1950s, 4/4, Best Picture Winner, Drama, Review, William Wyler

Ben-Hur (1959)

Another MOVIE, like Gone with the Wind. Another big, earnest, incredibly well made, really well acted, and often beautiful to look at film that the Academy decided to award with Best Picture. Ben-Hur is just one of those movies that makes sense for that. It's not just great, but it's a huge entertainment that uses… Continue reading Ben-Hur (1959)

1950s, 3/4, Best Picture Winner, Musical, Review, Vincente Minnelli


I feel like I'm seeing Lubitsch everywhere now, but it's hard to deny the connections between Lubitsch and Gigi. It's set in Europe, pre-WWI (specifically France's Belle Epoque), with wealthy people and a certain visual materialism, a class divide, the battle of the sexes, and Maurice Chevalier. It's the Chevalier presence that makes it unmistakable… Continue reading Gigi

1950s, 4/4, Best Picture Winner, David Lean, Drama, Review, War

The Bridge on the River Kwai: A Second Look

I'm still in amazement at how well The Bridge on the River Kwai comes together in the end. David Lean had been working up his way through the British film industry through a series of smaller films, and he entered the epic game with a serious bang. Taking Pierre Boulle's novel and pushing it into… Continue reading The Bridge on the River Kwai: A Second Look

1950s, 3.5/4, Best Picture Winner, Delbert Mann, Drama, Review

Marty: A Second Look

The Academy goes from awarding a pseudo-independent film (On the Waterfront was financed by Columbia) to an actual independent film in Marty, a film based on a teleplay by the screenwriter by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Delbert Mann, financed by the small production company started by Burt Lancaster and his agent Harold Hecht, while… Continue reading Marty: A Second Look