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Love In The Afternoon (1957) Review


Good
Audrey Hepburn and Billy Wilder put together another Sabrina -- that is, a relatively staid romantic comedy where Hepburn fals for a much older American. It's over two hours of overwrought sentimentalism and terribly corny jokes, pegged to a hard-to-swallow love affair between Hepburn and an ancient Gary Cooper. Generally regarded as a classic, probably by people who haven't sat through it. Based on the book Ariane.

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town Review


OK
Frank Capra's story of a simple man who inherits vast wealth has become a commonly-copied tale, but the tedium of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town outweighs its message of freedom and charity. Gary Cooper is dry as dust (despite being "eccentric" -- he plays the tuba!), and Jean Arthur makes no impression as the reporter who hustles him to get the inside scoop. I realize it's heresy, but the story just needs some life. Frankly, I can't imagine the upcoming Adam Sandler version could do any worse.

The Fountainhead Review


Excellent
Ayn Rand's own adaptation of her highly-regarded (and extremely thick) book. While I haven't read the novel (yet--it's in my stack), the film seems faithful to her work and is certainly faithful to her spirit. Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal (in her first film) do great work and have no trouble with the objectivist mentality. In the end, all questions are answered but one: What the heck is The Fountainhead? (Turns out it's a building. D'oh!)

High Noon (1952) Review


Good
Sure, it's a classic, but High Noon has never been a favorite Western of mine. Its pace is too slow -- though some scenes of Gary Cooper's marshal in desperate search of a posse before the black hats arrive in town can be tense. The scene where Cooper waits for the conveniently-timed train to arrive at the station is also quite stylish. Alas, Grace Kelly or no, High Noon just doesn't have the depth of character for my tastes. No flawed hero, no injustice to be avenged. Just a good guy, a bad guy, and a clean-cut ending that leaves you shrugging the whole thing off.

Cloak And Dagger Review


Weak
I love spy movies, honestly. Too bad then that Fritz Lang's Cloak and Dagger has all the thrills of a merry-go-round. Gary Cooper is woefully miscast as an American superspy -- considering Cooper doesn't even have the emotional presence to be able to raise his eyebrows, it's hard to feel for either his mission (investigating German A-bomb capabilities during WWII) or his romantic dalliance (with a mysterious yet ultimately pedestrian Lilli Palmer). Sure enough, we're stabbed in the back.

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town Review


OK
Frank Capra's story of a simple man who inherits vast wealth has become a commonly-copied tale, but the tedium of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town outweighs its message of freedom and charity. Gary Cooper is dry as dust (despite being "eccentric" -- he plays the tuba!), and Jean Arthur makes no impression as the reporter who hustles him to get the inside scoop. I realize it's heresy, but the story just needs some life. Frankly, I can't imagine the upcoming Adam Sandler version could do any worse.

Love In The Afternoon Review


Good
Audrey Hepburn and Billy Wilder put together another Sabrina -- that is, a relatively staid romantic comedy where Hepburn fals for a much older American. It's over two hours of overwrought sentimentalism and terribly corny jokes, pegged to a hard-to-swallow love affair between Hepburn and an ancient Gary Cooper. Generally regarded as a classic, probably by people who haven't sat through it. Based on the book Ariane.

Walt: The Man Behind The Myth Review


OK
Desperate for information about the pioneering legend behind Mickey Mouse and a whole boatload of classic animated characters? Well, Walt: The Man Behind the Myth will give you all the details, presented in an almost clinical style which Walt Disney would likely have abhorred.

Continue reading: Walt: The Man Behind The Myth Review

The Fountainhead Review


Excellent
Ayn Rand's own adaptation of her highly-regarded (and extremely thick) book. While I haven't read the novel (yet--it's in my stack), the film seems faithful to her work and is certainly faithful to her spirit. Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal (in her first film) do great work and have no trouble with the objectivist mentality. In the end, all questions are answered but one: What the heck is The Fountainhead?

For Whom The Bell Tolls Review


Weak
A stultifying bore, this imitation of Bridge on the River Kwai would have been long forgotten but for the fact it contains an Oscar-winning performance, with Katina Paxinou's gritty guide handily earning her award. The film earned a surprising nine nominations total, winning just the one. The film is an adaptation of Hemingway's book set during the Spanish Civil War, here with a wooden Gary Cooper sitting around in a cave while he waits to blow up a bridge. Meanwhile, he falls in love with Ingrid Bergman's communist refugee, before the fateful bell tolls. Alas, it takes nearly three hours for that to happen, with little to entertain us along the way.
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