Charles Schnee

Charles Schnee

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Somebody Up There Likes Me Review


OK
Rocky Graziano was more of a brawler than a boxer, and this film (based on his autobiography) dutifully chronicles his development from street hood to army scofflaw to amateur boxer to mob target. Whew! Graziano is single-dimensionally played by an underwhelming Paul Newman in one of his first film roles, here lacking the nuance he'd give to tough guys in films like Hud and Cool Hand Luke, both of which run rings around this straightforward and simplistic biopic.

Somebody Up There Likes Me Review


OK
Rocky Graziano was more of a brawler than a boxer, and this film (based on his autobiography) dutifully chronicles his development from street hood to army scofflaw to amateur boxer to mob target. Whew! Graziano is single-dimensionally played by an underwhelming Paul Newman in one of his first film roles, here lacking the nuance he'd give to tough guys in films like Hud and Cool Hand Luke, both of which run rings around this straightforward and simplistic biopic.

Butterfield 8 Review


Weak
What, you wanna see Liz Taylor as a call girl? Ya perv. Taylor's heralded performance as the archetypal hooker ("the slut of all time!") with a heart of gold is a bit overrated, it's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof all over again (which she made just two years prior) -- and that was a better movie, too. Laurence Harvey is more effective as the client she falls in love with -- alas, he's married and he's a cad, to boot. This leaves plenty of time for some Oscar-caliber waterworks, which is pretty much how Butterfield 8 shakes out.

Red River Review


Good
John Wayne stars in one of his most acclaimed films, Red River, opposite a young Montgomery Clift. Wayne is the tormenting rancher, driving his 9,000 head of cattle to Missouri to avoid bankruptcy; Clift is his adopted son, who grows increasingly antagonistic against dad's slave driving. Eventually, the cattle drive approaches a situation of mutiny, pitting father and son against one another.

Filled with beautiful black and white photography, especially for its era, Red River is an atmospheric ride a la Unforgiven, where it's hard to find a white-hat hero and a sense of dread surrounds the proceedings. Unfortunately, the film is hampered by a lame hoedown score, typical of 1940s Westerns, not to mention an atrocious "happy" ending that belies the emotion in the rest of the picture.

Continue reading: Red River Review

The Bad and the Beautiful Review


Excellent
This biting behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood is as sharp as they come. Opening on the funeral of a producer, the film follows three people as they spew vitriol on the man. Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner are particularly fun. Hollywood wouldn't be skewered this horribly again until The Player, 40 years later.
Charles Schnee

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