Anne Revere

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The Thin Man Goes Home Review


Good
In this fifth installment of the Thin Man series, the Charleses leave New York for some rest and relaxation at Nick's parents' home in the small town of Sycamore Springs (boo!) but leave precious little Nick Jr. at boarding school (yay!). Coming a decade after the original film, this time out, William Powell and Myrna Loy are as devastatingly debonair as ever, though it doesn't stop them from playing at a little physical comedy when needed. Loy's willowy gorgeousness adds to, instead of detracts from, her comic timing, while Powell remains the coolest character in just about any room, even with that big Walter Matthau-size schnozz and ridiculous moustache.

While it would likely have been heretical to the characters' creator Dashiell Hammett, the couple seems to have given up liquor, with Nick compulsively nipping at a flask of nonalcoholic cider. This doesn't stop Nora from mistrusting his ability to stay on the wagon, and wishing maybe that he would ("Sneaking off like that and getting drunk ... without me."). The film eases ever so slowly into the mystery that we know is coming, following the couple up to the town on the town, and setting up Nick's relationship with his stern and disapproving father. The mystery, which involves a horrid painting of a windmill that everyone wants to get their hands on, Maltese Falcon-like, and a townful of neighbors who keep stopping by, wondering if Nick is working on a case. He'd prefer not to and would rather sit in a hammock with his cider jug and reading Nick Carter detective stories, but he gets sort of goaded into it once the stranger shows up on Nick's parents' doorstep and gets shot before he can get a full sentence out.

Continue reading: The Thin Man Goes Home Review

Fallen Angel Review


Very Good
Don't you just love a good film noir? Turn down the lights, pop the popcorn, and sit back. Those suits. Those hats. Those dames. Those schemes. Those big black cars. Those fatal gunshots that leave no bullet holes and cause no bleeding. What's not to love?

Otto Preminger's Fallen Angel is a textbook example of well-crafted noir. It has the just right mix of atmosphere, characters, and flim-flammery. The mysterious Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews) arrives in a small coastal California town and stops in at a diner called, naturally, Pop's Eats, to do some advance promotion for an itinerant phony psychic who will be putting on a show the next night. Within moments, he's deeply in love with the waitress, the classicly noir Stella (Linda Darnell), a real looker with great gams and a tough attitude. Those lips, those eyes, those barbed remarks... Eric's in love.

Continue reading: Fallen Angel Review

A Place In The Sun Review


Excellent
The classic tragedy, in classic form. Disturbing and powerful considering its time (1951), this film, based on the novel An American Tragedy, features Clift's greatest performance as a working-class guy wooed by an assembly line worker (Winters) and a ritzy chick (Taylor). The Pandora's box he opens when one is accidentally killed makes for a timeless tragedy.

The Thin Man Goes Home Review


Good
In this fifth installment of the Thin Man series, the Charleses leave New York for some rest and relaxation at Nick's parents' home in the small town of Sycamore Springs (boo!) but leave precious little Nick Jr. at boarding school (yay!). Coming a decade after the original film, this time out, William Powell and Myrna Loy are as devastatingly debonair as ever, though it doesn't stop them from playing at a little physical comedy when needed. Loy's willowy gorgeousness adds to, instead of detracts from, her comic timing, while Powell remains the coolest character in just about any room, even with that big Walter Matthau-size schnozz and ridiculous moustache.

While it would likely have been heretical to the characters' creator Dashiell Hammett, the couple seems to have given up liquor, with Nick compulsively nipping at a flask of nonalcoholic cider. This doesn't stop Nora from mistrusting his ability to stay on the wagon, and wishing maybe that he would ("Sneaking off like that and getting drunk ... without me."). The film eases ever so slowly into the mystery that we know is coming, following the couple up to the town on the town, and setting up Nick's relationship with his stern and disapproving father. The mystery, which involves a horrid painting of a windmill that everyone wants to get their hands on, Maltese Falcon-like, and a townful of neighbors who keep stopping by, wondering if Nick is working on a case. He'd prefer not to and would rather sit in a hammock with his cider jug and reading Nick Carter detective stories, but he gets sort of goaded into it once the stranger shows up on Nick's parents' doorstep and gets shot before he can get a full sentence out.

Continue reading: The Thin Man Goes Home Review

National Velvet Review


Very Good
A young Liz Taylor, standing eye to eye with an adult Mickey Rooney, stars in this classic children's fable at a girl and her horse, named The Pi. Rooney is a down-on-his-luck ex-jockey who encounters the Brown family, working as a general servant but taking to young Velvet (Taylor) when she comes into the ownership of a wild gelding. On sheer determination, she enters The Pi into the Grand National steeplechase, a grueling horse race in which she eventually rides herself (scandal!). Great fun for the youngsters among you, but I don't know how much "sheer determination" us adults can stand at once.

Gentleman's Agreement Review


Very Good
Gregory Peck masquerades as a Jew to write a big story on Anti-Semitism in this wartime tale of prejudice, bigotry, and hipocracy. Not exactly light-hearted fare, and the now 50+ year-old film has aged to the point of near-irrelevance. Peck and McGuire are incredible as the leads, but (and this is a good thing), Jew-bashing has faded as a commonly-experienced social ill. While it still crops up, the "restricted clubs" and playground abuse of Gentleman's Agreement are things of the past. Very controversial in its day, not to mention director Elia Kazan, who has generated plenty of controversy in recent years as well.
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Fallen Angel Movie Review

Fallen Angel Movie Review

Don't you just love a good film noir? Turn down the lights, pop the popcorn,...

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