Engineer Johnny Munroe is enlisted to build a railroad tunnel through a mountain to reach mines. His task is complicated, and his ethics are compromised, when he falls in love with his ... See full summary »
Dorothy Hunter is an heiress of untold wealth. She believes no one will love her for herself and not for her money, so she pretends to be her secretary Sylvia while Sylvia pretends to be ... See full summary »
Carol likes her boss, but does not get involved with him as so many other secretaries would. She instead falls for a poor riveter and leaves to be married. She soon finds that the poor ... See full summary »
It is the bottom of the depression and Sol Glass has the idea that the girls in the stenographic department should be used to entertain the clients. Seems the clients are tiring of the ... See full summary »
The young Gascon D'Artagnan arrives in Paris, his heart set on joining the king's Musketeers. He is taken under the wings of three of the most respected and feared Musketeers, Porthos, ... See full summary »
Marge is a capable secretary, but her bosses are more interested in her than her abilities. This causes her to be frequently unemployed. To get a job, she changes her look to make herself ... See full summary »
Carol Rogers returns from Europe to discover that her recently deceased father has left her with huge debts and no resources to pay them. Aunt Jane suggests that Carol marry a South ... See full summary »
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. (Denis Sanders, 1959) ***
To begin with, I almost did not acquire this when I chanced upon it, since the film does not have much of a reputation; even so, it has recently been released on DVD-R as part of Warners' "Archive Collection", running 96 minutes (like the version I watched) rather than 78 as listed on the IMDb! In any case, the result is undeniably gripping (given the source material) and decidedly accomplished (in spite of the obvious low budget) with gleaming cinematography by Floyd Crosby and a jazzy score by Herschel Burke Gilbert.
Best of all, the performances (notably, as always, the arrogant protagonist and his wily nemesis) are reasonably impressive. George Hamilton (being nominated for a BAFTA award in his film debut) kind of channels Anthony Perkins here, and it is unfortunate that he would soon forsake such thoughtful roles for sophisticated (and, in the long run, superficial) ones. Frank Silvera plays his pivotal cop role as something of a buffoon; Mary Murphy's character, then, does not shy away from discussing her sordid 'profession'; while John Harding appears as the seducer of the hero's sister. Incidentally, Hamilton's scenes with the latter two are only slightly less compelling than his confrontations with Silvera (established in previous cinematic renditions as the novel's centerpiece).
As the title suggests, Dostoyevsky's morality tale has been updated to modern-day America: curiously, it eschews the pivotal figure of the pawnbroker entirely (though we are still told why the murder was committed) indeed, the narrative here starts off with the arrest of the painter! Still, the victim's essentially disagreeable characteristics are transferred onto the afore-mentioned Harding which seemed unnecessary at first, but this does generate an intriguing complicity between the two murderers paid off, most effectively, in ironical fashion when the student ultimately confesses because he believes the other fellow killed himself out of remorse when it was over rejection!
In the end, the film is pretentious (boasting a powerful script by Walter Newman), with a tendency towards sleaze; that said, this mature approach is quite redolent of the transitional period in which it was made being entrenched somewhere between studio-system Hollywood and the 'movie brats' generation. For the record, this was also director Sanders' first effort, of whose later work I have watched (and own) WAR HUNT (1962), ELVIS: THAT'S THE WAY IT IS (1970/2000) and INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (1973); besides, I have just acquired THE American WEST OF JOHN FORD (1971; TV) and am interested in ONE MAN'S WAY and SHOCK TREATMENT (both 1964).
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