7 items from 2013
Jeanne Crain: Lighthearted movies vs. real life tragedies (photo: Madeleine Carroll and Jeanne Crain in ‘The Fan’) (See also: "Jeanne Crain: From ‘Pinky’ Inanity to ‘Margie’ Magic.") Unlike her characters in Margie, Home in Indiana, State Fair, Centennial Summer, The Fan, and Cheaper by the Dozen (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes), or even in the more complex A Letter to Three Wives and People Will Talk, Jeanne Crain didn’t find a romantic Happy Ending in real life. In the mid-’50s, Crain accused her husband, former minor actor Paul Brooks aka Paul Brinkman, of infidelity, of living off her earnings, and of brutally beating her. The couple reportedly were never divorced because of their Catholic faith. (And at least in the ’60s, unlike the humanistic, progressive-thinking Margie, Crain was a “conservative” Republican who supported Richard Nixon.) In the early ’90s, she lost two of her »
- Andre Soares
Esther Williams: ‘Pools and Smiles’ formula grows stale [See previous post: "Esther Williams: Swimwear MGM Musical Star Dies."] By the early ’50s, Louis B. Mayer had been ousted from the studio he had helped to found, having been replaced by Dore Schary. Whether or not a coincidence, with the exception of Million Dollar Mermaid, the Esther Williams movies of the ’50s — e.g., The Duchess of Idaho, Skirts Ahoy! (stolen by Vivian Blaine in a supporting role), Dangerous When Wet, Easy to Love — lacked the luster of those released in the previous decade, despite more prestigious directors (George Sidney, Charles Walters, Robert Z. Leonard) and the usual co-stars (Van Johnson, Red Skelton, Howard Keel). (Photo: Esther Williams in Million Dollar Mermaid.) Not surprisingly, although MGM’s color musicals would remain in vogue a few more years, Esther Williams and the studio parted ways following George Sidney’s tired-looking Jupiter’s Darling (1956), with Williams and Howard Keel (as Hannibal) fooling around in ancient times. »
- Andre Soares
With a title like House of a Thousand Dolls, Vincent Price starring and an opening scene featuring a horse drawn hearse you would be forgiven for thinking that the film is horror based. You soon find out that this is not the case but it may at least be paying a cheeky homage to its iconic star. The fact is though that House of a Thousand Dolls is a very different beast.
While vacationing in the Tangiers a couple meet an old friend searching for his missing girlfriend who is believed to have been kidnapped by a group of slave traders. When the friend is killed the couple are dragged into investigating both the death and kidnapping which appears to »
Nowhere to Go (1958) starts well, with an almost nine-minute prison break sequence that's highly unusual because it shows someone breaking into a prison. In this case it's Bernard Lee (M in James Bond) who's the one scaling the wall. Bold? Perhaps...but it certainly sets the tone for what is surely an eventful film...
George Nader plays suave conman Paul Gregory, who latches onto wealthy widow Harriet Johnson because she has a rare coin collection. Posing as a playwright stuck on 'the second act' he arranges the sale of her coins, insisting that he be paid on her behalf in cash for the £50,000. At this point, I could delve further into the plot but...well...I think you can guess the rest.
Jazz fans will enjoy the jazz score by British star Dizzy Reece. Non-jazz fans like me might find it grating at times. Do not watch this movie if you've got a headache. »
(Seth Holt, 1958, StudioCanal, PG)
In 1956 Sir Michael Balcon appointed the Observer's energetic 29-year-old theatre critic, Kenneth Tynan, as Ealing Studios' script editor at a handsome £2,000 a year. His job was to bring in new writers, actors and ideas. Little came of this. Tynan suggested some interesting projects, all passed on to other studios. He wrote a brilliant six-page letter to Balcon about what was wrong with the unadventurous way he ran Ealing that was probably never posted, and he co-scripted the tough, low-budget thriller Nowhere to Go, the studio's penultimate production.
Tynan's collaborator on Nowhere to Go was Seth Holt, veteran Ealing editor and producer who was determined his directorial debut should be "the least Ealing film ever made". A realistic noir thriller in an American tradition that was then coming to an end, it has none of Ealing's Little Englishness, respect for authority or sense of community. Its »
- Philip French
★★★★☆ Seth Holt's Nowhere to Go (1958), starring George Nader, Maggie Smith and Bernard Lee, is a film which still packs a punch more than fifty years after its initial release. Paul Gregory (Nader) is a crook. Stealing a valuable coin collection from vulnerable widow Harriet Jefferson (Bessie Love), he sells it, puts the money in a safe deposit box and allows himself to be captured. Expecting to get five years maximum, he is shocked when he is jailed for ten. With the help of his friend Victor Sloane (Lee), Paul escapes and goes on the run, in the process meeting socialite Bridget Howard (Smith). Bridget is determined to help Paul, but for how long can they evade the law?
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
Nowhere to Go, 1958.
Directed by Seth Holt.
After breaking out of prison, a thief and conman attempts to flee the country only to end up on the run in the Welsh countryside.
Don’t expect to sympathise with a man like Paul Gregory (George Nader). He’s used up his friends, burned all his bridges and leeched off the goodwill of strangers long enough. Cool indifference and conversational sleight of hand are his professional trademark. He engineers friendships, cultivates sympathy and expects everyone to consider human relations in the same manner.
Paul Gregory is a con man. It’d be more honest to call him a high-functioning sociopath, as the actions that lead him from one disaster to the next all hinge on his inability to truly feel anything for anyone else. He says his friends call him ‘Greg’. What friends? »
7 items from 2013
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