Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Louise Glaum

(ph: Edwin Bower Hesser)



Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

Affecting prison drama takes its time to tell its  story, but gives room for many touching moments; Burt Lancaster delivers a great performance.

Halliwell*: "Overlong and rather weary biopic of Robert Shroud, who spent nearly sixry years in prison and became a cause célèbre. One cannot deny many effective moments, notably of direction, but it's a long haul."

Maltin***: "Pensive study...Film becomes static despite imaginative sidelights to enlarge scope of action."

Cry Terror! (1958)

Pardon My Brush (1964)

Two dimwitted house painters are hired to paint an apartment hotel, and it turns out that the hotel's residents consist entirely of beautiful women

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Paris, Texas (1984)

Viktor und Viktoria (1933)

A female singer impersonates men on stage and is discovered by an agent who thinks she really is a man.

Lively and entertaining early German musical (even most of the dialogue is presented in rhymes) is remarkable for its gender-bending plot and for inspiring a slew of remakes.

Ann Dvorak

Titanic (1943)

On its maiden voyage in April 1912, the supposedly unsinkable RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean.

Well-produced Nazi propaganda piece would be standard cinema entertainment of the time, but is marred by its subtle, but obvious political content.

Maltin**1/2: "Creditable disaster film, although the script is no more inspired than later versions of the saga."

[N.B. The film's original director was arrested during production after speaking out against the Nazi regime – he was later found hanged in prison – and the film was completed by Werner Klingler, who was not credited.
Although the film had a brief theatrical run in parts of German-occupied Europe starting in November 1943, it was not shown within Germany by order of Goebbels, who feared that it would weaken the German citizenry's morale instead of improving it. Goebbels later banned the playing of the film entirely, and it did not have a second run. Wikipedia]

Gregory Peck

The Revenant (2015)

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Spectacular landscape photography and excellent performances can't disguise the fact that this is essentially an upgraded Western revenge story.