THE DESPERATE HOURS: Many a previous screen drama has told of a family held as prisoners in
their own home by a band of killers, but William Wyler’s masterly filming of the Joseph Hayes thriller makes most of the earlier versions look like minor-league efforts. Fredric March, as the beleaguered father, gives one of the year’s finest acting performances. As the leader of the evildoers, Humphrey Bogart is only slightly less memorable.
THE DEEP BLUE SEA: Britain’s first CinemaScope opus is a wordy but smooth and entertaining comedy-drama about a restless passionflower ( Vivien Leigh ), her forgiving husband ( Emlyn Williams ), and a boyish ex-hero (Kenneth More) who has never really grown up. Canada's Arthur Hill in a smaller role does just as well as the celebrities.
THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING: Turn-of-the-century atmosphere is richly conjured up in Hollywood’s widescreen chronicle of a sensational 1906 murder trial, although some of the dialogue is a bit hard to swallow. With Ray Milland, Joan Collins, Farley Granger.
OKLAHOMA!: The Rodgers-and-Hammerstein stage smasheroo has been translated into a dandy musical, weakened rather than strengthened by an overly grandiose treatment of the ballet numbers. The long-awaited Todd-AO process is eye-filling but marred by visual distortion, a flaw which may vanish as the system improves. The film opened in New York in October; Canada may not see it for months.
THE TALL MEN: A long, loud and very corny big-budget western in which Clark Gable and Jane Russell growl love at each other while herding thousands of cows from Texas to Montana. Robert Ryan is the enigmatic half-villain they have to keep an eye on.
Gilmour’s Guide to the Current Crop
The African Lion: Wildlife. Good.
Aunt Clara: British comedy. Fair.
The Bed: Four stories in one. Fair. The Big Knife: Drama. Good.
Blood Alley: Adventure. Fair.
The Cobweb: Hospital drama. Fair.
The Colditz Story: Drama. Good.
Count 3 and Pray: Drama. Fair. Crashout: Prison drama. Fair.
The Dam Busters: Air war. Excellent. Female on the Beach: Drama. Fair.
5 Against the House: Drama. Fair. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes: Musical.
The Girl Rush: Comic musical. Good. The Great Adventure: Wildlife. Excellent.
House of Bamboo: Suspense. Good.
I Am a Camera: Comedy. Fair, it’s Always Fair Weather: Satire and
musical comedy. Excellent.
The Kentuckian: Adventure. Poor.
Kiss of Fire: Adventure. Poor.
Lady and the Tramp: Cartoon. Good.
Lady Godiva: Comedy-drama. Fair.
The Left Hand of God: Drama. Fair. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing:
Romantic drama. Fair.
Marty: Comedy-drama. Excellent.
Mister Roberts: Comedy. Excellent.
The Night Holds Terror: Crime. Good. The Night My Number Came Up: British suspense drama. Good.
Night of the Hunter: Drama. Fair.
Not as a Stranger: Drama. Fair. Passage Home: Sea drama. Fair.
Pete Kelly’s Blues: Jazz drama. Good. The Phénix City Story: Crime. Good. Raising a Riot: Comedy. Fair.
The Scarlet Coat: 1 780 drama. Good. Seven Cities of Gold: Semi-religious
The Seven-Year Itch: Comedy. Good.
The Shrike: Psychiatric drama. Fair. Special Delivery: Comedy. Fair.
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