1950’s

[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 …

[7.0] Thirteen-year-old Dean Stockwell (Kim, The Dunwich Horror) stars in this turn-of-the-century coming-of-age flick about a mischievous boy who mellows after years of preparatory school. Stockwell plays “Dink” Stover, who in the first act of the film is responsible for painting a horse green and blowing up a classroom before his family send him to a strict all-boys school where he quickly makes enemies of …

[4.0] Joan Crawford seems born to play a lady gangster fighting blindness, but unfortunately, This Woman is Dangerous isn’t nearly as interesting as it sounds. The ‘gangster’ aspect of the movie is kept to a bare minimum, with most of the screen time spent on a romance between Crawford and the doctor (Dennis Morgan) who saves her sight. The crux of the story is whether …

[5.0] Gordon Scott continues his reign in the famed loincloth in Tarzan’s Fight for Life. In this chapter of the ongoing series, Tarzan is trying to mediate between an English doctor building a hospital in the jungle and a jealous witch doctor who feels his power is being usurped. A young native chief’s life hangs in the balance and when the witch doctor steals the …

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