I Married a Monster from Outer Space

I Married a Monster from Outer Space. Paramount Pictures 1958.

Before watching the movie:

Much like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this is about people getting replaced by alien replicas. But with the added horror factor of following a 50s housewife’s discovery that her husband has changed.

It looks like the main thing that was notable about this movie is that it was released in a double feature with The Blob.

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Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1957.

Before watching the movie:

Early summaries I saw were all about Elvis’s character learning music in jail, so I was expecting a plot entirely in the jail, but looking a little closer, it seems like more of the story is about how the music changes his life outside of jail. That’s not as interesting to me, but then, I guess the story I was expecting was Prisoners of Love. At least I know the music will be good.

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The Lemon Drop Kid

The Lemon Drop Kid. Paramount Pictures 1951.

Before watching the movie:

I found this on the shelf, and it seemed like a pretty standard comedy vehicle. Bob Hope gets into trouble, and Bob Hope does a lot of crazy things trying to get out of trouble. A Bob Hope movie.

The more modern image on the box is probably more indicative of the content than the poster, which is most likely depicting the most outrageous, but minor, sequence. “Bob Hope wearing a dress! Hilarious, right?” But I stick to theatrical posters, and there was no other option.

Apparently this is a Christmas movie, but I didn’t realize that when I decided to watch it. Imagining refreshingly cold winter air is probably welcome right now.

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Invisible Invaders

Invisible Invaders. Premium Pictures 1959.

Before watching the movie:

Here is a sci-fi B-movie. B-movies can be fun. Very few B-movies are legendary enough to be well-known. This is not one of them.

Apparently John Agar is a big name of B-movies, but I don’t recognize him. Mainly because I’m not steeped in B-movies. But they are fun.

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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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