BECK index
Movie Mirrors Index

More Movies from 1955

Movie Mirrors

by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1955

Movie Mirrors Introduction

Abbreviations
 Title

Min.

c S M H P V En Ed
 Ain’t Misbehavin’ 82   c  5  5  5      5  4
 Alligator Named Daisy, An 88   c    5        5  4
 Artists and Models 109   c  6  6  5  5  5  5  4
 At Gunpoint 81   b  5  5  4  5  4  5  5
 Big Combo, The 88   b  7  6  6  5  6  5 4
 Big House, U.S.A. 83   b  6  5  4      5  4
 Captain Lightfoot 92   c  5  6  4      5  4
 Cast a Dark Shadow 82   b  5  6  5    6  5  5
 Chief Crazy Horse 86   c  4  5  4      5  5
 Cobweb, The 124   c  7  4  4    4  5  5
 Cockleshell Heroes, The 97   c  6  4  4      5  4
 Dreams (Swedish) 87   b    4    4  4  5  4
 Far Horizons, The 108   c  5  5  4    4  5  4
 Footsteps in the Fog 90   c  4  6  5      5  4
 Foxfire 91   c  5  5  4      5  5
 Glass Slipper, The 93   c  6  5  4  4  4  5  5
 House of Bamboo 103   c  5  5  6      5  4
 Illegal 88   b  4  5  5    5  5 5
 Indian Fighter, The 88   c  5  6  4    6  5  4
 Jupiter’s Darling 97   c  4  5  5  5  4  5  4
 Kentuckian, The 104   c  5  5  4  5  5  5  5
 Kid for Two Farthings, A 90   c  8  6  5    5  5  5
 Kismet 113   c  4  5  4  4  4  5  5
 Land of the Pharaohs 105   c  6  5  5  4  5  5  5
 Last Command, The 110   c  6  5  5  4  5  5  5
 Last Frontier, The (Savage Wilderness) 98   c  4  5  4    5  5  4
 Lawless Street, A 77   c  6  5  5  5  5  5  4
 Littlest Outlaw, The 74   c  5  6  5    5  5  5
 Man Without a Star 89   c  6  6  5  5  6  5  4
 Many Rivers to Cross 95   c  6  5  5      5  4
 McConnell Story, The 107 
c
5
6
4
4
5
5
4
 Mr. Arkadin 105   b  6  5  4  4  6  5  5
 Pather Panchali (Bengali) 126   b  8  7  8  7  8  5  5
 Prisoner, The 94   b  7  6  5  7  6  5  5
 Private War of Major Benson, The 105   c  6  5  4   5  5  4
 Prize of Gold, A 98   c  6  6  4      5  4
 Prodigal, The 113   c  3  5  4  5  5  5  4
 Queen Bee 95   b  6  6  5    5  5  5
 Quentin Durward 101   c  6  5  5      5  5
 Rage at Dawn 87   c  5  4  4  7  5  5  5
 Rains of Ranchipur, The 104   c  5  5  4      5  5
 Rififi (French) 118   b  6  4        5 5
 Run for Cover 92   c  6  5  5      5  5
 Scarlet Coat, The 100   c  4  5  4      5  5
 Second Greatest Sex, The 107   c  4  3  4      5  5
 Six Bridges to Cross 96   b  6  5  4      5  5
 Smoke Signal 88   c  5  5      4  5
 So This Is Paris 96   c  6  5  4      5  4
 Soldier of Fortune 95   c  5  6  5  4  5  5  4
 Storm Fear 88   b  5  4  4      5  4
 Strange Lady in Town 112   c  5  5  4      5  5
 Strategic Air Command 113   c  5  5  4  4  5  4  5
 Tall Men, The 122   c  4  2  5  3  4  5  4
 Three for the Show 89   c  4  4  5      5  4
 Tight Spot 96   b  6  7  4      5  4
 Top Gun 74   b  5  5        5  4
 Violent Men, The 96   c  5  5  5  5  5  5  4
 Violent Saturday 90   c  6  6  5   4  5  5
 Warriors, The 85   c  5  5  5  5  5  5  5
 We’re No Angels 106   c  5  5  5  4  5  5  4
 White Feather 102   c  4  5  5      5  5
 Wichita 81   c  5  5      5  5
 Women’s Prison 80   b  4  4  5      4  5

Abbreviations
b = black and white
c = color
S = Scheuer's rating
M = Maltin's rating
H = Halliwell's rating
P = Martin & Porter's rating
V = Videohound's rating
En = Beck's entertainment value
Ed = Beck's educational value

Ain’t Misbehavin’

(1955 c 82’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Wealthy Kenneth Post (Rory Calhoun) always has public relations man Hal North (Jack Carson) looking out for him. Ken sees Sarah Bernhardt Hatfield (Piper Laurie) on television and goes to see her show. She is glad to meet a rich young man, and they quickly fall in love and marry. After some bad publicity because of her social faults, she asks bachelor Piermont (Reginald Gardiner) to help her learn to be sophisticated; but this turns off Ken so much that they are about to divorce before she realizes he loves her better the way she was.

         This comedy satirizes the lifestyle of the upper class by showing that two down-to-earth people can get along fine without putting on such airs.

An Alligator Named Daisy

(1955 c 88’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Charles Terrot’s novel, Peter Weston (Donald Sinden) is given a pet alligator. Though he is engaged to beautiful Vanessa Colebrook (Diana Dors), Peter falls in love with animal-lover Moira O’Shannon (Jeannie Carson), who helps him get used to his alligator. Meanwhile wealthy Sir James Colebrook (James Robertson Justice) is trying to arrange the wedding.

         This farce plays upon people’s natural fear of alligators which is gradually mollified by more familiarity with the creatures.

Artists and Models

(1955 c 109’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Artist Rick Todd (Dean Martin) and comic-book enthusiast Eugene Fullstack (Jerry Lewis) are trying to write children’s books, and they meet artist Abigail Parker (Dorothy Malone) and model Bessie Sparrowbrush (Shirley MacLaine), whom Eugene imagines is the bat lady. His dreams inspire stories for Rick, but their comic books reveal top secrets of the US space program, alerting the FBI and foreign spies to the dangers and opportunities.

         This slapstick comedy entertains with songs, beautiful women, romance, and farcical humor. The violence demanded by their boss, Mr. Murdock (Eddie Mayehoff) reflects the current concern that comic books are a bad influence on the young. The struggle between the US and Soviet spies over space innovation reflects the accelerating arms race between the superpowers.

