|Ballad of a Soldier (Russian)||88||b||8||6||6||6||7||5||5|
|But Not For Me||105||b||5||6||4||4||5||5||5|
|Black Orpheus (Portuguese)||107||c||8||7||5||9||7||5||5|
|Cousins, Les (French)||112||b||7||7||8||6||5||5|
|FBI Story, The||149||c||4||6||5||5||6||5||5|
|Five Pennies, The||117||c||6||5||5||5||5||5||5|
|For the First Time||97||c||4||5||4||5||5||5||4|
|400 Blows, The (French)||99||b||8||8||6||9||8||5||5|
|Fugitive Kind, The||121||b||6||5||4||3||5||5||5|
|Gene Krupa Story, The||101||b||4||5||4||3||5||4||5|
|Hanging Tree, The||107||c||7||6||5||7||6||5||5|
|Hound of the Baskervilles, The||87||c||6||6||5||7||5||5||5|
|Horse Soldiers, The||119||c||4||6||5||7||5||5||5|
|It Happened to Jane||97||c||5||5||4||5||5||5|
|John Paul Jones||126||c||5||5||4||4||5||5||5|
|Law, The (French)||121||b||4||4||4||5||5|
|Mating Game, The||97||c||6||6||4||7||6||5||5|
|Middle of the Night||118||b||5||5||6||5||4||5||5|
|Never So Few||125||c||5||5||4||5||5||5||4|
|Our Man In Havana||107||c||6||5||5||6||5||5|
|Solomon and Sheba||141||c||5||6||5||5||4||5||4|
|Sound and the Fury, The||115||c||6||5||4||5||5||5|
|World, the Flesh and the Devil, The||95||b||6||5||5||5||5|
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
During World War II Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov (Vladimir Ivashov) is commended for battling against a tank and is allowed two days to visit his mother. In a boxcar on a train he meets young Shura (Zhanna Prokhorenko), and they fall in love and try to keep together on his way home.
This war-time drama portrays a romance and a young man’s love for his mother, but sadly during the war he has little time to be with his mother or his new-found friend.
Adapted from a play by Vinicius de Moraes, during Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro the musician Orfeo (Breno Mello) is engaged to marry Mira (Lourdes de Oliveira) who loans him the money for her ring. Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn) has run away from home and comes to visit her cousin Serafina (Léa Garia) the day before the Carnaval. Orfeo falls in love with her, but she is afraid of death, and Mira becomes very jealous.
This drama depicts the ancient myth symbolically as children believe that Orfeo makes the sun come up with his music. The gaiety of the celebration seems to be shared by all, but the jealousy of Mira causes tragedy.
Based on a play by Samson Raphaelson and directed by Walter Lang, aging Broadway producer Russell Ward (Clark Gable) discovers that his young secretary Ellie Brown (Carroll Baker) is in love with him, and he uses the story to improve the play by Jeremiah MacDonald. Young actor Gordon Reynolds (Barry Coe) is in love with Ellie. Ward’s ex-wife Kathryn Ward (Lilli Palmer) provides charm and moral support for the struggling theatrical venture.
Directed by Claude Chabrol, the inexperienced but serious law student Charles (Gérard Blain) from the country has come to Paris and moves in with his playboy cousin Paul Thomas (Jean-Claude Brialy) who gives wild parties. Charles quickly falls in love with Florence (Juliette Mayniel); but his cousin Paul soon woos her away from him, and she moves in with him.
This realistic drama contrasts the characters and life-styles of these cousins and depicts the Parisian society of their young friends and the senseless tragedy that results.
Based on the book by Don Whitehead and directed by Mervyn LeRoy, Chip Hardesty (James Stewart) is in the FBI before J. Edgar Hoover takes over, and Chip marries Lucy Ann (Vera Miles) promising he will quit the FBI. His career in the FBI includes his fellow agent Sam Crandall (Murray Hamilton) and proceeds from apprehending a plane bomber, the KKK and men killing Osage Indians for their oil wealth and fighting gangsters in the 1920s and 1930s to catching Nazi and Communist spies in the 1940s and 1950s. His exemplary family life is also depicted.
This glorification of the FBI was made under the direct control of J. Edgar Hoover. In the earlier years commendable work catching violent criminals was portrayed, but in the later years the emphasis was on rounding up political enemies who were merely passing information. This reflects the growing paranoia as the United States expanded to become an imperial superpower.
