BECK index
Movie Mirrors Index

More Movies from 1957

Movie Mirrors

by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1957

Movie Mirrors Introduction

Abbreviations
 Title

Min.

c S M H P V En Ed
 Abandon Ship! (Seven Waves Away) 100   b  6  6      5  5  5
 Admirable Crichton, The 94   c  6  4  5  5  5  5  5
 Affair to Remember, An 115   c  5  5  6  7  5  5  5
 All at Sea (Barnacle Bill) 82   b  7  6  5      5  4
 All Mine to Give 102   c  5  5  5  5  5  5  5
 April Love 97   c  5  5  4    5  5  4
 Bachelor Party, The 92   b  6  6  7      5  5
 Band of Angels 127   c  5  5  4  7  5  5  5
 Bombers B-52 106   c  4  5  4    4  5  5
 Boy on a Dolphin 111   c  5  5  5    5  5  5
 Delicate Delinquent, The 101   c  6  6  4  5  5  5  4
 Designing Woman 118   c  6  6  5  6  6  5  5
 Desk Set 103   c  7  7  6  6  6  5  5
 Doctor at Large 99   c  5  5  4  5  5  5  4
 Don’t Go Near the Water 107   c  5  3  5  5  4  5  4
 Drango 92   b  5  4  4      5  5
 Enemy Below, The 98   c  6  6  5  6  6  5  5
 Funny Face 103   c  8  7  6  6  6  5  5
 Garment Jungle, The 88   b  6  5  5    5  5  5
 Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison 107   c  6  6  5    5  5  5
 Helen Morgan Story, The 118   b  5  5  4    4  5  5
 Jailhouse Rock 97   b  4  6  5  7  6  5  5
 Jeanne Eagels 108   b  5  5  5      5  5
 Joe Dakota 79   c  5  5  4      5  4
 Johnny Tremain 80   c  6  6  4  6  4  5  5
 Joker Is Wild, The 126   b  6  6  5      5  5
 King in New York, A 100   b  5  5  5  4  5  5  5
 Kiss Them for Me 105   c  4  5  4      5  4
 Les Girls 114   c  8  7  5  7  5  5  5
 Little Hut, The 91   c  5  5  5      5  4
 Lizzie 81   b  4  5  4      4  5
 Man on Fire 95   b  5  5  4    5  5  5
 Monkey on My Back 94   b  6  5  4      4  5
 My Man Godfrey 92   c  5  5  4  4  5  5  4
 Night Ambush (Ill Met by Moonlight) 105   b  6  6  4  6  5  5  5
 Nightfall 78   b  7  6  5    6  5  4
 Oklahoman, The 80   c  4  5  4  3  4  5  4
 Parisienne, Une (French) 86   c  7  4  5    5  5  4
 Pride and the Passion, The 132   c  5  5  5  3  4  5  5
 Prince and the Showgirl, The 117   c  6  5  5  4  5  5  5
 Seven Hills of Rome 104   c  5  5  4  5  5  5  5
 Seventh Sin, The 94   b  4  5  4      5  5
 Shiralee, The 99   b  6  5  5      5  5
 Silk Stockings 117   c  6  6  5  5  6  5  5
 Story of Esther Costello, The 103   b  4  5  5    5  5  5
 Story of Mankind, The 100   c  3  4  4      5  5
 Strange One, The (End as a Man) 100   b  6  6  5    5  5  5
 Sun Also Rises, The 130   c  5  6  7  6  7  5  5
 Tarnished Angels, The 91   b  5  5  4    6  5  5
 Ten Thousand Bedrooms 114   c  5  4  4    3  5  4
 This Could Be the Night 104   b  6  5  4 5  5  5  5
 Time Without Pity 85   b  4  6  5  7  5  5  5
 Top Secret Affair 100   b  4  5  5    4  5  4
 Until They Sail 95   b  6  5  4  6  5  5  5
 Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? 93   c  5  5  4 7  5  5  4
 Wings of Eagles, The 110   c  5  5  5  7  5  5  5
 Young Stranger, The 84   b  6  6  5      5  5
 Your Past Is Showing (The Naked Truth) 92   b  7  5  5 4    5  4
 Zero Hour! 81   b  4  5  4    5  5  4

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

Abandon Ship! (Seven Waves Away)

(1957 b 100’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Loosely based on the sinking of the American ship William Brown in 1841, after the ship sinks, 26 people are stranded in an overcrowded lifeboat with nine of them hanging on while in the water. Before dying, the captain puts Alec Holmes (Tyrone Power) in command. Frank Kelley (Lloyd Nolan) is the worst off of those who are wounded. Nurse Julie White (Mai Zetterling) treats them as best she can. As a storm is coming up, Kelley commits suicide. Holmes is persuaded that he has to remove some people from the boat so that the strong who can row may survive.

            This tense melodrama depicts a desperate emergency that forces people to decide whether some must be sacrificed so that others may have a better chance of being saved.

The Admirable Crichton

(1957 c 94’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the play by J. M. Barrie and directed by Lewis Gilbert, in England during the suffragist movement Lord Loam (Cecil Parker) on one day tries to treat his servants as equals. His butler Crichton (Kenneth More) suggests the household travel to the South Seas; but they are shipwrecked, and most end up on an uninhabited island. In their struggle to survive Crichton emerges as the most capable leader and becomes the governor. He falls in love with the servant Tweeny (Diane Cilento) but decides to marry Lady Mary (Sally Ann Howes) who has fallen in love with him. However, they are rescued and have to revert to their traditional social roles as they return to England.
      This comedy plays upon the class distinctions of Edwardian England by showing what happens to them in a primitive environment and when they return to England.

