Filmed in Mexico, The Littlest Outlaw was produced for Walt Disney Studios by Larry Lansburgh, who’d previous turned out several of the best Disney live-action short subjects. The hero is ten-year-old Pablito (Andres Velasquez), the stepson of a mean-spirited horse trainer. Unable to abide the cruelties inflicted by his stepfather on a prize jumping horse, Pablito “liberates” the animal and runs away from home. Along the way, the boy and horse make the acquaintance of a kindly priest (Joseph Calleia). Worried that the padre will turn him over to the authorities, Pablito runs off again, and this time is separated from the horse. A band of gypsies capture the animal and sell him to a bullfight arena, where the horse is used to lure the bulls out of the pen. Pablito and the priest manage to rescue the horse and return it to its rightful owner, a powerful Mexican general (Pedro Armendariz). Fortunately, the general is a good-hearted soul, and it is he who paves the way for the film’s happy ending. Moderately successful at the box-office, The Littlest Outlaw soon became a mainstay of Disney’s many TV anthology series.
Tag Archives: 1950s
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Richard Brooks, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Drama, Romance
The family of who is “affectionately” known as “Big Daddy” Pollitt convenes at his and Big Momma’s vast 28,000 acre East Mississippi plantation for his sixty-fifth birthday, although it may as well be for his funeral on the belief that he is dying. Despite his latest medical report being clean, in reality he truly does have terminal colon cancer, something the doctor only tells Big Daddy’s two sons, Gooper Pollitt, a lawyer, and Brick Pollitt, who recently left his job as a sportscaster. Brooding Brick and his wife Maggie Pollitt, who have driven up from New Orleans for the occasion, are going through a long rough patch in their marriage. Brick wanted to split, but Maggie convinced him to stay married on the condition that she not pressure him for sex. In their troubles, Brick has turned to the bottle, a drunken incident which has left Brick currently on crutches. Maggie believes Gooper and his wife Mae Pollitt are trying to orchestrate Brick out of Big Daddy’s will, Brick and …
The Man From the Alamo manages to pack a few nuances and surprises in its traditional western plotline. During the siege at the Alamo, John Stroud (Glenn Ford) is chosen by lot to leave the fort and warn the families of the mission’s defenders of the impending arrival of General Santa Ana. But when everyone around him is wiped out by the Mexicans, Stroud has no proof that he was ordered to leave his post, and is therefore branded a coward. He spends the rest of the film performing acts of conspicuous bravery to clear his name–and also tracks down the film’s real villain, Jess Wade (Victor Jory), who robbed the Alamo victims of their possessions after the smoke cleared. Julie Adams, Chill Wills, Hugh O’Brien, Neville Brand, Arthur Space and future soap-opera star Jeanne Cooper round out the cast.
Banba no Chûtarô / Chutaro of Banba (1955) Nobuo Nakagawa, Tomisaburô Wakayama, Isuzu Yamada, Sanae Mitsuoka, Drama
Based on the play ”Mabuta no Haha” by famed author Hasegawa Shin, this is the first major starring role for Wakayama Tomisaburo. This heartfelt story concerns a wandering gambler from Banba by the name of Chutaro. Set during the Tenpo Period, Chutaro runs afoul of Boss Sukegoro of Iioka, prior to the great showdown that formed the centerpiece of the first Zato Ichi film. Pursued by vengeance seeking swordsmen, Chutaro displays his phenomenal martial art skills, much as a preview of his internationally famous Baby Cart series. Abandoned as a child, he seeks to find his long lost mother, while at the same time fighting off numerous attacks by Iioka’s men.
Woman on the Run (1950) Norman Foster, Ann Sheridan, Dennis O’Keefe, Robert Keith, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott), sole witness to a gangland murder, goes into hiding and is trailed by Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith), on the theory that Frank is trying to escape from possible retaliation. Frank’s wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), suspects he is actually running away from their unsuccessful marriage. Aided by a newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe), Eleanor sets out to locate her husband. The killer is also looking for him, and keeps close tabs on Eleanor.
To Catch a Thief (1955) Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
American expatriate John Robie living in high style on the Riviera is a retired cat burglar. He must find out who a copy cat is to keep a new wave of jewel thefts from being pinned on him. High on the list of prime victims is Jessie Stevens, in Europe to help daughter Frances find a suitable husband. The Lloyds of London insurance agent is using a thief to catch a thief. Take an especially close look at scene where Robie gets Jessie’s attention, dropping an expensive casino chip down the décolletage of a French roulette player.
Distraught after her second miscarriage & learning definitively she could never have children Paula, while driving at night, accidentally injures a child. Confused and due to her commitment to attend a function that honors her husband she doesn’t follow the child to the hospital as she thought she would. She attempts to tell her husband about the incident but has trouble finding the right time. Later, overcome with remorse, she looks to get close to this child and becomes a helper at the hospital. The child is an orphan with limited health care available. The doctor recognizes Paula’s need to be useful and asks if she would become his speech therapist and guardian. She finds meaning and purpose in her life as she engages the little boy in intensive therapy necessary to recover his ability to speak. Will she be caught and punished, when the boy is able to speak, will he implicate her?
Vertigo (1958) Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Hitchcock’s romantic story of obsession, manipulation and fear. A detective is forced to retire after his fear of heights causes the death of a fellow officer and the girl he was hired to follow. He sees a double of the girl, causing him to transform her image onto the dead girl’s body. This leads into a cycle of madness and lies.
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.
Anna Neagle, Sylvia Syms. Poor Anna just can’t seem to ‘straighten out’ her delinquent daughter. Her path eventually leads to crime, rebellion, death, and redemption. Her sleazy boryfriend leads her down a path of moral ineptitude. Good performance by Syms.