At Gunpoint

(1955 c 81’) En: 5 Ed: 5

During a bank robbery in a small town, a teller and the sheriff are shot dead. Storekeeper Jack Wright (Fred MacMurray) wounds the man with the money, and George Henderson (Frank Ferguson) kills the man; the others flee. Banker Livingstone (John Qualen) and others make Jack a hero, and George is elected town marshal. Robber Bob Dennis (Skip Homeier) wants revenge; the gang goes back, and he kills George. After the gang returns again and kills a man at Jack’s store, everyone in the town except Jack’s wife Martha (Dorothy Malone) and his son Billy (Tommy Rettig) and old Doc Lacy (Walter Brennan) avoid being near Jack.

         This western depicts the natural fear of people who do not want to be killed by violent criminals; but finally they take the action that is necessary to defend their town. As long as cowardly criminals have access to guns, such tragedies will continue to occur in an armed society.

The Big Combo

(1955 b 88’) En: 5 Ed: 4

The determined police detective Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is investigating crime boss Brown (Richard Conte) and seems to be motivated by his voyeuristic love for Brown’s woman Susan (Jean Wallace). McClure (Brian Donlevy) is second to Brown and wants to take over. Diamond’s investigation costs much and produces little, and he has to persuade his boss Peterson (Robert Middleton) to keep going. Brown has hired Fante (Lee Van Cleef) and Mingo (Earl Holliman) to keep Susan obedient.

         This crime drama suggests repressed sexuality manifesting itself in strange behavior, either in the service of lucrative crime or the self-righteous pursuit of catching criminals.

Big House, U.S.A.

(1955 b 83’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Jerry Barker (Ralph Meeker) kidnaps a boy and collects a $200,000 ransom. Because the boy disappeared, he is only convicted of extortion. In prison Rollo (Broderick Crawford), Mason (William Talman), Alamo (Lon Chaney Jr.), and Benny (Charles Bronson) escape from prison with Barker and try to get the ransom money. The story is narrated by FBI agent James Madden (Reed Hadley), who cracks the case.

         This sordid crime drama depicts the worst side of human nature greedily doing anything for money. The increasing skill of law enforcement is reflected in the thorough work of the investigators in catching the criminals.

Captain Lightfoot

(1955 c 92’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from W. R. Burnett’s novel, in 1815 Michael Martin (Rock Hudson) ignores the advice of the nonviolent leader Regis (Denis O’Dea) and robs a lord for the Irish revolution, but he was seen and flees to Dublin, where he meets the leader Doherty (Jeff Morrow), becomes his second in command, and falls in love with his daughter Aga (Barbara Rush).

         In this adventure Irish revolutionaries fight English dragoons and are extremely lucky at escaping the dangers they run. The Irish leader, who advises nonviolent methods of persuasion, is ignored amid the enthusiasm for violent revolution in the patriotic cause.

Cast a Dark Shadow

(1955 b 82’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Janet Green’s play, Edward Bare (Dirk Bogarde) murders his wife Monica (Mona Washbourne) but discovers she left her money to her sister. His brother-in-law Phillip (Robert Flemyng) suspects foul play. Edward woos and marries crusty Freda (Margaret Lockwood), who expects him to match her money. When he meets wealthy Charlotte (Kay Walsh), he considers his options for getting money of his own.

         This murder thriller is realistically presented and exposes the psychological and ethical problems of a calculating and selfish husband. Because the two surviving women and his brother-in-law are strong characters, he is unable to manipulate them and has to face the consequences of his actions.

Chief Crazy Horse

(1955 c 86’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Major Twist (John Lund) tells the story of his friendship for Crazy Horse (Victor Mature), who is influenced by a prophecy and marries Black Shawl (Suzan Ball). After gold is discovered and draws settlers, Chief Crazy Horse unites the Sioux and others to fight the white soldiers for their independence. However, Little Big Man (Ray Danton) has always opposed Crazy Horse and cooperated with the soldiers.

         This biopic of the great Lakota warrior is presented accurately and sympathetically. Although he is able to capture guns and turn them against the intruders, the native peoples are overwhelmed by the European invaders as they were elsewhere on the American continents.

The Cobweb

(1955 c 124’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on William Gibson’s novel, doctors, employees, and patients share their problems in a psychiatric clinic. Dr. McIver (Richard Widmark) lets patients practice self-government, and conflicts emerge over the choice of drapes for the library. McIver’s wife Karen (Gloria Grahame) is neglected and bored, and she installs her choice. McIver is concerned about suicidal Steven (John Kerr) and is having an affair with nurse Meg (Lauren Bacall). Womanizer Dr. Devanal (Charles Boyer) has been replaced by McIver while elderly Victoria Inch (Lillian Gish) tries to run things too. Steve tries to help the phobic Sue (Susan Strasberg). Mr. Capp (Oscar Levant) suffers from a mother complex.

         This psychological soap opera depicts patients and professionals over-reacting so much that they create a complicated cobweb of human emotions as they get entangled in each other’s psychological problems. Both Gibson and director Vincente Minnelli had some experience with the Menninger clinic. The film reflects the current interest in Freudian psychotherapy that may have mixed results.

The Cockleshell Heroes

(1955 c 97’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a true story, in 1942 Major Stringer (Jose Ferrer) leads a dangerous mission to use canoes and blow up German ships at Bordeaux. After a failure in training, he accepts the military discipline of the more experienced Captain Thompson (Trevor Howard) and Sgt. Craig (Victor Maddern). Eight other marines are selected by their initiative in a training exercise for the risky venture.

         This heroic war drama expresses enthusiasm for various kinds of fighting, including a bar-room brawl against British sailors and a jealous husband getting revenge. The final result of the sacrificial mission is accurate to the actual event and demonstrates the heroism of those marines in the war.

Dreams

(Swedish 1955 b 87’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, two beautiful career women experience an unusual day in Gothenburg. Twenty-year-old Doris (Harriet Andersson) lets a much older man Otto (Gunnar Bjornstrand) buy her a gown, shoes, and a pearl necklace; but after drinking champagne, his daughter Marianne (Kerstin Hedeby) comes in and ruins their brief flirtation. Susanne (Eva Dahlbeck) begs to see the married man Henrik Lobelius (Ulf Palme) she had an affair with seven months ago, and they rekindle their romance; but his wife (Ina Landgré) finds them and explains that he is now financially dependent on her. Doris goes back to her boyfriend (Sven Lindberg) and returns to work with her boss Susanne, who decides not to see Henrik again.