An Affair to Remember

(1957 c 115’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the 1939 movie Love Affair also directed Leo McCarey, handsome Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) is engaged to a wealthy Lois Clark (Neva Patterson) and is sailing from Europe to meet her in New York. On the voyage Nickie meets Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) who also seems to be engaged to Kenneth Bradley (Richard Denning). Nickie and Terry visit his grandmother Janou (Cathleen Nesbitt) at a stop in Europe. Nickie  and Terry fall in love but decide to meet in six months to see if they each can learn to earn a living so they can marry.
      This romantic drama has a few excellent songs and an emotional conclusion. The shipboard romance is contrasted to the daily reality of earning a living, but they realize they love being together and will be able to overcome whatever difficulties are placed in their way.

All at Sea (Barnacle Bill)

(1957 b 82’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Written by T. E. B. Clarke, Captain William Horatio Ambrose (Alec Guinness) comes from a long line of seafarers, and he turns an old pier into an amusement park. The local Mayor Crowley (Maurice Denham) tries to shut them down, but Ambrose finds clever ways to outfox his adversary and is acclaimed a  hero for saving “passengers” before drifting to France.

            This droll British comedy was the last Ealing comedy and is similar to others, showing that this kind of odd humor was on its last sea legs.

All Mine to Give

(1957 c 102’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In 1856 Robert Eunson (Cameron Mitchell) and his wife Jo (Glynis Johns) from Scotland arrive in a small town in Wisconsin. They have three boys and three girls; but fatal diseases affect the family, and they have to adapt.
      This pioneering saga portrays the struggles of immigrants to survive and prosper in the wilderness. The children also have to learn responsibility, and they learn that other families can be helpful.

April Love

(1957 c 97’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on the novel by George Agnew Chamberlain, young Nick Conover (Pat Boone) is on probation from Chicago for driving a stolen car and is sent to live on a farm in Kentucky with his kind aunt Henrietta Bruce (Janette Nolan) and his crotchety uncle Jed Bruce (Arthur O’Connell). Nick spends time with his neighbor sisters Liz Templeton (Shirley Jones) and Fran Templeton (Dolores Michaels) while he fixes up a tractor and a jalopy and then learns to ride a trotter horse.

            This musical comedy is a family film with a shy romance and pleasant songs.

The Bachelor Party

(1957 b 92’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Written by Paddy Chayefsky, five men who work together in an office have a bachelor party for Arnold (Philip Abbott) who is getting married. Charlie (Don Murray) is married to Helen (Patricia Smith) who has just told him she is pregnant. He is going to night school but decides to have a night of fun with bachelor Eddie (Jack Warden), married Kenneth (Larry Blyden), asthmatic Walter (E. G. Marshall), and Arnold who doubts whether he should marry.

In this realistic look at young working men facing the problems of marriage and raising a family while working and still wanting to be free to have fun portrays them looking at their desires, ambitions, and responsibilities during a night when they get drunk.

Band of Angels

(1957 c 127’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren and directed Raoul Walsh, Amantha Starr (Yvonne De Carlo) is brought up as the daughter of a Kentucky plantation owner, but upon his death she learns that her mother was part African and that she is to be sold as a slave. In New Orleans the wealthy former captain of a slave ship Hamish Bond (Clark Gable) buys her and offers her freedom. Hamish has also raised and educated the African Rau-Ru (Sidney Poitier) to be his business manager.

            This epic drama set before and during the Civil War portrays the plantation culture and how it changed during the war. The three main characters each has to come to terms with their past experiences in changing and difficult circumstances. Through understanding and forgiveness they come to respect and care for each other.

Bombers B-52

(1957 c 106’) En: 5 Ed: 4

During the Korean War the master sergeant Chuck Brennan (Karl Malden) resents having to obey a dangerous order from Captain Jim Herlihy (Efrem Zimbalist). Six years later Brennan works under Col. Herlihy on the new B-52 bombers and does not like Herlihy dating his daughter Lois Brennan (Natalie Wood).
      This Cold War drama supported by the US Air Force promotes the theory of nuclear deterrence while portraying men responsible for carrying it out. A kind and dedicated man interferes in the romance of his grown-up daughter because of a misunderstanding, reflecting the patriarchal tendency to try to control women.

Boy on a Dolphin

(1957 c 111’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from David Divine’s  novel, poor Phaedra (Sophia Loren) finds an ancient and valuable statue in the sea and hopes to sell it to the wealthy collector Victor Parmalee (Clifton Webb) or the archaeologist James Calder (Alan Ladd) who are rivals in their quest for the treasure.
      This adventure drama displays ancient Greek culture and Loren’s beauty amid the plight of poor Greeks compared to wealthy Americans whose motives differ and clash. The issues of stolen and stealing art treasures are explored.

The Delicate Delinquent

(1957 b 101’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Police officer Mike Damon (Darren McGavin) wants to prove to Captain Riley (Horace MacMahon) that his efforts to help juvenile delinquents will pay off by showing that he can help one person succeed. Sidney L. Pythias (Jerry Lewis) is a janitor but is caught up with a juvenile gang. Riley tries to reform Sidney by helping him become a police officer even though his girl-friend Martha Henshaw (Martha Hyer) is put off by this.

