Reviews written by registered user
MISSMARCH

3 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

Julie (1956)
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Provides realism as well as suspense., 15 November 2002

The writer-director (and producer of many other films, although not this one) Andrew L. Stone was only nominated once for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, and he was very proud of this one. I worked for Stone in the mid-1970's, and he looked back at "JULIE" as a piece of his finest work.

The maniacal husband-as-stalker was a new kind of character for films in 1956. The honest discussion of how law enforcement often failed 'women in jeopardy' brought up issues which only became widely discussed in the 1970's.

Doris Day plays the role of a terrorized wife trying to escape from the husband who is trying to kill her, and this is such a well-done treatment of the subject that even jaded audiences today respond to it.

The climactic scene in which Doris Day lands the passenger plane with help from the control tower is riveting, because it is based on fact. Andrew L. Stone was an exhaustive researcher, and you can be sure every detail of that scene was checked and re-checked. It would have happened in real life just as you see it on the screen.

Stone kept a collection of 'true crime' magazines dating from the 1930's in his office library, and he had dozens of plot ideas for thrillers like this one. However, he had always been his own boss and not a 'studio man'. Hollywood didn't give him big budgets, and he never had the opportunity to continue his career as Hitchcock did. Mentally sharp through his 80's, Stone spent the last decade of his life trying to put deals together to make movies that never got off the ground. Our loss.

15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Women's Lib in Merry Olde England, 13 November 2002

"You've done very well for yourself, Amber."

With this line, Cornell Wilde's character shows himself a master of understatement. It is delivered coldly, with neither criticism nor respect.

FOREVER AMBER is the portrait of a peasant girl who refused to be destroyed by her poverty and the hopeless prospects awaiting her. She used her sexuality and her brains to become the King's consort.

This film presents a vivid portrait of life in England before the Cromwellian revolution. It was an amoral, extremely cynical, heartlessly cruel society.

Linda Darnell's performance is a tour de force. She manages to play the strumpet, while letting the audience see her strength of character shining through all the while. Her love for the fickle Bruce Carlton/Cornell Wilde is too deep for him to ever understand.

One of the most haunting episodes in classic films is the depiction of London in the grip of the Black Plague. Amber risks her life by staying at Bruce's side through his delirium and personally performing the surgery that saves him.

Amber's tragedy is one that every woman who has ever had to fight for herself in this world can recognize. The movie is far more than a period soap opera. In fact, with David Raksin's incredible orchestral score, the production could have provided the framework for the composition of a real opera.... La Boheme, move over!

Moby Dick (1956)
38 out of 50 people found the following review useful:
Calls you to the sea again..., 13 November 2002

This is a film that becomes part of you. I used to watch it over and over again on TV when it was shown during my childhood in the 1960's, and I never tire of watching it. And whenever I find myself living somewhere away from the ocean, the longing is intense to find water again. "Call me Ishmael".

The screenplay was written by Ray Bradbury, and it was his first. In his lectures and interviews, Bradbury always seems to tell the story of how John Huston contacted him out of the blue for this assignment. Evidently, he flew Bradbury and his wife to Ireland, where the science fiction writer was holed up in a hotel for a few weeks, in a wonderful agony of creation.

Bradbury has always been enamoured with classic novels. His book "Fahrenheit 451" told us how great literature somehow becomes subversive, in a controlled society. Under fascism, individuals are not encouraged to understand what it is to be truly human. Life becomes flat, and it is a deliberate process.

Before I had a VCR, I taped this movie on an audio cassette. It was an amazing experience to see it unfold in my mind's eye.

Bradbury put his whole heart into this screenplay, and the result can never be matched.