         This drama explores the sadness that can result from illicit relationships that may have passion but do not last long. The old man dreams of another relationship, but his age makes him unattractive. Susanne dreams she can get her lover to leave his wife, but both dreams appear to be doomed to disappointment. This story reflects the more liberal morals that are developing in Sweden in regard to sexual relationships.

The Far Horizons

(1955 c 108’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on the historical novel by Della Gould Emmons, after Julia (Barbara Hale) accepts the proposal of William Clark (Charlton Heston) rather than that of Meriwether Lewis (Fred MacMurray), President Jefferson (Herbert Heyes) sends Lewis with Clark to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory. On the way Clark fights Charboneau (Alan Reed) over beautiful Sacajawea (Donna Reed) and wins her. Clark accepts her, and she becomes their best guide.

         Although the expedition contains true events, the romance between Clark and Sacajawea is fictional. In fact she had married Charboneau, who “owned” her, and she gave birth to his child early in the expedition. Charboneau was their interpreter and with his wife was their main guide during the entire expedition. Thus this western reflects how Hollywood ignores historical truth and provides cheap entertainment in order to draw in customers and make money.

Footsteps in the Fog

(1955 c 90’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Stephen Lowry (Stewart Granger) is mourning his wife’s death. His servant Lily Watkins (Jean Simmons) figures out that he poisoned her, and she blackmails him into making her his housekeeper. He tries to get rid of her; but in protecting him she has become his accomplice after the fact. He promises her to marry her, but finally he gets his revenge against her.

         This murder mystery is intriguing, and ultimately it shows how those who get involved in murder ruin their own lives as well in their attempts to get what they want by foul means.

Foxfire

(1955 c 91’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Anya Seton’s novel, Amanda (Jane Russell) visits Arizona and falls in love with half-Apache Jonathan Dartland (Jeff Chandler), and they quickly marry. He neglects her while pursuing a gold-mine venture, and she spends time with their friend, Dr. Hugh Slater (Dan Duryea). When she meets her husband’s Apache mother Saba (Celia Lovsky), she learns how Apache tradition has affected him.

         This romantic drama explores the culture clash between the suppressed Apaches and the Euro-Americans. A newly wed couple goes through a period of adjustment as they learn how to live together and love one another.

The Glass Slipper

(1955 c 93’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In this version of the Cinderella story, Ella (Leslie Caron) expresses her fantasies by dancing. She is abused by widow Sonder (Elsa Lanchester) and her step-sisters Birdena (Amanda Blake) and Serafina (Lisa Daniels), advised by Mrs. Toquet (Estelle Winwood), and makes friends with Prince Charles (Michael Wilding) and his friend Kovin (Keenan Wynn).

         This romantic fantasy derives from a Chinese play and is the most prolific story in film. It challenges the aristocratic traditions of royalty and titled people as being superior in that a common girl is found to be the best match for the prince, symbolizing the trend toward social mobility based on individual ability and achievement.

House of Bamboo

(1955 c 103’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Directed by Samuel fuller, in Japan after a train robbery the police learn from dying gang member Webber (Biff Elliot) that he is secretly married to Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi). Agent Eddie Kenner (Robert Stack) forms a relationship with her and infiltrates the criminal gang led by Sandy Dawson (Robert Ryan). Gang member Griff (Cameron Mitchell) dislikes Eddie but is suspected by Sandy.

         This crime drama was the first Hollywood movie made in Japan. The American gang is run like a ruthless army unit, reflecting the problems of American forces still in post-war Japan; but it is also American police who are able to stop the criminals.

Illegal

(1955 b 88’) En: 5 Ed: 5

District Attorney Victor Scott (District Attorney) persuades a jury to convict Edward Clary (DeForest Kelley) of first degree murder, and he is executed before news of the real culprit’s confession arrives. Scott is disgraced and drinks heavily, gets thrown in jail for a fight, and starts defending criminals. His foster daughter Ellen Miles (Nina Foch) continues working for the new D. A. and marries colleague Ray Borden (Hugh Marlowe). Scott gets involved with criminal leader Frank Garland (Albert Dekker), and things get complicated between his man Borden and Ellen. Garland’s former friend Angel O’Hara (Jayne Mansfield) becomes a key witness.

            This melodrama depicts the working of criminal law on various cases and unusual courtroom tactics by the former district attorney.

The Indian Fighter

(1955 c 88’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Johnny Hawks (Kirk Douglas) tries to make peace between the Sioux led by Red Cloud (Eduard Franz) and the whites led by Captain Trask (Walter Abel) so that he can lead a wagon train to Oregon; but he is distracted by Red Cloud’s daughter (Elsa Martinelli) and has to overcome Red Cloud’s hostile son Grey Wolf (Harry Landers) and the criminal gold-seekers Wes Todd (Walter Matthau) and Chivington (Lon Chaney Jr.). Susan Rogers (Diana Douglas) tries to entice Hawks into staying with her in Oregon, but she will probably have to settle for farmer Will Crabtree (Alan Hale Jr.).

         This western drama tries to mediate white-Indian conflicts by portraying the “Indian fighter” as having equal respect and friendships with both sides. Each side has their hostile trouble-makers, and the scout suggests that the authorities on each side can enforce the law against them. The historic lust for gold and a naked native American, which caused problems since the time of Columbus, are the factors that provoke greater conflict.

Jupiter’s Darling

(1955 c 97’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from Robert Sherwood’s play The Road to Rome, Amytis (Esther Williams) is engaged to dictator Fabius Maximus (George Sanders), but she and her slave Meta (Marge Champion), for whom she buys the slave Varius (Gower Champion), are captured and taken to Hannibal (Howard Keel) to be executed. Amytis manages to keep persuading the conquering Hannibal to put off her execution until tomorrow.

         This musical comedy satirizes the classical war epics by replacing the massive violence with the personal conflicts of sexual tension and romance between leading members of each side and of the opposite sexes.

The Kentuckian

(1955 c 104’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Felix Holt’s novel, Elias Wakefield (Burt Lancaster) and his son Little Eli (Donald MacDonald) are on their way to Texas, but their stake is lost to buy free the indentured servant Hannah (Dianne Foster). They stay with Elias’s older brother Zack (John McIntire) and his wife Sophie (Una Merkel) who want them to settle into business there. Elias is also attracted to the school teacher Susie (Diana Lynn), but he has to face the bullying Stan Bodine (Walter Matthau) and his family’s feuding enemies.

