Thelma Ritter

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The Misfits Review


Excellent
A storied movie, written by Arthur Miller for wife Marilyn Monroe -- whom he would divorce before the film was released, The Misfits is as interesting behind the scenes as it is on the screen. Monroe is marvelous (though reportedly battling severe drug addiction during the filming), driven probably by her hatred for the weak-willed Roslyn, and Clark Gable is memorable too, as an aging cowboy who periodically heads out to the desert and the foothills to go "mustanging," rounding up wild horses... which he'll sell to a dog food company.

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Pillow Talk Review


Excellent
A very funny piece of Hollywood history, as a womanizing Rock and prim Doris share a party line, only to eventually fall in love when Rock invents a Texan persona to put the moves on his lovely neighbor. A wisecracking Tony Randall just about steals the show, but latter-day revelations about Hudson make some of his lines -- like when he accuses his alter-ego of being the kind of guy interested in recipes and his mother... Classic.

Rear Window Review


Essential
Not only is Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window one of his best pictures, it's one of the best films ever made altogether.

The master craftsmanship on display (placing virtually the entire film within the confines of the apartment of hobbled photographer L.B. Jeffries -- the inimitable James Stewart -- referred to as "J.B. Jeffries" on the back of the DVD case) has few parallels in modern cinema. The story by John Michael Hayes is one of Hitch's simplest yet most gripping: Jeffries spies the cleanup of a supposed murder across the way from his Manhattan apartment -- a sinister Raymond Burr cleaning knives and whatnot. He tells his girlfriend (Grace Kelly) and she laughs. His nurse (the unforgettable Thelma Ritter) mocks him also, urging him to marry instead of peeping out the window at strangers. But slowly, the truth is revealed, and even his most ardent naysayers join in the plot to uncover the reality of what happened in the apartment across the way. By the end of the picture, Kelly is prepared to break into Burr's apartment via fire escape because she's certain of what has happened inside.

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Pickup On South Street Review


Weak
It's probably blasphemy, but I'll say it anyway: Pickup on South Street is simply an unremarkable film noir.

Samuel Fuller, best known for his masterful psycho-ward thriller Shock Corridor, made Pickup because he (per his interview on the new Criterion DVD) wanted to get inside the mind of the pickpocket, show how he lives, and really show the audience what he's all about. That's an admirable goal, and the film's opening scenes -- wherein a seedy-looking Richard Widmark is spied plying his trade on a subway -- give us about all the insight anyone really needs into the pickpocket life.

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A New Kind Of Love Review


Grim
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.

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Titanic (1953) Review


OK
Modern moviegoers rarely recall that there are a good half-dozen movies based on the Titanic disaster. Like Cameron's 1997 version, most are also called Titanic.

For those of you interested in a historical retelling of the Titanic disaster won't find it here; like Cameron, director Jean Negulesco puts a family drama on the boat. It may as well take place in a flat in London: Woman (Barbara Stanwyck) is taking the kids to America in order to escape deadbeat dad (Clifton Webb). Only dad shows up unexpectedly on the boat and causes all sorts of havoc with his overbearing ways, gambling, and general obnoxiousness.

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Roberts Upset With Lack Of Older Screen Stars


Doris Roberts Thelma Ritter

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND star Doris Roberts has found a huge downside to being a showbiz veteran - there's hardly anyone in her age group working anymore.

The 75-year-old actress, whose entertainment career has so far lasted 50 years, is disappointed to see the days have passed where older stars could be as successful as their more youthful counterparts.

She says, "There are no people in my age group out there anymore. It used to be... the second banana in every movie was somebody middle aged and funny. You'd have the people like Thelma Ritter and JIMMY GLEASON. They were funny and that's what's missing out there. There's no older people.

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Thelma Ritter Movies

Rear Window Movie Review

Rear Window Movie Review

Not only is Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window one of his best pictures, it's one of...

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