Robert Arthur

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Ace In The Hole Review


Extraordinary
Ace in the Hole is simultaneously regarded as a classic noir and considered one of the hardest major films to find on the market. How could a film nominated for a major Oscar be so tricky to obtain? Chalk it up to biting the hand that feeds you.

Billy Wilder made Ace in the Hole as a follow-up to the acclaimed Sunset Boulevard, essentially writing his own ticket in Hollywood. The story he opted to make was a cruel indictment of the American media, one which has only become more accurate and biting over the years. The film opens with reporter Chuck Tatum, a refugee from big city newspapers who's now stuck in a desolate New Mexico town. Desperate to get back on top (and earn enough money to feed his drinking habit), he stumbles upon the perfect story after toiling away for a miserable year in the sticks: A treasure hunter (a looter, if you will) has gotten stuck in a cave-in in some old Indian caves. Guy in a well: That'll sell papers, right?

Continue reading: Ace In The Hole Review

Operation Petticoat Review


Very Good
Pleasantly light comedy has Cary Grant and Tony Curtis on a pink WWII-era submarine with five women who tend to screw everything up. How the sub gets pink and how the chicks get aboard is all the fun. Hilarious for its oh-so-taboo treatment of things like underwear. Watch for Gavin The Love Boat MacLeod in a small role.

Man Of A Thousand Faces Review


OK
This dutiful biopic tells the life story of early screen legend Lon Chaney, from his deaf-mute parents to his Vaudeville acts to his crazy first wife to his fame in Hollywood to his death from cancer. The problem is that James Cagney, in the title role, doesn't have 1,000 faces. He has one face, and it isn't Lon Chaney. Reportedly this film plays it fast and loose with the facts, which is unfortunate, because getting some insight into the actor is really the only reason you'd want to watch the movie, apart from Dorothy Malone's nice performance as Chaney's nutjob of a first wife.

Come September Review


Good
Is there irony in Rock Hudson zipping about on a scooter in an attempt to protect the virtue of a gaggle of American girls being pursued by four horny guys? (Of note: Sandra Dee is one of the girls, and Bobby Darin is one of the guys, and this is where they met.) The convoluted romantic comedy has Hudson as a wealthy American who spends his Septembers at his plush Italian villa. He arrives early this year, only to find his business partner has turned the place into a hotel from October to August. A romance (with the lovely Gina Lollobrigida) ensues, and the younger kids prove they can find a little love in the sun amongst all the good times. Silly and unfulfilling, it's nonetheless a reasonably good time.

Twelve O'Clock High Review


Excellent
Gregory Peck is searing in this WWII drama, shot shortly after the end of the war. Peck's General Savage whips a broke-down division into shape, but his story takes too long to get going and retreads itself once too often, to be honest. Still, some stellar performances make this a minor war classic.
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