1950’s

[6.0] William Wellman’s (Wings, The Ox-Bow Incident) final film is also his most autobiographical, combining his experiences as an American volunteer in the French Legion during World War I with the experiences of a friend who fell in love with a French sex worker. Lafayette Escadrille stars Tab Hunter as the pilot in love, an unruly youth who deserts the Legion and then fights to …

[5.0] If I were a kid in the 1950s, I probably would have loved Fearless Fagan, the story of a circus performer (lanky Carleton Carpenter) drafted into the army with nowhere to leave his pet lion, Fagan. He sneaks Fagan onto army training grounds and manages to keep him a secret until Janet Leigh shows up as a song and dance girl who accidentally stumbles …

[7.0] Humphrey Bogart stars in this taut mystery-thriller as a district attorney trying to keep a terrified witness alive until he can testify against the ringleader of a hit-squad. The Enforcer is largely told through a series of flashbacks told by various members of the hit squad — usually proximate to their untimely demises. That sort of movie is entertaining enough, but The Enforcer is …

[6.5] Producer Walt Disney brings Jules Verne’s adventure to the big screen in his first live-action feature, one that nearly bankrupted the studio and ended up being the most expensive movie ever made up to that time. James Mason stars as Captain Nemo, who uses his advanced submarine, the Nautilus, to destroy war-faring vessels. After one such attack, he picks up a sailor, a professor, …

[5.0] Eleanor Parker stars as a mail-order bride to a lonely South American cocoa plantation farmer played by Charlton Heston. When she first meets her husband, she’s taken back by his brutish behavior. The two decide maybe marrying each other without ever meeting was probably a bad idea. But before Parker can catch the next boat out of the jungle, a 20-mile wide army of …

[6.5] A doctor visits a woman in an insane asylum to determine if she requires a lobotomy to forget the horror of seeing her cousin murdered, or if her aunt is pushing for the procedure to cover the truth. Tennessee Williams wrote the play, Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) directed the film, and the three leads are played by …

[7.5] If you told me I’d enjoy a movie about a unabashed gold-digger and her showgirl best friend traveling to Paris while trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a private detective attempting to catch one of them in an act of infidelity to his client’s son — I’d have said probably not. But it turns out the gold-digger is played by the …

[4.0] The Darling children — Wendy, Michael, and John — take a magical trip to Neverland with a hero only children can see or believe in: Peter Pan. Once there, they meet Pan’s Lost Boys, visit the mermaids, pow-wow with the Indians, and have a couple of entanglements with the dastardly Captain Hook. Peter Pan is not one of my favorite Disney animated ‘classics’. I …

[4.5] Real life wife and husband Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz star in this comedy about a married couple who begin drifting apart. When Ball’s guardian angel (James Mason) appears and coaches her on how to strengthen the relationship, she decides to go with Arnaz on a work-related trip to Yosemite National Park to test a new insecticide on mosquitoes. Forever, Darling is as disjointed …

[3.0] Victor Mature (Samson and Delilah) leads an ensemble cast in this underwhelming adventure about Navy scientists in Cuba trying to invent an effective shark repellent for downed pilots. With a title like The Sharkfighters, you might expect to see people fighting sharks. But apart from one character being bitten and dying, there’s precious little shark action in this movie. To fill the void, the …

1 2 3 10