            This comedy mixes the slapstick of Lewis (on his own for the first time without Dean Martin) with a moral tale about how a youth going straight can influence gang members to be honest also.

Designing Woman

(1957 c 118’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by Vincente Minnelli, while in California sportswriter Mike Hagen (Gregory Peck) meets and falls in love with fashion designer Marilla Brown (Lauren Bacall). They get married and return to New York where they both live and work and discover they have clashing life-styles with very different kinds of friends and interests. His previous romantic partner was the actress Lori Shannon (Dolores Gray), and hers was theater producer Zachary Wilde (Tom Helmore), triggering potential jealousies. Mike also has a sarcastic editor Ned Hammerstein (Sam Levene), poker friends who include the former boxer Maxie Stultz (Mickey Shaughnessy), and the not so friendly target of his exposing writing Martin Daylor (Edward Platt) and his henchman Johnnie O (Chuck Connors). Marilla is associated with show-business people such as choreographer Randy (Jack Cole) who gets on Mike’s nerves.
      This romantic comedy is played for laughs and, though somewhat artificially designed, is fairly amusing. The story reflects the dangers of a quick marriage before getting to know the partner and his or her friends, and it contrasts his masculine-oriented interest in sports to her feminine interest in clothes and the arts.

Desk Set

(1957 c 103’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on William Marchant’s play, Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn) is brilliant at research and answering questions for a media network and has been going with the executive Mike Cutler (Gig Young) for seven years when the methods engineer Richard Sumner (Spencer Tracy) spends his time in her department preparing to install a new supercomputer.
      This comedy looks at office romances and the new tension in the workplace when electronic technology is beginning to do work that was taking humans thousands of hours. These issues were arising then and are even more with us fifty-five years later.

Doctor at Large

(1957 c 99’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Richard Gordon’s novel, young Dr. Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde) is going with the attractive Dr. Joy Gibson (Muriel Pavlov) who is busy studying while he attempts to get his career going by taking various assignments assisting other doctors. He comes across several other attractive women, many of whom are predatory and eager to please him; but something always seems to go wrong.
      This farce satirizes the contemporary British combination of a national health system and private practice as well as the changing romantic customs and doctor-patient relations.

Don’t Go Near the Water

(1957 c 107’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from William Brinkley’s novel, during World War II sex-starved Navy men in public relations on a native island compete for the few available women. Lt. Max Siegel (Glenn Ford) is attracted to the native schoolteacher Melora Alba (Gia Scala), and enlisted man Adam Garrett (Earl Holliman) manages to win over Lt. Alice Tomlen (Anne Francis). Lt. Commander Nash (Fred Clark) and the correspondent Gordon Ripwell (Keenan Wynn) are satirized, and reporter Deborah Aldrich (Eva Gabor) brings relief to a Navy ship.
      This romantic comedy uses the lonely plight of the Navy men for comic relief while following two romances that do work out well despite the barriers of race and rank that they overcome.

Drango

(1957 b 92’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Written and directed by Hall Bartlett, in Georgia after the Civil War in 1865 Major Clint Drango (Jeff Chandler) is military governor of a town devastated by Sherman’s march to the sea in which Drango was a commander. He finds the unpopular Union-sympathizer Henry Calder (Morris Ankrum) accused of murder and arranges for his jury trial, but a mob led by former Confederate officer Clay Allen (Ronald Howard) lynches Calder. His daughter Kate Calder (Joanne Dru) blames Drango as does his superior Col. Bracken (Milburn Stone). Drango tries to distribute the needed supplies so they will last for the winter, but Clay, supported by southern belle Shelby Ransom (Julie London), leads a revolt but is opposed by his father, Judge Allen (Donald Crisp).
      This western set during the beginning of Reconstruction has been aptly criticized for not including any African-Americans, but nonetheless the story reflects the bitter resentment caused in Georgia by Sherman’s attempt to shorten the war by destroying property. The repentant Drango faces a heroic challenge because he has little Union support in the southern town.

The Enemy Below

(1957 c 98’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from the novel by Denys Rayner, during World War II in the South Atlantic the American destroyer Captain Murrell (Robert Mitchum) engages in a duel against the German submarine Captain von Stolberg (Curt Jürgens) who is friends with Heinie Schwaffer (Theodore Bikel).

            This war drama depicts how men carry out their training to kill other men considered the enemy even though thoughtful ones really would rather not. Thus war is a hellish activity for both sides even though the side most responsible for causing the war bears a heavier responsibility.

Funny Face

(1957 c 103’) En: 5 Ed: 5

With old songs by George and Ira Gershwin and directed by Stanley Donen, fashion magazine editor Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) and photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) go to a bookstore in Greenwich Village and discover employee Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) is the perfect model for a special issue with clothes designed by Paul Duval (Robert Flemyng). Jo is devoted to the empathetic philosophy of Professor Emile Flostre (Michel Auclair) and is lured to Paris so that she can talk with him.
      This musical romance entertains with songs, dancing, and artistic visuals while an older man who is superficial wins over a beautiful young woman by being with her even though the philosopher she loves is also young and handsome. The story depicts the shallowness of fashions as compared to a philosophy that is satirized even though it might save humanity.

