Arthur Kennedy

Arthur Kennedy

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The Sentinel (1977) Review


Good
Next time you rent an apartment, you might check to make sure it's not the doorway to hell before you sign the lease. Alison (Cristina Raines, who vanished from the Hollywood scene in 1987) is a suicidal model who figures this old and roomy place will offer a respite from her rough life. When she complains about the weird and loud neighbors (including an unforgettable and deliciously nasty Beverly D'Angelo, who rubs her crotch to, er, completion when Alison is over for coffee), it turns out no one else lives there. Is it a hallucination or demons? Either way, this is one hell of a sick little horror flick. Watching for stars then and now to make their appearances can alone make the film worthwhile.

The Sentinel Review


Good
Next time you rent an apartment, you might check to make sure it's not the doorway to hell before you sign the lease. Alison (Cristina Raines, who vanished from the Hollywood scene in 1987) is a suicidal model who figures this old and roomy place will offer a respite from her rough life. When she complains about the weird and loud neighbors (including an unforgettable and deliciously nasty Beverly D'Angelo, who rubs her crotch to, er, completion when Alison is over for coffee), it turns out no one else lives there. Is it a hallucination or demons? Either way, this is one hell of a sick little horror flick. Watching for stars then and now to make their appearances can alone make the film worthwhile.

Some Came Running Review


Weak
You can dress Frank Sinatra up as a mysterious ex-G.I. with a wad of money and a flair with a pen, but that doesn't mean the movie in question will evolve beyond a cut-rate Peyton Place. Some Came Running starts with promise, as Ol' Blue Eyes drifts into town and dredges up all sort of troubling history with his family, but ends up being a kind of tepid love triange involving Frank, a luscious blonde, and Shirley Maclaine. In the end, some do come running in a memorable yet odd finale, but they just don't get there fast enough to elevate the story into the classic some think it is. Based on a James Jones novel.

Barabbas Review


OK
Any good Christian or Jeopardy! fan knows that Barabbas was the murderer that the Romans chose to free rather than Jesus when Pontius Pilate asked them to pick someone to receive a pardon. The film (based on the novel of the same name) imagines -- with minimal attention to anything that is historically known -- what might have happened to Barabbas after he was freed, tracking him back into a life of crime, a decades-long sentence of hard labor, and a stint in the gladiator pit, all before he's eventually redeemed through the message of the man who hung on the cross instead of him. Barabbas, in keeping with the Biblical epics of its era, is overwrought and overlong, but Anthony Quinn is memorable in the leading role, even when the script is derivative of everything from Spartacus to Ben-Hur, films which were still fresh in the public's mind. Barabbas has aged poorly in comparison (though Spartacus isn't the masterpiece many wish it to be, either).

Elmer Gantry Review


Excellent
Burt Lancaster shines as the titular Elmer Gantry, a revival preacher with a questionable past and uncertain motives, in the epic film that won Oscars for Lancaster, Shirley Jones (as a hooker from Gantry's past), and the script by Richard Brooks. Written with an assured bite, Gantry skewers "that old-time religion" with a dramatic wit rarely seen in this era. Never corny (though its modern-day analogues most surely are), the film was a huge success in its day, and is all but forgotten now. Highly recommended for fans of Lancaster or Jean Simmons, who plays the earnest young preacher who gets caught up in Gantry's web.

They Died with Their Boots On Review


OK
In case the title is ambiguous, they died because George Custer was their general, and we all know about his Last Stand, etc. etc.

Errol Flynn takes one of his most curious roles ever in this big-budget western, playing the ill-fated general from West Point through the Civil War through his inglorious career killing off Indians before they got their payback at Little Big Horn. Custer is here portrayed as a hero but also an extremely impetuous one: Ranking at the bottom of his class in academics and willfully violating orders whenever they're given to him.

Continue reading: They Died with Their Boots On Review

High Sierra Review


Grim
Droll little Bogart film -- his first leading man role. Unfortunately, all the promise of intrigue and adventure in the Sierra mountains never really materializes. Instead, High Sierra is concerned more with a leg-extending operation for one of Bogie's dames and a dog that keeps barking, messing up his heists. The various robberies are utterly lacking in suspense or originality. It ends up as a rather plain entry into 1940s adventure movies which can barely hold your interest for its running time.
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