Best Cinematography

[7.0] In this potpourri of Middle-Eastern folklore, a banished king (John Justin) and a street boy (Sabu) team up to stop an evil magician (Conrad Veidt) from marrying a beautiful princess (June Duprez). The Thief of Bagdad tries to combine everything you can imagine from “Arabian Nights”, including the Genie and the magic carpet. Disney certainly used this classic as a springboard for their own …

[7.5] Paul Newman plays Fast Eddie, an overzealous pool player who’ll sacrifice everything to beat the renowned Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). This cautionary tale about obsession is the perfect showcase for several fine performances. It may be Newman’s finest work. He and costars George C. Scott, Jackie Gleason, and Piper Laurie were all nominated for Oscars here. Laurie has a unique, dark chemistry with Newman, …

[7.0] Paul Newman and Robert Redford star in this influential, genre-bending Western about two outlaws who hole up in Bolivia to hide from a pursuing ‘superposse.’ William Goldman’s celebrated screenplay would become the progenitor of countless buddy films for decades to come. Paul Newman has referred to the film as “a love story between two men.” What’s remarkable is that the camaraderie between the two …

[3.5] Near the end of both Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris, there is a big, epic dance number that feels very out of place. It’s the only thing I don’t like about Singin’ in the Rain, and the only thing I DO like about An American in Paris. The later film is essentially a superb 20-minute dance number tacked onto an …

[8.5] Joseph Cotten uncovers a conspiracy surrounding a deceased friend in The Third Man, a masterfully crafted film noir thriller from author Graham Greene and director Carol Reed. Reed keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, surrounding Cotten’s character with a superb supporting cast that includes Alida Valli, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, and Orson Welles. Robert Krasker’s Oscar-winning cinematography is a revelation, turning war-torn …

[7.0] In colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness has an ongoing affair with a big game hunter. On one hand, Sydney Pollacks’ Oscar-winning best picture is long and subdued. But on the other hand, it does a great job transporting you to another time and place. The wildlife, cinematography, and music score (another fine work from John Barry) will whisk you away whether you want whisked or …

[6.5] Paul Newman headlines this Robert Wise biopic about real-life boxing champ Rocky Graziano. Ernest Lehman’s smart, well-paced script sees Rocky through several youthful indiscretions that threaten to ruin him just as the lightweight championship comes within reach. Though he had appeared in one other film prior, this is the movie that launched Paul Newman to stardom, and it’s no wonder why — he’s magnetic. …

[7.5] A young man’s soul is transferred to a mysterious portrait that bears the decay and debauchery of his lifestyle. The most interesting thing about this Oscar Wilde tale is that you are never told what Dorian Gray’s sins are, though the film adaptation hints at everything from drugs and alcohol to carnal sins with both men and women. Hurd Hatfield plays the icy cold …

[4.5] Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara star in this seafaring tale of a plundering buccaneer who considers changing his ways once he becomes smitten with an aristocratic lady. At times a very beautiful film, The Black Swan fails on the most critical aspect of the ‘love relationship’. Tyrone Powers may look dashing, but I didn’t find him very charismatic. And Maureen O’Hara is pretty awful. …

[7.0] Cary Grant stars as an ex-jewel thief trying to clear his name after precious jewels start disappearing in the French Riviera. This outing for Alfred Hitchcock succeeds more in character than in suspense set pieces, though you’ll get some of that, too. Grace Kelly plays a socialite who falls in love with Grant, even though she suspects him of stealing her mother’s jewels. The …

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