In Paris, a down and out medical student Johann Radek (Franchot Tone) is paid by Bill Kirby (Robert Hutton) to murder his wealthy aunt. A knife grinder (Burgess Meredith) is suspected, but ... See full summary »
When young Danny Lambert runs away from camp in south-central Colorado, he becomes the object of a park-wide-search by his wealthy father Robertson Lambert. He is found by Jerry Barker and ... See full summary »
Howard W. Koch
A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
Squire Pierre St. Laurent returns from wars in India to 17th-century provincial France to find his estate confiscated by governor Narbonne, for back taxes, and resold to Katrina, a Dutch ... See full summary »
Cocky car racer Nick Jargin has retired since he nearly caused the death of his brother at a hairpin bend on a circuit. He now holds a trendy café who keeps him busy full time until one day... See full summary »
Canada Lee was set to star as Bigger Thomas (he had shot to fame in Orson Welles's Broadway production of Native Son), but he was stuck in limbo with South African customs agents during the filming of Cry, the Beloved Country (1951), not to mention his failing health eventually caused Lee to back out of the project. See more »
As an admirer of Wright's written work - especially "Native Son" - I had incredibly low expectations for several reasons: there was next to no budget, the cast and crew (including the starring role) were all amateurs, the director was not American and had never made an American film before this, the film had to be shot in Argentina, and "Native Son" is such a dense, complex, psychological piece of work to begin with.
But, if you look at this as a simple B-movie melodrama with a racial subtext that was badly missing from almost all of the films of its day, it isn't bad. In film, you don't get motivation, you get action, and the novel "Native Son" was all about hidden motivations and desires. Maybe it was a bad idea to even attempt to make Wright's novel into a film, but one must give him and the filmmakers credit for trying. In the era just before the McCarthy hearings and the blacklist, a feature film released to the public that was even half as potent as Wright's novel would have been commendable.
An idea actually occurred to me while watching this: someone should make a feature film about the making of "Native Son." From what I've read, the production faced many obstacles and setbacks, both physical and ideological, and I think the story behind this would be fascinating
especially the difficulty of an author playing his own creation while
trying to maintain his artistic integrity. Of course, Wright's life was fascinating in and of itself. Spike Lee, are you listening?
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