George Seaton

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The Country Girl Review


Very Good
Musical dramas are rarities, but this theatrical melodrama succeeds better than perhaps it ought to, thanks to its three stellar stars.

Bing Crosby plays Frank Elgin, a washed-up actor who's since bottomed out as a severe alcoholic. His wife (Grace Kelly) spends day and night caring for him, and she's gone to seed because of it. Along comes Bernie Dodd (William Holden), a director who's willing to give Frank a shot at a comeback if he sobers up for the big show... but there are obstacles in the way and skeletons galore in the closets.

Continue reading: The Country Girl Review

Miracle On 34th Street Review


Excellent
Santa on trial! This Christmas classic has the inimitable Edmund Gwenn (who won an Oscar for his role) in full Santa regalia, wandering through Manhattan and telling a storefront setup guy he's got the reindeer out of order in the window display. The lighthearted comedy continues as Kris Kringle gets a job a Macy's department store... where he promptly begins sending customers elsewhere. This in turn lands him in a shrink's office and en route to a sanitarium. That's right: Good customer service is completely insane! The third act of the film gives it its rousing core, as Kringle is seated before a judge to prove he isn't crazy. The outpouring of support for him (including nonbeliever Maureen O'Hara and daughter Natalie Wood) makes the movie utterly priceless and unforgettable. You want the spirit of Christmas? It's all right here.

Continue reading: Miracle On 34th Street Review

A Day At The Races Review


Excellent
The Marx brothers are on top of their game here with a horse-race oriented gagfest (Groucho is a veterinarian mistaken for a human doctor)... at least when the film isn't detoured into an extended musical ballet number or endless sing-song bit. Maureen O'Sullivan's appearance is a bit expendable, but the bits the brothers schtick through are often just priceless. One of the Marx brothers' best.

The Country Girl Review


Very Good
Musical dramas are rarities, but this theatrical melodrama succeeds better than perhaps it ought to, thanks to its three stellar stars.

Bing Crosby plays Frank Elgin, a washed-up actor who's since bottomed out as a severe alcoholic. His wife (Grace Kelly) spends day and night caring for him, and she's gone to seed because of it. Along comes Bernie Dodd (William Holden), a director who's willing to give Frank a shot at a comeback if he sobers up for the big show... but there are obstacles in the way and skeletons galore in the closets.

Continue reading: The Country Girl Review

Airport Review


Very Good
With one grandiose entrance, Airport ushered in a genre of moviemaking that is still going strong -- the disaster movie. Filled with high-profile stars and backed by an enormous budget, Airport takes us through one harrowing night at Chicago's "Lincoln" airport, where a stowaway granny, a pregnant stewardess, a freak blizzard, duelling pilot-administrator brothers, various annoying wives... and one distraught passenger with a homemade bomb combine to create one wild ride. Too bad the "disaster" doesn't happen until 2 hours into the 2:15 movie. No matter -- Airport's unending sequels and spoofs are a testament that this film is a true piece of Americana, for good or for bad.
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