Buk Sokoli - Stars were photographed as they attended the Opening night of the play 'The Vortex' written by Noel Coward, The night was held at The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 14th November 2014
Set in a coastal Maine mill town sometime around 1900, the painful love story brings together itinerant carnival worker Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae) and virginal mill worker Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones), who fall passionately in love even though everyone thinks she could do a lot better. Hot-tempered and insecure, Billy wants to be a productive member of society, but he doesn't know how, and once he's married and Julie is pregnant, he fears he won't be able to provide. Their situation is contrasted with that of Julie's best friend, Carrie Pipperidge (Barbara Ruick), and her prosperous fiancé, Mr. Snow (Robert Rounseville).
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As the first American feature to be shot in Japan after WWII (its home-grown film industry had been trucking right along since not long after the peace treaty was signed), House of Bamboo makes the most out of its setting, and its spell-binding Cinemascope compositions make up most of the reasons to see it. The film opens on a supply train puffing across a snowy landscape that's hijacked by a gang of thieves who are more than happy to garrote the Japanese and U.S. guards on board before making off with the loot, .50-caliber machine guns. It's a sharply executed piece of work and ends with a hammer blow: achingly beautiful Mount Fuji, as shot between the boots of a dead soldier.
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Cagney's work here is fairly rote, and Day's portrayal of Etting isn't exactly spot-on, but both are good enough for the job they've been tasked with. The problem comes from the abrasive repetition in the story, which has Cagney's Martin Snyder continuously beating and shooting people that stand in Etting's way, then nurturing her all lovey-dovey like. Two hours of this is just too much, even if it does feature a handful of Etting hits (including the title number).
Continue reading: Love Me Or Leave Me Review