1950s movies marathon – part 14
January 25, 2011 2 Comments
Kranes konditori (1951, Norway, Henning-Jensen)
Poverty and small-town hypocrisy keeps a single mother all tied down, stressed and unhappy. She finds her true self by getting drunk with a contrarian Swedish sailor, and wakes up a free individual. This isn’t subtle, but there’s a spark of something genuine and timeless here, like second-hand Ibsen. Watched it all. Bonus interest for appearances of Wenche Foss and Aud Schønemann.
David and Bathsheba (1951, USA)
There’s a right way and a wrong way to make Biblical epics. The wrong way is to make it feel like the rehearsal of a school play that just happens to have access to lots of high quality costumes and scenery. Watched: 6 minutes, then fast forwarded to see the obligatory decadent banquet scene.
Carmen Comes Home (1951, Japan, Keisuke Kinoshita)
A girl who has adopted a Western name for her career as a stripper returns to her village, where she is appreciated for her artistic renown. After all, “Japan is very cultural”. Watched it all. This is the earliest Japanese color movie I’ve seen. Also the earliest satire. At least I think it’s satire. Comic nuances don’t always translate well across the Japanese-Western cultural border, but I’m almost positive there is some sort of humor going on here.
Quo Vadis (1951, USA)
Rome under Nero is one big toga party, but those pesky Christians have begun to appear, and they’ll ruin everything. And then nineteen hundred years later they’ll make a dreary movie about it. Watched: 21 minutes, then fast-forwarded to the obligatory decadent banquet scene.