         This western set in the early 19th century reflects the Daniel Boone spirit of hankering to move west where there are fewer people. Also a boy shares his father’s dream as he is coming of age and learning about life.

A Kid for Two Farthings

(1955 c 90’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Wolf Mankowitz adapted his own novel about life in London’s East End. The father of the boy Joe (Jonathan Ashmore) is in South Africa, and his mother Joanna (Celia Johnson) seems more lost than Joe, who listens to the advice of the Jewish tailor Avrom Kandinsky (David Kossoff) and buys himself a unicorn, which turns out to be an old goat. Beautiful Sonia (Diana Dors) is engaged to body-builder Sam Heppner (Joe Robinson), and wrestling promoter Blackie Isaacs (Lou Jacobi) wants Sam to fight for money.

         This slice of life mixed with the fantastic hopes of a child reflects the limited hopes of those in the urban ghetto.

Kismet

(1955 c 113’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the play by Edward Knoblock with music by Aleksandr Borodin, a poor poet (Howard Keel) and his daughter Marsinah (Ann Blyth) experience a fantastic day in which Fate (Kismet) threatens them with things worse than death; but the wife Lalume (Dolores Gray) of the Wazir (Sebastian Cabot) falls in love with the poet and helps him become an emir while the Caliph (Vic Damone) at first sight loves nicely dressed Marsinah.

         This musical comedy set in Baghdad uses the fantasies of Islamic culture to contrive this rags to riches story in a medieval society that includes slavery, cruelty, religious zeal, and belief in magic.

Land of the Pharaohs

(1955 c 105’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In the 26th-century BC Pharaoh Khufu (Jack Hawkins) wins wars and acquires gold, which he wants to keep forever in his tomb in a great pyramid. He and the high priest Hamar (Alexis Minotis) hire the architect Vashtar (James Robertson Justice) to design it to keep out robbers. Slave labor builds the great pyramid. Vashtar’s son Senta (Dewey Martin) helps him, and saves the life of Pharaoh, who gives him the slave-girl Kyra (Luisa Boni). Queen Nailla (Kerima) dies heroically, leaving Pharaoh’s ambitious second wife Nellifer (Joan Collins) as queen. She plots with captain Treneh (Sydney Chaplin) to gain the power and wealth, but something goes wrong with her plan.

         This melodrama set in ancient Egypt depicts the ancient religion that placed more faith in the life after death. Khufu did in fact order the most massive structure ever built that still stands, but the story of Nellifer seems to be a dramatic fiction. Vashtar’s leading his captive people out of Egypt foreshadows the exodus led by Moses that occurred about 1300 years later.

The Last Command

(1955 c 110’) En: 5 Ed: 5

This version of the Alamo story focuses on Jim Bowie (Sterling Hayden) and the events that lead him to participate in the last stand with William Travis (Richard Carlson) and Davy Crockett (Arthur Hunnicutt). Bowie owns land in Mexico and is married to a daughter of a Mexican governor, and he knows General Santa Ana (J. Carrol Naish); but he wants to support the independence effort led by Stephen Austin (Otto Kruger). He clashes with Mike Radin (Ernest Borgnine), and young Consuelo (Anna Maria Alberghetti) falls in love with him.

         This historical drama portrays Bowie as heroic and popular despite the resentment against him. The value of this particular dramatization is that it portrays some of the context that led to the independence struggle of the Texans against the Mexicans. Yet many of the incidents are fictionalized for dramatic effect.

The Last Frontier

(1955 c 98’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a novel by Richard Emery Roberts, during the Civil War trappers Jed Cooper (Victor Mature), Gus (James Whitmore), and Mungo (Pat Hogan) are robbed by Red Cloud and his warriors because of a new fort. They go to the fort, and Captain Riordan (Guy Madison) hires them as scouts. Jed wants Col. Marston’s wife Corinna (Anne Bancroft) to be his woman, but she rejects him. Col. Marston (Robert Preston) arrives and insists on attacking the Indians against the better judgment of Riordan, Jed, and others.

         This western portrays the clash of cultures as the white men enter Indian territory. A career military officer, fanatical for victory, endangers the lives of the soldiers while others respect the Indians and common sense. Wild Jed is learning, and the fanatic brings on his fate.

A Lawless Street

(1955 c 77’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a novel by Brad Ward, Marshal Calem Ware (Randolph Scott) is keeping law and order in dangerous Medicine Bend as gunslingers come to town to kill him. His wife Tally Dickenson (Angela Lansbury) arrives to entertain, but theatrical producer Hamer Thorne (Warner Anderson) and saloon owner Cody Clark (John Emery) like her and want to get rid of Ware to take over the town. Ware is helped by his friends Molly Higgins (Ruth Donnelly), Dr. Amos Wynn (Wallace Ford), Cora Dean (Jean Parker) and Asaph Dean (James Bell).

      This western depicts a wild town in Colorado which has not yet become a state. A courageous and skillful marshal is trying to control the law-breakers until civilization can be established. As usual in such movies right triumphs over the unjust, greedy, and violent.

 

The Littlest Outlaw

(1955 c 74’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Chato (Rodolfo Acosta) is training the horse Conquistador to jump for General Torres (Pedro Armendariz), and the General’s daughter Celita (Laila Maley) rides the horse and is thrown and injured. Chato uses a cruel method to try to get Conquistador to jump better and bets much money on him, but in the race Conquistador refuses to jump over a wall. The General orders Chato to destroy the horse, and so his son Pablito, who loves the horse, runs away with him. Chato goes after them, but the Padre (Joseph Calleia) blesses the horse and gives Pablito and the horse sanctuary in his church. After Conquistador interrupts a bull fight, Pablito rides off on him. The General tells Pablito the horse is now his.

         This Disney drama portrays the boy’s love for the horse in many difficult circumstances, providing adventurous entertainment with a young boy as the hero challenging authorities. The injury of the little girl trying to ride the stallion provides a cautionary note about safety.

Man Without a Star

(1955 c 89’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from Dee Linford’s novel, Dempsey Rae (Kirk Douglas) and young “Texas” (William Campbell) get off a train in Wyoming. Dempsey knows Idonee (Claire Trevor), and she gives him a gun. They get a job working for the new rancher Reed Bowman (Jeanne Crain); but conflicts arise over stringing wire and male egos, and killing results.

