Slapstick recalling the silent-screen hilarities of the Keystone Cops is the enjoyable basic ingredient in this French farce, along with a few mature ironies at the expense of human nature and its foibles. Moviemaker Jacques Tati’s own performance, as a befuddled innocent at a seaside resort, is a bit monotonous for my taste, but the picture is fast and funny. No self-conscious Gallic “naughtiness,” either.
THE BAMBOO PRISON: A pulp-fiction mellerdrammer about an American sergeant (Robert Francis) who pretends to be a traitor in Korea. He’s really a spy for Uncle Sam. A brainwasher’s Russian wife (Dianne Foster) becomes his secret beloved.
A LIFE IN THE BALANCE: Some good cat-and-mouse suspense is weighed down by overdoses of banal “philosophical” dialogue in a yarn about a homicidal religious fanatic (Lee Marvin) who gets a brave small boy in his clutches in Mexico City.
THE LOVES OF VERDI: A sombre, earnest and rather dull Italian biography of the composer, brightened by several ( but not enough ) well-sung excerpts from his operas. Actor Pierre Cressoy, all whiskers and dignity, impersonates Verdi.
THE OTHER WOMAN: Hugo Haas in yet another self-written, selfdirected performance as a middle-aged man trapped and destroyed by a scheming female (Cleo Moore). Hollywood itself is the locale. There are many effective moments but the net effect is one of tabloid trash.
SIX BRIDGES TO CROSS: A lifelong criminal's sudden change of heart in the final reel is no more convincing than usual, but in other respects this is a solid, interesting little underworld thrillerA cop (George Nader) and a hoodlum (Tony Curtis) are the friendly antagonists.
WHITE FEATHER: An eye-filling widescreen western (cavalry-versusInjuns division), recommended for youngsters and tolerable for adults. With Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Debra Paget.
Gilmour’s Guide to the Current Crop
Adventures of Hajji Baba: Arabian
Nights mellerdrammer. Poor.
Aida: Opera. Excellent.
Athena: Satiric comedy. Fair.
Th"' Atomic Kid: Comedy. Fair.
Bad Day at Black Rock: Suspense. Good. The Barefoot Contessa: Drama. Good. Battle Cry: War and sex. Fair.
The Beachcomber: Comedy. Fair.
The Belles of St. Trinians: British
Black Knight: Action. Fair for kids. Black Widow: Whodunit. Good.
Bob Mathias Story: Athletics. Good. The Bounty Hunter: Western. Good. The Bridges at Toko-Ri: War. Excellent. Brigadoon: Fantasy-musical. Fair. .Broken Lance: Western. Excellent.
The Caine Mutiny: Drama. Good. Carmen Jones: Negro opera. Excellent. Chance Meeting: Drama. Good.
The Country Girl: Drama. Excellent. Deep in My Heart: Musical. Fair. Désirée: historical drama. Fair.
Destry: Western. Fair.
The Divided Heart: Drama. Excellent. Drive a Crooked Road: Crime. Good. Drum Beat: Western. Fair.
The Far Country: Western. Poor.
Father Brown, Detective: British crime comedy. Good.
The Kidnappers: Drama. Excellent. Lease of Life: Drama. Good.
I Little Fugitive: Comedy. Excellent.
The Long Gray Line: Comedy-drama. Good.
Long John Silver: Pirate comedy-drama. Fair for kids.
Mad About Men: Mermaid farce. Fair. On the Waterfront: Drama. Excellent. Prince of Players: Drama. Good.
Rear Window: Suspense. Excellent. Romeo and Juliet: Drama. Excellent. The Sea Shall Not Have Them: British war-at-sea drama. Fair.
7 Brides for 7 Brothers: Widescreen musical. Excellent.
The Silver Chalice: Semi-Biblical drama. Fair.
Sitting Bull: Western. Poor.
So This Is Paris: Musical. Fair.
A Star Is Born: Musical. Excellent. There’s No Business Like Show Business:
This Is My Love: Drama. Poor.
Three Ring Circus: Comedy. Fair. Tonight’s the Night: Comedy. Good. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Marine fantasy-adventure. Good. Underwater!: Adventure. Fair.
The Vanishing Prairie: Walt Disney
wild-life feature. Excellent.
Vera Cruz: Serio-comic western. Fair. The Violent Men: Western. Fair.
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