Carousel

Carousel. 20th Century Fox 1956.

Before watching the movie:

On the surface, this looks like just as much fluff as State Fair, but the setup sounds rather dark. It’s a man’s one more day to get it right with his family after a fatal accident. Moreover, one summary I saw specifically calls him abusive, though that’s probably from subtext. Depressing themes in a musical? Not something one would expect before the late 60s.

But then it manifests as flowy dancing around a carnival, so it can’t be entirely bleak.

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Compulsion

Compulsion. 20th Century Fox 1959.

Before watching the movie:

I have no idea what to expect. This was an algorithmically generated recommendation I’ve never heard of, and all I have to go on is that it’s a courtroom drama about some amoral law students who believe they’re above the law. And Orson Welles is in it.

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Teacher’s Pet

Teacher's Pet. Paramount Pictures 1958.
Teacher’s Pet. Paramount Pictures 1958.

Before watching the movie:

A 50s screwball romantic comedy is pretty much always welcome, and often a relief. This week, I think I really need to see Clark Gable and Doris Day verbally spar their way into each other’s arms.

The setup of a teacher and a student and a false identity vaguely reminds me of the original The Nutty Professor, but an adult educator and a reporter taking her class for petty reasons is a lot better than a college professor and a coed.

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The African Queen

The African Queen. Horizon Pictures 1951.

Before watching the movie:

This is yet another black box movie to me. Until I decided to watch it, I’d never heard what the plot was. Just something about a riverboat in Africa and Humphrey Bogart. Apparently it’s about civilians in World War 1 German-held Africa. And a love story, because every movie needs a love story. Continue reading

The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth. Paramount Pictures 1952.

Before watching the movie:

Much like State Fair, I get the idea this is is a movie that’s more about taking the audience to an event than actually telling a story. In this case, bringing the circus to an audience that doesn’t have a circus in town right now. I thought this was a musical, but it doesn’t appear to be. It is a Cecil B. DeMille epic however, and it makes perfect sense to pair a circus with a director known for massive crowds and setpieces. I’m not really sure a story about a circus can really be an “epic” in any sense but the spectacle and runtime though.

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Three Coins in the Fountain

Three Coins in the Fountain. 20th Century Fox 1954.
Three Coins in the Fountain. 20th Century Fox 1954.

Before watching the movie:

This is one of those movies that seem to boil down to a log line and nothing more enters the general consciousness. This is three romances centered wishes at Trevi Fountain. I know nothing more than this. It was shot on location because all the big Hollywood pictures were shot in Italy in those days. It seems to be a particularly fondly remembered example, but nobody seems to talk about much other than “shot on location” and “three American women in Rome wish for love”.

It’s in color and CinemaScope, so the Italian views won’t be squandered. In fact, I get the impression they’re the best part of the movie for a lot of people.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

holmes

The Hound of the Baskervilles. Hammer Film Productions 1959.
The Hound of the Baskervilles. Hammer Film Productions 1959.

Before watching the movie:

After the obvious Rathbone and Brett (at least, I think Brett is obvious), the historical Gilette,  and the modern Cumberbatch and Downey, two of the biggest names I see discussed as great Holmes performances are Peter Cushing and Christopher Plummer, and I was hoping to get to include both in this farewell series. However, in my preparation, I found that Plummer’s most notable outing in the role was Murder by Decree, which I’ve already covered. I don’t want to reprise Holmses, so I’m afraid I won’t be covering Plummer again. However, Cushing is quite acceptable.

I admit my reference is limited, but all I know of Cushing’s career is Moff Tarkin in Star Wars, the forgotten Doctor Who (no, not that one, the other one. The really forgotten one. No, not that forgotten) from the two cinematic films, and that he was in quite a lot of Hammer films, a production company most known for highly regarded 60s and 70s B-horror films (don’t quote me on that summary). This is in fact a Hammer film, and probably considered a horror. So now I’ll have seen a Hammer Horror, probably.

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