The Garment Jungle

(1957 b 88’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on articles “Gangsters in the Dress Business” by Lester Velie, Walter Mitchell (Lee J. Cobb) is in love with Lee Hackett (Valerie French) and pays off Artie Ravidge (Richard Boone) to keep the union out of his garment business while his partner who favors the union is murdered. His son Alan Mitchell (Kerwin Mathews) has returned from Korea and takes the side of the union. After the union organizer Tulio Renata (Robert Loggia) is murdered, Alan falls in love with his widow Theresa Renata (Gia Scala) and persuades his father to allow the union.
      This drama depicts the corruption in an anti-union garment business that uses violence until they are finally brought to justice. Then the International Ladies’ Garment Worker Union (ILGWU) will help the workers get a fair vote to unionize the shop.

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

(1957 c 107’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the novel by Charles Shaw and directed by John Huston, in 1944 US Marine Corporal Allison (Robert Mitchum) in a life raft lands on an isolated atoll in the Pacific Ocean and finds that the nun Sister Angela (Deborah Kerr) is the only other human there. Japanese soldiers make two extended visits as they hide in a cave.
      This war drama portrays two very different people who treat each other with respect and chaste love as they struggle to survive in the dangerous situation while becoming close friends.

The Helen Morgan Story

(1957 b 118’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a Playhouse 90 television drama and directed by Michael Curtiz, during the 1920s singer Helen Morgan (Ann Blyth) is hired by the shady bootlegger Larry Maddux (Paul Newman), and they have an intermittent love-hate relationship. Wealthy lawyer Russell Wade (Richard Carlson) is married but likes Helen and helps her career. Helen achieves success in clubs and on Broadway in Show Boat, but she suffers from alcoholism.

            This musical biography is fictionalized in her relationships as it follows the pattern of her actual career. The drama depicts the Prohibition era and the problems some people have with drinking.

Jailhouse Rock

(1957 b 96’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Young Vince Everett (Elvis Presley) in prison has the cell-mate Hunk Houghton (Mickey Shaughnessy) who teaches him guitar and urges him to become a singer. When he gets out, record promoter Peggy Van Alden (Judy Tyler) helps Vince get his musical career started.
      This musical reflects the current influence Elvis was having on rock music through a fictional story that displays his talent, style, and personality. He and those close to him have to learn how to deal with failure and quick success and the effects they have on their lifestyles and relationships.

Jeanne Eagels

(1957 b 108’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the life and career of the actress, Jeanne Eagels (Kim Novak) gets her start working in a carnival for Sal Satori (Jeff Chandler), and they have a romantic relationship. She desperately wants to be an actress and persuades Nellie Neilson (Agnes Moorehead) to help her break into Broadway theater. Jeanne falls in love with former All-American John Donahue (Charles Drake) and takes advantage of the fading actress Elsie Desmond to get a starring role on Broadway.

            This tragic drama is based on a true story, though the Satori part of the story is fictional. The movie shows the problems an ambitious actress can have if she succumbs to the temptations of alcohol and drugs.

Joe Dakota

(1957 c 79’) En: 5 Ed: 4

A stranger named Joe Dakota (Jock Mahoney) rides into a small town and at first finds only Jody Weaver (Luana Patten). Nearby he finds men working on an oil well, and Cal Moore (Charles McGraw) says he is the owner. They try to get rid of the stranger, but he stays around and keeps asking questions until he finds out what happened there.
      This western is also a mystery to find out what happened to the old Indian who also called himself Joe Dakota. The story shows how a group of people can be led astray by a clever liar.

Johnny Tremain

(1957 c 80’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the novel by Esther Forbes and directed by Robert Stevenson, in Boston the apprentice Johnny Tremain asks for help from the silversmith Paul Revere (Walter Sande) and joins the Sons of Liberty with Rab Silsbee (Richard Beymer). They are inspired by Samuel Adams (Rusty Lane), Dr. Joseph Warren (Walter Coy), and James Otis (Jeff York) and participate in the Boston Tea Party and the first day of the War of Independence at Lexington and Concord.

            This Walt Disney production depicts with patriotic flair in this fictionalized story of a young man two major historical events, one nonviolent that sparked the American Revolution and the other the violent beginning of the War of Independence

 

The Joker Is Wild

(1957 b 126’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the biography by Art Cohn and directed by Charles Vidor, singer Joe E. Lewis (Frank Sinatra) takes a new singing job, and his previous boss, the gangster Tim Coogan, has his men mutilate Joe’s face and mouth. The piano player Austin Mack (Eddie Albert) faithfully works with Joe and tries to encourage him as does his wife Cassie Mack (Beverly Garland). Joe turns to burlesque and comedy and falls in love with Letty Page (Jeanne Crain); but his drinking affects his health, and he declines to marry her. Later Joe weds dancer Martha Stewart (Mitzi Gaynor), but his addiction to alcohol and gambling ruins his short marriage.

            This dramatic biopic portrays the life and problems of the talented Lewis from the 1920s to the end of his marriage to Martha in 1948, showing how drinking and gambling gave him material for comedy but damaged his relationships with people. Sinatra was a friend of Lewis and at his own 50th birthday celebration in 1966 complained that drinking with Lewis made him age faster.

A King in New York

(1957 b 100’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Written and directed by Charles Chaplin, King Shahdov (Charles Chaplin) flees a revolution in his country and comes to New York with Ambassador Jaume (Oliver Johnston) and Prime Minister Voudel (Oliver Johnston) who absconds with the money. Shahdov hopes his atomic secrets will bring about a utopia. He lives in an expensive hotel with Jaume and manages to make money by doing television commercials. He is attracted to Ann Kay (Dawn Addams) who manipulates him into making commercials for their mutual financial benefit. He befriends the boy Rupert Macabee (Michael Chaplin) who dislikes all government and who suffers because his parents are Communists.
      This satire of television commercials, anti-Communist hysteria, and the changing values of the era was not even shown in the United States until 1967 because of fears Chaplin was criticizing the Cold War policies of the United States. The humor makes it all seem rather absurd, and the fire-hose gag gives the Congressional Committee a washing.