         This western mixes comedy, drama, violence, and even a song. Conflicts arise because the cattle ranchers use government range land, and no law exists to settle their disputes. When guns are used to decide issues, the results are devastating; but the producers make sure the heroes are not killed.

Many Rivers to Cross

(1955 c 95’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Bushrod Gentry (Robert Taylor) is a trapper in Kentucky who does not want to get married. Mary Stuart Cherne (Eleanor Parker) is engaged to Luke Radford (Alan Hale Jr.), but she is smitten by Bushrod and follows him and uses various tricks to get him to wed her, getting help from her father (Victor McLaglen). Bushrod meets married Esau (James Arness) and finally comes to his senses.

         This western is a romantic comedy dedicated to the frontier woman. Unfortunately Shawnees are stereotyped, and the fighting is treated as fun. Yet the sexual tension is there, and the more he tries to avoid her the more they are drawn together.

The McConnell Story

(1955 c 107’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a true story, Joseph McConnell meets Pearl Brown (June Allyson), whom he calls “Butch” because she cuts him to pieces. They fall in love quickly and raise a family. Mac becomes an Air Force navigator in World War II and the top pilot in the Korean War. His best friend and colleague in the Air Force is Ty Whitman (James Whitmore).

         This biopic focuses on the marriage and career in the Air Force of McConnell, who named three F-86 Sabre jets after his wife, “Beauteous Butch.” The ending of the movie was changed after his death on August 25, 1954 while testing the new F-86H. The film is introduced by the propaganda that the United States could not exist without such warriors.

Pather Panchali

(Bengali 1955 b 126’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from a novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay and directed by Satyajit Ray, a poor Brahmin family lives in the country. The mother Sarbojaya Ray (Karuna Bannerjee) cooks and takes care of her daughter Durga (Uma Das Gupta) and little son Apu (Subir Bannerjee), and she complains to her husband Harihar Ray (Kanu Bannerjee) that they do not have enough food and clothing. He tries to find paying work and works on his writing, and he goes to the city for a long time. They also have an old aunt living with them.

            This family drama portrays a Hindu family in rural India suffering poverty despite the father’s education and priestly functions. The relationship between the mother and her daughter and son is realistically depicted, showing how children can adjust to poverty.

 

Mr. Arkadin

(1955 b 105’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Written and directed by Orson Welles, Guy Van Stratten (Robert Arden) and his girlfriend Mily (Patricia Medina) witness a stabbed man dying and a police shoot-out. The dying man tells her the names Gregory Arkadin and Sophie as his gift to them. Since Arkadin (Orson Welles) is extremely rich, Guy decides to investigate. He is further attracted by Arkadin’s daughter Raina (Paola Mori). Arkadin has a confidential report done on Guy and gives it to him. Guy comes to realize that those who investigated Arkadin’s past get killed, and he tells the last one Jacob Zouk (Akim Tamiroff) he is trying to save his life.

         This intriguing drama is rather chaotic, but it portrays in its peculiarly artistic way a wealthy man who is ashamed of his past and will do anything, including killing himself, to try to keep his beloved daughter from finding out what a criminal he was before he became rich. The theme is stated in the statement that those who become wealthy without getting caught are not considered criminals because of the issue of class.

The Prisoner

(1955 b 94’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the play by Bridget Boland, a Cardinal (Alec Guinness) and an Interrogator (Jack Hawkins) who both had fought for the Resistance against the occupation by Germans are pitted against each other by the post-war politics in Eastern Europe. The Cardinal is arrested and exhausted by probing interrogation until his weaknesses are revealed.

            The unnamed characters in this psychological drama reflect how the Croatian cardinal Aloysius Stepinac was prosecuted by the Communist government led by Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia and how the Hungarian cardinal Jozsef Minszenty was put on trial by the Communist regime of Matyas Rakosi and Arpad Szakasits.

The Private War of Major Benson

(1955 c 105’) En: 5 Ed: 4

The severe training officer Major Benson (Charlton Heston) is reprimanded by General Ramsey (Milburn Stone) and is sent to a Catholic military school that needs its ROTC improved. He starts out being hard on the kids, including young Tiger Flaherty (Tim Hovey), but Tiger, Mother Superior Redempta (Nana Bryant) and especially Dr. Kay Lambert (Julie Adams) manage to keep the Major there long enough for the ROTC to learn how to drill under cadet Dusik (Sal Mineo) despite the overzealous Major.

         This comedy satirizes excessive military discipline by showing how out of place it can be with young boys. Catholic schools can be strict in their discipline too, but this school provides a contrast because of its soft-hearted staff.

A Prize of Gold

(1955 c 98’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Max Catto’s novel, in post-war Berlin the US Air Force officer Joe Lawrence (Richard Widmark) falls in love with Maria (Mai Zetterling), who needs money to take refugee children to Brazil. Joe decides to steal gold bullion they are transporting to England for the Germans. He enlists the help of Brian (Nigel Patrick), Roger (George Cole), Stratton (Donald Wolfit), and Uncle Dan (Joseph Tomelty), but the operation goes terribly wrong.

         This drama begins as a romance but turns into a caper thriller. The story reflects an attempt to help the innocent German children suffering from the results of the war by stealing gold that was possessed by the Nazis. One of those involved turns out to be violent, causing mayhem.

The Prodigal

(1955 c 113’) En: 5 Ed: 4

In this story that illustrates the parable of the prodigal son, Micah (Edmund Purdom) is lured away from his family by the beauty of the high priestess Samarra (Lana Turner). After she is sacrificed to the gods Baal and Astarte, he returns and is welcomed by his father despite his having wasted a fortune.

         This adventure set in 70 BC portrays ancient Damascus from a biblical perspective, reflecting the dogmatic belief that any culture that is not Judeo-Christian must be ignorant and foolish.

Queen Bee

(1955 b 95’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from Edna Lee’s novel, Jennifer Stewart (Lucy Marlow) visits a household that is dominated by Eva Phillips (Joan Crawford). Her husband Avery Phillips (Barry Sullivan) spends his time drinking in his room. Some past trauma seems to have separated Sue (Fay Wray) from reality. Jud (John Ireland) and Carol (Betsy Palmer) are hoping to be married. Jennifer finds sinister attitudes pervading the household because of Eva’s influence.