Based on the life of Red Nichols, young Red Nichols (Danny Kaye) arrives in New York City from Utah to play cornet for a band. He meets and marries Willa (Barbara Bel Geddes) but does not like the bandleader Wil Paradise (Bob Crosby) and goes off to play with Louis Armstrong (himself) before forming his own band. Red and Willa raise their daughter Dorothy while traveling with the band until Red decides to put her in a boarding school. Complications ensue, and Red gives up his musical career.
Italian-American opera singer Tony Costa (Mario Lanza) shows up late for a performance in Vienna, and his friend Gloria De Vadnuz (Zsa Zsa Gabor) tries to help him. His manager Ladislas Tabory (Kurt Kasznar) warns Tony he has been irresponsible too often, endangering his career. They go to Capri where Tony meets deaf Christa (Johanna von Koczian), and they fall in love. She declines to marry unless she can hear, and so he takes her to specialists to find a cure.
This musical romance reflects the brilliant and troubled career of Lanza himself and was his last film before his death at the age of 38.
Written and directed by François Truffaut, the adolescent Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) has a pretty mother Gilberte Doinel (Claire Maurier) and a step-father Julien Doinel (Albert Rémy) who neglect him. Antoine and his best friend René Bigey (Patrick Auffay) call their punitive teacher Sourpuss (Guy Decomble) and get in trouble. They play hooky and go to movies. They steal things, and eventually Antoine gets caught and is sent to an observation center for juvenile delinquents.
Based on “Orpheus Descending” by Tennessee Williams and directed by Sidney Lumet, guitar-player Valentine Xavier (Marlon Brando) is ordered to leave New Orleans and meets the wild exhibitionist Carol Cutrere (Joanne Woodward) and gets a job working for lonely Lady Torrance (Anna Magnani) in her store.
This drama portrays sensitive and eccentric people who have difficulty fitting in the rural South with its racism, intolerance, meanness, and cruelty.
Based on Alec Coppel’s play, TV writer and director Elliott Nash (Glenn Ford) is happily married to stage star Nell Nash (Debbie Reynolds), and he decides to protect her reputation and prevent pay-offs by murdering the blackmailer. District Attorney Harlow Edison (Carl Reiner) is their best friend and would like to romance Nell. She buys a gazebo, and they hire Sam Thorpe (John McGiver) to install it in their backyard.
In this farcical mystery the leading character appears to be rather stupid and bumbling in his attempts to persuade Nell to agree to the sale of their house and in plotting the murder. This black comedy entertains by contriving funny situations and manages to resolve the story without ruining the life of the blackmailed couple.
Gene Krupa (Sal Mineo) loves to play drums, but his parents want him to become a priest. Gene works with musician Eddie Sirota (James Darren), and they both love Ethel Maguire (Susan Kohner). Gene is ambitious and becomes a star drummer and starts his own orchestra. He is lured into the celebrity life by singer Dorissa Dinell (Susan Oliver), endangering his relationship with patient Ethel. Krupa’s career is ruined for a while by a trumped charge involving marijuana.
This biopic is fairly accurate, and the drug charges that put him in prison for 90 days and black-listed him were unjust.
Based on Frederick Kohner’s novel and his daughter’s experiences, teenager Francie Lawrence (Sandra Dee) goes looking for boys who surf and is named Gidget by surf bum Kahuna (Cliff Robertson) and young Moondoggie (James Darren) who wants to be like him. She bribes her way into learning how to surf and to get taken to a party, but her intelligence and innocence somehow protect her and turn around the Kahuna and Moondoggie.
This teen beach movie opened up a new genre of teen entertainment that led to fun in the sun with girls in two-piece bathing suits. Her inexperience with boys is almost painful, but she is not afraid and wants to learn.
Adapted from Dorothy M. Johnson’s novel, in a gold-mining town of Montana in the 1880s Dr. Joseph Frail (Gary Cooper) treats the wound of sluice-thief Rune (Ben Piazza) and makes him work for him as a bond-servant. Frustrated miner Frenchy Plante (Karl Malden) finds injured Elizabeth Mahler (Maria Schell) after her father is killed in a stage-coach robbery and accident. Dr. Frail takes care of her until she is cured and then wants to send her away, but she forms a partnership with Rune and Frenchy.
