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Paths of Glory (1957)
This is one of the most heartbreaking films ever made! It was probably ahead of its time when it came out... or maybe the critics and the public back then simply couldn't handle the truth! George Macready, with that creepy facial scar was epitome of high-ranking military hubris, while Adolphe Menjou also willfully blind to his own arrogant pride...! The military brass turned a deaf ear to Kirk Douglas' words...so their silence would drown out the sound of gunfire and the condemned mens' screams. Kirk Douglas is solid here - you wish you could speak your mind to your boss like he does! I can't say enough about the rest of the cast: the great Ralph Meeker breaks your heart here! Wacky Tim Carey as the one of the other condemned soldiers delivers a solid performance. Of course, the last scene in the movie where the only girl in the movie (Suzanne Christian) slowly changes the mood in the café with her little song! One of the greatest movies of all time!
Cheap Perfume and Handier Men
"I like cheap perfume better; it doesn't last as long..." - Ralph Meeker's convict character (Lawson) tells this to Barbara Stanwyck's Helen character, after he gets a whiff of the perfume that she picked out w/her husband in Tijuana...! This line cracked me up, and also seemed like a metaphor for this film - that cheap is better than expensive, because a cheap perfume-loving man who has a way with a 2 x 4 is a better man to have around in the long run! I agree with some of the other comments posted about Helen's attraction to Lawson. Even though her narration states that she wants Lawson to be put away, she did seem attracted to his fiery nature, and that passion he stirred up in her wouldn't likely wash away with the tide!
The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957)
Taming of the Shrew?
I recently saw this film for the first time, and thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm a big Ralph Meeker fan, so that's what motivated me to watch it, since I can't find many films in which he played leads. I liked how Jane Russell's movie star character who is in control of her career (who happens to be a smart business "girl") interacted with his angry man character! It's not the best movie ever made, but it is very entertaining...I can't believe it 'flopped' when it came out! Maybe it was ahead of its time, or maybe the idea of kidnapping isn't funny to moviegoers! Anyhoo, it's great fun, has a great score by Billy May (who worked with Frank Sinatra). One of my favorite scenes in the movie is towards the beginning, when "Laurel Stevens" (Jane Russell) is trying to charm/seduce the Ralph Meeker/"Mike" character: While they are talking to each other, he avoids looking at her the whole time, and he turns his body away from her every time she gets closer - through the entire scene! All the while, she is using every feminine wile she can on him to get her way! Very funny!