Drama, War
The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and in the army while entertainer Michael Whiteacre transforms from playboy to hero.