Convicted murderess Valerie Carns (Ann Blyth) is being transported to Norwich to be executed when a flood strands her and her guards at a convent hospital. Nurse Sister Mary (Claudette ... See full summary »
Alvah, a young GI who happens to own a vineyard, elopes to Las Vegas with Lee, his housekeeper's daughter. But Alvah's chicken pox postpone the wedding night. The rest revolves around more ... See full summary »
A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
Brendan O'Malley arrives at the Mexican home of old flame Belle Breckenridge to find her married to a drunkard getting ready for a cattle drive to Texas. Hot on O'Malley's heels is lawman ... See full summary »
In 1931, Elizabeth Rambeau comes from England to live in California with her aunt and uncle of a winemaking dynasty, who are still wealthy despite 12 years of Prohibition. Object: marriage ... See full summary »
The naive Evelyn Warren, elected shool-teacher of the year by Time Magazine, goes to Las Vegas, where she loses a lot of money. In order to pay her debts, casino-manager Matt Braddock asks ... See full summary »
Circa 1900, runaway boy Nugget arrives in an Oklahoma boom town to find his brother...who's a dealer in the casino section of a palatial bawdy house, and lover of the madam, Tacey Cromwell.... See full summary »
Single parents Jean Bowen and Brad Stubbs meet at the train station when they send their kids (his 2 girls, her 2 boys) off to camp. Love inevitably blooms. But there are complications: ... See full summary »
In the 1930's, a First World War flying ace named Roger Schumann is reduced to making appearances on the crash-and-burn circuit of stunt aerobatics. His family are forced to live like dogs while Shumann pursues his only true love, the airplane. When Burke Devlin, a reporter, shows up on the scene to do a "whatever happened to" story on Shumann, he is repulsed by the war hero's diminished circumstances and, conversely, drawn to his stunning wife, LaVerne. Written by
When Laverne does her parachute jump, she is seen in close shots hanging by her arms from a trapeze-style bar. However in the longer shots, she is seen to be in a normal parachute harness as she lands. See more »
On the level, what'd you do last night?
Nothing much:just sat up half the night discussing literature and life with a beautiful, half naked blonde.
You better change bootleggers.
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The Forgotten Sirk Film...Still Watchable for His Familiar Touch
This is the forgotten Douglas Sirk film from his golden period in the 1950's when he made such classic Baroque-style women's pictures as "Magnificent Obsession", "All That Heaven Allows", "Written on the Wind" and "Imitation of Life". The black-and-white 1958 film doesn't have the saturated color palette of Sirk's frequent cinematographer, Russell Metty (who did lens those other films), nor does the story, based on William Faulkner's novel "Pylon", have as strong an orientation toward a female protagonist as the others. Yet, the film has many of the filmmaker's trademark melodramatic flourishes and some superb shot compositions, this time photographed by Irving Glassberg. The result is quite worthwhile and sadly not available yet on DVD.
Set in 1932 New Orleans (though you can hardly tell from the anachronistic 1950's-era wardrobe and sets), the plot focuses on Roger Shumann, a former WWI flying ace who has been relegated to racing around pylons in air shows for prize money. He's married to LaVerne, so in love with Roger that she became a parachute jumper to please him, while raising their son Jack, who worships the ground on which Roger walks. Speaking of hero worship, there is also the dim-witted Jiggs, Roger's loyal mechanic, who holds a torch for LaVerne. Into this dysfunctional band comes local newspaperman Burke Devlin, who smells a good story in reporting on this transient family living hand to mouth to fulfill Roger's intractable need to fly. A lot of emotional gut-punches are thrown among these characters, especially between Roger and LaVerne, until a late moment of clarity seems to arrive too late. The last fifteen minutes contain come far-fetched plot convolutions, but they are in the spirit of the piece.
Sirk reunited three of his stars from 1956's "Written on the Wind" - Rock Hudson, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone - to play the three principals, so they know how to maintain conviction with more than a touch of Sirk's often maddening soap opera excess. Hudson, in particular, really shines in this sort of material as Devlin, even in a hilariously conceived drunken speech at the end. Stack is his typical jaw-clenching self though with a morbid sense of self-loathing only Sirk could serve up, and Malone is surprisingly sensual as LaVerne, whether fighting off her impulses about Devlin or hanging on to a trapeze bar as she floats off her parachute with her skirt billowing up (a classic shot). Jack Carson plays Jiggs as the pathetically smitten man he is, while Christopher Olsen has a heartbreaking scene where he is stuck on an amusement park ride watching fate deal its hand (trivia
Olsen is Cindy Brady's real-life brother). This isn't an out-and-out
great film but still a very watchable entry in the Sirk canon.
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