Kiss Them for Me

(1957 c 105’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Frederic Wakeman’s novel and a play by Luther Davis, in 1944 three heroic Navy pilots Commander Andy Crewson (Cary Grant), Lt. J. G. McCann (Ray Walston), and Mississip (Larry Blyden) are flown to San Francisco for shore leave and have a party with Alice Kratzner (Jayne Mansfield), Gwinneth Livingston (Suzy Parker), and others. Crewson woos Gwinneth away from wealthy war businessman Eddie Turnbill (Leif Erickson) while Alice entertains wife-loving McCann who is running for Congress.

            This comedy entertains with some witty lines and plays with their attempt to avoid combat by making speeches before affirming their patriotic duty in the face of a heart-felt loss to the Japanese.

Les Girls

(1957 c 114’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by George Cukor, dancer Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly) puts on shows with the dancers Joy (Mitzi Gaynor), Sybil (Kay Kendall), and Angele (Taina Elg) and tries to discipline them for the good of the show. However, romantic entanglements ensue, and a lawsuit results in three stories being told from different points of view.
      This musical comedy emphasizes dancing with a few songs by Cole Porter. The story shows how friendships in show business can be complicated by personal and career considerations.

The Little Hut

(1957 c 91’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on plays by André Roussin and Carles Soldevila and directed by Mark Robson, for six years Lady Susan Ashlow (Ava Gardner) has been married to busy Sir Philip Ashlow (Stewart Granger) but has been spending more time with Philip’s best friend Henry Brittingham-Brett (David Niven). After the sinking of Philip’s yacht during a hurricane the three are stranded on a tropical island, and Henry asks Philip to share Susan with him.

            This comedy properly follows moral etiquette in dealing with this friendly love triangle, but Philip is not quite so busy on the island.

Lizzie

(1957 b 81’) En: 4 Ed: 5

Based on the Shirley Jackson’s novel, Elizabeth Richmond (Eleanor Parker) works at a museum but suffers from headaches and shyness. She lives with her Aunt Morgan (Joan Blondell) who likes to drink bourbon. Their neighbor Walter Brenner (Hugo Haas) suggests that Elizabeth see psychiatrist Neal Wright who discovers through hypnosis that Elizabeth has three separate personalities and that Lizzie wants to kill Elizabeth.

            This psychological drama is similar to The Three Faces of Eve but actually was released a few months earlier, reflecting the current interest in psychoanalysis that has discovered the unusual phenomena of multiple personalities.

Man on Fire

(1957 b 95’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Earl Carleton (Bing Crosby) owns a factory and has been divorced for two years during which time he has had custody of his son Ted Carleton (Malcolm Brodrick). Earl’s ex-wife Gwen Seward (Mary Fickett) has come back to town with her husband Bryan Seward (Richard Eastham). Earl learns from his lawyer Sam Dunstock (E. G. Marshall) that Gwen has filed for custody. Sam’s legal assistant Nina Wylie (Inger Stevens) is helping on the case and spends much time with Earl. Although Judge Randolph (Anne Seymour) realizes that Ted wants to be with his father, she awards custody to his mother so that he can get to know her better. Earl is lonely and has difficulty accepting this as does his son.

            This drama explores the custody of a child after a bitter divorce when the child clearly wants to be with only one parent. His father excelled at loving the boy, but he has others things to learn too.

Monkey on My Back

(1957 b 94’) En: 4 Ed: 5

Based on his autobiography, welterweight champion boxer Barney Ross (Cameron Mitchell) loves to bet and buy people drinks in his bar. He falls in love with Cathy Holland (Dianne Foster) who has a daughter and is afraid to marry him unless he gives up gambling. After his boxing career Barney enlists in the Marines and fights the Japanese in the Pacific War. After getting malaria he is given morphine and has to kick the habit.

            This biopic portrays a certain kind of personality who needs excitement and attention. He creates difficult challenges for himself and often comes out a winner.

My Man Godfrey

(1957 c 92’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on the novel by Eric Hatch and similar to the 1936 comedy of the same name, young Irene Bullock (June Allyson) is competing with her sister Cordelia Bullock (Martha Hyer) in a scavenger hunt organized by their mother Angelica Bullock (Jessie Royce Landis) for charity. Irene finds bearded Godfrey (David Niven), brings him home to serve as the family butler, and falls in love with him. Godfrey gets his friend Francesca Gray to help Irene’s father Alexander Bullock (Robert Keith).

            This romantic comedy is not as meaningful and humorous as the 1936 version which is more appropriately set in the 1930s rather than in the 1950s, but it is also entertaining and heart-warming.

Night Ambush
(Ill Met by Moonlight)

(1957 b 105’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a war-time diary by W. Stanley Moss, in April 1944 British officers Major Patrick Leigh Fermor DSO (Dirk Bogarde) and Captain Bill Stanley Moss MC (David Oxley) of the Special Operations Executive land on the island of Crete, and with the help of local resistance, Sandy Rendel (Cyril Cusack), and the boy Niko (Dimitri Andreas) they capture the German commander General Kreipe (Marius Goring) and take him across the island so that a boat can take him to Cairo.

