Phantom From Space

Phantom From Space.
Planet Filmplays 1953.

Before watching the movie:

When I came across this movie, I wasn’t sure if I’d already reviewed it, because I thought I remembered a movie about invisible space beings. I was remembering Invisible Invaders, a body-snatching movie where a small town is taken over by aliens hijacking men’s bodies.

The brief synopsis of this one that I have read suggests that the titular alien might be harmless if left alone, as, after killing two attackers frightened by his suit, he takes it off to escape. I notice that’s an inciting incident, not a plot, but this has the potential to go to interesting places.

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Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday. Paramount Pictures 1953.
Roman Holiday. Paramount Pictures 1953.

Before watching the movie:

I always thought that a “Roman Holiday” was just recreation with wild abandon and no care for responsibility, like a Bacchanal, and as such I expected a carefree road movie. However, looking it up just now, I have learned that it was at least originally coined as an idiom to mean a depraved kind of schadenfreude (as in a crowd-pleasing public execution). Considering that the summary I’ve seen describes a sheltered princess escaping from her handlers and into the company of a reporter looking for a story, that seems ominous. But it’s a romantic comedy, so not very ominous.

I’ve known this movie existed for a long time, and never noticed the male lead is Gregory Peck. Nobody ever talks about Gregory Peck outside of To Kill a Mockingbird and Moby Dick anymore.

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The Man from Planet X

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The Man from Planet X. Somebody 1951.
The Man from Planet X. Mid Century Film Productions 1951.

Before watching the movie:

This sounds like one of the schlockiest sci-fi horror films not involving psychic brains crawling out of their jars or aliens raising zombies from a small town cemetery on the idea that it would get humans’ attention better than just touching down on the White House lawn. The story has the potential to rise above, but with what they had to work with, this is clearly made to shock the popcorn out of your lap.

One of the things that drew me to this movie was that the titular alien is apparently iconic enough to be featured/spoofed in the Area 52 sequence of Looney Toons: Back in Action. I can’t recall offhand if it was the only one I didn’t recognize, but it was very distinctive to be so unfamiliar.

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Always a Bride

Always A Bride. Clarion Films 1953.
Always A Bride. Clarion Films 1953.

Before watching the movie:

The concept sounds like it could be a stage play (it doesn’t appear to be), though the setting deserves a film. A father and daughter team travel up and down the Riviera posing as newlyweds (ew) to scam resort goers. Of course, she wants out, and she meets a romantic lead who might present an escape.

The only way a mid-century British comedy can go wrong (I hope) is by being too dry for a modern American audience, but even though it’s almost certainly not as madcap as it looks, this should still be fun.

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The Long, Long Trailer

The Long, Long, Trailer.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1953.
The Long, Long, Trailer. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1953.

Before watching the movie:

This was recommended to me because I was going to pull a trailer across the country in a move as “something to watch after you’re done with the trailer”. The trailer is gone, and the movie is here, so here it is. Mine was somewhat smaller. I couldn’t imagine my car pulling a 36′ camper trailer, but I think they did make cars more powerful back then.

I was thinking more about a few Disney cartoons with misbehaving trailers, but I can certainly see the potential for comic mishap. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any difference between Lucy and Desi’s characters here versus on I Love Lucy, since both are star vehicles meant to showcase what they do best and giving audiences what they expect of the actors.
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How to Marry A Millionaire

How to Marry a Millionaire. 20th Century Fox 1953
How to Marry a Millionaire. 20th Century Fox 1953

Before watching the movie:

You couldn’t make this kind of movie today (I hope). Three women make it their top goals to marry into money. This will probably be a fun little romantic comedy romp running on outdated gender values, which isn’t in itself a bad thing, as long as one keeps in mind that it’s no longer considered healthy.

I was kind of looking forward to this until I put on my feminist glasses.

Anyway, three powerhouse ladies of the golden age of cinema in a story about taking control of their lives by manipulating anybody in reach with a thick enough wallet.

Maybe I should just get on with watching it.

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Niagara

Niagara. 20th Century Fox 1953.
Niagara. 20th Century Fox 1953.

Before watching the movie:

According to the box, this is a departure for Marylin Monroe. As opposed to her typical lighter fare, here she’s taking a dark turn as a woman plotting to kill her husband. While I think the term is never used on the cover, this sounds like a noir in the style of Double Indemnity.

I’m looking forward to seeing her playing a femme fatale. It seems to suit her more than the giggling, often airheaded bimbo she always plays in her comedies. I know she knew how to control a room with her sexuality, she even built a career on it. I always watch her other movies waiting for her to drop the act and get exactly what she wants because she knows people will give it to her, and that looks like what happens here. Or at least, she tries.

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