nitrate74

nitrate74

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"It's a silly story...only possible with music."

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  • The Whistle at Eaton Falls

    The Whistle at Eaton Falls

    ★★★½

    Fascinating to see a major studio movie from the early 50s dealing so fully and multi-dimensionally with union and labor issues. This begins with the same 'docu-drama with heavy emphasis on the docu', just-the-facts aporoach as producer Louis de Rochemont's other releases, quickly becoming something much more character-driven and warmly human in tone. Siodmak employs his usual noir touches and framing as the story darkens, but the small-town setting also lets him channel his inner Clarence Brown, so to speak, and…

  • Man of Conflict

    Man of Conflict

    ★★½

    Late-career Edward Arnold the way we like him: expansive, brash and jovially menacing, playing another in his long line of larger-than-life but morally obtuse magnates. He wants to bring his son in to co-run the family business, but the heir apparent wants to work his way up from the bottom, incognito. Unfortunately, the honest scion's played by reliably anti-charismatic John Agar, and the energy drains away in the middle as he takes center stage. Arnold comes roaring back at the end with a scene that's both touching and more than a bit unsettling. Nothing new, but worth taking a look if you're an Arnold fan.

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  • The Man Who Cheated Himself

    The Man Who Cheated Himself

    ★★★½

    Trim, relentlessly suspense-building noir with a bit of a twist in its setup, giving three sometimes underutilized performers a real chance to shine. A rare leading man role for Lee J. Cobb, and a romantic one to boot. (Well, romantic in the extremely noir sense of 'I'm helping my married girlfriend cover up the murder and dispense with the bullet-riddled corpse of the husband she just killed, even as I investigate the case', but still...) For at least part of…

  • The Man in Black

    The Man in Black

    ★★★

    Movie version of a popular BBC radio show, with the eponymous gentleman sepulchrally narrating the oft-told tale of an imperiled heiress being energetically (and unsubtly) gaslit by assorted greedy relations. You've seen every  bit of this in other films, but in this genre, familiarity usually breeds fondness, and that holds true here.

    If you love old-time radio suspense/supernatural shows (or not-so-old, if you've put in quality time listening to BBC 4), and/or melodramas set spiritually, if not always actually, in…