            This true story depicts a well planned and carried through operation which managed to capture a German general with little violence for the Allies in World War II.

Nightfall

(1957 b 78’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Sterling Silliphant adapted the novel by David Goodis about war veteran and artist James Vanning (Aldo Ray) who is being chased by bank robbers John (Brian Keith) and Red (Rudy Bond) and insurance investigator Ben Fraser (James Gregory) because they believe he has the stolen money. James meets model Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft) who becomes his friend.

            This crime drama tells the story with flashbacks until it arrives at its suspenseful climax.

The Oklahoman

(1957 c 80’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Dr. John M. Brighton (Joel McCrea) loses his wife in childbirth when a girl is born, and he decides to stay in Oklahoma in the home of Mrs. Waynebrook (Verna Felton) who helps take care of the little girl Louise Brighton (Mimi Gibson). A few years later 18-year-old Maria Smith (Gloria Talbott) moves in to take care of Louise, and John is friend of her Indian family. Anne Barnes owns a large ranch and is a close friend of John’s. The other big rancher Cass Dobie (Brad Dexter) tries to buys the land of Charlie Smith (Michael Pate) for the petroleum there. The conflict increases when Cass’s brother Mel Dobie (Douglas Dick) tries to kill Charlie.

            This western portrays the Oklahoma territory after the Indians had been conquered and lived there in large numbers. The doctor stands up for the equal rights of the Indians.

Une Parisienne

(French 1957 c 86’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Young Brigitte Laurier (Brigitte Bardot) is the daughter of the Chairman of the Board, Alcide Laurier (André Luguet), who persuades her to marry the President’s chief of staff, Michel Legrand (Henri Vidal). Concerned about her husband’s mistresses, she decides to make him jealous by going off with the visiting Prince Charles (Charles Boyer).
      This comedy satirizes the Frenchmen’s penchant for having mistresses by showing how a beautiful woman can turn the tables on her new husband.

The Pride and the Passion

(1957 c 132’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based very loosely on C. S. Forester’s novel The Gun and directed by Stanley Kramer, this fictional war drama set in 1810 during the French occupation of Spain portrays Spanish guerilleros led by Miguel (Frank Sinatra) fighting to drive the French out of Spain by attacking their headquarters in the fortified city of Avila with help from a gigantic cannon and the British captain Anthony (Cary Grant) who falls in love with Miguel’s woman Juana (Sophia Loren). The French in Avila are commanded by the ruthless General Jouvet (Theodore Bikel).

            This war drama portrays patriotic Spaniards making unusual sacrifices to try to drive out the French imperialists. They get help from one artillery expert from their British ally, and the foolish destruction of war is depicted.

The Prince and the Showgirl

(1957 c 117’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Terence Rattigan adapted his own play with direction by Laurence Olivier, in 1911 actress Elsie (Marilyn Monroe) meets Grand-duke Charles, the prince-regent of Carpatha, who invites for a midnight dinner and is entranced by her charms.
      This romantic comedy satirizes the aristocratic diplomacy of the pre-war era and contrasts it with the American ideas of a beautiful woman who believes in love.

Seven Hills of Rome

(1957 c 104’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Italian-American singer Marc Revere (Mario Lanza) helps beautiful Rafaella (Marisa Allasio) get to Rome where they stay with his cousin Pepe (Renato Rascel), a pianist who helps Marc get work singing. Marc finally meets up with his estranged fiancée Carol Ralston (Peggie Castle).
      This musical entertains with fine singing including imitations of current American pop singers as well as opera while displaying the architecture and culture of Rome.

The Seventh Sin

(1957 b 94’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Somerset Maugham’s novel, The Painted Veil, Carol Carwin (Eleanor Parker) is having an affair with Paul Duvelle (Jean-Pierre Aumont) and asks for a divorce from her husband, Dr. Walter Carwin (Bill Travers), but that does not work out. The Carwins leave Hong Kong so that he can treat people suffering from cholera in China where she meets the flirting Tim Waddington (George Sanders) and the Mother Superior (Françoise Rosay) at the convent where her husband works.
      This drama portrays a woman looking for love and being disappointed until she realizes that loving others unselfishly is what really liberates her love.

The Shiralee

(1957 b 99’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from the novel by D’Arcy Niland, Australian swagman Jim Macauley (Peter Finch) loves his freedom but takes his daughter Buster (Dana Wilson) from his sometime wife Marge Macauley (Elizabeth Sellars) who is living with Donny (George Rose). Macauley gets to know his little girl as he looks for work and meets old friends Beauty Kelly (Niall), Lily Parker (Rosemary Harris), and Luke Sweeney (Sid James) and his wife Bella Sweeney (Tessie O’Shea).

This drama depicts rural life in Australia on the road while portraying a spunky child who likes being with her gruff father who tries his best to take care of her despite difficulties.

Silk Stockings

(1957 c 117’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In this musical adaptation of the 1939 film Ninotchka movie producer Steven Canfield (Fred Astaire) falls in love with the Russian Ninotchka Yoschenko (Cyd Charisse) who has come to Paris with the commissars Bibinski (Jules Munshin), Brankov (Peter Lorre), and Ivanov (Joseph Buloff) to monitor a film using the music of composer Peter Ilyitch Boroff (Wim Sonneveld) starring glamorous Peggy Dayton (Janis Paige).
      This musical entertains with songs by Cole Porter and fine dancing though it alters somewhat a comedy that is hard to improve upon. Nevertheless the Cold War is as active as ever, and both Soviet regimentation and capitalist decadence are both satirized by their contrasts.

