Mercedes Mccambridge

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All The King's Men (1949) Review


Excellent
Broderick Crawford is no Orson Welles, but this meditation on the underbelly of American politics is at least in the same league as Citizen Kane. Also a Best Picture winner, the film traces the rise of populist local hero Willie Stark, as he moves through the American political machine like a juggernaut, chewing up anything in his way. His compatriots (a newsman turned publicist, various lovelies and heavies) stick by him as Stark becomes corrupted en route to the top. The direction by Robert Rossen (The Hustler) isn't inspired, but he does get the job done with reasonable aplomb.

Suddenly, Last Summer Review


Excellent
In 1930s New Orleans, a creepy drama/thriller plays out, with a wealthy heiress (Katharine Hepburn) extorting an upstanding doctor (Montgomery Clift) into giving her neice (Elizabeth Taylor) a lobotomy. Why? That's the rub in this juicy, compelling, and typically overblown Tennessee Williams adaptation. Hepburn and Taylor both earned Oscar nominations for their work; it's hard to pick which turns in a more compelling performance.

All The King's Men Review


Excellent
Broderick Crawford is no Orson Welles, but this meditation on the underbelly of American politics is at least in the same league as Citizen Kane. Also a Best Picture winner, the film traces the rise of populist local hero Willie Stark, as he moves through the American political machine like a juggernaut, chewing up anything in his way. His compatriots (a newsman turned publicist, various lovelies and heavies) stick by him as Stark becomes corrupted en route to the top. The direction by Robert Rossen (The Hustler) isn't inspired, but he does get the job done with reasonable aplomb.

Giant Review


Very Good
A more apt title you won't find for a movie, as Giant's sprawling epic covers some 30 years in the life of a Texas cattle baron (Hudson), his wife (Taylor), and the upstart kid who becomes rich by discovering oil on his small plot of land (Dean). Compelling in a Gone With the Wind style, yet far too long at almost 4 hours, Giant could have stood for some quite obvious cutting. How many Christmas carols, square dances, and Texas cowboy shanties can one man take?

Regardless, James Dean (in one of only three roles on film) makes quite an impression, and Taylor reminds us why we ever liked her to begin with. The cinematography is equally Giant as well -- showing off the dusty nothing of central Texas, long low plains with brush and low hills in the distant background. George Stevens (Shane) has always had a knack for landscapes, and he's at the top of his game here. On the new DVD (two restored discs, one of which is double-sided), Stevens' son asks us to reconsider the film and enjoy it one again, 45 years after the making. In a commentary track with critic Stephen Farmber and writer Ivan Moffat, he reflects on his departed father and the trio reflect on Giant's legacy. That second disc has all the usual retrospectives and testimonials we've come to expect.

Continue reading: Giant Review

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Giant Movie Review

Giant Movie Review

A more apt title you won't find for a movie, as Giant's sprawling epic covers...

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