NIGHT PEOPLE: A complicated but fascinating suspense thriller in CinemaScope, about East vs. West in present-day Berlin. It stars Gregory Peck as a tough U. S. intelligence officer and Broderick Crawford as a tycoon whose son is captured by the Russians. Aptly named Rita Gam is also present.
THE KIDNAPPERS: An uncommonly winning five-year-old Scot (Vincent Winter) makes his screen debut in a slow but absorbing British drama, set in Nova Scotia in 1904. Oppressed by their joyless granddaddy, two love-starved lads “kidnap” a lost baby and adopt it as a pet.
THE NAKED JUNGLE: Billions of all-devouring “soldier ants” on the march are the horrifying villains in this drama of life on a South American plantation, but the exciting climax takes too long to arrive. With Eleanor Parker, Charlton Heston.
HOBSON’S CHOICE: Director David Lean, the man who made Brief Encounter and Breaking the Sound Barrier, comes up with another winner in this shrewd and jolly British comedy. It’s about a Lancashire bootmaker (uproariously played by Charles Laughton) and his three rebellious daughters. John Mills is funny and believable as a worm who turns.
RHAPSODY: Well-played, well-reproduced Tchaikovsky and
Rachmaninoff concert favorites are sound-track assets in a plushy romantic soap opera, much of it quite tedious to my taste. The harassed principals are a spoiled heiress (Elizabeth Taylor), a violinist (Vittorio Gassman), and a pianist (John Ericson ).
TOP BANANA: Some of the oldest jokes in show-biz and a few new ones as well, most of them hilariously projected by burlesque comic Phil Silvers in a filming of the N’Yawk stage hit.
The Actress: Comedy. Excellent.
Always a Bride: British comedy. Good.
Back to God’s Country: Outdoor mellerdrammer. Poor.
Beat the Devil: Farce thriller. Fair.
The Beggar’s Opera: Musical. Good. Beneath the 12-Mile Reef: Cinema-
Scope action drama. Fair.
The Big Heat: Crime drama. Excellent.
Captain’s Paradise: Comedy. Excellent. The City Is Dark: Crime. Fair.
The Command: Cavalry vs. Injuns in
The Creature From the Black Lagoon: Science-fiction horror. Poor.
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