This western depicts the strange conditions of a gold-mining town with mostly men driven by greed for gold and unsatisfied lust. The doctor has a dark past, likes to control people, and can become violent against someone whose behavior he despises.
Directed by John Ford, in 1863 Union Col. John Marlowe (John Wayne) is joined by physician Major Henry Kendall (William Holden) and would-be politician Col. Phil Secord (Willis Bouchey) on a risky raid in Confederate territory to disable the railroads at Newton Station which supplies Vicksburg. Their plan to go to Baton Rouge is learned by southerner Miss Hannah Hunter (Constance Towers) and her house-slave Lukey (Althea Gibson), and Marlowe takes them along as prisoners on the campaign.
This western war drama is a fictionalized version of Grierson’s Raid but depicts well the historical conditions and the rivalry between the aggressive commander and the humanitarian doctor.
Adapted from the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, the death of the vile Hugo Baskerville (David Oxley) begins the legend of a ferocious hound. Generations later Dr. Mortimer (Francis De Wolff) asks Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) and Dr. Watson (André Morell) to protect Henry Baskerville (Christopher Lee) from the family curse on the moors.
This version of the story depicted better in the 1939 movie emphasizes the horror elements in its color portrayal of Holmes surviving personal danger and predicting another murder before solving the case.
Widow Jane Osgood (Doris Day) has two children and raises lobsters. When a railroad run by greedy Harry Foster Malone (Ernie Kovacs) causes her shipment of lobsters to die, she has her best friend and lawyer George Denham (Jack Lemmon) sue the railroad.
This comedy portrays a small town in Maine where democracy can work through town meetings, but a small enterprise comes into conflict with a powerful businessman. Jane and George, who is a frustrated Democrat, manage to overcome difficulties and win people over to their cause.
Set in Kansas between 1854 and 1860 when anti-slavery Jayhawkers were in conflict with pro-slavery Border Ruffians from Missouri, Cam Bleeker was a Jayhawker trying to defend his family who escapes from prison and finds Jeanne Dubois (Nicole Maurey) and her two children living in his house. He learns that his wife is dead, and he is arrested. Governor William Clayton offers him his life in exchange for turning in the powerful Jayhawker leader Luke Darcy (Jeff Chandler).
This western though a fictionalized story depicts the era when Jayhawkers battled the Border Ruffians who in this film are called “Redlegs.” Both Bleeker and Jeanne come to have ambivalent feelings about the ruthlessly ambitious Darcy who uses both violence and humanitarian politics to increase his power.
A Scottish boy goes to sea and becomes a captain but kills a man during a mutiny. He takes the name John Paul Jones (Robert Stack) and escapes to Virginia where he is helped by Patrick Henry (Macdonald Carey) and is rejected by Dorothea Danders (Erin O’Brien) and her father. Fighting for American independence he becomes friends with Benjamin Franklin (Charles Coburn) and Aimee de Tellison (Marisa Pavan) in Paris. After the war he fights for Empress Catherine the Great (Bette Davis).
This biopic sanitizes the life of the pugnacious, ruthless, and womanizing naval captain whose heroism was magnified later by President Theodore Roosevelt. Nonetheless this film depicts the basic structure of his rather violent life which did aid the American war effort against the British.
Written by George Tabori and directed by Anatole Litvak, during the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet occupation in 1956 a group of westerners at an airport in Budapest are put on a bus to take them to Vienna, but they are held up by Russians under Major Surov (Yul Brynner) near the border. Diana Ashmore (Deborah Kerr) is trying to help the wounded Hungarian Paul Kedes (Jason Robards) to escape as “Henry Fleming.” Journalist Hugh Deverill (Robert Morley) acts as spokesman for the group. American Harold Rhinelander (E. G. Marshall) is sympathetic to the Hungarians while his pregnant wife Margie (Anne Jackson) is more concerned about their children.
The Cold War drama depicts the tense and dangerous situation in Hungary during this crisis, giving westerners a chance to witness the oppression as a Russian officer feels the frustration and lack of freedom he has in having to enforce the occupation and suppress the resistance.
