George Tobias

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Between Two Worlds Review


OK
This innovative drama earns points for originality, but bungles the execution: A group of British travelers have all been killed during World War II... and they all find themselves on a cruise ship headed... where? The catch: Some know they're dead, and some don't. The film's conflict comes from arguments between these two groups. What could have been a proto-version of The Sixth Sense instead becomes a rather dull bit of preachiness where little ends up happening. The film is based on the play Outward Bound (which will forever taint the name of the organization by the same name for me), which was a flop on Broadway.

The Glenn Miller Story Review


Good
Jimmy Stewart gives a promising performance in a film that starts off great and quickly descends into unfortunate boredom. The big problem? Glenn Miller just wasn't that interesting a character. Aside from the fact that he basically ordered his girlfriend (then engaged to another man) to take a train across the country and marry Miller instead, there's not much new to this up-from-poverty-to-famous-composer/musician story. The entire last half concerns Miller's work as a bandleader in the military (which is, I suppose, important since he died during World War II), but the very worst scene comes earlier in the film, when Miller and best gal Helen (June Allyson) visit a jazz club: The entire scene is filmed through a spinning color wheel. It may be the worst directorial decision in the history of movies.

The Set-Up Review


Good
Robert Wise, the director of The Sound of Music and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, gives us the most unlikely film in his career: a 72-minute noir set at a rigged boxing match.

Based on a poem, this spare film is consumed almost completely by a boxing match, filmed in real time. Between rounds, the scheming occurs -- our hero's manager wants him to take a dive, while the boxer's wife stands by her man. Whoops, the manager thinks his fighter's going to lose, so he doesn't bother to tell him that he's taken a payoff.

Continue reading: The Set-Up Review

A New Kind Of Love Review


Weak
It may have been made in the 1960s, but the "new kind of love" promised in the title of this film isn't swinging or orgies. In fact this kind of love actually doesn't seem so new at all.

This bizarre oddity actually features real-life husband and wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, five years after they were married, and thrown into an absurd love story that makes minimal sense and barely holds your interest for more than a few minutes. The setup is this: Newman is a journalist in Paris, and he thinks Woodward (despite her mannish looks here) is a high-priced call girl. He claims he wants to write a story about her, which of course is an entry to a love affair.

Continue reading: A New Kind Of Love Review

George Tobias

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