         This melodrama probes the negative side of the psyche that is often ignored or unrealized. The results of this negativity are often as surprising as they are devastating. Reference to their southern ancestors in the slavery era indicates that very deep feelings of guilt from the past may be still lingering here in a household with black servants.

Quentin Durward

(1955 c 101’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Walter Scott’s novel, in 1465 the elderly Scot Crawford (Ernest Thesiger) sends his nephew Quentin Durward (Robert Taylor) to learn whether he should wed Countess Isabelle (Kay Kendall). Excluded, Quentin manages to win the trust of King Louis XI (Robert Morley), who assigns him to guard Isabelle from his rival Duke Charles of Burgundy (Alec Clunes). Louis agrees to send her to the bishop of Liege (Harcourt Williams) with Quentin guarding her from Count De la Marck (Duncan Lamont). Quentin is aided by the spy Hayraddin (George Cole).

         This romantic adventure depicts the late medieval era when the use of gunpowder is destroying chivalry. The hero is honest and humble; but he triumphs as the two powerful monarchs neutralize each other.

Rage at Dawn

(1955 c 87’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the true story of the Reno brothers, in 1866 Frank Reno (Forrest Tucker) leads the gang that robs and pays off the judge (Edgar Buchanan), Sheriff (Ray Teal), and prosecuting attorney (Howard Petrie) of Seymour, Indiana. Clint Reno (Denver Pyle) and Laura Reno (Mala Powers) do not participate in the Reno’s crimes. By pretending to rob a train James Barlow (Randolph Scott) infiltrates the gang in an early sting operation. After he joins them in a train robbery, they are arrested; but a vigilante group from the town hangs the Reno gang.

         Ten members of the Reno gang were hanged in 1868 after they committed four train robberies. In history they were caught by ten Pinkerton detectives who did not participate in the lynching. This historical western shows how the example of these brothers was followed by other famous criminal families such as the James, Younger, and Dalton gangs.

The Rains of Ranchipur

(1955 c 104’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Louis Bromfield’s novel and similar to the 1939 film The Rains Came, rich and selfish Lady Edwina Esketh (Lana Turner) falls in love with the Indian Dr. Rama Saft (Richard Burton), and her husband Lord Albert Esketh (Michael Rennie) asks Edwina for a divorce. Their friend Tom Ransome (Fred MacMurray) has become an alcoholic, but young Ferm Simon (Joan Caulfield) turns to him for financial help for graduate school and as a refuge when she runs away from home. A spectacular natural disaster puts these characters through a wringer of earthquakes, flooding, and disease.

         This drama tests people by putting them through stressful situations. Some rise to the occasion, and others learn how to endure and go on with their lives.

Rififi

(French 1955 b 122’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Auguste Le Breton’s novel and directed by Jules Dassin, a convicted jewel thief Tony le Stéphanois (Jean Servais) organizes a professional heist of a jewelry store with his friend Jo (Carl Mohner), Mario (Robert Manuel), and safecracker Cesar le Milanais (Jules Dassin), and they get away with the jewels; but their personal enemies are also criminals and are willing to kill to get the loot.
      This film noir portrays criminals who are often violent and wipe each other out without any help from law enforcement, showing how the underworld life of wrongdoing can be fraught with danger and tragedy even for those who are highly skilled at what they do.

 

Run for Cover

(1955 c 92’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Cowboys Matt Dow (James Cagney) and young Davey Bishop (John Derek) are mistaken for train robbers, and Davey’s leg is maimed. Matt is chosen to be sheriff, and he makes Davey his deputy. Matt and immigrant Helga Swenson (Viveca Lindfors) decide to marry, and he is accepted by her father (Jean Hersholt). However, the difficulties of law enforcement challenge Davey, who succumbs to temptation.

         This western exposes violent tendencies usually stereotyped in westerns as a lack of humane consideration when the hero suffers from them. This hero also exemplifies extraordinary patience and the ability to forgive the errors of the young man he is trying to guide.

The Scarlet Coat

(1955 c 100’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In 1780 during the War for Independence Major John Boulton (Cornel Wilde) acts as a spy as requested by General Robert Howe (John McIntire). Boulton flirts with Sally Cameron (Ann Francis), who remains loyal to the British, and he is suspected by the British Dr. Jonathan Odell (George Sanders). Boulton becomes friends with Major John André (Michael Wilding), a loyal Brit, who has been secretly communicating with General Benedict Arnold (Robert Douglas) to secure the surrender of West Point and the defeat of the American cause.

         This historical drama creates an adventurous story of how an American major acted as a counter-spy in order to learn the identity of the British (André) and American (Arnold) officers who were conspiring to betray the American army. The positive character of André reflects the conflict during the revolution between daring rebels with new ideals of democracy and the British loyal to the traditional monarchy and its empire.

The Second Greatest Sex

(1955 c 107’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Partially based on the play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, the women in a western town go on a sex strike until the men stop fighting the men from another town.

         This under-rated musical entertains with some fine songs, dancing, and comedy, which satirizes the usual violence in westerns. The women take control for a change to bring about a more peaceful society.

Six Bridges to Cross

(1955 b 96’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Jerry (Sal Mineo) is a wild kid with a gang who likes to steal. They make fun of the rookie cop Eddie Gallagher (George Nader) who shoots Eddie after a robbery. Yet they become friends. After going to reform school on a bum rap, Jerry Florea (Tony Curtis) makes deals with his friend Eddie, who marries Ellen (Julie Adams) and becomes a detective. To avoid being deported, Jerry tries to go straight and gets married. Eddie suspects Jerry was involved in the Brinks truck robbery even though Jerry was having dinner with him at the time.

         This drama portrays an usual friendship of two very different men on opposite sides of the law. The story reflects how a troubled youth can get caught up in the underworld of crime with its alternative set of moral values. However, those false values eventually come into conflict with society’s truer values, ruining the life of the criminal as well as those affected by his crimes.

Smoke Signal

(1955 c 88’) En: 4 Ed: 5

At an Army outpost Captain Harper (William Talman) finds deserter Brett Halliday (Dana Andrews) who lived with the Utes who are now attacking them. Harper accuses Halliday of treason and murder and tries to take him to a court martial as they try to escape from the Utes down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Laura Evans (Piper Laurie) dislikes Halliday because of her late father, but she searches for the truth.

