Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
Former burlesque star May and her daughter Peggy dance in the chorus. When May has a fight with featured dancer Bubbles, Bubbles leaves the show and Peggy takes her place. When Peggy falls ... See full summary »
Jeff Carter has put an end to the town's delinquency with a boys' club. Young hoodlum Danny shows up and influences teenagers Doris, Willy and Leo. They hang out at a juke joint where Eve ... See full summary »
When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
The title river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.
Prizefighter Johnny is in love with his promoter O'Malley's daughter Pat. His best friend, sports reporter Rick, is also in love with her but knows that she loves Johnny. Lonely Rick takes ... See full summary »
Five O' Henry stories, each separate. The primary one from the critic's acclaim was "The Cop and the Anthem". Soapy tells fellow bum Horace that he is going to get arrested so he can spend the winter in a nice jail cell. He fails. He can't even accost a woman; she turns out to be a streetwalker. The other stories are "The Clarion Call", "The Last Leaf", "The Ransom of Red Chief", and "The Gift of the Magi". Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After the popular and critical success of two British anthology films based on W. Somerset Maugham short stories, Quartet (1948) and Trio (1950), with different casts and crews for each episode, 20th Century-Fox felt that the time was right for an American version of this format. See more »
Terrific 1952 film highlighting the famous writer's work. It certainly must have been a pleasure to be a contract player for 20th Century Fox at that time so that you could have a part in such a great film.
The most poignant of the 5 vignettes shown was where Anne Baxter, a rejected woman, is succumbing to pneumonia and equates her situation to falling leaves. With her sister, Jean Peters at her side, she continues to fail as the leaves fall off. Gregory Ratoff is marvelous as the upstairs neighbor, Mr. Berman, whose paintings aren't appreciated as he paints out of the ordinary sequences. His final effort, a life-saver for Baxter, is memorable and so touching.
2 segments provided comic relief. Charles Laughton is sensational as the hobo trying to get arrested so as to avoid the cold wintry weather on the streets. While in church he promises to mend his ways and look for work only to finally be arrested for vagrancy and sentenced to 90 days. Laughton, as versatile as ever, is aided by David Wayne. The second comedy is where Fred Allen and Oscar Levant kidnap a young boy only to get more than they bargained for in "Ransom of Red Chief." Both men are hilarious as they fall victim to the young menacing brat.
The always excellent Richard Widmark almost reprises his role in 1947's "Kiss of Death." He again displays that sinister laugh and face in a segment with Dale Robertson, both men matching wits as friends. Robertson grew up as a cop and you can guess what Widmark has become.
The film ends with the final segment of the meaning of the Christmas holiday with Jean Crain and Farley Granger.
The film is so good because each story essentially deals with sacrifice in its own way. This is truly a classic to be remembered through the ages.
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