Based on Roger Vailland’s novel and directed by Jules Dassin, in an Italian town beautiful Marietta (Gina Lollobrigida) works for the elderly boss Don Cesare (Pierre Brasseur) and would like to marry the agronomist Enrico Tosso (Marcello Mastroianni), but she is desired by the mafia boss Matteo Brigante (Yves Montand). Another beauty, Donna Lucrezia (Melina Mercouri) is married to the judge and is also desired by Matteo, but she wants to run away with his son Francesco Brigante (Raf Mattioli).
This comedy revolves around a serious game as to who will lay down the law and has many twists and turns and surprises. Those who seem to hold the power find that the wiles of women overcome them in unusual ways. The story satirizes the machinations of Italian power struggles, though it seems strange to hear so many Italians and a Greek speaking French.
Based on Edward Wooll’s play, Jeffrey Buckenham (Paul Massie) charges that Sir Mark Lodden (Dirk Bogarde) was killed in the war and has been replaced by Frank Welney (Dirk Bogarde), and his wife Margaret Lodden (Olivia de Havilland) comes to believe her changed husband may be an impostor. In court Sir Wilfred (Robert Morley) brings the case for libel while Hubert Foxley (Wilfrid Hyde-White) represents Lodden.
This courtroom drama explores the difficulties of prisoners of war and the effect the war can have on men and their wives.
Based on a novel by H. E. Bates, the bartering Pa Larkin (Paul Douglas) and Ma (Una Merkel) hope to marry off their oldest daughter Mariette (Debbie Reynolds) to a fine man, and they set their eyes on Lorenzo Charlton (Tony Randall) who has come to investigate what they owe the government for never having filed any tax returns.
In this comedy the Larkin family is loved by just about everyone they know except their rich neighbor who resented their borrowing his prize hog. They believe in doing to others what they want done to them and have many friends.
Paddy Chayefsky adapted his own play with direction by Delbert Mann. The successful clothing boss Jerry Kingsley (Fredric March), a widower at 56, falls in love with his beautiful 24-year-old secretary Betty (Kim Novak) who is divorced. His partner Walter Lockman (Albert Dekker) brags about his womanizing. Jerry lives with his sister Evelyn Kingsley (Edith Meiser), and she and his daughter Lillian (Joan Copeland) are upset by this affair and warn him. Jerry is a serious and caring man and persuades Betty to become engaged, but he has to deal with his jealousy.
Based on an OSS incident and the novel by Tom T. Tomales, in Burma in 1943 Captain Tom Reynolds (Frank Sinatra) and Captain Danny de Mortimer (Richard Johnson) lead native Kachins with help from driver-turned-guerilla Ringa (Steve McQueen) and the military doctor Grey Travis (Peter Lawford). Beautiful Carla (Gina Lollobrigida) seems attached to wealthy Regas (Paul Henreid), but she falls in love with Reynolds. In the jungle they fight an unconventional war and are attacked by Japanese and Chinese under a warlord. Reynolds defies orders by Col. Fred Parkson (Robert Bray) and has to answer to General Sloan (Brian Donlevy).
This war drama from World War II foreshadows the problems of an Asian war that would re-appear in the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Based on the novel by Graham Greene and directed by Carol Reed, vacuum cleaner salesman Jim Wormold (Alec Guinness) in Havana before the revolution is devoted to helping his daughter Milly (Jo Morrow) who is befriended by the police Captain Segura (Ernie Kovacs). Jim is contacted by British agent Hawthorne (Noel Coward) who offers him a job gathering information. Jim’s friend, Dr. Hasselbacher (Burl Ives) persuades Jim to make up stories about people he says he has recruited as agents. The intelligence supervisor C (Ralph Richardson) sends Beatrice Severn (Maureen O’Hara) to find out about pictures of installations Jim sent them.
Directed by Robert Bresson, Michel (Martin LaSalle) learns and practices how to pick pockets. He barely visits his mother (Dolly Scal) while he is friends with Jacques (Pierre Leymarle) and his lover Jeanne (Marika Green) who has a child. Michel does not earn money honestly but tries to steal for a living, sometimes with partners, while staying in a small garret in Paris. He is questioned by a police inspector (Jean Pélégri) who continues to pursue him.
This crime drama portrays a man obsessed with this way of gaining money while showing how truly unrewarding and lonely is a life of crime.