The Story of Esther Costello

(1957 b 103’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from the novel by Nicholas Monsarrat, wealthy Margaret Landi (Joan Crawford) visits Ireland, and Father Devlin (Denis O’Dea) persuades her to help young Esther Costello (Heather Sears) who has lost her sight and hearing in an accident. Dissatisfied with a school, Margaret trains the pretty young woman to understand language, and with her success begins a fund to help others. Margaret’s separated husband Carlo Landi (Rossano Brazzi) comes back to his wife repentant and brings with him Frank Wenzel (Ron Randell) to manage the fund’s campaigns.

            This melodrama shows how a blind and deaf person can learn how to have a good life while also exposing the exploitation of charity work to make money for its promoters.

The Story of Mankind

(1957 c 100’) En: 5 Ed: 5

After the invention of the hydrogen bomb a High Judge (Cedric Hardwicke) convenes a tribunal to judge whether humans are fit enough to survive. Mr. Scratch (Vincent Price) is the prosecutor who describes the evils of people, and mankind is defended by the Spirit of Man (Ronald Coleman). An all-star cast shows vignettes of famous people from history including Khufu, Moses, Helen of Troy, Hippocrates, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Nero, an early Christian woman, the Magna Carta, Joan of Arc, Pierre Cauchon, Christopher Columbus, Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, and Alexander Graham Bell. Millions of people died in wars, especially in the two world wars with Adolf Hitler demanding more territory. Finally with good and evil seemingly balanced precariously with the threat of extinction made real by the hydrogen bomb, the ultimate decision is left to mankind to determine its fate.
      This historical panorama in the form of a trial dramatizes dozens of famous events and people who have shaped and represented human history. Though the treatment is superficial, people can nonetheless learn some of the lessons of history and view the big picture of the human story.

The Strange One
(End as a Man)

(1957 b 100’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the novel and play by Calder Willingham, at a southern military college the upperclassman Jocko de Paris (Ben Gazzara), with help from his roommate Harold Koble (Pat Hingle) and football star Roger Gatt (James Olson), hazes freshmen Robert Marquales (George Peppard) and Simmons (Arthur Storch), making them beat up George Avery (Geoffrey Horne) and pour whiskey into his throat so that he is expelled by his father Major Avery (Larry Gates). Those participating do not want to be expelled also but find alternative way of bringing Jocko to justice.

           This drama portrays a bully who uses the hazing tradition to get his sadistic kicks, but he isolates himself from the other students and has to pay for what he did.

The Sun Also Rises

(1957 c 130) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel, Great War veteran Jake Barnes (Tyrone Power) has been rendered impotent but not emasculated by his war wound, and in the hospital he fell in love with beautiful Lady Brett Ashley (Ava Gardner). He has become a journalist in Paris. She loves him but might marry Mike Campbell (Errol Flynn), but he is alcoholic and has become obnoxious. Young boxing champion Robert Cohn (Mel Ferrer) is smitten by her and follows her like a puppy dog, and writer Bill Gorton (Eddie Albert) also hangs out with the lost generation in Paris and at Pamplona during the bullfight season.
      This drama portrays these writers who drink and carouse most of the nights and are entertained by bull-fights. Ironically the man the beauty likes and loves most is impotent, but this shows that there is much more to a loving relationship than sex. In this story the macho men end up striking out with her.

The Tarnished Angels

(1957 b 91’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from a novel by William Faulkner, newspaper reporter Burke Devlin (Rock Hudson), covering an air show, gets involved with LaVerne Shumann (Dorothy Malone), wife of the pilot Roger Shumann (Robert Stack), who loves to fly, his young son Jack Shumann (Chris Olsen), and their friend and skilled mechanic Jiggs (Jack Carson). The three men, each in their own way, love LaVerne and the boy, but Roger is addicted to flying. Businessman Matt Ord (Robert Middleton) likes to enter planes in races; he is resented by the others but is manipulated by them.

            This drama explores the characters of these people whose intertwined lives come to be understood by the reporter as he falls in love with LaVerne too. Though fired by his editor, Burke gets the real story which makes the newspaper account seem empty.

Ten Thousand Bedrooms

(1957 c 114’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Directed by Richard Thorpe, rich hotel owner Ray Hunter (Dean Martin) has bought a hotel in Rome and is welcomed by Maria Martelli (Eva Bartok). He loves her until he meets her youngest sister Nina Martelli (Anna Maria Alberghetti). Ray and Nina become engaged, but her father Vittorio Martelli (Walter Slezak) says she cannot marry until her three older sisters are married.

            This musical comedy depicts beautiful Italian women and the Americans who fall in love with them in a predictable but nonetheless romantic and entertaining way.

 

This Could Be the Night

(1957 b 104’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by Robert Wise, school-teacher Anne Leeds (Jean Simmons) is hired for an evening job as secretary by owner Rocco (Paul Douglas), but his partner, the playboy Tony Armotti (Anthony Franciosa), thinks she is too nice a girl to work there. She wins everyone over including her boss, stripper Patsy St. Clair (Neile Adams), her mother Crystal St. Clair (Joan Blondell), the chef Leon (J. Carrol Naish), and even the busboy Hussein Mohammed (Rafael Campos); but she falls in love with the one  with whom she experiences mutual dislike.
      This comedy has snappy dialog that reveals character and some fine musical entertainment by singer Ivy Corlane (Julie Wilson) and Ray Anthony’s orchestra. The story shows that a well educated and intelligent woman can also enjoy an interesting night life.

