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1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Página 3 de 3. Precedente  1, 2, 3

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 12:50 am


273

Animal farm (John Halas & Joey Batchelor, 1954)




A rare example of mainstream animation being used to tell a highly political story, Animal Farm retains its value as a vivid adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel. Characters were eliminated, certain elements of plot were simplified, and the book's gloomy ending was softened to offer a glimmer of hope, but Orwell's parable of the Russian revolution--retold as a revolt among not-so-equal barnyard animals--remains potently intact. As produced by the famous British animation studio run by John Halas and Joy Batchelor, this still-important 1954 film is anything but kiddie fare; it steadfastly avoids sentiment, and despite its slightly more upbeat ending this is still a story that involves exploitation, death, betrayal, and an inevitable uprising that goes a step beyond Orwell's pessimistic conclusion. With British actor Maurice Denham supplying all the voices and Gordon Heath providing newsreel-like narration, this economical, documentary-like telling of Orwell's tale was criticized for its "Disneyfied" style, but the animation is actually quite striking in its European influence and bold use of symbolism. It has aged, and some of its impact has been lost to the course of history, but it's an essential addition to any serious animation collection. Excellent commentary and a 30-minute "making of" featurette place this extraordinary milestone of British animation in proper historical context.


JM

Cantidad de envíos : 1944
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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 12:54 am

274
Rear window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)




Like the Greenwich Village courtyard view from its titular portal, Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window is both confined and multileveled: both its story and visual perspective are dictated by its protagonist's imprisonment in his apartment, convalescing in a wheelchair, from which both he and the audience observe the lives of his neighbors. Cheerful voyeurism, as well as the behavior glimpsed among the various tenants, affords a droll comic atmosphere that gradually darkens when he sees clues to what may be a murder.
Photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is, in fact, a voyeur by trade, a professional photographer sidelined by an accident while on assignment. His immersion in the human drama (and comedy) visible from his window is a by-product of boredom, underlined by the disapproval of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and a wisecracking visiting nurse (Thelma Ritter). Yet when the invalid wife of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) disappears, Jeff enlists the two women to help him to determine whether she's really left town, as Thorwald insists, or been murdered.
Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto convincingly argues that the crime at the center of this mystery is the MacGuffin--a mere pretext--in a film that's more interested in the implications of Jeff's sentinel perspective. We actually learn more about the lives of the other neighbors (given generic names by Jeff, even as he's drawn into their lives) he, and we, watch undetected than we do the putative murderer and his victim. Jeff's evident fear of intimacy and commitment with the elegant, adoring Lisa provides the other vital thread to the script, one woven not only into the couple's own relationship, but reflected and even commented upon through the various neighbors' lives.
At minimum, Hitchcock's skill at making us accomplices to Jeff's spying, coupled with an ingenious escalation of suspense as the teasingly vague evidence coalesces into ominous proof, deliver a superb thriller spiked with droll humor, right up to its nail-biting, nightmarish climax. At deeper levels, however, Rear Window plumbs issues of moral responsibility and emotional honesty, while offering further proof (were any needed) of the director's brilliance as a visual storyteller.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 12:57 am

275
A star is born (George Cukor, 1954)




"This is Mrs. Norman Maine": Could these be the most heartbreaking words Judy Garland ever uttered? George Cukor directed and Moss Hart wrote this film, a musical remake of the 1937 original. The story is a show-biz classic: He (James Mason) is a major movie star who is past his prime and on the way down; she (Garland) is an aspiring singer who, with his help, becomes a bigger star than he was. Their marriage becomes a seesaw of success and failure, as he slowly drinks himself to death out of bitterness at the fickleness of fame, until his bad behavior begins to threaten the career of his long-suffering and loving wife. Mason and Garland are both terrific, with her singing "The Man That Got Away" among others. Remade in a 1976 Barbra Streisand vanity production.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 1:00 am

276
The barefoot contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954)




The Barefoot Contessa is a 1954 film about the life and loves of fictional Spanish sex symbol Maria Vargas. It was written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and stars Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner and Edmond O'Brien.
For his performance, O'Brien won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Mankiewicz was nominated for an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay.
Mankiewicz is reported to have based the film's central character of Maria Vargas on part-Spanish movie star and one-time dancer Rita Hayworth.
Down on his luck, veteran movie director and writer Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart) is reduced to working for abusive, emotionally-stunted business tycoon Kirk Edwards (Warren Stevens), who decides he wants to produce a film to stroke his already monumental ego. Looking for a fresh new leading lady for the movie, Harry discovers stunning Spanish dancer Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner), who knows what she wants and what she has to do to get it. She sells herself to Kirk in return for a chance at stardom.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 1:10 am

