THE DIVIDED HEART: A real-life drama about an adopted wartime child whose real mother, a Yugoslav, turns up alive and wants him back from his adoring foster parents, who are Germans. Instead of a maudlin tearjerker, the result is a screenplay of genuine power and sensitivity, with a subtle performance by Yvonne Mitchell as the Yugoslav. A British film.
BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK: A one-armed war veteran on a kindly mission meets hostility, brutality and mob frenzy in a desert whistle-stop town. Spencer Tracy and Robert Ryan are the main antagonists in this superior widescreen western.
BATTLE CRY: Some smashing war scenes and an able characterization by Van Heflin as a tough major compensate for a lot of familiar corn in a CinemaScope yarn about the Marines in the Pacific.
LONG JOHN SILVER: An Australian-made sequel to R. L. Stevenson’s (and Walt Disney’s) Treasure Island, with Robert Newton in robust hammy fettle as Old Peg-Leg. Recommended for children.
MAD ABOUT MEN: A mild British farce about a flirtatious mermaid, with Glynis Johns repeating the fish-girl role she originated in Miranda (1948). The first one was funnier.
THE SEA SHALL NOT HAVE THEM: The Royal Air Force’s air-sea rescue service in 1944 is the corporate hero of this earnest but banal British war drama. Good open-sea shots of crash survivors drifting in a rubber dinghy.
THE SILVER CHALICE: Another widescreen semi-Biblical item from Hollywood, no more fatuous than most of them, but a little slower. Canada’s Lome Greene does well in a brief but sonorous role as the Apostle Peter. With Virginia Mayo, Jack Paiance.
VERA CRUZ: A western—loud, silly, but cheerfully energetic—in which Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster are brawling buddies in Mexico. In SuperScope, another panoramic process.
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