Time Without Pity

(1957 b 85’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by Joseph Losey, alcoholic novelist David Graham (Michael Redgrave) has only a day or so to find evidence that his son Alec Graham (Alec McGowan) did not murder his girl-friend Jenny Coles, but Alec says he does not want to be saved. David questions Alec’s lawyer Jeremy Clayton (Peter Cushing), Alec’s best friend Brian (Paul Daneman), Jenny’s sister Agnes (Joan Plowright), Brian’s father Robert Stanford (Leo McKern), his wife Honor Stanford (Ann Todd), his son Alec again, and others to try to find out what happened.

This suspenseful murder mystery keeps the audience guessing while showing how capital punishment could sometimes kill the innocent.

Top Secret Affair

(1957 b 100’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Freely adapted from the novel by John P. Marquand, Dorothy Peale (Susan Hayward) heads a publishing and media conglomerate and is disappointed that the man she wanted appointed to an important government position on atomic issues was not picked, she arranges to do a cover story of the appointee General Melville A. Goodwin (Kirk Douglas) by inviting him and his staff to visit her home for ten days of interviews. Her attempts to expose the faults of this disciplined military paragon become complicated when she falls in love with him. Senator Burdick (Roland Winters) at a hearing in Washington questions General Goodwin and Peale.
      This romantic comedy satirizes the military mentality of a competent general while showing what the media can do to discredit such a man. Despite using her wiles the managing editor is won over by the general’s honesty and cooperation while her femininity dissolves his armor and awakens his romantic instincts.

Until They Sail

(1957 b 95’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted by Robert Anderson from a story by James Michener and directed by Robert Wise, during World War II in New Zealand sisters Barbara (Jean Simmons), Anne (Joan Fontaine), Delia (Piper Laurie), and Evelyn (Sandra Dee) deal with loneliness while men are away fighting the war and sometimes dying. The American Captain Jack Harding (Paul Newman) has to investigate Anne because she wants to marry a US marine.
      This romantic drama depicts the difficult absences and changes women and men have to go through during the changing fortunes of a war when thousands of women married men from another country who were temporarily stationed where they live. These difficult circumstances brought changes to sexual mores.

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

(1957 c 93’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from the play by George Axelrod, Rockwell P. Hunter (Tony Randall) works for an advertising firm under Henry Rufus (Henry Jones) and the executive Irving La Salle Jr. (John Williams), and he is engaged to marry Jenny Wells (Betsy Drake). Hunter is about to lose his job, but he comes up with a way to get the sex symbol Rita Marlowe (Jayne Mansfield) to endorse their product. He becomes her “Loverdoll” but loses the affection of Jenny as he climbs the ladder of success.

      This satire of advertising is introduced and commented on by the actor Tony Randall and reflects how television is changing the entertainment industry, and it comes to the conclusion that the ultimate success is being happy.

The Wings of Eagles

(1957 c 110’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on autobiographical writings by Frank Wead and directed by John Ford, pioneering Navy pilot Frank “Spig” Wead (John Wayne) is married to Min Wead (Maureen O’Hara) but devotes himself mostly to his Navy career. He finds camaraderie with “Jughead” Carson (Dan Dailey) and others, and Carson helps Wead recover from a terrible accident.

           This biopic shows the early development of naval aircraft and rambunctious competition between the US Navy and the US Army. Wead wrote the screenplays for Hell Divers (1932), Ceiling Zero (1936), and They Were Expendable (1945).

The Young Stranger

(1957 b 84’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by John Frankenheimer, 16-year-old Hal Ditmar (James MacArthur) is a little rebellious with his friend Jerry Doyle (Jeffrey Silver), and in a movie theater the manager (Whit Bissell) by using force to discipline them provokes a fight. They are arrested, and police Sergeant Shipley (James Gregory) believes the manager’s story and does not listen to sarcastic Hal who is charged. His father Tom Ditmar (Tom Daley) believes the sergeant and tries to discipline his son, though his mother Helen Ditmar (Kim Hunter) does try to understand him.
      This realistic drama depicts the developing generation gap between busy middle-class fathers and their sons trying to express themselves. The youth joke about the gas chamber and resent being pushed around by authoritarian adults who seem to be only interested in money.

Your Past Is Showing
(The Naked Truth)

(1957 b 92’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Nigel Dennis (Dennis Price) threatens famous people with publication of their shameful secrets in The Naked Truth magazine in order to blackmail them. After many suicides his targeted victims include Lord Henry Maley, (Terry-Thomas), television comic Sonny MacGregor (Peter Sellers), author Flora Ransom, (Peggy Mount), and model Melissa Right (Shirley Eaton). After failing to try to kill him separately, he is arrested and threatens to blow them all sky high. So they work together to abduct him.

           This farce is often absurd but gets many laughs out of the desperate victims of scandalmonger.

Zero Hour!

(1957 b 82’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Written by Arthur Hailey, after a bad experience flying in World War II, in 1956 pilot Ted Stryker (Dana Andrews) follows his departing wife Ellen (Linda Darnell) and child on to a plane that faces an emergency requiring him to fly and land in fog with help from Captain Martin Treleaven (Sterling Hayden) by radio.
      This drama of an airplane crisis explores the psychological difficulty following a difficult war experience and of adapting to a larger and more complicated airplane.

Copyright © 2013 by Sanderson Beck

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Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies of All Time
Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies in Alphabetical Order

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