            This western challenges the stereotype of the savage Indians as Halliday eventually persuades them that he went to the Utes to try to prevent another Indian war

So This Is Paris

(1955 c 96’) En: 5 Ed: 4

American sailors Joe Maxwell (Tony Curtis), Al Howard (Gene Nelson), and Davy Jones (Paul Gilbert) get leave and spend it in Paris trying to have fun with Jane (Gloria De Haven), Suzanne (Corinne Calvet), and Yvonne (Mara Corday). When Joe learns that Jane is caring for orphan children, they mobilize to raise money with help from wealthy Suzanne.

         This musical comedy entertains with songs and some fine dancing, reflecting how sex-starved military try to compensate by being wolves on leave. After some adjustment they become more humane and try to do something to help others.

Soldier of Fortune

(1955 c 95’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Ernest K. Gann adapted his own novel. Mrs. Jane Hoyt (Susan Hayward) goes to Hong Kong to try to find her journalist husband Louis Hoyt (Gene Barry) who is being held prisoner in Communist China. She goes to local police officer Merrweather (Michael Rennie) and then to successful smuggler Hank Lee (Clark Gable), who falls in love with her and helps her rescue her husband with assistance by Merryweather.

         This adventure story reflects the current Cold War and contrasts corrupt Hong Kong with a stereotyped view of Communist China as a paranoid place that imprisons a western journalist.

Storm Fear

(1955 b 88’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Clinton Seeley’s novel, wounded Charlie (Cornel Wilde), Benjie (Steven Hill), and Edna (Lee Grant) have committed robbery and come to stay with Charlie’s older brother Fred (Dan Duryea), his wife Elizabeth (Jean Wallace), and their son David (David Stollery). They hold the family hostage and then try to escape across a snowy mountain. The hired hand Hank (Dennis Weaver) goes after them.

         This tense drama depicts how Charlie has ruined his life, and even the love he and Elizabeth had cannot redeem him in the predicament his crime has put him in. Fred’s life is also unfulfilled in his failed attempts to write books and in his loveless marriage.

Strange Lady in Town

(1955 c 112’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Dr. Julia Garth (Greer Garson) comes to Santa Fe to practice medicine and see her brother, Lt. David Garth (Cameron Mitchell), who is adored by young Spurs O’Brien (Lois Smith). She introduces Julia to Dr. Rourke O’Brien (Dana Andrews), who has patriarchal ideas about women and resents her professional competition. Yet they are both fine people and fall in love, though she rejects his marriage proposal. Her brother David is a gambler who cheats and gets into trouble, bringing about a night that changes their lives.

         This western includes the spiritual influence of a Spanish priest on the Mexican-American community that helps to transform some of the cruelty of the westerners. Feminism is portrayed in a charming and capable woman who knows who she is and what she can do. By her example she is able to transform the patriarchal Dr. O’Brien.

Strategic Air Command

(1955 c 113’) En: 4 Ed: 5

Dutch Holland (James Stewart) has recently married Sally (June Allyson) and is a professional baseball player at spring training when he is called up in the Air Force Reserves by General Hawkes (Frank Lovejoy) to fly a SAC bomber that carries a nuclear bomb.

         This Cold War drama reflects the current paranoia of Communism that was wasting large amounts of financial and human resources preparing for a war that would never come and would have been insane. Propaganda presents this situation as a patriotic duty to serve the national security state. Never once was one of these SAC bombers used to deliver a nuclear bomb, and there is little evidence that they accomplished anything but to spur the Soviet Union to carry out similar sabre-rattling that could have resulted in a devastating atomic war for both sides.

The Tall Men

(1955 c 122’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Clay Fisher’s novel, two brothers who fought for the South, Col. Ben Allison (Clark Gable) and Clint Allison (Cameron Mitchell) rob the wealthy Nathan Stark (Robert Ryan), who persuades them to be his partner in a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Ben rescues Nella (Jane Russell) from the winter snow and falls in love with her, but she is more ambitious and hopes that Nathan will provide what she wants.

         This western starts with two frustrated Confederate veterans who aim to use the violence they learned in the Civil War with Quantrill’s raiders to commit armed robbery in a Montana mining town. After being offered an honest deal by his robbery victim, Ben demonstrates his courage and his violence to kill or threaten those who would steal from them, whether they be Jayhawkers, Indians, or his partner. Ben wins because he developed a good relationship with his workers, most of whom are Mexican Americans, reflecting the advantages of being liberal and fair to all.

Three for the Show

(1955 c 89’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Somerset Maugham’s play, singing star Julie Lowndes (Betty Grable) is closing a show and is married to dancer Vernon Lowndes (Gower Champion) when her late husband (Marty Stewart), whom she thought was killed in the war, returns to her with flowers. Their friends, singer Gwen Howard (Marge Champion) and producer Mike Hudson (Myron McCormick) help her explain to Marty that she is now married to Vernon. Julie decides to accept them both, but the competition does not work. Marty asks for a divorce, and Julie goes away. Vernon and Gwen are working on a show and fall in love. Their producer Mike loves his wallet and manages to get Julie and Marty to help save the show and their marriage.

         This musical comedy entertains with a humorous situation, good songs, and fine dancing. The story reflects the continuing losses of American service men in the Korean War while life goes on at home as normal.

Tight Spot

(1955 b 96’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from Leonard Kantor’s play, after a witness is murdered, prison inmate Sherry Conley (Ginger Rogers) is taken with the prison matron Mrs. Willoughby (Katherine Anderson) by policeman Vince Striker (Brian Keith) to a hotel where prosecutor Lloyd Hallett (Edward G. Robinson) tries to persuade her to testify against the crime boss Costain (Lorne Greene).

         This film noir portrays a tough woman hardened by prison who has to decide whether to risk her life in exchange for a commuted prison sentence. The story shows the efforts law enforcement makes to gain a conviction and also how those may be penetrated by violent criminals who use the wealth they have stolen to manipulate others.

Top Gun

(1955 b 74’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Gunslinger Rick Martin (Sterling Hayden) returns to his home town of Casper, Wyoming where he killed three men and his mother died. Marshal Bat Davis (James Millican) tells him to leave, but Rick says Tom Quentin and his gang are coming to raid the town in the morning. Rick is welcomed by his friend Jim O’Hara (Regis Toomey), and he learns that Canby Judd (William Bishop) cheated his mother out of her ranch. Rick asks Laura (Karin Booth) to marry him, but she is going to marry Canby. Gunslinger Lem Sutter (Rod Taylor) tries to challenge Rick. Canby and the town council refuse to accept Rick’s help against Quentin and his gang.