277
La strada (The road) (Federico Fellini, 1954)




Considered by many to be Federico Fellini's most beautiful and powerful film, La Strada was the first film to reveal the range of Guilietta Masina, whose poignant performance as the childlike Gelsomina recalls Chaplin's Little Tramp. The bubbly, waiflike Gelsomina is a simpleton sold to the gruff, bullying circus strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) as a servant and assistant. Treated no better than an animal, Gelsomina nonetheless falls in love with the brute Zampanò. When they join a small circus they meet Il Matto (Richard Basehart), a clown who enchants Gelsomina and relentlessly taunts Zampanò, whose inability to control his hatred of Il Matto (literally, "the Fool") leads to their expulsion from the circus and eventually to the film's fateful conclusion. Masina is heartbreaking as the wide-eyed innocent, whose generous spirit and love of life leads her to try to "save" Quinn's unfeeling, brutal Zampanò. Though the film resonates with mythic and biblical dimensions, Fellini never loses sight of his characters, lovingly painted in all their frailties and failings. Fellini's lyrical style reaches back to the simple beauty of his neorealist films and looks ahead to the impressionistic fantasies of later films, but at this unique period in Fellini's career, they combine to create a poetic, tragic masterpiece.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 1:15 am

278
Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)




Unanimously hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of the motion picture, Seven Samurai has inspired countless films modeled after its basic premise. But Akira Kurosawa's classic 1954 action drama has never been surpassed in terms of sheer power of emotion, kinetic energy, and dynamic character development. The story is set in the 1600s, when the residents of a small Japanese village are seeking protection against repeated attacks by a band of marauding thieves. Offering mere handfuls of rice as payment, they hire seven unemployed "ronin" (masterless samurai), including a boastful swordsman (Toshiro Mifune) who is actually a farmer's son desperately seeking glory and acceptance. The samurai get acquainted with but remain distant from the villagers, knowing that their assignment may prove to be fatal. The climactic battle with the raiding thieves remains one of the most breathtaking sequences ever filmed. It's poetry in hyperactive motion and one of Kurosawa's crowning cinematic achievements. This is not a film that can be well served by any synopsis; it must be seen to be appreciated (accept nothing less than its complete 203-minute version) and belongs on the short list of any definitive home-video library.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 1:45 am

279
Senso (Livia) (Luchino Visconti, 1954)




Senso is a 1954 film adaptation of Camillo Boito's Italian novella, Senso, by the Italian director Luchino Visconti, with Alida Valli as Livia and Farley Granger as Lieutenant Franz Mahler (a name change for the Remigio Ruz character and Visconti's tribute to Gustav Mahler, one of his favourite composers whose music features in the later Death in Venice).
Originally, Visconti wanted Ingrid Bergman and Marlon Brando for the starring roles but the producer denied it. Both Franco Zeffirelli and Franco Rosi, later well-known film directors in the their own right, worked as Visconti's Assistant Directors.
Senso is set in Italy around 1866, when the Italian-Austrian war of unification was coming to its end.
The film opens in the La Fenice opera house in Venice with a performance of Il Trovatore. The opera is interrupted by a major protest of Italian Nationalists against the occupying Austrian troops present in the theatre. Livia, an Italian Countess who is unhappily married to a stuffy old aristocrat, bears witness to this and tries to conceal the fact that her own cousin Marquis Roberto Ussoni organized the protest. During the commotion, she meets a dashing young Austrian Officer named Franz Mahler, and is instantly smitten by him. The two begin a secretive and highly forbidden love affair. Despite the obvious fact that Franz was responsible for sending Roberto into exile because of his radical behavior, Livia vainly pretends not to be aware of it.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 1:50 am

280
Silver lode (Allan Dwan, 1954)




Silver Lode is a color 1954 western film directed by Allan Dwan.
The film, with a similar plot to High Noon, tells the story of Dan Ballard (John Payne) and Rose Evans (Lizabeth Scott) who are about to be married when Marshal Ned McCarthy (Dan Duryea) and his deputies ride into town looking for Ballard. McCarthy accuses Ballard of having murdered his brother and has come to arrest him. At first the townspeople are on Ballard's side but gradually they turn against him especially when they believe that he has killed the town sheriff (Emile Meyer). Ballard tries to prove his innocence and expose McCarthy, who appears to be a reference to Senator Joseph McCarthy.



JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 1:55 am

281
Carmen Jones (Otto Preminger, 1954)




Few actresses have captivated the camera as powerfully as Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones. Her polished beauty plays in irresistible contrast to her title character's leonine sexuality and fluid emotions; a man can't decide from moment to moment if he wants to save her from doom, build her a castle, or never let her out of bed. Of course, that's the problem with the boys in this semi-experimental adaptation of Bizet's opera, Carmen. Straight-arrow Joe (a strapping Harry Belafonte), an obedient corporal on a Southern military base during World War II, is all set to go to flight school and marry his hometown sweetie, Cindy Lou (Olga James), when his troublemaking sergeant orders him to accompany Carmen to a civilian court. In short order, Joe is swept up in Carmen's carnal anarchy and her craving for release from lousy options in life. An impulsive act of violence ensures that Joe's future is gone forever, putting Carmen in the difficult position of destroying their relationship to save him. Oscar Hammerstein II took Bizet's music in 1943 and rewrote the book and lyrics. The result is largely a smashing success with a few missteps (the bullfighter in Bizet's piece becomes a heavyweight boxer here, which breaks up a certain grace in the story) and a couple of perfect stretches (the long prelude to Carmen and Joe's first embrace, set on Carmen's hoodoo-ish home turf). Despite the fact that both Dandridge and Belafonte were singers, their vocal performances were dubbed by LeVern Hutcherson and Marilyn Horne. (Yes, it is a little disconcerting to hear another voice come out of the more familiar Belafonte's mouth.) Otto Preminger directed with his usual eye on economy of action and production, as the numerous musical numbers tend to be shot in lengthy, single, carefully choreographed takes. The result can be a little visually static at times, but the passion behind the singing pulls everything through.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 2:01 am

282
Sansho dayu (Sansho the bailiff) (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)




On certain days, and in certain moods, it would be easy enough to declare that Kenji Mizoguchi's Sansho the Bailiff is the greatest movie ever made. No disrespect intended to Citizen Kane or The Rules of the Game or North by Northwest, for on certain other days those movies might be Numero Uno. But Mizoguchi's magnificent 1954 film is in the running. The story is a kind of emotional epic, although it's quite simple in its outline: a family in medieval Japan is brutally broken up, the mother (Kinuyo Tanaka) carried off into prostitution and two children sold into slavery. When the children, Zushio (Yoshiaki Hanayagi) and Anju (Kyoko Kagawa), are grown, their bondage to the pitiless slaveowner Sansho will end, but in different ways.
The arc of this story is beautiful in itself, but Mizoguchi's telling of the tale is extraordinary. His moving camera seems weightless, and he effortlessly reminds us of how we've returned to certain key images that chart the progress of the characters: the breaking of a tree branch, the way water can swallow up a life, a song that ties together different lives and different places. As for the final sequence, it achieves a rare power, a mix of emotional tones reminiscent of the end of The Searchers. Mizoguchi made Sansho (Sansho Dayu in its original title) after having made The Life of Oharu and Ugetsu in the previous two years--surely one of the great creative bursts for any filmmaker. Yes, lavish praise can sometimes be dangerous, but now that we've got your attention, Sansho will make its own eloquent case.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 2:06 am

283
Salt of the earth (Herbert J. Biberman, 1954)




Salt of the Earth (1954) is an American drama film written by Michael Wilson, directed by Herbert J. Biberman, and produced by Paul Jarrico. All had been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment due to their involvement in socialist politics.
The movie became a historical phenomenon and has a cult following due to how the United States establishment (politicians, journalists, studio executives, and other trade unions) dealt with the film. Salt of the Earth is one of the first pictures to advance the feminist social and political point-of-view.
In 1950–1951, in the fictional village of Zinc Town, New Mexico, the drama tells the story of a long and difficult strike led by Mexican-American and Anglo miners against the Empire Zinc Company. The film shows how the miners (the union men and their wives), the company, and the police, react during the strike. In neorealist style the producers and director used actual miners and their families as actors in the film.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

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