Barbara Stanwyck is mistreated high society wife Jessie Bourne, married to Brandon (James Mason), a well-heeled corporate lawyer who is also a regular heel, cheating on Jessie every chance he gets. As Brandon explains his philosophy to a hopeful conquest, "Just because a man has one perfect rose in his garden at home, it doesn't mean that he can't appreciate the flowers of the field." Even so, Brandon tries to "think with his head" but then Ava Gardner breezes in and all bets are off.
Continue reading: East Side, West Side Review
We begin with a trainload of Marine recruits who are so stereotypical that the solemn narrator even introduces them by their stereotype labels: the dumb north country lumberjack Andy (Aldo Ray), the All-American boy Dan (Tab Hunter), the hoodlum, the sensitive bookworm, the "Injuns" recruited for Navajo code talking, and so on. They've left behind an assortment of families and girlfriends who will haunt their thoughts and test their faithfulness throughout 10 weeks of basic training in San Diego and the ocean journey to Hawaii and beyond.
Continue reading: Battle Cry Review
Crawford plays Louise, who is introduced to us as she dazedly walks into a diner, asking for a man named David. After she collapses, she's hauled off to the mental hospital, where the doctors shake their heads and shrug. Flashbacks reveal why Louise is in such a state: She's kinda nuts, and the last thread snapped after she killed the mysterious David (Van Heflin).
Continue reading: Possessed Review
In the parlance of Elmore Leonard's 1960s novel, a bounce refers to a crime, and party girl Nancy (Leigh Taylor-Young in one of her first screen roles) is really into bouncing. When drifter Jack Ryan (no, not that Jack Ryan), played by Ryan O'Neal, shows up, Nancy encourages Jack's bad-boy past, goading him into riding along on her minor crime wave. Eventually of course that takes a turn for the worse (this being an Elmore Leonard book), and while much of this is obviously intended as twisty comedy a la Get Shorty, television director Alex March never gets a firm grasp of the material, leaving the proceedings quite flat. The big finale couldn't be more unsatisfying.
Continue reading: The Big Bounce (1969) Review
Thus read the ads for the original 1946 release of the classic, under-appreciated film noir The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, and although the tagline refers to the character, the name that the title brings to mind is that of star Barbara Stanwyck. As Martha, Stanwyck plays a woman with a secret, living in the kind of anywhere-in-America town that film noir sketched so indelibly on the big screen, a town where everything would seem peaceful to a stranger, but the locals know that intrigue simmers just out of sight. If you have to talk about Martha - a woman who's not only notorious but powerful as well - it probably is best to lower your voice. In a town this size, word gets around.
Continue reading: The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers Review
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