1950’s

[4] Guys and Dolls pits men against women and vice against virtue in a light-hearted movie musical adapted from the popular Broadway play. Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra headline as two New York gamblers who make a bet that Brando can’t woo a female missionary (Jean Simmons) to a dinner date in Havana. The date unexpectedly results in true love, but the budding romance is …

[7] Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston square off in this western about a father and daughter fighting over who will control the future of the family’s sprawling cattle ranch. The relationship begins as a loving, mentoring one, but transforms into a battle between master manipulators. When Huston hangs a belligerent squatter who’s also Stanwyck’s childhood paramour, they cross the point of no return. The Furies …

[6] British men and women are held captive in segregated prison camps under the rule of a sadistic Japanese commander who vows to kill them all if Japan loses World War II. When the Brits secretly learn of the war’s end, they have to keep their Japanese torturers from finding out. They sabotage radio equipment and attempt to delay the mail. But when an American …

[7] Fredric March plays a 1950s Czechoslovakian circus owner trying to lead his troupe in a daring escape from the Iron Curtain. The plan is to obtain a permit to perform for communist soldiers in the border territories — then create a distraction and make a run for freedom over a narrow bridge into American occupation. At the same time, March’s character is dealing with …

[7] Spencer Tracy fronts this lighthearted Vincente Minnelli film about a father experiencing the emotional and financial turmoil of marrying off his only daughter. Elizabeth Taylor plays the daughter and Joan Bennett plays the mother, but this is all Tracy’s show. His droll narration and ‘grin and bear it’ attitude are what give the film its momentum and its low-key comedy. Apart from an effective …

[5.0] Joan Crawford plays an impoverished woman who leaves her husband after a tragedy claims the life of their young son. Determined never to be poor again, she sleeps her way through a string of men to reach a higher social standing. But once she ingratiates herself with gangsters, she gets in over her head. The Damned Don’t Cry delivers the typical Joan Crawford character …

[7.0] Walter Pidgeon and Leslie Nielsen star in this glossy MGM production about a starship crew investigating a planet where a colony of humans has gone mysteriously quiet. Once there, they discover most of the colonists were killed by a mysterious force. But a scientist (Pidgeon) and his daughter (Anne Francis) appear to be immune to the dangerous entity. Pidgeon shares with the team’s captain …

[6.0] Humphrey Bogart plays a Hollywood screenwriter suspected of murder until his next door neighbor, played by Gloria Grahame, vouches for him. Grahame starts a romance with Bogey as the investigation continues. It’s not long before Bogey reveals a hidden rage and a violent streak that make her reconsider his culpability. In a Lonely Place is reminiscent of Sunset Boulevard, released the same year. Both …

[6] In 1860s New Orleans, a Creole servant girl (Micheline Presle) vows revenge after her wealthy lover (Vincent Price) uses his influence to put her in jail so he can marry a rich socialite. While on trial, however, Captain Fabian (Errol Flynn) comes to the girl’s defense out of spite for Price’s character more than anything else. Flynn sets Presle up with a tavern to …

[4.0] Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck star in this story of a midget car racer (Gable) whose treacherous tactics get exposed by a prying news reporter (Stanwyck). After he’s blamed for causing the death of another driver, Gable’s racing career implodes. Stanwyck finds him doing daredevil stunts for a circus. Despite the obvious animosity he has for her, the two fall for each other. As …

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