Movies by Decade

A Place In The Sun (1951)

In adapting Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy for the screen, director George Stevens was faced with the difficulty of making the novelist’s grimly naturalist tale of class warfare interesting to a 1950s audience more eager for entertainment than political instruction. His solution was brilliantly effective: to emphasise the erotic longings of George Eastman (Clift) for the beautiful(…)

A Safe Place (1971)

A Safe Place (1971)

Tuesday Weld plays a vulnerable woman who escapes the pressures of New York life into a dream world, courtesy of a magician (Orson Welles). There’s a low-budget feel to this, director Henry Jaglom’s first release, and indeed it was filmed at his parent’s flat, with the cast largely made up of his pals. However, it(…)

A Shot In The Dark (1964)

The success of The Pink Panther  (1963) created a new comic favourite in the accident-prone form of Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau, so a sequel was inevitable. But this is where the Clouseau character was properly invented, along with his driven-to-distraction boss, Dreyfus. Clouseau lurches towards the solution of a murder mystery adapted from plays by Harry Kurnitz and(…)

A Star is Born (1954)

Judy Garland starred in this musical remake of the 1937 drama of the same name, starring Janet Gaynor and Frederic March. The tried and trusted tale is of Esther Blodgett, an aspiring young singer who reaches the upper echelons of success as Vicky Lester, only to have her heart broken by her film star husband,(…)

A Star Is Born (1976)

Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson starred in this second remake of the 1937 Hollywood classic, a bittersweet story of the conjunction of rising and falling stars. Updated to deal with the true stardom of the 1970s – that of the rock music world – this version is Barbra all the way. She has turned the(…)

A Stitch In Time (1963)

Laughs and sentiments mix as Norman Wisdom plays butcher’s assistant Norman Pitkin. Norman and Mr Grimsdale (Edward Chapman) are partners in a butcher’s shop, which is held up by a thief. Mr Grimsdale hides his gold watch in his mouth but swallows it and is taken to hospital. While waiting at the hospital, Norman cheers up Lindy(…)

A Taste Of Honey (1961)

  Mousey Rita Tushingham made her screen debut in this ground-breaking movie (a romance of sorts, and a comedy also), playing Jo – the unwanted 17-year-old daughter of Dora Bryan. This hilariously vulgar Salford lass is being courted by flash and pimpish Robert Stephens, and is saved from her living hell by two social exiles(…)

A View To A Kill (1985)

In the frozen wastes of Siberia, hundreds of Russian machine guns fire away at a familiar figure on skis. Yes, it’s 007 again, leaping across a crevice to freedom in his 14th motion picture, pursued by Russian helicopters and snowmobiles. But nothing can stop him, not even an avalanche big enough to bury half the world’s(…)

ABBA: The Movie (1977)

ABBA: The Movie (1977)

Unashamed and supremely slick commercial for the group, maintaining a gentle air of self-parody while at the same time being a celebration of all the various apparatuses which make a merchandising phenomenon like ABBA possible. The narrative, without which the film would mostly consist of footage of the band on stage, follows ABBA through an(…)

Abbott and Costello Go To Mars (1953)

Having run out of exotic backgrounds on Earth, the duo board a spaceship and think they’ve landed on Mars when they’re in the middle of the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Hijacked by a couple of bank robbers, they escape to Venus (not Mars!), which is populated solely by former Miss Universe contestants under Mari Blanchard(…)

Abbott and Costello In The Foreign Legion (1950)

Between meeting Dracula and the Invisible Man, Abbott and Costello took time out to cavort on existing sets on Universal’s backlot, but they could well have done with some scriptwriting help. The duo were also beginning to show their age physically, and Lou, in particular, was starting to look a little grotesque. The title says(…)

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)

Swashbuckling nonsense as Abbott and Costello go in search of the titular pirate’s secret treasure when, as two waiters on the pirate island of Tortuga, they are accidentally given a treasure map. In between the comedy and songs of the two stars, Charles Laughton chews the scenery with wild abandon as the fearsome Captain Kidd. Rocky Stonebridge Bud(…)

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1952)

Robert Louis Stevenson probably spun wildly in his grave over this production as Bud and Lou (as 18th Century American detectives) chase down the monster that has been terrorising Victorian London (played by Boris Karloff). It sounds like the double date from hell, but this is one of Bud and Lou’s livelier outings. The boys(…)

Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man (1951)

When an innocent boxer (Arthur Franz) is set up and charged for killing his manager, he takes a serum to make himself invisible and escape the police. A couple of bumbling private investigators (guess who!) step into the ring to try to add visibility to the situation. There is a modicum of mystery beneath the thin(…)

Abbott and Costello Meet The Keystone Kops (1955)

Two goofy innocents are tricked into buying a bottom-of-the-barrel movie studio. Mack Sennett (father of the Keystone Kops comedies) makes a cameo appearance. Bud Abbott Lou Costello Fred Clark Lynn Bari Mack Sennett Sam Flint Director Charles Lamont

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