Category Archives: 1950s

A Summer Place (1959)

Nothing will put you in more of a summer mood than an idyllic, beachy, teen romance from the 1950s. They weren’t kidding about Sandra Dee, her character in A Summer Place is pretty much what Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy feared. Continue reading A Summer Place (1959)

Advertisements

The Joker is Wild (1957)

Finally finishing off the wild decade of the 1950s with this Frank Sinatra biopic on Joe Lewis.

Sinatra plays Lewis through his career as a nightclub performer and the mistakes made due to his alcoholism. Jeanne Crain plays the love interest, she is so beautiful, such a sparkle in her eyes. The story itself is quite tragic, yet ends on an uplifting note. Still, mediocre.

But I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Frank Sinatra. The Lost Weekend starring Ray Milland has essentially the same premise with a different occupation – and I couldn’t stand it. I’m beginning to believe that Sinatra can do no wrong in my book.

If you want a fantastic Sinatra movie? I’d go with From Here to Eternity (also tragic), High Society, or The Manchurian Candidate.

The Joker is Wild (1957)

The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)

I have found a new favorite Marilyn character. My favorite movie of hers will always be Some Like it Hot, but this film has her playing more of a flighty romantic rather than a diamond hungry meddler (in the most likable sense). It was a charming story line and I enjoyed finally seeing Sir Laurence Olivier in a comedy, what a talent he was.

I’m watching this because My Week with Marilyn comes out on the 23rd, of which the plot surrounds the making of this film. To be honest, I watch the trailer, I don’t really know what to expect from Michelle Williams. She has the look, that’s for sure, but the charm and sparkle that Monroe brought to the screen just doesn’t seem to be captured as it should.

This may be due to the fact that the sparkle in which audiences fell in love with was exhausting to her, possibly leading to her to an all too soon death. Perhaps this side of Monroe is reflected in this film, in which case, Williams seems appropriate. However, being able to capture the screen side is just so important: the walk, the voice, the charm, it’s what made Monroe who she was.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the iconographic aspect of a star’s career. I wrote a while back about Audrey Hepburn and how I believe her to be a tad overrated. Hepburn is number three on the greatest stars list while Monroe is number six. To the naked eye, I could give both the same reaction, except Monroe was trapped in her own icon before she could escape it. In a way, The Prince and the Showgirl is relevant to her life, she strived to become a serious actress, but no one ever gave her a chance. Maybe Audrey Hepburn was the same. Either way, their acting repertoires both really only reflect one character, oh but what charms they illuminated..

Perhaps this new film coming out will open a lot of eyes and cause a lot of regret: a starlet that could never seek beyond the boundaries that society gave her. A tragic loss to what could have been truly enchanting.

The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)

The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

Just a week ago, I was simultaneously enjoying and freaking out at Sybil, the incredibly well done psychological thriller starring Sally Field about multi-personality disorder. And here I am, this evening I watched The Three Faces of Eve, starring the divine Joanne Woodward as the patient, 20 years before she played the doctor in Sybil. Continue reading The Three Faces of Eve (1957)