Adapted from stories by Charles Perrault and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm with music by Tchaikovsky and set in the 14th century, King Stefan and Queen Leah name their daughter Aurora and betroth her to marry King Hubert’s son Phillip. The good fairies Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather bless her and protect her, but the evil fairy Maleficent predicts she will be scratched by a spinning wheel and die.
This animated fairy tale depicts good and bad magic and the romantic dream of girl born a princess who is awakened by the love of a prince.
Directed by King Vidor, Israel’s dying King David (Finlay Currie) chooses his younger son Solomon (Yul Brynner) to succeed him, and his older son Adonijah (George Sanders) tries to make himself king. The rich Queen of Sheba (Gina Lollobrigida) promises Pharaoh she will cause Israel to be divided; but when she visits Jerusalem, she falls in love with King Solomon.
This Biblical epic is mostly fiction and melodramatic with special help given to those who pray to Israel’s God.
Adapted from William Faulkner’s novel, Quentin Compson (Joanne Woodward) is becoming a woman, but she resents her step-uncle Jason who has raised her while her mother Caddy (Margaret Leighton) was gone with men but now returns and accepts Jason’s hospitality. The idiot who tells the tale in the first part of the novel (but not in this movie) is the mute Benjy Compson (Jack Warden). Poor Charlie Busch (Stuart Whitman) desires pretty Quentin, and she falls in love with him but soon realizes he is not worthy of her. This southern household is well served by Dilsey (Ethel Waters) and her grandsons. Quentin’s brother Howard (John Beal) is an alcoholic who does no work.
This character drama depicts southerners in a broken family, but what is interesting in the movie is how Quentin and her mother Caddy learn from their hard experiences and come to understand the severe Jason and themselves.
Newspaper editors Sam Gatlin (Jack Webb) and Jim Bathgate (William Conrad) work at night putting out a daily newspaper with help of professionals and young people working their way up. Sam’s wife Peggy (Whitney Blake) wants him to adopt a son, and the big story is about a little girl lost in a storm drain.
This realistic drama depicts a newspaper office and the personalities who work there and interact with snappy dialog.
Written and directed by Samuel Fuller, Sergeant David Brent (James Best) fights a German sniper and is wounded. Helga Schiller (Susan Cummings) helps him and hides him when the SS occupies her home. Soon the American soldiers arrive, and the war in Europe ends. David asks Helga to marry him and is discharged from the army to work for the American Government in Germany. Her brother Franz Schiller (Harold Daye) has been in the Hitler Youth and joins with her friend Bruno Eckart (Tom Pittman) who is organizing Werewolves to fight the Americans.
This war drama portrays a German woman who persuades an American soldier that she opposes the Nazis. Yet the conflict continues for a time as Germans are dependent on the Americans for food and assistance. Blending documentary footage, especially of the Nuremberg trials, adds educational value to this realistic drama.
Based on M. P. Shiel’s novel, the miner Ralph Burton (Harry Belafonte) is trapped in a mine and works his way out to discover a nuclear war has depopulated the world. He survives and meets attractive Sarah Crandall (Inger Stevens) and then helps Benson Thacker (Mel Ferrer) survive. They try to come to terms with the love triangle, knowing they may determine the future of humanity in the world.
This drama is unlikely, but it becomes a parable for survival in the nuclear age. Can people learn how to get along with each other without destroying ourselves?
Adapted from the biographical novel by Heck Allen, Yellowstone Kelly (Clint Walker) has been trapping for furs and returns to Snake River country with volunteer partner Anse Harper (Edward Byrnes). Kelly warns Major Towns (Rhodes Reason) at Fort Buford not to try to move the Sioux off their land. The Sioux capture Kelly and Anse, and Chief Gall (John Russell) forces Kelly to remove a bullet from the spine of Wahleeah (Andra Martin) who was seized by Sayapi (Ray Danton) who insists on keeping her. Many conflicts ensue.
Based on the teleplay by Peter R. Norman and directed by Val Guest, during World War II British Captain Langford (Stanley Baker) leads his men in a desperate retreat through the Burmese jungle, and he uses ruthless methods to try to get information from a captured civilian. A priest (Guy Rolfe) who is a major and the reporter Max (Leo McKern) object to Langford killing civilians. Later when the Japanese soldiers capture them, they have to face a similar dilemma.
This anti-war drama exposes the cruelty and cynicism practiced during wars even by those in nations who considered themselves the most civilized.