         This western resembles High Noon and builds to climactic gunfights. It reflects the American movie versions that entertain by exaggerating the violence of the frontier with the good guys winning.

The Violent Men

(1955 c 96’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from Donald Hamilton’s novel, veteran Union Captain John Parrish (Glenn Ford) wants to sell his cattle ranch, marry Caroline Vail (May Wynn), and move back east; but crippled Lee Wilkison (Edward G. Robinson) and his brother Cole (Brian Keith) will not give him a fair price and intend to drive him out. Their employee Wade Matlock (Richard Jaeckel) commits two murders, causing Parrish to fight back. Lee Wilkison’s wife Martha (Barbara Stanwyck) is determined to have the whole valley and is in love with Cole, who has the Mexican mistress Elena (Lita Milan). This mixture of ambitions escalates the violence that Lee Wilkinson’s daughter Judith (Dianne Foster) tries to stop.

         This western entertains with sharp and interesting conflicts that lead to increasing violence, as the title suggests, though perhaps the most violent is the mother Martha Wilkison. Parrish uses his military experience to fight a range war, reflecting how the violence of the Civil War carried over into western conflicts between cattlemen. The most rational voice is the spirited Judith, and her father Lee learns from his experience in the wild west.

Violent Saturday

(1955 c 90’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on William Heath’s novel, Harper (Stephen McNally), Dill (Lee Marvin), and Chapman (J. Carrol Naish) carry out an intricately planned bank robbery. Meanwhile alcoholic Boyd Fairchild (Richard Egan) and his promiscuous wife Emily (Margaret Hayes) are having marital problems. Married bank manager Harry Reeves (Tommy Noonan) likes to watch pretty nurse Linda Sherman (Virginia Leith), who flirts with Boyd. Elsie Braden (Sylvia Sidney) is a librarian with money problems who solves them by taking a purse. Shelley Martin (Victor Mature) has a son Steve (Billy Chapin) who fights with a friend because his father did not fight in the war. Stadt (Ernst Bornine) is an Amish farmer who lives a pious life with his family.

         This crime drama realistically presents a couple days in several people’s lives who are affected by a violent bank robbery. Although all these people have problems, the three criminals because of their violent behavior cause much more serious problems for themselves and others. The pacifist farmer is faced with a situation in which he must act to prevent an innocent man from being killed by one of the criminals.

The Warriors

(1955 c 85’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In 1359 England’s King Edward III (Michael Hordern) during a truce releases the French prisoners including the hostile Comte De Ville (Peter Finch), and he makes his son Edward (Errol Flynn), the Black Prince of Wales, the Duke of Aquitane, which has been held by the English for two centuries., The young Edward proclaims an end to military taxes and prohibits forcing the peasants to train with arms. De Ville leads a rebellion, and the Black Prince defends his domain. Lady Joan Holland (Joanne Dru) is captured De Ville, and the Black Prince aims to rescue her.
      This historical swashbuckler depicts an early phase of the Hundred Years War fought on the continent between France and England.

We’re No Angels

(1955 c 106’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on the play by Samuel and Bella Spewack and directed by Michael Curtiz, at Christimas in 1896 on Devil’s Island escaped convicts Joseph (Humphrey Bogart), Jules (Peter Ustinov), and Albert (Aldo Ray) pretend to be trustees by working in a store for Felix Ducotel (Leo G. Carroll) and his wife Amelie (Joan Bennett). Their pretty daughter Isabelle (Gloria Talbott) thinks she is in love with Paul Trochard (John Baer). Felix’s cousin Andre Trochard (Basil Rathbone) owns the store and arrives with Paul for a visit.
      This comedy captures the Christmas spirit by having three criminals do good deeds to help the kind but struggling Ducotels while getting rid of the greedy and selfish Trochards.

White Feather

(1955 c 102’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a true story, in 1877 near Fort Laramie the Sioux, Arapaho, and Blackfeet have agreed to a treaty and to move south, but the Cheyenne are holding out. Josh Tanner (Robert Wagner) meets Ann (Virginia Leith) at the fort and is told by Col. Lindsay (John Lund) not to go into Cheyenne territory; but Tanner becomes friends with Little Dog (Jeffrey Hunter), his sister Appearing Day (Debra Paget), their father Chief Broken Hand (Eduard Franz), and American Horse (Hugh O’Brian).

         This historical western drama portrays the Cheyennes in a difficult circumstance after the buffalo have gone. The white men are pushing them off their land, and the warriors Little Dog and American Horse resist according to their tradition; but Tanner and Appearing Day act as peacemakers, and Chief Broken Hand exercises wisdom for his tribe. This story is but one example of how the Europeans came to America and took land away from native tribes while offering little compensation in exchange.

Wichita

(1955 c 81’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Written by Daniel E. Ullman and directed by Jacques Tourneur, Wyatt Earp (Joel McCrea) arrives in the new cow town of Wichita, meets the newspaper publisher Arthur Whiteside (Wallace Ford) and while in the bank stops a robbery by wounding and arresting the robbers. Bat Masterson (Keith Larsen) assists him. Mayor Andrew Hope (Carl Benton Reid), Sam McCoy, and Doc Black (Edgar Buchanan) ask Earp to be marshal, but he declines. When cowboys shoot up the town at night, Earp becomes marshal and arrests them. He is attracted to Laurie McCoy (Vera Miles) and posts a notice prohibiting guns in Wichita; but Sam McCoy, Doc Black, and others do not like this.

            This western presents a fictional account of Wyatt Earp’s brief period as marshal of Wichita, and it shows a visionary method of prohibiting the carrying of guns in the town in order to reduce the violence usually perpetrated by cowboys.

Women’s Prison

(1955 b 80’) En: 4 Ed: 5

Amelia Van Zandt (Ida Lupino) runs a tough prison for the women, harshly punishing newcomer Helene Jensen (Phyllis Thaxter) and torturing pregnant Joan Burton (Audrey Totter) to try to get information on how her husband (Warren Stevens) got to the women’s side. Dr. Crane (Howard Duff) helps the inmates in this hell hole while Warden Brock (Barry Kelley) is part of the problem. Returning inmate Brenda Martin (Jan Sterling) tries to take charge in a crisis.

         This taut drama depicts how some in the prison system use punishment against people to try to control them and end up making them and themselves worse. When will humans ever learn that wrong for wrong does not make it right?

Copyright © 2009 by Sanderson Beck

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