Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk. Exclusive Productions 1952.

Before watching the movie:

I wouldn’t say that a written script is improvisation, though I have known jazz musicians to plan out the “improvised” solos they intend to play. However, I think “improvising around the fairy tale” is a good way to describe what I expect to see here.

A movie centered around a big green thing and a golden thing (unless the only treasure in this version is the woman) seems like a good choice for an early commercial color film.

Continue reading
Advertisements

The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth. Paramount Pictures 1952.

Before watching the movie:

Much likeĀ 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.

Continue reading

The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man. Republic Pictures 1952.
The Quiet Man. Republic Pictures 1952.

Before watching the movie:

John Wayne is remembered as playing cowboys or other heroes of the American West. So it always surprises me to learn that some of his most praised movies cast him as something else. Here, he’s an Irishman who spent some time as a boxer in America, but has come home to court a wife.

The main conflict appears to be that his lover’s brother doesn’t approve of the match, and the argument gets physical. Boy is that a mistake to let an argument come to blows with a professional boxer. I really hope that conflict is exaggerated by the synopsis I’m seeing and it’s mostly just courtship in the Irish countryside. I’m also curious to see if Wayne bothers with an Irish accent.

Continue reading

Road to Bali

Road to Bali. Paramount Pictures 1952.
Road to Bali. Paramount Pictures 1952.

Before watching the movie:

I feel I know so much and yet so little. I know that the “Road to” movies staring Crosby and Hope were a staple, and I’ve seen a few of the Family Guy “Road to” episodes starring Brian and Stewie, which are supposed to be homages. I wouldn’t be surprised if this series was the genesis of the “road movie” genre. It’s easy to guess that the plot will be light and servicing some fun antics, exotic scenery, and more singing than I’d necessarily want in a movie.

But beyond that, I’m not sure. I worry that the exotic locale might be treated in a way modern audiences might find embarrassing. I probably should have chosen the first movie in the series instead of the sixth out of seven, but this was what was available (and thanks to my grandparents for the loan of the set I found this in).

It’s June, summer is here, and it’s a time when it’s a bit more okay to have more fun than originality. I don’t think this movie could go too far wrong.

Continue reading