ling tramp skipper (Humphrey Bogart) and an invincible old-maid missionary (Katharine Hepburn) battle their way past cataracts and enemy guns and a thousand jungle hazards to strike a blow for Britain against the Hun in 1914. The result, although considerably more melodramatic in spots than C. S. Forester's novel, is a vastly enjoyable movie directed by John Huston. It was filmed, of course, right in Africa.
THE BIG TREES: An unconvincing outdoor soap opera, with pseudospiritual overtones, about a ruthless lumber pirate (Kirk Douglas) who discovers his better self in the mighty forest.
BRIDE OF THE GORILLA: A rubberplantation yarn, badly in need of extensive patching and vulcanizing. It tells of a tropical cad (Raymond Burr) who has a curse put on him by a native witch and then gradually turns into an ape. Tarzan shouldn’t worry.
HIGH NOON: Director Fred Zin-
nemann has put this superior western on film with stunning craftsmanship. There’s quite a bit of disquieting cynicism about the responsibility of the individual citizen but also enough tension, pace and canny characterization to build up ever-increasing interest. Gary Cooper, as a lone-wolf marshal in a sick and cowardly town, almost breaks his heart trying to raise a posse against a band of killers.
MACAO: A stale Oriental whodunit about one of those smoldering torch singers (Jane Russell, in this case) whose male admirers are always up to their ears in homicide. Robert Mitchum, Brad Dexter and William Bendix are among the blokes thus haplessly in-
THE MALTESE FALCON: Originally
released in 1941, but now making the rounds all over again as a re-issue, this still rates as one of the very best crimeand-mysfery jobs Hollywood has ever
offered. John Huston adapted if from Dashiell Hammett’s suspenseful story about a golden bird and the violent deeds it provokes among the people who covet it. A honey of a movie.
MR. LORD SAYS “NO!”: A retired Cockney workingman (Stanley Holloway) and his spunky shopkeeper wife (Kathleen Harrison) defy the whole ruddy Empire in refusing to let their little home be torn down to make room for the Festival of Britain. The story possibilities are rather thinly developed but some of the bureaucratic turmoil is pretty funny.
OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS: A sombre but compelling melodrama, based on a Joseph Conrad novel, about an exiled rotter (Trevor Howard) whose overpowering desire for an East Indies temptress soon leads to his ironic enslavement. Director Carol Reed expertly uses a fine cast and authentic backgrounds in this British film.
SYMPHONY OF LIFE: A musical from Soviet Russia. It has a number of lively and melodious moments, a Liszt concerto played with fiery virtuosity and some pleasant choral and solo singing. It also has several phony touches borrowed (unthinkably) from Hollywood, such as a huge invisible orchestra which mysteriously starts thundering while the soldier-pianist is playing in the battle area.
TEMBO: Howard Hill’s exploits as a big-game hunter with a bow and arrow in Africa are certainly impressive, but the spoken commentary that goes with them is often dull and corny and the real “action” sequences are few and far between. A feature-length jungle travelogue, in color.
WALK EAST ON BEACON: As o documentary close-up of modern FBI techniques in tropping foreign spies, this picture packs a lot of punch. As a drama about human beings enmeshed in dangerous conspiracy, I find it somewhat less convincing.
HUM orH HATES
An American in Paris: Musical. Tops. Anything Can Happen: Comedy. Good. Appointment With Venus: Military comedy (British). Good.
Battle at Apache Pass: Iniuns. Fair. Belles on Their ToesComedy. Fair. Boots Malone: Turf drama. Excellent. Deadline, U. J. A.: Press drama. Good. Encore: Maugham package. Good.
5 Fingers : Spy drcma. Excellent.
Flesh and Fury: Boxing drama. Fair. The Greatest Show on Earth: DeMille circus melodrama. Fair.
Here Come the Nelsons: Comedy. Fair. High Treason: Spy drama. Fair.
His Excellency: Comedy-drama. Good. Hong Kong: Melodrama. Fair.
Hoodlum Empire: Crime drama. Fair. Hunted: British crime drama. Good. Invitation: Marriage drama. Fair.
It's a Big Country: Eight stories. Fair.
I Want You: Family drama. Fair.
Lady Godiva Rides Again: Satirical British comedy. Good.
Lydia Bailey: Adventure. Good.
Man in the White Suit: Alec Guinness comedy. Excellent.
Marrying Kind: Comedy-drama. Fair. Les Misérables: Costume drama. Fair.
My Six Convicts: Comedy-drama. Good. My Son John: Message drama. Fair.
Olympic Elk: Wildlife short. Good.
On Dangerous Ground: Drama. Fair. People Against O’Hara: Crime. Good. Phone Call From a Stranger: Comedydrama. Good.
A Place in the Sun: Drama. Tops.
The Pride of St. Louis: Major-league baseball comedy. Good.
Quo Vadis: Bible spectacle. Good. Retreat, Hell!: War drama. Fair.
Return of the Texan: Western. Good.
La Ronde: French satirical comedy for adults. Excellent.
Room for One More: Domestic comedydrama. Good.
Rooty-Toot-Toot: Cartoon fable. Tops. Royal Journey: Fact feature. Excellent. Singin’ in the Rain: Musical. Good.
Steel Town: Action romance. Fair.
II Trovatore: Filmed opera. Good. Unknown World: Science fiction. Poor. Viva Zapata!: Mexico drama. Good. With a Song in My Heart: Musical biography. Excellent.
The Wild North: Mountie drama. Good. You Can’t Beat the Irish: Comedy. Fair.
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